Why on Earth are oct ranges on synths with 2 VCOs different

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: lisa, luketeaford, Kent, Joe.

Post Reply
User avatar
Homepage Englisch
Common Wiggler
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:50 pm
Location: Croatia

Why on Earth are oct ranges on synths with 2 VCOs different

Post by Homepage Englisch » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:36 am

You've seen this before. Analog synth with two VCO's and octave range selector reading in pipe organ footage: 32 16 8.
Oscillator 2 will have a selector 16 8 4.

Why? To extend the range? Fake a sub oscillator? I can't think of one redeeming quality of this layout that can not be covered with identical but wider range for both oscillators: 32 16 8 4 2.

Not all the synths have this feature, but plenty of them do, even modern ones.

Is this some remnant of additive synthesis from the Hammond organ era?

User avatar
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:10 pm

Post by dumbledog » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:28 am

If I had to guess I'd say because a wider range requires tighter tolerances for the linear to exponential converters, among other things. That increases cost.

Hella low paired sawtooth waveforms kinda sound like muddy crap to me anyway but that's just me :despair:

User avatar
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:55 pm

Post by Blingley » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:34 pm

I mean more options is always better, so if both could have 5 octave range that'd be nice, but if 3 octaves / oscillator is all I'm going to get, I'd rather have 32/16/8 and 16/8/4 than 2x 32/16/8.

Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3495
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:02 pm

Post by calaveras » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:07 am

It's a cost saving feature. Same as analog synths that ad a sub osc instead of another osc.
Also I've built a few osc kits and I can testify that it is indeed much easier to have an Osc be tuned and stable over 3 octaves than 5. Much easier!

Post Reply

Return to “General Gear”