Distortion waves as an oscillator source-advice needed

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: Joe., lisa, luketeaford, Kent

Post Reply
tesserack
Common Wiggler
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:36 pm
Location: north cascades

Distortion waves as an oscillator source-advice needed

Post by tesserack » Sun May 28, 2017 1:09 pm

Hello, I'm looking for some advice on trying to construct an analogue hexaphonic guitar synth and I formulated a plan, but will it work?

I'm starting with a guitar hexaphonic pickup feeding a spicetone 6 appeal hexaphonic distortion pedal.

https://www.spicetone.com/

What I was wondering is if I could take the Distortion wave shape that the pedal will generate and patch that into a wave folder or a waveshaper to produce other waveforms such as Square and triangle waves?

The idea would be to continue the signal path into envelope shaped filters and amps.

So the question I guess would be is if the distortion wave is close enough to a saw core oscillator wave so that it could be further shaped and used in a subtractive synthesis scheme?

And if this is feasible what wavefolder or waveshaper would be best suited for use with a distortion wave?

User avatar
authorless
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2282
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:41 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: Distortion waves as an oscillator source-advice needed

Post by authorless » Mon May 29, 2017 3:33 pm

tesserack wrote:So the question I guess would be is if the distortion wave is close enough to a saw core oscillator wave[...]
I doubt that it is. It will probably be closer to a pulse wave. Also, not sure about that pedal, but most guitar pedals run at guitar level, which is a lot lower than modular level, so you would need to boost each of those. Plus you would probably want envelopes followers, envelopes, LFOs, filters, VCAs, and whatever else you'd want per voice.
"Wait a month and buy from a fellow wiggler who's desperate for new modules." - Johnisfaster

"It's oscillators are so precise and lifeless it's actually a digital modelling analog synth." - nadafarms

tesserack
Common Wiggler
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:36 pm
Location: north cascades

Post by tesserack » Mon May 29, 2017 7:56 pm

The pedal is very similar to the old Roland gr 100 but with upgraded modulation and adsr envelope control. It has a second order low pass filter and a couple of low-frequency oscillators.

I have a Moog Slim phatty and a Moog Voyager that allows for audio inputs. It's my understanding that the audio input passes the signal through to everything after the oscillator section of the moogs.

I was thinking that I could shape the waveform from the distortion pedal and then pass that shaped wave into the moogs just for starters.

So do pulse waves lend themselves to further shaping or is there just not enough harmonic structure?

Ramases
Common Wiggler
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:41 pm

Post by Ramases » Tue May 30, 2017 12:37 pm

tesserack wrote: So do pulse waves lend themselves to further shaping or is there just not enough harmonic structure?
It's sine waves that don't really do that much when filtered.
But, they do work well with waveshapers/wavefolders which tend to do a good job on fairly simple content i.e. not lots of harmonics.

Pulses will be be affected fine by your Moogs' filters.

Of course, the great thing with synths of the modular/semi-modular variety is that you can just try things out and see if you like the sound, whether it's the generally perceived "correct" thing to do or not!

tesserack
Common Wiggler
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:36 pm
Location: north cascades

Post by tesserack » Tue May 30, 2017 1:56 pm

Yes I agree that most everything we humans do and the discoveries that have been made throughout history are the result of trial and error.

That particular distortion pedal is on its way to my house as we speak, so I'll be able to start the sound trials soon.

I am most curious about waveshaper and wave folder modules and what effect they might have on the shaping of the output from that pedal.

I have been reading everything I can about those modules on this site.

I've also been reading about how the Roland GR 300 works on Dr Wayne Jones site.

So has anyone here had good results using a distortion wave through a wave shaper or wave folder. And by good results I mean producing different and possibly clean waveforms from a very distorted waveform.

Ramases
Common Wiggler
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:41 pm

Post by Ramases » Tue May 30, 2017 3:01 pm

tesserack wrote: So has anyone here had good results using a distortion wave through a wave shaper or wave folder. And by good results I mean producing different and possibly clean waveforms from a very distorted waveform.
You will certainly be able to produce different waveforms.

But, those modules introduce distortion (of varying types) to waveforms rather than cleaning them up.

tesserack
Common Wiggler
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:36 pm
Location: north cascades

Re: Distortion waves as an oscillator source-advice needed

Post by tesserack » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:35 pm

authorless wrote:
tesserack wrote:So the question I guess would be is if the distortion wave is close enough to a saw core oscillator wave[...]
I doubt that it is. It will probably be closer to a pulse wave. Also, not sure about that pedal, but most guitar pedals run at guitar level, which is a lot lower than modular level, so you would need to boost each of those. Plus you would probably want envelopes followers, envelopes, LFOs, filters, VCAs, and whatever else you'd want per voice.
I did some further reading on the spicetone website and found something called a white paper. I emailed the company to see if I could get permission to quote their white paper and they said no problem.

It says that this pedal " delivers three kinds of Overdrive/distortion which we call overdrive, Crunch, and fuzz. The overdrive setting is the smoothest one. The crunch adds some asymmetrical processing and makes even-number harmonic's level higher (in synth terms it takes a pulse signal closer to Sawtooth). The fuzz is a double Distortion and the strongest one in sense of distorted signal."

As you noted, the overdrive starts as a pulse wave and with further internal processing the pedal can get closer to outputting a Sawtooth wave. So I guess in a sense it does have an internal waveshaper.

This hex pedal separately processes each of the six guitar string (oscillators) through the Distortion circuits, filters and amps, so it's a 6 channel processor.( note it does also have a separate mono Channel input)_

It looks like I'm going to need a 6-channel waveshaper and a 6 Channel filter. Any recommendations? I'd like to stay analog because the pedal has an analog signal path.

I already have an audio mixer that will handle the six channels.

I forgot to mention that the pedal functions as a 6 Channel breakout box so that the processed audio from each string can be output from the box separately.

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”