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ARNK
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65 posts since 10 Jan, 2013

Postby ARNK; Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:16 am Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

The lack of VST scopes and/or resources outside of showing fun wave pattern shapes tells me that it's not...
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Aloysius
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20337 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:21 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

I would say no. Your golden ears are necessary. If however you don't have ears, then an oscilloscope could be just what the Doctor ordered.
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phace
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156 posts since 21 Mar, 2015

Postby phace; Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:37 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

If you have bad ears or cheap studio monitors then yes, otherwise no. In terms of mixing sounds though, it's always necessary.
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BertKoor
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10030 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:49 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

Other than fulfilling your curiosity (what do the waveforms actually look like) I don't really see the need. Because you don't "hear" with your eyes but with your ears. I even find the plots that some EQs show distracting.
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chk071
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13227 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:51 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

No. Not that i do any "serious sound design" though. :P I highly doubt people who do have an oscilloscope on though.
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Michael L
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1646 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:01 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

Sometimes I do, when I need to filter a waveform so it has fewer harmonics or noise (or the opposite) or if I am blending waveforms, or reinforcing a sample with a waveform: a scope can help show me what to listen for. But my ears and eyes are wired together and YMMV!
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himalaya
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4232 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:03 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

An oscilloscope? Can't remember using it lately. A spectrum analyser? Yes, mostly where my ears can not help (ie: checking infrasonic regions for issues in samples).
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Aloysius
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20337 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:47 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

If you sit on your speaker, you can check out all the infrasonics you want.
One mans trash is another mans rubbish.
himalaya
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4232 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:10 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

Aloysius wrote:If you sit on your speaker, you can check out all the infrasonics you want.


Absolutely. And if you insert your ear buds into your nose, you can smell the divine fragrances of the full frequency spectrum.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
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phace
KVRist
 
156 posts since 21 Mar, 2015

Postby phace; Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:33 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

BertKoor wrote:Because you don't "hear" with your eyes but with your ears.

this is an important point, I always think that what really matters in any case is what's coming out of the speakers. Nothing more than that.
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Aloysius
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20337 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:39 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

himalaya wrote:
Aloysius wrote:If you sit on your speaker, you can check out all the infrasonics you want.


Absolutely. And if you insert your ear buds into your nose, you can smell the divine fragrances of the full frequency spectrum.


:lol:
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Gamma-UT
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3771 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Postby Gamma-UT; Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:08 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

BertKoor wrote:Other than fulfilling your curiosity (what do the waveforms actually look like) I don't really see the need. Because you don't "hear" with your eyes but with your ears. I even find the plots that some EQs show distracting.


If you're trying to reverse-engineer a sound, it can be handy to see what's going on.

I don't see what the OP's issue with existing plugins is though, other than perhaps only a few of them have a useful way of setting a timebase. There's very little you are going to see in an external instrument that doesn't appear in the software/computer domain.
himalaya
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4232 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:37 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

phace wrote:
BertKoor wrote:Because you don't "hear" with your eyes but with your ears.

this is an important point, I always think that what really matters in any case is what's coming out of the speakers. Nothing more than that.


Generally it's true but there are many reasons for using a spectrum analyser (more than an oscilloscope). You simply won't be able to solve any issues below and above the average human hearing, stuff which we don't hear but is still there, captured somehow during a recording (samples for example), and whereas we may not be able to hear at such extremes, it's a good professional habit to inspect samples and eliminate any issues. This is where such utilities are a must.
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phace
KVRist
 
156 posts since 21 Mar, 2015

Postby phace; Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:57 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

himalaya wrote:
phace wrote:
BertKoor wrote:Because you don't "hear" with your eyes but with your ears.

this is an important point, I always think that what really matters in any case is what's coming out of the speakers. Nothing more than that.


Generally it's true but there are many reasons for using a spectrum analyser (more than an oscilloscope). You simply won't be able to solve any issues below and above the average human hearing, stuff which we don't hear but is still there, captured somehow during a recording (samples for example), and whereas we may not be able to hear at such extremes, it's a good professional habit to inspect samples and eliminate any issues. This is where such utilities are a must.

yes I agree, but in the creative process I don't bother much, when finalizing sounds I get more serious and start analyzing mud/resonance areas.
cron
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2817 posts since 27 Dec, 2002, from London

Postby cron; Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:23 am Re: Is an oscilloscope a necessary tool for serious sound design?

Only to check for DC offset. I do a lot of processing which involves deliberately adding DC offset, processing as required, then removing it. I always check the result through an oscilloscope to see if I can get away without high-passing as a final step.

Other than that, I don't think it's particularly useful as a sound design tool. Not in the same way a frequency analyser can be. Artists like Cyclo and Jerobeam Fenderson have done some awesome stuff with oscilloscopes - well, lissajous phasescopes really - but other than such highly specialised creative use cases I'd say it's more of a technical tool.

Coincidentally, last month's One Synth Challenge used Spiral Generator which is designed to create patterns in a phasescope. Not sure how many entrants made a visual component though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XziuEdpVUe0
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