Synths without PWM

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12711 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:32 am

In Noisemaker the sound becomes almost mute when setting the PW knob to max. Not sure it has to do with two oscillators canceling each other out. Maybe it is just that the resulting pulse wave has no energy anymore due to the extreme pw.

I don't really know what to use PWM for, either. It does sound nice with bass I noticed yesterday.
I will look at some PWM presets in Diva and try to recreate them in S1, sorry Ursus Syntheticus :hihi:

Halonmusic
KVRAF
1740 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:46 am

fluffy_little_something wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:32 am
In Noisemaker the sound becomes almost mute when setting the PW knob to max. Not sure it has to do with two oscillators canceling each other out. Maybe it is just that the resulting pulse wave has no energy anymore due to the extreme pw.

I don't really know what to use PWM for, either. It does sound nice with bass I noticed yesterday.
I will look at some PWM presets in Diva and try to recreate them in S1, sorry Ursus Syntheticus :hihi:
I believe that is called thru zero pwm. Its great for rhytmic pads and such, when modulated.

ENV1
KVRAF
2386 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:48 am

If the pulse gets so 'narrow'* that you cant hear it anymore (at all) then what you have is a steady DC.

(*'Narrow' isnt the right word since the osc is then not really 'pulsing' anymore. Technically its like putting the speaker cables on a battery; the cone will move out or in depending on polarity (and voltage) but then it remains still so no audible events are being produced except for the initial 'plop'.)



BTW, did you know that there are actually different 'flavors' of PWM?

Using the 1-osc-normal / 1-osc-inverted cancel technique you can get at least 3 very distinct characters depending on the waveform and the (steady) pulsewidth of the oscillators.

Below is a short audio clip that demonstrates the 3 'main' types. (At least thats what i would call them.) Besides these 3 very characteristic ones, you can get a lot more 'inbetween-flavors' by setting the length of the oscillator pulses for the normal and/or inverted oscillator to different arbitrary values.

What are we listening to

There are 3 parts obviously, im sure you can hear where im switching to the next variant.

The first part is 2 pulse waves on a 50:50 duty cycle. The PWM effect is caused by shifting the phase of the inverted oscillator. The resulting sound has a very hollow character and does not sound like the 'usual' PWM.

The second part is still 2 pulse waves but this time the cycle is 25pos / 75neg. Significantly less hollow than 50:50 and what i would call 'real' PWM because the sound is actually being generated by flat pulses. (And it really sounds a lot different than saws.)

The third part is 2 saw waves. Again the PWM effect is caused by shifting the phase of the inverted oscillator. It sounds very different from the pulse variants since the positive amplitude is going down as the pulses get narrower. (Not the case with the pulsewaves.) AFAIK this is the (only) variant you can get in Sylenth.

Audio can be played and/or downloaded here.

Line below should play audio directly.

https://www.kvraudio.com/downloads/kvr_ ... 287063.wav

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12711 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:37 am

And what keeps you from using those specific pulse waves instead of the saws in Sylenth1's waveform selector? Or am I missing something? 8)

ENV1
KVRAF
2386 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:08 am

I dont own Sylenth so not sure what you can and cannot do with its waveforms.

But yes, logically you should be able to use the pulses too...why not.

The audio i posted was made with SynthEdit.

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12711 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:20 am

Its waveforms are almost identical to the Minimoog's, so there are three different pulse waveforms.

ENV1
KVRAF
2386 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:36 am

Well then theoretically you should be able to get all 3 main flavors just fine.

(Pulse 50:50, Pulse 25:75 and Saws.)

For some reason i had it in my head that with Sylenth only the saws can be used, (maybe i read it somewhere), but on second thought this would be strange because if it works with one then i dont see why it wouldnt work with the other.

(Unless of course there is some technical detail im not aware of.)

Halonmusic
KVRAF
1740 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:18 am

ENV1 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:36 am
Well then theoretically you should be able to get all 3 main flavors just fine.

(Pulse 50:50, Pulse 25:75 and Saws.)

For some reason i had it in my head that with Sylenth only the saws can be used, (maybe i read it somewhere), but on second thought this would be strange because if it works with one then i dont see why it wouldnt work with the other.

(Unless of course there is some technical detail im not aware of.)
As far as I can remember you can use the other waveforms aswell

User avatar
fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12711 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:44 pm

PWM seems to fatten things up. Was just playing around with PWM plus two other waves on the two remaining oscillators. One can make massive bass sounds with more bottom that way. Probably too much for my needs, but nevertheless impressive :hihi:

surreal
KVRian
1040 posts since 3 Dec, 2006

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:26 pm

Please share with us your result audio and patches if you dont mind Fluffy

Examigan
KVRAF
4457 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:29 pm

I didn't mean to make this a "Sylenth1 against all other synth plugins that do have PWM built-in" thread.

Not every synth has it. For instance, Corona has a work around, just like Sylenth1.

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Urs
u-he
22769 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:47 am

Examigan wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:29 pm
I didn't mean to make this a "Sylenth1 against all other synth plugins that do have PWM built-in" thread.
There is no escape from it... viewtopic.php?f=1&t=509757 :hihi:

Examigan
KVRAF
4457 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:12 pm

Urs wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:47 am
Examigan wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:29 pm
I didn't mean to make this a "Sylenth1 against all other synth plugins that do have PWM built-in" thread.
There is no escape from it... viewtopic.php?f=1&t=509757 :hihi:
:hihi:

Hi Urs,

I am not at my DAW at the moment to check the synths I have like Zebra and Diva, but do all the u-he synths have a PWM function built-in or just some of them? I am not as familiar with Bazille and Hive (I don't have those) so I have no idea about those two.

Cheers,
Rob

acYm
KVRian
800 posts since 11 Sep, 2015

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:23 pm

Hive certainly does, as for Bazille, you can do it using modulators the old school way.

User avatar
Urs
u-he
22769 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Synths without PWM

Post Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:58 pm

There's a few tutorials on doing PWM with Bazille, but it doesn't have a knob for it. Triple Cheese doesn't have it. All other u-he synths have PWM IIRC.

Zebralette has it through drawable spline-based waveforms. ZebraCM has it through Waveform Symmetry.

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