I wish hard sync was actually good...

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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KVRAF
3105 posts since 28 Jan, 2006 from Phoenix, AZ

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:52 pm

Back when I first started getting into synths I loved the idea of hard sync, easy screaming leads, right?

Well, I don't like the clicky sound of super-oscillations appearing and disappearing. I don't like how inflexible the tone is as well. It never quite hits the spot.

I abandoned hard sync as a nice synth feature and looked to dirty filters. Screaming filters are great, giving rich growly sounds, but filters struggle to create that pure square buzz of hard sync.

I present to you the culmination of all my synth know how over the years, the coming together of the best of both worlds (filters and oscillators): http://www.elanhickler.com/transfer/scr ... 0synth.mp3

Comes from the same firey pit that my FMD filters come from.

KVRAF
8939 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:37 pm

Sounds great. What synth?
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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KVRAF

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3105 posts since 28 Jan, 2006 from Phoenix, AZ

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:50 pm

It's using one of my prototype plugins that I wired up to test the idea.

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KVRAF
10829 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:40 pm

The hard sync on Repro One is pretty great for screaming leads. Good distortion too. Other than that, I’ll turn to hardware if I need better.
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KVRAF
18462 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:50 pm

Audio demo sounds good...

I like soft sync too... ACE is pretty good for that. And yeah, hardware sync is generally more pleasing than software.

KVRAF
3151 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:26 pm

I dunno. Hard sync has plenty of good implementations in software and hardware. It generally works better as a spot effect for me. I often make a lead and then have an alternative version of the patch with a sync sweep in something like zebra and I'll just trigger a couple of notes on the synced version for extra accent. For regular synth sounds I always felt that hard and soft sync sound pretty cheesy as the main part of a sound but things like syncing an oscillator to a drum or something is pretty fun.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

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KVRAF

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3105 posts since 28 Jan, 2006 from Phoenix, AZ

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:53 pm

Ah_Dziz, pretty levelheaded use of sync that means you only use it in the moments it would sound good.

My 'screamer' synth has moments where it's more like soft sync or hard sync or an overdriven filter. Soft sync can sound really nice but it never quite hit the spot for me because... it's like... ok, I have this soft sync growl. Now I want it to howl like a lead guitar... and nope it can't do that. So I'm stuck with growls only. Of course, if I was Ah_Dziz I would actually use multiple synths but actually I'm too lazy for that I'd rather spend a life time figuring out how to make a synth that has a knob dedicated to going from growling to howling or growl to scream or scream to whistling... haha

Edit: literally I've dedicated my entire adult life to coming up with this synth to solve a problem that you could solve using multiple instances of a synth... oh god im cursed but also I can't help it, I need this synth.

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KVRAF
4128 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:18 am

Hard sync is my favourite tool for hooks and everything that needs to attract attention. No idea how I could live without it for years...

BTW, can somebody explain a difference between hard sync and soft sync?
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KVRAF

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3105 posts since 28 Jan, 2006 from Phoenix, AZ

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:47 am

Soft sync has no specific definition, you can combine these ideas:
1. Reset an oscillator if the phases of the involved oscillators are nearby
2. Jump the phase of an oscillator partially instead of resetting it completely
3. Invert the phase / reverse the direction of oscillation instead of jumping or resetting
4. ...there's probably some more I'm forgetting

KVRist
290 posts since 9 Apr, 2005 from Japan

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:10 am

Hard sync is for doing covers of that Cars song and nothing else.
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KVRAF
3151 posts since 2 Jul, 2005

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:43 am

Architeuthis wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:53 pm
Ah_Dziz, pretty levelheaded use of sync that means you only use it in the moments it would sound good.

My 'screamer' synth has moments where it's more like soft sync or hard sync or an overdriven filter. Soft sync can sound really nice but it never quite hit the spot for me because... it's like... ok, I have this soft sync growl. Now I want it to howl like a lead guitar... and nope it can't do that. So I'm stuck with growls only. Of course, if I was Ah_Dziz I would actually use multiple synths but actually I'm too lazy for that I'd rather spend a life time figuring out how to make a synth that has a knob dedicated to going from growling to howling or growl to scream or scream to whistling... haha

Edit: literally I've dedicated my entire adult life to coming up with this synth to solve a problem that you could solve using multiple instances of a synth... oh god im cursed but also I can't help it, I need this synth.
I'm loving how all your stuff is sounding. Do you have any of your synths out on the market? That filter sounds great it reminds me of some of the massively distorted stuff I used to do with vaz back when it was a thing. The distortion and the resonance interact in some really cool ways.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

KVRAF
27652 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:13 am

TBH, most soft synth's sync sound is disappointing to me. Whenever I listen to a sound demo of an analog synth, and hear the sync sound, I get pretty jealous.

Might be difficult to replicate in software. I don't know.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
4009 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:22 am

Hard sync can also be verry usefull to extend into further synthesis methods like Windowed sync , for fake resonant waves like the casio cz ( that 's the part where it doens't use phase distortion )
Talmod can do this , modulating the amplitude of the slaved osc by the master sync osc
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Last edited by gentleclockdivider on Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRAF
6234 posts since 12 Feb, 2006 from Helsinki, Finland

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:07 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:13 am
TBH, most soft synth's sync sound is disappointing to me. Whenever I listen to a sound demo of an analog synth, and hear the sync sound, I get pretty jealous.

Might be difficult to replicate in software. I don't know.
Right, so technically hard-sync is "very easy" to do "perfectly" if you're using a "BLEP-type" method for synthesizing classical analog waveforms (which is fairly common approach if classical analog waveforms are all you need), but if you're doing pretty much anything else (eg. something out sines, wavetables, whatever) then it's quite complicated (and expensive!) to do it correctly without aliasing, to the point where these types of synths traditionally tend to either fake it or just ignore the aliasing.

So if you want good hard-sync sound out of soft-synths, you're best bet is to look at the "simple" ones that don't have a huge selection of waveforms, because there's a better chance that they're using a synthesis method where "correct" hard-sync is actually feasible.
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KVRAF
18462 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:17 am

gentleclockdivider wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:22 am
Hard sync can also be verry usefull to extend into further synthesis methods like Windowed sync , for fake resonant waves like the casio cz ( that 's the part where it doens't use phase distortion )
Talmod can do this , modulating the amplitude of the slaved osc by the master sync osc
How do you like TalMod for audio quality?

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