Phase Distortion Synthesis

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRist
132 posts since 10 Feb, 2009

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:49 am

I've slowly become fairly familiar with most other kinds of synthesis but I've never really delved into phase distortion synthesis

What are some good vsti(free or commercial w/demo) & preferably a decent amount of presets & examples of popular tracks/artists that display it frequently, I'm interested if I'm missing out on something sonically or if it's something I may've already heard or used (unknowingly) and just didn't find particularly memorable

I've searched this and other forum topics on the subject but never found much of a discussion just typically links to ... free new phase distortion synthesizer or something along those lines
http://drunk3nj3sus.blogspot.com/ < My blog
Free samples, presets, etc.

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KVRAF
12504 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:07 am

While i have explored many different synthesis methods in the past i have to admit that i never really got into phase distortion yet.

The first phase distortion synths seemed to be the Casio CZ hardware synths.
I found some general info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_distortion_synthesis
http://www.electricdruid.net/index.php? ... dsynthesis
http://www.algomusic.net/PDSynthesis.html

I know that Tone2 Nemeis besides FM also has phase distortion synth modes but have not used those yet.
Also U-He Bazille seems to include PD oscillators.
Also Rob Papen Blue and Blue II seem to contain a phase distortion oscillator mode.

Besides that there seem to be several plugins mostly inspired by the Casio CZ synths:
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/kassiop ... ic_assault
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/czynthia_by_algomusic
http://www.tubeohm.com/TubeOhm/Phasewave.html
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/mothman ... tin-robert
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/cosmos-by-b-serrano
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/nitrouspd_by_novakill

There seem to be only few dedicated phase distortion synths that are not based on Synth Edit (like those 6 in the links above) which means it could be a problem using those in a 64-bit system or on a Mac.

One free synth that is available as 64-bit and for Mac seems to be this one:
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/digits- ... of-the-jam

There also seem to be some Reaktor ensembles based on PD like this one:
http://www.native-instruments.com/de/co ... show/5543/
This is a Reaktor Phase deistortion oscillator done with Core modules:
http://www.native-instruments.com/de/co ... show/6197/



Ingo
Ingo Weidner
Win 10 Home 64-bit / mobile i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz / 16GB RAM //
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KVRist

Topic Starter

132 posts since 10 Feb, 2009

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:25 am

Many thanks for the great plethora of resources Ingo I remember it being mentioned with Casio I guess it was one of their signature synth features or something along those lines and have heard it being involved in complex multi-synths but the links you provided are a great starting point for a bit more indepth research on the subject.

Thanks again for the info if I'm not mistaken I think I've made some used one or more of your presets in a synth remember a strings/pad sound being particularly inspiring. If so keep up the great work.
http://drunk3nj3sus.blogspot.com/ < My blog
Free samples, presets, etc.

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KVRAF
5680 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:13 am

ReFX PlastiCZ is an excellent example of a phase distortion synth.

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KVRAF
7950 posts since 2 Aug, 2005 from Guitar Land, USA

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:27 am

Ingonator wrote:One free synth that is available as 64-bit and for Mac seems to be this one:
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/digits- ... of-the-jam
This one is my favorite-I would say it's the best example.
The only site for experimental amp sim freeware & MIDI FX: http://runbeerrun.blogspot.com
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCprNcvVH6aPTehLv8J5xokA -Youtube jams

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KVRAF
4524 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:08 am

In a time I have been found of the phase distorsion synthesis. With the FM synthesis (which is totally different) the PD synthesis was among my most funny hours. And it remains yet one of my favorites with the FM since the day I've come back to more subtractive.

I have tried many VSTs having the phase distorsion synthesis or based exclusively on it. Here are those which are directly focused on phase distorsion synthesis: I don't talk here about the hybrid synths of course. If you want to experiment a synthesis, nothing can't be better to use a synth focused on that synthesis to avoid to be tempted to disperse your mind. And it doesn't prevent you to continue after that with an hybrid synth, once you master well the synthesis that you are learning without having dispersed your mind with their other features during your learn phase.

I have experimented some others, but which are too weak to be kept in that list. They are totally anecdotical.

Those from Fretted Synth are of course very original since they are made to be used with a guitar.

Kickmaker (which is free) is a very original drum-synth. I have spent hours and hours to tweak it to get very strange sounds a bit like if I was inventing a totally new kind of drums and percussions. In fact, I think that with it you could emulate all the percussions of the world, simply by a perfect use of the phase distortion synthesis.

In my list above, for what concerns the other products, which are aimed to be synthesizer, Cosmos and Phadiz whilst free are very good products. They are excellent to discover how works the phase distortion synthesis and to create first very nice sounds of your own. But after that, when you master well this technique, you can get as well Phadiz or PlastiCZ (€45 only, the price mentioned at KVR is wrong), they are both as excellent. I have both and it may appear strange for the others member of the thread but the one that I prefer by far is not PlastiCZ but CZinthia, but it's only my opinion, because it has more versatility in its modulations (even the ring modulation), and the 3 envelopes (3!) are multi-segments, and much more embedded effects very well tuned, an LFO much more versatile also (22 waveforms for the LFO!), and the ability to work on scales.

About Digits from Extent of the Jam, I have never tried it. But I always trust the advices of RunBeerRun, so it is sure that if he says it is good... it is good.
Last edited by BlackWinny on Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:22 am, edited 5 times in total.
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
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KVRAF
2747 posts since 13 Feb, 2012 from Amsterdam

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:14 am

If you happen to use Live with M4L, also check out this synth: http://www.maxforlive.com/library/devic ... tion-synth seems quite good, although I never really dived into it.

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Urs
u-he
25534 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:17 am

Ingonator wrote:Also U-He Bazille seems to include PD oscillators.
It does, absolutely! :)

Zebra has a Phase Distortion oscillator effect which lets one directly draw the phase function that's applied to the cosine. This doesn't do the resonance trick, but it lets one try completely different waveforms, such as "3 peaks" instead of just two in Casio's "double impulse" one, and so on.

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KVRAF
12504 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:45 am

BDeep wrote:If you happen to use Live with M4L, also check out this synth: http://www.maxforlive.com/library/devic ... tion-synth seems quite good, although I never really dived into it.

Many thanks for the link, will have a look ASAP. :)

Just found that i installed a fre M4L synth called "Kasio-M4L" which is a more simple phase distortion synth.
link: https://www.ableton.com/de/packs/kasio-m4l/
Have not really programmed my own patches with it yet. Somehow this thread made me more interested in programming phase distortion.

I already mentioned Tone2 Nemesis and did a little test with one of my own patches for it. I replaced the NeoFM synthesis mode with one of the PD modes and the sound is indeed really different.
Will have a closer look at the PD modes in Nemesis. So far for the official soundsets there was a rule to only use the FM and Formant modes (a new offiical soundset will be released soon).


Ingo
Ingo Weidner
Win 10 Home 64-bit / mobile i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz / 16GB RAM //
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KVRAF
2747 posts since 13 Feb, 2012 from Amsterdam

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:13 am

Oh yes, the Kasio-M4L, forgot about that one. And doesn't Blue2 do PD? I've never used it, but I vaguely remember it does.

I'm curious now, I'm going to dive in the Reaktor user library to see if there's anything of interest there.

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KVRAF
12504 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:16 am

RunBeerRun wrote:
Ingonator wrote:One free synth that is available as 64-bit and for Mac seems to be this one:
http://www.kvraudio.com/product/digits- ... of-the-jam
This one is my favorite-I would say it's the best example.
Just had a look. Strange thing is that the 64-bit version seesm to be available only for Mac and linux but not for Windows. Last update is from 2012.
Ingo Weidner
Win 10 Home 64-bit / mobile i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz / 16GB RAM //
Live 10 Suite / Cubase Pro 9.5 / Pro Tools Ultimate 2020 // NI Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk1

KVRist
213 posts since 12 May, 2004

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:49 am

Thought I'd point out that U-He's Bazille is also a PD based synth.

http://www.u-he.com/cms/bazille
On a number of Macs

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KVRAF
4524 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:51 am

BDeep wrote:And doesn't Blue2 do PD? I've never used it, but I vaguely remember it does.
Yes, it does.

For the "multi-synthesis synths" that I know or that I have heard about, here are some which have PD with absolute certitude: And of course those I mentioned before because focused only on PD synthesis.

And I miss probably some other famous that I've forgotten in this list. I would be not surprised concerning Dune 2, Sylenth 1, one of the DCAM collection (and perhaps Spire and some others...)

But beware, many people (even developers) confuse the Phase Distortion synthesis with the phase modulation. I have even seen developers writing some things absolutely incredible and totally insane in the kind of "Our synth provides FM synthesis also called Phase Modulation (or Phase Distortion)". Of course it talks long, long, long on their total lack of knowledge about what they are supposed to develop! Those developers should get back school.
Last edited by BlackWinny on Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:34 am, edited 14 times in total.
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
I'm now severely diseased since September 2018.

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KVRAF
12504 posts since 21 Mar, 2008 from Hannover, Germany

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:16 am

BlackWinny wrote: For the "multi-synthesis synths" that I know or that I have heard about, here are some which have PD with absolute certitude (at least as a modulation between two oscillators):
  • Nemesis
  • Saurus
  • Spectral
  • SynthMaster

    And of course those I mentioned before because focused only on PD synthesis.

    And I miss probably some other famous that I've forgotten in this list. I would be not surprised concerning Dune 2, Sylenth 1, one of the DCAM collection (and perhaps Spire and some others...)
Not really sure about many synths in your list, especially those i quoted.

- Nemesis is able to do PD (besides other synthesis methodes like FM and phase modulation) as i mentioned above.
- Saurus should not be able to do any phase distortion
- Spectral is an additive/spectral synth wit hthe ability to do FM or phase moduation but no phase distortion AFAIK.
- Synthmaster offers phase modulation and frequency modulation but no phase distortion AFAIK
- DUNE 2 could do FM but no phase distortion AFAIK
- Sylenth1 should also not do phase distortion, same with Synth Squad (while Cypher could do FM)

One comment on "phase modulation":
Most FM synths including the Yamaha ones did not actually use FM but phase modulation which could be similar but depending on the waveforms used also quite different. Tone2 nemesis with the "NeoFM" synthesis modes offers "real" FM while it also includes a few phase modulation ("PM") modes. The difference of real FM could be noticed when using complex waveforms which do not really work properly with phase modulation.

To avoid some confusion:
FM = Frequency modulation
PM = Phase modulation
PD = Phase distortion
AM = Amplitude modulation



Ingo
Ingo Weidner
Win 10 Home 64-bit / mobile i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz / 16GB RAM //
Live 10 Suite / Cubase Pro 9.5 / Pro Tools Ultimate 2020 // NI Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk1

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KVRAF
4524 posts since 17 Jun, 2013 from very close to Paris, France

Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:45 am

Hello Ingo !
Ingonator wrote:- Saurus should not be able to do any phase distortion
Verified. You're right.
Ingonator wrote:- Spectral is an additive/spectral synth wit hthe ability to do FM or phase moduation but no phase distortion AFAIK
Verified. You're right.
Ingonator wrote:- Synthmaster offers phase modulation and frequency modulation but no phase distortion AFAIK
Verified. You're right. It's one example where the developer makes the confusion between "Phase distorsion" and "Phase modulation". It makes an excellent phase modulation... but in the KVR product page it calls it phase distorsion (a mistake that it doesn't do in the synth (I have it) and in the manual, at least those are good)
Ingonator wrote:- DUNE 2 could do FM but no phase distortion AFAIK
- Sylenth1 should also not do phase distortion, same with Synth Squad (while Cypher could do FM)
Yes, for those I was totally in the dark and I just suggested that it would be an occasion to verify it about them (now it's done, thanks Ingo!)
Ingonator wrote:To avoid some confusion:
FM = Frequency modulation
PM = Phase modulation
PD = Phase distortion
AM = Amplitude modulation
Yes. But beware: many developers (and not only amateurs) make themselves these confusions (voluntarily or not, I don't know and it probably depends of these developers)
Last edited by BlackWinny on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
I'm now severely diseased since September 2018.

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