VCO idea

Martin Czech martin.czech at
Fri Jul 31 12:14:31 CEST 1998

> << toyed arround a lot with hand
>  made waves and wavetables for the Waldorf Microwave I (No, I won't swap
>  it against a Microwave II or XT) and came to the conclusion that in a
>  lot of cases the results are not very exciting, >>
> Any static waveform, no matter how complex, will ultimately sound like an
> organ. It's animation and modulation that make them interesting. If the
> voltage controlled segment part of the original post was implemented it would
> probably be pretty cool but the basic ramp, triangle, sine and pulse pretty
> much cover all the bases otherwise. It's when you start changing these over
> time, either with filters or by modulating the pulse width for example, that
> things get interesting.
Good point, this is certainly true. Especially if the coefficients
change with fast, or maybe audio rate. By the way: you all know that
the  Waldorf Microwave is a wavetable synth, you can interpolate
between 61 different waves. It is a pain to draw all these variations
of waves but you can store them ... So there is some change, but still
the results where mostly disappointing (some where very good).  This
becomes very obvious if you want to process spech.  I've got a toy
sampler (Galactic Sampler for Atari ST/STE) with 8 bit resolution.  If
you record some vocals (a,e,i,o,u) you'll see that they are far away
from a periodic waveform.  There is a lot of modulation and randomness
in these waveforms. If you try a very short loop (force a periodic wave
out of it) from these waves, they are almost unrecognizeable, even if
you carefully avoid glitches.

So , sometimes even the change over time sound like organ, with some
kind of chorus or the like.  On the other hand, sometimes i got results
which sounded like ringmodulator stuff, with very odd nonperiodic
ratios. Now, this is not possible with such short 128 Byte waves, but
my ears don't know this fact ;-> I remember this was the case with
fourier synthesis, no fundamental and 17th .... 32th harmonic. Listen
to "chaos bells" in firmware version 2.0 of the Waldorf Microwave I.

By the way: the never changing, very simple, very precise waveforms are
one argument for electronic music. They are so different to natural
sound, like mathematical abstractions are to nature. And that's why I
like them. If one want's real strings, he should take a sampler.


m.c. has made it finally:  3 CDs out now; 72 min. minimum; "1"
(1994-1995),"2" (95-96),"three" (96-97); experimental stuff; mostly
Eimert/Stockhausen style; but also modern popular style

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