Introduction and strange module idea

Jim Johnson jamos at
Sat Mar 7 23:10:32 CET 1998

Hi all. I just subscribed and I thought I'd let everyone know
who/what/when. My name is Jim Johnson; I've played synths and programmed
MIDI for many years now, though I haven't done any synth work in years.
I've decided to get back into analog and am beginning the process of
assembling the modular I've always wanted. This will involve three tasks - 

1) Refurbishing some older gear I've gotten ahold of,
2) Purchasing a Fenix, and
3) Fleshing this all out with DIY modules.

I've just started and am having a gas - looking forward to whate'er this
list brings me.

Now here's my wierd module idea:  A Non-Linear Resonator.

If you've ever working with a synth that has a hard sync and the ability to
turn off the keyboard voltage to the synced oscillator, you've probably
stumbled on the trick of creating a fixed resonance peak with the synced
oscillator. Tune the synced oscillator so that its fixed frequency is a few
octaves above the normal playing range of the master octave, and the result
is a tone that has a strong formant at the frequency of the fixed
oscillator. Used carefully, this effect can bring a lot of richness to a
sound, especially cello simulations. 

So - since the slave oscillator does not require voltage control for this
effect, and since anything having to do with formants sounds better if
there are more of them - how about configuring six non-VC sawtooth
oscillators, each with a sync input and tuning control, all sync inputs
tied together, and all six outputs going to a simple mixer? This would
allow the creation of six of these faux-formants, each with variable
intensity. The sync input is the module's audio input. Of course it's not a
true resonator - for one thing, if there is no input the output would be
six unsynced sawtooths - but I think this would be a great way to create
formant-like effects within a modular system.

Sound good? Or have I been inhaling too many solder fumes?

Jim Johnson 
Metaphoric Software
Makers of Techno Toys
Software for Electronic Music
info at

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