[sdiy] dx, chorus and Spock

Tim Parkhurst tparkhurst at siliconbandwidth.com
Fri Aug 16 02:21:18 CEST 2002

Gene Stopp wrote: 

>Do precise waveforms sound better than "sloppy" ones? What do I mean by
>that anyway? 

>I remember building a 4-pole OTA VCF (Electronotes 4-pole 3080 design) and
>it sounded gorgeous.  As I ran a sawtooth into it and swept the cutoff with
>resonance turned up a little, it was passing through each harmonic in the
>signal as though I had a big mixing board in front of me with all of the
>sinewave harmonics in order, and I was fading them in and out one by one in
>sequence. Literally it was like 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd,

>I can't do that on any synthesizer, it seems. I've tried to get the same
>effect since, but no luck. Was it my signal source? I'll bet it was - I was
>using a big HP3325 frequency synthesizer/function generator. The analog


Hi Gene, 

Yeah, I'd be willing to bet it was the signal source too. Remember that the
shape of a waveform is a direct result of it's harmonic content. The "Clean"
waveforms you're seeing mean that the harmonics are going to be in the
textbook formation. Any bumps, zits, or non-linearities are the result of
non 'perfect' harmonic structures.

Now, as to whether this is "better" or not, I think it's all in the ear of
the beholder. Look at the waveforms on a Mini and you'll see what I mean.
They're pretty good, but nowhere near as clean and symmetrical as what
you're getting off that HP. However, I think it's better to start out with
the cleanest waveshapes possible, and introduce any non-linearities (or
bumps and zits) on purpose.

Tim Servo

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