[sdiy] Odp: Pink?

rburnett at richieburnett.co.uk rburnett at richieburnett.co.uk
Tue Aug 21 13:11:52 CEST 2018

> On Aug 17, 2018, at 09:09, Mattias Rickardsson <mr at analogue.org>
> wrote:
> I often experience VCOs "too bright", having too much high end in
> the sawtooth & pulse waves....
> ...while pink noise feels more balanced. Equal power per octave, not
> per Hz.
> Also, good sounding loudspeakers/studios tend to have a bit pink-ish
> spectrum roll-off from the sound source to the listener position,
> suggesting that some sort of pinkification of clean sounds could be
> desirable.

> True, it's "just" an EQ adjustment - but my point here is that it's
> the VCO waveform in itself that is too bright, not that the resulting
> synth sound is too bright in the end...

This I don't understand.  Here are the spectral roll-offs for some of 
the sounds that have been discussed so far in this thread:

Sawtooth -6dB/oct (-20dB/dec)
Squarewave -6dB/oct (-20dB/dec)
Triangle -12dB/oct (-40dB/dec)
White noise 0dB/oct (0dB/dec)
Pink noise -3dB/oct (-10dB/dec)

And yet you say that sawtooths and squarewaves sound too bright, whilst 
produced recordings conform to a "pink" power spectrum!?!?

> So, why aren't VCOs and VCFs more spectrally pink?
> Have there been any attempts historically to alter their
> characteristics a bit in synths? :-)

If you want your sawtooth/pulse oscillators to conform to a "pink" power 
spectrum then you need to make them more bright, not less bright.

> Yes, and it would be nice to get a more "production ready" sound out
> of synths to begin with.

I don't think there is such a thing.  To me, a produced synthesizer 
sound is one that has been EQ'ed to sit perfectly with the other 
instruments in the final mix.  The details of these EQ settings (and 
also reverb, compression, exciters, etc, for that matter,) will be 
different for different music styles and different songs.  It's not as 
simple as just making the oscillators a bit more mellow sounding.  
That's why mix engineers and music producers exist, because they have 
the ear and knowhow to get the desired production ready sound on a 
case-by-case basis.

Just my thoughts,


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