Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by ignatius » Sun May 02, 2021 12:03 pm

starthief wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:39 am
Mangrove is nice, but it can be pretty closely replicated with a function generator that doesn't reset in the rise stage, and a VCA that overdrives.
i have doubts about this. mangrove does some unique stuff especially when you have 2 and FM them. that formant barrel business is pretty cool sounding.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by dragulasbruder » Sun May 02, 2021 12:38 pm

ignatius wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 12:03 pm
starthief wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:39 am
Mangrove is nice, but it can be pretty closely replicated with a function generator that doesn't reset in the rise stage, and a VCA that overdrives.
i have doubts about this. mangrove does some unique stuff especially when you have 2 and FM them. that formant barrel business is pretty cool sounding.
Doubt away, but starthief is right. Mangroves is the window function of a pulsar synthesis setup. If you were to AM something with Mangroves (offset to 0-5V or something) you'd get true pulsar synthesis, and you can do the same with a Serge-style slope generator triggered by a VCO. We have a rather long-running thread on pulsar synthesis in the Patching Techniques section of the forum, and there's an analysis of Mangroves about mid-thread.

I just love it when a manufacturer uses "quirky" names for their product to make you think you're buying something totally unique and entirely unavailable anywhere else--when the reality is that you're buying a pre-patched function behind a panel. That said: the fact that it tracks perfectly is awesome. The fact that it has dedicated modulation ins that might require multing, offsetting, and inverting otherwise is awesome. If you're going to use pulsar synthesis every day and you want a dedicated window function module, then Mangroves is a sure bet! But acting like Mannequins invented some kind of original synthesis technique is just allowing yourself to be misinformed by marketing. Curtis Roads was there about 30 years ago already.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by Yes Powder » Sun May 02, 2021 1:21 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:16 pm
my favorites in eurorack

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/metasonix-r-54
+1
One of my favorites, as both a filter and an oscillator. As an osc, its output could be described as "like a sinewave, but warm," (a sine with low-order harmonics creeping in) and as you turn it up it starts becoming a rounded square.
The currently available version of this circuit is the RK4.
edit: the S2000 is the standalone synth version. It’s basically two high-gain RK4s in series with pitch envelopes and a VCA with a ribbon controller.
Last edited by Yes Powder on Tue May 04, 2021 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by ignatius » Sun May 02, 2021 1:35 pm

dragulasbruder wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 12:38 pm
ignatius wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 12:03 pm
starthief wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:39 am
Mangrove is nice, but it can be pretty closely replicated with a function generator that doesn't reset in the rise stage, and a VCA that overdrives.
i have doubts about this. mangrove does some unique stuff especially when you have 2 and FM them. that formant barrel business is pretty cool sounding.
Doubt away, but starthief is right. Mangroves is the window function of a pulsar synthesis setup. If you were to AM something with Mangroves (offset to 0-5V or something) you'd get true pulsar synthesis, and you can do the same with a Serge-style slope generator triggered by a VCO. We have a rather long-running thread on pulsar synthesis in the Patching Techniques section of the forum, and there's an analysis of Mangroves about mid-thread.

I just love it when a manufacturer uses "quirky" names for their product to make you think you're buying something totally unique and entirely unavailable anywhere else--when the reality is that you're buying a pre-patched function behind a panel. That said: the fact that it tracks perfectly is awesome. The fact that it has dedicated modulation ins that might require multing, offsetting, and inverting otherwise is awesome. If you're going to use pulsar synthesis every day and you want a dedicated window function module, then Mangroves is a sure bet! But acting like Mannequins invented some kind of original synthesis technique is just allowing yourself to be misinformed by marketing. Curtis Roads was there about 30 years ago already.
yes that's true of a lot of things i guess especially these days in eurorack. rolling your own w/relevant modules to make a thing that exists as standalone module is usually a pretty rewarding experience and can serve to demystify a lot of things and provide opportunities to mutate that into something else. still, a standalone module that does a thing w/proper tracking and some relevant modulation inputs can have some advantages depending goals. i don't own a mannequins mangrove but have messed w/them in a demo case and liked what i heard and how they interacted together w/other stuff.

btw i heard curtis roads do particle synthesis and some other stuff in demonstration style when he opened for autechre in LA in 2000 or 2001.. i forget when. was some nice sounding academics even though some impatient people yelled at him to hurry up.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by SkyWriter » Sun May 02, 2021 1:37 pm

tomatoKetchup wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:32 am
Hello fellow Muffers,

I'm looking for a list of recent enough synths in both hardware and software form which feature truly unique and original oscillator designs. That can also include MaxMSP/Reaktor/etc. patches, VCV Rack modules, etc. Anything using novel sound synthesis techniques and concepts really.

Here's what I've got so far:
• Hardware Eurorack modules: Benjolin, Dove Audio Window Transform Function, MOK Waverazor, E-RM Polygogo, Neutron Sound Orgone Accumulator (pulsar mode).
• Hardware synthesizers: ASM HYDRASYNTH, Korg Prologue (to an extent with their open-source development platform).

I'm focusing solely on the oscillator section, I don't care about filters, effect, etc. Can you think of anything else?

Cheers.
If you want to include Prologue's open oscillator, you should include a representative list of it's capabilities.

https://korginc.github.io/logue-sdk/unit-index/

While limited, it's capable of many types of synthesis. The 32K (code and data) memory limit is large enough for useful implementations of many memory bound algorithms like wavetables, speech synthesis, and other table driven methods.

Hopefully a version 2.0 will improve on CPU, memory, control space, and load speed.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by finlayshakespeare » Sun May 02, 2021 1:39 pm

FSS Recombination Engine... I don’t know of anything else that does what it does.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sun May 02, 2021 3:47 pm

finlayshakespeare wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 1:39 pm
FSS Recombination Engine... I don’t know of anything else that does what it does.
+1

I should have included this in the list.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by oldenjon » Sun May 02, 2021 4:16 pm

starthief wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:39 am
Mangrove is nice, but it can be pretty closely replicated with a function generator that doesn't reset in the rise stage, and a VCA that overdrives.
Sort of, but you can say the same about using FM aid with any oscillator or mixing 2 or more oscillators for poly type applications. The really unique and useful thing about Mangrove is the constant time rise/fall skew. I don't know of any analog function generator that does that, and there aren't really any other formant oscillators that I can think of either.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by pugix » Sun May 02, 2021 4:32 pm

IFM Denum

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/ieaskul-f-mobenthey-denum

It has exponential and linear modulation for both frequency and bounds. Bounds modulation is unique. It simultaneously modulates the amplitude and frequency of the oscillator. Includes a distorting VCA as well.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by starthief » Sun May 02, 2021 5:07 pm

oldenjon wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 4:16 pm
The really unique and useful thing about Mangrove is the constant time rise/fall skew. I don't know of any analog function generator that does that
That is nice, yeah. At the time I had Tides, and no concern for analog vs. digital except results. Tides of course can't do the undertone thing the same way, but I still felt I had the bases pretty well covered.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by oldenjon » Sun May 02, 2021 6:07 pm

starthief wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 5:07 pm
oldenjon wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 4:16 pm
The really unique and useful thing about Mangrove is the constant time rise/fall skew. I don't know of any analog function generator that does that
That is nice, yeah. At the time I had Tides, and no concern for analog vs. digital except results. Tides of course can't do the undertone thing the same way, but I still felt I had the bases pretty well covered.
Yeah I tried to emulate Mangrove with Tides but it doesn't reset right or do the frequency division thing. Maybe with some firmware changes it could get close, but I don't know that it would sound as good everywhere due to the digital nature of it. I'd also want to repurpose the shape or smoothness control to act more like the air control, a VCA with sine shaper/overdrive. There are a lot of things going on in Mangrove that contribute to the sound.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by Wavtekt » Mon May 03, 2021 12:44 am

Errr ... this is modular. I prefer going bottom-up.

Patch your own oscillator using simple oscillator, but lot of modulators like wavefolder / function generator / crossfaders / switches etc.

Like Benjolin, it is just VCOs + Filters + PLL + shift register.

If you studied the waveform & block diagram, most of the VCOs out there can be patched with multiple modules, you are just buying their design instead of anything unique and/or new. I often reverse-engineered those VCOs waveform with VCV Rack and 8 out of 10 times I can replicate it with some trial and error.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by dragulasbruder » Mon May 03, 2021 10:06 pm

oldenjon wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 4:16 pm
I don't know of any analog function generator that does that, and there aren't really any other formant oscillators that I can think of either.
Unless I misunderstand what you mean by constant-time skew, this should be patchable. Attenuate a control voltage, patch it to Rise, mult to an inverter, and patch to Fall. Assuming their responses are similar, you'll get a nearly-constant skew. The major difference is that most USG clones won't track particularly well--although I hear good things about R*S--unless you're doing something funky with the Expert Sleepers stuff which can make anything track 1V/o. If you're driving it with an oscillator, it's just the formant that won't track particularly well, and if that's crucial to you, well, you might be in the market for a dedicated module.

If you want to do pulsar synthesis and formants at the oscillator level every single day, there's no reason not to own a Mangroves, other than that they're difficult to find and expensive. Just don't let that stop you from having a go at it with the gear you already own. You can approximate Mangroves behavior pretty well with an oscillator, a slope generator, and some attenuators.

All that said, analog slew-with-a-skew is a development that I would really like to see instead of more Serge clones. A speed-and-skew approach to analog function generation (like PEG but without DSP) would be a near-instant purchase for me.
Last edited by dragulasbruder on Mon May 03, 2021 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by dragulasbruder » Mon May 03, 2021 10:09 pm

Wavtekt wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:44 am
Like Benjolin, it is just VCOs + Filters + PLL + shift register.
Whoa, there's a PLL in Benjolin? I admit that I can barely read a circuit diagram and god knows I can't tell you what most of it means--I always thought it was one oscillator XORed with the LSB from the shift register, clocked by the other osc. Then feedback from the DAC to the two oscs, then their triangles get XORed together again and into the filter.

How does the PLL figure into it?
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by Wavtekt » Mon May 03, 2021 10:50 pm



As far as I know, the Rungler circuit is basically a PLL circuit that compares VCO1 & VCO2 and shift register based on the phase comparator (PLL) result.

XOR is one form of PLL. There is also Flip-flop logic PLL and Coincidence PLL, each have different advantages and disadvantages for electronic purposes and they creates a slightly different PLL tones. You have all three choices for Doepfer A-196 PLL. Meanwhile, Benjolin and Wogglebug both use XOR PLL as far as I know ...

I think you can obtain similar result by using two VCOs, compare the VCO output using a crossfader (analog XOR - VCO1 patched to the 2 inputs, with one attenuverted and VCO2 patched to CV input) and feedback the slewed output to v/oct input modulate the two VCOs.

(Disclaimer: I don't own a Benjolin personally XD, though I think there are multiple iterations of Benjolin created using VCV Rack already)
dragulasbruder wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:09 pm
Wavtekt wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:44 am
Like Benjolin, it is just VCOs + Filters + PLL + shift register.
Whoa, there's a PLL in Benjolin? I admit that I can barely read a circuit diagram and god knows I can't tell you what most of it means--I always thought it was one oscillator XORed with the LSB from the shift register, clocked by the other osc. Then feedback from the DAC to the two oscs, then their triangles get XORed together again and into the filter.

How does the PLL figure into it?
Last edited by Wavtekt on Mon May 03, 2021 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by oldenjon » Mon May 03, 2021 11:14 pm

dragulasbruder wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:06 pm

Unless I misunderstand what you mean by constant-time skew, this should be patchable. Attenuate a control voltage, patch it to Rise, mult to an inverter, and patch to Fall. Assuming their responses are similar, you'll get a nearly-constant skew. The major difference is that most USG clones won't track particularly well--although I hear good things about R*S--unless you're doing something funky with the Expert Sleepers stuff which can make anything track 1V/o. If you're driving it with an oscillator, it's just the formant that won't track particularly well, and if that's crucial to you, well, you might be in the market for a dedicated module.
Nope, I recommend trying the patch you suggested. It will not have constant time, not even close. You need additional circuitry for that. Having the formant track and skew with the frequency of the VCO controlling it is the cool thing about Mangrove IMO. Other function generators can do a similar thing sure, but mangrove can do more.

DUSG tracks just OK. Contour 1 and Falistri are examples of analog function generators that track well, basically like a VCO w/o high frequency compensation, but you have to have rise and fall at equal settings. Too far apart and you need tracking beyond the range of a VCO.

I think the problem with having a function generator with variable skew is that the frequency range will be limited, and it will not have perfectly constant time across the range of the skew. You will get some frequency variation at extremes. Mangrove hides this by clocking it with a VCO, and doing frequency division at periods that are greater than the VCO's. It is something that makes more sense as a digital module like Tides.
Last edited by oldenjon on Mon May 03, 2021 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by Wavtekt » Mon May 03, 2021 11:27 pm

Something like that ... a basic pseudo-PLL circuit

0-coast's Square VCO compare its frequency with the audio-rate function generator EOC output using a crossfader (WMD AXYS). The crossfader XOR output then send into a slew limiter (ADSR envelope) then feedback to v/oct input of 0-coast.

Not a true PLL circuit, but super chaotic for sure. This is the power of modular and that's why I prefer spending money on modulators instead of oscillators, unless you really like the design, like Benjolin for instance.
dragulasbruder wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:09 pm
Wavtekt wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:44 am
Like Benjolin, it is just VCOs + Filters + PLL + shift register.
Whoa, there's a PLL in Benjolin? I admit that I can barely read a circuit diagram and god knows I can't tell you what most of it means--I always thought it was one oscillator XORed with the LSB from the shift register, clocked by the other osc. Then feedback from the DAC to the two oscs, then their triangles get XORed together again and into the filter.

How does the PLL figure into it?
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by dragulasbruder » Tue May 04, 2021 3:25 am

oldenjon wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:14 pm
Nope, I recommend trying the patch you suggested. It will not have constant time, not even close.
Aaaaand you were right. Why is this the case?
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by borg029un03 » Tue May 04, 2021 3:30 am

In a creative and useful way, is Razor an interessting Synth.
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Re: Hardware/software synths with unique/original oscillator designs.

Post by oldenjon » Tue May 04, 2021 10:07 am

dragulasbruder wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:25 am
Aaaaand you were right. Why is this the case?
To do constant time you need the relationship of the rise and fall CVs to be a sum of divisions which is not an easy thing to do in analog.
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