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Blofeld vs Prophet VS?
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #31
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Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W-W-Int ➡️
shadowfac you are confusing two seperate uses of the word wavetable.
No, I am not. The discussion went like this:

<someone>: The VS does not use wavetables.

<me>: Well, from a technical (i.e. DSP) point of view, a wavetable could be defined simply as a digital waveform stored in memory; thus, one could argue that the VS does use wavetables.

<everyone else>: No, you're wrong. Because the VS does not interpolate waves like the PPG does.

I tried to explain there are other uses for the word "wavetable", in which interpolation is irrelevant, but people kept suggesting that the PPG definition should be the only relevant one, even after being provided evidence of the contrary. I never said the VS was a wavetable synth in the PPG sense; I only said that under a different, but also valid, definition, the VS could be considered wavetable-based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W-W-Int ➡️
wavetable as applied as a synthesis method uses definition 2 which is the blofeld/ppg/wave/microwave/q.
wavetable as a portion of digital sample playback programming/nomenclature is definition 1.
I would also argue against that. Wavetable, as a synthesis method, can definitely use any of the two definitions. A google search for "wavetable synthesis" will show you that.
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Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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Maybe, more accurately, we should be using the term "scanning wavetable synthesis" or "PPG-style wavetable synthesis" instead of "wavetable synthesis"...then the demarcation point is a bit more obvious. You'll find however that amongst most synthesists, the "PPG-style" is the more commonly applied denotation of the term "wavetable synthesis".

Most of us were addressing the OP's question to the best of our ability, not trying to pick a fight or argue semantics.

Don't be like this guy:



Thin skin is a liability on a forum such as this.

Peace!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waveterm ➡️
The VS doesn´t use Wavetables.
With respect, this started the argument and I don't see much adressing of the original question in this post.
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Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso ➡️
With respect, this started the argument and I don't see much adressing of the original question in this post.
...but that stemmed from the fact that the Blofeld is a "PPG-style wavetable" synth and the VS was not, therefore having a very different kind of sonic signature. I think most of us were trying to get the OP to see he was comparing apples and parsnips.

People didn't even start on the filter...the VS's being analog versus the Blofeld's multiple modelled digital ones. There's another can of worms for people to argue on till the cows come home. heh
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbon111 ➡️
...but that stemmed from the fact that the Blofeld is a "PPG-style wavetable" synth and the VS was not, therefore having a very different kind of sonic signature. I think most of us were trying to get the OP to see he was comparing apples and parsnips.
Exactly. It seemed that the OP was asking for a comparison because they were "both wavetable synths". Since they are not wavetable by the same definition it makes a bit of a difference.

Even if the VS is a wavetable synth by the OP's definition, The Blofeld has "PPG styled" wavetables which is different. A more apt comparison would be comparing the Blofeld to the XT or other synths that use a similar definition of wavetable synthesis.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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Yeah, the resultant debate has been fine.
I'm just not a fan of five word corrections when you know the poster has a deep knowledge and something more to impart, some input we can all learn from.
never mind.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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Well, I don't know how much a Prophet VS could cost, but what about a Blofeld *and* a Wavestation? I have an XT and a Wavestation A/D, and they're quite different and both worth keeping. Wavestations are quite cheap these days and they give you wave sequencing/interpolation *and* vector mixing.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso ➡️
I'm just not a fan of five word corrections when you know the poster has a deep knowledge and something more to impart, some input we can all learn from.
Your point is well-taken (as is shadofac's)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac ➡️
...what about a Blofeld *and* a Wavestation? I have an XT and a Wavestation A/D, and they're quite different and both worth keeping.
A great idea to get both! Both are capable of evolving/moving timbres very different from most other synths. The Wavestation A/D is an especially decent buy at today's prices.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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Call me insane, but I preferred the VS to the Wavestation.
These days a Wavestation is pretty cheap though, whereas the VS is usually not.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso ➡️
Call me insane, but I preferred the VS to the Wavestation.
These days a Wavestation is pretty cheap though, whereas the VS is usually not.
I wouldn't call you insane...no digital filter, no matter how nice, can quite replicate the special non-linear resonant characteristics of the CEM3372 - especially when close to self-oscillation. Same reason I still have an aging P600 amongst my more modern gear. :D

But the Wavestation is nice too...
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac ➡️
No, I am not. The discussion went like this:

<me>: Well, from a technical (i.e. DSP) point of view, a wavetable could be defined simply as a digital waveform stored in memory; thus, one could argue that the VS does use wavetables.


this is where your argument for the sake of argument and not being able to step back and realize you confused the 2 subjects fails.
a wavetable is not the waveform data stored in memory.
it is a set of pointers to the data stored in memory. and no by this definition as far as the synthesis of the prophet vs it does not do this. it uses a wavetable to load data into it's osc's memory, after it's loaded i.e. the patch has been retreived all playback is handled not by a wavetable but by triggering the osc to play it's loop linearly as long as it's fed a command to do so. there is also no interpolation (not that i'm saying it's integral to wavetable synthesis as it isn't) but instead an analog mixer handles the 4 osc's relative volume levels. make no mistake all 4 oscs are playing at once and no digital manipulation is going on to interpolate the waves one to the next.

the vs is not a wavetable synth, it is a wave sequencing synth. or if you like a vector synth. the 2 are fundamentally different approaches and only have the common use of a digitally stored pcm sample between them as far as the wave is concerned. how each loads the sample is irrelevant to wavetable vs vector as you could build examples of the vector synth without a wavetable but cannot do so in the wavetable synth. for clarity, a wavetable in the sense that you are trying to support your argument is a sub portion of sample playback used to retrieve sample data, and can be achieved using other methods such as loading all memory between 2 addresses and stepping through it based on a counter method.

now back to our regulary scheduled topic...

the blofeld is not a vs substitute, nor is a wavestation or yamaha tg-33 etc... the vs had analog filters and frankly the filters in the wavestation a/d sucked and the tg series has none and the wavestation keyboard/wavestation ex/wavestation sr had non-resonant digital filters.

the best prophet vs substitute is probably an esq-1 believe it or not. you don't get the immediacy of the vector control but you can pre-program the waves to sweep using the dca's in the esq-1 as 3 independant mixers. the filter is the same as the prophet vs and you get a lot of modulators however you only get 3 oscs and it will take some level of work to get the sweep effect. however you do get a similar architechture, grungy digital waveforms, analog signal path, same filter etc... you can get some really convincing vs type sounds out of the esq-1 that the blofeld cannot.

however the best bang for buck is the blofeld as the vs costs like 6 times what the blofeld does used. but if you're looking for the vs sound well, you have to spend the money i guess.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W-W-Int ➡️
a wavetable is not the waveform data stored in memory.
it is a set of pointers to the data stored in memory. and no by this definition as far as the synthesis of the prophet vs it does not do this. it uses a wavetable to load data into it's osc's memory, after it's loaded i.e. the patch has been retreived all playback is handled not by a wavetable but by triggering the osc to play it's loop linearly as long as it's fed a command to do so.
I really didn't want to keep arguing about this, but there are quite a few flaws in your reasoning above.

First, a wavetable *is* a waveform stored in memory. I have provided several academic references which state so. Typically, each oscillator keeps its own pointer(s) to the wave data. In the case of the VS, that pointer is bounded to a single waveform. In the case of the (micro)Waves, the pointer can jump from one waveform to another during the course of a note.

Second, although I'm not familiar with the detailed architecture (at electronics level) of the VS, I pretty much doubt that each oscillator has its own memory, because it is unnecessary, since the data is already stored in ROM. In any case, even if each oscillator has its own RAM for storing its waveform, well, that is also a wavetable (which only contains one waveform). Of course, the oscillator must also keep a pointer to the phase of the waveform.

Third, playback is never handled by the wavetable, but by the oscillator code. The wavetable only stores data, not code. Also, any decent oscillator usually interpolates between wavetable data, and plays the waveform in a cyclic (looped) way, but this is true for the (micro)Waves, the ESQ-1, the Korg DW's, and many other synths, so I guess I don't see your point here.

I'm not an expert, and I wouldn't dare discuss the analog side of things, but I do have enough DSP knowledge and programming experience to understand the digital/software side of synths.

I also understand that most people in this board are much more familiar with the PPG definition of wavetable, and for them, a wavetable synth is something like a (micro)Wave, but not something like an ESQ-1 or Korg DW8000. Now, that is perfectly ok, but it does not mean, that there are not other definitions which are as valid (and also synth-related) and probably more widespread. I am well aware of the differences between definitions and I'm not confusing terms. I am just explaining how it is possible for someone to consider a synth as "wavetable-based" when most synth-heads wouldn't.

I would love to continue this discussion, but probably on another thread, and not without any references. It would be great if someone could provide more detailed information (e.g., diagrams, tech sheets, etc) about the inner workings of the VS and other synths like the Korg DW. I'm sure there's enough info about the ESQ-1 at Buchty's site, so we could start there, if anyone's interested.
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Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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Seems like nobody's really emphasized the biggest difference in "wavetable" synths yet. There are two very different ways of doing wavetable. One uses pure single-cycle waveforms like the Waldorf / PPG stuff, and the other uses much larger waveforms that can be of indeterminate length, and can be gradually crossfaded between or strung together in rhythmically programmed "wavesequences" like the Korg Wavestation. They are profoundly different synthesis methods, yet they always get lumped together as if they were just slightly different versions of the same thing.

In the Korg Wavestation, you can even use drum samples to create wavesequenced breakbeats that will always play back in time with the tempo from incoming MIDI clock. As cool as the Waldorf stuff is, it certainly can't do that. It's a totally different thing.

There is/was a software tool that lets you burn your own samples onto PCMCIA SRAM cards that are usable in the Wavestation SR. If and when I ever get it to work, I've got all kinds of sick ideas that will suddenly become possible. I've had no luck so far, but I might just be using the wrong kind of PCMCIA SRAM cards. I'm a cheap bastard, and I never actually spent the $100+ for the recommended card. I just tried to use something I found on eBay that seemed to have the right specs. Now I wish I'd bought the real thing, because this seems to be getting harder all the time.

Looks like the software's homepage got nuked when AOL killed "hometown". Here's where it was: >members.aol.com/wrkshppcm<

I think I did a pretty exhaustive looting of the site before it died. It sure would be nice if I had any idea where I stashed it. If anyone really deeply seriously cares, let me know and I'll see if I can dig it up.
Old 29th March 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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I had to reply ....
Prophet vs uses single cycled waves ....there is no interpolation ...it just mixes between the waves ( in a vector field )Increasing the amplitude of wave x while decreasing the amplitude of wave y or the other way around ....just simple crossfade mixing ...

While the real .wavetable ( a collection of waves in a lookuptable ) there is interpolation based on harmonic content ...thus calculations
Old 29th March 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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08 anal0gue'is, blo digi - both good
Old 29th March 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentleclockdivid ➡️
I had to reply ....
Prophet vs uses single cycled waves ....there is no interpolation ...it just mixes between the waves ( in a vector field )Increasing the amplitude of wave x while decreasing the amplitude of wave y or the other way around ....just simple crossfade mixing ...

While the real .wavetable ( a collection of waves in a lookuptable ) there is interpolation based on harmonic content ...thus calculations
Are you sure that the Waldorf wavetable implementation performs interpolation of the harmonic content? Do you know what kind of interpolation would that be (linear, quadratic, cubic)?

The reason I ask is because linearly interpolating the harmonic content of two signals is completely equivalent to linearly interpolating the waveforms... which is equivalent to crossfade mixing. Also, if the Waldorfs were capable of interpolating in the frequency domain, then they should be also capable of performing additive resynthesis, in order to obtain a new waveform from the interpolated spectrum.

My guess is that the Waldorfs perform some high-quality, nonlinear (probably quadratic) interpolation in the time domain, and the wavetables are carefully designed with phase-coherent waveforms so that interpolating between them doesn't cancel them out.
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Old 29th March 2009 | Show parent
  #48
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I just looked at my Waldorf XT's manual and I have to say I was wrong. The waveforms are not quadratically interpolated, but linearly interpolated.

This is what the manual says (pages 35-36):

Quote:
E.g. the wavetable shown below contains references to waves at positions 00, 02, 05, 60 plus the three classic waves at positions 61…63. We will ignore these three last ones for now.

Now imagine an oscillator sweeping through these wavetable to play one of the waves:

• When position 00 is selected, the oscillator plays the wave referenced by the wavetable.

• When position 01 is selected, the oscillator plays a wave which is calculated by the MicroWave II/XT/XTk without being stored in memory directly. The shape of this wave is interpolated between the shapes of the previous and the next existing wave, both mixed with different amplitude settings. In the given example a wave with an amplitude relation of 50% to 50% from the waves on position 00 and 02 would be the result.

• When position 02 is selected, the MicroWave II/XT/XTk plays a "real" wave again, the one referenced by the list position.

• Position 03 and 04 work similarly to position 01. Again, the waves to be played are calculated by the MicroWave. In this case the gap is bigger because two positions in the wavetable are empty. As a result a wave mix of 2/3 to 1/3 (i.e. approx. 66% to 33%) is generated for wave position 03. As you can see, the previous existing wave is more weighted here. At position 04 the calculation works vice versa, i.e. 1/3 of wave 02 amplitude and 2/3 of wave 05 amplitude.

• On position 05 a stored wave is played again.

If the oscillator would move up and down between positions 02 and 05, a continious change of the timbre would be noticed. It is a little bit oversized to call this "continuous" when not more than 4 positions are available but imagine no further wave references are stored between position 05 and 60. Then you will get a very smooth timbre change by moving from position 05 to 60.

And what about hard timbre changes? Now take a look at the classic waveforms on positions 61…63. As there are not any blank positions between these waves the resulting timbre changes are very hard.
This suggest that interpolation is performed in the time domain (i.e., the actual waveforms are interpolated, not their harmonic spectrums) using a simple linear crossfade.

Moreover, it also suggest that the resolution of the interpolation is quite low. E.g., if there are wave references at positions 1 and 2 of the wavetable (as Waldorf calls it), then there won't be any interpolation between these two.
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Old 29th March 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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Shadowfac, you are plain wrong. Give it up.

Starting around 1993, with the introduction of Creative Labs' Sound Blaster AWE32 and Gravis's Ultrasound cards, the term "wavetable" started to be applied to any sound card that had a better General MIDI subsystem than the then-common OPL2 and OPL3 FM synthesizers. This was based on a misunderstanding between the technical definition of a wavetable (which is the actual sample data used to generate an arbitrary wave), and the PPG usage of the term (which referred specifically to their implementation of wavetable synthesis, as described above). The AWE32 was not an additive synthesizer, but a high-end sampler and subtractive synthesis system based on technology from the E-mu Emulator family.

The description of wavetable synthesis in previous sections is based on the original meaning of the term and (as shown in the reference below) wavetable synthesis is equivalent to additive synthesis in the case that all partials or overtones are harmonic; that is, all overtones are an integer multiple of a fundamental frequency of the tone.
Old 29th March 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyvnd ➡️
Shadowfac, you are plain wrong. Give it up.
Wrong about what? About the definition of the term "wavetable"? About crossfading being just a form of interpolation? About the interpolation technique used in Waldorf synths? Or just about everything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyvnd ➡️
... a misunderstanding between the technical definition of a wavetable (which is the actual sample data used to generate an arbitrary wave), and the PPG usage of the term (which referred specifically to their implementation of wavetable synthesis, as described above).
That's what I've been saying all along: that based on the technical definition of a wavetable (not the PPG synthesis technique), one could argue that the Prophet VS is wavetable-based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyvnd ➡️
The AWE32 was not an additive synthesizer, but a high-end sampler and subtractive synthesis system based on technology from the E-mu Emulator family.

The description of wavetable synthesis in previous sections is based on the original meaning of the term and (as shown in the reference below) wavetable synthesis is equivalent to additive synthesis in the case that all partials or overtones are harmonic; that is, all overtones are an integer multiple of a fundamental frequency of the tone.
Umm.. I'm not sure where this comes from. I never said anything about the AWE32 being capable of additive synthesis. Apparently, you pasted the text from somewhere else without quoting or including the proper references.

So, all you did was writing "Shadowfac, you're plain wrong" and then quoting a paragraph that supports my opinion. heh
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Old 9th March 2018
  #51
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Always fun to awaken a long slumbering thread... :-)

The original argument from this thread never really got resolved so...

Chris Meyer, one of the primary engineers on the VS design team tells the story. It would seem he calls the VS a wavetable synth. In fact he and the other team members used a PPG when determining the architecture of the VS tables.

A fun read if nothing else.

The Story of the Prophet VS | Learning Modular
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Old 10th March 2018 | Show parent
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxxeMan317 ➡️
Always fun to awaken a long slumbering thread... :-)

The original argument from this thread never really got resolved so...

Chris Meyer, one of the primary engineers on the VS design team tells the story. It would seem he calls the VS a wavetable synth. In fact he and the other team members used a PPG when determining the architecture of the VS tables.

A fun read if nothing else.

The Story of the Prophet VS | Learning Modular
I’m on team.....vector synth is not a wavetable synth....at all. There are lots of synths with single cycle waveforms (Virus B, Virus C, Evolver, PEK, and the VS), which is very different from scanning a wavetable containing literally hundreds of different timbres per wave.

To the OP and anyone, if you’re at all curious about a wavetable synth, then just get the Blofeld already. It is still an amazing value for what it can do.....a really good synthesizer that isn’t very expensive, and still has pretty good resale value. I bought mine from the EU, because Waldorf’s are A LOT less over there than in the US.

The stereo filters, per filter distortion, looping envelopes, massive mod matrix, and over 60 waldorf wavetables are practically an infinite sonic playground. Is it the best sounding synth ever? Nah, but it can sound really quite beautiful, gentle and twinkling, or rip your face off gnarly.
Old 10th March 2018 | Show parent
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxxeMan317 ➡️

Chris Meyer, one of the primary engineers on the VS design team tells the story. It would seem he calls the VS a wavetable synth. In fact he and the other team members used a PPG when determining the architecture of the VS tables.
I think he uses "Wavetable" three times in the article, and in none of them does he call the VS a wavetable synth. It's true that they looked at PPG, but they also looked at the DW-6000, which is very much NOT a wavetable synth. What Chris is talking about is strategies for changing the pitch of single-cycle waves; PPG and Korg both use single-cycle waves (as does the VS). Single-cycle waves are used for many applications in synthesis, wavetables only being one of them.

So far as I know, the VS is not a wavetable synth. Certainly the Wavestation isn't, and the Wavestation SR contains all of the VS waves I believe.
Old 20th March 2018 | Show parent
  #54
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I think his suggestion is pretty clear.

Here he discusses how he and another engineer on the design team did their research for designing the VS.

"Without any background, Tony and I theorized how to do a wavetable synth, and came up with two strategies – either have a waveform of short, fixed length and vary how fast you played it back, or start with a very long version of a waveform and skip samples in it to alter how long it took you to read it out once (and therefore alter your final pitch). "


and his sidenote...

"(For an interesting side excursion, read this forum thread to hear how John Bowen decided to design the wavetable section of his Solaris synth based on our experience developing the VS.)"

Odd for Bowen to use the VS design as a reference for the Solaris wavetable feature if the VS had nothing at all to do with wavetables. :-)
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Old 20th March 2018 | Show parent
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxxeMan317 ➡️
Odd for Bowen to use the VS design as a reference for the Solaris wavetable feature if the VS had nothing at all to do with wavetables. :-)
I don't think it's unusual at all. The VS is not a wavetable synthesizer so far as I know, though the Solaris certainly is. But the VS, like wavetable synthesizers and various other digital synthesizers, has a bank of single-cycle waveforms which it modulates. And there are different strategies for pitch-shifting those single-cycle waveforms: PPG used one, and Korg used another.

Correct me if I'm wrong (I do not own a VS but I do know the Wavestation series inside and out now). The VS contains a number of single-cycle waves. The basic idea of vector synthesis is to dynamically cross-fade between two pairs of waves. The Wavestation added more than single-cycle waves: you also had fixed-length PCM waves of all sorts as well as "wave sequences" -- lists of cross-faded waves in sequence forming one longer, more complex wave.

On the other hand, in a wavetable synthesizer -- let's take the Microwave XT say -- you have a sparse table of waves, and you can modulate the current wave in that table being played. In the Blofeld this sparse table is replaced with a dense table, but it's the same result. So instead of just summing four waves, you can move nonlinearly through a variety of unrelated wave patterns.

Both employ (or can employ) single-cycle waves. But a wavetable is a rather different beast than vector synthesis, I think.
Old 20th March 2018
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablu8 ➡️
Both use wavetables
They don't.

Thread locked.
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