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Old 18th May 2015 | Show parent
Gear Guru
zerocrossing's Avatar
Originally Posted by Gnalvl ➡️
So let's list all the instances where alternative waveforms are available on a non-modular analog synth...

- moogs allow you to blend the typical waveforms together with the waveform knob to form "hybrids"

- the alpha junos have a few different types of PWM sawtooth and some alternative pulse waveforms

- IIRC the Akai AX/VX series have a PWM triangle

- minibrute metalizer

- as I understand it, the Poly-800 sawtooth is actually a stair-stepped pulse wave of some sort

What else? Did I miss anything? Why aren't options like these more common?

The best example I can think of is comparing Serum's metalizer waveform to the Minibrute's version... at least by default Serum's metalizer sounds colder and more controlled, while the Minibrute's is warmer, nastier, and more erratic. I'm sure there are some tricks one could use within Serum to make it seem more "analog", but ultimately then you would be just as guilty of trying to force things out of their wheelhouse. Suffice it to say that waveforms run through the Minibrute have a unique, interesting character which is hard to replicate via wavetable synthesizers.

And if the metalizer can be achieved on such a simple, budget-oriented synth as the Minibrute, just how far out of analog's wheelhouse are these kinds of alternative waveshapes, really? I can't help but think that more analog synths could be exploring waveshaping options like this.

Also, all of the above arguments could be made of Serum's PWM sawtooth compared to the Alpha Juno. Surely these waveforms were born partially out of conveniences of the DCO clock which weren't available on VCO's, but it still seems strange that no one else explored more waveforms like this.

Digital wavetable synths are great, but surely there is some potential for alternative waveshapes in DCO and VCO-based analog synths, due to the alternate innate character of those components.
Well, you lost me there. I had a Minibrute and to be honest, the metalizer waveshaping seemed to just be a way of adding crappiness to the sound and I never found a way of getting it to sound good. Brutefactor was OK, but a bit too touchy for me. I'm into kind of ugly and distressed sounds, but the way the Minibrute did it never sounded ugly in the way I like ugly. Different strokes, I guess. I sold the Minibrute because when I got it to sound good it more or less sounded like other synths I had and I found in my workflow that patch memory is important, so out the door it went. The hybrid Prophet 12 sounds way better to me when doing "broken" than the VCO based Minibrute could.

The cool thing about Serum is that you could import several versions of that metalized Minibrute waveform and have a wavetable synth based on it. Other than Codex, what other instruments are capable of such dark magic? Oh yeah, Mpowersynth too. Great instrument. It has two kinds of oscillator modes. "regular" which is kind of like a Moog style way to sweet though the analog osc shapes (and wave shaping options) and an additive mode. Run it at 3x oversampling and the oscillators sound very nice.

There are digital instruments that do have interesting oscillator options that behave more like you'd expect an analog oscillator to behave, but I think they're all in software. Check out ACE, Mpowersynth, Diversion and Zebra 2 for starters. For bonus, Dark Zebra has Diva's analog filter models in it and it does a very good hybrid impersonation. I think most of the cool analog waveshaping options are going to be in the modular world, and I just don't want to go down that rabbit hole.