Creating a harmonic oscillator in M4L

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:55 pm

Creating a harmonic oscillator in M4L

Post by Zon_ » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:27 pm

Hello all probably bit of a noob question coming up but i'm kinda stuck.

I started using Abletons Operator as a drone synth lately and i really love to bring in harmonics over time and let them fade in and fade out. Unfortunately you can only 'dial in' the harmonic frequencies by drawing with the mouse and i wanted it to feel more like an instrument. So i tried recreating a single oscillator from the Operator by creating multiple sine waves with increasing harmonics and then giving them all an individual volume dial so i can dial them in via midi or automate them in Ableton.

Unfortunatly dialing in even a second oscillator also brings extra volume and some distortion making a bit of a mess in the end... When i hook Operator up to a scope and dial in some harmonics the overal volume continues to stay perfectly even. While my cobbled up oscillator synth is going all over the place. I can imagine adding a peak limiter will only introduce clipping so i'm really interested in how this is suposed to work. I feel like i'm missing a fundemental (heh) idea...

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm

Re: Creating a harmonic oscillator in M4L

Post by Angstrom » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:08 am

I wouldn’t make an additive oscillator with sines I’d do it with ifft

But a long time ago when I investigated additive synth creation I realised making the oscillator is not the problem, it’s the compelling and musical interface to 512 overtones!

IMO the most fun interface is NI Prism synth, so I just use that.

Sometimes the quickest route to music is the best. But if you want to build your own interface to additive it is worth looking at how others have approached it, because as I said the issue is not making the oscillator but providing a good interface for the overtones. 512 envelopes on a timeline isn’t good. :wink:

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