What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

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superdadan
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What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by superdadan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:39 pm

Hi guys,
I'm a musician but total newbie in synths. I just bought a monotron duo to test the feeling to play on a analog synth before bying a bigger one.
Here is my question:
The monotron duo has 2 VCOs so I can play 2 sounds at the same time. How you guys do u like to tune intervals with 2 oscillators?
It's sure that I can tune them with the following intervals: perfect 4th, perfect 5th or octave.
But if I want to tune them at the 3rd for example, the problem is that when It's not following the harmony of the scale.
For instance, if I'm playing in the CM scale and I tune my first VCO in C et the second one in E, I have a major 3th, but when I play a D with the keyboard on the first VCO, the second will play a #F instead of a F for keeping the harmony of the scale. How do you manage that?
Thank you for your attention!

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by zoomtheline » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:46 pm

You don't. It will always be the 3rd, 5th, 7th etc of the 1st osc. Sounds like you want a polysynth to get what you want.

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by superdadan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:59 pm

Ok thank you for your fast response =)
I often read in the forums that having several oscillators in a good point for a synth. So I'm wondering that if it's not for harmonizing the notes, what is the idea of having several oscillators? In what way synthetizer musicians are using them together?
Thanks!

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by Zamise » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:16 pm

Mainly for fine detuning on monos, having one or more slightly off gives it a richer sound, kind of like having two vocalists singing the same words. Also sometimes to have one as a sub an octave down can help thicken or fatten up the sound. Or, sometimes for phasing, FM, delays, etc. depending on the synth's other features. Harmonizing on a mono is better with 3+ oscs. Like you say, two harmonized oscs tend to go off on monos if you play diff notes, in general you need to have dualphony or poly to play the notes independently by hand or sequenced for two oscs to stay harmonically good sounding to our ears.
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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by superdadan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:33 pm

Ok thank you very much, it helps me a lot =)

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:12 pm

You have to remember that any note you play on a synthesizer is made up of a great sandwich of sine waves at increasing frequency and decreasing amplitude. We hear them as timbre because they are quiet. If you amplify them, you discover that every note is made up of a great massive chord.

Tune your second oscillator to any note you want... but don't leave it full volume. Tune it to a third, and then decrease its volume until you almost can't hear it. At that point, you'll realize that it is no longer a third... now the combination of oscillator one and oscillator two is a new timbre. This is a technique rarely explored by people who play synths today, for some reason. You don't have multiple oscillators for detuning. You have multiple oscillators for timbre.
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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by superdadan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:50 pm

Well I didn't think about that. That's smart, thanks!

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by V301H » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:16 pm

Besides just setting an interval you can have an Envelope Generator do a slight pitch sweep of one Oscillator so you get a subtle detuning on the Attack of a note. This is good for simulating the spit on the Attack of a Brass-like sound or the initial bow stroke of a String-like sound. Two Oscillators allows you to make something interesting happen on the initial Attack or even on the tail of a note by using Release.

Having two Oscillators is also a major advantage if your Synth has Oscillator Sync mode. You can get a wide range of Timbres depending on how the pitch of the controlling Oscillator is set. You can get some interesting Timbral effects by using an Envelope or other Modulator to do a wide pitch sweep when Sync'ed.
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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by Phenom » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:28 pm

than what? ;)

(for the gearslutz people here...)

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by tekkentool » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:57 am

Phenom wrote:than what? ;)

(for the gearslutz people here...)
:x

you detune them...

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by calaverasgrande » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:05 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:You have to remember that any note you play on a synthesizer is made up of a great sandwich of sine waves at increasing frequency and decreasing amplitude. We hear them as timbre because they are quiet. If you amplify them, you discover that every note is made up of a great massive chord.

Tune your second oscillator to any note you want... but don't leave it full volume. Tune it to a third, and then decrease its volume until you almost can't hear it. At that point, you'll realize that it is no longer a third... now the combination of oscillator one and oscillator two is a new timbre. This is a technique rarely explored by people who play synths today, for some reason. You don't have multiple oscillators for detuning. You have multiple oscillators for timbre.
good point there gainsay.
We aren't all making fat basses and seeeearing leeeeeeads!
Another function of having more than one osc is that on some synths (and modulars of course) you can assign different filters and envelopes to different oscillators.
I sometimes like to use that feature to fade one osc into another. Maybe start with a single osc at C0 and have it release slowly as another osc at C1 with a slow attack fades in.
You can also think of multiple oscs like stops on an organ.
Or the partials that make up the overtones in a note.
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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by tekkentool » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:09 am

calaverasgrande wrote: We aren't all making fat basses and seeeearing leeeeeeads!
One of the few things me and AG agree on is that single oscillator is the method for fat bass. (we just disagree on methodology I think)

In my case I think a single saw oscillator played ridiculously low, with a slight bit of noise mixed in, sent through a tiny bit of distortion and a smiley face EQ is the definition of fat bass...

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by Zamise » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:18 am

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:43 am

not to open a can of worms, but oscillators can also act as modulators rather than tone generators. if you use a second and/or third oscillator to modulate your primary tone, you can achieve rich and complex timbres even if you're only really using one main waveform for the sound.

here's an example from p.30 of ARP 2600 (by Sam Ecoff) that shows a double-modulation patch:

Image

however, even if you use multiple oscillators as separate, parallel tone sources, you can still tune each one via ET chord system if that's your style. in modular land, there's the Flame Chord Machine that allows you to feed in a main oscillator waveform + root note, and it will generate voltages for up to 4-note chords using the chord of your choice. there are a ton of chords to choose from and it even has first and second inversions. it's tedious to use in real life, but just so you know these things exist. in short, there are many different ways to use oscillators.

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Re: What tuning intervals with 2 oscillators?

Post by tekkentool » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:54 am

It's not really opening a can of worms, Both OSC sync and FM have been brought up briefly in the thread.

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