'Self' Ringmod?

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portland
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'Self' Ringmod?

Post by portland » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:43 am

I'm always criticizing Yamaha's mid-range effects processors, but the 01x has one very interesting effect; for the ringmod effect, you can choose 'self' (the same signal as the input) instead of an oscillator. I've never encountered this effect before, but it creates a very unique type of distortion. The output doesn't gain any volume (it usually loses some), and bass frequencies get reduced a lot. It creates an interesting sizzle, unlike any traditional distortion I've heard. It gets rid of reverb and sustain in the input, and gives it a hot, dry quality. Like regular ringmod, it least disharmonic when octaves or 7ths of the same note are used. You can't control anything other than the wet/dry mix. It also seems to compress or limit the output.

What exactly is going on with this effect? I haven't heard a ringmodulator being used this way before - usually people just use a tone or LFO sweep. Do other effects units have this? I intend to get a better digital mixer in the future, so I'd like to get a cheap effect unit just for this purpose.

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Re: 'Self' Ringmod?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:36 am

I've never seen it before, but the effect you describe is what happens when you ringmod two oscillators that are tuned to the same pitch.
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Re: 'Self' Ringmod?

Post by Solderman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:37 pm

Yes, the traditional carrier signal for ringmod is a triangle wave. Since ringmod is sum and difference of all harmonics, you are hearing only the sum, when using two identical frequencies. As for why they sound distorted, maybe it has to do with phasing of the carrier signal before modulation, I dunno. The access virus ringmod also works this way, I believe.
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Re: 'Self' Ringmod?

Post by Boba JFET » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:24 pm

Basically the effect is the output frequency is 2x the input frequency. You could probably test that with a sine wave input.

As far as why they sound distorted, what you've done is basically convert the signal to its 2nd order harmonic counterpart. 2nd order harmonics are a type of distortion, so you've more or less converted the signal into a pure distortion signal.

2nd order distortion is often considered pleasing, so you might be able to use this to good effect in adding character to a track by mixing in this self-ringmod signal with the original signal at low levels and probably filtered/eq'd, although you should watch out for phase issues, especially if the source signal is something with a lot of simple harmonic information, like a basic synth lead.

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portland
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Re: 'Self' Ringmod?

Post by portland » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:28 pm

Boba JFET wrote:Basically the effect is the output frequency is 2x the input frequency. You could probably test that with a sine wave input.

As far as why they sound distorted, what you've done is basically convert the signal to its 2nd order harmonic counterpart. 2nd order harmonics are a type of distortion, so you've more or less converted the signal into a pure distortion signal.

2nd order distortion is often considered pleasing, so you might be able to use this to good effect in adding character to a track by mixing in this self-ringmod signal with the original signal at low levels and probably filtered/eq'd, although you should watch out for phase issues, especially if the source signal is something with a lot of simple harmonic information, like a basic synth lead.
Good to know. It also makes a DC offset on the output waveform, I'm not sure why.

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Re: 'Self' Ringmod?

Post by nvbrkr » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:43 pm

portland wrote:The output doesn't gain any volume (it usually loses some), and bass frequencies get reduced a lot. It creates an interesting sizzle, unlike any traditional distortion I've heard. It gets rid of reverb and sustain in the input, and gives it a hot, dry quality.
Many of these descriptions sound a lot like phasing to me. Not sure about the distortion part, but others have given some explanations on it already. Phasing definitely can produce "sizzle" with distorted signals though, I make that myself manually by miking up speakers and creating subtle feedback loops. The DC offset would point at the same direction as well.

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