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  • Chris Kenny

Oscillators

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

Oscillators are the fundamental building blocks of synthesis and can be found on every synthesizer, hardware or software. Dating back to when the first synthesizer was created in 1964 after Bob Moog met Herbert Deutsch, and the former was inspired to create a voltage-controlled oscillator and amplifier module with a keyboard – but it wasn’t until 1967 that Mr Moog called his diverse modular system a ‘synthesizer’.


The oscillator is a repeating waveform with a fundamental frequency and peak amplitude. The tone depends on the type of waveform the oscillator generates, each one with it's own characteristic.


There are four main waveforms we'll look at Sine, Square, Triangle and Sawtooth:




As pictured above, each wave is visually different. Simply put, the sine wave is typically smooth in sound while the sawtooth wave is more "buzzy" with the other two waves somewhere in between. The can have a huge effect on the type of sound you want to produce and is worth experimenting with them to get to know each of their characteristics.


In the video below I show off each of there sounds:




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