are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:52 AM   #1
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are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

When it comes to the simple boomy sub basses that I tend to like similar to those used by burial, flying lotus boards of canada etc. Which generally consist of little more than a sine wav and maybe a triangle, would one get pretty much the same thing out of any synth? Or are there actual differences between how a variety of synths (software and hardware) will produce a low booming sound?

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:05 AM   #2
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

Except for the amplitude of the wave in the default start setting, in theory that is correct.

Wikipedia says:

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amplitudes are fixed and known, as they are for any continuous [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
wave.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

They will all make the same sound. The only really important differences when it comes to sine waves are things like the pitch bend and portamento capabilities of the synth.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

I know this is quite an annoying answer, but if they weren't the same proportionally, then at least one of them wouldn't be a sine wave at all since it has exact mathematical properties.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

Hardware synths will add some noise due to recording, maybe da/ad conversions etc. So it might start off as a pure sine, it's not anymore in the end.

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

Most analog hardware synths don't produce sinewaves par definition, when you access their sinewave output. A little reference in the pdf below.

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As you can see, if the sine isn't perfectly adjusted, you won't get a perfect sine, as opposed to what most softsynths (theoretically) produce. Also some analog synth design has some form of a step at the peak due to the circuits properties.

So, all that I am saying is, if the sine came from an analog synth, it prolly isn't a real sine.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

Ok thanks allot for the info folks. I guess that my main concern with asking this question related to bass sounds like these:



Would it be fair to say then, that where these sort of simple basses are concerned, any soft synth that has 2 ocs should be able to pull things like this off or do you hear characteristics in even these basses that sound like it is probably comming from a certain synth (moog, sh01 etc)?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

they should.

things like summing and anti-aliasing algorithms might affect it. as well, as mentions, as D/A conversion, and this isn't the synth itself but different sound hardware can flavor the tone too.

but mathematically (and in a practical sense) the margin of error should be so small that even if it's not 100% perfect, you wouldn't be able to notice it.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #9
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

im willing to bet that the boards of canada tune is an actual bass guitar either directly or sampled then pitched down and processed. wouldnt be surprised if flylo did something similar. but flylo is probably more about his mixes and how he boosts/manipulates the low end to make it sound like that.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

I Think most of these basses are actually Saw wave + keytracking band pass. Set the freq till it gets all nice and low sounding. Then throw some soft clipping in there, eq to taste.

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Old 11-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
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Re: are all sine wavs created equal no matter the synth?

They should if the synths were designed to produce mathematically perfet sines but most of them aren't. VA synths will usually introduce some analogue style distortion and irregularity, or even create imperfect sines due toimitating the analogue synth technique of filtering a square wave. Your best bet for a mathematically accurate sine is FM synths. Those use the purest possible single cycle samples.
You don't really want perfect sines for your purposes though. Not only a bit of distortion and irregularity is good but you probably want to add some more.

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