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Static Pulse Width Exploration

Static Pulse Width Exploration
« on: January 16, 2021, 07:49:17 AM »
Strangely I can't find an article on pulse width without it being modulated.  I'm wondering if any of you just set a static pulse width (not square of course) and if so, what are your thoughts on this technique? 

I know I know, "use your ears!"  But after all these years I've never tried this.  Finding some interesting "reedy" results.  Not sure where I'll use these new tones yet but I'm having fun.

Anyway, thanks for your input.

chysn

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Re: Static Pulse Width Exploration
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 09:00:28 AM »
I think the Shape parameter might be one of the under-appreciated features of the Pro 3's architecture. The continuous sine/saw/square waveform control has become pretty common, but usually pulse widths are sort of baked into this control (see Sub 37, etc.). I love the extra timbres that come from being able to apply the shape to a continuous waveform.
Pro 3

Previous: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01, DSM03
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Static Pulse Width Exploration
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2021, 09:55:22 AM »
Strangely I can't find an article on pulse width without it being modulated.  I'm wondering if any of you just set a static pulse width (not square of course) and if so, what are your thoughts on this technique? 

I know I know, "use your ears!"  But after all these years I've never tried this.  Finding some interesting "reedy" results.  Not sure where I'll use these new tones yet but I'm having fun.

Anyway, thanks for your input.

Yeah, definitely useful.   A thin pulse can give you some really interesting nasal type tones, or can be combined with other waves to add some buzz... I often use thin pulses in sound design.   

Note that the Pulse Shape Mod goes from 50% pulse width to 100% (through zero)    A value of ~245+ goes through zero, resulting in no sound (which is actually useful for some PWM sound designs, but not gonna be useful as static pulse) 

Here's a video I recorded a while back that discusses the various Shapes and Shape Mod options for sound design:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBxO91FcESQ

Sequential Pro 3 and Rev 2 - Sound Sets, Patch Banks - Available on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/sounddesign/

Re: Static Pulse Width Exploration
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2021, 02:40:18 PM »
Great video CreativeSpiral.  Thanks.

Re: Static Pulse Width Exploration
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 06:40:53 PM »
My favorite is just to take ~75% pulse width (rectangular) and slap a decaying low-pass filter on it.  Makes a pretty good pick bass guitar sound to my ears.  Varying the pulse width seems to change the sound in the same way that varying the position of the pick along the string of a bass does (50%/square = picking above the 12th fret; 99% = picking near the bridge).  You can of course muck about with the filter envelope to find other bass guitar-like sounds.

Playing around with this on the Pro 3 now, I actually find that the combo of shape + shape mod gives a wide range of useful bass guitar sounds that I can't get on other synths.  Pretty much any combo east of 12 o'clock sounds good.  And there's some good upright bass sounds in the triangle wave region as well.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 07:21:51 PM by colanderman »

Re: Static Pulse Width Exploration
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2021, 12:45:23 PM »
There's a great tutorial which uses a square and a static pulse to make an amazing bass patch on minimoog.  If you use the ladder filter you can get really close with the Pro 3, give it a try! 

Hint: maximum filter contour on a minimoog = +80 filter env amt on the Pro 3.  And his keyboard tracking is the equivalent of 64 KEY>LPF AMT.  And don't forget to turn off resonance compensation...or do  ;)

https://youtu.be/oZYpKXDl_2o

Playing around with this idea has lead to some of the best bass patches I've ever made on any synth.

I feel like the ladder filter is especially conducive to static pulse waves because when it's overdriven it kinda makes the different wave shapes all sound more alike, especially when resonance is involved.  So you can use the advantages of thinner pulse waves while maintaining some subtlety.