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Avoiding heavy distortion by turning down the oscillators

Avoiding heavy distortion by turning down the oscillators
« on: March 30, 2021, 11:59:07 AM »
I never quite liked the patches I created with my Pro 3 until I realized how incredibly crucial it is to turn the oscillators down. I have to lower them to around 10 (from 127!) in order to get a clean sound with all three oscillators + a little bit of white noise without very heavy distortion. I always thought the white noise is pretty much unusable on this synth – turns out the filters are just heavily distorting.  Although I've found my solution I wanted to ask ... is this really normal behaviour? I would suggest lowering the volume of the initialized patch in order to make it usable. If I initialize a patch and play one note

timboréale

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Re: Avoiding heavy distortion by turning down the oscillators
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2021, 04:30:30 PM »
One man's not enough distortion is another's too much, is all I can say. Choose the settings that sound right to you, and don't worry about how much room they leave for someone else to have fun too!

And yes, it's a normal part of synthesis: filter distortion is a feature, not a bug.
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...

Re: Avoiding heavy distortion by turning down the oscillators
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2021, 05:37:19 AM »
I’m not sure if this differs from synth to synth but on my Pro-3 it is usually enough to lower each oscillator level to about 50% to avoid clear distortion with the ladder filter. The other filters are less sensitive.
But I do like some filter saturation in general so maybe you need to lower more of you want a really clean sound. The difference is most pronounced when you use the ladder filter with some resonance.

Re: Avoiding heavy distortion by turning down the oscillators
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2021, 05:44:10 PM »
Usually I run into sort of the opposite issue...  I want heavy distortion so I can get nice crunchy interference patterns between the oscillators, almost a FM-like sound but without using FM...  but I don't want it to actually clip.

Basically trying to do over-the-top dirty squelchy sounds like I'd get on a Microbrute or a MS-20, or like chords played with overdriven triangles on a Matriarch.  When playing multiple notes, it has a Moire pattern-like effect which can dramatically change the overtones and even produce harmonically-related undertones.  But I haven't quite worked out the right gain staging to get that effect.  The result ends up clipping instead of having smoothed edges.

Can always distort it in post to get that effect, but I haven't found the right settings to get it quite right with only the onboard signal path.