Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Additive-Synthesis Preset Synthesis Music Tutorial

Exploring Additive Synthesis: Creating Complex Sounds with Additive Wonder

Tutorial | Aug 05, 2019

In this video, I want to give a big thank you to all my Patreon donators for supporting my music and community work. It's the first time in my career that I'm getting regular income just for music, and it feels great. Now, let's talk about additive synthesis. I've created an experiment using an additive synthesizer in the grid, which consists of a sine wave generator and multiple partials in different frequencies. By layering these partials, we can create complex sounds. I explain how to adjust the frequencies and introduce modulations to make the sound more interesting. I also demonstrate how to narrow the partials down to the fundamental frequency for different effects. The preset I created is called additive wonder, and you can download it from my GitHub repository. If you have any ideas or solutions on creating partials with less CPU usage, please let me know. Thank you for watching, and I hope you have fun experimenting with this preset. Bye!

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

Questions and Answers

1. How did the creator feel about receiving their Patreon payout?

The creator felt grateful and appreciative of their donators, not just for the financial support, but also for the recognition and validation of their work in the music community. They mentioned that it was the first time they received regular income solely from their music, which made them feel great and motivated to continue on their path.

2. What is the topic being discussed in this video?

The topic of this video is additive synthesis. The creator shares an experimental additive synthesizer they created within the grid, showcasing its functionality and explaining how it works.

3. What is the trick used in the preset showcased in the video?

The trick used in the preset showcased in the video involves using a sine wave generator as the source and creating multiple partials from it by varying the frequency. By adjusting the frequency values and layering or playing them in parallel, the creator demonstrates how to create complex sounds and modulations using sine waves.

4. How can the viewer experiment with the preset showcased in the video?

The viewer can download the preset called "additive wonder" from the creator's GitHub repository, which is linked in the video's description. They are encouraged to play around with the preset, experiment with their own ideas, and even extend it if they wish. The creator also mentions that they are interested in solutions for creating partials with less CPU power, so viewers can potentially contribute their own findings or ideas.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] Hey, welcome back to another video.
[00:00:07] I just received my Patreon payout for this month and I have to say a big thank you to
[00:00:13] all my donators.
[00:00:16] Not just because of the money but to actually see that there are people out there that appreciate
[00:00:25] what I do with the community work and creating presets and creating videos and so on.
[00:00:32] And I think it's pretty much the first time in my musical career that I get a bit of money
[00:00:43] on a regular basis just for music.
[00:00:47] So it feels pretty great and I see that I have to just continue what I do to be on the
[00:00:54] right path.
[00:00:55] So a big thank you to all my donators and yeah, thank you.
[00:01:02] In this video I want to talk about additive synthesis and I created yesterday an experiment
[00:01:08] and it's a work in progress to have an additive synthesizer inside the grid and it looks like
[00:01:16] this here.
[00:01:18] Let's zoom it a bit out.
[00:01:24] So we have a sine wave generator and multiple partials in different frequencies and this
[00:01:40] is how it sounds.
[00:01:42] And the trick I used here is let's create a pulley grid and exchange triangle for a sine
[00:01:53] wave.
[00:01:56] And let's use an oscilloscope to see what we do.
[00:02:20] So if we go to one here, we basically have the same sine wave as above which is the fundamental.
[00:02:27] We have just a small amount of offset that's maybe because of latency I think.
[00:02:35] But when we now want to have twice the frequency of the fundamental, we just go to two here
[00:02:48] and now we have if this is a three 440 Hertz then we add here 880 Hertz.
[00:02:58] So 440 Hertz, 880 Hertz.
[00:03:04] And we can just put in here three.
[00:03:09] So I have three times the fundamental frequency or four times the fundamental frequency of
[00:03:14] this and we can create multiple partials from the same sine wave.
[00:03:22] So this is the trick in this preset here basically.
[00:03:28] As you can see we have on the top here our sine wave and the sine wave is going straight
[00:03:32] into all these chubby chef modules with different numbers at the bottom.
[00:03:41] So we have ten times here the frequency of the fundamental sine wave.
[00:03:46] And then we just layer them on top or in parallel.
[00:03:51] And let me just play the fundamental frequency here.
[00:03:55] So everything is at zero.
[00:03:57] Nice.
[00:03:58] And as you can see here in the oscilloscope at the end.
[00:04:27] We have just one sine wave playing which is the fundamental column here at the start.
[00:04:34] And now we can go in and dial in another partial.
[00:04:38] And I use here the third harmonic.
[00:04:41] As you can see it comes in here.
[00:04:51] And it changes when I play different keys.
[00:05:00] So now to create interesting sounds you have to apply some modulations.
[00:05:06] And if we look here at my voice you can see all these different peaks you can replace
[00:05:12] with sine waves and just have the same sound or you can re-synthesize my voice with just
[00:05:22] sine waves by exchanging all these peaks with sine waves.
[00:05:26] Or basically all these peaks are sine waves if you want.
[00:05:30] Just with different frequencies and different amplitude modulations as you can see it's
[00:05:36] pretty complex.
[00:05:38] So we have this applied here in our case.
[00:05:44] I thought about just duplicating the ADSR 20 times for each partial.
[00:05:49] So we can dial in multiple ADSRs for each partial.
[00:05:54] But it's maybe not needed.
[00:05:58] So I have this ADSR at the sum of all these modules at the end.
[00:06:05] But I also applied this modulator out to all these values here at the bottom as you can
[00:06:12] see.
[00:06:15] And these values go into attenuate so it can dial in different partials.
[00:06:21] So in this case we have just dialed in the third harmonic.
[00:06:29] And then at the bottom here I have lag and delay.
[00:06:35] As you can see when I press a key the harmonic is basically exactly modulated like the fundamental
[00:06:45] which makes sense because it's the same ADSR.
[00:06:48] But we can introduce lag to just this partial.
[00:06:55] And now it's a bit delayed or the attack ramp is a bit not so steep.
[00:07:10] And you can also introduce delay so it's a bit offset so the complete ADSR envelope is
[00:07:15] just offset backwards.
[00:07:30] So it becomes more interesting.
[00:07:32] And if you do this with all kinds of partials with different settings, different delays
[00:07:39] and lags.
[00:07:57] The brain just recognizes all these different partials as one sound but the sound is more
[00:08:04] complex because there are so many modulations happening in all the different harmonics.
[00:08:19] And you can see the complexity of the sound here in the oscilloscope because this is the
[00:08:23] sum of all the partials.
[00:08:37] Okay then we have a value here at the top which is used to narrow the partials down
[00:08:44] to the fundamental frequency.
[00:08:47] So if you have this at zero all the partials are at the harmonic series in the right place
[00:08:56] and if you dial this up to 100% all the partials are going down to the fundamental frequency.
[00:09:05] So if we look here at our oscilloscope again you can see all the partials here popping
[00:09:14] in and then we can dial it back to just the fundamental frequency.
[00:09:41] So with this you can also create some interesting sounds.
[00:09:45] Also on the sine wave oscillator I have activated this second button here for a second sine
[00:09:53] wave or sine wave is for each channel.
[00:09:56] So I have a sine wave at the left channel and a sine wave at the right channel and they
[00:10:00] are slightly offset in frequency range so they have some kind of stereo effect.
[00:10:06] But if you turn this up you get more dishomonic sounds.
[00:10:34] So yeah you can download this in my github repository and play around with it and experiment
[00:10:41] with your own ideas and maybe extend it and if you have a solution for creating partials
[00:10:51] without having so much used CPU power then let me know I'm interested.
[00:10:58] And this is called additive wonder and yeah I put a link in the description below so you
[00:11:06] can download it.
[00:11:08] And yeah thanks for watching this video and have fun with this preset and see you in the
[00:11:13] next video.
[00:11:14] Bye.