Friday, 18 May 2012

ES2: Part II - Filter, Distortion, Phase, Chorus etc.

The second part in the series of videos exploring ES2 synth in Logic Pro 9.

ES2: Part I - Oscillators, Mixer, Tuners and Voice Modes

Here is the first part of my video series explaining the functions of ES2 Hybrid Synth located in Logic Pro 9.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Harmonic Series and Basic Waveforms

Harmonic Series

A sine wave is an example of a pure tone; it is at a fixed frequency but doesn’t contain any of the harmonic series.  A guitar though would contain elements of the harmonic series and would be determined as of the pitch that is being played.  In fact any pitched instrument will contain harmonics.  The harmonics are essentially placed at equal intervals in terms of frequency from the pitched tone. The harmonics of an A at 110hz (above) (first harmonic) would be 220hz (2nd harmonic), 330hz (3rd), 440hz (4th) etc.  The placement of these harmonics is at an interval equal to the main tone.  The amplitude of the harmonics will determine the timbre of the sound and also the shape of the sound wave.

Basic sound wave shapes

The harmonics present in a sound wave can determine its shape.  The sine wave is the purest tone so will act as a pure sound wave does; a perfect wave. 

The triangle wave contains harmonics at an interval of every odd harmonic.  So the first, third, fifth etc. harmonics will be present.
The square wave is essentially the same as the triangle but its harmonics are higher in amplitude.

Finally the sawtooth wave contains all of the harmonics series, which essentially stretches the appearance of the wave to resemble a saw blade.

Here is an example of all four waves’ appearance.[1]

[1] Both diagrams taken from