Sunday, February 6, 2011

Technological Idea: DCO that emulates a VCO

In my previous post you can hear what the digital oscillators sound like when ran through analogue filters. There's still surprising amount of digital preciseness to the sounds you get. If you somehow get rid of that preciseness, you should probably end up with much more analogue sound.

This preciseness doesn't necessarily come with digital oscillators alone. Some DCOs are very capable of it too. One great example of this is Dave Smith Instrument's Prophet '08 analogue synth. Its DCOs are super precise and cutting. They're probably even more precise sounding than most VAs, which might be the results of really high speed control over the DCO cycle times (much higher than 44.1 kHz). To be honest, I've no idea in what frequency the Prophet '08's DCOs are controlled. All I know is that they sound super precise and they're a perfect example of a precise DCO sound. This got me thinking one technological idea I had a while ago.

What if DCO could emulate very convincingly the unstable VCO sound?

The basic concept is fairly simple:
Trigger the DCO using an analogue modeled simulation of VCO's cycle triggering circuitry. For example take Korg Legacy Collection MS-20 software synthesizer and throw away everything else except the algorithm which triggers the oscillator cycles. Now put this very same algorithm inside the chip/cpu which triggers the DCO cycles. What you should end up with is a stable DCO which still sounds like your unstable vintage VCO.

Here's hoping for that one of the big three synth manufacturers would release a new analogue synth with such oscillators... Not gonna happen :(

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