Circuit Synth Programming Pt.2

Circuit Tricks and Tips
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Circuit Synth Programming Pt.2

Post by Nig » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:56 pm

Hopefully it was obvious from Part 1 that the adjustments described were made using the Circuit Editor by Isotonik Studios. This is a great little editor allows access to all of the Synth parameters of the Circuit which doesn't rely on the Novation Circuit Components webby thing in order to allow programming the synth. Nor does it require the Circuit to be in Bootloader mode.

I'm not going to go into great detail in how to use the editor as it's fairly straight forward and intuitive IMO, but there are a couple of things that maybe useful to note.

The first is that some of the parameter settings, like the Macro, Oscillators, LFOs, etc., have multiple tabs and it's always the darker coloured tab that is the active one so any adjustments that are made will be made to the active tab only.

The second and possibly most useful feature is on the functions that show two rings, such as in the Oscillator and LFO sections. The two rings actually allow us to see the settings for both settings of, say, the Oscillator Wave, so that they can be adjusted relative to each other. The outer ring shows the value set for the inactive tab and the inner one the active tab. When you switch tabs, they switch over. Genius! The same concept applies to the two LFO tabs.

Following that wordy explanation of the editor display, what I really wanted to discuss in this part were the additional Oscillator functions Vsync Depth, Density and Density Detune.

The Ultranova manual explains these far better than I can, but basically:

Vsync Depth adds additional virtual oscillators that are harmonics of the original which then retrigger the original. This has the effect of making the oscillator sound brighter but can also add some odd tones, especially when the Vsync is set to a value that is not a multiple of 16.

Density adds additional copies of the original oscillator, making the original sound thicker and deeper.

Density Detune detunes the additional Density oscillators against the original. This can make some interesting 'ravey' type sounds.

The effect that these parameters have on the bass patch from part 1 obviously varies depending on whether the Vsync or Density is adjusted but also on whether Oscillator 1 or 2 (or indeed both) are adjusted. Vsync tends to make the sound more raspy, bordering on shrill the higher it's set, and also removes some of the low end, whereas the Density makes the sounder fuller as it's increased. This is more apparent on the second oscillator as this is is set 12 semitones down.

The Density Detune has little effect unless the Density itself is adjusted, and it introduces some offset in the tuning of the additional oscillators. The greater the Density, the greater the effect. What this does to the bass patch when added is to actually turn it more into a synth lead type sound rather than a bass but used subtly it's still a valid effect that can be used in creating basses, especially when it's introduced by an LFO or automated in a pattern.

To hear what effect these parameter have on the patch, listen to the following which shows the application of each of them when applied at maximum to the individual oscillators. It follows the pattern of Osc1 Vsync, Osc2 Vsync, then Density then Density Detune.

In Part 3, the discussion will turn to the LFOs and how they can be used to vary these parameters.

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