[LAU] Hardware synths

Gordon JC Pearce gordonjcp at gjcp.net
Sun Dec 2 14:16:03 EST 2007

On Sun, 2007-12-02 at 00:23 +0100, David Olofson wrote:

> I'd say a true hardware synth is something that uses multiple variable 
> rate DAC and other semi-analog or analog stuff that you can't 
> replicate purely in the digital domain. The SID chip falls in that 
> category, for example. (Digital oscillators, analog mixer, analog 
> resonant filter, IIRC.) Didn't some early Ensoniq synths use a 
> similar approach? (Per-voice DACs, that is.)

Nope.  In the DOC-based synths there was a single DAC for all control
voltages and the DOC built-in DAC for all audio channels.  Anything with
a DOC chip (Mirage, ESQ and SQ range, and their sampled electric piano)
had real CEM analogue filters.

> > It depends on the software involved.  Great though Novation stuff
> > is, it aliases terribly (for instance). Nice filters though. 
> Ouch. The first thing I look for when hacking my own oscillators is 
> distortion when playing pure sine waves all over the frequency range. 
> If that sounds crap, everything will sound... well, at least not as 
> clean as it should. If it's not too bad, it might be ok for some 
> sorts of sounds...

It's hard to notice.  It's only because I spend *hours* listening to
single notes from digital oscillators sweeping up and down trying to
catch little bits of aliasing that I notice, to be entirely honest.


More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list