how would you approach this ?

Apr 9, 2011 at 11:55am

how would you approach this ?


I am trying to synthesize the result shown in the attachment. I have failed however using traditional synthesis techniques. It seems that it is the result of a ring modulation but then only at a part of the signal’s period.
I am puzzled how to achieve it. Can anyone help?


  1. periods.jpg
Jan 1, 2012 at 8:04pm

can anyone offer any clue/pointers on how to start approaching this?

warm regards

Jan 1, 2012 at 10:49pm

looks like a simple sine wave with some amplitude modulations, to be honest; there don’t appear to be any harmonic-generating elements, for sure, apart from the little nudge just before and at the end of period 2.

how does this waveform… sound? Do you have audio of it?

Jan 1, 2012 at 10:50pm

also; it’s a school assignment, right?

Jan 2, 2012 at 7:45am

Hello & many thanks for replying.
It isn’t a school assignment, no. If it was i would have failed (since i posted the original question 8 months ago) lol :)

it has the grittiest sound i’ve ever heard, and yet, taking a sine wave with slight amplitude modulation doesn’t just come close to sounding the way the original does. Also tried various distortion plugins which only start adding very high frequency harmonics – again a fail.

So I am very intrigued to know which synthesis technique can possibly produce this sequence of waves. I hope the attached wave file can give some further insights.

  1. examplesynth.wav
Jan 2, 2012 at 9:23am

It could be ring mod, but also may well be FM.

Jan 2, 2012 at 11:21am

It sounds to me like this has been pulled from some big club anthemy track or something and that the amplitude change might be triggered by sidechaining or something. Just a thought.

Jan 2, 2012 at 12:32pm

The overall amplitude variation seems indeed side-chaining. The attached sound distracts somehow the question due to the side-chaining effect. I was only concerned with how to synthesize a signal with similarly evolving frequency content.

If it is FM, then I would need to modulate one of the operators at a very high rate. But is this possible with max/msp 5?
if it is ring modulation, again, can this be done at audio rate with max/msp5?

I’ve read somewhere that if one uses a cycle~ object, and multiply its output with an input signal, that won’t happen at audio rate, which is what i think happens in this case. Has anyone seen/produced a patch performing “high-rate” ring modulation?
Again, I am very inexperienced in msp to make any progress/validate my assumptions.

Jan 2, 2012 at 12:38pm

is drawing the wave not an option?


Jan 2, 2012 at 12:42pm

I think it would be indeed an option if its shape was kept constant. in this example however, in every period, the wave changes.

Jan 2, 2012 at 1:55pm

Sorry, missed that vital point

Jan 2, 2012 at 6:44pm

Max is great at FM and other types of audio rate modulation. Here’s a very ugly patch that, while it may not be in the same ballpark as your sample, it may at least be the same sport:

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –
Jan 2, 2012 at 9:52pm

thank you so much for this.
if this doesn’t point me to the right direction i don’t know what else will :)

it is definitely in the same game. again, thanks a lot!


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