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A random little sah~ example

Apr 02 2013 | 3:44 am


Just wanted to share a fun little patch that shows how to use sah~ (sample-and-hold).

Try dragging around the pictslider. You can get some particularly interesting sounds in the lower-left corner.

A few weeks ago I got a noise/sample-and-hold module for my modular synth and with a little experimentation my friend and I coaxed some interesting growling sounds on it. I realized that sample-and-hold is a very basic but very misunderstood technique used in synthesis. Depending on how you use it, it can be:

A bitcrusher (run a signal through the left inlet, and a square wave at the resolution of your choice through the right inlet)

A random melody generator AKA "slow noise" (run a sampled-and-held signal into an oscillator, as shown in the "sah~-help" patch—very effective if you "quantize" the output of the sah~)

Similar to the previous, a step modulation generator (use it to modulate a filter or other effect)

A noise generator that sounds either like phase modulation or computer vocal sounds (my patch—run a simple signal like a sine wave through the left inlet and a square wave through the right inlet, and vary the pitch of both rhythmically).

What else do you use sah~ for?

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Apr 02 2013 | 9:07 am

I’ve not used it a great deal, but thanks for the ideas. Really good fun, thanks for sharing.

Apr 02 2013 | 12:15 pm

chaos FM? A bit of a one-trick-pony, but fun nonetheless.


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Apr 02 2013 | 5:49 pm

Cool, thanks n00b_meister! I do recall reading your post about quantized FM and I can see some parallels with sah~-based approaches. I really like this new patch of yours, thanks for posting it!

Apr 02 2013 | 9:02 pm

WHY NOT BOTH? (needed more scopes, too :) )

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Apr 02 2013 | 10:55 pm

Sounds nice with a bit of rhythm

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Apr 03 2013 | 3:31 am

Some inspiring patches! Thanks guys!

One last trick, using edge~ to allow sah~ to drive an envelope. I additionally use a mix of a filter and a low-pass filter in series to fake a low-pass gate to make a basic "West Coast" style patch.

I additionally attach a Quantizer patch which uses two custom objects to allow you to roll your own pitch quantizer. When driven by a sah~ you can make more controlled melodies.

Truth be told these patches are way less interesting than the ones you all posted! :¬) But I hope they give people some ideas of uses for sah~.

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Apr 03 2013 | 8:59 am

More staircase sequences with another sah~ perennial, oscillator sync

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Apr 03 2013 | 10:26 am

rjungemann, there are files missing in your quantizer package, apparently. qset~.

Apr 03 2013 | 3:39 pm

Oops! I didn’t end up using that object, it is sort of free-floating to the right of the patch. Here’s an updated version.

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Forums > MaxMSP