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how would you approach this ?

April 9, 2011 | 11:55 am


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


January 1, 2012 | 8:04 pm

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

warm regards

January 1, 2012 | 10:49 pm

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?

January 1, 2012 | 10:50 pm

also; it’s a school assignment, right?

January 2, 2012 | 7:45 am

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
January 2, 2012 | 9:23 am

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

January 2, 2012 | 11:21 am

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.

January 2, 2012 | 12:32 pm

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.

January 2, 2012 | 12:38 pm

is drawing the wave not an option?


January 2, 2012 | 12:42 pm

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

January 2, 2012 | 1:55 pm

Sorry, missed that vital point

January 2, 2012 | 6:44 pm

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. —
January 2, 2012 | 9:52 pm

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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Forums > MaxMSP