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The Eat at Joe's Kawai K5000 Message Board Digest
The 65th-128th Harmonics


Harmonics above 64
 Thursday, 20-Nov-97 05:04:29

      Message: writes:

      Has anyone ever found any use for the 65-128 harmonics that you can select for
      ADD sounds? Only one of the preset patches seems to use them and they
      barely seem make any difference in the sound. To tell the truth, I can't even
      really hear alot of them. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Does anyone know
      what they're for or has used them in a productive manner?

      Why did they bother to put them in there? 


Re: Harmonics above 64
Thursday, 20-Nov-97 19:58:38 writes:

     Because they make the synth twice as powerful. :>

     Which patch uses 65-128?

     My notes:

     All of harmonics 65-128 fall within a single octave, the one beginning 6 octaves
     above the fundamental. There's only one octave (128) and one fifth (96).
     Most of the rest are microtonal; there are 5 or 6 harmonics for each semitone
     (more at the top, fewer at the bottom). With semitone-wide bands, even the
     formant filter might be a bit crude. 

     Becuase the harmonics are so close in frequency, there's a lot of "beating". This
     goes away if you take out the odds or evens and leaves a much nicer, metal or
     crystal bell-like tone.

     For notes above A3, the A below middle C (C4), the K5k seems to cut out. I'm pretty
     sure it isn't my ears or equipment, becuase the dropout is too sudden.
     At that point, the lowest frequency is at about 14k, so there should be half an
     octave left.

     I think for most natural sounds, 65-128 are too low in amplitude to make much
     difference. For an ideal sawtooth or square wave, the amplitude of harmonic n
     is 1/n, so the 65th harmonic has 1/65th the amplitude of the fundamental, which
     must be pretty hard to hear.

     One of the things I wanted to do with it is play supper low notes, around C(-6),
     so that the harmonics are just within hearing but suggest a note way, way
     down. But--the machine stops at C(-1) and plays the same note if you go any lower.

     I guess they might be good for a low gong. Any other suggestions? 


Frequency range stops at 10000 Hz
 Tuesday, 01-Dec-98 15:23:36 writes:

      Just want to hear if anyone else has a problem with poor treble sound. My own
      K5000R seems to give up around 10000 Hz or slightly below. If I play a source with
      only the 64th harmonic activated, there is no sound above D3 = 147 Hz, so
      this means no sound above 147 Hz * 64 = 9408 Hz.

      I bypass the DCF, bypass effects, and the bias of the formant filter is set to
      -63. Any ideas about some other parameter that can be tweaked in order to awaken
      the remaining frequencies up to 20000 Hz? 



Re: Frequency range stops at 10000 Hz
 Thursday, 03-Dec-98 00:42:34 writes:

      Yeah, some of my sounds with a high frequency content start to "mellow" out around
      E5. I also fiddled around with various parameters to try and get my harmonics
      back, but with no success so far. Are the higher order harmonics just too
      highly pitched for the K5000 to generate when the fundamental is oscillating
      around E5?



Re: Re: Frequency range stops at 10000 Hz
 Thursday, 03-Dec-98 21:12:35 writes:

      Definitely yes. 



Frequency range stops at 10000 Hz & more on phase....
 Thursday, 03-Dec-98 21:51:19 writes:

      That's too bad. I think that the oscillators should hold up at least over the
      normal range of the keyboard. It makes me wonder what the use of having oscs
      65~127 is when 1~64's upper harmonics start cutting out in the upper range of the
      K5000S's keyboard. 

      I would much, much rather have the second set of oscillators available for cos
      waves (so sines and cosines were available)to get the phase relationships right
      than have the ultra high harmonics that will just cut out. 

      Speaking of phase, some of you may remember the discussion about that subject that
      took place here awhile back. 

      Here's an update, I went to the library and read up on the subject. I found several
      texts on aural perception and here's what I found:

      1. The older the text, the less the effect of phase on perception of timbre. The
         really old texts are the ones that say it doesn't matter at all.

      2. The newer texts (last 5~10 years) really shift the focus from examining
         situations where phase does matter (this used to be considered the unusual
         situation) to situations where it doesn't matter (this is now the slightly odd

      This really didn't come as a surprise to me. If anyone has doubts about this I
      would suggest using the additive JAVA page leiter found
      ( to test it out. 

      The applet gives you control over sines and cosines (& therefore phase). If you
      replicate a waveform with the proper phase relationships you get one sound and if
      you use only sine waves (adjusted with the proper spectral amplitudes like
      we do with the K5k) you get a second differing sound. It's true that the second
      sound has some of the flavor of the first but it's sort of like sugar vs
      nutrasweet. Not the same.

      I don't mean to sound too down on the K5k, all synths have their limitations
      (usually having something to do with shortcuts taken in the design process to
      save $). It's better to focus on what a synth can do, and the K5k can do alot.
      It's just not the perfect additive machine.... 



Harmonics 64-127
 Sunday, 06-Dec-98 23:59:45 writes:

      I actually think that those upper harmonics are very important. Listen to my
      ADDSaw patches. I it uses two sources to get the full range of harmonics. Actually
      I think there are two of each for detuning purposes (two 0-63 and two 64-127).
      Play the lower half of the keyboard. Now disable the two sources that are used for
      the upper harmonics. The change in the sound is dramatic. I think that low notes
      sound much much better with the full range of harmonics!!!