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The Eat at Joe's Kawai K5000 Message Board Digest
Harmonic Detuning


non-series harmonics
 Thursday, 20-Nov-97 04:54:06

      Message: writes:

      Just a thought (I saw somebody talking about it in the newsgroups some time ago)
      - you could get all kinds of wierd harmonics into the series by just using
      more than one ADD sound. The example I saw explained was a harmonic detuning made
      by using three different ADD sources, staggering the harmonics
      between them (each source has only every third harmonic, all starting on a different
      harmonic), and then detuning the different sets of harmonics (eg: source 1
      has harmonics 1, 4, 7, 10, etc. Source 2 has harmonics 2, 5, 8, 11, etc. Source 
      3 has harmonics 3, 6, 9, 12, etc. Source 2 has fine tuning -7, Source 3 has
      fine tuning +7). The original post said that this technique creates a really *FAT*
      sound, but I haven't tried it yet. Theoretically, this type of detuning should be
      something you can ONLY do on an additive synthesizer shouldn't it?

      Further exploring this technique, couldn't you also generate all kinds of strange
      out-of-series harmonics by adding more sources starting at different notes,
      but not low enough to interfere with the fundamental (and thus your perception of
      the pitch of the note and make you hear a chord instead of a harmonic).

      Hopefully I'll be able to make some interesting sounds this weekend and put them
      up on the site. 


Re: non-series harmonics
Thursday, 20-Nov-97 20:12:50 writes:

     I wrote that. The second patch I did that way didn't turn out fat, but it did have
     a kind of "real" instrument sound. The detuned harmonics seem to break the
     sweet, clean sound of the K5k.

     I like your idea of mixing a note with harmonics of another note. I'll try to post
     something too. 


Re: non-series harmonics
Friday, 21-Nov-97 04:52:18 writes:

     Well, I made my first sound with this technique. I noticed that the basic sawtooth
     wave comprised of three parts (three sources with staggered harmonic
     series'), while it should sound the same before detuning, does seem to have a
     bit of a sharper edge, and a more metallic quality to it. I really like that tone
     better to start from. It's a shame it eats up three times the polyphony.

     I'll put a basic patch with the three staggered ADD sources up on my site so people
     can play with this without having to edit the harmonic levels from scratch.
     Won't have any modulation or filtering, and only a little chorus and reverb.

     Anyway. The new sound is fun. The different overtone series' are wiggling around
     with resonance and creating lots of space sounds. All of the knobs except
     velocity and decay effect the sound in some way, so this one is fun to tweak
     with......enjoy the new patch (it is definately much more sonically complex than
     the old patches). 


Re: sounddiver import from WAV experience?
Tuesday, 03-Feb-98 20:34:11 writes:


     I haven't got a k5k myself yet, but I've read alot about them over the past
     couple of months. All I can say is that I don't know how the synth can produce
     realistic acoustic tones because you can't detune the actual harmonics within a
     source. This is crucial for acoustic emulation. I think a synth like the Z1 is taking
     a better approach for that sort of thing. That is why I've not gotten either one
     yet- I can't decide. 

     Anyway, it sounds like your computer is doing its best to translate the file, but
     the Kawai may not really be suited for that. Maybe that will require a system
     update, but how many updates can they really do? Imagine taking a tomato and
     throwing it through a door. On the Kawai, it's a screen door, and thus you
     end up only with tomato paste on the other side. Does this make sense? What do
     you think? 


Re: Re: sounddiver import from WAV experience?
Wednesday, 04-Feb-98 03:48:20 writes:

     Is it really crucial for acoustic emulation to be able to detune harmonics? I am
     just asking, I wonder if blindfold tests have been carried out that support this

     There are so many irregular aspects to acoustic sound that synthesizers may not
     ever be able to emulate all of them exactly. Therefore, one really should carry
     out blindfold tests in order to decide which ones are crucial.

     Having said this, I don't think that synthesizers *should* try to emulate acoustic
     sounds. What I am looking for, rather, is sound that has the finely structured
     fabric of acoustic sound, without necessarily emulating this or that instrument.
     I think the K5000 can do it - at least, I don't know what other synth currently on
     the market would be a serious competitor in these respects.

     I also considered a Korg Z1, but it seemed to me that the sound quality of the
     K5000 was as good or better. Given that the K5000 is also more flexible, I
     ended up buying this machine - even before taken the price into account. 



Re: Re: sounddiver import from WAV experience?
Wednesday, 04-Feb-98 16:00:40 writes:

     Also, although it uses a sort of workaround, you can detune individual harmonics.
     The K5000 allows for six different sources (a source is a fundamental and
     an overtone series) for each patch. Then, you can create a multi-patch which
     combines four different patches. This gives you a total of twenty four different

     What this means is that you could have the first source play the fundamental tone
     of the sound you are trying to create as well as the harmonic overtones.
     Then, you can detune other sources to get any other inharmonic overtone(s) you
     want. With twenty four different sources, each with a complete overtone
     series, you really could generate a very large number of inharmonic overtones
     if you wanted to (up to a maximum of 1536 sine waves! That makes me almost
     want to try it just for fun.)....

     Admittedly it would be much easier to do this if you could set the pitch of each
     harmonic or detune them, but detuned overtones definately *can* be done.

     Of course this won't help at all with the original message on this thread, because
     the wav converter doesn't do multiple source detuning. All I can say is try
     clipping out a "loopable" type clip of the piano note after the attack transients
     are all gone and the tone has entered a regular cycle. Then try to emulate the
     attack using other methods. I really think that's more what the Sound Diver wav
     converter is supposed to be for. Have you tried that yet?