Harmor is one of the strongest additive synthesizer native in fl studio which works on the principle of additive synthesis. Harmor has such a potentiality as an additive synthesizer that it stands apart from its brothers and sisters .Its interface looks similar to those of a conventional subtractive synthesizer unlike others members of its group.
But in most of the cases, the potentiality of harmor is ignored and instead we switch on to other vst synthesizers. This article covers up necessary steps for additive synthesizing with harmor.
WHAT IS ADDITIVE SYNTHESIS-GOING A BIT INSIDE-
Before we start, I would like to shine a bit on concepts of additive synthesis and principles behind it. Mathematically Fourier series analysis shows that any type waveform can be decomposed into a set of sine waves components. Each of these sine wave components is just a “partials” from the complete series of sine waves which are combined to produce the original waveform. In general, these decomposed particles are of two types –
1. HARMONIC- Harmonic articles are integer multiples of the base frequency. Harmonic particles go with the melody of the base frequency note adding a bit brightness and complexity to it.
2. INHARMONIC- Inharmonic particles are decimal multiples of base frequency and they distort the base note frequency by adding a bit metallic luster to it.
Thus, additive synthesis is based on these harmonic and inharmonic partials of the added waveform and altering of their following parameters to achieve desired sound wave.
• Partial Frequency- Each partial that plays with the base frequency root note can be designed to have a scaled level of frequency according to the base frequency value.
• Partial Amplitude- Amplitude of the each partial that plays with the root note can be mapped in different ways in order to achieve different type of sound.
• Partial Phase – phase of each partial can also be edited or altered from the base frequency note phase.
Those are the three main parameters that are key to additive synthesis of sound from any type of added waveform.
ADDITIVE SOUND DESIGNING IN HARMOR
First step is to load harmor into step sequencer and choose a default patch. As you can see in following image, there are timbre 1 and timbre 2 options in the top left side of the interface. Timbre 1 and timbre 2 are just two conventional oscillators which have by default saw and a square waveform respectively. Our first step begins from here. You can just drag and drop desired wave sample from which you want to additive synthesis your sound or you can also randomize the default waveform which are in timbre 1 and timbre 2. Just right click the waveform in either timbre 1 or timbre 2 and you will see two options-
• Analyze single cycle waveform – this loads your desired wave sample to it .
• Randomize- this option randomizes the harmonic levels of the default waveform which is already there in timbre 1 and timbre 2.
One important point to keep in mind here is that, when we load any wave sample don’t load too large sample into it, just cut that part of the sample which has your desired sound from which you want to additive synthesis. First cut and save the part from the sample and load that part only for better performance.
When I load my sample into timbre 1 it looks like following –
That is original wave sample and it is dropped into timbre 1 section of harmor. Timbre 2 just shares the waveform which is in timbre 1 according to timbre blending mode which you can select from the dropdown button right below the timbre 2 window. As timbre 2 shares the waveform from timbre 1 and also harmonic and phase mapping data from timbre 1, therefore it is recommended to drop your wave sample to timbre 1.
As you can see, there is a mix button in between timbre 1 and timbre 2. Mix button decides how the two oscillator’s sounds are mixed. Keeping it complete left gives 0% mix and keeping it complete right gives you 100% mix of the two wave form.
The PHASE section here has two buttons-
Start button has phase distribution from 0 to 359 degree. This is for shifting your phase to your desired position. Rand option randomizes the phase of sample. Phase cancellation in harmor doesn’t happen as the phases of the two timbres are mutually shared between each other. Phase sharing results in no phase cancellation. So, don’t worry for any phasing issue.
SUBHAROMIC CONFIGURATION BUTTON-
As additive synthesizing is completely based on harmonics of the sample, therefore configuring sub harmonics is also a necessary part here.. They are close to the fundamental note and they can affect the root note parameters. So they must be set either around it or below it. When set to around mode, Sub harmonics 2 and 3 are almost relative to sub harmonic 1 and they are above it.
When set to below mode, sub harmonics 1, 2, 3 falls below fundamental degrading each octave respectively. The three sub levelers which are just beside sub harmonic configuration module , behaves according to selected sub harmonic configuration mode. The PROT or protection leveler protects the sub harmonics from any global or local filter source.
Thus, these are the basic concepts required in the first place.
next write up is coming soon.......