Monday 8 September 2014

Waveshaping with a wavetable

Having tested a simple waveshaper with Squarer, I wondered if I could take the audio processing part and add it to the Wavetable Creator and make a more flexible wave-shaping utility. As it turned out, doing this went a lot faster than I expected and I rapidly had it working. So please welcome ShaveWapery 0v04.

ShaveWapery uses the same user interface as Wavetable Creator, but changed to the more fashionable 'dark' look, and using my standard lilac as the key color (there's now no chance of mixing the two utilities up!). You choose source waveforms from the on/off boxes at the top, set their amplitude and other parameters, and then press the 'Generate' button. The resulting waveshape appears in the box on the left and its spectrum is displayed underneath. But instead of just allowing you to export the wavetable, in ShaveWapery, it immediately becomes available as a transfer function for a waveshaper.

As always with transfer functions, starting off with a linear input/output relationship is always a good idea. In this case, a sawtooth produces a linear transfer function:

 and any audio should pass through mostly unaffected. Moving the 'Sharpen' control anti-clockwise should give a very similar 'squaring' of the sound to Squarer. And unlike the 'Saturator' built-in effect in Live, ShaveWapery allows you to add randomness to the transfer function:

which can produce some very interesting effects that are noise-like but also structured. There is an enormous range of things to try here, so explore away. As with all such waveform-based processing, if you input monophonic audio, then you will get monophonic output, but if you input polyphonic audio, then you will get distortion. I did thinking about calling this the Intermodulator, but I prefer ShaveWapery!

I'm currently working on improving the user interface - I'm not happy with the 'Generate' button, for instance. But this is just the first iteration.

As usual, ShaveWapery can be downloaded from .

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