Soft Oscillator

Manufacturer: R_Ware

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SOFT OSCILLATOR

From smooth, warm and soft to brutally digital: Soft Oscillator delivers a vast variety of tones and timbres!

R_Ware Soft Oscillator is the latest and greatest culmination of R_Ware oscillator design. An oscillator that bursts of warmth and character whilst proudly and purely being digital. Soft Oscillator does not model any analog waveforms, it produces high-quality, low-aliasing variations of common waveforms with variable softness and unique character. Each waveform comes with variations and twists. As if this wouldn't be enough, Soft Oscillator is also equipped with a Soft Random Waveform Generator that enables you to produce an unlimited number of unique waveforms in four different flavors of random. To add to that, you can seamlessly blend between any three individual waveforms. You can tone things down with the Softness control that morphs any waveform into a "soft sine wave" that is unique to the selected waveform. Soft Oscillator stays soft even at ear-piercingly high frequencies because it automatically morphs to softer timbres with less overtones the higher in frequency the pitch is set. Not only does this ensure pleasant overtone spectra at any frequency, it also helps to reduce the already exceptionally low aliasing even further.

Being soft doesn't set any limitations for Soft Oscillator in the vastness of sounds it can produce. Due to its overtone distribution Soft Oscillator is a great modulator for Frequency and Phase Modulation duties. Naturally it is just as well suited as carrier! Soft Oscillator provides Phase Modulation and Linear Through-Zero Frequency Modulation with two dedicated inputs that have their own dedicated attenuverters. Since the modulation oftentimes depends strongly on the relation between modulator and carrier, Soft Oscillator is equipped with a Phase Offset knob to dial in the perfect phase relation and two options to sync Soft Oscillator to any other source. Whereas Hard-Sync resets the oscillator's phase accordign to the input, Soft-Sync produces a more mellow result by inverting the oscillator's phase to make it run in reverse upon receiving a trigger. For your convenience both Soft-Sync and Hard-Sync can be manually triggered by clicking on their respective label.

Speaking of modulation and relation, Soft Oscillators takes inspiration from R_Ware Partial Oscillator and includes a Partial Number control to set the frequency to a partial value -effectively multiplying the frequency by the partial number. This helps to set precise frequencies ratios between oscillators for modulation purposes or to use Soft oscillator as a single partial in an additive setup! As another nod of appreciation towards R_Ware Partial Oscillator Soft Oscillator also implements the innovative Freeze Mode. When the octave knob is turned all the way down, the oscillator freezes and becomes static. In this configuration you can use the Manual Phase knob to manually browse through the wave, or use the PM input to set Soft Oscillator up as an exotic, make-shift wavefolder/distortion.

Distortion and Phase are a common theme in Soft Oscillator and that's why the Wave section is equipped with 2D Phase Distortion! Bend any waveform or combination/blend/morph thereof to your liking to further mix up and complicate the overtone spectra into a rich and complex signal.

But wait! There's more! The Wave section also implements a complex, morphing Fractalizer that adds squelchy, resonant overtones. The Fractalizer continuously morphs from ramp down to ramp up over a half-sine shape. This shape can be mangled with 2D Phase Distortion as well!

Last but not least, the AMP section gives you full control over amplitude, gain, drive and everything else concerning signal level with cv modulation! Choose between regular Amplitude Modulation and Ring Modulation.

Soft Oscillator employs the R_Ware Config Menu to present you with a multitude of ways to influence the oscillator even further! Enhance the quality of the oscillator-engine to utmost pristine, clear, and clean HQ output even under heavy modulation load with up to 32 x FIR and IIR oversampling. Color the sound and/or protect your system with 5 HQ, anti-aliased Clippers! Drive the output into the clippers even harder with additional output drive. Clean up messy modulation signals with the built-in DC Blockers for the PM and Lin FM inputs! And of course you can save your favorite configuration as the default configuration to customize and personalize your Soft Oscillator Experience!

Features at a Glance

  • Smooth Morphing of 3 HQ, low-aliasing Soft Waveform Generators
  • Variable Softness
  • Endless combinations of Waveforms and Soft Randomized Waveforms
  • Phase Modulation and Linear Through-Zero Frequency Modulation
  • 2D Phase Distortion
  • Morphable HQ Fractalizer with 3 Shapes and 2D Phase Distortion
  • Hard-Sync and Soft-Sync
  • Freeze Mode
  • Partial setting for easy frequency ratios
  • Built-In AMP section with Amplitude and Ring Modulation
  • Up to 32x FIR and IIR Oversampling
  • Built-In HQ, anti-aliased output Clippers
  • Built-In DC Blockers for PM and TZFM modulation inputs

Manual

PITCH SECTION

PITCH CV input

The PITCH CV input takes regular 1V/Oct cv signals to control the base pitch of the oscillator. If the PITCH CV input is not connected the base pitch at the default settings is C2 (~65.41Hz). Pro-Tip: You can also use this input for Exponential Frequency Modulation!

OCT

The OCT knob quickly offsets the oscillator's pitch in octave steps. The OCT knob features a display that shows the currently set octave. Pro-Tip: When you turn the OCT knob all the way down you enter FREEZE MODE, which stops the oscillator and turns Smooth Noise Oscillator into a complex waveshaper/wavefolder. Use the PM input for the signal to distort. The output of Smooth Noise Oscillator is then the input signal at the PM CV input processed by the Soft Oscillator Engine.

FINE

The FINE knob adjusts the oscillator's pitch in the range from -7 semitones to +7 semitones. Easily tune the oscillator up to a fifth or down a fourth for quick harmonization. The FINE knob of course also let's you fine-tune the pitch and detune. Similar to the OCT knob, the FINE knob also features a readout to display the currently set value.

PARTIAL

Soft Oscillator can be tuned traditionally with PITCH CV, OCT and FINE tuning. Additionally, Soft Oscillator can also be tuned to a PARTIAL frequency. A Partial is an overtone/harmonic from in the frequency spectrum. Use this setting to dial in interesting ratios for modulation or to craft your special addtive oscillator with Soft Oscillator as a building block.

MODULATION SECTION

SYNC (HARD SYNC and SOFT SYNC)

Soft Oscillator provides two means of synchronizing itself to another signal: SOFT SYNC and HARD SYNC. The latter resets the oscillator's phase back to its starting point given by the PHASE knob. Pro-Tip: Use this to synchronize the starting position of multiple oscillators to each other patch a GATE or TRIGGER signal into the HARD SYNC input to re-trigger the oscillator for each new note. SOFT SYNC reverses the oscillator's direction with each zero-crossing of the input signal. SOFT SYNC produces smoother SYNC sounds than HARD SYNC but tends to add movement to the sound. Pro-Tip: Sync Soft Oscillator to another oscillator and then add an envelope signal to the PITCH CV input of Soft Oscillator for the typical soaring SYNC SOUND! Pro-Tip: The lables for SOFT SYNC and RESET double as buttons to instantly trigger synchronization manually.

PHASE knob

The PHASE knob offsets the PHASE of the oscillator. The knob value is also the PHASE RESET value that the oscillator is forced back into when receiving a SYNC trigger. The knob features a display that shows the current phase offset in degree (0 deg is no offset, 180 deg is a half wave-cycle offset, and 360 degree is a full wave-cycle offset which is equivalent to 0 deg). Pro-Tip: When modulating Soft Oscillator or using Soft Oscillator as a modulator try shifting the phase to explore different phase relationships between modulator and carrier!

PHASE MODULATION (PM)

The PM input uses the incoming signal to modulate the phase of Soft Oscillator. This results in interesting, rich, and pitch-stable tones. The ATTENUATOR below the PM input can be used to scale the modulating signal to fine-tune the modulation strength. Pro-Tip: Use different PARTIAL values for the modulator and carrier to explore PM RATIOS! A partial number of 3 for instance works great!" Pro-Tip: When the oscillator is frozen you can use this input to apply Soft Oscillator as a complex waveshaper/wavefolder on the input signal!*

THROUGH-ZERO LINEAR FM (TZFM)

The TZFM input uses the incoming signal to modulate the frequency of Soft Oscillator linearly. The ATTENUATOR below the input can be used to scale the modulation strength. When the modulating signal forces the oscillator's frequency into the negative range the frequency is folded back into the positive range and the oscillator's movement is inverted. This is THROUGH-ZERO Linear FM which produces pitch-stable FM signals as opposed to regular linear FM. Pro-Tip: When the oscillator is frozen you can use this input to force the oscillator to move again with a frequency solely given by the Linear FM input. This creates mostly slowly, evolving soundscapes. Try experimenting with this setup for some very unique sound shaping possibilities.

WAVE SECTION

BLEND

Soft Oscillator features a variety of Soft Signal Generators that can be used in Soft Oscillator's engine. To further widen the waveform palette you can choose three individual waveforms and morph between them continuously! The BLEND knob itself features a small Oscilloscope that shows you the resulting waveform output from the MORPHING SOFT SIGNAL GENERATOR ENGINE. Per default a blend from a Soft Triangle to a Soft Square to a Soft Saw is set up. You can choose a different waveform for the leftmost knob position, the middle knob position and the rightmost knob position by clicking on the BLEND label to reveal the Waveform Configuration Menu. Besides custom Soft variations of bread and butter waveforms you can find double and double-half versions of these waveforms and a RANDOM SOFT WAVEFORM GENERATOR with 4 different flavors of complexity to choose from! The Random Soft Waveform Generator will produce deterministic results for a currently set SEED. You can manipulate the SEED with the dedicated options at the very bottom of the Waveform Configuration Menu. Generate a new random seed, edit the current seed, enter you own seed, copy SEEDS to and from or swap SEEDS with the other two waveform generators. This is a playground for experimentation. Naturally a CV input is provided below the BLEND knob that allows you to modulate the MORPHING with modulation and audio signals. The CV input features its own dedicated ATTENUVERTER at the top right to fine-tune the modulation strength. Pro-Tip: Try MORPHING a double variant of a waveform with the regular waveform for octave blends! Pro-Tip: Try MORPHING from a less random waveform to a more random iteration of the waveform by applying the same SEED to multiple Random Soft Waveform Generators. You can use the BLEND CV input as a MORPHING FILTER that goes from complex and rich to soft and warm! Pro-Tip: the BLEND absolutely loves to be modulated by envelopes, lfos, and especially audio-rate signals!

SOFT

Soft Oscillator is soft by nature! But what if you wanted it to be even SOFTER?! You can further soften any waveform blend with the SOFT knob and its accompanying CV input. Soft Oscillator automatically softens the generated waveforms the higher in pitch the oscillator goes. The SOFT parameter allows you to bias this softening. Pro-Tip: When turning SOFT fully up and the CV ATTENUVERTER to -1.0 an envelope signal as modulation source for the SOFT turns the softening into a very organic low-pass filter that does in-fact not filter harmonics from the waveform, but alters the waveform to produce less harmonics. How's that for a unique sounding filter?

XBEND and YBEND

Soft Oscillator lets you further bend the generated Soft Waveform to your liking through the power of PHASE DISTORTION. The XBEND knob offsets the middle point of the internal phasor that drives the signal generators on the X-axis squishing the waveform to either side. The display on the knob shows the current impact of the parameter. The YBEND knob is similar to the XBEND, but bends the internal phasor horizontally instead of vertically. Try combining both controls to create intricate phase distortion settings. Both parameters feature a dedicated CV input located below the respective knob with an ATTENUVERTER at the top right of the respective CV input. Pro-Tip: Audio-Rate bending is fun!

FRCTLIZER ( FRACTALIZER )

Soft Oscillator is not nearly done manipulating and mangling and motivating the oscillator's engine to produce unique waveforms! Introducing the FRACTALIZER! The Fractalizer multiplies the waveform by itself and shapes it into a freely morph-able overall shape to produce resonant-esque, squelchy, rubbery, sync-ish timbres. The FRCTLIZER label acts as a button that reveals the Fractalizer Configuration Menu. Here you can enable the Fractalizer to be always active -keeping the oscillator on a strong sync- even when the Fractalizer strength is set to 0. Furthermore you can offset the starting point of the Fractalizer. For values below 1.0 the Fractalizer only syncs and shapes the waveform to the chosen Fractalizer Shape, but does not mutliply the waveform into itself. Starting with values at 1.0 the Fractalizer starts to multiply the waveform by itself producing its characteristic sound. Choose whichever setting fits your current patch best. The Fractalizer strength can be controlled by CV with the CV input below the FRCTLIZER knob, which has its own ATTENUVERTER to dial in the exact amount of modulation desired.

FRCTLIZER SHAPE ( FRACTALIZER SHAPE )

Soft Oscillator's highly advanced Fractalizer is capable of morphing seamlessly from a downward ramp shape to an upward ramp sharp with a half-sine shape in-between. This allows for many Fractalization Colors. Values more to the leftmost and rightmost knob positions produce richer spectra whereas the middle position is the softest. The morphing can be controlled via CV with the dedicated CV input located below the FRCTLIZER SHAPE knob. The CV input is equipped with its own ATTENUVERTER to fine-tune the modulation amount. Pro-Tip: Audio-Rate modulation of the FRCTLIZER SHAPE creates even more complex shapes for the Fractalizer to work with!

FRCTLIZER XBEND and FCTRLIZER YBEND ( FRACTALIZER XBEND/YBEND )

As if Phase Distortion for the oscillator itself wasn't enough already, the Fractalizer is equipped with its very own Phase Distortion as well. Distort the Fractalizer Shape by distortion the Phasor that drives the Fractalizer. The concept is the same as the XBEND and YBEND controls above, but by applying them to the Fractalizer the basic shapes given by the FRCTLIZER SHAPE can be twisted and manipulated into more complex versions. Both parameters come with their own CV inputs and CV ATTENUVERTERS. Pro-Tip: It's getting old... but audio-rate modulation is well suited for these parameters!

OUTPUT SECTION

CV, GAIN, and AM/RM

The OUTPUT SECTION features a complex amplifier with optional saturation/clipping. You can modulate the oscillator's output with CV at the CV input, which has a dedicated ATTENUVERTER. Additionally, the oscillator can be leveled with the GAIN knob. By turning the GAIN knob to the middle position/zero position, the output level can be controlled with the CV signal only. You can also invert the output with negative GAIN values. When the AM/RM switch is set to AM, the GAIN and GAIN CV are set up for Amplitude Modulation which means that the output is 0V for gain values (GAIN knob + GAIN CV) of 0 and below. This is the typical behavior of an amplifier. However, you can set the AM/RM switch to RM to switch out the amplifier's behavior to Ring Modulation. In this mode negative GAIN values invert the input instead of muting it. By default the output is not limited, so be careful when turning the GAIN knob up high or with very strong GAIN CV signals.

CONFIG MENU

Access Soft Oscillator's Config Menu by clicking on its TITLE at the top of the module.

OVERSAMPLING

Soft Oscillator is already a high-quality, low-aliasing oscillator, but you can further increase the quality by oversampling the oscillator's engine and Modulation inputs. You can choose up to 32x oversampling with linear phase FIR aliasing-filters or high-performance IIR aliasing-filters. Please Note: switching between different Oversampling Settings introduces latency and might offset the phase of Soft Oscillator in relation to any connected oscillator. You can use the PHASE knob to re-adjust the phase relation between Soft Oscillator and any modulator connected to Soft Oscillator or carrier that Soft Oscillator is connected to.

OUTPUT CLIPPER

You can warm up Soft Oscillator's output even further with one of the 5 HQ, anti-aliased output clipping algorithms to choose from reaching from digital Hard Clipping to warm Soft Clipping. You can further set a threshold/ceiling which the clipper will then clamp the signal down to. If you choose +/- 5V the clipper (except from the Hard Clipper) will affect the output signal even at unity gain. This can be great to add that last bit of extra mojo by adding delicate overtones and harmonics.

OUTPUT DRIVE

Soft Oscillator can already be driven with its GAIN knob, but you can further increase the range with a selection of output drive multipliers. Use these to drive the output of Soft Oscillator into one of the output clippers hard. By selecting an output drive value of less than 1 you can increase the resolution of the GAIN knob and GAIN CV by doubling their effective range. A GAIN knob value is 2 with an output drive setting of 0.5 is equivalent to a GAIN knob value of 1 with an output drive setting of 1.0. You basically sacrifice gain for increased amplitude modulation resolution.

MOD DC BLOCKER

Using biased signals as modulators can throw off the pitch stability of the oscillator. To counter this Soft Oscillator has optional, built-in DC Blockers for the PM and FM inputs. Please Note: when using LFOs or Envelopes or any other slow/low frequency signal make sure to have the DC Blockers DISABLED!

MAKE CURRENT DEFAULT

You can make Soft Oscillator your personalized dream oscillator by customizing its default values to your liking. By selecting this option every Setting is saved and will be recalled for every new instance of Soft Oscillator from then on. This includes: Oversampling settings, Output Clipper settings, Output Drive settings, Mod DC Blocker settings, Waveform selection form the BLEND Configuration, Random Soft Waveform Generator SEEDS from the BLEND Configuration, Fractalizer Settings from the Fractalizer Configuration.