Wavetable Synthesis Introduction


Among many different types of synthesis devised over the years, one of the widely used one today is Wavetable Synthesis. To put it briefly, Wave-Table Synthesis puts a twist on the general concept of an oscillator by making it non-static and variable in time. Instead of having a single waveform play out of the oscillator, the wavetable oscillator can have more than one simple waveform at its disposal. In most cases, it can seamlessly change between them without any audible artefacts. For this reason, many new synthesizers allow users to make their own wavetables.

Personally, I feel that the presence of this kind of oscillator creates room for more complex sound design capabilities. Besides standard synthesizer tools for shaping sound like filters and effects that are controlled by modulators, a wavetable oscillator has enough sound design potential on its own to make complex synthesis possible.




Firstly, I will add a new midi track into the SoundBridge: DAW, and load an instance of Xfer Serum.




If we listen to a single wavetable position it does not sound like anything that would catch our attention. However, remember that this is purely how the oscillator sounds, with no modulations or filters of any kind.


~ Wave-Table in Fixed Position


Secondly, adding some modulation to the wavetable position makes all the difference.


Wave-Table with some WT Position Modulation


Last but not least, try adding some more modulation like a bend +/-, to make it even more interesting…


~ More Modulation to the Waveform added on top


This all comes out of one oscillator while only 2 of its parameters are being modulated.




All in all, many of today’s popular music genres rely on this type of synthesis. The variety of modulations one can achieve using more than one simple waveform multiplies the combinations of sound design indefinitely.


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