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Wavetable synthesizers are arguably the most flexible and offer the most creative potential of any form of synthesis. Keeping with their simplistic naming convention, Ableton introduces “Wavetable” with the release of Live 10.
Wavetable’s user interface is surprisingly simple to navigate and understand. Despite its minimalistic design, Wavetable packs a wicked punch with tons of awesome features, making it a great addition to any instrument collection.
Before we check out Wavetable’s primary features, let’s run through the three sections of Synthesizers:
- The Oscillator Section: The units responsible for creating the initial signal or sound.
- The Filter or Effects Section: Effects that shape the sound generated in the oscillator section.
- The Control Section: Envelopes and low-frequency oscillators that can be used to modulate the parameters.
When you’re getting started with a new synthesizer, it’s good to strip away the Effects so we can explore the Oscillator Section without distraction. This is especially important when working with any wavetable synth since the initial sounds are so unique and robust. After we’ve cleared away any filters and effects, we can pick a sound to shape with the synthesizer.
Here are just a few of the options you have to breathe life into your songs with Wavetable Synthesis:
- To begin, you can map movement to the wavetable position using an LFO or Envelope, adding life to the patch.
- Next, you can set your filter type to get the sound you’re after, and start rolling off higher (or lower) frequencies.
- Then, you can automate or modulate the filter to build intensity leading into the chorus of a song.
- There are tons of other ways you can add flavour and intrigue to the instrument using the control assignment matrix.
Don’t be fooled by simple aesthetic of the interface or you could miss out on the insane potential of this beastly synthesizer. Take some time to try it out for yourself; this is one instrument you won’t want to pass up.
Torsten Sven Rich-Wimmer & the Warp Team