Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2013-01-14, 07:38
joebeard's Avatar
joebeard joebeard is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12
Advanced sounds with Thor?

For literally the last day I've been struggling to build a Thor that sends its oscillator output to a mixer (for individual panning) and back to a second Thor to pass through its filters. I essentially want to create one Big Thor with a vastly expanded oscillator count for the purpose of pumping out some wicked dance tunes:

Thor 1
....... Osc 1 ------> \
....... Osc 2 ------> |
....... Osc 3 ------> |
.............................. |
.............................. |----> Mixer ......... Master Thor
.............................. | ....... L ----------> Filter 1 ----> Filter 3 L ----> Audio 1 Out
Thor N ................. | ...... R ----------> Filter 2 ----> Filter 3 R ----> Audio 2 Out
....... Osc 1 ------> |
....... Osc 2 ------> |
....... Osc 3 ------> /

The problem I'm having is that the Thor, while being awesome, is totally non-intuitive and basically an excellent example of why virtually routing cables is a total nightmare. Specifically, I've run into a lot of trouble trying to setup the amp envelopes, and cannot get polyphony working correctly.

I have a combinator controlling the amp envelopes on each Thor (including the master) and have them all set to trigger on gate. When I play a note or a chord everything sounds fine UNLESS I then play and release another note while the first chord is playing. When I do this, the amp envelope for the second note screws up, and the note continues to play without release until it's abruptly cut off.

Firstly, is there any reason why this should happen? Why should the amp envelope not work correctly on the end of the second note? When I'm using a single Thor this isn't a problem, so why would routing sounds make a difference?

Secondly, is there a far more sensible way of producing a sound with many voices? Specifically, I want to create a routing system similar to that used in the Antidote RE, where two oscillators produce sounds using up to 12 wave-forms each (not sure if this is correct nomenclature).
  #2  
Old 2013-01-14, 08:39
RXTX's Avatar
RXTX RXTX is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 562
Such a setup is bound to cause problems with polyphony. Within Thor, each note is treated separately (a "voice"). Essentially, for every note you play, Thor creates a virtual copy of its oscillators, Filters 1 and 2, LFO1, envelopes and everything else that's not on the brown panel.

However, once the oscillator outputs leave Thor and are mixed together, Master Thor has no way of telling them apart. If note 2 is triggered while note 1 is still sounding, Master Thor will feed their mixture into its amp envelope, not note 2 by itself (and that's not what you want).

So you can't apply the filters to the individual voices once they leave Thor. You can still filter their mix though. For that, you need to avoid Master Thor's amp envelope altogether. Feed the mixed signal into Filter 3, and then into Filter 3 of a second Master Thor.

Last edited by RXTX; 2013-01-14 at 08:43.
  #3  
Old 2013-01-14, 15:17
joebeard's Avatar
joebeard joebeard is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks, that makes sense. I might just need to combine each thor's output then in its amp section to get the envelopes applied correctly to each note. The reason I'm doing this is to allow me to pan each oscillator to create an even spread of stereo sound, other than using chorus (which sort of fakes it), is there any other way I could increase the spread of my sound output? I can't think of one, but I'm not super clued into the advanced uses of Reason's components so hopefully there's a simple way around this.
  #4  
Old 2013-01-14, 18:53
selig's Avatar
selig selig is online now
 
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Posts: 10,543
I'm not sure Thor being non-intuitive is to blame (nor am I suggesting that it is or isn't non-inutuitive). This comes down to a basic concept of polyphonic synths and the way voices are used, as RXTX effectively points out above.

There have been a few threads about how to create the effect you desire in Reason (start with THIS one), using both Thor and Subtractor as examples. The main issue it that you need a single Thor/Subtractor for each oscillator. I'm not sure there's a poly synth out there that's any different in this respect.

If you're interested in creating stuff like this in the future (noting your RE developer question in another thread) I would suggest getting a prototyping app like Reaktor (my personal choice for this sort of work) or others. It's been very educational for me, and also quite fun! :-)
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Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
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  #5  
Old 2013-01-14, 18:58
joebeard's Avatar
joebeard joebeard is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by selig View Post
I'm not sure Thor being non-intuitive is to blame (nor am I suggesting that it is or isn't non-inutuitive). This comes down to a basic concept of polyphonic synths and the way voices are used, as RXTX effectively points out above.

There have been a few threads about how to create the effect you desire in Reason (start with THIS one), using both Thor and Subtractor as examples. The main issue it that you need a single Thor/Subtractor for each oscillator. I'm not sure there's a poly synth out there that's any different in this respect.

If you're interested in creating stuff like this in the future (noting your RE developer question in another thread) I would suggest getting a prototyping app like Reaktor (my personal choice for this sort of work) or others. It's been very educational for me, and also quite fun! :-)
Cheers man, I'll look up that thread. The Antidote RE is the best example of what I'm trying to accomplish. It has a 'spread' knob that appears to evenly disperse each oscillator's waveform outputs across the stereo field.

[Edit]

God ****ing damn it dude, I was supposed to have a chill evening tonight and instead that thread's gone and made me think I was on the right track. Now I'm going to be up till 2am again trying to make this work with Subtractors instead (which I had obviously incorrectly discounted as not being as good as the Thor for synthesis). AAarrgh nosleepforme.

Last edited by joebeard; 2013-01-14 at 19:06.
 

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