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American Bison

Discerning Waveforms

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Hi everyone. Can anyone recommend a location/book/site/method to train my ears to discern between different waveforms and sounds?

Edited by American Bison
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Welcome

Now go read the rules

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1. Can anyone recommend a location/book/site to train my ears to discern between different waveforms and sounds?

 

i use this technique to try and visualize the waveforms of sounds - you have to use large over the ear type headphones but it might work by situating your speakers a similar way.

place your headphones on your temples instead of your ears and get a headband or hat to make it very very tight around your head. close your eyes and tilt your head back towards the ceiling. blast the sound (maybe loop it up in audacity or something) and as you tilt your head back, push on your eyes really hard with your fists. when i do this sometimes i can see a visualization of the waveforms in the patterns that form from pushing my eyes. this has generally made me better at EQing stuff and designing wavetable shit too.

Edited by andihow
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I'm assuming this is to be able to evade penis shaped sound waves generated by online paedophiles?

Very wise move, and one I wish I'd learned a long time ago.

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1 hour ago, hello spiral said:

sound waves generated by online paedophiles

just stay away from the weyheyhey sample pack and you should be fine

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It might help to think about them relative to traditional orchestral instruments:

 

Sine wave sounds like a flute

Square wave sounds like a clarinet

Triangle wave sounds like a tuba

Sawtooth wave sounds like farts

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Just keep making music and it'll happen automatically after a while. But if you need a shortcut for whatever reason, try finding a piece of music or other sound with which you're very familiar that includes a certain waveform and associate the waveform with that. For example, if you're British and old, you may learn to recognise a square wave as the sound that a BBC Micro makes when it boots.

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Eventually u become so used to it u dont even need to listen to music to appreciate it anymore, just print out the waveforms hang it and hang em on the wall

Edited by MIXL2

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Just point the speakers at your eyes? 

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On 10/6/2019 at 3:57 AM, American Bison said:

Hi everyone. Can anyone recommend a location/book/site/method to train my ears to discern between different waveforms and sounds?

hi welcome to watmm

why do you want to discern between waveforms and sounds? 

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Hi & welcome.

I think the best method is listening and then attempting to imitate the thing you want with different means of synthesis (FM, AM, recording your own farts through a vocoder etc.) and then looking at a spectrometer to see what is going on. If you are just starting out, this process will take months or years, but in the end I think it's important to remember that what you want is to understand how to re-create or make a sound that you have in your mind. At best waveforms are only a crappy visual indication of what is going on.

 

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Last night I dreamt that for some reason my mom had been given all these rare analogue synths from a time long forgotten.  The one thing they had in common was a slot for this CD that contained all the basic synth-related wav forms (saw, sine, square etc.).  So you just loaded up the sounds and then manipulated them on the synth.  Presumably there were other sound CDs that could also be loaded up, but I only saw the one.  I don't know how this helps OP tho.  Maybe look into acquiring a CD slot.

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Just get a VST synth like Synth1 or a modular system like VCV Rack and listen to the different waveforms in their pure form and memorize which sound belongs to which form. Notice that different waveforms produce different amounts of harmonics. A perfect sinus wave produces zero harmonics while a sawtooth wave produces a lot of harmonics and invites to use a low pass filter on it.

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Renoise gives you the option to draw a waveform and have it played back on a loop like an instrument.  I think several other tools have this feature as well.  It's a very good way of learning through personal experience about how waveforms work and offers instant feedback.  You should even be able to do this with the free version of Renoise.

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23 hours ago, Zephyr_Nova said:

Last night I dreamt that for some reason my mom had been given all these rare analogue synths from a time long forgotten.  The one thing they had in common was a slot for this CD that contained all the basic synth-related wav forms (saw, sine, square etc.).  So you just loaded up the sounds and then manipulated them on the synth.  Presumably there were other sound CDs that could also be loaded up, but I only saw the one.  I don't know how this helps OP tho.  Maybe look into acquiring a CD slot.slot.Sometimes slot.Sometslot.Someslot.Somslot.SoS

 

I have a "I found a cabin in the woods full of free, imaginary synthesizers" dream from time to time.

 

 

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