We are continuing from the last module where we discussed waveshape generation. In this module, we will talk about Blending Modes, Phase, Sub-harmonic, and Clipping.
Blending Modes in Harmor -
Blending Modes decides how will the Harmonics of Timbre 1 and Timbre 2 will interact, they set a relation between the waveshape in terms of harmonics.
There are 6 blending modes in Harmor
Fade - A simple Morph Between Timbre 1 and Timbre 2.
Subtract - Harmonics of Timbre 2 are subtracted from timbre 1
Multiple - Harmonics of Timbre 1 and Timbre 2 are multiplied
Maximum - The Harmonics with Maximum amplitude are played.
Minimum - Harmonics with minimum amplitude are played
Pluck - The Harmonics follow Pluck Decay.
Let's discuss each of these modes in detail.
1. Fade Blending Mode
Fade blending mode is a simple crossfade morphing between the timbre 1 and timbre 2 waveshape. You can control the fade amount with the mix knob.
2. Subtract Blending Mode
In Subtraction Blending mode, the Harmonic amplitude of Timbre 2 is subtracted from timbre 1.
For Example, let's say that the Fundamental/First Harmonic of Timbre 1 and Timbre 2 are equal in magnitude, then the output of Fundamental frequency at 100% subtraction will be 0.
Note - In the Harmor Manual, Subtract is referred to as "Timbre 1 is Subtracted from Timbre 2" but it is the exact opposite from my analysis.
3. Multiply Blending Mode
In multiplication Blending, the amplitudes of Harmonics from timbre 1 and timbre 2 are multiplied.
For example, if the Amplitude of Fundamental in Timbre 1 is 3 and in Timbre 2 is 3 then the resulting output for the fundamental will be 3*2=6.
A noteworthy property of multiply mode is that if any of the harmonics(weather in timbre 1 or 2) are 0, the output of that harmonic will always be 0; because 0 multiplies by any number is always 0.
4. Maximum Blending Mode
In The Maximum Blending mode, The Harmonics with the highest amplitude are preferred.
For example, if the 2nd harmonic in Timbre 1 is a -6dB while in Timbre 2, it is at -5dB, Harmor will choose The 2nd Harmonic of Timbre 2 which has a large value for harmonic amplitude.
This mode selects the highest amplitudes from both timbre 1 and timbre 2.
5. Minimum Blending Mode
The Exact Opposite of the Maximum Mode, Minimum Blending selects the Harmonics from both timbre 1 and timbre 2 that have the minimum amplitude.
6. Pluck Blending Mode
The Pluck Blending mode is a special case, it is a flexible model that follows the Pluck shape, we will cover more about it when we will discuss the Pluck Unit.
You can also modulate the Timbre 1 and Timbre 2 Mix.
Harmonic Phase In Harmor - Starting Phase, Spectral and Running Randomization
What is Phase in Synth Terminology?
Before we talk about the phase in Harmor, We have to understand the term "Phase" in general. In simple words.
Phase is the point where the waveform begins.
In this sin wave(shown in image) the phase is shown in degree. If your phase. Your waveshape will start playing from the point corresponding to your phase value. 0/360 means the sin wave will start from the beginning. 180 means it will start from the middle and so on.
The phase for a single wave cycle does not have that much of an effect, but when another waveform is mixed into it, the phase will play a very important role in deciding the overall shape and amplitude of the output.
Starting Phase in Harmor
The starting phase as the name suggests decides at which point the waveform will start? The value of phase is from 0 to 360; 180 means waveform will start from the middle.
The phase randomization option triggers a different value for the phase. So anytime when you play a not, you will get a different phase for your waveform. This introduces a very nice character in your sound; Especially with a Sharp Attack sound(Pluck, Bell, Keys, Perc, etc)
There are two phase randomization in Harmor.
1. Running Randomization
Running randomization changes the phase of the entire waveform for every retriggered note. This mode adds some character to the overall output of the Harmor(provided both parts or Unison is active). You can activate it by turning the knob to the right.
2. Spectral Randomization
This is a special Phase randomization case only available to few plugins. This method changes the phase of each harmonic for every retrigger note. The result of this function changes the waveshape and adds very amazing color to your waveform. This works perfectly with the pluck Unit. You can activate it by turning to the left.
Subharmonics has 3 main functions
Add Character to the Timbre
In Harmor we have 3 Subharmonics.
1st Subharmonic always goes 1 octave below the Fundamental Frequency.
2nd Subharmonic goes either 2 octaves below or between 1st and 2nd harmonics.
3rd Subharmonic goes either 3 octaves below fundamental or between 2nd and 3rd harmonics.
You can decide the configuration from the Sub Harmonic option.
That's it for this module, now that you have learned about the phase randomization, Sub harmonics, and Blending Modes in FL Studio Harmor, it will be easy to generate advanced waveshape and timbre. In the next module, we will discuss Harmonic Protection, Harmonic Clipping, and some other functions.