søndag 5. januar 2014

Quad saw mixing

Before new years I tried hooking up a simple mixer to mix four saw waves. The mixer consisted of half of a TL072 and five 47k resisors.

While I DID get a mixed output, it sounded worse for every new oscillator I connected. Today I hooked up an oscilloscope to try to see if I could figure out what was going on, and in fact I quickly realized the problem.

When mixing two +/- 5V signals with unity gain, they will occasionally reach +/10V. Mixing three oscillators will result in +/-15V, and four results in +/-20V. The problem is of course that above 14.8V (or thereabouts), the op amp starts clipping, chopping of the tops. This does not sound very nice at all.

By reducing the gain resistor to 12k, the sum of the four oscillators will be within the original +/-5V. And indeed, the output sounds so much better! Now I'm closing in on the buzzing, swarming multi-saw sound I am looking for :-)

I have to rethink the oscillator mixer for the 7-saw though, to prevent clipping at all times. Next up is breadboarding the mixer again :-D

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