Asymmetrical Clipping in Pure Data

Asymmetrical clipping is clipping (truncation of a waveform), where the positive and negative amplitude peaks of a waveform are clipped to different values. This means we could clip the negative at -1, and the positive at -0.8 for example, and create some interesting harmonics.

This asymmetrical clipping is common in guitar effect pedals, since it’s relatively cheap to accomplish in electronics (with a few diodes). Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty easy to accomplish in Pd too, just using the [clip~] object. The fun part comes in deciding how we can use it musically.

Subaudio, DC Offset, and How they Affect Your Digital Sound

Subaudio are sounds below the range of human hearing–below about 20 Hz. While we can’t hear these sounds, they can make their way into our audio files in various ways and cause some issues for us. Understanding these issues can help us make decisions in tracking, mixing, and mastering to ensure clean bass sounds and the highest possible fidelity in our recordings.

Making Binaural Beats in Pure Data (Brainwave Entrainment)

Talking about binaural beats, claims about their ability to entrain brainwaves, and walking through how easy they are to make yourself in Pure Data.

In binaural beats, two pitches with slightly different frequencies are played, one in each ear, supposedly creating a vibration at the difference tone inside your head, which can be used to entrain your brainwaves to help you relax, get you high, or even affect your behavior. The science isn’t there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace binaural beats as a musical aesthetic, using Pd to make a fun, free “healing music generator.”

…just as long as we use our critical thinking and our ability to find credible resources.

Please TRUST YOUR DOCTOR (not the internet, including my videos) when making your medical decisions.

PlayStation 5, Tempest 3D AudioTech, and HRTF (Sony PS5 Immersive Audio)

The new PS5 audio engine, Tempest 3D AudioTech, creates 3-dimensional sound on any headset by using HRTFs, head-related transfer functions. So what are HRTFs? How does this work? Will it work for everyone? What does this mean for surround-sound setups? What are the five “Types” in the 3D Audio Profile Settings?

This video is a quick overview of what Tempest 3D AudioTech is reportedly doing now at launch (November 2020), and what possibilities and questions there will be in the future.

Sound Synthesis Videos

Since COVID-19 has pushed a great deal of teaching and learning online, I’ve been converting a lot of my synthesis lessons into “micro-lectures”, 5- to 10-minute videos, that can be integrated into online learning.

These videos are all software-agnostic, focusing on principles and fundamental ideas of sound synthesis over any particular synthesis environment.

More instructional playlists are available on my “Teaching” page.