Making a “Subharmonicon” in Reaktor

Building a subharmonic synthesizer in Native Instruments’ Reaktor 6 Primary inspired by instruments like the Mixtur-Trautonium and Moog Subharmonicon.

Subharmonics are frequencies that are whole-number divisions of a given frequency (in contrast to harmonics, which are whole number multiples of a frequency). While harmonics naturally occur as part of the timbre of a sound, subharmonics, when introduced, sound like distinct pitches, allowing you to create chords of harmonically-related notes.

This tutorial walks you through making a set of subharmonic oscillators and envelope filter like the ones on the Moog Subharmonicon.

Moog Subharmonicon

More on harmonics and additive synthesis here.

Subharmonics in Pure Data

Quick and easy Pure Data tutorial, making chords from subharmonics (like the Moog subharmonicon). The result is a kind of Coltrane-y generative music system.

Subharmonics are whole-number divisions of a frequency (as opposed to regular harmonics, which are whole-number multiples of a frequency). The resulting “subharmonic series” (or “undertone series”) is an inversion of the overtone series, with subharmonics getting closer the lower (i.e. higher division) that they are. Played together, these harmonics create harmonies quite distinct from those created with overtones.

I go up to the 9th subharmonic here, but of course you can just keep going.

There’s no talking on this one, just building the patch, and listening to it go.

More Pd Tutorials Here