The operators and modulation section provides controls to set the basic timbre, tuning, pitch modulation, panorama and volume of each of the Heisenberg’s four operators. It also provides controls to set the amount of phase modulation among the operators. Additionally, it also lets you set the amount of operator amplitude and filter cutoff frequency modulation by the Heisenberg’s three envelopes, two LFOs and the velocity of incoming notes.

Heisenberg operators and modulation section
Figure 7.9.2: The Heisenberg's operators and modulation section.

  1. Wave: These selectors set the shape of the waveform produced by each operator. Click them to open a menu of 49 different waveforms including sine, parabola, circle, triangle, sawtooth, square, composite, formant, and other exotic waves. These waveforms were pre-computed with a plotting application and later filtered to sound less digital. Click on the desired waveform, then click the small close “X” icon on the top right corner to close the menu and return to the main interface.
  2. Ratio/Semitone: These knobs shift the pitch of each operator in semitones or as a ratio of the incoming note’s pitch. Click the knobs’ label to change between both units. In semitone mode, the knobs’ range covers 72 semitones, or 6 octaves, below and above the original pitch, plus negative infinity at minimum. Octave pitch shifts occur at multiples of twelve. In ratio mode, the knobs range from a factor of 0 at minimum to a factor of 64 at maximum. Octave pitch shifts occur at powers of two. Note: Whole ratios always tune operators to a harmonic of the incoming note’s pitch an are the most useful to get pleasing sounds when using phase modulation.
  3. Offset: These knobs further shift the pitch of each operator in hertz and cover a range of 9,999.99 Hz below and above the ratio/semitone adjusted pitch.
  4. Pitch: These switches engage the modulation of each operator’s pitch by the pitch envelope.
  5. Phase modulation: Each row of knobs set the amount by which each operator, including itself, modulates the operator’s phase as a percentage from no modulation at minimum to full modulation at maximum. Note: You can generate noise by using self modulation.
  6. Pan: These knobs set the panorama of each operator from hard left to hard right.
  7. Level: These knobs attenuate the volume of each operator in decibels.
  8. Amplitude modulation: Each row of knobs set the amount by which the three envelopes, the two LFOs and the velocity of incoming notes modulate the amplitude of each operator as a percentage from no modulation at minimum to full modulation at maximum. Note: The main envelope always modulates the amplitude of each operator fully. Setting a modulation value simply reapplies it, multiplying its effect.
  9. Filter modulation: These knobs set the amount by which the three envelopes, the two LFOs and the velocity of incoming notes modulate the filter cutoff frequency as a percentage of the filter’s frequency range from full negative modulation at minimum through no modulation at zero to full positive modulation at maximum. Note: When you use negative modulation, you effectively invert the shape of the modulating signal.

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