Musical LFO [Pulveriser]

The LFO in the Tremor section in Pulveriser has 3 LFO waveforms which can be used for oscillating the pitch of a synth or sampler device. And yes I hear you say “but that’s possible with any LFO device in Reason!”. True but the cool things about those 3 LFO waveforms is that they will Oscillate the pitch of a synth or sampler device perfectly in tune. Sounds nifty, right?

Two simple steps are only needed:

  • step 1: add a synth or sampler device to the mixer
  • step 2: add a Pulveriser and connect its Modulation Output at the back of the device to the OSC Pitch of the synth or sampler device you’ve added in step 1.

TIP: It’s best to turn the OSC Pitch control to the left, a modulation input of 1 is cool enough to experiment with for the rest of this tutorial.

tremor-lfo-2The Square waveform controls 2 values per cycle/loop: the pitch of the synth or sampler gets transposed up and down related to the original pitch. This means that the pitch which is being triggered by a note sequence or connected keyboard will not be heard. So if you play a C3 note for example it will play everything but that C3.

If you have put the OSC Pitch input control on value 1 for example both a B2 and a C#3 will be played per cycle/loop. So a value of 1 produces a semitone down and a semitone up. A value of 2 means that 2 semitones down and up will be produced. So when playing a C3 on the keyboard or note sequence this will result in a Bb2 and D3 note being produced per cycle/loop.

A value of 12 means 12 semitones, an octave down and up. So for C3 that means a C2 and C4.

The LFO will generate those two notes in a loop based on the Rate value. You can of course set the Rate to sync to tempo to create melodic and harmonic rhythms perfectly in time.

tremor-lfo-3The 3 Stepped waveform will re-pitch into three notes per cycle/loop:

  • step 1: one pitched lower than the original pitch
  • step 2: the original pitch
  • step 3: one pitched higher than the original pitch

Because this waveform contains 3 notes it works best with a triplet timing as Rate value. If you have put the OSC Pitch input control on value 1 for example a B2 a C3 and a C#3 will be played per cycle/loop.

tremor-lfo-4The 4 Stepped waveform will re-pitch into four notes per cycle/loop:

  • step 1: one pitched lower than the original pitch
  • step 2: the original pitch
  • step 3: one pitched higher than the original pitch
  • step 4:  the original pitch

If you have put the OSC Pitch input control on value 1 for example a B2 a C3 a C#3 and a C3 will be played per cycle/loop.

The Rate of the Tremor in Pulveriser is capable of wonderful high Rate values. Please do experiment with it because it can turn a sound into something *uhm* totally different. Using these higher Rate values can result in pitch changes as well. What I like a lot is moving from a slow Rate to a high Rate for sound effects. Sometimes I sample it and tweak it further or use it as a pitched sample in the NN-XT device. The Tremor/Pulveriser is a great sounding oscillator in extreme settings.

TIP: Since the Square and Stepped waveforms use such sharp transients you might use the Lag parameter to make these transients a little smoother sounding.

Time for a little example. I am using the Square waveform here with an OSC Pitch value of 1. So all the notes and chords are shifted up and down in 2 semitones which makes it sound less diatonic but more like quartal harmony. A keyboard player would probably never play this way. Gotta love the machines right?

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One Response to Musical LFO [Pulveriser]

  1. Martin May 19, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Man, that is really nice, never knew that. Looks like Ill have to test out some whole tone and dominant 7 experiments. You’re right, I would never play that, cool.

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