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Modulating

This article continues from the previous articles, and assumes you have an Oscillator Node, a Gain Node, and an Audio Destination Node already placed and you can hear the sound you made. It is also assumed you have basic understanding on how to use the Patcher, as described in the previous articles.

The Oscillator Node has 2 inputs that are not enabled by default. These are the Detune Input and the Frequency Input, allowing you to control the Detune and Frequency settings from the outside, using a control signal (or sometimes called control connection).

Control connections are similar (and technically identical) to audio connections, but are used to automate some options instead of carrying audible sound. They are visualized with purple, instead of blue.

In this article, we’ll hook up an LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator) to the Detune Input. First, the Detune Input needs to be activated:

  1. Open the properties panel of the Oscillator Node (right click or touch and hold, then Properties)
  2. Click on the “Time” icon to the right of the Detune setting

This creates a new input on the Oscillator, colored with purple. Create an LFO Node, we’ll use this to modulate the detune, by simply connecting the LFO to the Detune Input. Play to hear your sound.

Now there’s a small issue here: we don’t hear any difference. The problem is that the LFO output value goes between 0 and 1 by default, but the Detune Input needs its input given by cents. 1 cent of detuning is barely audible, so we’ll need to amplify the effect:

  1. Open the properties panel of the LFO Node
  2. Set the Output min. value to -200, and the max. value to 200

And there we go, modulated pitch. You should be having something like this now:

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