Sputnik Modular's Variable Waveform Generator module is a Buchla-inspired discrete oscillator that offers unique animation controls. The module features five dedicated audio outputs: sub, pulse, sine, saw, and triangle, and offers linear and exponential FM inputs with attenuators and good tracking. One major change in this oscillator is the inclusion of hard sync, as opposed to the typical triangle core soft sync.
The module offers several animation controls, including a built-in waveshaper, saw animator, and drive circuits with attenuation amount inputs. Users can adjust the level of wave-folding and produce symmetrical and asymmetrical wave-folding effects. The module has a VCO/LFO switch that allows users to switch between VCO and LFO modes. Additionally, it has a hard sync feature that can work with any waveform for varied effects.
The sine output has a slider that controls the level of wave-folding. The output produces a standard sine wave when the slider is down and full effect when all the way up. The module also offers symmetrical and asymmetrical wave-folding effects. A positive CV can increase the effect, and a negative CV will duck the sine in an exponential manner when the slider is low, producing a pseudo ring modulation effect. The slider behaves as an offset for CV, and an attenuator is provided.
For the sawtooth output, the slider control adjusts the position of additional saw waves for an animation effect. Users can choose between three sawtooth wave options: double sawtooth, center position for no animation, and triple sawtooth wave. The slider behaves as an offset for the sawtooth animate CV, with a CV attenuator provided.
The triangle output has a slider that controls the overdrive, offering a standard triangle when the slider is down and full effect when all the way up. Additionally, users can choose between typical soft saturation overdrive on top and bottom peaks, or an asymmetrical soft saturation overdrive that increases width and drive of the top side while decreasing the width and overdriving the lower side substantially less, producing more even harmonics. Positive CV can increase the triangle drive effect, while a negative CV will duck the triangle in an exponential manner when the slider is low, producing a pseudo ring modulation effect.
The pulse output has a slider that controls the pulse width, producing a 50/50 pulse when in a center position. Users can choose between standard PWM between upper and lower wave cycles (EDGE) or PWM between rising and falling edges of the pulse (CENTER). The PWM CV allows positive CV to increase top side duty, while negative CV increases bottom side duty. Higher CV levels or CV + slider offset can increase or decrease the duty cycle to 100/0% for a gated VCA effect. The module also includes a sub-oscillator output, which produces a -1 or -2 octave pulse.
The Variable Waveform Generator offers both linear and exponential FM inputs with attenuators and good tracking. It also has a VCO/LFO switch and a hard sync feature, which can work with any waveform for varied effects. Overall, this module is an exciting addition to any Eurorack system, offering unique waveform animation controls inspired by the Buchla tradition.
If you're a music production beginner, the Variable Waveform Generator by Sputnik Modular can help you achieve a wide range of soundscapes with ease. One thing you can try is adjusting the Sine slider to create a variety of wave-folding effects. Move the slider down to output a standard sine wave, or all the way up to produce a full effect. For even further customization, try using the Sine Wave Fold CV. Positive CV increases the effect, while negative CV causes a pseudo ring modulation effect. Remember to use the attenuator provided to control the overall impact of the waveform animation controls.
Incorporating the Sputnik Modular Variable Waveform Generator into a semi-modular synth setup can greatly enhance sound design capabilities. For example, try using the saw animator to create evolving saw waves, then patch that output into a filter with high resonance and experiment with controlling the animation level using an LFO. This can create complex and dynamic filter sweeps that are sure to impress.
One interesting application of the Sputnik Modular Variable Waveform Generator is to use the sine wave output and the Sine Wave Fold CV input to create pseudo ring modulation effects. By applying negative CV to the input when the slider is low, the sine wave is exponentially attenuated, producing a ducking effect. This creates a pseudo ring modulation effect when done at audio rates and can add a dynamic and unique texture to the sound. The slider can also be used as an offset for CV, and an attenuator is provided for additional control over the effect.