Ambika 4P?

So a while ago I played an Ambika SMR4 for a while, didn’t really click with it but didn’t really understand much of how it worked and how to get the most from it. Seemed to me that the SMR4 filter was likely a little too sweet, I’m not a roland guy, I like my synths more CEM. So a little while back I picked up an Ambika 4P, because the few demos sounded drier and more present than the SMR4 I played .

Problem is now I hear very clear the low-fi nature of the waves. Were they always there? Did the SMR4 mask that more? I just seems that the bare waveforms are thin, side from the sawtooth really, and so you need to beef them up with the sub, but even then the higher notes on the keyboard just seem to be tinny and missing presence. This is in contrast to something like the SQ-80, where the waves just sound full, even though I think they are lower bit res I’m starting to think that the 4P wasn’t for me. The higher notes espeically just sound really thin, better if you flesh out the more interesting waveforms with artificats like vowle with a sub, but still, even then.

But based on design, would the SMR4 sound better, more ‘hi fi’ in a sense? And it seems really easy to get distortion in various places (ie: oscillator volume), and not always in a good sounding way).Or is the Ambika by nature a more grungy lowfi wavetable with analog filter hybrid? Or is it more like a Waldorif or Pro 2? I really like the IDEA of the Ambika. Tons of transwavs in analog filters with tons of addtonal options like ring and bit crush pre filter.

But does the SMR4 sound more hifi, or a I doing somethig wrong with the 4P? Becuase if I wanted an analog I’d get one, and if I wanted a waldorf, the same thing. I like the unique ideas behind the ambikda, but do its limitations partiulaly at the waveform level, hold it back? Or is this more just 4P? Even when I just open the filter ad no resoance I kinda hear it sounds less full than the SQ-80 with simlar setup.

Thoughts?

Did you try the YAM alternative firmware? It improves the “analog style waveforms” (saw, square, pulse) and gives them more high frequency buzz.
And yes, Ambika has something lo-fi (but still warm and “analog”) to it, which is a big part of Ambikas appeal

Yes, for super clean high definition waveforms with little or neutral filtering I don’t think Ambikas 8-bit oscillators is the perfect choice (better of with an all digital solution), but there are sooo many sweet spots in the crunchy digital meets analog IMHO. I use SMR for sweet poly sounds, and Ladder for mono leads and bass lines.

> Were they always there?

Yes

> Did the SMR4 mask that more?

Probably no. With resonance turned down, there is very little difference between the SMR4 and 4P

> Or is the Ambika by nature a more grungy lowfi wavetable with analog filter hybrid?

Yes, that’s what it was meant to be.

> but do its limitations partiulaly at the waveform level, hold it back?

Depends on what kind of music you make. There are people who are absolutely into this “transition from analog to primitive digital” sound, need it for their productions, and cannot really get it from any other synth.

So it’s the 8 bit waves I’m hearing, I didn’t realize the Ambika was only 8 bits. I’m guessing Braids fixes this, yes? I have always wanted to stay FAR away from modular cause I know it’s an addicting ocean. But I do have a wonderful Anushri I love. Using Braids, a Happy Ending kit, and Anushri, you’d have a full synth, no need for additional VCAs or anything else, correct?

Unless I’m wrong this shows (diff faceplate) Braids and Ripples playing together, would likely sound similar I guess:

I must admit I’ve always been curious to hear what rings would sound like with analog oscillators going through it, not so much pings even but pads. But this is where things could start to get expensive. But I like the way Braids sounds, with Anushri that could be a lot of fun, cause you don’t need to buy separate VCA and such.

> So it’s the 8 bit waves I’m hearing

No, it’s unlikely to be due to the 8-bit resolution. Except on a sine wave or at low amplitudes, you can’t really distinguish 8-bit from higher resolutions. When the waveform is full resolution and rich in harmonics, you just can’t hear the quantization noise.

What you seem to dislike is just the lack of sophistication in the synthesis algorithms - in particular with respect to band-limiting. The stuff in Shruthi/Ambika is as good as the processor allows, but still very crude/limited given that we have a very basic processor running them.

> Braids fixes this, yes?

10x faster processor and only one thing to do (one oscillator instead of two, no MIDI, no modulations…). Yes, it’s wayyyyyy deeper and hi-fi than the Ambika/Shruthi oscillators.

> Using Braids, a Happy Ending kit, and Anushri, you’d have a full synth, no need for additional VCAs or anything else, correct?

Not correct. How would you modulate Braids’ parameters? The Anushri doesn’t have CV outputs.

And you’re aware this would be mono, right? There are plenty of reasons why getting a Braids or more generally a modular system is a good idea, but if what you’re trying to improve upon is a polysynth with MIDI, mmmm, you’ll be disappointed.

> would likely sound similar I guess:

You’re hearing 1% of what these two can do. Only one model from Braids, and a focus on audio-rate modulations on the filter. Note very representative.

Maybe this is more representative of the sound palette.

> I must admit I’ve always been curious to hear what rings would sound like with analog oscillators going through it

Whether the oscillator sent through it are digital or analog, it would sound like the same kind of vowelly garbage.

A resonator carves a pitched tone from an unpitched excitation. Sending an already pitched tone to its input kind of defeats the point - it’s like processing the output of a low-pass filter with another low-pass filter.

great video, though it def sounded like it had filtering, no? as for using with anushri, forgot no outs on the anushri envelope or lfo. oh well.