Warps ques

When you use Warps to process two external audio signals (ie: analog sine waves) and use it for something like wavefolding, ringmod, etc., since Warps is digital, is the output sound digital, analog, or some sort of hybrid product of these? How much does this matter to the sound (ie: is digital wavefolding ‘colder’ than analog, in the way that a DX7 is colder than a Prophet 5)?

Oooooh boy.
Preface: I don’t own a warps.

The output has to be analog, in that it comes from a cable.
That’s at least from a practical standpoint.
Problem is, those are seriously subjective questions - I’m willing to bet that you could design a “cold sounding” patch on an analog synth, and a “warm sounding” patch on a digital one, and no-one would be the wiser(at least not unless you were quite anal about it).
Whether a sound is “cold” or “warm” is entirely dependent on the listener, the equipment used, and possibly even the mood of whoever’s doing the judging.
I’m also pretty sure that your whatever you use as your input sounds has much more of an effect on the result than say, whether you’re using a analog wavefolder, or a digital wavefolder.
Then again, I could be wrong.


If it travels on an audio cable, it’s analogue. If it’s data recorded in a computer, it’s digital.

If you can tell the difference between the (analogue) sine wave coming from an analogue synth, and the (analogue) sine wave coming from a digital synth, then, one of the two (or both) are not sine waves in the first place.

Warps has two ringmods: a straightforward multiplication, and an emulation of the analog diode ring+transformer circuit. From what I’ve heard, the second one is accurate. The wavefolder data comes from a Spice simulation of an analogue circuit.

Finally: Warps operates in a way that prevents the apparition of artifacts typical of digital systems (6x2 = 12x oversampling).

But there are analog wavefolders and digital ones (ie: warps). I assume they sound different because of this, yes?

The probably most noticable difference between analog & digital sound processing is that digital models of analog circuits sometimes lack accuracy and therefore don’t model the imperfections of a real thing. This is almost entirely non-relevant today, as available computation power is huge and models are pretty advanced.

But that is all assuming you are after the sound of a analog ringmod. But are you? Maybe the mathematically correct ringmod (harder to do analog, easier to do digitally) is the one that actually sounds better to your ears? Have you tried it?

My advice is: Listen. Don’t care what’s inside. The whole analog vs. digital debate is mostly a religious thing.

Not if they’re both made correctly.
People hear what they want to hear - while some synths have a “cold” quality to them, this is certainly an ethereal, IE non-graspable opinionated quality, instead of factual.
If someone told you that sequence A was analog, and sequence B was digital, then you would like whichever one(analog or digital) you already prefer, finding tons of subtleties that make whatever one you like better “seem” better, even if both were the same sequence, or A was actually digital, and B was analog.

That’s the problem with subjective definitions of stuff - “It sounds warm because it’s got a tube in it!” Isn’t a useful piece of information - It just tells us that whoever said it, believe tubes to impart some ethereal quality of “warm” to the audio. Never mind the fact that what I consider warm, and what you consider warm, may very well be two different things. That’s why “warm/cold” are such useless words when it comes to audio.

Well, not to get us sucked into a gearslutz type discussion, my ears tend to really dislike VA and love classic analog (though not the Dave Smith VCO stuff, though the Korg Arp Odyssey, Erebus, and new SEM are quite good).

I think the sounds you can get with eurorack stuff is beyond the analog / digital thing.
You can mix analog and digital modules and get way beyond traditional analog or VA synths. You could make it sound warm or cold there is no typical character.
I don’t own a warps but the MI stuff (that mostly has a digital nature) tends to have a sound of it’s own that I wouldn’t describe as digital.

> I assume they sound different because of this, yes?

If Warps sounds different from another wavefolder, it’s not due to its being digital, but to some other choices I’ve made. Or: one could design an analog wavefolder that could sound like Warps.

> my ears tend to really dislike VA

Are you sure these aren’t your eyes?

While we’re talking about ring mods and DSI gear, Tom Oberheim fully endorses the DSP clones of his vintage ringmodulators and phasors in the OB-6.

I know that I prefer my Micron to a Rhythm Wolf