Some [Over]simplified Science of Sound Synthesis – Ring Modulation

August 15, 2021 0 By GerenM

Following a recent Discord discussion of Ring Modulation in sound synthesis, I put together a little video demonstration of the something called “ring modulation.” In synthesizers, this is a method of using one audio source to modify, or modulate, another. It’s also the basis of amplitude modulation. Think AM radio. It’s also the basis of a vocal effect called vocoding. Think the Dalek’s battle cry of “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!”

Both A.M. and vocoding pile a lot of additional processing into the mix before getting a fully usable result. And, in creating synthesizer sounds, ring modulation can be pretty brutal when taken to extreme. In any case, here’s an audio and video demonstration of how it works, without all the really pesky math.

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