Using the ES1 Oscillators

The ES1 features a primary oscillator and a sub-oscillator. The primary oscillator generates a waveform, which is then sent to other parts of the synthesizer for processing or manipulation. The sub-oscillator generates a secondary waveform one or two octaves below that of the primary oscillator.

Figure. Oscillator parameters.
  • Wave knob: Selects the waveform of the primary oscillator, which is responsible for the basic color of the tone. See Setting ES1 Oscillator Waveforms.
  • Mix slider: Defines the level relationship between the primary and sub-oscillator signals. When the sub-oscillator is switched off, its output is completely removed from the signal path.
  • Sub knob: The sub-oscillator generates square, pulse, and white-noise waveforms. It also allows you to route a side chain signal through the ES1 synthesizer engine (see Using the ES1 Sub-Oscillator).
  • 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 buttons: Transpose the pitch of the oscillators up or down by octaves. The lowest setting is 32 feet, and the highest is 2 feet. The use of the term feet to determine octaves comes from the measurements of organ pipe lengths. The longer and wider the pipe, the deeper the tone (for a description of the global Tune parameters, see Adjusting Global ES1 Parameters).

Setting ES1 Oscillator Waveforms

The following table outlines how the oscillator waveform affects your synthesizer sound.

Basic tone
Warm and even
Useful for strings, pads, bass, and brass sounds
Sweet sounding, softer than sawtooth
Useful for flutes, pads
Hollow and “woody” sounding
Useful for basses, clarinets, and oboes
“Nasal” sounding
Great for reed instruments, synth blips, basses

Using Pulse Width Modulation in the ES1

You can freely set any pulse width in-between the square wave and pulse wave symbols of the Wave knob. The pulse width can also be automatically modulated in the modulation section (see Using the ES1 Router). Modulating the pulse width with a slowly cycling LFO, for example, allows periodically mutating, fat bass sounds.

Using the ES1 Sub-Oscillator

The sub-oscillator provides the following waveform options:

  • A square wave that plays one or two octaves below the frequency of the primary oscillator.

  • A pulse wave that plays two octaves below the frequency of the primary oscillator.

  • Variations of these waveforms with different mixes and phase relationships. Their use results in different sounds.

  • White noise which is useful for creating percussion sounds, as well as wind, surf, and rain sounds.

  • You can also completely disable the sub-oscillator by choosing OFF.

Processing Side Chain Signals Through the ES1

The sub-oscillator of the ES1 allows you to run an external channel strip signal through the ES1 synthesizer engine, by using a side chain.

To process a channel strip signal through the ES1 synthesizer engine
  1. Set the Sub knob to EXT.

  2. Choose the side chain source channel strip from the Side Chain menu at the top of the plug-in window.