MATRIXSYNTH: Audulus 2 Minute Tip - 3: How to Make a Vibrato Effect

Monday, January 18, 2016

Audulus 2 Minute Tip - 3: How to Make a Vibrato Effect

Published on Jan 18, 2016 Bimini Road

iTunes: Audulus 3 - Audulus LLC

"Vibrato is sometimes confused with tremolo thanks to Fender amps, which incorrectly label their tremolo circuits as vibrato. Vibrato and tremolo are easy to parse however: tremolo is volume (amplitude) modulation, while vibrato is pitch (frequency) modulation. When you wiggle your finger back and forth on a string on a violin, *that's* vibrato - what you are doing is shortening and lengthening the amount of vibrating string between your finger and the tailpiece (or saddle on a guitar).

Making a pitch-shifting vibrato effect that induces frequency changes in audio is a little more complex, so this just focuses on how to add vibrato to an oscillator, which is very easy.

Wondering how to begin designing effects in Audulus? You can't get more simple than a Tremolo.

A Tremolo effect (known to Fender enthusiasts as "Vibrato" but we'll get to that one later) is a modulated amplitude (i.e. volume) level. Electrically, this is usually done by driving a lamp or LED with an LFO circuit, while the audio path runs through a light-dependent resistor (LDR). The Light + LDR makes an Optocoupler. This isolates the LFO from the circuit and keeps your audio path super clean.

In Audulus, however, none of that is necessary. All you need to make a Tremolo is an LFO and a Level node. Apply the LFO's output to the Level node, run your audio in and out, and bam, you have a Tremolo!

This tutorial also shows you some beginning steps you can take to modify the LFO: adding to the signal increases the "floor," or how low the volume gets. Multiplying the signal (really, dividing, since we're multiplying by a number between 0-1), will expand or shrink its overall range.

The 2 Minute Tip series breaks apart topics on Audulus into bite-sized chunks. I don't talk during the tutorials (though there are a few notes that pop up), and this is so that international viewers who don't understand English well don't feel left out. Familiarize yourself with the node menu and my navigation won't be so mystifying. In the future, we'll develop a finger press indicator so you can see where I'm tapping."

More 2 Minute Tip tutorials here.

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