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One of the main properties that make a sound unique is the mixture of harmonics – pure component frequencies – that it is built from. Additive synthesis is a technique that gives you direct control over each of those component harmonics, allowing you to directly dial in the mix you want. As immediate and intuitive as that sounds on paper (or on screen), in reality it takes a lot of work to craft the correct mixture to recreate another sound, especially since the strength of each harmonic usually varies over time.

Additive synthesis oscillators are relatively rare in modular synths; two examples are the Verbos Harmonic Oscillator and the Make Noise tELHARMONIC.

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