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An octave is a typical musical internal. For example, all of the “C” notes on a keyboard are octaves apart from each other. To play a note that is one octave higher in tuning, you need to double its pitch; to play an octave lower, you need to cut the pitch in half.

In patch terms, this typically means adding or subtracting 1 volt to get a one octave change in pitch; some oscillators also have octave switches on their front panels that add or subtract these voltages for you (all they are not always perfectly accurate; you often need to re-tune after switching octaves). Suboctave or subharmonic generators divide the input pitch by 2 or 4 to create new waveforms that are one or two octaves lower in pitch, which adds bass.

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