Behavior of Harmonics Editor

I have a question about the Harmonic Editor. When I’m editing harmonics in a Partial, if I for instance have Harmonic 1 set to a level of 1.000 and Harmonic 2 set to a level of 0.500 (i.e., half-scale), how many dB down is Harmonic 2 from Harmonic 1? If the scale value is strictly normalized amplitude, then Harmonic 2 would be 6dB down from Harmonic 1, but is that how the plugin is coded?


Synclavier V is based on the original Synclavier software. Syncalvier V is a Joint development by Arturia and Synclavier Digital.
Synclavier V can use the original Synclavier Timbres. Some are in your first install of Synclavier V.
I assume the differences in db is around the same in Syncalvier V. But i have no idea how many db it is. I would guess it’s around a 3 db difference between harmonic one and two in your example. The amplitude seems to be half of the start amplitude when the value is split in two. But again, i don’t know the db for sure.
Where do you have the 6 db in the original from? And why does it matter? I’m interested.
You have a visual of the waveform in Synclavier V and you can hear the result.
Perhaps Arturia can tell about the db for sure, if they wan’t to.

-3dB corresponds to a halving of power but -6dB corresponds to a halving of amplitude.

The provenance of the Synclavier V plugin really isn’t germane to the question, but the reason I ask is that I’m in the process of developing timbres (aka “patches”) for the Synclavier V to give me the general effect of a pipe organ and what I’m using to base this on is this article that contains this graph indicating the relative level of harmonics for a midrange diapason pipe. As you can see, the author produced that graph in the form of relative amplitudes of harmonics given by their harmonic number, which is just how carrier partials are designed in the Synclavier V. But here’s the thing: if I want to set up a partial just like that graph, I would set the level of the first harmonic to 1.000 - but what do I set the second harmonic to? Per the graph, it looks like it’s about 18dB down from the first harmonic. If the level sliders work linearly, then I’d set the second harmonic’s slider to a value of 0.126 but if they work logarithmically, I’d want to set the second harmonic’s slider to a value of 42/60=0.700 (in which case, the sliders would look just like the graph. I’m rather hoping the sliders work logarithmically because if they don’t, the eighth harmonic, at -53dB down, would have its slider set to only 0.002.

I thought you meant that the original Synclavier did have the 6 db. My question was about where you had that from.
I think Synclavier V follow about the same rules as the original Synclavier.

If you select SAW waveform, then you see the harmonics in direct values nearly follow the harmonic rules for a SAW - 1/harmonic number.
Perhaps that can help you.

I think in your example that a slider set to 0.002 might be correct.

Hope you find your sound.

I’ve since tried setting partials’ harmonics as per the graph of diapason pipe harmonic amplitude with the assumption that the Synclavier V partial controls work logarithmically and what I’m getting sounds not unlike examples of real diapason pipes I’ve been able to find on YouTube. I want to learn the opening “Clotho” section of “The Three Fates” as a demonstration and I found a transcription online in which someone had indicated the stops (although without saying whether it was diapason, flute, etc.; I just rolled with diapason). It says the right/left-hand part is 8’, 4’, and 2’ so I made Partial 1 be the 8’, copied it to Partials 2 and 3, and transposed them up one and two octaves respectively. For the pedals, the transcription indicated 32’, 16’, 10-2/3’ (that is, down a fourth), 8’, and 4’ so I pulled the same copying stunt with Partials 4, 5, and 6 and used the Key Dynamics tab to put the manuals registration from G3# on up and the pedals registration from G3 down.

It very much helps to introduce some kind of detuning (to include the Chorus controls) when making a timbre like this, otherwise everything sounds bad. But the detuning has to be very slight; if not, it’s still an amazing sound but it’s no longer evocative of a pipe organ.

This is the first time I’ve done anything with the Synclavier V plugin and the first time I’ve tried working with any kind of additive synthesizer (as long as you don’t count Hammond organ!) and I’m rather amazed I was able to get as far as I have in a couple of evenings. This is quite a nice instrument; I can’t imagine what it must have been like to encounter one of the originals in 1980.

Happy to hear you enjoy the instrument.
Please let us know about the final result.