Let’s talk about offsets!
What do they actually do?
Well, you might have used the Detune parameter before - this does virtually the same thing, but using a clever macro mapping, and only affecting certain operators, that is fine tuned to the algorithms and underlying system of the Digitone engine.
This simply adds an offset to the ratio in fine increments, e.g 1.001 (.001 being the offset) - this will introduce a slight drift in the timbre if used for modulation for example.
What the ratio offsets on SYN1 Page 2 offer is a more direct version of that, and this allows for some very specific approaches to sound design.
What is in a ratio?
The Ratio simply takes an input frequency (on Digitone the input is Notes, e.g 440Hz for a middle A) and multiplies it by the value set by you. This means that ratios are relative, and the reason why the ‘shallow’ parameters are handling these mainly in integer values is that this results in a wide variety of musically useful and ‘stable’ timbres, meaning the actual waveform is consistent and does not ‘move’, like the type of waveform you would get from an analog synth, wavetable and so on.
Hold up, this means…
You can now make finely detailed relative detune/drifting, inharmonic sounds with finer control, clusters with additive algorithms, even chords(!) and so on. Each thing has its place, and you will find a use for this in your own sound design with time.
To better get to that point, let’s discuss some cool uses for this new feature!