on the loose

Loose Fruit arrived today, and at first I felt a little bit disappointed. It isn’t quite what I thought, but rather, a sort of digitally controlled inverter. Once I started to understand it though, possibilities started to open up.

Most waveshapers are some kind of nonlinear function: level X goes in, level Y always comes out. The shape of that function, and the shape and dynamics of the input entirely determine the output.

This one is time-based. Each time the signal crosses zero, the module decides whether to invert the signal based on values in its internal shift register. The “state” knob sets the contents of that register. Everything else is based on the frequency of zero crossings — which if it’s not a simple wave, is not the same thing.

A wavefolder (and most waveshapers generally) tends to sound its best with simple material that has few harmonics, such as a sine or triangle, and works poorly with square waves. Loose Fruit, on the other hand, works fine with squares and gets much more interesting with more complex shapes, stronger harmonics, chords and inharmonics. It prefers things like Rings, Odessa, or EnOsc.

What I’m not certain of is whether it will hold its own against the combination of Compare2 and Mixwitch. I could certainly detect zero crossings (or whatever range), use it to trigger a gate sequencer, which then decides whether to switch to normal or inverted. The need for a sequencer in the middle does make it more involved, although I suppose I could pick up a Bin Seq. With more control over the comparator it might be worth it though? We’ll see.

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