Saw wave with Digitone?

I really start to enjoy the Digitone since the latest update. The portamento feature allows one to create very cool acid-like stuff. I discovered that I can send notes into the Digitone from Ableton, while the internal sequencer can apply its magic on the parameters at a different pattern length than the melody. Very slick.

Anyway, while I have found a simple way to create square waves, I am open to suggestions of how to achieve a nice saw wave with Digitone’s FM engine. I would like to have this as the basis for my acid patches, the closer to a 303 or 101 saw the better. The saw one can get directly from the harmonics seems not to cut it, but probably a combination of harmonics, FM and distortion should do the job.

Any ideas?


… I think there is a preset on bank B that creates a saw, will test that tonight, but I’d still ike to hear how other people “simulate” analog-style waves on the 'Tone.

There are also two sound presets called something like “Saw basic” and “Square basic” (can’t remember the names), they’re good start points.


Init patch -> SYN page 2 level A at 50% -> SYN PAGE 1 feedback level at 50%


In my ears a square is just setting C = 1.00 and A = 2.00 (and around 60 level on A) on e.g. the second algorithm.


Also add extra harmonics using feedback for an extra raspy saw!

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Saw Basic and Square Basic exists to show how to do this. :slight_smile:
It’s pretty straight forward - 1:1 ratios will yield even harmonics (saw) and 1:2 odd (square)

I recommend having the feedback set to about 35 and then using the A Level on algo 1 to adjust the intensity of the modulation.

As for making it sound more analog, I usually introduce some coloration using harmonics, set an operator (usually carrier for me) to some of the stranger square- or saw-like shapes.
Then of course, applying the LP4 filter will work some magic.


Thanks. Have to admit that this feels like my RTFM moment as I have not bothered to look into all the presets first :wink:

Will try some methods to get some unpredictability into the sound. I really, really like the Digitone now, it started as a faw more complicated relationship a few weeks ago, the portamento opens it up to new uses beyond what I thought was possible.

If you have access to a scope (even a software one) it can help you get a good saw wave, even just through trial and error!

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The Multiscope VST plugin that comes with Cubase works fine to check the shape of the wave.


I forget. Is Digitone beta public yet?

There should’ve one in there right?

I use Signalizer for that.

Btw. my problem is solved. The Saw preset does exactly what I was hoping for. Should spend more time looking into all those presets.


I love pads with saws. Just love them. They are great – a little bit of detune and days go by without me noticing.

There are a lot of instructions on how to get sawshapes from fm on the internet, but what are your experiences on getting your buzz on with a digitone?

Depends, what you mean by “buzz” :wink:

  1. The DN allows on SYN2 Page 1 to control the waveform with the HARM parameter. This works either on C, or A and B1. If you tweak the knob the image will change and display various waveforms, which are similar to square, triangle, saw etc. Might be the easiest way to get something like a saw wave.
  2. There are saw- or square- like waveforms possible, if the operator ratio and the FM modulation intensity are chosen well. But don’t expect exact waveforms.
    Example 1: using sine waves and a ratio of 1:2, or 2:4 will generate a waveform which is combined of a saw-part followed by sine waves. Using triangle waveforms makes the image more edgy.
    Example 2: using sine waves and a ratio of 2:5 can generate some square like areas but there are also some sine like wave movements in the waveform too. Using triangles the “squares” become more significant but there will be also some “triangles”.
  3. If some feedback is applied, the whole waveform may get some smaller ripples on its surface or even be destroyed completely.
  4. If I want “buzz”, I use modulated modulation intensity or modulated feedback.

Hope this was a little help. It’s not easy to explain this in short and without images or sound examples :wink:


Saw is usually a good candidate for dub chords. good start point here :


Digitone uses additive synthesis to create additional harmonics that when set properly, can approximate VCO waveforms, including saw. I often start with algorithm 2 when I want to approximate analog sounds because you can treat AC and B1B2 like two independent oscillators of an analog synth. Then, with some judicious tuning and oscillator feedback into what is basically a subtractive filter/envelope path, all sorts of squelchy fatness can be coaxed out of it. Kind of surprising how warm it can sound.

I also like how detuning and LFOs can add “analog” sounding movement.


Rather late to the game here, but on your note about “don’t expect exact wave forms” the init saw has a waveform that looks like this:


It’s CLOSE, but a bit wobbly.

And I’d “made” sawtooth waves on the K2600 in the past, using Saw+ and shaper (which is just a feedback op into a sine) but I’d never thought about what raw feedback operator would sound like itself on the DN.

I actually like very much your suggestions to find saw|square-like settings as that was more or less what I started thinking about trying to create. Sounds that maybe start familiar and then end up someplace different.


Just thought I’d add a bit more. Starting with the init saw from bank B, I moved the mix over to X (B/C as carriers) and played with the ratios over there.

I’d highly suggest anyone who wants to dig into FM get an oscilloscope–software ones work great.

Images I’m working with came from Visual Analyzer.

With ratios dialed in 2:1 C:A, B:1.00/1.00, turn the harmonics to -6.78 and then play with the level knob on A to watch how the waveform changes.

As you play with that level, you’ll see precisely the behavior that @SoundRider was talking about.

Around 75 on the level you get this: image

Ad as you dial it down a little bit you seethe wave turn into this:


If you go back to syn1 and alter the harmonics to -18.69 (looks more like a square wave in the harm graphic) you get this:


Mildly square, with a sine tail. (It’s harder it seems to get a “perfect” square here but I haven’t dug deep yet. Level 0-75 is kind of the pulse width on the square.

This makes sense though–if you consider that on alg 8 the output is two carriers, B and C, with B guaranteed to be a sine wave, it makes sense that the output would be squarelike but still with a sine backbone.

At extreme values, the sine shape of A begins to warp the form and you get this:


What this little exercise has taught me is that there’s alot more palette of sound available by only thinking in saw/square in vague terms. The Harm parameter gives you decent approximation of “what the wave is kinda like” and if you want to dial in further with an oscilloscope, you can.


Also played around with this on the basic square patch. (B001)

It seems the sweet spot for either a saw or a wave hits with levels around the 75 mark.

The basic square waveform uses 2 operators to achieve a square and while it sounds (to me) like a pretty perfect square the shape is this:


Also note that applying harmonics to B (north of 0) gives you a bit of a saw buzz mixed in there too.

So there’s several variables to play with.


In this short video you can hear some of saw wave sounds from digitone: