Phase settings on oscilators

Hey Guys,

So Maybe I imagined this but I remember hearing in one of the tutorials here that if you have two oscillators doing the same waveform you should change the phase settings of one so it doesn’t match? (not sure if it mattered if it was the same octave or not).

I’ve noticed however that in alot of the (fairly reputable) sound banks I’ve been looking through for sylenth that the majority of presets simply don’t do this… they just have like 4 saw waves all in the same phase. So my question is basically, what are some common pragmatic reasons (beside simply changing the sound seemingly randomly) for changing the phase settings?

Also I remember hearing in one of the tutorials that if you don’t detune multiple voices from the same oscillator you are effectively just increasing the volume, but after doing some A / B with matched volume levels I have noticed that 8 voices sounds a lot ‘fuller’ than the single voice even without any detuning, is this just my imagination here?


On original Analog synths the OSCs started running as soon as you turned it on and when you pressed a key it basicly just turned the volume up.

So every time you hit a key the OSC would not be starting from the same place… like wise if you played a chord the start positions of each note would be pretty random and not phase locked.

most modern so called V.A. use High sample rate tables to replicate the OSCs this normally means that when you play a note the wave starts from the exact same position every time.

Synths like Sylenth have a retrig button to enable you to switch this functionality on or off. when retrig is on every time you press a key the wave starts at the same point every time, when its off it starts at random start point.

Sometimes the phasing induced by having retrig on can sound too phasey and can cut out some freqs… you can play with the phase control to try to seperate the start times enough that it will shift the phase and you regain the freqs you where loosing.

so sometimes you will want it phase locked sometimes you will want it random… totally up to you and the sound you are trying to create.

Basses i tend to keep the lower octave with retrig on and if im using 2 different low OSCs that are both retriged i might adjust the phase to get a better tone.

on string, pads suepersaw leads i normally have retrig off as if gives amore open rich and random sound reminiscent of classic poly analog synths.

that clears a lot up, thanks for the help phil