Hearing Mixed Sounds and ClippingSounds can be mixed together by adding together the numbers that represent the sounds. In order to control their relative loudness, we can change the amplitude of the individual sounds. In this applet, we mix two SineOscillators using an AddUnit.
Important: the sound card in your computer can only handle a limited range of numbers. That range typically corresponds to a range of –1.0 to +1.0 in JSyn. If you add together oscillators and their sum goes beyond that range, then the result will be "clipped" to fit within this range. This can introduce severe distortion and can sound very bad if you are trying to produce a smooth tone. If you are trying to produce a nasty sound, then this can be a useful technique. Guitar distortion boxes use a similar technique, but they do not clip abruptly at –1.0 and +1.0. They have a gradual distortion that imitates the saturation of a tube amplifier. To prevent clipping, set the amplitudes of your sounds so that they cannot sum to over 1.0. For example, if you have N oscillators, set the amplitude to (1.0/N).
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