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Single cycle waveforms


I have been making and collecting one cycle waveforms for years. They have been one of my best weapons to use when making sounds. If you have a wavetable synthesizer that can load single cycle waveforms you might find them useful as well.

The collections

AKWF Waveforms (a massive collection of waveforms)
AKWF NewStandards (Clean new shapes. Coming up)
AKWF Nes (Waveforms from the Nintendo 8-bit console. Coming up)

Synths that can load waveforms / oscillator shapes

Shruthi-1, Roland MC-909, Elektron Monomachine, Elektron Octatrack

I have marked the ones I like with * but I don’t know all of them…
*, Harmless*, 3xOSC, Native Instruments Absynth, Camel Audio Alchemy, MetaSynth, Dave Smith Evolver, Symbolic Sound Kyma, Native Instruments Reaktor, Elektron Monomachine*, Ableton SimplerAkai S2000 etc.

Single cycle waveforms!?

Basic waveforms

If you are familiar with basic subtractive synthesizers you probably know the saw, square, sinus and triangle shape that are the most common shapes a oscillator can produce pretty well. Single cycle waveforms are tiny audio files (.wave) that a synthesizer can read to use as oscillator shapes. What it means is new sounds. Some kind of grey area between sampling and synthesis. A raw waveform is very rarely what makes a whole sound but you can see it as presets for oscillators. Happy sound designing!

This kind of technique is also called PCM wavetable synthesis.

Leave a Reply

38 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    Dope! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. Hi sorry for late response! Many are from synthesizers but some are from random sources. Could be from anything, a broken television, a bird, a train, me whistling… It started out as a very chaotic collecting so I don’t really know =)

  3. Made In Machines says:

    Brilliant work! Makes me really tempted to get an Octatrack! Getting one this week so will be trying these out heavily! Are the ‘AKWF New Standards’ available yet? What waves are contained in AKWF_0001 – AKWF_0020 is each one a different synth or what as I’d like to relabel them. Definitely worth donating if I use these! Thanks

  4. lukas says:

    Thanks for sharing, really helpful !

  5. [...] is a great source of all sorts of user created loops. Loops and one shots. All free as well! A great selection of single cycle waveforms from tons of machines. Load these up in your sampler, [...]

  6. sbdj says:

    Thanks for all the hard work in making this collection available. You can add the MC-909 to the list of machines that handle these. I play around with these waveforms for hours and I know I’ll never run out of new sounds. THANKS!

  7. Ted says:

    AK – Thanks so much for all the work on these and for making them available. It’s a really solid collection – I’ve only dipped into all the WAV sets, but am looking forward to trying some in Zebra and on my Blofeld – and taking some photos of fullscreen waveforms and importing into the new PPG iPad app!