Europa: The First Steps to Wavetable Synthesis

Europa’s arrival to Soundation opens up a wide new world of sonic possibilities. With Europa’s wavetable synthesis, you can create complex, dynamic sounds that distinguish your music from the rest. And even though Europa can go to wild sonic realms, you can also keep it as simple as you want. 

There’s nothing wrong with browsing the presets, but if you want to learn the basics, keep reading!

Wavetable

First of all, what is a wavetable? A traditional subtractive synth will have static waveforms. A wavetable is a selection of multiple waveforms you can morph between to change the timbre of the sound. In Europa, you can do this with the shape knob. With the “Basic Analog” wavetable, you move across the common sine, triangle, square, and saw waves. To get a crazier sound, just switch out the wavetable to something like “Complex.”

LFO

LFO stands for “low-frequency oscillator,” which means it’s just like a regular waveform, only a lot slower. However, instead of producing a sound, it can control the values of other parts of the synth. If you choose an LFO in the wavetable section and turn up the modulation knob, you’ll notice that the waveform starts moving on its own. Instead of turning the shape knob yourself, the LFO does it for you. The more you turn it up, the more the LFO will modulate the wavetable. You can also adjust the type, speed, sync, and more in the LFO section.

Envelope

If you want more control over the movement, you can change the modulation source to an envelope. Think of these envelopes as more customizable LFOs. Pick a preset, move the points around, and double click to create a new point. It’s like you’re drawing your own waveform! As with the other settings, you can make it behave however you want it to. Turn on the loop and beat sync to create a rhythmic pattern, for example.

Scratching the Surface

The sound design capabilities don’t end there. There are multiple engines, modifiers, spectral filters, harmonics, unison, a mixer, a filter, amp envelope, and six effects (all of which you can also modulate with the LFO’s and envelopes.) Experiment and see what happens – don’t feel like you need to learn everything at once. Taking it step-by-step is how even the most famous producers learn. 

Here are some audio examples where every sound, including the drums, come from the Europa.

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