Alias-free Virtual Analog Oscillators Using a Feedback Delay Loop

Juhan Nam; Vesa Välimäki; Jonathan Abel; Julius Smith
DAFx-2009 - Como
The rich spectra of classic waveforms (sawtooth, square and triangular) are obtained by discontinuities in the waveforms or their derivatives. At the same time, the discontinuities lead to aliasing when the waveforms are digitally generated. To remove or reduce the aliasing, researchers have proposed various methods, mostly based on limiting bandwidth or smoothing the waveforms. This paper introduces a new approach to generate the virtual analog oscillators with no aliasing. The approach relies on generating an impulse train using a feedback delay loop, often used for the physical modeling of musical instruments. Classic waveforms are then derived from the impulse train with a leaky integrator. Although the output generated by this method is not exactly periodic, it perceptually sounds harmonic. While additional processing is required for time-varying pitch shifting, resulting in some high-frequency attenuation when the pitch changes, the proposed method is computationally more efficient than other algorithms and the high-frequency attenuation can be also adjusted.