I've been reading a book about synthesis. Part of the book talks about different synths, and one of these is the Function Modulator. Basically, you're able to mathamatically compute the sine waves generated. For e.g, maybe you'd want a sine wave generated for every x (a saw-wave), or maybe every 2x (square wave). Also, you'd be able to control the amplitude of each sine wave, so in an EQ section, you be able to assign linear, parabolic, exponential functions, etc.

I'd like a way though to control the raw material with which I work, and then process it from there, and function modulators seem to do just that.

Though in searching for such synths, there are no related results returned. So I was wondering if there was a program that could achieve the aim I am looking for.

Thanks in advance for any help :)

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    There's quite a full preview of that book on Amazon - "Function Modulator" therein seems to refer to a facility available on the Kurzweil K2000 synthesizers which allows a modulation source to be calculated as a function of two others. It's about a way to produce a control signal, rather than a synthesis method per se. Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 20:11
  • I think if you do a web search for "additive synth" you might find that's a more common name for a "function modulator". They are rare, possibly because the sound creation process feels less musical on them. Also, looking for a way to apply linear, parabolic, or exponential curves to a sound doesn't make a lot of sense, because whatever we do in synthesis we almost always want it to be periodic. There are periodic forms of those three curves available in many combined and essentially all modular subtractive synths, and aperiodic forms available as envelopes if combined correctly. Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


You could have a look at Csound, Pure Data, SuperCollider, or ChucK to name but a few. These are audio programming environments with full flexibility to do whatever you could think of, including additive synthesis, but be prepared for an intense learning period.


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