Vital comb filter detuning (illusion?)

It’s really cool that Vital is able to approximate the sounds of plucked strings simply using noise bursts filtered by its comb filters. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that the pitches of the notes played with some of the plucked string presets (such as the default) seem to detune depending on the “blend” parameter of the comb filters. (In particular, the pitch seems to flatten by about a quarter tone when decreasing the blend from ~1.5 to ~0.5 on a band spread comb with a cut of 0 semitones and a resonance of 100%) I personally can’t tell if this is an illusion, or if the resonant peaks of the comb filters actually change pitch based on the “blend” parameter.

@Tytel, if you don’t mind, can you explain what the comb filters are actually doing so I can understand where this apparent detuning is coming from?

The internal filter creates a small phase shift so actually bends the note a little bit depending on the settings.
This bend is different for each harmonic so the harmonics actually are slightly out of tune with each other. Interestingly this also happens in the physical world (though not sure if it’s at all similar in this case).

I’ve considered keeping the fundamental peak constant for a given filter setting but that has its own problems because you’ll get some pitch bending in other harmonics when modulating the blend or internal filter cutoff (CUT param).

1 Like

Wow, thank you for your explanation and quick response!
I completely understand that you wouldn’t want to change any comb filters to do automatic detuning compensation, since that would mess with existing presets. However, I still think it would be nice to have this detuning compensation present in some scenarios, since that would make instruments like the default plucked string stay in tune with whatever tuning is loaded into Vital at the time. For the next version of Vital, maybe you could add…
1: “tuned” versions of all the comb filters that keep the first resonant peak constant at all times, while keeping the classic comb filters which don’t have the harmonic detuning problems of the “tuned” comb filters.
2: LFO shapes or mod remap shapes that could precisely compensate for the detuning of different comb filters at different settings. (I doubt that this would be a very feasible solution, since there’s probably a lot of factors that go into the exact detuning of all the comb filters)
3: a “detune” parameter to all the comb filters which would control how much the first resonant peak detunes based on other parameters, which would be 100% at default. (I’m not sure that this new parameter would fit in the UI with all the other parameters, though)

1 Like