in trying to learn more about the nuts & bolts of modular synthesis, i've seen triangle core VCOs being a hot topic keyword and haven't been able to keyword search anything that explains WHY. i've checked youtube demos for intellijel's super popular dixie II+ out and didn't hear anything different than a standard VCO, or even digital ones doing standard sawtooth, sine or square waves so there must be something i'm missing as it seems more like marketing hype than some revolutionary way to get new & exciting tones like you can with a wavetable VCO.

what's the big deal about triangle core VCOs? i can hear a lot more variation between VCFs


My understanding is that triangle core, say from an Intellijel Rubicon, produces a more accurate text-book sine wave than a sawcore. And that fits right in with the whole 'west-coast'/Buchla aesthetic of starting pure & simple, and adding complexity with a wave-folder. East-coast/Moog style subtractive synthesis prefers a beefy saw wave, chock-full of harmonics, from which you creatively subtract with a filter, getting all kinds of opportunities to sample various filter flavors - so a saw-core oscillator, like a Tiptop z3000, serves that up nicely.


It's easier to get a good sine wave from a triangle core, but the triangle itself is also cleaner than the triangle that you get from a saw-core oscillator. There are also differences in the sync: a saw core more easily supports a "hard" sync that resets the oscillator to its zero point, whereas with a triangle core it's usually easier to implement a "reversing" sync. Different sound, not necessarily better or worse, but some people prefer it.

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