Waveshaping with Norton amplifiers: modeling the Serge triple waveshaper

Geoffrey Gormond, Fabian Esqueda Flores, Henri Pöntynen, Julian Parker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The Serge Triple Waveshaper (TWS) is a synthesizer module designed in 1973 by Serge Tcherepnin, founder of Serge Modular Music Systems. It contains three identical waveshaping circuits that can be used to convert sawtooth waveforms into sine waves. However, its sonic capabilities extend well beyond this particular application. Each processing section in the Serge TWS is built around what is known as a Norton amplifier. These devices, unlike traditional operational amplifiers, operate on a current differencing principle and are featured in a handful of iconic musical circuits. This work provides an overview of Norton amplifiers within the context of virtual analog modeling and presents a digital model of the Serge TWS based on an analysis of the original circuit. Results obtained show the proposed model closely emulates the salient features of the original device and can be used to generate the complex waveforms that characterize “West Coast” synthesis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Digital Audio Effects
PublisherUniversity of Aveiro
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Digital Audio Effects - University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Duration: 4 Sep 20188 Sep 2018
Conference number: 21

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Digital Audio Effects
ISSN (Print)2413-6700
ISSN (Electronic)2413-6689


ConferenceInternational Conference on Digital Audio Effects
Abbreviated titleDAFX
Internet address

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