The Slinkard Maneuver*
*(Not a paperback bestseller about high-tech espionage in a big city!)
This article will explain how to generate real variable width Pulse Waves on the ESQ/SQ80 or SQ8L VST. Yes! It can be done! And the method used to add this feature has come to be known “The Slinkard Maneuver” since the early 90’s.
But first, let me explain the standard operating procedure around here:
I Know My Limitations
I am not an electrical engineer or hardware genius. If you have a mechanical problem with your synth, I cannot fix it. Rainer Buchty and a few guys on the SQ80 mailing list have that propeller-headed Thomas Edison territory all locked up.
If there is one tiny area of expertise I think I “own”, it is know-how in sound design and synthesis:
Given enough cables, I can patch a modular together to actually produce sound (!).
I used to be an expert in something called SuperCollider for granular synthesis, and I can actually rub four or six FM operators together to produce a harp or a bell piano before it starts to sound like Harvey Fierstein yelling into a garbage disposal (a not-uncommon occurrence, they tell me).
I once wrote enough lines of VB sound statements to replicate a digital sample of a creaky door slamming via the PC “beeper” speaker (because the customer didn’t have Soundblaster cards installed in their 486 PCs). Everyone thought they were hearing the real sample, but it was all square waves chopped up real tiny.