Soft sync, also known as weak or loose sync, is a synchronization technique used in modular synthesis to align the phases of two or more oscillators without resetting or restarting the slave oscillator’s waveform cycle completely, as it happens in hard sync.
Soft sync can be used to achieve a more subtle and organic synchronization between oscillators, creating interesting timbral variations and interactions.
When using soft sync, the master oscillator’s rising edge or zero-crossing point influences the frequency or phase of the slave oscillator, gently nudging it towards synchronization with the master. This process does not reset the slave oscillator’s waveform to its starting point, as in hard sync. Instead, it allows the waveform to continue its cycle, only altering its frequency or phase to maintain the sync relationship with the master oscillator.
As a result, soft sync creates a less dramatic and more subtle effect compared to hard sync. It can be used to generate complex timbres, beating, and subtle variations in the frequency spectrum, making it a valuable tool for sound design and experimentation in modular synthesis.