Tim Webb (discchord) offers his thoughts on understanding wavetable synthesis, demonstrating with Animoog on the iPad.
Wavetable synthesis was pioneered by Wolfgang Palm in his PPG synths of the 70s and 80s. With wavetable synthesis, a library of relatively complex wave shapes, rather than sine, square or triangle waves, are used as building blocks of sounds. Dynamic sounds can be created by mixing or morphing between different wave shapes.
Note that Moog calls the heart of Animoog its ‘Anisotropic Synthesis Engine’, which combines elements of wavetable synthesis and subtractive synthesis. Animoog lets you animate the modulation of your wavetable source(s), and then lets you filter the result with virtual-analog filters.
In addition to Animoog’s default wavetables, Moog offers wavetable packs as in-app purchases – and you use Webb’s hack to load your own.