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Instruo Tanh3 - 3 Channel Analogue Waveshaper

tanh[3] | taentʃ  | noun (mathematics) the hyperbolic tangent of (x); or as a verb... "a'm gonna tan-h that"

Tanh3 is a three channel, all analogue, wave shaper. It takes an input signal and outputs the hyperbolic tangent function [tanh(x)] for that signal.

In more useful terms, it adds curves to a signal.

Traditionally the circuit is used to shape a triangle wave to a sine but when used with more complex signals it behaves as a single knob limiter.

For many Max/MSP and / or PD users, the [tanh~] object may be familiar. It is likely a much used secret weapon in may contexts!

Describing what the Tanh3 does to a signal, both mathematically and sonically can be a headache, and not particularly useful. So we will describe some particularly fun use cases to give a bit of context.

Feedback Control:

Feedback is fun. But Feedback can get unpredictable. The user can insert Tanh3 in the feedback path and use it to reign in runaway feedback. Whether it's feedback in a delay loop, a reverb, a filter or a straight up microphone. In this context, it functions as a limiter on feedback amplitude. Instead of fading away to to silence, when longer sustain is desired, or running away uncontrollably, a signal can be controlled much more easily with a Tanh3. There will be a much wider range at which a feedback oscillation will stabilise musically.

Wave Shaping:

Running a triangle wave through a Tanh3 will allow for some interesting wave shape control. Fully anti clockwise and the resulting signal will be a slightly attenuated pass through of the original triangle wave. As the level is increased, the corners will soften and the waveform will shape into a sine wave. When a level has increased the sine will soft clip and eventually settle into a unique peaked waveform.

Limiter / Distortion:

Tanh3 reacts very well when the user runs a complex audio signal through one of the channels. Drum voices especially! The effect is sonically similar to compression but achieved through wave shaping as opposed to gain reduction. Limiting is a more appropriate description but it definitely has it's own unique characteristic. Increasing the level will introduce soft clipping distortion / overdrive.


Max Depth:27mm
Power:+12V: 15mA

-12V: 10mA

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  • Manufacturer: Instruo
  • Product Code: Tanh3
  • Availability: 3
  • £95.00
  • Exc VAT: £79.17


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