eurorack, modularsynth, beatppl, corry, digitone, ess-mattisson, linux, modbap, osiris, osirisedit, paul-schreiber, pinball, prebuild, rhythms, waveedit, wavepack

When Corry from Modbap asked me to contribute some samples for his (then) upcoming Osiris wavetable oscillator I jumped at the chance. But to be honest, I had no idea what this particular form of synthesis was about.

It came as a bit of a surprise that this technique has been around since the 70's. When I saw that there were a couple of other makers making a go at it I was quite curious to dive in.

Fortunately, without having to wait for a prebuild, I was able to begin experimenting straight away with OsirisEdit, Modbap's port of WaveEdit, Synthesis Technology's open-source wavetable editor.

Well, that's not quite the whole story. The Osiris module has a specific WavePack format that's suited for their particular implementation of wavetable magic. OsirisEdit, therefore, is a port with some critical differences under the hood. Unfortunately, after a few days of effort I found out that the Linux port of OsirisEdit was not utilizing these Osiris-specific functions. My only option would be the Mac version. Alas, I didn't have a Mac.

I wrote at some length about my journey to revitalize a 9 year old Mac Mini I'd found for dirt cheap online. Suffice to say, I got it all working and made the deadline.

Given that I didn't actually have an Osiris to test with, I found myself focusing entirely on the capabilities of OsirisEdit by way of the wonderful WaveEdit program.

I have to stop here and draw some attention to Synthesis Technology's interesting past and present. There are eurorack modules a plenty, going back as far as 2010. Owner, Paul Schreiber, also has his hands in the pinball game, retro computing, and who knows what else.

But I digress.

From what I'd gleaned about wavetable synthesis, it was generally a unique tool for discovering interesting oscillator-like sounds; pads, leads, bass lines, that sort of thing. What really struck me about my first foray into this technique was largely the editor interface and tools for sound crafting. I was immediately captivated by pitching and slowing things down to the point where it became possible to craft rhythms instead of tones.

That rhythmic exploration was the basis for my contribution to the Osiris factory WavePack. This ability to traverse a rhythm on what felt like a microscopic level seemed quite novel and interesting to me. I hope it translates well on the module and I look forward to exploring that geography more when I get one.

The factory bank also includes a pack from Corry / Beatppl, Sonic Xpansion, and Ess Mattisson, the developer behind the Osiris, who you might also know as the developer behind Fors, as well as Elektron's popular Digitone synth.

Give it a twirl at your local shop or watch some videos and let me know what you think.


January 29

1 Comment • Newest first


I always forget that complex waveforms can be used as a rhythmic source at those extremely slow speeds. Thanks for the reminder! I know what I'm going to be exploring the next time I sit down to play.

Reply January 30