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Phisynth - Mutin

Phisynth

This instrument was created by Philippe Jelli as part of the dance spectacle Absorbe-moi

The starting idea was to create an instrument dealing with sound synthesis and reacting directly with the movement of the 2 dancers. Their movement is tracked live and analyzed by another computer, then the main characteristics of it (X position, Y position, Height, Width, X gravity, Y gravity, speed and luminosity) is smoothed and transmitted as normalized data into the synth and used (of course with some latency) to modulate any selectable parameter of the sound in real time (external modulation sources 1 to 8).

Inspired by some of the tools I regularly use and love (Access Virus TI, Nord Modular G2, Native Instruments FM8 and Massive) I soon began to build my dream synth, with all the features I wanted, some of those only partially available in the products mentioned above.

4 OSCILLATOR SLOTS, each with :

38 different wave type : sine, tri, saw+, saw-, square, noise, pulse, user editable, wave1 to 30) ;
waveshape mode with adjustable WT index and target wave ;
fully customizable amplitude and modulation envelope ;
selectable time switch for free running (20 to 180000 ms) or synced (128n to 60 bars), quantizable and smoothable, single pass or looping operation ;
snap to grid option ;
adjustable osc parameters like harmonicity ratio, frequency offset, modulation index, etc.. ;
partials editor in user mode to customize the wave up to the 64th harmonic ;
waveform realtime display ;
graphical display meter ;
randomize and clear buttons ;
on / off switch to save some CPU cycles ;

FM matrix with :

FM adjustment between each oscillator and self modulation ;
FM modulation slot (21 modulation sources available) and amount knob ;
out level for each oscillator ;
graphical display meter ;

2 LFO, each with :

7 different wave type : sine, tri, saw+, saw-, square, noise, pulse ;
selectable time switch for free running (0,05 to 50 Hz) or synced mode (128n to 60 bars) ;
quantize button ;
two additional combined modulation sources : LFO 1 X LFO 2 and LFO 1 + LFO 2 ;
randomize and clear buttons ;

2 MODULATION ENVELOPES, each with :

selectable time switch for free running (20 to 180000 ms) or synced (128n to 60 bars), loop or single pass operation ;
adjustable # of points (up to 64), amplitude, offset, and smooth factor ;
snap to grid and retrigger option ;
randomize and clear buttons ;

1 STEP SEQUENCER, with :

selectable length (4 to 256 steps) and interval (128n to 1nd) ;
smoothing option (none / slide / ramp) with adjustable up and down slide / ramp time ;
snap to grid option ;
autorandom feature (triggered at the end of each cycle) with adjustable random factor ;
retrigger option ;
quantize button ;
on / off switch ;

EXTERNAL MODULATION DISPLAY :

used to display the values of each video analysis channel mentioned above ;

MODULATION MATRIX : 16 individual slots each with :

with 21 selectable modulation sources : LFO 1, LFO 2, LFO 1 X LFO 2, LFO 1 + LFO 2, MOD ENV 1, MOD ENV 2, STEP SEQ, AUDIO IN 1, AUDIO IN 2, MIDI IN 1, MIDI IN 2, MIDI IN 3, MIDI IN 4, EXT SOURCE 1 to 8 (see above) ;
32 modulation targets (AMPLITUDE A / B / C / D, FM A / B / C / D, HARMONICITY RATIO A / B / C / D, FREQUENCY OFFSET A / B / C / D, MODULATION INDEX A / B / C / D, FILTER 1 FREQUENCY / GAIN / RESONANCE, FILTER 2 FREQUENCY / GAIN / RESONANCE, LFO 1 RATE, LFO 2 RATE, WAVETABLE INDEX OSC A / B / C / D) ;
inverter switch for modulation signals ;
modulation amount knob ;
randomize and clear buttons ;
modulation amount knob
randomize and clear buttons

RANDOMIZE PANEL :

12 targets with a randomize and init buttons. Randomize factor should follow soon for each target.

FILTERS SECTION :

two filters with selectable routing mode (bypass / parallel / serial) and adjustable frequency, gain and resonance factor (graphically or numerically) ;
in each mode, each filter is either a single or two cascaded biquads ;
10 different standard operation mode for each filter ;
envelope amount slider for each filter ;

filter envelope with :

selectable time switch for free running (20 to 180000 ms) or synced (128n to 60 bars), loop or single pass operation ;
adjustable # of points (up to 64), amplitude, offset, and smooth factor ;
snap to grid and retrigger option ;
randomize and clear buttons ;

MAIN PANEL :

ADSR global adjustments (graphical or numerical) ;
polyphony adjustment (up to 32 voices in the version I use ) ;
Unisson adjustment (up to 5 voices) with detuning and delaying factor (free running or synced) for each voice ;
tempo on / off button and adjustment ;
metronome button ;
75 notes polyphonic graphical keyboard ;
main out level fader ;
combined outs spectroscope and sonogram ;

SPATIALIZATION PANEL with :

the excellent ambisonic panner (copyright © 2008-2010 by Jan Schacher) & ambimonitor (Copyright © 2006 – 2009 by Philippe Kocher), both from ICST Institute for Music and Sound Technology / Zurich University of the Arts - www.icst.net). It is here used as a 4 channels panner (4.1 actually) ;
4 modulations slots with selectable cartesian (X-Y) or circular coordinates (A-D), allowing the spatial position of each oscillator to be specified and modulated individually by one of the 21 available modulation sources. (This allow for example to link the spatial position of one sound to the position of the dancer using the external video modulation sources 1 and 2) ;
modulation amount knob ;
inverter switch to invert the modulation signal ;
randomize and clear buttons ;
graphical display (ambimonitor) with realtime modulated position of all the sources ;

PRESETS AND CONFIGURATION PANEL with :

preset object to save and recall up to 432 presets per bank ;
midi in selector and activity led ;
midi cc selector and activity led ;
audio in selector and meters ;
audio out selector

More features to come eventually :

more modulation destinations
audio in as sound generator for FX operation


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