WOPR is a polyphonic, stereo virtual analog synthesizer with totally unique evolving modulation driven by vintage 1970s cellular automata. It’s made for iPad 2 or later only. WOPR is a performance instrument, a stand-alone instrument in the same spirit as the Korg Monotron.
It’s brilliantly playable: the full-width Wribbon keyboard lets you play pitch-perfect notes every time, then bend them like a guitar god to convey your inner pain to the screaming masses.
It’s performance-friendly: you can create customized control panels for comfortable access to parameters. That’s much better than contorting your fingers to fit some tiny panel layout.
WOPR is a seriously powerful analog, but what sets it apart is its modulation grid: you paint a pattern of cells into a grid, set the tempo, hit ‘run’ and let the cellular automata evolve your pattern. You link areas of the grid to any of the synth’s parameters and your patches come to life, rhythmically pulsating as the patterns shift with each beat. Constrain parameters to ranges for tight control over rhythmic modulation, or set them free to dynamically breed new patches.
Being a virtual analogue synthesizer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include some allusion to the past. Here it is: the modulation grid is a bona fide 1970s invention called Conway’s Game of Life. Look it up, marvel at the infinite variety of patterns, geek out on the math, then put them to work twisting knobs in WOPR.
The core synth engine justifies its powerful modulation. WOPR has:
- 2 pannable oscillators with sine, saw, square and triangle waves. Each oscillator has an incredible range: 32′ to 1′, with +/- 500 cent detune (a perfect fourth either way). There’s also a white noise generator.
- 3 ADSR envelopes, 2 assignable between osc 1 & 2 and the third dedicated to the noise source.
- 2 fruity, resonant 24Db/octave low pass filters, assignable to osc 1 & 2 or to the left and right stereo channels.
- 2 delays, a free-running delay with fine control over low intervals, and a tempo-synced delay running from 32nds to two whole beats. Delays are independent, or can be assigned to feed eachother in any sequence. Howls, rings and reverbs are easy to create; so are good, old-fashioned solid, rhythmic delays.
- 2 octave, full-width Wribbon keyboard: play piano like a guitar, bending individual notes or entire chords. All without losing fixed-key pitch accuracy when you don’t want to bend. Best of all the whole width of your iPad 2 is there for performance.
- 6 voice polyphony. If that’s not enough (maybe you have tiny fingers), it comes with the best note stealing algorithm on the iPad.
- Modulation matrix: use this to link controls to the Game of Life, or simply use it to define a custom control panel for easy performance.
WOPR is version 1.0.0. It doesn’t yet have these features, but they’re being worked on:
- Audio copy/paste (it’s coming soon.)
- A giant preset library. (More are available for free download within the app.)
WOPR’s architecture might change a bit too. It’s young and has a lot of growing up to do. Right now Omnivore is experimenting with stereo BPF & LPF filters that you can insert into various places in the signal pipeline. We’re looking at ways to drive a wavetable library from the grid, too. Feedback is welcome, so please send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, what does WOPR stand for? Anything you like. Wave Oscillator Piano Replacement? Wickedly Optimized for Phat Response? Who knows. All we can say is that it’s the synth David Lightman would choose…
All sounds self-programmed: Oberheim OB-X Analog Synthesizer from the year 1979
recording: multi-track without midi, sequenced by the SCI Pro-One step-sequencer over CV/Gate and synced with the TR-808.
drums: Roland TR-808
fx: a little bit delay and reverb
more info: http://www.retrosound.de
About the synth:
The Oberheim OB-X is an analog polyphonic synthesizer first commercially available in June of 1979 . It was the first Oberheim synthesizer that was created with internally pre-wired modules (albeit still mostly discrete circuits) and not with the earlier, unwieldy S.E.M.s (Synthesizer Expander Module). Because of this, it was more functional for live performance, and more portable. It was hurriedly introduced to compete with competitor Sequential Circuits’ Prophet-5, which took the industry by storm during the prior year. While the OB-X had moderate success in the limited numbers produced (aprx. 800 units), the design was quickly updated and streamlined with the OB-Xa; the OB-X being discontinued in 1981.
Originally, the “X” in OB-X, stood as a variable for the number of voice-cards – thus, polyphony – installed. Whereas earlier Oberheim modular systems would require multiple S.E.M.s to achieve polyphony, the OB-X condensed the S.E.M. down onto a single printed circuit board called a “Voice Card”. Using this method, along with the Z-80 microprocessor to program the cards, the OB-X was far less laborious to program than it’s ancestors. It came in four, six, and eight-voice models. The starting price for the base model of only 4 voices of polyphony was a steep US$4,595. Besides the generous polyphony, each OB-X came with a memory capable of holding 32 user-programmable presets, along with polyphonic portamento, and polyphonic sample and hold. Also, a first for Oberheim’s polyphonic range were the “paddle” levers for pitch and modulation. This was Oberheim’s answer to the then standard “wheel” style controls seen on the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. The OB-X would be used by artists such as Nena, Rush, who used it extensively on “Moving Pictures” and “Signals” Queen, being the bands first Synthesizer to appear on an album Prince, who swore by the Oberheim OB line, and Jean Michel Jarre who used it for it’s massive brass-type sounds. The OB line of Synthesizers developed and evolved even after the OB-Xa with the OB-8, and finally the Matrix series of synthesizers.
SonicProjects have created a VSTi emulation of the OB-X, for Windows and Mac platforms called the OP-X, with near-identical sounds to the hardware version. Widely praised as the most accurate emulation of an Analog Polysynth, SonicProjects include multiple versions of the OP-X including two “Pro” versions.
A demonstration of some of the features and sounds from Tronto. The aim of this synth was to make it as analogue and characterful as possible, sampling the waveforms through vintage valves to quarter inch tape.
Available very soon from : www.tronsonic.com
Sign up to the site to be eligible for a 50% introductory discount (terms to be announced).
More sounds from Tronsonic:
Korg MS-20 Series :
Ten ways to have fun with a Korg MS-20
1-Basic Plogue Bidule polysynth passing through the filters of my Korg MS-20
2-Korg MS-20 acting very strange
3-Duophonic Korg MS-20
4-Duophonic Korg MS-20 (2)
5-Korg MS-20 complexely arpeggiated by Plogue Bidule
6-Korg MS-20 arpeggiated – Filters’s resonance only !
7-FM-like sounds with a Korg MS-20
8-Crazy feedback loop with a Korg MS-20
9-Let’s jam ! Korg MS-20 sequenced by Plogue Bidule
10-Let’s jam again ! Korg MS-20 sequenced by Plogue Bidule
Hello ! My name is Frederic Gerchambeau. I have made this movie and this music. The music has been made in one take using a Korg MS-20, Plogue Bidule and Audacity. Enjoy !
I am a (proud !) member of the french association PWM (Patch Work Music) :
John from Mungo Enterprises demonstrates a brass patch on the State Zero polyphonic modular. By coincidence someone was rehearsing on a french horn in another room which served as an ideal reference.
The Mungo State Zero modular synthesize is pure digital hardware, but uses a hands-on patch-cord interface. It offers 8-voice polyphony, full patch recall and knobs for everything. When you recall a patch, the knobs turn relative to the saved state, and the saved patch cord state is used until you make changes.
Because it’s a purely digital synth, you can’t patch analog gear into the front panel, but this is supported via rear connections.
Kilohearts lets us know that kHs ONE was not designed to be a fat analog beast with a massive warm sound… that just happened anyway. A spokesperson told us,
“We have put a lot of time and effort into making oscillators and filters of the highest quality which gives kHs ONE a pleasantly warm and analog sound. Working with professional musicians and producers throughout the development process, we have made sure that the sound meets their high standards.”
kHs ONE is available as VST and AudioUnit plug-ins. Both 32 bit and 64 bit versions are available on MacOS X and Windows operating systems.
- 2 Oscillators (saw/square/noise)
- Sub oscillator
- 2 Filters
- Per voice wave shaper
- 2 LFOs
- 3 Envelopes (amp/filter/mod)
- 8 voice unison
- 24 voice polyphony
- Env/LFO legato on/off
- Onboard FX: Chorus, Delay, Equalizer and Limiter
Pricing and Availability:
An introduction to the CASSINI Polyphonic Synthesizer for iPad
3 OSCs + 2 Filters + AMP + 9 EGs + 6 LFOs + 3band EQ + Saturator + 2 Delays + Arpeggiator
A closer look at the Cassini synth, below you can find the details of this polyphonic iPhone instrument
Polyphonic Synthesizer for iPhone/iPod touch
3 OSCs + 2 Filters + AMP + 9 EGs + 6 LFOs + 3band EQ + Saturators + 2 Delays + Arpeggiator
* 3 Oscillators plus 1 Sub-Osc
- Sawtooth, Pulse(PWM), Triangle, Sine, Noise, FM
- Waveshape Modulation
- Oscillator Sync
- Ring Modulation
* 2 Filters
- LP24, LP18, LP12, LP6, BP, HP
- 3 Band EQ
- Auto Pan
* 9 Envelope Generators
- DAHDSR (Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, Release)
- Velocity, Keyboard Tracking
* 6 LFOs
- Sawtooth, Pulse, Triangle, Random, 16 Step Sequence
- Waveshape Modulation
* Modulation Delay
- Delay Time: 1-2000ms / Tempo Sync
- Delay Time Modulation
* Filtered Stereo Delay
- Resonant Filter (LP, BP, HP)
- Filter Modulation
* Programable Polyphonic Arpeggiator
* Scale/Chord Remapper
* CoreMIDI (input)
* Virtual MIDI-IN & Background Audio
* Scrollable keyboard (Horizontal scrolling at the bottom edge of the keyboard)
- Audio Copy (Compatible with INTUA BeatMaker, Apple GarageBand and so on.)
- Export wav file via iTunes File Sharing
- The recording time is limited to 3 minutes.
Further information at http://iphone.icegear.net/cassini/
Magellan is a new synth with two independent polyphonic engines from Yonac, here’s what they have to say about it:
We’ve been hard at work this year, and are very excited to present our new synthesizer. Magellan boldly travels waters where others have not dared to sail: Two independent polyphonic synth engines, with a total of 6 configurable oscillators. Polyphonic unison mode giving 24 simultaneous wave generators. Two filter banks per synth engine, each bank with its dedicated envelope and 11 unique filter types to choose from. FM synthesis module with blend and dedicated envelope. Dual LFOs in each synth with 4 freely assignable destinations each. Complete FX rack with modulation, time-delay, reverb and wave shaping effects. Dual traditional keyboards, as well as dual touch pad performance interfaces with individual parametric control over each voice. Built in arpeggiator for each synth engine, allowing you to run two different arps simultaneously, as well as a built in analog-inspired polyphonic step sequencer, and much more!
Listen to it here:
Mutable Instruments has announced the Ambika – a new DIY polyphonic synthesizer.
Translucent, polyphonic, DIY and even a bit sexy – the Ambika will allow for six voices. It can be configured so that all of the voices have the same synth design or with unique synth designs on a per-channel basis.
“It’s huge,” they note, “And it draws a lot of power!”
Mutable Instruments Ambika Features:
- Up to 6 voices, each with an individual output — in addition to a global mix output.
- MIDI channels/patches/voices are distinct entities, allowing many different flexible configurations, from 6 independent monophonic parts each on a different MIDI channel, to 1 polysynth, with everything in-between (unison, keyboard split, layering, voice doubling).
- Connectors for up to 6 voicecards. In true Mutable Instruments spirit, you can mix and match voicecards with different filters, and in the future with different synthesis engines.
- Easy to use sound programming interface with a large 2×40 LCD display, 8 knobs, 8 switches and 15 bicolor LEDs. Each module of the synthesis engine has a page, each page has a direct access button.
- Massive patch memory, easy backup/data exchange, fast firmware upgrades with the integrated SD card reader. And there might be other things you’ll load from the SD card in the future…
- Patch versioning and undo/compare/redo of editing operations.
- Sequencer, arpeggiator and rhythmic chord generator available for each part. 2 step-sequences per part. Each part can be clocked at a different multiple of the MIDI clock.
- And of course: DIY friendly, through-hole assembly.