Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Funky40 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:04 pm

fantastic !

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by lisa » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:24 pm

I never thought I would, since I haven’t liked many of the demos I’ve heard (most of them in the ambient realm, I’ve noticed), but I just purchased Odessa. I read the manual and got many ideas. It’ll be interesting to see if I actually gel with it.
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by carlotter » Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:47 pm

Could someone explain to me what the difference(s) are between an harmonic oscillator like this and a complex oscillator like the Furthrrr generator for instance?

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by starthief » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:56 pm

carlotter wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Could someone explain to me what the difference(s) are between an harmonic oscillator like this and a complex oscillator like the Furthrrr generator for instance?
Additive oscillators create different timbres by mixing partials -- that is, sine waves at different frequencies with different amplitudes and phases. Odessa uses thousands of them, so controlling them directly is not practical, but it gives you several different ways to affect the patterns and emphasis of different partials.

Verbos Harmonic Oscillator is another additive oscillator, but it only has 8 partials with frequency ratios that are integer multiples of the fundamental.


Complex oscillators typically have two oscillators with sine outputs (and maybe other common analog shapes). One oscillator is intended to modulate the other, or to be used for other audio-rate modulation (such as AM). There's usually a wavefolder or shaper of some kind. Some people mistakenly call this "additive synthesis" but it's not; it's FM and distortion.
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by carlotter » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:59 am

Thanks starthief. So one is using harmonic overtones and undertones to make the sound richer, and the other one is using an oscillator to affect the main oscillator resulting in a complex waveform (which I guess could incidentally have harmonic over/under tones?)?

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by lisa » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:05 am

Odessa has a FM input and can be used as a part of a complex oscillator setup so it isn’t as clear cut in that respect.

A complex oscillator is actually two oscillators (as starthief said) that can be used separately. One can be used to FM the other and the other way around.. or both at the same time, to get some really bonkers result. You also get one or two shapers/folders. Many odd results to be found in such a setup but in the end the parts that make up a complex oscillator are quite simple (two normal oscillators with FM inputs and a folder or two). Odessa, on the other hand, is a different thing altogether. It makes sound by adding overtones and you can modulate the adding, spreading, etc of those overtones.

Both are oscillators but I wouldn’t compare them. They are too dissimilar.
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by djd_oz » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:22 am

I'm liking the sounds and the complexity of this module.

Cued up for my next purchased .... maybe. :confused:

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by starthief » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:06 am

I'm curious to hear some examples of FM with Odessa, particularly the linear TZFM with an integer ratio. A few people have said the FM sounds gorgeous, so let's hear it :)
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Daisuk » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:33 pm

lisa wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:24 pm
I never thought I would, since I haven’t liked many of the demos I’ve heard (most of them in the ambient realm, I’ve noticed), but I just purchased Odessa. I read the manual and got many ideas. It’ll be interesting to see if I actually gel with it.
How do you like it so far? I'm also a bit on the fence still, some demos sound great, others not so much.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by lisa » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:22 am

Daisuk wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:33 pm
How do you like it so far? I'm also a bit on the fence still, some demos sound great, others not so much.
I just hooked it up today. It has a quite a specific sound. I get a similar sound from the Klavis Twin Waves additive algorithms so I guess this is what additive synthesis sounds like (I’ve used tons of classic synths over the years but I’m not very familiar with anything additive).

By self patching it you can get it to sound quite a lot like a complex oscillator’s cross FM type of stuff, I’ve noticed.

I’ll use it a lot more and report back. :party:
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:31 pm

starthief wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:06 am
I'm curious to hear some examples of FM with Odessa, particularly the linear TZFM with an integer ratio. A few people have said the FM sounds gorgeous, so let's hear it :)
Some examples were posted in recent pages in this thread. That I recall, notable were four examples by me, then an example posted by @mdoudoroff; but probably there were others, too:





mdoudoroff wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:56 pm
This sketch fell out of a jam with friends today, one of whom has an Odessa. I thought it might be worth sharing. (The only credit I get for this recording is that I made sure the recording got made.)

Anyway, here’s what’s going on with Dan Rosen’s patch: first up is a bass line that has nothing to do with Odessa. A droning Odessa then fades up, and until the end, everything else is all that one Odessa under heavy modulation, passing through Mimeophon. The bank length, harmonic factor and tension are modulated by Clep Diaz and Wobblebug, patrials is modulated by TM 8S step sequencer, density is modulated by a Doepfer LFO. Density, warp, peaking, spectral tilt, partials are also adjusted by hand here and there. The main thing, though, is the fundamental output patched to Linear FM IN, with the depth slider played by hand. Nothing is happening with 1v/o—it’s just a straight drone. Right near the end, an additional part is added: TwinPeak pinged by Varigate 4, v/oct from Metropolis, through 4MS DLD.


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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by starthief » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:38 pm

Thanks, I listened to those examples before. I was hoping for something a bit more straightforward, rather than self-modulation or cross-modulation... dynamic FM with another oscillator tuned to the same frequency or an integer ratio, with varying additive parameters :)
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by brandonlogic » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:54 pm

Ultra Kabron wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:35 pm
What a great module !

i gotta say i originally kind of wrote this module off but this demo in particular really has reawakened my curiosity about this one.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:56 pm

starthief wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:38 pm
Thanks, I listened to those examples before. I was hoping for something a bit more straightforward, rather than self-modulation or cross-modulation... dynamic FM with another oscillator tuned to the same frequency or an integer ratio, with varying additive parameters :)
I see. Surely they will surface eventually!

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Daisuk » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:20 am

lisa wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:22 am
Daisuk wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:33 pm
How do you like it so far? I'm also a bit on the fence still, some demos sound great, others not so much.
I just hooked it up today. It has a quite a specific sound. I get a similar sound from the Klavis Twin Waves additive algorithms so I guess this is what additive synthesis sounds like (I’ve used tons of classic synths over the years but I’m not very familiar with anything additive).

By self patching it you can get it to sound quite a lot like a complex oscillator’s cross FM type of stuff, I’ve noticed.

I’ll use it a lot more and report back. :party:
Cool, thanks. :)

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by peripatitis » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am

starthief wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:56 pm
carlotter wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:47 pm
Could someone explain to me what the difference(s) are between an harmonic oscillator like this and a complex oscillator like the Furthrrr generator for instance?
Additive oscillators create different timbres by mixing partials -- that is, sine waves at different frequencies with different amplitudes and phases. Odessa uses thousands of them, so controlling them directly is not practical, but it gives you several different ways to affect the patterns and emphasis of different partials.

Verbos Harmonic Oscillator is another additive oscillator, but it only has 8 partials with frequency ratios that are integer multiples of the fundamental.


Complex oscillators typically have two oscillators with sine outputs (and maybe other common analog shapes). One oscillator is intended to modulate the other, or to be used for other audio-rate modulation (such as AM). There's usually a wavefolder or shaper of some kind. Some people mistakenly call this "additive synthesis" but it's not; it's FM and distortion.
One thing to keep in mind, if the modules keep true to their names is that a harmonic oscillator is part of what additive synthesis is.
There is no reason to stay with integer multiples of the fundamental when controlling a bunch of sinewaves as a group. Doing so gives a "certain sound". This is also the case with filterbanks fixed at specific frequencies. On the other hand if you freely select the frequencies (randomly), you can easily get more noisy material from an additive synth.
On the other hand controlling all that data indeed can be tricky, especially for a hardware synth
The Kawai 5000s which is probably the most famous example of additive, was unfortunately strained by the harmonics limitation so that making the creation of more realistic sounding material difficult. Their idea was to use a short sample as the noisy part (attack) of a sound and combine it with the additive, stable harmonic part, like that of an real instrument. It did have a 256 band filter on top of this to mold material to more interesting sounds. But it had a separate level and envelope for its harmonic! But who on his right mind would take the time to do that one by one? :) So there were groups like odd, even, bias (to offset all), low, hi, etc. And of course the editor which was the best way to control it.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:23 am

peripatitis wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am
But it had a separate level and envelope for its harmonic! But who on his right mind would take the time to do that one by one? :)
Wendy Carlos, using the GDS and Synergy systems. [1]

Possibly Klaus Schulze, too, though my sense of Schulze's work of those years is that he wasn't inclined to that kind of labor for music making. :)

My understanding is that Synergy II+ implemented what many years ago I heard termed "complex additive" synthesis, including PM; and that each successor of the Alles Machine inherited its '256 per-oscillator envelopes plus 192 aggregators' architecture.

Those included first GDS then Synergy. [2]

I don't know for sure. But I would think that even heavy reliance on the aggregators would require extensive programming of individual oscillator/envelope pairs first.

When I listen to Carlos's "Beauty in the Beast", I am willing to believe that she did a lot of detailed programming (simple and complex additive with per-oscillator envelope design) to achieve those sounds.


[1] Digital Moonscapes

[2] Synergenesis User Manual

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Richard deHove » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:27 pm

synonymist wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:31 pm
This is great! It's like chickens pecking at a banjo.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:18 pm

Richard deHove wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:27 pm
This is great! It's like chickens pecking at a banjo.
Close! It was supposed to be a dobro. :lol:

Thank you. :cloud:

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by peripatitis » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:04 pm

synonymist wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:23 am
peripatitis wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am
But it had a separate level and envelope for its harmonic! But who on his right mind would take the time to do that one by one? :)
Wendy Carlos, using the GDS and Synergy systems. [1]

Possibly Klaus Schulze, too, though my sense of Schulze's work of those years is that he wasn't inclined to that kind of labor for music making. :)

My understanding is that Synergy II+ implemented what many years ago I heard termed "complex additive" synthesis, including PM; and that each successor of the Alles Machine inherited its '256 per-oscillator envelopes plus 192 aggregators' architecture.

Those included first GDS then Synergy. [2]

I don't know for sure. But I would think that even heavy reliance on the aggregators would require extensive programming of individual oscillator/envelope pairs first.

When I listen to Carlos's "Beauty in the Beast", I am willing to believe that she did a lot of detailed programming (simple and complex additive with per-oscillator envelope design) to achieve those sounds.


[1] Digital Moonscapes

[2] Synergenesis User Manual
For sure but those where other times :)
I mean i was told stories from professors in the uni where they used the first computers in music and they would program a piece, send it to some factory that had dac's and other equipment and it took ~ 6months to listen to your piece.
I mean i also did some manual programing with my k5000s back in the day, but the first chance i got to do this in a computer i just jumped.
(of course jumping meant learning how to program, but that is another chapter)
I believe each age has it's struggles, i guess ours is even beyond computer programming and back to a musical plateau and how to escape from it.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:06 pm

peripatitis wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:04 pm
synonymist wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:23 am
peripatitis wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:17 am
But it had a separate level and envelope for its harmonic! But who on his right mind would take the time to do that one by one? :)
Wendy Carlos, using the GDS and Synergy systems. [1]

Possibly Klaus Schulze, too, though my sense of Schulze's work of those years is that he wasn't inclined to that kind of labor for music making. :)

My understanding is that Synergy II+ implemented what many years ago I heard termed "complex additive" synthesis, including PM; and that each successor of the Alles Machine inherited its '256 per-oscillator envelopes plus 192 aggregators' architecture.

Those included first GDS then Synergy. [2]

I don't know for sure. But I would think that even heavy reliance on the aggregators would require extensive programming of individual oscillator/envelope pairs first.

When I listen to Carlos's "Beauty in the Beast", I am willing to believe that she did a lot of detailed programming (simple and complex additive with per-oscillator envelope design) to achieve those sounds.


[1] Digital Moonscapes

[2] Synergenesis User Manual
For sure but those where other times :)
I mean i was told stories from professors in the uni where they used the first computers in music and they would program a piece, send it to some factory that had dac's and other equipment and it took ~ 6months to listen to your piece.
I mean i also did some manual programing with my k5000s back in the day, but the first chance i got to do this in a computer i just jumped.
(of course jumping meant learning how to program, but that is another chapter)
I believe each age has it's struggles, i guess ours is even beyond computer programming and back to a musical plateau and how to escape from it.
Wow... That's quite a personal history you have there!

As to your last point, I agree. Also I would amend it by saying that most of us are less intimately involved with our instruments therefore. Yet since the pace of human life continues to accelerate, it may be that only by going "beyond computer programming" most of us will have time for music making with modern tools.

In that way, the Odessa module (with its macro controls of thousands of partials) is both characteristic and rational in this time, as those old instruments were years ago.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by versipellis » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:52 am

I've been listening to a lot of Odessa demos, and, I like what I hear. But I get the sensing that the Odessa has a tonality it can't quite "escape", and I'm wondering if that's just an additive synthesis sound because of all the sine partials? Kinda harmonic, ping-y, high-frequency-heavy. It seems to excel at these sounds, and sound amazing doing so, but I'm worried for the hp and cost of it + hel it's.. sorta a bit of a one-trick pony?
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by nios » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:13 am

versipellis wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:52 am
I've been listening to a lot of Odessa demos, and, I like what I hear. But I get the sensing that the Odessa has a tonality it can't quite "escape", and I'm wondering if that's just an additive synthesis sound because of all the sine partials? Kinda harmonic, ping-y, high-frequency-heavy. It seems to excel at these sounds, and sound amazing doing so, but I'm worried for the hp and cost of it + hel it's.. sorta a bit of a one-trick pony?
Additive synthesis generally tends to have that kind of a sound to it as far as I've ever heard. The Odessa doesn't sound super far-off from the Verbos Harmonic Oscillator, or even the harmonic oscillator mode of Mutable Stages etc, only of course Odessa has a ton more options over those. It's neat, but rather same-y because yay partials coming in etc. The design space of Odessa seemed to be to add as much new-ness and pizazz to this kind of setup as possible, and it did that in spades. However, to me the result sounds generally like additive typically does, only with a lot more options/tighter controls over where/how the timbre shifts as the partials come in, and/or what generally sounds like some crosses anywhere between phasing, flanging or comb filtering under modulation. So basically I get the impression I could find a very similar timbre palette in a Verbos Harmonic osc going through some effects. That doesn't mean I'm right, it just sounds a lot like this to me.

I do applaud Xaoc for going through all this effort to freshen up and turbocharge this method, but as some others have said I'm regardless not 100% sold on the sounds of the thing - I want to be, but I'm just not quite there. Then again, I was never all that taken with the Verbos Harmonic either. Hearing them back and forth a bit in vids the Odessa has a ton more versatility than the HO (or buchla 262v for that matter) but the new-ness in Odessa tends to be in a kind of very crystalline/bell-like sound, very very clean and crisp as opposed to the thick smudged sound of the HO.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by lisa » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:23 am

The HO plus effects cost way more than Odessa, mind. Odessa is quite pricey but within the eurorack realm it’s also unique considering all the control that it brings.
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Devilwidget » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:39 am

I feel like complaining Additive synthesis has a particular sound is a bit like complaining running a normal vco through a filter has a particular sound. Of course you have a limited palette - that is why different modes of synthesis exist. And of course you can do additive synthesis on, say, a plaits, but you can do subtractive synthesis on that too and it wouldn't stop you buying a more complex subtractive vco/filter.

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