Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:02 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?
Hello. Does the Odessa module have a characteristic sound? Yes. Is it a one-trick pony? No.

The question of cost and size, I don't really understand. I suppose one could fill a row of their rack with several Plaits and consider that a good deal in those terms. To my taste that would be neither technically nor sonically interesting, but to each their own. I'm not saying you suggested as much, but I wonder what a better size-and-cost-to-ability solution would be; particularly if an additive oscillator were a requirement.

As others already said or alluded to, each method of audio synthesis has a characteristic sound. Each interpretation of any given method may also have a distinctive sound. But generally you can count on, for example, all triangle core analog oscillators sounding characteristically like a triangle core oscillator. We gravitate toward certain modules because of how they interpret a method; because of their subtly distinctive sound and feel in use.

A music making device (a synth module in this case) might be a game changer somehow, but that does not exempt it from these principles.

Xaoc Devices commented on this (again!) a few pages ago in this thread, concerning how we think of the Odessa module in use:
xaoc_tech wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:52 am
It has been already said, but again: it is a big mistake to treat Odessa as a complete synth voice. It is only an oscillator, it is expected to be processed and patched as you normally treat a VCO. Please, make use of filters, mixers, VCAs in your system.
Do you remember all the work you had to do, over however many years, to discover then master the real power in use of the raw functionality in your analog oscillators and filters? How after many trials, progressively, eventually you gained a deep understanding of those modules' potential and limitations, each used alone and in tandem with others? Well now, with the Odessa module, you will get to do that again. Some of what you knew will be applicable, but much will not.

What in this game could be more exciting than the chance to bend to your will some novel device, learning its rationale and secrets, then commanding it to voice its excellence?

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by starthief » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:53 am

synonymist wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:02 am
Do you remember all the work you had to do, over however many years, to discover then master the real power in use of the raw functionality in your analog oscillators and filters? How after many trials, progressively, eventually you gained a deep understanding of those modules' potential and limitations, each used alone and in tandem with others? Well now, with the Odessa module, you will get to do that again. Some of what you knew will be applicable, but much will not.

What in this game could be more exciting than the chance to bend to your will some novel device, learning its rationale and secrets, then commanding it to voice its excellence?
Well said. :yay:
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by MarilynMonroe » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:43 am

synonymist wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:02 am
Hello. Does the Odessa module have a characteristic sound? Yes. Is it a one-trick pony? No.

The question of cost and size, I don't really understand. I suppose one could fill a row of their rack with several Plaits and consider that a good deal in those terms. To my taste that would be neither technically nor sonically interesting, but to each their own. I'm not saying you suggested as much, but I wonder what a better size-and-cost-to-ability solution would be; particularly if an additive oscillator were a requirement.

As others already said or alluded to, each method of audio synthesis has a characteristic sound. Each interpretation of any given method may also have a distinctive sound. But generally you can count on, for example, all triangle core analog oscillators sounding characteristically like a triangle core oscillator. We gravitate toward certain modules because of how they interpret a method; because of their subtly distinctive sound and feel in use.

A music making device (a synth module in this case) might be a game changer somehow, but that does not exempt it from these principles.

Xaoc Devices commented on this (again!) a few pages ago in this thread, concerning how we think of the Odessa module in use:
xaoc_tech wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:52 am
It has been already said, but again: it is a big mistake to treat Odessa as a complete synth voice. It is only an oscillator, it is expected to be processed and patched as you normally treat a VCO. Please, make use of filters, mixers, VCAs in your system.
Do you remember all the work you had to do, over however many years, to discover then master the real power in use of the raw functionality in your analog oscillators and filters? How after many trials, progressively, eventually you gained a deep understanding of those modules' potential and limitations, each used alone and in tandem with others? Well now, with the Odessa module, you will get to do that again. Some of what you knew will be applicable, but much will not.

What in this game could be more exciting than the chance to bend to your will some novel device, learning its rationale and secrets, then commanding it to voice its excellence?
I totally agree! :chug:
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by synonymist » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:25 pm

starthief wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:53 am
Well said. :yay:
MarilynMonroe wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:43 am
I totally agree! :chug:
Thank you. :)

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by mikmanner » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:12 am

Is this actually 63mm deep? That's what it says on Modular Grid but on a shop it says 32mm
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Tomek Mirt » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:17 am

mikmanner wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:12 am
Is this actually 63mm deep? That's what it says on Modular Grid but on a shop it says 32mm
It is 32mm deep.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Freequenz » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:01 pm

I love these sine clusters! The sound is very clean and smooth, for which i think phase modulation would be a very nice combination to make more complex and richer clusters;) is it possible to increment this modulation function or have it as some sort of expander module available....?
:hail:

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by autopoiesis » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:37 pm

Xaoc have said more than a few times in the thread already that there's no possibility for firmware updates, so Odessa is in its final form.

The expander they released for it is called Hel and it's focused on controlling its paraphonic voicing.

Have you tried using the linear FM input? It's through-zero linear FM, which can sound very close to phase modulation.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Freequenz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:04 pm

Yes, obviously i havent read every post in this thread...
Sadly no updates.. Hmmm i guess i have to stick to the tz lin fm then..:sadbanana: But indeed in this case the tz lin fm sounds quite similar in tambre to pm, what i really like though, but modulation wiese there is a big difference... :roll:

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by tuj » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:49 am

autopoiesis wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:37 pm
Xaoc have said more than a few times in the thread already that there's no possibility for firmware updates, so Odessa is in its final form.
Just curious why this would be? 1) it's a bad manufacturing choice as bugs and features can never be addressed and 2) I'm unaware of what modern hardware doesn't let you reconfigure the system?

A perfect example is the Shapeshifter, based on an FPGA chip, it's architecture can be completely different between firmware. Sure it may have a limited number of updates but at least you get *some*. I'm just genuinely curious, in this day in age when virtually every complex digital module is running firmware, why would you chose to implement in such an inflexible way?

Again this is genuine curiosity, not necessarily a criticism. I'm still waiting for mine, but it's on the way. I'm just wondering if the implementation of so many partials required something special that prevents firmware usage?

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Re:

Post by autopoiesis » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:10 am

xaoc_tech wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:21 pm
This discussion is pointless. I have specifically answered there is no processor in Odessa. It implies there is no operating system as well. Plenty of digital devices do not offer any option of updating due to their construction and operating principle (eg not having any processor inside that could run the updating code).

Yes, the FPGA chip is configured with a code, however burning the code into it is a complex operation that requires special tools. It is not meant to be customer serviceable. Please stop pushing because there is no room to step back.
for the previous poster's reference.

FPGA-based Shapeshifter is a good comparison. I've updated the firmware on my old Shapeshifter before and calling any of the programmer tools involved with that process "special" is a bit of a stretch. but I don't know how the process would differ with Odessa, as there is no information at all on that end.

IMO feels like handwaving intended to shut the door on discussions of "firmware" modifications, just as the rather condescending tone of the rest of that post seems to be.

just my perception.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by xaoc_tech » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:27 am

autopoiesis wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:37 pm
Xaoc have said more than a few times in the thread already that there's no possibility for firmware updates, so Odessa is in its final form.
Actually, re-programming Odessa is not impossible. Please understand however that developing with FPGA is much much harder than with a popular STM32 line of micro-controllers. The chip does not run any firmware becasue it is not a microprocessor. The code contains a synthesized circuit, not a program to run. There is no "bootloader" that would allow the FPGA to read from any external interface when it is empty in the same way microprocessors do. What we have to do is to directly write to a flash memory. Manufacturers do not offer nice interfaces and multi-platform drivers to make it easy. It is not our _choice_, these are just limitations of the technology. Odessa may be re-programmed using a special set of custom software running under Linux. If one can handle all the quirks with installing the operating system and all the tools, fine. But it may end with a 20-page thread of complaints on how bad it is and blaming us for making it so hard. :despair:

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by MarilynMonroe » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:58 am

xaoc_tech wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:27 am
autopoiesis wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:37 pm
Xaoc have said more than a few times in the thread already that there's no possibility for firmware updates, so Odessa is in its final form.
Actually, re-programming Odessa is not impossible. Please understand however that developing with FPGA is much much harder than with a popular STM32 line of micro-controllers. The chip does not run any firmware becasue it is not a microprocessor. The code contains a synthesized circuit, not a program to run. There is no "bootloader" that would allow the FPGA to read from any external interface when it is empty in the same way microprocessors do. What we have to do is to directly write to a flash memory. Manufacturers do not offer nice interfaces and multi-platform drivers to make it easy. It is not our _choice_, these are just limitations of the technology. Odessa may be re-programmed using a special set of custom software running under Linux. If one can handle all the quirks with installing the operating system and all the tools, fine. But it may end with a 20-page thread of complaints on how bad it is and blaming us for making it so hard. :despair:
Hey, Odessa is great as it is, no need for an update. I‘m very happy with it :hail: and don‘t listen to some strange people talking weird things...
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by autopoiesis » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:08 am

for what it's worth: I think Odessa is a great module as is. someone asked why is it the case that it will not be iterated on, when there are other FPGA-based oscillators that have a history of upgrades within the same mark. the manufacturer's response a couple of posts ago was a clear and reasonable explanation. the previously quoted response was not as illuminating or tactfully worded. thank you Xaoc for clarifying.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by tuj » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:14 pm

xaoc_tech wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:27 am
Odessa may be re-programmed using a special set of custom software running under Linux. If one can handle all the quirks with installing the operating system and all the tools, fine. But it may end with a 20-page thread of complaints on how bad it is and blaming us for making it so hard. :despair:
Um what? I don't know anything about what specific FPGA Odessa uses, so let me be clear I am ignorant of that. However the FPGA on the Shapeshifter and the RainMaker are reprogrammed without any special 'tools' other than a piece of free software (windows) and a usb cable. Maybe the Odessa is more complicated than that but somehow I doubt it. Plenty of people have upgraded the firmware on their shapeshifters and rainmakers without issue. Or you could offer a service to upgrade the module for say $50 + shipping. I'm sure you can do it in less than 15 minutes.

I understand what an FPGA is, I'm not ignorant of digital devices. I also know that there are compilers for the FPGA and that once the code has been compiled into the new configuration, there is no need to mess w/ the compiler any more. You can simply distribute the new hex/bin/whatever file that the uploader program can use to reconfigure the chip.

I mean really this is quite ridiculous to act like FIELD PROGRAMMING a FPGA is something that you can't do.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by buyingitwontmakeucool » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:09 pm

tuj wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:14 pm
I mean really this is quite ridiculous to act like FIELD PROGRAMMING a FPGA is something that you can't do.
Um ... he literally said it’s not impossible. He just doesn’t want to support it. I don’t blame him, I’ve read the shapeshifter threads

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Sinamsis » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:04 pm

Dude, the Shapeshifter was a nightmare to reprogram early on for those of us who did not have a Windows based computer. I agree that the tone of the initial post about firmware updates was a little aggressive, but there is an air of entitlement here coming from those who expect firmware updates. Is it possible that Xaoc took the time to thoroughly beta test and felt confident in the release version of the firmware? The module was released and well before hand it was clearly stated that this is what you get and it won't be updated. If that doesn't work for you I totally get it. Others might choose to be cautious and wait for early adopters to report back. Some of us took the leap and preordered. But I knew before hand that what I got is what I got and it won't change. I'm ok with that. I find constantly updating my modules a real pain in the ass. I'm glad that this is one I won't have to worry about. Seems to work as advertised to me without any issues. It's not a terribly complex module in terms of UI and features, can't really imagine what might be changed.

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Ultra Kabron » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:57 am

brandonlogic wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:54 pm
i gotta say i originally kind of wrote this module off but this demo in particular really has reawakened my curiosity about this one.
Glad to hear that.

Here is another one with the Hel expander.
I think it's already my favourite module of 2020.


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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Ivo Ivanov » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:15 am

Just jumping in to say that in my opinion, Odessa is one of the most interesting oscillators I've owned in a long time - and I've owned a lot. It's incredibly deep and diverse and I can't understand some of the earlier comments in this thread about it being limited or whatever - that just sounds to me like someone didn't read the manual and doesn't understand how the module actually works. I couldn't be happier with mine!

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by red » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:33 am

@ xaoc_tech

when will the black panel be available?

Image


Thanks
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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by brandonlogic » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:04 pm

If anyone is looking to unload their Odessa and interested in an e352, hit me up. :tu:

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Arneb » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:23 pm

When you patch four pitch CVs into Hel, what happens to the fifth Odessa voice? Because I love the idea but am scared that there's a slight design problem with Odessa+Hel, namely that no one actually makes five-channel sequencers/quantizers/chord generators/whatever :confused:

(Edit: Okay, ACL Sinfonion can probably do it, but when I look at it I can't help but think "overkill for anything short of a Zimmeresque module wall".)

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by loorenz » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:22 pm

Arneb wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:23 pm
When you patch four pitch CVs into Hel, what happens to the fifth Odessa voice? Because I love the idea but am scared that there's a slight design problem with Odessa+Hel, namely that no one actually makes five-channel sequencers/quantizers/chord generators/whatever :confused:

(Edit: Okay, ACL Sinfonion can probably do it, but when I look at it I can't help but think "overkill for anything short of a Zimmeresque module wall".)
When use odessa with 3 or 5 voices (orange or red mode) It seems that the channels where nothing is plugged into her keep the root note.
For example, from what I have experienced, four pitch CVs into Hel 4 inputs will affect 4 voices and the 5th voice keep the root note

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Daisuk » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:55 am

Got wiggling with this yesterday and suddenly got a lot of Amon Tobin Supermodified-era sounds out of it - lovely! You learn something new every day. I don't quite understand the relationship between all of the knobs yet (though the manual does a great job of explaining). Seems very deep and interesting to explore. :)

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Re: Xaoc Odessa, 1975 Variable Spectrum Harmonic Cluster VCO

Post by Funky40 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:23 am

MarilynMonroe wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:58 am
.........: and don‘t listen to some strange people talking weird things...
i think we don´t need this type of tonality here ! really


Tuj was asking about the possibility of updates, where is the worong with that ?
and he put a previous statment from the manufacturer into question, which the manufacturer then had to update.

Well, its a decission by the manufacturer how they want to handle the things.
I, as a customer on the other side might take "this update situation" as part of "my" decission process if i want to buy an Odessa or not.
As a many times burnt child in euro am i in the meantime quite cautious.


agree: while technically quite simple: was the shapeshifter update nevertheless a plain pita !
but: it allowed to correct some shortcomings.
i totally get Tuy´s point, since the question could turn into win win.
........but some folks here want to take just everything as complaints :despair:
For sale / reduced prices ( swiss (we are NON-EU)/ in case it makes sense_ EU/WW)(CHF +- = $):
lowered prices: Dotcom Q960: 650.- / Q119: 420 / ( i also have one or much likely two 19" Frames)
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