Oscillator Ranks

On the original instrument, each of the two polyphonic oscillator banks is referred to as a "rank," which is good ol' medieval organ terminology (as are commonly used octave footage numbers). We made the decision to alter the layout of the oscillator rank section because the original rank controls are really confusing, and offer no improvement in functionality over the more standard layout we've implemented in Polymode. Additionally, the original allowed rank 1 to produce only square and pulse waves, and rank 2 to produce only ramp waves. We eliminated this limitation; both ranks can produce ramp/square/pulse waves in any combination. The controls for both oscillator ranks are identical and are as follows:

Range buttons- Sets the basic pitch range of the oscillator rank, displayed in traditional organ footage. Only one range button can be enabled at any time.

Waveform buttons- Selects ramp and/or pulse waves. These may be used independently or in combination.

Tune - Tuning control for pitch. This can be used to fatten up patches by detuning a small amount, or for "building-in" a set interval. Its range is an octave, up or down. The slider resolution is finer toward the middle in order to simplify detuning by small values.

FM - Rate/Amount- Each oscillator rank includes a dedicated triangle-wave LFO for frequency (pitch) modulation. The Rate slider controls LFO speed, and the Amount slider controls LFO depth.

Shape/Mod - Shape- Sets the initial pulse-width of the pulse wave. 5% is narrowest setting and 50% is a full square wave.

Shape/Mod - Rate/Amount- Each oscillator rank includes a dedicated triangle-wave LFO for pulse-width modulation (i.e., separate from the frequency mod LFO). The Rate slider controls LFO speed, and the Amount slider controls LFO depth.

Mod Source buttons and Attenuator knobs- The Mod Src selector buttons and attenuators beneath the sliders allow positive or inverted voltage control of the slider directly above. Clicking the Mod Src selector button opens a pop-up menu where the mod source can be selected. Once a mod source is chosen, the button turns red and its text changes to indicate the current mod source. To choose a different mod source, click the button and choose another modulator, or choose None to disable modulation. The attenuator knobs beneath the Mod Src buttons set a positive or inverted voltage control amount for the controls.

Rank Mix- Balances the level of oscillator Rank 1 and Rank 2. Set to the center position for an equal mix.


Polymode's LFO Smorgasbord - Most classic polysynths feature a single LFO, routed via some kind of mod destination selector. Polymode is unique in that it features a dedicated triangle-wave pitch mod and pulse width LFO, for each oscillator (because one of the original oscillator ranks was ramp-wave, it had an LFO for rank one pulse-width, and separate LFO's for pitch mod of each oscillator rank). This multiple and independent modulation is the key to achieving the swirly, warbly sounds it's famous for, particularly the "Vox Humana" preset made famous by synthpop icon and spiffy dresser, Gary Numan.

In addition to the four LFO's in the oscillator rank section, the Filter and Resonator sections have their own dedicated triangle-wave LFOs, we've included two full-featured, syncable "bonus" LFO's (routable via the Mod Src) buttons, and hey, while we're counting, another in the Phaser, and depending on which mode the Ensemble effect is set to, one more there, or two more in Tri Chor mode, bringing us to a total of up to 11 LFO's. We weren't kidding when we said Polymode was a modulation monster!

Continue to Resonators section