Almost as though it was found in the back of a damp garage after decades of neglect, Hollow Sun has created Oscillosine. Reminiscent of an oddball inventor’s strange homebrew creation, Oscillosine is designed to conjour the sights, sounds and smells of a 1940s experimenter’s laboratory… glowing valves, otherworldly audio and maybe a hint of pipe tobacco.
The samples for Oscillosine are taken from a vintage tube Hewlett Packard sine wave test oscillator estimated to date back to the 50s or 60s, maybe earlier.
Oscillosine uses Kontakt’s advanced modular synthesis facilities to create a compact sonic laboratory machine capable of producing authentic sci-fi and vintage electronica blips and bleeps and klings and klangs and drones and squeals as well as smooth pads, solid sub-basses, mellow leadlines, etc., suitable for more modern musical genres.
The user interface is modelled on an old Tektronics oscilloscope and might look a bit inscrutable and arcane at first but is actually quite simple. On the other hand, its rather non-standard layout encourages experimentation and serendipity to create sounds that are maybe unimaginable. It’s certainly great fun to play with.
It features a valve driven sine wave oscillator offering a few variations which are shown on the CRT and can be modulated by a multi-wave LFO providing simultaneous sine, ramp, random and a variable width rectangle or pulse waveforms and all the waveforms can be mixed to create a wide range of control waveshapes that can be applied to pitch and/or amplitude. For example….
With careful settings, it’s possible to create pseudo-arpeggios and sequences but otherwise, it’s possible to create sounds that could have come from a VCS3 or Buchla or from the soundtrack of the 50’s movie, ‘Forbidden Planet’ … warm, organic and temperental and unpredictable sounds.
There are also ring mod and FM functions to create discordant sounds which can be modulated and mangled by the multi-wave LFO and so on. The possibilities are almost endless.
But if you’re bit timid or unsure, don’t worry – there’s a drop-down to select from a wide variety of preset sounds to get you started. You can also save your own ‘User’ presets for the drop down.
Furthermore, the EFFECTS page gives access to 3-band EQ, a chorus unit, phase shifter, rotary cabinet and echo unit to transform the sounds further. These feed into a convolving reverb unit which, amongst many others, offers vintage spring reverb impulses for a truly authentic retro sound.
The more voices (or notes) the thing tries to play, the circuitry seems to strain slightly and the valves glow brighter which is visible through the front panel aperture.
Oscillosine offers serious abstract synthesis for the adventurous to bring something different to your productions whilst also providing more conventional sounds for more mainstream work.
For safety reasons, be sure to wear a white lab coat when operating Oscillosine.
* Valve generated waveforms
• Unique user interface featuring
– Envelope sweep of pitch
– Multi-wave LFO with mixable control waveforms
– Ring Mod and FM for dissonant textures
– Polyphonic and monophonic play modes
– 3-Band EQ
– Phase shifter, chorus, rotary cabinet and echo
– Convolved reverb featuring vintage spring reverbs