Ahead of SynthPlex 2019, being held in the LA area March 28-31, Rossum Electro-Music has announced the Panharmonium Mutating Spectral Resynthesizer Eurorack module.
Created by Rossum Electro-Music Software Architect Bob Bliss, who fathered E-mu’s “EOS” Emulator Operating System, Panharmonium is a sound design tool that analyzes the spectral content of any audio signal and uses that analysis to drive a bank of from 1 to 33 oscillators. Depending on various control settings, Panharmonium can accurately reproduce the input spectrum in real time or modify it in a multitude of wildly creative ways.
Panharmonium input can be anything from a single oscillator to an entire mix (including vocals), and the output can be anything from dense, swirling pads and drones that evolve with the input’s changing spectrum, to clock-syncable spectral arpeggiation, to ‘as-yet unnamed harmonic effects’.
Additionally, Panharmonium can take a snapshot of an instantaneous spectrum and use that as a complex harmonic oscillator, which can then be modified and modulated by all of Panharmonium’s other controls.
Panharmonium is based on a combination of functional submodules:
The Spectral Analyzer provides tools for defining the analysis process.
- The Slice parameter sets the rate at which the incoming audio is transformed to spectral data. It can be set by the Slice and Multiplier controls, the Tap button, or by an external clock signal. Very short slice times result in real-time spectral data, while longer times can create rhythmic spectral patterns.
- The Center Freq and Bandwidth controls (and associated CV inputs and attenuverters) control the range of frequencies to be analyzed. The Bandwidth control allows the selection of narrow to wide pass bands on the left side of the pot and narrow to wide notches on the right side of the pot. The ability to sweep the frequency and modify the bandwidth under CV control opens up a wide range of sonic effects.
- The Freeze button lets you freeze the spectral integrator, sustaining the currently analyzed spectrum.
These controls allow the creative modification the analyzed spectra.
- The Voice parameter controls the number of oscillators (from 1 to 33) used to resynthesize the spectrum.
- The Blur parameter (and associated CV input) is a spectral lag processor that controls how quickly the spectrum can change.
- The Feedback control (and associated CV input) allows one to route the resynthesized audio back into the entire processing chain for subtle or dramatic feedback effects. At its max, the output becomes self-sustaining, even if the input is removed.
The Oscillator Bank resynthesizes the analyzed spectra.
- The Waveform parameter selects the oscillators’ waveform. In addition to the usual sine, triangle, sawtooth and pulse waveforms, two special crossfading sine and sawtooth waveforms are included.
- The Freq control tunes the oscillators over a +/-7 semitone range. The frequency is further controlled by the 1V/Oct input and the FM input and attenuverter.
- The Octave control, not surprisingly, shifts the pitch of the output by octaves.
- The Glide parameter sets the amount of polyphonic glide (i.e., each oscillator has its own glide circuit).
- The Mix control (and associated CV input) sets the balance between the original input audio and the resynthesized audio.
A number of optional functions can be selected by using the Output Mode and Tap buttons.
- Holding the Output Mode button and adjusting the Slice control enables Drums Mode, which optimizes the spectral analysis for drums and other percussive inputs.
- Holding the Output Mode button and adjusting the Center Freq control allows one to instead set the lower frequency of the analysis range.
- Holding the Output Mode button and adjusting the Freq control enables Spectral Warping. In contrast to conventional frequency adjustment, where the harmonic relationships between the spectral elements are preserved, Spectral Warping shifts the harmonic elements individually, producing a variety of clangorous, swarming textures.
- Holding the Tap button and adjusting the Freq control quantizes the resulting frequency adjustments to semitones.
Spectra Memories and Presets
Panharmonium provides 12 user Spectra memories and 12 user Presets (in addition to 12 each factory memories).
- The Spectra memories let you store up to 12 frozen slices. When selected, a spectrum (up to 33 oscillators wide!) replaces any live input and can have its pitch controlled by the 1V/Oct input and FM controls.
- A Preset is a snapshot of all of the module settings, along with the value of any CVs present at the moment the preset is saved.
Pricing and Availability
Panharmonium will be available in early summer from Rossum Electro-Music dealers worldwide at a suggested retail price in the US of $499.00. See the Rossum Electro-Music site for details.