Rossum Electro-Music Announces Panharmonium Mutating Spectral Resynthesizer

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:

Spectral Analyzer

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.

Spectral Modifiers

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.

Oscillator Bank

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.

Optional Functions

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.

9 thoughts on “Rossum Electro-Music Announces Panharmonium Mutating Spectral Resynthesizer

  1. In the 90s Emu were coming up with excellent, affordable synths and samplers that turned up everywhere. Now, I understand the market has changed, and that’s not Dave’s fault, but it’s really a shame that these good ideas and solid engineering are no longer reaching the masses.

  2. All the synth innovation is in eurorack these days…this sounds absolutely fascinating…can’t wait to hear demos.

    1. The more demos I watch and learn about this modular stuff I have to agree. Still a bit gun shy about taking the dip into the modular waters but this might push me in finally. Just based on the info I was thinking of all kinds of ways I would use this. For about 10 years now I have been kind of making all my studios modular in a round about way so I think I am ready to finally dive in, gear like this really spikes my curiosity.

    2. dont expect to much
      resynthesis usually doesnt sounds like anything you fed into it, thats what makes it interesting sometimes
      this says harmonic this and that but doesnt mention noise so I guess it can’t do that …

  3. Its not a vocoder. Its much more of a major league wave multiplier enhanced to a sci-fi degree. I’m not a modular user, but $500 is a proper price, because this thing can make even a modest rig far larger. You could even dispense with a few processors because of this one’s range of possibilities. Messing with harmonic spectra is akin to sampling proper if you dig into it. This will be a real prize for anyone who can even halfway grasp it.That probably leaves me out! Phew!

    MrMIDI is right about their instruments. I owned 4 flavors of hardware Proteii and still use a mass of samples from them & others in the line, 3rd-party and ‘hand-made.’ E-mu has always ‘gotten it right’ with superior samples that still make great layers even better. I don’t know if those ROMpler modules would fly in today’s market, but they all had a massive mod matrix inside that made ’em tougher than they looked. If you go modular, trust E-mu’s releases. Their gear has always been 100% solid for me.

  4. Sounds cool in a Eurorack. 31 osc may not be enough for decent resynthesis. I do this kind of stuff all the time in Kyma and normally use a much bigger oscillator bank to resynthesize the partials! Def sounds fun though

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