Expressive E Osmose Synthesizer Gets New Performance Feature, Updated Production Timeline

Expressive E shared an update on the status of their upcoming Osmose synthesizer, which is designed to be one of the most expressive keyboards ever created.

The company says that the expect the Osmose to move into mass production in June 2021, and they have also revealed a new feature, demonstrated in the video above, Pressure-Weighted Portamento.

The Osmose pairs one of the most powerful synth engines available – the EaganMatrix sound engine, found in the Haken Continuum – with a new type of piano-style expressive keyboard. As the following video demonstrates, you can play a key by striking it, like any other keyboard, but you can also use a wide range of other gestures, and the Osmose will respond expressively to them:

Pressure-Weighted Portamento

Pressure-Weighted Portamento is patented performance technology that lets you create a variable portamento between two notes, so that the pitch of your note can dynamically glide between two notes as the pressure of your fingers changes.

This means that you are not limited to a fixed pitch range that affects all the notes that you play, like with a standard pitch-bend wheel, but that you can create a variety of portamento effects, including: pitch slides; slow, expressive glissando; and a wide range of vibrato effects.

Osmose Production Road Map

Expressive E has also shared an updated production road map for the Osmose:

  • January – review of the first industrial Osmose series for quality control (completed)
  • February to April – preparation for manufacturing and managing the sourcing of electronic components (in process)
  • April to June – final industrial Osmose series quality checks, operator training
  • Mid-June – the Osmose moves to mass production and first shipments start

The company notes that the global electronic components industry has been disrupted by the pandemic, which means that there are still some uncertainties about their timeline.

Pricing and Availability

The Expressive E Osmose is currently in development and is expected to be available later this year for $1, 799.

18 thoughts on “Expressive E Osmose Synthesizer Gets New Performance Feature, Updated Production Timeline

    1. 100% agree. It’s also quite cool that you can map it out so it can be more selectively applied to specific intervals/notes.

      Every time I hear these demos, I’m struck by how interesting and natural those sounds are.

  1. This is looking and sounding better and better. I’m feeling grateful that I jumped on the early bird pre-order back in the day. The delays are unfortunate but understandable. It’s not like I’m going to lose a gig in the meantime because I can’t play that signature Osmose part from an artist’s record.

  2. Wow. That’s a thing of beauty and also an ideal COVID lockdown instrument, because you’ll need that time to come to terms with it. I’ve played a ROLI a bit. I was impressed. I say set aside about 6 months to become really MPE-listenable. Its fun right away, but the fine control that best defines it won’t come casually over a weekend. I’ll be keen to see who the first person will be to make eyes pop out on an Osmose. As a keyboard player, this feels like the best MPE for my goals so far.

    1. This is the first design to get the ‘expressive keyboard’ right.

      Other designs are interesting, but have significant tradeoffs. Like the ROLI is interesting for doing pitch bends and per-note expression, but it’s not easy for keyboardists to play.

      On the Osmose, all of your keyboard chops carry over. Plus, you have all these new expressive capabilities that just feel completely natural. Play vibrato by wiggling your finger and vibrato comes out. Press deeply and you get a crescendo. It makes you realize that synth keyboards have been stuck in limbo for 30 years.

      There are lots of cools synthesizers out now, but this is by far the one that excites me the most.

      Anyone that gives the Osmose a chance will want one, because it’s going to be the most expressive synthesizer and controller ever made.

      I got in on the pre-order, but it will be well worth the $1,800 price, because no other synth keyboard comes close to doing what it can do.

      1. $1,800 is very reasonable considering the prices of many synths not as expressive are over double that price. I didn’t get in on the pre-order, but I’ll likely buy it anyway.

        1. indeed it’s dirt cheap of you compare it to the continuumini and continuum. It has full polyphony, an actual user interface and also a custom built keyboard. Back then I didn’t have to think a second before jumping on this.

      2. I agree, analOG. Many times when I see expressive/MPE controllers — some combination of watching someone struggle with it, or imagining myself struggling with it, and the words “hard pass” escape my lips.

        This has so many things going for it, chief among them: implementation of multi-dimensional control, configuration versatility and that sound engine.

        1. And it’s an MPE controller!

          I’m looking forward to using this with my Prologue, to combine polyphonic aftertouch control with a nice knobby analog synth engine.

  3. I love my ROLI Seaboard and consider it indispensable. This is the first time I have seen another instrument/controller that actually has me thinking it is even remotely as interesting. I noticed they call the innovation A.K.A, and don’t mention anything about it being MPE compatible, even though it produces similar results. It is just missing the Slide dimension, with glide being handled by the portamento functionality. It will be interesting to see if this catches on. I agree that for most keyboard players, not having to take time to learn to be as precise as on a ROLI is a pretty big plus.

  4. I also tried the ROLI (and morph and linnstrument) but just missed real keys too much, I miss the travel, I miss the way velocity and aftertouch work on a key with travel and how much easier it is to play without accidentally adding aftertouch. So far I have found the Hydrasynth has been the best option for me in terms of a compromise (I also kept the morph for things that really benefit from slide) but I am hopping the Osmose will be the ultimate solution, especially as it can be switched to piano mode and used as a normal controller…

  5. I’m concerned that they say it’s going to be in production in June (that’s just three months away), yet we still don’t know what a production version is going to look like.

  6. I hope I’m wrong, but it appears in the second video, in the riff starting at 3:33, the notes heard don’t match what we see being played. I really like the concept of this instrument and I don’t want to be a downer, can somebody else watch this closely, and tell me if you’re seeing what I’m seeing – it looks like sometimes the played note goes up, while the note we hear goes down.

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