OP-8 synthesizer

The OP-8 is capable of multiple synthesis modes at one time, including: subtractive, FM, wave-shaping, and lofi or "SID"-style emulation. I always strive to design an instrument that will be easy to use and efficient in design, while flexible enough to deliver a very wide timbre-palette. Included with the OP-8 are over 200 high-quality presets to get you started. You will find styles from Acid to Ambient and Industrial to Trance... it can even deliver great electro drum sounds!

The synth's parameters include:

- Two custom oscillators: Each oscillator is switchable between Triangle, Saw Up, Saw Down and Pulse (with width control). Each waveshape can be subtractively morphed down to a pure sinewave, using the "Shape" control knob
or the "Shape Mods" modulator knobs, which include: Envelope (Mod Env), LFO, Aftertouch and Pulsewidth control. There are a number of frequency (or pitch) controls for each oscillator, as well, including: Envelope (Mod Env), LFO, Aftertouch and Noise. Each oscillator also has an "X-Mod" (or cross-modulation) knob which allows the output frequency of one oscillator to directly modulate the other's. Another useful frequency control parameter is the
"Pitch Offset" section which allows the way the keyboard triggers the synth's pitch to be offset in different ways, great for unusual FM and sync possibilities... oh yes, Oscillator Two can be "synced" to Oscillator One for that distinctively harmonic, screaming-sound. Finally, Oscillator Two also has its own dedicated pitch controls: C-Tune and F-Tune (Coarse and Fine), as well as a "Drone" switch which *disconnects it from the keyboard (*you will still find that with the Pitch Offset controls you can control subtle pitch-shifts with the keyboard in "Drone"-mode). The "Drone"-mode has its own pitch control knob, beside the on/off switch which can be combined with the "Coarse" and "Fine" knobs to put Oscillator Two down into an LFO-range of frequencies... it's like having a
second LFO with shape and pulsewidth control + extreme frequency-shifting possibilities.

- The two oscillators' levels are mixed in the "Mixer" section of the synth, where one can also find a level control for the White Noise generator.

- The filtering possibilities of this synth are very unique, including: a 6dB highpass filter for adjusting the timbre before entering the "Fusion Filter". The unique "Fusion" in this filter is a 24dB resonant lowpass filter that seamlessly moves into a 24dB resonant highpass filter, all with one knob. At center (or "Twelve O’clock") the knob is at the top of the lowpass filter and the bottom of the highpass filter, turning the knob left will sweep down into the lowpass, right and the filter sweeps up into the highpass! The Fusion Filter's cutoff can be controlled by the dedicated Key Follower knobs, as well as the modulator level control knobs: Envelope (Mod), LFO, Aftertouch and Oscillator 2 (output frequency directly modulates filter cutoff).

- The OP-8 has two envelopes that can be used to shape your sound, both with the exact same parameters. Both envelopes feature a standard "ADSR", with added Attack Slope and Decay/ Release Slope controls (moves from linear to logarithmic slope). Both envelopes also feature a Velocity control, an over-all Envelope Time control and the most important feature... a "Punch" button. The "Punch" button exponentially increases the power of the envelope to its control destination, allowing for punchy basslines and leads that modern electronic music demands. The "Amp" envelope is dedicated to the level-output of the synth, while the "Mod" envelope is simultaneously routed to several destinations around the synth (controlled by those "Env" knobs).

- The "LFO" section features a six-shape low frequency oscillator that can be simultaneously routed to various destination around the synth (all those "LFO" knobs). You can select from: Sine, Square, Up Saw, Down Saw, Triangle and Sample and Hold (or "random"). The LFO can be synced to MIDI clock internally or externally and divided (16th notes, etc). The "Pre-Delay" knob delays the LFO from having any effect, the "Fade" knobs do the same, but gradually. You can also adjust the "Phase" of the waveshape, useful for triggering the shapes at the desired point in its cycle... the cycle can also be "Retriggered" by a note-on event when the switch is activated. The LFO's frequency can be modulated by the "Mod" envelope, as well as by Aftertouch.

- Unison, or "Stack Voices", featuring flexible voice control (all voices/off/1-16): in the "all" position any selected polyphony for the OP-8 will be monophonically stacked on a single voice, allowing the "Stack Spread" parameter to move the stacked frequencies away from each other, creating a very "fat" and distinctively "unison" sound; the "Off" position is self-explanatory (Unison Spread has no effect); Stack voices 2-16 allows the user to select, apart from the polyphony value, which voices get stacked, ie: if you have the OP-8's polyphony set to "4 voices" and the "Stack Voices" set to "2", you could play a two-note chord with each note having a unison stacked voice on it... very fat when you increase the "Stack Spread". Stack Voice setting “1” has no noticable effect.

- Restart Mode: "Restart Mode" Select is implemented. Values are shutdown restart (envelopes are zeroed before being retriggered) and running restart ("Moog mode": envelopes are retriggered without being zeroed). This will appeal to those users who want a classic “Moog” feel for their note triggering.

- Legato Mode (Polyphonic): When a key is played and an unassigned voice is available for it, the voice is assigned and started normally (including envelope retriggering). When a key is played and no unassigned voice is available for it, a voice is stolen from a key which is still being held. This voice is reassigned via a simple pitch update, without retriggering the envelopes. When a key to which a voice is assigned is released, and one or more other keys whose voices have been stolen are still being held, the voice belonging to the just-released key is reassigned to one of the "voiceless" keys - likewise via a simple pitch update without envelope retriggering. When a key to which a voice is assigned is released and there are no other keys being held which do not have voices assigned to them, the voice goes into normal release (and becomes "unassigned" for legato purposes). When polyphony is set to 1, or when the module is set into mono mode via the "Stack" function, legato works the same way it did in the more conventional MVCs. Since there is a separate Legato Control pad, it is possible to activate legato without activating portamento/glissando. In this case, when a voice is reassigned to a different note, the pitch jumps instantly to its new value.

- Portamento & Glissando Select/ Mode/ Time: Each voice simply glides to its new pitch from whatever pitch it had before. It is possible to have multiple voices gliding in parallel across a wide pitch range - or even in opposite directions - depending upon which notes were played previously.

- Low Note Priority Switch: Only notes lower than the currently triggered note will be allowed to be triggered. This was a popular control mode switch on many vintage analogue synths.

- The Volume knob is used to offset the output level of the synth when polyphonic/ Stacked-notes cause clipping. This control can also be modulated by the LFO, Aftertouch and the Modwheel.

- Of course, you can select which MIDI channel you want the OP-8 to be controlled by, but you can also select which key-range you want to use from a MIDI-keyboard to trigger the synth, great for using multiple OP-8s at one time to get that "Split-Keyboard" sound... like a bass on the bottom and a lead on the top of the keyboard.

- The "Effects" in the synth are also unique to the OP-8: the "8-Bit" swtich puts the synth into a "lofi" or "SID"-style mode... noisy with artifacts and a brittle, digital-quality to the timbre. The "Distortion" is controlled by a three-way switch (off/ soft/ hard) with a knob to control its level. You will find the "Soft" (orange) and "Hard" (red) distortion types to have distinct characters useful for different types of sounds. The "Trash" knob is a much more subtle form of what the "8-Bit" switch does, gradually adding artifacts to the sound, without the distinctive 8-bit "hiss". The "FM" and "Ringmod" sections feature the same parameters and are similar in principle, but the audible results are very distinct. The "FM" effect is a sinewave that can be pitched and routed to the oscillators and then modulated. The "Ringmod" is an effect that effectively takes two signals (one a sinewave, the other the "Mixer" output), and produces a signal containing the sum and differences of those frequencies. These frequencies will typically be non-harmonic, so the ring modulator can create some very dissonant sounds.

** You will find that in "8-Bit" mode that you will need to have the envelopes in "Punch"-mode for them to close entirely.

- The ModWheel Control is independent from the "LFO" and features a simple sinewave LFO which can be switchably sent to Pitch, Filter (cutoff) and Volume.

- All text parameters can be edited manually, unless they are in one of the grey squares.