uberPLASTIC synthesizer

This synth is the result of nearly two years of experimentation and research into how to make a truly unique instrument that will still be easy to use and efficient in design. The uberPLASTIC's unique gain-staging allows for very radical timbre polarities. The synth can really scream, so be careful with your levels, until you've experimented a bit. There are 155 factory presets to get you started, featuring a wide range of styles.

The synth's parameters include:

- Two unique Oscillator Banks: Each bank consists of a switchable SIne/ Triangle waveform; Sawtooth (with phase control); Pulse (with phase and width control); and Sub (Square). Each waveshape's level can be freely mixed. Both oscillator banks feature cross-modulation and noise modulation frequency control. The second oscillator bank features additonal pitch controls.

- The cross-modulation (or "x-mod") of the oscillators is unique to the uberPLASTIC and might take some getting used to: the switchable Sine/ Triangle oscillators are treated differently than the other oscillators in each bank. The "x-mod" knobs directly effect the pitch frequencies of the SIne/ Tri oscillators, ignoring the modulating oscillator's level control... ie: OSC2's sinewave will still modulate OSC1 sinewave, if OSC1's "x-mod" knob is moved, even if OSC2's sinewave "level" knob is all the way off. The same is not true for the rest of the oscillators, which look to the additional level controls for each oscillator when adding cross-modulating frequencies. One should also note that only the Sine/ Tri waveshapes will modulate eachother and none of the other shapes will have any effect on them... the opposite is also true, one cannot modulate any of the other shapes with the Sine/ Tri shapes. Why do this and complicate things? Well, it simply provides more options and better sound-design opportunities. A sinewave cross-modulation can easily produce interesting "metallic" timbres and allowing the levels of each wave to be added to the signal, without effecting the cross-modulation allows for even richer "FM"-timbres. The other waveshapes can now be added, without altering the original sinewave x-mod timbre -- and if you want to cross modulate the other waveshapes, simply bring up the levels of the opposing shapes and see what happens. Experimentation is the key, but there are also several presets included that show off how the "x-mod" parameters function in the "uberPLASTIC".

- The two Oscilltor Banks are also mixed in the "Mixer" section of the synth, where one can also find a level control for the White Noise generator + two level controls for external input signals (for using the "uberPLASTIC" as a filterbank/ effects processor)

- The filtering possibilties of this synth are rather extensive, including: a 6dB Highpass filter for adjusting the timbre before entering the larger Filterbank; the Filterbank features a 12dB and a 24dB section, each with Low/ High/ Bandpass frequency control. All are freely mixable in series or in parallel. Each section also features "Feedback" control which can be useful for overdriving the filtered signal. The "Feedback" signal can be delayed by milliseconds, which produces a phasing effect. The Filterbank's Cutoff frequencies and the 6dB Highpass Cutoff can also be controlled via the "Pitch Follower" on the "FX" page, as well as the Env II + LFO.

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

- Restart Mode: 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 Unison function, legato works the same way it did in the original 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.

- Poly Level: Non-modulatable volume control, used to prevent "clipping" when polyphony is increased, in regular or "Unison" modes

- Panning is controlled by the LFO, all other "Pan-Mod" sources (Env II/ Velocity/ Aftertouch) affect the gain of the LFO output to the Pan position

- Env II/ LFO: Each has a second page for the "Send Destinations"; also, the "MIDI Clock" switch will disable the LFO "Frequency" knob and send clock info instead

- ModWheel Control is independent from the "LFO"

- Pitch Follow parameters will also send glide info to the filter cutoffs (great for squelchy, elastic sounds)

- The "Effects" in the synth are also unique to the "uberPLASTIC": the "Ring Modulator" has two modes, one that is conventional (mixable sinewave modulation) and another that looks back to the original "Plastic" synth -- the "Plastic Mode" Ringmod (takes the outputs of the 12dB and the 24dB filters and modulates one against the other). When the "Plastic Mode" button is pressed the "Frequency" control no longer functions (the dedicated modulation oscillator is disconnected) and thus, the frequency modulations from the Env II and the LFO will no longer have any effect, either. The synth's timbre can also be distorted a number of ways, with "Overdrive", "Bit-Crushing" and "Tone Control" over the overdriven signal. The "Drive Tone" button enables the "Overdrive" to be EQ'ed, which drastically shifts the timbre of any patch. This "Tone Control" can be shifted via the "Pitch Follower", as well as be modulated by the Env II. An additional two "Stereo Insert FX" slots are provided for one to conveniently add any of the other stereo effects from SFP to the signal.