Sonic LAB: MakeNoise XPO - MATTHS and Nick Go Twos Up

US Stereo Prismatic Oscillator      17/10/22

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The MakeNoise XPO is a stereo prismatic oscillator for Eurorack, which gives us 5 discrete outputs from the oscillator core plus three stereo pairs from timbral modulators. It's unusual to see so much tonal variation from a single oscillator all available simultaneously.

 The five discrete mono waveforms:
Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, Spike and Sub Oscillator, these are all locked to the same pitch (apart from the Sub which is 1 octave down.

The three stereo outputs are:

  • Wavefolder
  • Vari-Timbre 
  • And PWM - yay, stereo PWM!

 

These three distinct timbral engines offer a significant range of sounds. Each side has a modulation input on attenuvertor, plus CV input on attenuverter control. LEFT CV is normalled to the right so you can modulate from a single source if you like

There's also an FM input (Exponential and Linear) normalled from the Sub oscillator output.

In practice, this oscillator allows for a lot of tone and modulation, it's possible to create some extremely complex modulation setups, and all of the tones are in tune.

There is also a second V/Oct input which is added to the main V/Oct - we were hopefull that it might mean independent control of L/R pitch but it's not...

The core Oscillator waves sound great, with the Sub Osc not just your average Square wave, it has a much richer harmonic  - it's a mix of multiple Square waves derived from the oscillator core at lower octaves (sub-harmonics), 

For the Stereo outputs,  the Left CV input is normalled to the R CV so you can modulate this from the same source by different amounts and with positive or negative offsets.

Wave Folder - really nice rich tones, with an adjustable centre point which: "modulates the shape and fold point of the wave sent through the wavefolder, with the simplest saturated sinusoid wave appearing at full CCW and a thin crispy series of Spikes occurring Full CW."

Vari-Timbre - is a lovely morphing tone  in this case the center control: "cross-fades both left and right Vari-Timbre signals from Sine to Sawtooth, a function found in classic WEST COAST synthesizer circuits such as the Buchla 158 and 258."

Pulse-Width - I think this must have been built for Nick as it's able to deliver some wonderful wide independent L/R PWM  - the center CV does not affect this output.

FM inputs, both Linear (normalled from Sub) and Exponential input are provided with the latter on another attenuvertor.

The XPO is a great sounding and versatile oscillator, true it's rather premium at around £429/$399 but it is capable of a lot of tone from a single unit. As Matths mentioned in the review, can drive a large element of a live rig without any tuning issues.

True, you're going to need a stereo path and/or more VCAs but that's the nature of modular innit?

Available now.
https://www.makenoisemusic.com/modules/xpo

 


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