Malström Sound Programming
Sounds (5)

  • Reinitialize the Malström.

  • Mod A is already activated, and it is routed to both Osc A & B (the little switch to the right of all the Mod A controls is between A and B, which means "route to both").

  • Adjust Mod A rate up to 83.

  • Adjust Mod A pitch up to 17.

Play a chord. What you should hear is a sine wave with some vibrato.

To speed up or slow down the vibrato rate, increase or decrease the Mod A rate knob.

To increase or decrease the vibrato pitch amount, increase or decrease the Mod A pitch knob.

The 1-shot switch makes Mod A cycle through its modulation waveform only once. Click it, and play & hold a series of notes or chords. You should hear the sine wave modulate the pitch of the notes for a single cycle, then the vibrato stops and the pitch does not change at all.

This feature may not seem like it is very useful at first, but if we take a moment to look at the different waveforms available to us in the Mod section, the 1-shot feature starts to make some sense...

While the Subtractor's main LFO only allows for six different waveforms, the Malström modulators have 32 different waveforms at their disposal. The periodic waveforms that start and end at the zero point of the graph (like the sine wave) sound good when used with the 1-shot mode turned off. Others, like this one:

...make more sense to use in 1-shot mode. Let's apply this modulator to the index of an oscillator table.
  • Reinitialize the Malström.

  • In the Osc A section, select the SpectralSweep table (it's in the "Synth" group).

  • Slide the Osc A index setting to 57.

  • Set Osc A motion to -64.

  • In the Mod A section, set the waveform to match that of the image above (a sharp initial downward slope that levels off to the "zero" graph position).

  • Turn on the Mod A 1-shot switch (sync should be turned off).

  • Set Mod A rate to 102 (a fast rate).

  • Set Mod A indexto -39.

  • The other Mod A knobs (pitch and shift should be left at zero).
The Osc A and Mod A Malström settings should look like this:

Now play a series of notes. You should hear an initial, short attack transient followed by a steady-state wave. What is happening here is that with 1-shot on and the Mod A waveform set to the downward slope, Osc A starts playing a grain in the SpectralSweep table that is to the left of where the Osc A index slider is set. But since the Mod A rate is set to a high value, the table grains very quickly sweep through to the one that matches where Osc A index is set. After the sweep is complete, no more modulation occurs and Osc A continues to output a single grain of the table.

MP3 of this sound

As you play notes, try reducing the Mod A rate setting. This will show down the sweep through the grains. At a setting of around 44, the sweep has slowed down to the point where the effect of the 1-shot modulation results in a completely different, PPG/Waldorf-style synth timbre.

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