Max for Live


by Mellisonic

Polyphylla is a new Max For Live instrument that makes additive synthesis accessible and fun. Aimed at electronic music producers as well as experimental composers, music educators and production novices, you’ll master it in minutes but make amazing sounds with it for years to come.

USD 49

Boiling a complex under-the-hood architecture down to a concise set of around 50 editable parameters, organised in a clean, clear interface, Polyphylla prioritises approachability and ease of use, without sacrificing depth or quality of results.

At the heart of the synth is a flexible 120-partial additive oscillator coupled to an analogue-style noise generator, each with its own multimode filter. The oscillator offers three methods by which to generate and edit a base harmonic spectrum: simple analogue waveform emulation, knob-driven stochastic microtuning, and detailed graphical control of 32 partial groups. The noise generator, meanwhile, can be overdriven for extra grit.

Harmonic movement and dynamics are introduced to the signal using a powerful arsenal of fractal-inspired Motion processors. Level modulation of all partials together over time is drawn into the Motif Editor, while the Sweep, Attractor, Deform and Drift effects warp, bend and generally reshape them collectively and individually. Immediately informative real-time visual feedback on the partials and their playback is provided by the 2D Spectrum and 3D Motion Views.

A Spectrum Retina.png

Polyphylla main view

Further animation is dialled in via an array of modulation sources, including two envelopes, two LFOs, velocity and aftertouch, visibly assignable to most of Polyphylla’s parameters. Harmonizer, ring modulation, chorus and reverb effects are also on hand for polishing and mangling the final sound.

Polyphylla excels at evocative ambiences, moving pads, rich textures and out-there experimental noises – although it’s also perfectly capable of generating rich basses, punchy leads and other bread and butter sounds. Experienced synthesists will love its speedy workflow and stellar sonics, while beginners will find the intuitive, fuss-free layout a welcome departure from the bewildering interfaces of other additive synths.

Polyphylla requires Max 7 which you can download from your Ableton account.

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USD 49