Expressive E and the Osmose in 2024

‘improved MPE’ was one of the things mentioned in the whats new section for Falcon 3 but as I never got deep into trial version of v2 I wasnt well placed to see exactly what had changed. When I find time I am keen to see how well I can get the new bowed string and harmonic resonator oscillators working with MPE.

The MPE is still script based but the script has a GUI and maybe some of the options in that interface for it are new.


Fun timing after me ranting about presets:

One of the new purchasable soundbanks for the new Pigments 5 is, to quote Arturia, described as “Push the boundaries of keyboard expressivity with Expressive Explorations, which has been designed with MIDI Polyphonic Expression in-mind.”

The sound bank section of their website was having some trouble when I went to have a look, so not sure what the demos are like. I will grab it (or the bundle currently on discounted sale) anyway to support this sort of thing.


The launch of UVI Glass Orchestra, with MPE support, hasnt featured Osmose so far. Rather there was just an incredibly half-arsed MPE bit of Venus Theory briefly using it with a Sensel Morph that was not even placed on a stable surface.


yeah, I doubt we will see content creators using the Osmose for demos too much, for a few reasons:
a) I don’t think many were given an Osmose, and it was an expensive purchase (for demos/preset creation)… though I do think there are some out there.
b) Y axis issue - as discussed above.
c) confusion - osmose is (primarily) advertised as standalone synth, so that could potentially confuse some about usage of plugin.
d) other mpe controllers are (arguably) more visually ‘intriguing’, than what looks like a conventional keyboard (e.g. leds, alternative layout)
e) familiarity/use what you have, some of the creators have been using other mpe controllers previously… not likely to switch given the whole mpe area is relative niche.

as Osmose owners, we could argue all these points, and point to the the success of the Osmose, and its widespread acclaim. but Id be surprised if many switch over to Osmose for demos etc. though, of course, Im sure there will be a few, we know some sound designers really like it!

I think it’s an intriguing time now for the Osmose…
I think they are now pretty much ‘freely’ available, and we are over the honeymoon and marketing (social media) hype. so, now is the time where we sit back and enjoy it, make music with it… and really get to know it well.

from there, time will tell… will it age like a fine wine, and so more will be drawn to it, and we start seeing it crop up in more regularly (where its not the ‘main feature’), or will it be like many other mpe instruments, which has an avid following, but remains niche?

and of course, this is all running in parallel with increasing adoption of Live, and even in the Push 3. again,
how widespread will that become, or will it just be a feature that few really use?

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Yeah I only picked on the UVI demo because in the past they showed a few signs of using more MPE controllers, very much including Osmose, in some demos. Will wait and see if they intend to release any more demo material for the Glass thing, perhaps not but you never know.

Meanwhile I also still wait to see what the software Expressive E mentioned turns out to be, whether they announce anything at NAMM etc.

I think one problem with the world of videos, including influencer videos, and MPE, is confidence in playing abilities. Even in the wider scene there has never been a large crossover between those willing to make videos, and those who are confident enough in their MPE playing abilities to put it on video. Narrow down to the top influencers or those paid to be involved in official product marketing videos, and the potential pool shrinks to almost nobody so far. The likes of Osmose and Push 3 havent changed this, not yet at least.

Looking beyond the world of video creators, I saw signs that both Osmose and Push 3 turned more people on to MPE, and for example I certainly found Push 3 users who didnt expect much from the MPE pads but were then very pleasantly surprised. But not at the sheer scale that I can claim that some great new trajectory has been released, I’m not confident that escape velocity has been reached to enable a certain escape from the gravitational pull of planet niche. I would claim that MPE has gradually reached some milestone in terms of how many synth companies feel that maybe they need to consider including it, it may be at a point where the marketing departments want it, but some companies are still skeptical and not without some reason. I suspect some companies experience plenty of users asking for it to be supported, but then dont hear or see much from those users when they do add MPE support. And sometimes when I find quirks in a particular synths implementation of MPE, I often dont find many other people talking about those quirks online, filing bug reports etc, making me wonder how many people are actually using it.


What has occasionally been attempted barely scratches the surface. For example Expressive E were sensible enough to take an early Osmose around to various artists with name value and then make a whose series of ‘artists meet Osmose’ videos. But these videos just show first impressions and resulting hyperbole. What I’d ideally like to see is for someone to run with that idea on a more sustained, serial basis, charting the journey of at least one artists actually becoming a committed player of said instrument.

That would be a lot of work and money and would require the right person. ROLI could have done it if they had chosen to burn a chunk of their money on that instead of all the other stuff they burnt vast amounts of money on back in those giddy days.

If I had a time machine I would go back and pinch a million quid off ROLI, then give it to Flying Lotus to make a series of followups to this, lol: (warning, contains swearing)

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I strongly agree. Related:

Bullseye, but there is no centralized MPE community to pool these companies and users together, so the latter argument is more difficult to quantify.

Well said. Related:

Support - Artists

I am done with MPE discussion at this point, so mention my username when action is desired at Poly Expression.

Just a little update regarding my speculation about u-he and the Osmose.

Urs said this recently in relation to NAMM:

Quote is from: Meet Zebralette 3 at NAMM - Page 18 - u-he Forum - KVR Audio

I wasnt at NAMM myself but its good to know that my earlier hunch is still at least somewhat valid. Their MPE-enabled synth versions are still in beta till later this year so I can imagine some Osmose presets arriving at the same time as the non-beta versions of those.


In terms of Expressive E’s own presence at NAMM, I didnt really notice any formal videos of them announcing anything in particular at NAMM this year. I did see an informal video where someone walking round the show happened to ask Christopher some questions at one point during a very long youtube stream, and from that it sounded like their priorities in terms of Osmose development were to improve the presets system, and offer users a way of managing presets from a computer using an app that isnt the Haken editor app. And as usual they acknowledged that a better editor for the synth engine is on the list of priorities, but is a significant undertaking.


If it is not too much trouble to find that informal video again, it would be interesting to get a link to it!

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If someone wants an app to manage presets other than the Haken Editor, there is my VCV Rack plugin: Announcing pachde (#d) HC-One beta

Doesn’t have quite everything people want, but it’s quite useful. I’m getting ready to release it to the Rack library - just buttoning up docs and a little more testing.


I wasnt sure if I could find it again but I did. Dont expect too much, it was just an informal chat and there was some confused questioning about MaxForLive/lack of Max knowledge in there, along with some failure to detect sarcasm about Windows which didnt exactly help the conversation to flow:

Sadly you probably wont learn anything beyond what I already described earlier so I dont recommend actually watching the video but here it is anyway.

Go to the 26 minutes 41 seconds stage of this video:

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On watching it again, beyond what I already said there was a hint about adding more modules to the engine but theres no detail and that could mean a number of different things, and they dont want to be bullish about timescales. Its clear they are well aware of limitations to the user experience of the editor, but a better librarian/preset system is first on the agenda.

Haken progress is painfully slow, Im still waiting for the thing that lets you load your own ‘sample turned into additive bank’ (my dodgy wording) thing that someone involved with that (not-Osmose-specific) side of things first mentioned years ago.

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Since I mentioned the additive stuff I may as well link to some examples. But I have no idea if the tool to make your own will actually come out this year, they have been farting around with this stuff for years without, it seems, any commercial pressure to actually release something useable.

And these videos arent exactly polished demos.

The Continuucon talk about this is the typical deep nerdy stuff. I think there are some actual demos of some patches using it when you get past the half hour mark, though these particular demos are very much not Osmose specific and arent designed with the Osmose playing surface in mind at all:

And there is this earlier one which is in French (I dont speak that language) but gives you a glimpse of the prototype tool and some different sound demos:

I expect most Osmose owners dont currently even know this feature even exists (and that all we are missing is the converter/importer), further reducing any commercial pressure to actually release something. Most Osmose owners will only know about this if they’ve ever had patches such as Additive Choir failing to make any noise, and had to be told where to find the obscure ‘Remake QSPI Data’ option in the Haken editor to get it working. Because that patch uses the existing ‘additive bank’ thats been included, and used by some Eaganmatrix patches, since that feature was first added to the engine, well before the Osmose first came out.

Anyway I should certainly have used the term resynthesis when I mentioned this feature.

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A web search for ‘Mahling phrase’ (which was used to create the data thats already been included since this feature was added to the engine) reveals an existing thread right here on this very forum:

And an Osmose patch someone made for people to use to test that this data is on their Osmose properly, and to explore it in a way that factory Osmose presets dont:

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Progress has pretty slow on these things. It is a small group of people working on it, and most of them have other jobs. I think Christophe is the one working on the spectral set software, and he’s been very busy with le Voix de Luthier, a gig with Hans Zimmer for Dune 2, etc.

I do think the pace will pick up a little. Lippold retired from the University not long ago to devote more time to EM/Continuum development.

I have a preview of some of the changes in the next firmware coming before Continuucon and there some new things in there specifically in support of custom spectral sets. That doesn’t mean the feature will be complete then, but it is progress


Thank you for digging it up! :slight_smile:

It was relevant information to me and it is always good to hear it oneself to interpret the information. I am very interested in what changes may happen to preset management and editor - and on what platforms - so I really apprected it.

Regarding the resynthesis, it was discussed quite at length by Haken Audio during Superbooth 2021 so I kind of anticipated it to show up not too long after the introduction of the EMM. Since then, though, I have understood it is probably better to just sit back an look forward to it with curious patience.

The link is to a perfromance/lecture from the fair and around 17 minutes into the video Edmund Eagan plays the Continuumini/EMM with custom sample resynthesized in real-time, with Rob Schwimmer on Osmose. I think it is the most clear use of it I have heard yet!

(13) Haken Audio & La Voix du Luthier – SUPERBOOTH21 Gesprächskonzert (lecture concert) - YouTube


And so the first collaboration has been revealed. KiloHearts.


it’s a good deal… Phase Plant & the 4 preset bundles for 99 euros…

fyi: Phase Plant lists at 199 usd retail, but can often be had for ~99usd, sometimes with sound packs

I’ll be playing with it tonight :slight_smile:


Yeah I probably nearly bought it under offer in the past but something else always got ahead in my purchase queue. Now Im glad I waited. Just bought it, very excited to try it in a little while. Am deliberately teasing myself by watching various Phase Plant videos first.

I’ll be using the same controllers they used in their demo videos, Push 3 and Osmose. WIll be interesting to see how they tackled the sound design devilish details we touched upon in regards different controllers earlier in this thread.

I see they are chucking around a “MPE EE certified” logo in the parketing for this pack too. Probably mostly a gimmick for marketing purposes but if it helps some of the less technical Osmose users who were in the past confused about Expressive E’s offerings and MPE/expressivity, I wont complain. Especially if the amount of preset pack options for various synths that carry that logo grows in future.

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