New Systems Instruments announced today that the Triphase Oscillator is now shipping and available. The Triphase Oscillator gives you three sawtooth waves with independent control over the phase of each wave, combined with a bipolar mixer. This creates a comb filter pattern in the harmonics, emphasizing some harmonics and canceling others.
The Triphase Oscillator works with phase cancellation, combining three waves at different phases and polarities to remove or reinforce regularly spaced harmonics, such as odd harmonics or every third harmonic. With the bipolar mixer, you can control how the waves interact, canceling or reinforcing parts of the spectrum either fully or partially. Applying CV to the phases creates variable-width pulses, subtle detuning effects, and a continuously moving soundscape. Phase cancellation is related to pulse width modulation, but pulse width modulation only has one dimension of control instead of the multiple phases and polarities of the Triphase Oscillator. A closer relative is a chorus effect, which creates frequency-dependent phase differences by delaying a signal.
One way to use the Triphase Oscillator is to mix all three saws at the same polarity, modulating their phases to create a supersaw, similar to mixing multiple detuned sawtooth oscillators. This creates a classic thick analog sound, further enhanced by the internal CP3 type mixer—a discrete transistor mixer that reportedly gave the Moog IIIp modular system a good part of its sound. With the individual outputs, you can also use a full featured stereo mixer and pan the saw waves left, right, and center, giving a stereo supersaw or stereo chorus type of effect.
Apart from its unique phase modulation capabilities, the Triphase Oscillator is a very capable analog oscillator in its own right, giving a tuning accuracy of around 8 octaves and ranging from 1.5Hz–60kHz, well into the sub and supersonic ranges. In addition to volt per octave and CV over phase, it has a hard sync input, and a linear FM input. All the CV runs at audio rate as well, meaning the Triphase Oscillator can produce some interesting FM + phase modulation sounds.
New Systems Instruments is a modular manufacturer located in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on creating new analog designs based on different ways of thinking about music and synthesis.
The Triphase Oscillator retails at $385 USD. The official page with links to the manual and a video overview can be found at https://nsinstruments.com/modules/triphase.html