More than three years after we first got wind of it, Expressive E has announced that Osmose, its expressive polyphonic synth, is finally shipping. Early adopters have started to receive their units, and pre-orders for the next batch are now being taken
Osmose promises the benefits of an MPE controller in a familiar keyboard form factor, the theory being that this will enable existing players to get good results without having to adapt their technique too much.
As previously reported, you get three dimensions of control on every single key, enabled by the patented AKA - Augmented Keyboard Action - technology.
To get the most out of this, Osmose also contains Haken Audio’s 24-voice EagenMatrix sound engine, which it developed for its Continuum Fingerboard. This combines digital, additive, FM, virtual analogue and spectral synthesis, with some physical modelling thrown in for good measure.
As you’d expect, Osmose can also function as an MPE MIDI keyboard, offering polyphonic aftertouch, a multichannel MIDI mode and global pitchbend control from every key. You can set it up as a standalone controller, too, so it can be used away from your computer.
You also get a selection of macro controls, giving you further scope to adjust timbre, texture and harmonics. A mod wheel and two continuous pedal inputs are included, and you can configure the sensitivity of the keyboard’s 3D control to your liking.
Despite rising costs and economic uncertainty, Expressive E is committing to a $1.799/€1,799 retail price for Osmose, “within the limits of allocated stocks”. It comes with 500 presets that are suitable for use in multiple genres.
To celebrate Osmose’s release, Expressive E has created a series of artist videos that will be rolled out over the next few months. The likes of Flying Lotus, AR Rahman, Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Dean, Cory Henry, André Manoukian and Tarik Azzouz will discuss how they approach musical expression, how they interact with Osmose, and how the new synth has influenced the way they play.
The first three episodes, which feature AR Rahman, J3PO and Tarik Azzouz, are available to watch now, and a trailer for the series is above.
You can find out more and place a pre-order on the Expressive E website.