The MOCS Macro-Oscillator: Exploring the Limitless Possibilities of the Mutable Instruments Plaits Clone by TLM Audio

Immersed in the subtle sonic washes of granular synthesis, the rhythmic percussive impact of a kick drum, or the morphing digital landscapes of a wavetable oscillator, lies the heart of the MOCS Macro-Oscillator by TLM Audio. Honoring the craftsmanship of Mutable Instruments, the MOCS is a definitive reincarnation of the revered Plaits module, pixel-for-pixel and decibel-for-decibel.

Built, calibrated, and tested to the highest quality standards in Germany, the MOCS offers infinite possibilities for sound explorations. Its dual output setup, directly pluckable internal low-pass gate (LPG), and both internal and external modulation options magnify the potential for innovation, offering a myriad of texturing possibilities.

Imbued with 16 synthesis models, the MOCS' sonic palette ranges from the simple, pure sine and complex detuned virtual analog oscillators to 2-operator FM with adjustable feedback paths. Expanding into more experimental territories, the module explores a formant shifting speech synthesis that evokes shades of phoneme controlled sonics.

Beyond pitched sounds, MOCS sports synthesis models tailored specifically for noise and percussion, including granular, sawtooth or sine oscillators. This provides an auditory amusement park for droning enthusiasts with its variable grain density, duration, and frequency randomization. Dust noise-processed extended Karplus-Strong and Modal resonator algorithms are also present, leaving no stone unturned in the universe of sound.

For the drum-loving modular synth user, resonant kick drum, snare drum, and high-hat emulations cinch the rhythmic core of any composite track. MOCS' dust noise-excited Modal resonator or the white noise-excited Rings' red mode bring unexpected twists to the percussive narrative.

The core magic of MOCS lies in its AUX output, which carries a variant of the main signal. Patching both OUT and AUX to a Warps-like module can result in bizarre and beautiful hybridization experiments, expanding the sonic horizons even further.

Additionally, dedicated CV inputs allow for synthesis model selection without needing to activate a specific mode, making the module impressively user-friendly. The internal decay envelope normalled to the TIMBRE, FM, and MORPH CV inputs adds to ease of use and expands the soundscaping potential.

The internal low-pass gate (LPG) is not just an add-on feature. With its dedicated level CV input, it controls the amplitude and brightness of the output signal, offering an engaging intersection between rhythm and tone within a single module. Further, the LPG's virtual vactrol's response time parameters can be easily manipulated, adding more flavor to the sonic brew.

Given its multitude of capabilities across a broad expanse of sound design applications, the MOCS Macro-Oscillator represents the culmination of Mutable Instruments seminal Plaits module, condensed into a beautifully crafted piece of hardware by TLM Audio. It validates the idea that the musical journey is as important as the destination itself, offering eurorack adopters a tool of exquisite quality and limitless creativity.

Example Usage

Novice Usage Example:

Let's start with something simple yet powerful using the MOCS Macro-Oscillator. We'll explore the wavetable oscillator with four banks of 8x8 waves. To begin, connect the audio output of the MOCS to your mixer or audio interface. Then, using patch cables, connect the V/OCT input of the MOCS to the pitch CV output of your MIDI-to-CV module.

Next, take a multicolored patch cable and connect the TIMBRE input of the MOCS to a random modulation source, such as an LFO module. This will add some movement to the sound. Now, turn the TIMBRE attenuverter to the center position.

On the MOCS module, you'll find a Model selection knob. Turn the knob to the third position, which corresponds to the wavetable oscillator. This will activate the wavetable mode.

Now, let's adjust the sound further. Turn the MODEL knob to explore different wavetable banks. Each bank has a unique set of 8x8 waves. Take your time to find the waveforms that resonate with your desired sound.

To add some modulation to the wavetable selection, take another patch cable and connect an LFO module's output to the MODEL input of the MOCS. Adjust the LFO's rate to create a subtle morphing effect between the wavetables.

Finally, play some notes on your MIDI controller or sequencer, and listen to the evolving and expressive sound generated by the wavetable oscillator. Experiment with different modulations and wavetable banks to discover new sonic possibilities.

Remember, the MOCS Macro-Oscillator is all about exploration and experimentation. Don't hesitate to try different combinations of modulation sources and parameters to create your unique soundscape. Have fun and keep pushing the boundaries of your creativity!

Intermediate-Level Usage Example:

In this intermediate-level example, we will explore the Chord Generator synthesis model on the MOCS Macro-Oscillator. The Chord Generator is a powerful feature of this Mutable Instruments Plaits clone, allowing you to create complex string and organ-like sounds.

To begin, let's patch the MOCS OUT output to a VCA module or an effects processor. We want to hear the generated chords through external audio equipment.

Next, let's focus on the synthesis model selection. The MOCS module has a dedicated CV input for this purpose. Connect a sequencer or a modulation source to the CV input to dynamically change the synthesis model.

Now, let's configure the Chord Generator. Start by adjusting the TIMBRE parameter. This control allows you to morph between different chord qualities. Turning it clockwise will emphasize major chords, while turning it counterclockwise will bring out minor chords. Experiment with different settings to find the desired chord progression.

For even more control, you can use the FM, MODEL, and HARMO CV inputs. These inputs allow you to modulate various aspects of the Chord Generator. For example, sending an LFO signal to the FM input will add subtle modulation to the chord voicings, creating movement and interest.

To further shape the sound, we have the LEVEL parameter. This control adjusts the amplitude and brightness of the output signal. Experiment with this parameter to find the perfect balance for your mix.

Finally, if you want to add some dynamic response to your chords, you can use the TRIG input to trigger the internal low-pass gate (LPG) by sending a gate or trigger signal. Adjust the response time of the virtual vactrol to control the decay and release characteristics of the chords.

With the MOCS Macro-Oscillator's Chord Generator, the possibilities are endless. You can create lush pads, rich organ sounds, or even experiment with unconventional chord progressions. Let your creativity run wild and explore the vast sonic landscapes that this synthesis model offers.

Whether you are a seasoned performer or a studio enthusiast, the MOCS Macro-Oscillator's Chord Generator will be a valuable addition to your eurorack system, providing you with professional-grade chord synthesis capabilities.

Further Thoughts

When it comes to exploring the limitless possibilities of the TLM Audio MOCS Macro-Oscillator, one of the standout features is its wavetable oscillator with four banks of 8x8 waves. This allows you to create a wide range of complex and evolving sounds. Let's dive into an expert-level usage example:

By patching an LFO to the MODE input and modulating it, we can create captivating wavetable transitions. Start by selecting a wavetable bank that suits your desired timbre. Then, set the LFO to a slow rate and route it to the MODE input. As the LFO cycles through its waveform, the MOCS will smoothly morph between each wave in the wavetable bank.

To add even more depth to the sound, use an envelope generator to modulate the TIMBRE input. This will dynamically alter the harmonic content of each wave as the LFO modulates the wavetable position. Experiment with different envelope shapes and timings to create evolving textures and tonal variations.

For further exploration, try combining this wavetable modulation technique with the MOCS' built-in effects and extra outputs. Patching the AUX output to a effects module like Mutable Instruments Warps opens up a world of hybridization possibilities. You can transform the wavetable-driven soundscapes into unexpected and otherworldly sonic landscapes.

With the TLM Audio MOCS Macro-Oscillator, the wavetable oscillator unlocks a vast sonic palette, allowing you to push the boundaries of sound design and composition. Whether you're creating evolving pads, intricate textures, or unique melodic sequences, the wavetable oscillator is an indispensable tool for those seeking innovation and sonic exploration in their modular setup.