Mangrove, an interesting Elemental oscillator

Here, from the Monome people. Superficially, at least, a bit like Elements, sans the steroids? At first I thought it was an Australian product, made here in Oz, due to the references to bunyips and the Three Sisters. However, it seems like it is designed by an Australian, but made in the US.

seems more like a poor-man’s Verbos Harmonic Oscillator. Not bad actually, it has a couple of interesting sounds.

Actually, there is a whole thread on the Mangrove oscillator on MW. Apparently, it is all analogue. Mr Whimsical, who seems to be its designer, notes:

Perhaps there are similarities to Tides, however that module is still a waveform generator. I would suggest MANGROVE’s spark lies in the decorrelation of waveshape and pitch such that that the spectral character remains constant even if the wave changes.

Of course they both have integrated VCAs for the obvious necessities, and can be a self-contained ‘voice’ if your aim is thriftiness.

Not really sure what he means by “decorrelation of waveshape and pitch such that that the spectral character remains constant even if the wave changes”…

I think it is designed so that spectral characteristics like spectral centroid and spread (and more generally spectral envelope) can be held constant as pitch is varied. If we leave aside the naive approach of doing this with bandpass filters in parallel processing a harmonically rich waveform, another common way to achieve this result is to use sync between two oscillators - so that one waveshape creates a spectral envelope, filled by another waveshape responsible for pitch. Some tricks (like combining AM and sync) are useful in making sounds that do not remind the clichéd of eewwwwwww of two hardsync’ed saws or squares. The canonical example of that are the Z***** waveforms in Braids - and I suspect the Mangrove is an analog version of this, done with two oscillator cores, one locked to pitch and the other to spectral controls.

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Yes, in fact, Mr Whimsical comments:

Think of it as a primary oscillator which feeds the SQUARE out. Then drives a formant generator where the panel controls create interaction between the sections. Sync is soft. Output stage is waveshaped VCA. FM w/ VCA is linear input. Exponential FM via the PITCH jack.

The constant switch determines whether PITCH and FORMANT are connected. in constant wave MANGROVE is a traditional waveform generator with alternative waveshapes, whereas constant formant maintains spectral balance, while the waveshape changes over the frequency range.

…which are consistent with Olivier’s thoughts about it, above. As noted, this seems to be a Monome product, and Ezra Buchla, Don Buchla’s son, works at or with Monome. Thus influences from Buchla dual complex oscillators and the like are not unexpected.

The only thing I’d care about is 1. Good value for money and 2. Does it sound good? :slight_smile:

Nobody wants to spend a lot on something really simple, the amount of money charged for an APC for instance.

Heard of your discussion and thought I’d drop in for some clarifications!

On some superficial level I appreciate the comparison to Elements, though I’d suggest the two oscillators cover quite different sonic territory. Where Elements seems to focus on creating sonic depth and a sense of space, Mangrove is very much just raw analog waveforms - in addition to the independent spectral shaping, Mangrove can also create classic waveshapes w/ continuous variation between those shapes. It definitely doesn’t touch on the resonator or bow/string/strike exciters of Elements.

Olivier’s above analysis is largely on point, though I typically prefer descriptions that are use focussed, rather than tech focussed. Just as I don’t understand how Elements works, I appreciate the sounds it creates and I found the controls intuitive and musical to explore. I like to think the Mangrove has a similar musicial intuitiveness.

Finally, Ezra is not involved in the Mannequins series, nor is it a Monome product. We have a close relationship with them, but the interaction hasn’t extended beyond some feedback on prototypes & collectively ordering some manufacturing components.

Thanks for showing the interest, and I’d be happy to share some further thoughts!

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