Six voices, uncompromised flexibility
Ambika is a monster hybrid polysynth. Its design consists of a motherboard and 6 voicecards, each of them carrying a turbocharged version of the Shruthi hybrid synthesizer (digital waveform synthesis through analog VCF/VCAs). Whether you want to use this as six monosynths, a six-voice polysynth, or anything in-between is up to you: MIDI channels/keyboard range/patches/voices are distinct concepts, allowing complex layered, split, multitimbral setups. In addition, each voice has a switched individual output.
Three flavors of voicecards are available: two styles of 4-pole filters (SMR4, warm with a soft edge ; and 4P, edgier), and a classic 2-pole multimode filter. This allows you to mix and match several filter types inside the same unit – for example to play a pad on 5 4-pole voices, and a squelchy bandpass filtered lead on the multimode board.
Beyond the Shruthi
Improved sound generation engine
Ambika offers all the delicious digital waveform synthesis algorithms (FM, vowel synthesis, wavetables…) that made the Shruthi famous, and some newcomers too: CZ-style emulation of digital filters and wave sequencing. The oscillators signal is now processed through a fuzz/distortion and a bitcrusher before being sent to the analog filters.
The modulation possibilities are immense thanks to the 4 LFOs (3 synchronized and 1 free running), 3 ADSRs, and the large modulation matrix (14 slots, 4 modifiers).
The large 2×40 LCD display always show the 8 synthesis parameters assigned to the 8 knobs, and the 8 switches allow direct jumps between the different “modules” of the synth engine (Oscillators, filter, envelopes, modulations…) with close to no menu navigation. Ambika is focused on synthesis and right from boot you can jump into creating and tweaking sounds.
Step-sequencers (2x up to 16 steps or 1x up to 32 notes), arpeggiators, and rhythmic chord generators are available for each part. Each part can be synchronized to a different multiple of the MIDI clock.
Ambika uses a SD-card for patches, multis and sequences storage – a massive storage space which enables versioning and undo/compare/redo.
Olivier Gillet, Mutable instruments SARL 2011-2013. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a cc-by-sa 3.0 license.