Batumi is a quadruple digital LFO module that contains a number of interesting features. It has several modes that create phase relationships between the modulation signals, along with possibility to sync to clock and clock divide. Just saying the term phase relationships puts me to sleep, however in practice the concept is extraordinarily expressive and creatively capable.
The biggest challenge with sound design and synthesis is creating interesting and lively texture out of static elements. An oscillator sounds subjectively irritating if played unaltered, so we use filters, effects, and modulations to shape it in different ways. Subtractive synthesis has been beaten to death and back, yet occasionally there are accidents and moments of inspiration that create fresh sounds. Batumi was a gateway into that for me.
Phase relationships can mean different things, and to get specifics it's best to hear it from Xaoc Devices themselves. For this patch, it meant controlling several different parameters of the Roland SYSTEM-500 at the same time, on a relative timescale. The LFOs of Batumi can sync together, however you can offset the phase of each one. This means when one LFO goes up, another one follows after a variable amount of time, creating interesting gestures. In this case, while one LFO controlled the SYSTEM-500 521 Filter, another controlled the SYSTEM-500 512 Oscillator pulse-width, etc. Since the LFOs are phase related, the modulation sounds more musical and usable. Couple that with adjustable speed, and you have a very capable modulation source.
Equipment used for this improvisation was:
- Roland TR-8
- Roland SE-02
- Roland SYSTEM-500
- Roland JX-03
- Roland MX-1
- Roland SBX-1
- Novation Circuit
- Harvestman Stillson Hammer Mkii