ZOImonicon — a polyrhythmic synthesizer based on the Subharmonicon

ZOImonicon is based on the Moog Subharmonicon.

There are two oscillators (although only one has subharmonic oscillators; CPU victim), controlled by two sequencers (-/+ 2 octaves, quantized). The rhythm of these sequencers is determined by any or all of 4 rhythmic subdivisions.

Oscillator 1 has two sub-oscillators, whose frequency is based on the harmonic series. These allow you to create chords; additionally, one or both of the sub-oscillators can be controlled by the sequencer. (Oscillator 2 has no suboscillators, again, a CPU issue.)

Audio exits from the left output.

The controls mirror the Subharmonicon as closely as possible, except:

The subharmonic frequencies and the rhythmic dividers go from left (highest frequency /1, fast divider /1) to right (lowest frequency /16, slowest divider /16) which is the opposite of how the Subharmonicon’s function.


Step sequencer 1 (magenta) corresponds to controls for oscillator 1 and its suboscillators (purple).

Step sequencer 2 (blue) corresponds to controls for oscillator 2, which has no suboscillators (aqua).

The sequencers can be assigned to oscillator 1 and its two sub-oscillators independently, and to oscillator 2, using the pushbutton switches below the frequency control.

The dividers 1-4 can be assigned to either sequencer with the pushbutton switches below them (again, color corresponds).

The filter has an attack/decay envelope, which can be positively or negatively applied.

The VCA has an attack/decay envelope.

** Note about the envelopes: The Subharmonicon’s envelopes won’t retrigger during the attack phase. This is, in my opinion, one of the less-heralded awesomeness of the synthesizer; it allows you to introduce a third layer of rhythm, using the envelopes to further subdivide the sequencers. That behavior has been preserved here.

The tempo/clock is on the front page; this is the LFO which drives the dividers. The patch is not MIDI controlled, but if you wanted to clock it to MIDI, that would be where you would make your connection.

The left stompswitch will stop/start (pause) the sequencers. The middle stompswitch will reset the sequences.

On the second page is the mixer for the oscillators (only so much room on the front page). You can also watch the sequencers move through their steps on this page, whcih is a lot of fun and kind of entrancing with the polyrhythmic nature of the patch.

I have a Subharmonicon (now), and this doesn’t sound like a Subharmonicon. There is a Moog “sound” which it lacks, and the envelopes don’t open and close in quite the same way (although I tried my darnedest there). But it is a lot of fun, and the “workflow” is very like the Subharmonicon.

I want to thank Loopop for some valuable insight on an early draft of this patch, before the Subharmonicon was re-released (and I snatched one up).

No demo at the moment (very busy); I will update later when I get a chance to shoot one.

1.1 revision notes:

Minor “under the hood” changes; some adjustments to envelopes (still not quite where I want them, but better).

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  • Category: Sequencer Synthesizer
  • Revision: 1.1 -- See revision note at bottom of patch notes
  • License: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0
  • Views: 677
  • Modified: 3 weeks ago
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3 comments on “ZOImonicon — a polyrhythmic synthesizer based on the Subharmonicon
  • UncleGroOVe on said:

    Very badass (as usual, I might add)….! Can’t wait to take it for a spin!

  • Jcautobot on said:

    This is so amazing. Ive been playing around with it, I feel like it has a ton of depth. Kudos.

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