Braids, by French Eurorack pioneers Mutable Instruments, is not an oscillator.
It sort of looks like one, with fine and coarse pitch/frequency controls, a v/oct input, and voltage-controllable tone/timbre controls.
It even sort of sounds like one, in as far as it outputs audio.
Mutable Instruments call it a macro oscillator, but even that is an understatement. It’s a hugely sophisticated digital synthesis engine, able to produce and manipulate complex sounds – classic waves from vintage synths, bells, resonant filters, plucked and bowed strings, vocals and vowel/formant sounds, wind instruments, percussion, noise, granular clouds and more – by means of 45 or so fully-realized algorithms, featuring multiple oscillators, wavetables, filters, VCAs, ring modulators, and so on under the hood.
Each mode is a different algorithm, and produces a different variety of sounds as you turn the two tone controls, Timbre and Colour. These controls are pre-programmed to do different things per algorithm, often adjusting multiple parameters in the set-up at once to tour the sweet spots. And of course they can be CV controlled.
Using the trigger input and built-in AD envelope, each algorithm can even become a self-contained synth voice. No other modules required. But bring other modules in and you can make pretty much any instrument you could imagine.
In a sense, Braids can be looked at as both an encyclopedia of classic synthesis techniques, and a tool to bring them into the present-day, with tremendous sound-quality and ease-of-use to match.
It is also shockingly, spectacularly rich, varied, and complicated, with each mode being an instrument unto itself.
So read the Softube Plug-ins Manual
…or Mutable Instruments’ own information on the hardware here – mutable-instruments.net /modules /braids
…or check out Bob Borries’ excellent unofficial diagrammatic manual here – www.vo1t.com /Euro /BraidsIllustrated1.8.pdf
…or watch this comprehensive video runthrough from Future Music – youtu.be /QgeCO1DD2wA
Macro oscillator featuring 40+ fully-realized digital synthesis algorithms
Produce millions of different sounds easily – classic waves and telecoms babble, bells and whistles, percussion and ambience
Just two controls morph through the sweet spots of each algorithm
Great for triggered percussion
Awesome for crazy complex waveform synthesis
Phenomenal for glitchy out-of-control modulated sounds
Incredibly deep, but easy to use
It’s like a library of the greatest synth sounds of all time