That’ll be just the right toppings. The latest from our friends at Bastl Instruments is an 8HP digital oscillator with hybrid synthesis and tons of patching options – three oscillators in one.

Bastl have been teasing this one for a while, so it’s great to see what the whole pizza thing was about. (There’s still no answer to why it’s called that, but I’ll try to … use some sophisticated spy techniques to find out.)

And it’s really quite a nice balance – a complex, FM-derived oscillator, but in a playable and compact form. It’s capable of weird sounds but without forcing you to decipher some overly weird interface. It looks improvisatory.

Click to embiggen.

You have essentially three oscillators in the module as the basic architecture:

  • One main oscillator with phase modulation (frequency modulation) and wavefolding
  • Octave (sub) oscillator
  • Ratio oscillator

The sub and ratio oscillators then become modulating oscillators for the main oscillator, with their own square-sine-saw shape controls and the ability to ring modulate the main oscillator.

There’s also an FM index crossfader, and either the ratio or sub oscillator can be used for phase modulation (via a switch).

Plus, you can use an external signal as the input and directly phase modulate with that. Now, you don’t have to tune this thing – it’s a digital oscillator, not an analog oscillator – but you can also use the V/oct input to play in tune with an external input, and use that signal quantized or unquantized. (You can also calibrate that source to tune to your input.)

Actually, let’s let them explain that tuning:

Because of its digital nature, Pizza does not have to be tuned, and its approach to tuning is different. You only go to the Tune mode when you actually need to. Otherwise, the PITCH knob serves as either octave transpose or detune.

Not only do you have these three oscillators in one, but they have their own outputs – MAIN out, PULSE, and OSC OUT. See specs below.

The project Bastl says is three and a half years in development, with “our junior developer Martin Klecl, coded by Florian Helling, and supervised by Václav Peloušek, with contributions from Lennart Schierling and the whole Bastl team.”

A 300-unit preorder starts right now, for 297 EUR (with VAT; 245 without). Ships in June.

We’ll go have a visit to the Bastl booth, of course. I hope they brought that signature coffee again.

Full specs:

  • Complex oscillator with 3 internal oscillators
  • Main Oscillator with phase modulation (FM), wave folding, and ring modulation
  • Octave Oscillator with independent output, square-sine-saw waveshaper, and independent output
  • Ratio Oscillator for FM with user-adjustable ratios and square-sine-saw waveshaper
  • 3 waveform outputs
  • Pulse output of the Main Oscillator
  • FM Index crossfader between Ratio Oscillator and Octave Oscillator
  • Index Mod attenuverter for the dedicated CV input
  • SHAPE section with wave-shaping of operators, 2 flavors of wave-folding, and ring modulation
  • Sync input to reset all oscillators
  • Octave transposition and detune via Pitch knob
  • Tune mode for adjusting semitone transposition and fine-tune
  • EXT input to replace phase modulation of the Octave Oscillator with external signal
  • V/OCT input with automatic calibration and quantization
  • Assignable CTRL knob and CV (lin/exp FM, ratios, octave, detune, waveshaping, VCA)
  • Firmware updates via micro USB

And in the name of pizza, yes, they’ve made a lovely animation:

I love that there’s all this beautiful artwork accompanying the hardware itself. Check these images:

Even the board looks lovely:

Looking forward to this one.