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When Sawtooth’s Get Thicc: Triphase Oscillator by New Systems Instruments

Released earlier this week, New System Instruments dropped an oscillator that puts the chonk in mid-frequencies and supersizes anything even remotely resembling a sawtooth wave. Meet the Triphase Oscillator.

Like most good things, this oscillator got its start from a single question: “How can you hold a note for a long time, maybe minutes, and have it be interesting throughout?” The answer is apparently to know way too much about the implementation of phase cancellation and its effects on harmonics.

From NSI:

Phase cancellation shapes the characteristics of all acoustic instruments. It forms the basis of chorus and phaser effects. It gives vibrancy to detuned oscillators. The moving sound of pulse width modulation or the roaring sound of animated supersaws are a small part of a much larger sonic space that the Triphase Oscillator is built to discover.”

Let’s look a little closer.

Triphase Oscillator

The most important thing to understand about the TPO (can we do that? TPO rolls off the tongue faster so we’re doing it…) is that it’s built around a stable, analog sawtooth core and produces three copies at the exact same pitch but with independent control of phase and bipolar mix of each waveform output.

Essentially, it’s a complex oscillator in a relatively uncomplicated package. Let’s check the I/O.

  • Inputs
    • 1v/Octave
    • Sync
    • Linear FM on pitch
    • Phase modulation w/ attenuverter for all 3 waves
  • Outputs
    • Individual outs for all 3 waves
    • Mix output

Not too bad right? But with this combination of foundational elements, you get a massive sonic palette to explore.

Make sure to watch Tom Churchill’s excellent deep dive into the Triphase Oscillator to see what we’re talking about, he covers a lot of ground in 28 minutes of runtime.

The module is available for purchase on New Systems Instruments’ website and also for pre-order at Perfect Circuit for $385. Below is a quick demo from NSI themselves and some quick links.

Triphase Oscillator Links

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