Device Details

Device Overview

Name/Version: Phase Distortion Synth 1.1
Author: pechmann  
Description: This is my (first, finished) synthesizer. It is a polyphonic wavetable synthesizer using various techniques of phase distortion in a feedback loop. It's got some virtual analog filters and a 5x8 modulation matrix, as well.

To see what each control element does, refer to Live's info view; the device is fully annotated. I've also included a diagram to explain the signal flow. (The sections in the "Oscillator" and "Filter/Pitch" tabs are more or less signal-path-explicit.)

As a starting point, I would suggest turning up the "Post-Filter" knob in the "Phase Feedback" section, then maybe play with the filter settings.

I used various bits and pieces from the gen~ examples included with Max and from the forums. In particular, the filters are not my work but were created by Andrew Simper, the ICST and Dominique Wurtz, and ported to Gen by stkr, Peter McCulloch and Oli Larkin.

The device takes a while to load, especially with greater polyphony. There is, I guess, hope this will change with a future Max update.

The device is free. If you'd like to reward me financially, that would of course be greatly appreciated; you can do so here:

Version 1.1 contains fixes for dropping audio files to the Phase Transfer and Waveform buffers.

Device Details

Downloads: 11210
Tags synth
Live Version Used: 9.0.6
Max Version Used: 6.1.6
Date Added: Jan 14 2014 12:30:40
Date Last Updated: Jan 22 2014 17:22:46
Average Rating (9) 5
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Device Type: instrument_device
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License (more info): AttributionNonCommercialShareAlike

Device Files

Device File: Phase Distortion


Thanks for sharing!

wow!!!! thnxs!!

wow, thanks!

Hi Pechmann.
I'm discovering your synth, and I'm quite excited, awesome work !
I guess in a few hours I'll take some time to understand some of its concept but for the moment I'm just having great fun.
Well done!

Thanks Crampe,
let me know if there is anything I can explain or clarify.

Well, sure there are things to clarify, but with this kind of audio toys I like to scratch my head around what's not obvious.
But, here's one question I didn't explored and like the answer without head scratching:
I find that I can save my wavetables if I "draw" them with "instructions", great. But, is there a way to save a pencil-drawn wavetable ?
Congratulation, those envelopes! the modulation tab! the layout, the feedback routines... huge !!!!

And the sound of course. Unique synth.

Hey Crampe,
thanks! Exporting a pencil-drawn waveform works fine for me in that the audio file does contain the waveform. But there was a bug where dropped audio files would be applied incorrectly. Maybe that made it seem like it didn't export properly? Should be fixed now (version 1.1)

Hey Crampe,
thanks! Exporting a pencil-drawn waveform works fine for me in that the audio file does contain the waveform. But there was a bug where dropped audio files would be applied incorrectly. Maybe that made it seem like it didn't export properly? Should be fixed now (version 1.1)

Exporting the wavetable did already work. But of course I didn't thought about just dropping the file to load it :-)
BTW, so now I guess that it's the only way toward it. No way to save a (pencil-drawn) user wavetable in the device itself as part of a preset ? If you use a custom waveform, save a preset of the synth, you have to drag the saved (exported) waveform each time you load this preset (I mean ableton device preset here, inside the browser). That is not the most convenient thing, but...

Don't know if I'll test the 1.1 version tonight, I might need to go to sleep at some point.
I'm totally blown away by your synth ! Noise machine from hell !!!

Awesome work. Sounds great and works a treat! Thank you.

Beautiful synth, incredible sound. Thanks for sharing this spark of genius!

I've been playing this synth now for two days and it really is incredibly versatile and keeps producing beautiful sounds. Thanks again!

amaaazing... :D

It's one month later and I'm still impressed, tweaking, finding new sounds and possibilities. Really an amazing synth. I've compared it as a pure wavetable synth with other commercial products and it really sounds much better. Thank you again!


For some reason i can't get this to make a single sound! what am I doing wrong?

Do you see any error messages in the Max window? (Right/Cmd-Click on the device title bar, "Open Max Window") On the device UI, do you get the phase ramp and sine waveform displayed as in the screenshot?

this device is amazing.
So much control, a love to work and play with.

Major thank you for this unique synth.


Many of you are commenting how great this device is, yet it has no ratings. Why aren't you also rating this device highly if you think this device is good?

Just trying to understand why no one seems to be using the ratings feature on this site but it's a popular feature of every other site.

Precfect. I love it. Thanks. :)

I'm still amazed by this wonderful synth.

That's great to hear. By the way, I have to caution against updating Max to version 6.1.8, as this introduces a bug that can cause some problems especially related to the envelope times. On the other hand, loading time is greatly improved now, so everything should be working nicely when a Max 6.1.9 update comes.

Thanks for creating this awesome synth. I'm excited to dig in more. Already used it to create some SFX for a project

I'm late to the party, but I really enjoy this synth after only playing with it for a few minutes. Can make some crazy sounds with this one....

Synth is fantastic!
Under Live 10 there is an issue: Live crashes immediately when removing an instance of the device from a midi track.
Also when opening the device in the Max 8 Editor and unfreezing it, Max crashes.

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