4ms SWN – Spherical Wavetable Navigator

I must say I’ve not been impressed by the previews of this sixfold wavetable oscillator, mainly because it reminded me of the SMR, which I was not fond of, until yesterday, when Loopop posted his video about it.

I really like the immediate playability of it from the front panel, and I feel it can be at home in a larger eurorack setup, but also as a stand-alone synthesizer. Anyone else has thoughts about it?


I like this workflow of using wavetables, and 6 voices for roughly 600 USD is a great deal. But I think it would take a lot of work on the computer, adding and editing waveforms in the editor, to make this thing truly yours.


I am wanting some form of harmonic oscillator and have been considering another Stages in Easter-egg mode, a Just Friends, and now there is this.

Trying to get away from fixating on gear, too…ugh!


I remember falling in love with this thing when it was first announced, back when I was first getting into modular and didn’t really know what I was doing and spending my time fawning over new and exciting things over on another forum. This thing was going to replace my E350 and was going to pair up with an SMR and some other 4ms stuff. The final iteration looks cool and I’m interested in the SphereEdit software, but I’m not sure it’s something I’d want or even need these days, since I have a few analog and digital oscillator options in my setup. I can’t imagine wanting a wavetable oscillator again unless it’s something weird like the Mysteron.

I obviously just ordered one yesterday, and you’ve given me a nice idea about what to sample in it (I have a Mysteron which I love and hate, but mostly love).

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Wavetable resynthesis to create new wavetables? I’d definitely like to hear the results once you’ve had a chance to try this combo out.

It may appear recursive but it’s not: Mysteron is actually digital waveguide synthesis, but I’m still curious to see how those strange cordophones that Mysteron generates sound when wavetabled.

You’re right. I sometimes mix up waveguide and wavetable synthesis, especially with regard to the Mysteron, which has a “Wavetable Oscillator” patch example in the manual. In that case, waveguide that wavetable!

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Make sure to also take a look at the Xaoc Odessa.

Xaoc has announced various modules for this superbooth, but Odessa isn’t one of them. I don’t know if they are still working on it or it’s a failed project (my friends that tried it last year were totally unimpressed).

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Latest update from Xaoc:

Odessa is very close to production. At this point, we cannot offer any precise timeline because of the multitude of parallel tasks involved.

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I’ve had one for about a week now and have to say I am hugely impressed. It can and does work as a stand-alone synth. It’s very simple to set it up to do pad plus lead voice kind of things. Slightly limited in that respect by the lack of independent outs but you can work around that in part. I don’t think its documented (though I might just have missed that bit in the manual) but the odd channels are routed to the left output and the even channels to the right so you can have 2 independent channels of up to 3 voices each and deal with it that way.

The stand out feature for me is the “live” wavetable creation. I’ve looked at SphereEdit and its very cool if you want to get forensic but making wavetables that way is always going to be hard work. The way they have implemented the sampling on the module itself is really well thought through. It’s hard to think how they could make it any easier.

It’s in the detail of things like the way the LFO outputs send useful control voltages and triggers when sampling that shine for me.

Evolving, shifting pads/drones are my catnip and this module feels like it was made for me. So, inevitably, my first serious trip out with it involved making a wavetable from my Music Easel in mellow mode.


Awesome video, @UMCorps. What’s that ribbon thing?

Looks like an Eowave ribbon


That’s a bingo!

Mine is v1 but there’s no difference when using it as a cv source.


that was beautiful! Fantastic work.

@AlessandroBonino Just heard in @DivKid’s Superbooth video with from Tomek / Xaoc Devices that Odessa is ready for production and should hopefully ship to distributors in about three months.


No action in here. Struggling with my SWN and looking for inspiration on how to tame it. I know there is beauty inside but I can’t really get my head around how to unlock it. How do you use it? Where are the sweet spots for you?


I’m finding the interface a little opaque - personally I would rather have a screen and encoder than a bunch of combinations and things to hold down.

I found it much more enjoyable once I downloaded SphereEdit and put a bunch of wave tables from Waldorf, PPG, etc in there. I found the waves that came stock with the SWN to just feel kind of pedestrian, a lot of harmonics and stuff.

I’m generally still fighting with it, it’s crammed with useful features and having a 3D wave space feels like it could be really cool. But having to rely on patterns of colored led’s to figure out what sphere I’m browsing, or what chord it’s playing gets old, as do the mini-encoders like depth… where it can feel like I’m cranking on it for a minimal change in sound.


This is great advice! I need to get a lunchbox so I can focus a little more and sit on the couch with headphones.

I’ll add a couple tips I figured out:

  1. The modulation inputs are 0-5v, so don’t put bipolar stuff in them like LFO’s directly. I’m using a 5v offset on my XAOC Samara for this.
  2. Although the browse input can take 5v, musical results need to be drastically attenuated, like < 1v, because of the vast range available within those 5v.