4ms SWN – Spherical Wavetable Navigator

This is excellent. I think I need to focus on working with the design of the module to get into the mind of the designer. Just tried your tip on starting out with a drone and then working towards a slow moving pad of voices, notes and harmonies. Pretty much instant bliss. My problem is that I tried to connect an external keyboard and playing notes that way. It simply doesn’t feel right. This was not in the original firmware either so it’s probably the “wrong” way to approach it. I really want to love this thing, doing my best to figure it out! I’d really like to see some creative demos of SWN on YouTube, how would Hainbach approach it for instance?

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Yeah, the demos for this are almost uniformly weak, IMO. would love to see something other than the basic stuff - gritty, fragile, harsh, atonal…


Got rid of my SWN. It’s cool, but hard to tame. It kind of does it’s own thing, and is hard to integrate with the rest of a system. I did get some really unique sounds that I enjoyed and sampled, but found once I had a cool sound it was hard to tweak the sound without going into totally different territory very quickly and loosing the vibe. I wish it was a bit easier to just feed a gate and cv and play it like a voice, but the gate in is basically just a tap tempo. Would be great if they added a more simple and “normal” way of playing the voice. That said it sure is a beautiful module, hated selling it because I wanted it to be as good as it looks.


Crossposted from Muffs (but you know that already :slight_smile: )

Still melodic, but cranky melodic…


I have a similarly conflicted relationship with the SWN — undeniably really deep and powerful but difficult to tame for simpler duties. I’ve found it just doesn’t play super well with others, it feels very self-contained. It’s totally possible to get madness out of it, but without some considerable focus and effort, a lot of the stuff ends up sounding same-samey. I’ve had the most success when creating complex LFOs that vary wildly in shape/duration per voice, and modulating the spread, a.k.a. the chord shape, in scale quantize mode. Then also modulating the shit out of the 3 dimensions.

I really like it in theory and in some ways in practice, but I’ll probably end up selling it. Currently it lives in a 42hp lunchbox with an nRings and looping env generator, and that’s been pretty nice as a minimal setup.

I did get on tune out of it that I rather like…


I’ve been getting a lot of enjoyment out of using SWN as an fm modulator for 3 Sisters. Having control over the octaves and timbre on the SWN and the spread of the peaks on Sisters has been really rewarding in the patch I’ve been working with.


That was great, thanks for doing this :slight_smile: Seems like you have it dialed down well. Really enjoyed the Easel track, too. So, there is grime to be had…


Great thread, for what looks like a great module. I plan on getting one to put in a ~45HP 4U DIY lunchbox, given that a lot of people said it prefers to be doing its thing off to the side, not playing super well in the context of a big rack.

Could I have some suggestions as to what could go nicely with it? The lunchbox will be on drone duties but focusing more on the gentle, harmonic side of things, in contrast to the main rack. This will be my first foray into 1U rows, so advice about 1U tiles would be hugely appreciated. I plan to build the 1U row using vector rails to be compatible with both intelligel and pulp logic tiles.

Currently im thinking:
-master clock (NE Horologic Solum)
-some kind of (stereo?) reverb
-saturation (NE Kith ruina)
-1U VCAs and mixer tiles??

Thanks in advance

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Def. some kind of effect and filter. I use QPAS and Mimeophon and they seem to pair very well with SWN.

Also, I’ve been making my own wavetables by sampling pads and strings from Synthi V. Slowly this thing is growing on me. Another thing is to not think of it as normal voice patched to for example an external keyboard. Let it be more or less self patched, work within it’s own limitations and possibilities. This is what makes me want to come back and explore more.


I’ll drop this here in case it might be useful. It originated from a thread over at Muff’s where there were various questions about the SWNs sound being thin, sounding like an ice cream truck etc. My view is that the SWN doesn’t have a sound as such. It simply sounds like what you feed it and how you programme it. I’ve made several custom wavetables that speak to my interests in evolving, melodic drone so put this together to show them being auditioned without using any other modules or external fx or eq. More details in the video notes. Can’t speak for anyone else but this doesn’t sound thin to me…


Download this and import into SphereEdit, today!


I whole heartedly agree. This was the module that got me started in modular (it’s been a wild few months!) and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of the SWN. I went through a small period where I boxed it up, but now it’s front & center in my case. There are so many ways to program it.

I do think it is easy to get caught up in the ‘default’ sound. But with practice I’ve been getting better & better sounds from it.

Things to try-

  • small modulations - either by using reducing the LFO gain with self modulation or by attenuating
  • explore the FX buttons when importing wavetables, rolling off the top end with the low pass filter can help a lot for making good basses.
  • explore all the things you can do on a single channel, x2 … x6
  • Fine tune pitches, lfo speed, lfo phase. Start from all the LFO shapes the same & synced and just slightly adjust the phases / speeds to get stereo swirling
  • use channel locking (just discovered this) to do editing on groups of channels. also helpful when you don’t want CV to affect all channels. That it locks whatever the incoming LFO cv was is pretty fun.

These are super nice & working a lot better than the last set I tried.


Could you clarify this please? Not sure if I know what you mean.

it’s a 2.1 feature! I overlooked it at first. You might need the latest firmware

hold Fine + Channel button(s) and the buttons will start flashing when locked. Once locked, global edits won’t affect that channel. It’s great when you want to edit stereo pairs and don’t want to contort to hold multiple channel buttons + fine + whatever other setting. If you are modulating the LFO cv, it will also lock whatever the current speed of the LFO is at the time you lock it. Other CVs are ignored when a channel is locked.

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Damn! Channel locking is a complete game changer. Hadn’t got round to updating the firmware till you mentioned that. So thanks for the heads up.
First run out after the update (using a wavetable derived from the OB800 birdsong wave files).

2 channels locked to drone, 1 locked to simple sequence, rest doing random chordal pulses. Ridiculously useful!


Damn…way to jump in with both feet!

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Which set did you end up downloading and importing? Thanks!

I tried a bunch of them, chosen by name, Clouds, Birds and so on :slight_smile:

I have an issue though, I beleive all my recorded / imported waveforms get distorted by added dynamics. For example, I create a set of only pure sine waves in SphereEdit and record them into SWN. The result sounds nothing like what I hear on my computer.

Could someone try this and verify if you have the same behaviour?

Noticed this buzzing as well when using the software. Uploading waveforms to an STS and playing them directly into the SWN gave way better results, it was much easier to do that for me! Feels like a gain staging thing but I couldn’t be sure.

I was dropping by to ask if anyone had taken much advantage of the transpose jack for FM? I’m curious to find out what sort of signals could work well with it, am a novice when comes to FM but SWN feels like a fun place to start. Mind blowing little synth