Expressive E Osmose

First emails have been sent to backers, Osmose is finally happening !


I’m hoping some videos emerge soon before I need to pay my balance. Just to help make my mind up a bit further. Date wise I ordered about a week after some of the folk getting emails did so presuming I’m in the second batch.

I suspect the first batches will be pretty small…

I know a LOT of Osmose were ordered in the first few hours, enough to break expressivee ordering system… so I suspect we must be talking in the 100s.

so even though I ordered mine on the evening on day of announcement…

I doubt mine will be in the first few batches.
though hopefully, each batch will get a little larger… as they did talk about getting thru all pre-orders in Q1… so Im guessing/hoping Feb?

but I guess things will become a bit clearer, as they start shipping properly.

I also seem to remember, that ExpressiveE said once first few were shipping, they would hope to be able to give people some of kind of ‘expected delivery date’
hopefully the next newsletter will give us in this in some form?

@J0n35y , I think if you pre-ordered and waited this long, just take delivery !
I tried it at superbooth, and it was fantastic.
but also, I think given the discount we got, I think you’d be able to re-sell it, if you found it wasn’t for you…
(and I don’t think you’ll really get much from video reviews etc, though Im sure there will be some)

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Just saw a new post from the hommie canblaster with some osmose action.

Didn’t see this ?


I’ve been on the fence for a long time to be honest. It’s been a 3 year journey after all and in that space I’ve probably gone full circle at least twice in terms of my own music making journey to the point that I’m not sure it’s going to add what I had originally hoped for.

What I will say though is this vibe is a personal one. I’m not taking a dump on an Osmose here - having used/owned both a Roli and Expressive E’s touché over the years I def see the benefits in a 49 key MPE controller. And when the sound engine is off doing synthier stuff (vs physical type sounds) I’m grinning at how it sounds. But… would I use it any more than the AK that’s been sitting on top of the piano gathering dust for probably 6 months now?

Like @thetechnobear says though, I’ve waited so long so why not take the delivery and give it a go. I’ve no idea what the real world price for an Osmose will be - find it hard to believe it will retail at the price Expressive have indicated but it feels a safe enough bet that I’d at least be able to sell it for no loss. I can afford to take a chance on it I suppose.


I asked and it sounds like in January it’ll open up to people who weren’t part of the original preorder like myself. Then those wouldn’t ship till some time in Q2.

I’m considering taking the plunge but I’d really want to hear what some of the non synthinfluencers in the first round of preorders think as these MPE controllers are pretty difficult to get right.

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which one are you referring to here?

At least they make it look easy :slight_smile: i totally bought it without any piano skills - it said respecting your playing skills — no skills no respect i will make it sound two finger techno atmosphere hold vibing :slight_smile: Maybe wasted on me - or i learn keys.

I’ll be interested to know how much they managed to make available on the display for the Osmose.

Probably the one thing that is going to result in the most hemming and hawing from from me for the decision to take the plunge is definitely that it seems to require using an external editor.

I’ve already got one device with a powerful sound engine and complex external editor (Roland Aerophone Pro) and the having to use something else external to get things configured definitely dampens how often I’m interested in diving into sound design.

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I got my E-mail today and think about not buying it (no other reason than time). Not sure whether it is possible to pass the ticket on or how it works but if someone is interested, let me know. Olaf

You are right, I can cancel but not transfer. Thought one could make someone happy. I have a Contniuum as well (amazing) but also no space or time :slight_smile:

cancelling will make someone happy… the next person on the list :slight_smile:

seems fair (as the official route) to those waiting… though won’t make much of a differences to most of us.

ah, I think if I had a continuum, Id be not so sure either … unless you really want the piano experience.
(which would make Osmose tempting, given you already know the Eagan Matrix)

a bit of an aside, but I noticed there was talk about the Eagan Matrix and its accessibility.
(indeed it is a bit different, and some find challenging)

in the past, there were that many resources for the EM - really it was just the manual, plus a couple videos. but that seems to have changed a bit.

in particular, there is now the “Eagan Matrix Preset Cookbook” , have to say this is really good…
I think you still have to have read the Eagan Matrix User Manual first, to get a bit of idea of whats going on. but this cookbook does two really interesting things.
a) give you a summary of the important bits of the EM
… a kind of cheat sheet (though a bit more in-depth !)
b) an overview of how each to the factory presets work
… thus give you examples of how to use the EM features.

seems to be a bit of the missing link I had before… the practical examples of use.

Still not going to be easy, but definitely with work… it’ll let you dive pretty deep into the EM.


While sound design with the Eagan Matrix may be attractive for some people, one can approach the Continuum and Osmose in another way. There are fantastic presets, and once one has a favorite, you have that one instrument for you to play with. The sounds that are like acoustic instruments are particularly interesting, I find, and there you can spent forever just learning to play this. I never looked at their instruments as conventional synths, where one is going to focus on sound synthesis, owning it.


yeah, I was going to make a similar comment…

for many the continuum (and I think Osmose will be similar) is about the playing/performance aspect… not so much about sound design, and hence why the EM ‘complexity’ and requiring an external editor, for many is, just not an issue.

(answering @adamc the display will allow modifying parameters of the preset, but not fundamentally change it… it also allows changing how the Osmose surface will ‘react’, so kind of configuration - preset editing is via the external editor)

but of course, for many, that will be a strange sentiment for a synthesizer and some of the negative connotations we have around ‘presets’… but really its not that odd, if we think in broader terms of an instrument.

this ethos is pretty well explained in the FAQ

this might be off-putting for some, esp. if their passions are in sound design, but it is an important different between the Continuum/Osmose and most other synths.

note: all the above is not saying you cannot do sound design, you can, and its very strong in the Eagan Matrix, but it tends to be much more deliberate, with intent - than with many synths, were you can twiddle some knobs :slight_smile:


Yeah I get the impression the on screen is more like the Hydrasynth macros which are setup for performance controls primarily. Still a bit vague until they have a manual or release more info.

I don’t really have negative connotations about presets but quite often there’s still some tweaking I’d potentially want to do. If that’s hard to figure out what settings to tweak due to the complexity of the Eaganmatrix that would be an issue for me.

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yeah, macros is pretty much what it is…
(Im assuming it’ll be matched to what the EM/Continuum have called ‘Barrels’)

as for tweaking, the factory presets are works of art (well really science/physics),
they are designed to sound different by being played differently (as @Olaf_Wolkenhauer mentioned, you learn the preset), also the macros are carefully chosen to give good scope.

… again, the focus in on playing/performing, these ‘presets’ in a variety of different ways.
in the same way as an acoustic instrument is.

as for complexity, its not that hard, the matrix is like the ems synthi.
but some are put off due to the mathematical appearance, and the equations.

but that complexity, is where the magic happens…
its where the surface is tied to the sounds, in a way that traditional mod matrix with simple scale/offset simply cannot hope to achieve.

but get past that initially ‘scare’ of the equations, and its very straightforward.

again… thats not to say this is for everyone…
If you really love grabbing a subtractive synth, and creating new sounds continually, experimenting by changing parameters to come up with something you like… then probably the Osmose won’t work in that role.
the Osmose will be ‘immediate’ in the sense of playing/performing (in a variety of roles) , rather than in sound design (imho)

(*) ok, easy for me to say, Im a developer, confident in DSP… but I do know musicians that are happy to tinker with the equations where they feel the need.

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I’m also a software engineer and it’s not really the equations aspect that concerns me for complexity it’s the rather unconstrained signal flow.

Most synths tend to follow a pretty linear progression from inputs to outputs.

The Eaganmatrix seems much more like an FPGA where routes can all change and signal flows can end up as mess of patch cables.

This also gets more complicated as feedback loops appear to be possible as the Sources and Destinations appear to have the same entries whereas usually in a more traditional synth there are more constraints on the directionality of modulations.

The EM is definitely a huge rabbit hole and it is also a marvel in terms of expressive performance. I am not worried that it will be to complex for me to program. Instead, I will focus on playing the presets and tweaking some of the more superficial/ helicopter controls here and there.


No more, nor less than (eg) eurorack.

Though I’d argue, matrix are easier ( with practice!) to read than patch cables as they don’t obscure the patch !
It’s even arguably better than some synths that are menu divey… as you can see everything.

But for sure, with flexibility we loose the hands on nature, so there are always going to be compromises in any design.
Also no denying , it’s not as fun programming patches on a computer … as fiddling with hardware ( be it knobs or patch cables!)
Doing on a computer is more functional, more practical not more fun!

it’s interesting, I think most kind of expected this to some extent with the continuum. For it to be different.

But I guess with a more conventional form factor, and a more ‘accessible’ price, the Osmose might be more readily compared to other synths … whilst it really is still something quite different, unconventional?!