The Formanta Polivoks is becoming an increasingly familiar sound to Western ears — it is, for example, all over Franz Ferdinands most recent album Tonight. But for those who havent heard this mighty Russian beast in action, Ive created a few examples to accompany Gordon Reids Retrozone feature in the July issue (www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul10/articles/polivoks.htm).
The instrument is perhaps most notorious for the monster bass sounds you can create by setting both oscillators to sawtooth mode and overdriving the low-pass filter.
Theres no PWM, but both oscillators offer a couple of narrower pulse wave settings as well as the standard square wave.
Triangle square bass
Here Im combining a triangle wave on VCO1 with a square wave on VCO2, with plenty of resonance and filter modulation.
Fast square bass
The low-pass filter is doing most of the work in this dual square-wave patch.
Square lead bandpass portamento
Switching the filter into band-pass mode allows the instrument to generate some uniquely cutting lead sounds, in this case with plenty of VCA modulation from the LFO. Oddly, portamento is applied only to VCO1, which sounds... odd.
Rhythmic filter and amp
One of the Polivokss most distinctive features is the ability to set either or both of the envelopes into a repeating mode, resulting in almost sequencer-like sounds.
More rhythmic fun
A more extreme example of whats possible using the repeating envelopes and plenty of LFO modulation. 0