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Polyverse Supermodal

Dual Filter Plug-in By John Walden
Published May 2023

Supermodal combines innovative twin filters with powerful modulation options.Supermodal combines innovative twin filters with powerful modulation options.

Do you really need another filter plug‑in? We didn’t think so either — until we tried this one!

If you’re into electronic music styles or involved with sound design, can you ever own enough filter plug‑ins? Well, I’ll leave that question for you to debate with your bank account, but Polyverse would undoubtedly like you to consider Supermodal as a contender for the ‘N+1’ slot in your filter collection. The company, formed in 2015 with a ‘by musicians, for musicians’ strategy, have a select plug‑in catalogue that’s clearly aimed at the more creatively minded music‑maker — and as one of the co‑founders of the company is Erez Eisen, of Infected Mushroom fame, they can credibly tick both the ‘musicians’ and ‘creatively minded’ boxes!

Non‑identical Twins

Supermodal, the latest addition to the Polyverse line‑up, is a dedicated filter plug‑in based around a twin filter engine. The two filters, which operate in parallel (there’s a Blend control to crossfade between them), are very different in design. At the top left of the GUI is what might be best described as a well specified ‘standard’ filter, with cutoff and resonance, though there’s the additional twist of it being ‘state‑variable’, which means that you can morph between high‑pass, band‑pass and low‑pass modes of operation. Also worth noting is that this SVF can be pushed into self‑oscillation.

Opposite (top right) you’ll find the second filter, and this is a more unusual ‘modal’ filter. Each of the multiple mode types actually provides a collection of filters, each built on the characteristic resonant frequencies (partials) of a particular type of object (or waveform) when struck or vibrated. Your source audio is therefore filtered through these modal resonances, and it takes on some of the characteristics of the object. Nine modal types are included, each offering three further variations — an excellent diagram on the Polyverse website illustrates the range of modal sources — and, again, you can morph between these options using the trackball‑style X/Y display and its associated sliders. By the way, the website also includes a useful video exploring the modal frequencies of specific objects when struck, how synthesis recreates this, and the underlying algorithms within the modal filter section of Supermodal, and this is well worth a watch! The decay slider controls how long the modal filter’s resonances ring out. The damping control gradually damps the higher frequencies, while the partials slider can be used to shift the tonal balance of the filter between the lower and higher resonant frequencies.

The filters aside, the other key elements contained within the upper portion of the stylish UI are the input/output controls/meters, a global dry/wet slider and a global drive control, which drives the input...

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