By default, Monolith is setup as a four oscillator, two filters substractive synth. This section will give more details about how things are setup.
Tracks 1 to 4 of the Octatrack are your oscillators. Those tracks are sent to the cue output of the machine and fed back into it through input C D.
All oscillators follow the same architecture: they are based on a flex machine that uses a SCWF file to generate sound, and two effects slots for further sculpting the timbre. Select your basic timbre by changing the SCWF assigned to this flex machine, set the octave of the oscillator using the slice parameter, and further tweak the sound if you need to with the two additional effects. Who never wanted to add a pre-filter chorus effect on their synth oscillator?
All SCWF included with Monolith have been tuned in C. This means that you can use the Octatrack chromatic mode or even an external MIDI controller to play the synth, and it will play notes at the correct tuned frequency.
You also get 3 LFOs per oscillator for advanced envelopes design and modulation. Custom LFOs 1 to 8 contains a few offset modulators, perfect for example if you want to adjust oscillator detuning.
Filters and effects
Tracks 5 , by default, is two serial filters that receive the mixed sound coming from the oscillators. Since the Elektron Octatrack filters are multi-mode, any combination of filters is possible of 12dB, 24dB, low pass, high pass, band-pass, band-reject, etc. Of course, filters can be sequenced and you get 3 LFOs that can be applied to cutoff frequency, filter envelope, etc.
Tracks 6 to 8 can be set as neighbors tracks so you can add anything from distortion to reverb to flanger to the sound coming our of the filters.
The acclaimed Elektron sequencer is deeply integrated with Monolith. Each function block, from oscillators to filters to effects, can be sequenced. It is also possible to sequence Monolith from external MIDI equipment, or from the Octatrack internal MIDI sequencer by connecting a cable from the MIDI OUT to the MIDI IN of your sampler.
All tracks by default respond to MIDI sent on channel 1, but if you feel fancy you can change this in the project settings. Who never dreamed of being able to independently sequence each oscillator of a synth?
Routing and flexibility
While the default routing already makes Monolith a fantastic sound design machine, we encourage that you try other routing options. For example, if you use the Octatrack studio mode you can send the filter block’s output back to CUE OUT and make interesting feedback effects. You also could copy track 5 onto track 6 and have two parallel filter blocks, and maybe even pan oscillators so each of them is sent differently into different filters… Keep experimenting. Going beyond the standard architecture is very rewarding and lets you explore whole new sonic landscapes.