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Rossum Electro-Music's Trident is an all-analog triple oscillator that offers both independent operation and rich internal opportunities for deep, cascading modulation. Lovingly labeled a Multi-Synchronic Oscillator ensemble, the Trident spells out its strong suits directly on the panel: with three precision analog oscillators behind one panel, the potential for intermodulation and ensemble/group behavior is ever-present.
Each of the Trident's oscillators has a distinct feature set: while they are labeled as "modulation" and "carrier" oscillators, the inclusion of "special" parameters on each VCO suggests that no one channel is necessarily the "primary" output. Each oscillator offers three distinct waveshapes, FM, and 1V/Oct response, but beyond that, their individual strengths begin to shine.
The topmost oscillator is the "primary" oscillator, typically operating as a carrier in more complex modulation chains. This oscillator offers direct outputs for triangle, saw, and pulse shapes, features a dedicated hard sync input, linear and exponential FM, and pulse width modulation.This is an analog oscillator in its typical form, with a 20Hz to 20kHz range (0.01Hz to 25kHz with appropriate modulation applied).
The modulation oscillators still provide 1V/Oct inputs and exponential FM inputs with dedicated attenuverters (as well as an option to sync to or directly track the primary oscillator), but they also provide some not-so-standard shaping and modulation options. The mod oscillators provide a "symmetry" control whose function varies based on the selected output waveshape: for the triangle shape, symmetry controls the waveshape skew from saw through triangle to reverse saw; for the saw wave, it introduces a variable kink in the shape's center; for pulse, it varies pulse width. A dedicated CV input and attenuverter for symmetry modulation guarantees novel shaping capabilities.
And then there's "Zing." Rossum describes Zing Modulation as being similar to ring modulation, and may be used as such: without oscillator sync activated, the Zing control introduces ring modulation from the respective modulation oscillator to the carrier. When sync is enabled, though, the typical inharmonic sidebands characteristic of ring modulation snap into frequencies related to the primary oscillator, providing a wealth of pseudo-sync, pseudo-ring mod effects not quite like either effect alone. With the option for variable Zing level and CV control of Zing amount (as well as Zing modulation from both or either modulation oscillator), a world of unexplored timbres emerges. In this context, the symmetry, FM, and phase controls for the second and third oscillators take on new meaning: not exclusively about their explicit technical functions, but about their impact on the unfolding of the rest of the timbre.
With all of these options working in harmony, it becomes clear what Rossum means by "Synchronic": an oscillator ecosystem where changes to one parameter can unfold into unexpected but rewarding timbral variation, where a parameter becomes more than its face value when allowed to become one part of a symbiotic whole. This is not the typical complex oscillator: it is much more.