Polyphylla Review – Max for Live Addi(c)tive Synth

Polyphylla by Mellisonic is a Max for Live pack for Ableton Live. Mellisonic’s has created a synth that makes additive synthesis accessible and fun – controlling eight voices and 120 overtones per voice, using mathematical models based on shapes and natural phenomena.

The interface is intuitive 50 parameter access point to control complex under-the-hood additive programming, yielding plush, organic evolving sounds.

Oscillators source selection may utilize simple analogue waveform emulations, knob-driven stochastic microtuning, and a graphical control of 32 partials. Drawing Motion Motifs directly into the plugin Expression and shaping overtones over time may be drawn with a cursor in the plugin directly.

The amount of customization and naturalness that Polyphylla is capable of is incredible. This synth is great for anyone wanting to emulate the textures of real instruments, or make hybrid real-electronic instruments.

Great for rich, evocative pads and any chord instruments, as you can clutter the spectrum as much as you want – just add or remove partials yourself!

Mellisonic has also been creative with other interesting modulation and motion affecting different aspects of the sound with Sweep, Attractor, Deform, and Drift parameters. A multitude of randomization options is also available.

Here are some more samples of Polyphylla in use:

Overall, Polyphylla is a great deal for the price (49 USD/39 EUR) for anyone looking to branch out beyond the confines basic subtractive synthesis.
The only drawback is that it requires Ableton Live / Max for Live, limiting the interface to the confines of the lower portion of Live.

That being said, the UI’s engaging visual approach to sound manipulation allows for both efficient use of UI space and a more fluid workflow process. This makes advanced additive sounds easily accessible to new users in doing much of the more complex math under-the-hood. This synth would excel in cinematic, indie-electronic, hip hop, alternative genres, namely any production that could benefit from unique but natural sounding “future”-sounding synth expression.


Get Polyphylla here.

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