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Macro Synthesis with Meld

Macro Synthesis with Meld

Meld is the latest addition to Ableton’s Instruments and it features a novel design featuring two Macro Oscillators and lots of modulation possibilities with great visual feedback. It combines some of the synthesis techniques we’ve already seen in the previous synths in new way.

Meld’s deep sound-shaping capabilities can be used to create evolving textural sounds, rhythmic drones, harmonic effects, atonal sounds and more..


Bi-timbral: Meld features two oscillator engines which can be layered to create a wide variety of sounds. Each engine offers unique shaping and tonal variations depending on the oscillator type.

A diverse set of modulation routings are accessible in a fully mappable and expandable matrix.

Filters are available for each oscillator engine, as well as individual panning, tone, and volume controls, which can be used to further refine each engine’s sound independently.

There are Glissando and Portamento options for each engine, polyphonic or monophonic voicing, and a Drive control which can be used to add some saturation to the overall output.

Immediate – Instant gratification with quick access to exciting sounds

Versatile – Capable of a wide variety of exotic, characterful, and unconventional sounds including textures, rhythms, harmonic effects, noisy/atonal, and evolving textures

Easy to learn – a continuation of established elements such as Matrix Modulation (similar to Wavetable).

Combine various synthesis methods to achieve a vast variety of sounds:

Macro-Oscillators provide immediate access to the various synthesis techniques as part of a oscillator model – each oscillator type has been carefully designed to reveal the sweet spots

Performance oriented – Supports expressive/dynamic performance, lively sounds

Great for…

Textures and layers

Rhythmical and Percussive sounds

Variants of noise, atonal and disharmonic structures

Evolving sounds

Great for the exploration of harmonic relationships thanks to the Scale function!

Experimentation and happy accidents

Oscillator Types and Macro Functions

Depending on the Oscillator type the Macro Controls take on different functions:

Scale Awareness

Musical accidental symbols

When the Scale function in the Mixer is enabled, using detuning the oscillator will create scale semitones 


In Oscillators types with scale awareness, changing semitones will change the notes into scale degrees.

Each Oscillator has two Envelopes and LFOs…


LFO1 Waveforms





Besides the basic shapes we know from other synths there are also some new interesting options like Euclid and Alternate.

The first LFO is a waveform that is fed into a series of LFO Effects that can be used to fine tune the resulting modulation, and the second LFO that be used for traditional LFO modulation.


The LFO effects are worth experimenting with once you get deeper into Meld’s modulation section.


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