Nonlinear Labs C15 Synthesizer Hands-On Review

In his latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the Nonlinear Labs C15 synthesizer.

The Nonlinear Labs C15 has been a somewhat polarizing synth since it was introduced, because of its focus on being an expressive instrument. For example, it has no LFOs to automatically modulate sounds, because it’s designed with the idea that you will expressively modulate sounds using your fingers on its dual, full-length ribbons or its unique pitch bender, or using its four pedal inputs.

The top of the keyboard is detachable, so you use the keyboard section for performance and add the top panel for doing deeper programming.

Eliraz digs deep into the synth’s expressive options and its unique sound engine.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:50 Overview
2:55 Expression
5:25 Interface
8:25 Synth engine
9:00 Osc A & B
11:20 Shapers
12:40 FB mix, Ring Mod
12:20 SVF
15:30 Comb filter
19:15 Output mixer
19:55 Feedback mixer
21:35 Effects
23:40 Envelopes
25:25 Elevate
26:25 Macros
27:50 MIDI hacks
28:20 KeyStep Chords Arp Seq
29:45 Expression ring
30:25 MIDI LFO
31:35 OSC as LFO
31:55 Cool stuff
33:40 Pros, cons
38:00 60 P-sets

For another look at the C15, check out our interview with Nonlinear Labs founder Stephan Schmitt at the 2019 NAMM Show, below. Schmitt gives an introduction to the philosophy behind the C15, and then demonstrates how the keyboard’s expressive capabilities dynamically control its synthesis engine:

For more information on the C15, see the Nonlinear Labs site.