Engineering the Sound: Expressive E Osmose

Today we’re testing out the Osmose from Expressive E. With huge popularity this year, it’s probably one of the most interactive electronic instruments we’ve ever seen!

Founded in 2015, Expressive E is an innovative, intuitive instrument manufacturer focused on improving how musicians interact with sounds. Fostering a “powerful music-making experience”, Expressive E designs unique hardware and software instruments with a minimal feel.

Most notably, the award-winning French brand places expression and human touch at the heart of sonic exploration. You may have heard of their first product, Touché, a revolutionary MIDI controller that enriches human expression. This device allows you to interact with hardware synths, alongside mapping to your own plugins and the companion software like an effects pedal for your hand.


Created “for musicians by musicians”, the visceral devices by Expressive E are pushing the boundaries of music technology, adding the emotive, tangible feel of acoustic instruments to operational, electronic tools. 

The Osmose is the first hardware instrument released by Expressive E in collaboration with Haken Audio. It features a 49-key gesture-sensitive keybed, which is semi-weighted. The expressive sound engine is super powerful, custom-made by Haken Audio, including more than 500 presets with custom macros and sensitivity controls. 


You can also use the Osmose as an external MIDI controller, with classic and MIDI Polyphonic Expression keyboard configurations. This unique keyboard allows individual expression for every note when you touch the key, as well as a built-in arpeggiator with creative glide control across all touch gestures for superior vibrato and pitch bend. The main gestures include a bend or wiggle, tap, pressure, note off and pressure glide.


With a large colour screen, sleek casing, control knobs and menu keypad buttons, this synth is as cool and smooth as it looks. The pitch and modulation slider controls on the left have an angled placement for easy, ergonomic hand movements. The user-friendly interface also provides selectors with vertical and horizontal knobs to control the menu and fully connect with the instrument. 

The menu supports intuitive playing by exploring general settings, preset pages with subcategories and characters, synth macros settings, sensitivity and playing tools. You can also adjust global effects in the sub tab with spatial reverb and delay processing, alongside technical parameters for EQ and compression.


So, you really can have the world of synthesis available at your fingertips when it comes to this immersive, creative instrument. However, to fully understand this machine, you really need to try it out for yourself. The Osmose’s signature feature of wiggly, touch-sensitive keys for vibrato and pitch bend with the same hand, is especially inspiring and helpful for string players like myself.


With a design most comparable to the Haken Continuum Fingerboard and ROLI SEABOARD BLOCK and RISE models, Expressive E’s powerful built-in synth engine with ultimate customisation, preset library and enhanced gestures in the Osmose will take your musical creation to another level. If you’re looking for an incredibly interactive keyboard synthesiser with multidimensional touch and movement to enhance your production, composition and performance experiences, the Osmose may be your next upgrade.


You can order the Expressive E Osmose now for $3,499 from the Expressive E website or your favourite audio store: https://foundsound.com.au/products/20378

Check out our full demo and review of the Expressive E Osmose on our YouTube channel.