Nonlinear Labs C15 Synthesizer Hands-On Demo

Synthesist Matt Johnson – in his latest video – is joined by Native Instruments founder Stephan Schmitt to talk about his unique hardware synth design, the Nonlinear Labs C15.

The C15 is a polyphonic instrument with a digital sound synthesis architecture. The goal of the audio engine is not to model analog machines of the past or to play back samples or complex waveforms, but to focus on creating sounds that can be dramatically influenced by how you play.


Details on the C15 are available at the Nonlinear Labs website.


Nonlinear Labs expands C15 Sound Design Capabilities with Firmware Update


Nonlinear Labs, creator of the C15 synthesizer, have released their third major firmware update for the instrument. The company says that this greatly expands the sound design capabilities of the instrument and improves its user interface.


Key C15 Firmware Update Features:

  • Users can now modulate almost all parameters using the Macro Controls (185 instead of 95 possible modulation targets), and developers have extended the ranges of 17 parameters.
  • There is now the possibility to bypass the Feedback Mix Gate and to control the decay times of Envelope C by velocity.
  • With the new Loop function of Envelope C it can behave like a polyphonic LFO, that is synced to the key and can be influenced by velocity and key trackings.
  • Single sounds can now also use a second effect group (in total 10 effects) and both effect groups can now be operated in parallel as well as in serial mode.
  • It is possible to pan Parts and effects groups and route them separately to the left and right audio output.
  • For Split sounds, the feedback routing has been extended, so that the output signal from one Part can be an input signal for the other Part.
  • The Preset Search function in the graphical user interface has been completely redesigned to display all search results in a single list. Search and sorting criteria have been extended. Thus, the new search window combines many preset functions in a convenient way.
  • And as a usability improvement of the hardware, the two physical ribbons can now be switched between two pairs of virtual ribbons, giving fast access to up to four Macro Controls.

More information about the C15 firmware update, along with an installer is available now at this link. Find out more about the C15 synthesizer on the Nonlinear Labs website.


Nonlinear Labs C15 Synth gets an Internal Digital Audio Recorder


Nonlinear Labs has announced a free update for the C15 synthesizer, which now features the ability to record audio within the synth itself and adds USB MIDI connectivity.


Besides that, Nonlinear Labs is also releasing a MIDI Bridge hardware device for connecting the C15 directly to a computer or other host devices.


Recording features:


  • Loss-free digital recording of the stereo output signal
  • FLAC-compressed storage of the last hours (at least 80 min) of playing
  • Auto-start when the C15 is booted (optional)
  • Visualization in the browser and play-back controls
  • Download of the selected segment as FLAC or WAV file
  • The sound parameters at any point of the timeline can be restored
  • Complete information about the presets used in the session


USB MIDI Features:


  • Transmits and receives notes, positions of the Hardware Controls, Program Changes
  • Up to 90 parameters can be modulated via the Macro Controls
  • 14-bit resolution for Note Velocities and for Controls available
  • Separate MIDI Channels for Split zones and Parts of the synth engine available
  • Local On/Off


The update, dubbed the Studio Package, allows all users of the C15 to records the past hour’s worth of playing directly within the machine. The FLAC-compressed audio can then be accessed and downloaded via a browser.


Additionally, from any point in the timeline of playing, any of the synth parameter settings can be restored, giving you a perfect snapshot and alleviating that horrible sense of whether you had remembered to hit record in your DAW, or not.


The MIDI Bridge hardware allows non-host devices to be connected, although, should you need to connect devices via a 5-pin DIN socket, then an external MIDI interface will be required.


The Studio Package is available as a free update now and owners of the C15 (prior to 3 June 2021) can purchase the MIDI Bridge for $110


Details are available at Nonlinear Labs website .