Paul Osborn
Paul Osborn

Sound Designer (Chemistry Volumes 1, 2 and 3)

Born in South-East London, England in 1962, I fell in love with synthesizers and keyboard technology in general at the age of about 10 years old when hearing for the first time Keith Emerson's classic Moog solo at the end of "Lucky Man" (the last song on their debut album). I was mesmerized by the power and sound of this otherworldly electronic instrument and have followed the development of synthesizer technology with great enthusiasm ever since.

My first synth was a humble Korg MS10 monophonic bought second-hand back in the late 70's and it was this machine which fired up my imagination for sound creation - I was fascinated by the bloops and beeps (and farts) that could be cajoled from this little black box with knobs that looked like something from a mad professor's laboratory.

I played in various rock/pop covers bands in the mid 80's to early 90's and got completely lost in the potential of MIDI, sequencers and drum machines to the point where our drummers were totally bemused by my obsession to program huge swathes of keyboard backing to even the most mundane of songs and very irritated to have to suffer the incessant "clack" of a click-track through headphones!

In the mid 90's I worked for a small company that specialized in designing new synth patches for a variety of keyboards. It was at this time that I acquired a Korg Wavestation (a programmer's "dream machine") and set about creating four collections of new sounds & sequences for it (Dreamwaves & Trancewaves) which were well received by the public and generated some great magazine reviews.

In 2001 I got involved with Stephen Kay and Karma-Lab with a view to create some new sound-sets for the Korg Karma workstation which had been recently released, the idea was to design a collection of Combis (fully utilizing Stephen's breakthrough KARMA technology) which would rival the already high standard of programming found in the factory voicing of this innovative keyboard. I spent several months producing 64 combis which I then handed to Stephen for his final editing, mixing and polishing, and the result was Chemistry Volume 1. Based on the overwhelming response, we soon followed it up with Chemistry Volume 2, both of which have sold consistantly well and received excellent user reviews since their release.

In 2003 I was asked by Korg (with Stephen's mediation, help and encouragement) to contribute to the Combi voicing of the ground-breaking Korg OASYS, a project I was proud to be involved with especially given the pedigree of the voicing team (or "MIDI Patch Boys", as they're affectionately known) I was working alongside. More recently, I have contributed some Combi work to the factory voicing of Korg's wonderful new M3 Workstation, and I hope to continue programming new content for present and future incarnations of KARMA technology.

My latest project (just completed in March 2008) has been to take some of the combis I did for the OASYS and rewrite them to work on the original Karma Workstation (and Triton series, when used with KARMA Triton software). I produced a total of 32 new combis and more than a hundred new GEs. One of Karma Lab's other sound designers, Eric J. Sawyer, also contributed 32 combis, Stephen has gone through and added his expertise to the mixing and KARMA assignments, and the collection of 64 Combis has just been released as Chemistry Volume 3. I hope you enjoy it!