Documentation for the OWL family of devices

View the Project on GitHub RebelTechnology/OpenWareLab

Magus Desktop Synthesizer

Getting Started

Insert the DC jack into the back of the Magus and plug it into a wall socket. The Magus will start up and the screen and LEDs come to life. Plug a pair of headphones into the ‘out’ socket on the back. By default the KickBox patch is loaded. Use the encoder knobs to change parameter settings, press and turn to select parameter. Use the patch cables to connect the CV outputs (orange-red-pink LED) to the inputs (purple-blue-cyan LED).


The main control section of your Magus consists of the four encoders and 16 patch points along the bottom half. Each of these four encoders is associated with the four patch points located directly below it, and each patch point corresponds to a patch parameter. When pressing down an encoder you will see the names of the four associated parameters. Press down and turn the encoder to select which one to update. Releasing the encoder and turning it will then change the value of the selected parameter. A ‘>’ symbol at the end of a parameter name indicates an output parameter. Outputs are also indicated by the orange-red-pink LED. The Heads-Up Display (HUD) at the bottom of the screen shows the most recently edited parameter name and value, above a bar graph representation of the current value of all 16 parameters. Each patch point also has a full-colour LED indicating the level and whether it is an input or output. Input parameters range from purple, to blue, to cyan. Output parameters range from orange, to red, to pink. Input parameters can also be updated by connecting a CV signal to the patch point. With the encoder to the left of the screen you can select any parameter. There are another four patch points between the audio inputs and outputs along the top of your Magus. These correspond to the last four parameters in the list. The Function encoder to the right of the screen is used to view device status, change presets, and change the output volume level. To activate, press and release the encoder once. Turn the right encoder to select the function, e.g. Volume, then turn the left hand side encoder to change the value. To return to normal function, turn the Function encoder counter-clockwise until it shows ‘Play’ then press it again. The back of the device is where you will find the 9V DC power socket, line level stereo inputs and outputs, and the USB connections needed for transferring patches and connecting external USB MIDI gear.

Loading and Making Patches

Your Magus comes preloaded with a small selection of patches made to take advantage of its special capabilities. You can also load any patch from the online OWL patch library. To load an OWL patch, connect the USB cable to a computer, and use Chrome (or another browser with Web MIDI support) to navigate to the patch library. Find a patch that you want to try, click CONNECT TO OWL, then LOAD. The patch will immediately be sent to the device.

Making your own patches is easy! You can use Max Gen, Pure data, FAUST or C++ and we have a wealth of tutorials and examples available.

Problems and Support

If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask us on our online forum: