Billed as both a bonkers sound mangler and a subtle mastering device, can this little grey box really deliver on both counts?
If history were anything to go by, you might have expected that the latest product to carry Elektron’s Analog banner would be a drum machine, a synth, a sample player or even an amazing pick-and-mix combination of all three — but how wrong you’d have been! In a somewhat surprising step, Elektron have released the Analog Heat, a powerful, hand-assembled, programmable, digitally controlled analogue stereo sound processor that the company bill as being both an audio enhancer and an audio destroyer — an intriguing combination, to say the least!
Cosmetically, the Heat follows the paradigm set by all other members of the Analog line — a small back-lit LCD screen, a black-painted body, grey knobs and white legending, accompanied by an overall sense of quality courtesy of its all-steel casing and the smooth and positive operation of its controls. Although there are a fair number of knobs and switches on the Heat’s fascia, there’s plenty of space to contain them and, as a result, no feeling of congestion; operation is easy and swift. The only slight negative in this area is the use of a non-latching connector for the external 12V DC switch-mode power supply, and the absence of any mechanical method of securing the cable.
Visually, the fascia divides into two horizontal halves, the upper of which (with two exceptions) carries the dark-grey knobs and switchcaps of the controls that enable you to recall one of the 127 possible presets, to access and adjust the operational parameters contained in the on-screen menus, and to save the results in one of the 127 preset locations. The lower half’s controls (and the upper half’s two exceptions — Active on/off and Master Volume) are light grey, reflecting their role in giving you physical access to the functions that most directly affect what you’ll hear...
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