If good things really do come in small packages, this USB stick-based analogue synth ought to be a winner.
Synthesizers started out as large lumps of discrete analogue components that weighed a lot, cost a lot and often sounded great. Then someone invented the integrated circuit and they weighed a lot less, cost a lot less and less often sounded great. Next came the microprocessor, first used to control the synthesizer, then to generate many of the control signals within the synthesizer, and then to generate all of the signals within the synthesizer. After that, it wasn’t a huge leap to dispose of any dedicated hardware and to run the synthesis algorithms on a personal computer. But then the backlash began, and while people still wanted to use their computers to control their sounds, many wanted those sounds to be generated using a new generation of large lumps of analogue components. This was all very well, but where could you turn if you wanted access to analogue sounds in tiny studio spaces or while passing the hours on transatlantic flights? After all, you could hardly ask the person in the next seat to hold your Moog IIIC while you doodled the hours away en route to JFK. So someone had the idea to dispense with the type of hardware that could anchor a medium-sized yacht in a mild storm, and created a tiny analogue/digital hybrid synth embedded in nothing more than a large USB stick. His name is Will Shaw, and he created WS Audio to manufacture and sell his solution: the Trueno.
The Trueno comprises two elements. The first is the USB stick [shown above] that houses the analogue hardware: three oscillators, a dual-mode filter and an output amplifier. Around twice the length and twice the width of a traditional memory stick but weighing just 25g, it’s the synth that you can take anywhere and lose through a hole in your pocket. The second element is an editor implemented as a VST2, VST3 and AU plug-in as well as...
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