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Sound Modules

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    Oberheim/Viscount Minigrand

    Piano Module

    Spinets, Hammonds, massed choirs? Nope. Derek Johnson takes a trip with a module that does just what it says on the tin.

    Reviews Nov 1997
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    Access Virus

    Advanced Simulated Analogue Synthesizer (Preview)

    Access's strangely-named Virus is another digital synth emulating the analogues of yesteryear — but this one might be the best of the bunch so far. Paul Nagle brings you a sneak preview of the first Virus to hit the UK.

    Reviews Nov 1997
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    Yamaha MU100R

    Tone Generator

    Yamaha have taken their MU90R, wired in a VL tone generator and put three-part harmoniser in the effects section. The result is the MU100R. Christopher Holder gets virtual.

    Reviews Nov 1997
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    Peavey Spectrum Bass II

    Digital Phase Modulation Synthesizer

    If you're tempted to try out the whole Spectrum of bass sounds, Peavey have updated and old favourite, and Nick Rowland has the lowdown...

    Reviews Oct 1997
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    Syntecno TeeBee Mark II

    Analogue Monosynth

    The demand for Roland's TB303 remains very strong, given that the 'fad' of the acid line continues unabated. No surprise, then, that Dutch boffins Syntecno have updated their 1996 TB303 clone to make it even more attractive. Christopher Holder limbers up his tweaking finger.

    Reviews Oct 1997
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    Alesis Nanosynth

    64-voice Synth Module

    The Nanosynth is a pygmy on the outside but a veritable Watutsi on the inside. Derek Johnson cuts a swathe through the undergrowth in search of tiny treasure...

    Reviews Oct 1997
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    Alesis Nano Bass

    Bass Sound Module

    Bass, how small can you get? Nicholas Rowland gives Alesis' new bottom end a good slap.

    Reviews Sep 1997
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    Novation Super Bass Station

    Analogue Synth

    Novation are championing affordable analogue synthesis again, this time with even more bells and whistles. Christopher Holder fills up with Super.

    Reviews Aug 1997
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    Waldorf Microwave II

    Wavetable Synthesizer

    Waldorf have been cooking up something special for the son of their acclaimed synth dynamo, the Microwave. Paul Nagle gets quite a taste for it...

    Reviews Jul 1997
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    Alesis Nano Piano

    Stereo Piano Module

    A very, very big piano inside a very, very small box: Derek Johnson investigates Alesis' latest impressive conjuring trick.

    Reviews Jul 1997
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    Emu Carnaval Latin

    Sound Module

    Given the size of the Spanish-speaking world, it makes good commercial sense to produce a Latin-style sound module — but only if it's sufficiently authentic to sell to those in the know and sufficiently versatile to be attractive to other musicians simply looking for a bit of spice in their rack. Chris Carter and Joe Ortiz play with fire...

    Reviews Jul 1997
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    Roland MBD1

    Bass & Drums Sound Expansion Module

    Paul White tries out Roland's MBD1 Bass and Drums Sound Expansion module and discovers a wealth of really useable off-the-peg sounds.

    Reviews Jun 1997
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    Emu Planet Phatt

    Sound Module

    Emu's latest swingbeat sample player is home to a colony of wicked sounds for hip-hop, trip-hop and acid jazz fans. Dominic Hawken puts on his space suit to explore this strange new world.

    Reviews Jun 1997
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    Yamaha MU90R

    GM/XG Tone Generator

    Yamaha have scooped the insides out of their well-specified MU80 half-rack GM/XG sound module and transplanted them into a full rack case, with a few extra features aimed at making the resulting MU90R stand out from the GM crowd. Christopher Holder is generally impressed.

    Reviews May 1997
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    Roland JV2080

    Synth Module

    Roland's JV1080 was a great success with serious synthesists, and recognising that if it ain't broke there's no need to fix it, Roland have provided more of the same with the new 2080. Derek Johnson's spoilt for choice.

    Reviews Apr 1997
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    Orgon Systems Energiser

    Analogue Synthesizer

    The British-made single-oscillator monosynth is unashamedly retro in both its knob-laden styling and its lack of MIDI. Paul Nagle gets orgon-ised.

    Reviews Mar 1997
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    Roland Sound Canvas SC88

    Pro GM Sound Module

    Roland's SC88 could be described as a Rolls-Royce in the world of General MIDI sound modules. So is the new upgraded SC88 Pro a luxurious stretch limo complete with mini-bar and luxuriant walnut veneer? Derek Johnson dons his chauffeur's cap and takes it for a drive...

    Reviews Mar 1997
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    Freeform Analogue Technologies Freebass FB383

    Analogue Monosynth

    People keep on making 'em, people keep on buying 'em. Is there no end to the appetite for TB303 clones? Paul Nagle checks out one of the cheapest yet, and concludes that FAT is good for you after all.

    Reviews Mar 1997
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    Korg NS5R

    Synth Module

    Perhaps 'more sounds for less money' is becoming a tired selling point, but Christopher Holder finds some features that set Korg's latest GM sound module apart.

    Reviews Feb 1997
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    Waldorf Pulse Plus

    Monophonic Synthesizer

    One of the hit synths of 1996, Waldorf's Pulse is now available in a slightly upgraded version, incorporating an external audio input and CV/gate interface. Paul Nagle sets it, squizzing and phzweeing to find out exactly what has put the Plus in the Pulse.

    Reviews Feb 1997
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    Yamaha TX802

    FM Synth Module (Retro)

    Paul Ward dons a Miami Vice-style jacket and a pair of pink-rimmed Armani shades, and travels back to the '80s heyday of FM synthesis for a retro look at the one-time flagship of Yamaha's synth range, the multitimbral TX802 expander.

    Reviews Jan 1997

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