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Sound Modules

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    Emu MP7 & XL7 Command Stations

    128-Voice Synths/Multitrack Sequencers

    Emu's eye-catching new Command Stations repackage the sounds of their MP1 and XL1 sound modules, adding hands-on sequencing and real-time controls. Can the company win fans with these late entries to the groovebox market?

    Reviews Nov 2001
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    RACKTERIAL WARFARE

    Access Virus Rack Virtual Analogue Synth Module

    Rather than rack up their recent flagship Virus Indigo, Access have made the Virus Rack a lower-spec version at a keen price. Gordon Reid considers whether this Virus is still infectious...

    Reviews Oct 2001
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    The Yamaha DX1 & Its Successors [Retrozone]

    Sounds Of The '80s: Part 2

    In the second instalment of this two-part retro, Gordon Reid recalls FM's finest hour, and describes the heyday of what was perhaps the most successful family of synthesizers ever developed.

    Reviews Sep 2001
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    Novation Nova OS v4

    New Sounds & New Features

    In these days of flash-upgradeable operating systems, it's easy to forget that a free OS tweak can give your synth completely new features.

    Reviews Aug 2001
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    Roland MC307 Groovebox

    Sequencing Workstation

    Roland followed their first MC303 Groovebox with the well-specified MC505. Now there's the MC307, with a spec more like the 505, a price closer to that of the 303, and more DJ-friendly features.

    Reviews Jun 2001
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    Roland SPV355

    P/V Pitch-to-voltage Synth (Retro)

    The SPV355, launched in the late '70s, was intended to allow the pitch of instruments such as guitars and saxophones to control analogue synth sounds — which it does with varying degrees of success. Fortunately, it has other tricks up its sleeve, as Chris Carter explains.

    Reviews May 2001
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    Cheetah MS6

    Analogue Synth Module (Retro)

    British computer peripherals manufacturer Cheetah ventured into the hi-tech music jungle in the 1980s and went down in budget gear history. David Harman goes on a synth safari with their MS6 analogue rack synth.

    Reviews Apr 2001
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    Emu Mo'Phatt

    Urban Dance Synth

    The latest in Emu's range of style-specific sound modules is bright purple, stuffed with 32Mb of 'street' sounds, and bristling with urban attitude. Paul Farrer takes a closer look.

    Reviews Mar 2001
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    Waldorf Micro Q

    Polyphonic Rack Synth

    Stardate 02/2001: the most compact and affordable of Waldorf's bright yellow workstation synths is beaming into the SOS Editorial dome. Is it the work of a superior intelligence, or does it have all the appeal of a Vulcan nerve-pinch? Mind-meld with Paul Nagle and find out...

    Reviews Feb 2001
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    Emu Systems Virtuoso 2000

    128-voice Virtual Orchestra Module

    Continuing their tradition of themed rackmount modules, Emu have unleashed a 128-voice virtual orchestra in a box. A virtuoso endeavour or virtual insanity?

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Roland VG88

    V-guitar System

    Ever imagined what a guitar with a resinator body would sound like with a humbucker-style pickup, played at the 12th fret through a Marshall stack? John Walden creates just such a virtual instrument, with the help of Roland's VG88 V-Guitar System.

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Roland XV5080

    Rack Synthesizer/sample Playback Module

    In their eagerly-awaited new flagship synth, Roland have harked back to the sampling technology of their respected S-series samplers, as well as adding some contemporary touches to equip it for the 21st century. Gordon Reid assesses past, present and future.

    Reviews Nov 2000
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    Korg Triton Rack

    Expandable Sound Module/Sampler

    Korg follow up their top-flight Triton workstation with a sophisticated rackmount expander. The new model sacrifices some features but enhances many others and adds support for the mLAN music network standard. Simon Trask racks it up.

    Reviews Nov 2000
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    Emu XL1 Xtreme Lead 1

    Sound Module

    Built in to the same box as Emu's flagship Proteus 2000 comes the Xtreme Lead 1, a dance-based 64-voice, 16-part multitambral sound module with 32Mb of onboard sampled ROM sounds. But is it as powerful as it is bright? Paul Farrer finds out.

    Reviews Aug 2000
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    Roland XV3080

    Sound Module

    Roland's JV1080 and 2080 have become the bread-and-butter sound sources for innumerable MIDI studios worldwide. Now the company have introduced their successors in the shape of the XV-series. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser test the new XV3080.

    Reviews Jul 2000
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    Waldorf Q

    Rack Workstation & Software

    Waldorf's Q keyboard workstation definitely suffered by being released to the public before its operating system was completely finished or bug-free. Gordon Reid takes advantage of the release of the new Q Rack module to revisit the operating system and see how it's come on...

    Reviews Jun 2000
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    Emu B3 Tonewheel

    Organ Module

    When Emu launched their flagship Proteus 2000 sound module last year, they promised a further range of cheaper 'P1K' modules which would cater for special needs, but be expandable to full Proteus 2000 spec. The first of these modules to appear aims to recreate the classic Hammond tomewheel organ sound. Nick Magnus is impressed.

    Reviews Jun 2000
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    Studio Electronics Omega 8 (Preview)

    Analogue Synth Module

    The long-awaited Omega 8 promises much, even if its feature-set is not yet complete. Gordon Reid takes a first look...

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Red Sound Systems Dark Star

    Desktop Synthesizer

    British company Red Sound Systems are known for their innovative DJ products. Now, in the shape of the Dark Star, they've produced their first synthesizer. Wing Commander Paul Farrer warms up the engines and takes it out on its maiden flight.

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Digisound 80 [Retrozone]

    Modular Synthesizer

    British company Digisound's affordable modular synth may not have the cachet of a Moog or an ARP, but — as Paul Nagle explains — they were innovative, well designed, and sounded great... Additional material by Dave Robinson.

    Reviews Jan 2000
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    Elektron Sidstation

    Sound Module

    Swedish company Elektron have taken the retro philosophy to new heights, with a synth based around the original SID sound chip from the Commodore 64 home computer.

    Reviews Nov 1999

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