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Sound Modules

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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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    Technics SX-WSA1R

    Acoustic Modelling Synth Module

    Derek Johnson takes a second look at this powerful instrument, now available at a fraction of its original retail price.

    Reviews Dec 1996
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    Yamaha MU10XG

    GM/XG Sound Module

    The MU10XG's unassuming casing conceals a sound source with hidden depths which you can explore using MIDI SysEx.

    Reviews Dec 1996
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    Midiman MIDI Gman

    General MIDI Sound Module

    Could this be the most diminutive general MIDI module on the market? Derek Johnson finds out whether small is beautiful...

    Reviews Nov 1996
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    Studio Electronics ATC1

    Analogue Tone Chameleon

    A synth's filter plays a major part in defining its sound, and creates the particular character of the best-loved vintage analogue models. Courtesy of its different filter cartridges, the ATC1 aims to be able to change its sound to suit your needs. Paul Nagle plugs in.

    Reviews Nov 1996
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    Yamaha P50m

    Piano Tone Generator

    Almost a decade since the release of their classic EMT10, Yamaha have returned To the piano module market, spinning off some of the technology used in their top-end digital pianos and using it in an inexpensive half-rack expander format. Dave Crombie tickles the virtual ivories...

    Reviews Nov 1996
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    Yamaha VL70m

    Virtual Acoustic Synth Module

    At under £500 — less than an eighth of the original price of its VL1 predecessor — Yamaha's VL70m constitutes a brave attempt to bring physical modelling synthesis within the reach of all musicians. Martin Russ joyfully welcomes this monophonic modelling module...

    Reviews Oct 1996
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    Studio Electronics ATC1

    Analogue Tone Chameleon Monosynth (Preview)

    With a front panel resembling a butchered Moog Source, and plug-in filters that claim to give you the sound of various vintage brands inside one instrument, the ATC1 is bound to excite interest. Paul Nagle changes his tune.

    Reviews Sep 1996
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    Yamaha VL70M

    Virtual Acoustic Tone Generator (Preview)

    Martin Russ sidles up to an innocent-looking phone-box, receives his instructions, and sets to work decoding Yamaha's affordable new Virtual Acoustic synth. This preview will self-destruct in five seconds...

    Reviews Sep 1996
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    Roland PMA5

    Personal Music Assistant

    Is it a Filofax? Is it a Stylophone? No... it's Roland's answer to Yamaha's portable music Walkstation family. Faster than a speeding bullet, Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser apply their X-ray vision to the new PMA5.

    Reviews Aug 1996

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