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Synthesizers

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    Sound Modules

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    Synthesis / Sound Design

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    Synth Secrets

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    Akai AX80 (Retrozone)

    The Return Of The AX-Man

    Prior to taking over the sampling world, Akai launched a hybrid analogue/digital synth with a unique interface.

    Reviews Jun 2002
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    ARP Quadra: Part 2

    Keyboard Synthesizer (Retrozone)

    In Part 1 (of 2) last month, we finished with the question: 'What is the Quadra? Is it a turkey of the first order, or a misunderstood and overlooked masterpiece?' This month, we'll take a closer look at the instrument itself to find the answer.

    Reviews May 2002
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    Novation K-Station

    Modelled Performance Synthesizer

    Novation seem to be on a roll. Scarcely had the monotimbral A-Station made the cover of our December 2001 issue, when news broke of a £500 keyboard version. We look at one of the first UK production models.

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    Oberheim OB•12 v1.5

    Analogue Modelling Synthesizer

    The Oberheim/Viscount OB•12 was already a well-specified virtual analogue synth when it was launched in 2000, but it failed to gain much of a following. Now, after an OS upgrade and a cut in price, it's seriously good value for money...

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    ARP Quadra: Part 1

    Keyboard Synthesizer (Retrozone)

    Combining strings, a monosynth, a bass synth and a polyphonic synthesizer, did ARP create the keyboard equivalent of 'Wash and Go', or a jack of all trades and master of none?

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    Moog Sonic 6

    Analogue Synthesizer (Retrozone)

    The pioneering Sonic 6 has a complex and intriguing background, featuring not only the synth industry's most famous name, Bob Moog, but also that of an unsung hero called Gene Zumcheck - a shadowy figure now, but one whose contribution to synthesis deserves acknowledgement.

    Reviews Mar 2002
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    Roland Fantom FA76

    Keyboard Workstation

    Korg's Triton has dominated the workstation synth market for several years, but the past 12 months have seen challenges to this position firstly from Yamaha, with their Motif, and now from Roland. Does this Fantom have what it takes?

    Reviews Feb 2002
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    Korg M1 (Retrozone)

    Digital Synth Workstation

    The all-time best-selling synthesizer, Korg's M1 laid the groundwork for synths that followed. We go behind the scenes to reveal the secrets of its success.

    Reviews Feb 2002
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    Sequential Prophet VS [Retrozone]

    Vector Synthesizer

    Boasting one of the most intuitive methods of sound creation ever devised, 1986's Prophet VS was meant to be US synth giant Sequential's commercial saviour. Sadly, it didn't succeed - but it did earn itself the status of American Classic...

    Reviews Nov 2001
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    Teisco SX400 [Retrozone]

    Analogue Synthesizer

    Not every old analogue synth can be a classic. Gordon Reid reflects on one that is not desirable, probably won't appreciate and, in many analogue enthusiasts' opinions, does not deserve to be hunted down - except, perhaps, to be put out of its misery!

    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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    Yamaha Motif 7

    Music Production Synth Workstation

    In these days of virtual instruments and fully featured software sequencers, why should you even consider spending £2000 on a cumbersome hardware synth workstation? If the workstation is as well thought-out as Yamaha's new Motif, perhaps you should.

    Reviews Sep 2001
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    Access Virus Indigo / Virus OS v4

    Originally planned as a limited edition, the 37-note Virus Indigo virtual analogue keyboard synth surprised even its makers - demand ran so high that it became a separate product. Gordon Reid considers the newest strain of this retro Virus, and the latest v4 OS software revision.

    Reviews Jun 2001
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    Alesis A6 Andromeda

    16-Voice Analogue Synthesizer

    Looking like a star cruiser, or something from the film 2001 (rather than just the year), Alesis' Andromeda is the first analogue polysynth that approaches the complexity of a digital workstation. But does analogue necessarily equate to quality?

    Reviews Apr 2001
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    Yamaha Motif [Preview]

    Workstation Synthesizer

    Rumours of a new Yamaha synth were circulating at January's NAMM show, but nothing was confirmed until a few weeks later, when SOS were invited to Yamaha's London R&D Centre. Matt Bell meets the Motif...

    Reviews Apr 2001
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    Korg PS3100

    Polyphonic Synthesizer [Retrozone]

    It may not be well known, but it is sought-after. Simon Lowther relates the history and mystery of an early 48-note polyphonic analogue synth and its well-connected family.

    Reviews Feb 2001
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    Novation Supernova II

    Modelling Workstation

    The Supernova modelling workstation earned a pile of accolades for its excellent 'analogue' sounds, superb multitimbral effects, and its user-friendly, knobular interface. But Novation have now withdrawn the original and replaced it with the Supernova II. Can something so good get better still?

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Roland MRS2 Promars [Retrozone]

    Compuphonic Mono Synthesizer

    The Roland Promars helped to usher in a new era of microprocessor-controlled analogue synthesizer, but has subsequently been all but forgotten. Gordon Reid remembers the world's only 'Compuphonic' monosynth.

    Reviews May 2000
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    Kurzweil K2600X header.

    Kurzweil K2600X

    Keyboard Workstation

    Kurzweil's latest workstation is very much the product of evolution, rather than revolution. Paul Ward finds out whether it's keeping pace with the rest of the synth world...

    Reviews Apr 2000
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    Waldorf Microwave XTk

    Wavetable Synthesizer

    Until now, the only implementation of Waldorf's wavetable synthesis with a built-in keyboard was their pricey Wave megasynth. Now, however, they've repackaged their more affordable Microwave XT in an attractive keyboard unit.

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Yamaha GX1 Synthesizer: Part 2

    Retrozone

    In Part 1, author Gordon Reid told us how he found one of the world's rarest synthesizers in Australia, and of the trouble he went to to get it home. In Part 2, he explains what it is about the Yamaha GX1 that made it all worthwhile...

    Reviews Mar 2000

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