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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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    ARP Odyssey

    Duophonic Analogue Synthesizer [Retrozone]

    For the synth afictionado, the ARP Odyssey is up there with the Minimoog in terms of its power and sonic quality. Gordon Reid explains why he loves his Ody...

    Reviews Dec 1997
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    Doepfer MS404

    MIDI Analogue Synthesizer

    Apart from a few MIDI-supported commands, the Doepfer MS404 is completely analogue — so there are no patch memories, no SysEx, and no storable front-panel settings. Chris Carter explains why you'd nevertheless be mad to overlook it...

    Reviews Dec 1997
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    Quasimidi Rave-O-Lution 309 Upgrades

    Dance Box

    Quasimidi are delivering on their promise to provide new goodies for owners of the 309 dance box. Derek Johnson raves a bit...

    Reviews Dec 1997
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    Synth School: Part 5

    The Origins Of Sample & Synthesis (S&S)

    At the January NAMM show in 1987, Roland launched their D50, which mixed synthesis and sampled sounds in one package, a compbination which has remained popular to the current day. Paul Wiffen examines how S&S evolved into the most widespread form of sound generation on the market.

    Techniques Dec 1997
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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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    Korg Z1

    Multi-oscillator Physical Modelling Synthesizer

    Commercial physical modelling synths first appeared in 1994, but until now, nobody has produced one that offers truly multitimbral operation together with decent polyphonic performance. Korg's new Z1 does — and for well under £2,000. In this, the first UK review of the finished instrument, Goron Reid laughs wildly and plays lots fo chords — because he can.

    Reviews Oct 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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    Synth School: Part 4

    Additive Synthesis

    Throughout the '80s, additive synthesis was the Holy Grail for synth purists; many machines aspired to it, but only one achieved it successfully. Paul Wiffen explains how additive works and looks at the various implementations, including the newly updated Kawai version.

    Techniques 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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    Synth School: Part 3

    Digital Synthesis (FM, PD & VPM)

    Having completed his study of analogue synthesis last month, Paul Wiffen takes a look at FM and its related digital synthesis types, which rocked the synth world throughout the 1980s.

    Techniques 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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    Synth School: Part 2

    Resonance, Envelopes & Routing

    This month, Paul Wiffen looks at ways of modifying a filter's shape, both in terms of frequency response and over time, and considers the importance of routing in connecting together a synth's various sound-generating and -modifying components.

    Techniques 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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    RON BERRY: Acoustic Modelling With Analogue Modular Synth

    Interview | Artist

    Somewhere in the North-East of England, electronic musician and designer Ron Berry has been applying an old-style analogue modular synth to the creation of a very contemporary phenomenon — physical modelling synthesis. Jonathan Miller finds out how it's done.

    People 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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