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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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    Novation A-Station

    Polyphonic Virtual Analogue Synthesizer

    Novation's new A-Station seeks to combine the compact styling of their BassStation Rack synths with some of the spec of the prestigious Supernova and Nova - and all for £399! Is it an inspired bit of cross-breeding, or a misbegotten mongrel?

    Reviews Dec 2001
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    Native Instruments Absynth

    Stand-alone/Plug-in Software Synth For Mac

    Released last year as a web-only download from Rhizomatic, the ground-breaking Absynth is now part of Native Instruments' product line, and can be used as a VST instrument plug-in.

    Reviews Dec 2001
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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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    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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    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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    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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    Crumar Spirit [Retrozone]

    Analogue Monosynth

    If the Crumar Spirit is one of the best analogue monosynths the world has ever known, how come you've never heard of it? Gordon Reid explains...

    Reviews Jul 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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