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Synthesizers

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    Roland V-Synth XT: Part 2 VC1 & VC2 Cards

    Variphrase Synthesizer

    Part 2: We conclude our review of Roland's fabulous new rackmount synth, and look at the built-in VC1 and VC2 cards, which respectively convert the V-Synth XT into a fully functioning D50 and a powerful vocal-processing synth.

    Reviews Oct 2005
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    MOTU MX4 v2

    Software Synth [Mac OS X]

    Every major sequencer manufacturer now sells software synths for use with their recording applications, but MOTU's MX4 had not been out long before an updated version was announced. We find out whether v2 was worth the wait...

    Reviews Sep 2005
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    NI Reaktor 5

    Virtual Modular Synth [Mac/PC]

    Native's sound design software is back, and with v5, you have more control over your instruments than ever — offering fully user-definable looks, the ability to construct your own modules from scratch, and an improved library. We get patching...

    Reviews Sep 2005
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    Roland V-Synth XT: Part 1

    Variphrase Synthesizer & V-Synth OS v2

    Part 1: The V-Synth repackaged Roland's groundbreaking Variphrase technology, creating a powerful new kind of sample-based synthesis. Now there's a rackmount V-Synth, and (as you'll discover in Part 1 of our two-part review) it's more powerful than the first...

    Reviews Sep 2005
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    Gforce Minimonsta

    Virtual Analogue Synth [PC/Mac]

    Forget completely flexible software synthesis — what everyone wants, it seems, is emulations of 35-year-old monophonic analogue synths! We check out the latest modelled Minimoog, and see how it compares to the original hardware.

    Reviews . Aug 2005
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    NI Xpress Keyboards

    Software Synths

    Xpress Keyboards features cut-down versions of NI's B4 tonewheel organ emulation, Pro 53 Prophet 5 emulation and FM7 DX-alike.

    Reviews Aug 2005
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    Roland FANXUP1 & Fantom XR

    OS Upgrade v2 Editor For Fantom X

    The Fantom X is Roland's best-ever workstation, but it has suffered from one or two annoying omissions, such as the ability to import Roland's own sample format. We explore the Fantom Xr rack module and ask if the v2 OS and editing software provide the solutions?

    Reviews Aug 2005
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    Arturia Minimoog V v1.5

    Virtual Analogue Synth [Mac/PC]

    Although we only reviewed this Minimoog-emulating software instrument four months ago, Arturia have now thoroughly redesigned it, taking into account many of the points made in the original SOS review. So let's take a second look...

    Reviews Jul 2005
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    Arturia 2600V

    Virtual Semi-modular Synth [Mac/PC]

    Completing the quartet of vintage synth emulations they began with Moog Modular V, Arturia's latest plug-in aims to reproduce the sound of the greatest semi-modular of them all, ARP's 2600. We see how it fares up against the original...

    Reviews Jun 2005
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    Analogue Systems RS370 & RS375

    Polyphonic Harmonic Generator & Expander

    Having built their reputation on knob-heavy modular synths, British manufacturer Analogue Systems surprise everyone by bringing out a menu-driven additive synthesis module! But don't worry — the optional expander is covered with things to tweak and turn...

    Reviews Jun 2005
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    Roland Fantom Xa

    Workstation Synth

    At £1099, the Xa is the most affordable keyboard in the Fantom range. But, inevitably, features have been removed to make it such a bargain. Have Roland thrown out the works from the workstation?

    Reviews May 2005
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    Yamaha Motif Rack ES

    Workstation Synth Module

    Yamaha's original Motif Rack was a fine-sounding, well-specified synth module, but it suffered from MIDI timing problems when reviewed in SOS. Two years on, we put the follow-up Motif Rack ES to the test...

    Reviews May 2005
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    Arturia CS80V

    Software Synth (Mac/PC)

    Yamaha's CS80 was one of the finest analogue polysynths of all time. How close have Arturia come to modelling its classic sound in software? We put the software up against the hardware to find out...

    Reviews Apr 2005
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    IK Multimedia Sonik Synth 2

    Vintage Synth Virtual Instrument [Mac/PC]

    The latest instrument plug-in from IK Multimedia and Sonic Reality packages eight Gigabytes of samples, mostly from a huge range of classic synths, in IK's Sampletank front end.

    Reviews Apr 2005
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    Native Instruments Absynth 3

    Software Synth [Mac/PC]

    Absynth has always dared to be somewhat different to other software synths, and version 3 continues the grand tradition, with new effects, built-in frequency-shifting, and surround processing options.

    Reviews Apr 2005
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    Arturia Minimoog V

    Virtual Analogue Synth [Mac/PC]

    Arturia caught our attention with Storm, the virtual studio suite, but of late they have diversified into emulating classic hardware instruments. So how do they fare in their attempt to capture the mighty Minimoog in software?

    Reviews Mar 2005
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    Korg OASYS (Preview)

    Keyboard Workstation

    Long before its debut this Spring, the new keyboard workstation from Korg was already the subject of much speculation. We find out what's really going on inside the OASYS's sleek metal case.

    Reviews Mar 2005
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    Muse Research Receptor

    Stand-alone VST Plug-in Player

    If you want to get your hands on the latest VST Instruments and Plug-in effects, but don't fancy having a PC in your studio, Muse Research's Receptor could be the answer.

    Reviews Mar 2005
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    Roland Juno-D

    Sample-based Synthesizer

    Giving a modern instrument the same name as a line of vintage analogues that have an assured place in the synth hall of fame invites comparisons. So is the Juno-D the rightful heir to the Juno throne or more of a young pretender?

    Reviews Mar 2005
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    Alesis Micron

    Modelled Analogue Synthesizer

    Less really is more — the 'smaller' name suggests a cut-down follow-up to 2003's Ion synth, but in fact the Micron includes most of the spec of its predecessor, and has added effects and a built-in sequencer too.

    Reviews Jan 2005
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    Open Labs Open Synth Neko 64

    Computer-based Keyboard Workstation

    It's a great concept — a keyboard synth that can run computer plug-ins. Open Labs have created one by putting an entire PC inside a keyboard. But is it a recording revolution, or an overpriced processor in a fancy case?

    Reviews Jan 2005

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