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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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    DUY SynthSpider

    Virtual Modular Synth

    Host-based programs allowing you to build your own synthesizers from virtual modules have been around for a while. Thanks to DUY, Pro Tools TDM and HD owners can now join in the fun.

    Reviews Dec 2002
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    Yamaha S08

    88-note Weighted-action Synthesizer

    Finding an affordable keyboard with a good weighted action and a healthy selection of sounds suitable for studio and live use isn't as easy as you might think. Could Yamaha's S08 be the Holy Grail?

    Reviews Dec 2002
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    Roland XV2020

    Synth Module

    Designed to replace the JV1010 as Roland's entry-level synth product, the XV2020 is diminutive, affordable, and crammed with those great XV sounds. But what's it like to use?

    Reviews Nov 2002
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    Access Virus Indigo 2

    Modelled Analogue Synthesizer

    Hot on the heels of the recent Virus C comes the Virus Indigo 2, now upgraded to include the new Virus C synth engine. And what a difference it makes!

    Reviews Oct 2002
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    Vermona MARS & MARS Control

    Analogue Synth Module & Controller

    The German team behind the inexpensive MARS have been responsible for several SOS-reviewed products in the past, although the MARS is the first under their own brand name Vermona. But is it more of a Trabant than an Audi?

    Reviews Oct 2002
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    Access Virus C

    Modelled Analogue Synthesizer

    Access have managed to add some excellent features to their Virus synth in the past simply by upgrading its OS, but the march of progress means that a hardware revision is eventually necessary. Does the new Virus C do enough to keep up with the virtual-analogue crowd?

    Reviews Aug 2002
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    Red Sound Elevata

    Modelled Analogue Synthesizer

    Elevata is a 16-voice polyphonic, eight-part multitimbral modelling synth from UK innovators Red Sound. But with a number of virtual analogue synths available at the same price point, does the Elevata offer enough to distinguish itself?

    Reviews Aug 2002
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    Edirol SD90

    USB Sound Module & Audio Interface [Mac/PC]

    The Edirol SD90 combines Roland's Sound Canvas sound set with a USB audio and MIDI interface.

    Reviews Jul 2002
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    Korg Triton Studio

    Production Workstation

    Korg's Trinity and Triton have led the workstation market for so long that updating the concept can't have been easy — after all, how do you improve the best? So what's new in the Triton Studio, and will it keep Korg ahead?

    Reviews Jul 2002
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    An operator editing window, with the graphic envelope display showing on the right. At the bottom left of all operator windows is an Amplitude Modulation grid. Many modulation sources are assignable in the main Modulation Matrix, but to save you from cons

    Native Instruments FM7

    Virtual FM Synth [Mac / PC]

    Virtual analogue plug‑in synths are now common, and as DX‑style FM was the next great leap forward for real synths, a virtual FM synth was only a matter of time. So how does FM7 measure up to the original DX?

    Reviews Jul 2002
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    Analogue Systems Apprentice

    Modular Analogue Synth & Integrator Synth Modules

    The Apprentice — a keyboard-less wooden casing designed to house synth modules — is the latest addition to Analogue Systems' fully modular Integrator series of analogue synths. We test one fitted with some of the company's new modules...

    Reviews Jun 2002
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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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    Roland XV5050

    Sample-based Synth Module

    Roland's latest module provides the most affordable way yet to access the company's fine XV soundset, albeit with reduced polyphony and a less intuitive user interface compared to the more expensive XV5080. We weigh up the pros and cons.

    Reviews Jun 2002
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    Roland SH32

    Virtual Analogue Synthesizer

    Roland released the JP8000/8080 virtual analogue synth way back in 1997, but never really followed it up. Now they've combined the modelling synth idea with their Groovebox concept, presenting it in compact form with a wealth of hardware control options...

    Reviews May 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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    Macbeth Systems M3X

    Analogue Synthesizer

    The M3X is the first product from Macbeth Systems, the Scottish company founded by former DIY analogue synth enthusiast Ken McBeth. Will all turn out well, or is the M3X destined for a tragic end?

    Reviews Apr 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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    Emu Proteus 2500

    128-Voice Expandable Command Module

    Emu's synths may have broken no new ground since the 1999 launch of the Proteus 2000, but the new 2500 plays to their strengths, offering the best of their sound library, plus excellent sequencing and real-time control capabilities, at a very attractive price.

    Reviews Mar 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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