John Keston explores the Bass Station II, below his report:
I have recently been trying out a Novation Bass Station II monophonic analogue synthesizer. I am quite impressed with this big sounding synth in a small package. While digitally controlled, Novation have focused on packing in proper synthesis features rather than trying to gloss over the sound with onboard effects. For example, as I have illustrated in the video, the filter self oscillates nicely with a clean sine wave that can be modulated in unique ways especially with distinct features like oscillator slew.
The video starts with the self oscillating filter getting modulated by LFO 2 using the triangle wave. After that I switch to using the sample and hold setting creating the well-known 60s computer sound of random notes. Here’s where it gets interesting though. Once I switch the LFO to sample and hold I start turning up the oscillator slew I mentioned earlier. What this does is variably smooth the wave shapes created by the LFO. You’ll hear this come in at 0:28. It sounds like portamento. At 0:35 I switch the LFO to the square wave, but with the slew on it sounds more like a sine. As I reduce the amount of slew the square wave regains its recognizable character. Next I switch it to the saw tooth wave. The nice thing here is that the LFO amount can go into negative values allowing the saw to be reversed.
Another distinctive feature is the oscillator filter mod setting. This modulates the filter with oscillator 2. Since the oscillators range from subsonic to almost supersonic this feature offers modulation effects that are not possible with the LFOs. At 1:29 you will start to hear the oscillator filter mod come in using a pulse waveform. What makes this interesting is that while oscillator 2 is modulating the filter it can also have the pulse width modulated by LFO 1. This can cause bit-reduction-like effects that can be heard between 1:49 and 2:19. At 2:20 I start tapping the octave and waveform buttons on oscillator 2 illustrating what happens when the modulation source is instantly shifted an octave at a time. After a bit more messing around I added a final, manual filter sweep at 3:20.
James Wiltshire from The Freemasons makes a demonstration of the feature-set and sonic capabilities of the new Clavia Nord Lead 4 synthesizer. Watch the video and discover why James thinks it’s a truly next-generation synthesizer.
Here’s some bonus footage for the Nord Lead 4 demonstration with James Wiltshire from The Freemasons. Watch as he makes some parts for a track using the Nord Lead 4 and displays the synthesizers vast sonic capabilities.
Vintage synthesizer demo track featuring the classic Yamaha DX7
all synthesizer sounds: YAMAHA DX7 II FD FM-Synthesizer (1987)
recording: multi-tracking without midi
fx: reverb and delay
The demo shows typical and not so typical FM sounds. a bit PPG and Fairlight like.
“I like this synth a lot! Yamaha should built a DX7 III with realtime controller like the old PSS FM keyboards, with internal arpeggiator, step sequencer and a fx unit with reverb and delay and chorus. this would be fantastic.“
This is a demo and tutorial for the Vogel CMI..A sim of the iconic and classic Fairlight CMI, one of the most famous keyboards ever..
Alesis Andromeda A6 analog synthesizer step sequencer keyboard demo. Performing live ambient space music on Alesis A6 Andromeda analogue synth keyboard using the built-in step sequencer. Created using 2 oscillators, LFOs, filter / envelope adjustments, portamento, unison detune, delay effects on vintage Alesis A6 Andromeda analog synthesizer keyboard. Performed live, no external processing. Excerpt from a longer session.
The Andromeda A6 is a true analog synthesizer using two analog oscillators per voice, sub-oscillators, hard and soft sync and more! It features 16-voice polyphony. With the Andromeda, you’ll find a huge range of tonal possibilities: searing leads, warm pads, fat bass lines, extreme sound effects and more. And of course there are plenty of knobs (72) and buttons (144), even an assignable ribbon controller for addictive hands-on real-time control! The large high-resolution LCD display is excellent and shows you actual rather than relative values of parameters. Andromeda will integrate seamlessly into any studio with its total MIDI control and sync, individual voice outputs, stereo outputs and several audio inputs.
Andromeda is completely analog – no emulation! It features two analog filters per voice that sound great! They are a multimode 2-pole and a 4-pole lowpass. External audio can be routed through these filters too (three 1/4″ jacks)! As for modulation, Andromeda has three LFOs, each with six waveforms and they can be synced to MIDI clock. And there are three 7-stage envelopes with very creative and flexible functions. Also onboard is an extensive mod matrix for enormous freedom in configuring Andromeda’s sounds!
No analog synth would be complete without a set of classic effects and features. Andromeda also offers Portamento with nine slopes and legato functions. A built-in arpeggiator and analog-style sequencer are available, with MIDI sync! There are also some high quality digital effects such as reverbs, chorus, echo, distortion and more! Andromeda comes with 256 breathtaking preset patches plus 128 user. A PCMCIA-format memory card slot allows for additional programs and mixes. Andromeda is pure analog bliss, with all the features, stability and widgets of modern digital synths.
In this video:
Elektron Analog Four Demo
Sounds = Analog Four
Beats = MFB Tanzbär
Playing the Multimoog with reverb effects from a Lexicon MPX-500 and delay effects from a Roland DEP-5.
The Multimoog is a highly versatile analog monophonic synthesizer. It is basically an extended version of the Micromoog, which came out 3 years before. It features a ribbon controller and a touch sensitive keyboard. It has many interesting modulation routings and has a powerful, analog sound.
The Multimoog has 2 VCOs and a suboscillator. The filter can be modulated by the oscillator B in different ways. It has oscillator sync, noise generator, sample & hold, mixable oscillator waveforms, pulse width modulation, the 24 dB Moog filter and two envelopes. It has all interfacing you would expect from a good monophonic synth: CV / Gate IN and OUT, EXTERNAL SIGNAL IN, VCF IN. You can even play a Moog modular system from the Micromoog keyboard.
Introducing chain function and pattern generation of Korg “KR mini”.
“KR mini” is a rhythm box of simple design that eliminates any complex function.
Product description from KORG below:
The KR mini – an easy, simple and compact rhythm machine with a built-in speaker and optional battery power for play-anywhere convenience. It’s a great companion for practicing and performing with guitar, bass, keyboards, winds, or any type of instrument!
- Easy-to-use design; just select a rhythm pattern and press the play button
- Chain function lets you arrange your favorite rhythm patterns and fill-ins to create complete songs
- Optional foot switches gives you hands-free control over fill-in/start/stop
- Tap the 16 pads for finger drumming or recording your own rhythms
- Built-in speaker with 2W output for jamming anywhere without the need for an additional monitor
- Headphone/speaker jack for quiet practice or connection to a mixer or monitoring system
- Two-way power; use the optional AC adaptor or batteries (AA alkaline batteries x 3)
Many musicians wish that they could enjoy casually performing while being backed up by real rhythm patterns rather than just a metronome. Korg has responded to these wishes with the KR Mini rhythm machine. It features a simple design that eliminates all complex functions, looks that overflow with nostalgia and analog-like controls. Playing a rhythm pattern is easy as making selection and pressing play. A total of 60 diverse rhythm patterns and 120 fills are ready to accompany you. Easy, simple and compact, the KR mini can play its role anywhere.
Here is a demonstration of the sound and functionality of some of the performance aspects of the Korg Volca Beats.
Moog’s Source was their first to offer patch memory storage as well as some other new features. It boasted 16 memory locations so you could finally save and recall your synth patches. A casette-tape jack was also implemented to transfer your patches to and from an external tape and free up the on-board memory for additional new patches. But in an effort to modernize with the eighties, the Moog had replaced all buttons, knobs and sliders with flat-panel membrane buttons and a single data-wheel assignment format. At the time, this may have seemed far-out, but in all actuality it is the Source’s downfall.
Parameters are edited not with hands-on sliders and knobs but by assigning a selected parameter to the dedicated data wheel. This is very tedious and does not allow for true hands-on tweaking during performances nor can you adjust different parameters simultaneously or while playing. These days, the membrane buttons don’t always seem to work quite right either. However, those famous monophonic Moog sounds are still inside this synth which has two fat analog oscillators and the legendary 24 dB Moog filter.
The factory patches of the Moog Source, classic mono from 1981
0:10 Program 01 – LEAD 1
0:32 Program 02 – LEAD 2
1:00 Program 03 – HORN
1:31 Program 04 – FLUTE
2:04 Program 05 – CLAV BASS
2:24 Program 06 – VIBES
2:46 Program 07 – STRING BASS
3:07 Program 08 – HARPSICHORD
3:30 Program 09 – ORGAN
4:05 Program 10 – TRILL VOICE
4:54 Program 11 – TAURUS
5:36 Program 12 – SYNTHEVOX
6:29 Program 13 – SAX
6:55 Program 14 – WIND
7:22 Program 15 – SNARE DRUM
7:40 Program 16 – Bonus – modern Electro House synth sound