Futursonus has launched a Kickstarter project to fund production of Parva – a new polyphonic analog synthesizer that combines an all-analog signal chain with the modern convenience of digital control.
The Parva can be configured as a monosynth all the way up to an 8-voice poly synth. Each synth voice offers three analog oscillators, dual multi-mode filters, four 4-stage envelopes, 4 LFOs, sample and hold and 40+ modulation destinations.
- ANALOG – From the oscillators and wave-shapers to the voltage-controlled filters (VCF) and snappy OTA-based voltage-controlled amplifiers (VCA), Parva’s signal path is 100% analog. There’s no DSP here.
- DIGITAL – Parva’s digital controls enable you to save and recall patches instantaneously, change parameters via MIDI, and route LFOs and envelopes to more than 40 destinations in the modulation matrix.
- POLYPHONY – Parva can be configured for up to eight note polyphony. Extremely flexible voice assignment allows you to stack as many voices as you like for more complex sounds, split the keyboard up to eight ways, or both in any combination.
- CONTROL – With its smooth analog potentiometers, Parva gives you direct access to all of the most commonly used parameters. Plus, each section of the synth has additional settings displayed on a high-visibility OLED, so the perfect patch is never more than a click away.
- CONNECTIVITY – Parva is the first analog synthesizer to feature a USB Master port, which allows you to connect any class-compliant USB MIDI keyboard — or other controller — directly, without the need for a computer. Of course, standard MIDI DIN in and out connections and a “normal” USB port are also included, as well as individual outputs for each voice, and a stereo headphone jack.
- CONSTRUCTION – Parva was designed with working musicians in mind, and features an aluminum enclosure, custom-machined aluminum knobs & sturdy panel-mounted pots,
Parva can be configured as an expandable monophonic synthesizer, or as an eight-note polyphonic, eight-voice multi-timbral synth.
Each voice contains the following:
- 3 Digitally-controlled analog oscillators
- Sawtooth, triangle, and PWM waveforms
- New Feature: Variable-width saw waves
- Tunable +/- 5 octaves
- Hard Syncable
- Independent level controls
- 2 serial-connected multi-mode filters
- 24db or 12db low-pass or high-pass modes
- 12db bandpass mode
- Filter FM
- 4 4-stage (ADSR) envelopes
- Exponential curves for punchy attack and natural decay
- Linear mode also available
- New Feature: Loopable envelopes
- Routable to >40 destinations
- 4 LFOs
- Sine, sawtooth, triangle, and square waveforms
- Random sample-and-hold
- New Feature: Stepped LFOs
- Free-running or key-synced
- Routable to >40 destinations
- New Feature: Individual 1/4″ stereo line-level outputs for each voice
- 1/4″ left and right main outputs
- Stereo 1/4″ headphone jack
- MIDI DIN input and output
- USB MIDI port
- USB Master port for direct connection of USB MIDI controllers
The Parva is available to project backers, starting at $499 for the monosynth and $999 for an 8-voice version. See the project site for details.
The Synthino XM is completely new polyphonic synthesizer with unique features running on a powerful hardware platform. It is compact, well-constructed, open source, and absolutely beautiful. Most importantly, it is really fun to play whether you are a musician or you just want to make some noise.
Synthino XM is a polyphonic, multitimbral synthesizer with many features:
- 5-note polyphony for superb playability
- 12 waveforms, 4 drum samples
- 12-bit audio at 25KHz output rate
- 4 MIDI channels, each with separate waveform and ADSR envelope
- low pass filter with cutoff frequency and resonance controls
- 2 independent low frequency oscillators (LFOs): pitch and filter
- selectable waveform for LFOs
- 1V p-p audio output voltage with enough current to drive headphones
- arpeggiator mode, up to 16 notes
- 4 arpeggiator patterns: up, down, up-down, random
- 4 built-in arpeggiator chords or use MIDI to specify up to 16 notes
- arpeggiator pitch transposition control
- tempo control with MIDI clock input
- 16-step live performance “groovebox” sequencer
- pitch fine-tuning adjustment
- programmable/upgradable over USB
EverythingTurns has announced the release of Wraith, a PolyMod Rack series polyphonic modular analog synthesizer instrument for Native Instruments Reaktor.
Wraith is available in two form factors, the larger Wraith SQR has two built-in sequencers that can run independently to each other, Wraith Mini has all the same synthesis capabilities and is better suited for smaller screens.
- PolyMod is more of a template than an ensemble and has features built-in that will make the whole process of building new ensembles at ET better in so many ways.
- All PolyMod ensembles have a consistent user interface making the learning curve for new designs greatly reduced.
- PolyMod has skins built in – 22 to choose from and they are saved with each snapshot, having different colours for different tracks in a sequencer makes a lot of sense, red for bass and blue for pads, etc.
- All PolyMod ensembles are pre-order only, this means no instant downloads, when an order is placed the instrument will be sent to you within a day or so and you will have the only copy, the original encrypted version is kept on the server as a backup if needed.
- Each Ensemble is Unique to you.
Wraith is available for purchase for £18 GBP (SQR)/£14 GBP (Mini), or £28 GBP for a bundle of both. Requires Reaktor version 5.8+.
This is a demonstration of the Oberheim Two Voice vintage analog synthesizer!
Oberheim’s first synthesizer was a single-voice mini-module called a SEM (Synthesizer Expander Module). However, in 1975, Oberheim created their first compact, programmable and polyphonic synthesizer by coupling two SEM modules to a 37-note keyboard and a simple analog sequencer. This was what became the Two Voice. Oberheim achieved a polyphonic sound not yet seen in ARP and Moog gear at the time by hard-wiring the two monophonic SEMs into the compact keyboard design.
In 1976 Oberheim came out with another module, the Polyphonic Synthesizer Programmer. This could memorize the control voltages of many parameters for up to eight SEM modules. When these were added to the Two Voice, Oberheim finally had one of the earliest programmable and polyphonic instruments! Released alongside the Two Voice also came the Four Voice which had four SEMs installed, and a larger 49-note keyboard. And later, in 1977, a second tier was added above the four SEMs on the Four Voice to add yet another four SEMS, making the Eight Voice.
Two voices was great in 1975, and eight voices was pretty monstrous in the later seventies. But, a major drawback to these first Oberheim synths was that polyphony was achieved by having multiple modules. This meant that each voice had to be independently programmed. This also means that each voice has its own filter, making real-time filter sweeps of all your voices more than a handful! Fortunately the sequencer comes in handy for controlling each voice/module independently.
Despite its innovative features, the Two Voice was soon blown out of the water by the popular monophonic and truly polyphonic synths like the OSCar, ARP Odyssey and SH-101.
Multivox MX-65 Polyphonic Synthesizer. It is an analog poly keyboard that was made in Japan from 1977 to 1980. Very very rare.
It has six voices. Piano, strings, clavichord, honky-tonk, piano and organ. The voices them selves are just different combinations of the filter and envelope positions that you can switch between. The filter is interfaced with the envelope with 3 modes. A fast attack/fast decay mode, an ‘expand’ mode with resonance emphasis, and a fast attack/slow decay mode..
Excuse the poor playing! I am trying to focus on the controls and just show a quick demo of the sound. Reverb in Ableton.
RSF Polykobol 2 demo.
All tracks are made with the Polykobol, except drums.
Cubase Vst used for the record, and synchronised with Polykobol arpeggiator
About RSF and the Kobol line:
The RSF Kobol was the French synth company’s first compact keyboard synthesizer, certainly inspired by the Minimoog. It is a much more compact instrument than the Modular Model 11 series of synthesizers they had been making thus far. It is a monophonic analog synthesizer with traditional controls, knobs, switches and two oscillators for a good solid analog synth sound. Initally released as a keyboard in 1978, a 3-unit rack-mount system was later released in 1979.
Although it is mostly a traditional analog synth with stable oscillators and lots of knobs that allow you to control the ADS envelope, the filter section and the nice LFO, it did offer some unique features for its time. Most notably, the oscillator waveforms can be continuously swept across for a very cool morph from square to saw to pulse, etc. This, as well as note on/off and other parameters can be controlled via CV/gate. External sounds can be processed through the Kobol filter and envelope sections too.
The rack version came in four different components. The Kobol Rack (Expander I) was essentially only the VCO/VCF/VCA/LFO sections of the Kobol in a rack module. The Expander 2 was an add-on to the Kobol that added some new processing modules such as ring modulation, sample-hold, and envelope followers as well as extra VCA and LFO modules. The Programmer rack module contained the memory circuits for storing patches and sequencing. And the KM8 was an 8-channel rack-mount mixer. The connections between modules were normalized but could be bypassed by external patches, similar to other semi-modulars like the ARP 2600 and Korg MS-20.
The Kobol looked and sounded great, and was quickly snapped up by the big names in synthesizers of the time. But being a small French company, RSF were never able to truly mass produce these on the same sort of scale that Moog, Arp, Roland or Korg could. Less than 200 Kobol keyboards were made, around 800 Kobol Racks, 200 Expander 2’s, 200 Programmer’s and only a handful of the KM8’s. This makes them quite rare and quite pricey too!
PollySynth, a ‘multiplayer polyphonic synth’ that combines elements of gaming with synthesis, is now available as a public beta. It is designed for browser-based use with mobile devices.
Synthesizer voices are visualized as members of the ‘PollySynth gang’. Players fly these characters around and create audio havoc by loading a website on their mobile and playing with the controls. Spatial audio effects add to the fun as characters zoom by.
Horus is something between a string-machine and a poly synth.
It can generate impressive and inspirative pads.
Full MIDI learn
64 voices polyphonic
Download link: http://bserrano.free.fr/vsti/Horus.zip
Tek’it Audio lets us know that Neogen is a hybrid (phase distortion/subtractive) polyphonic synthesizer with sound morphing capabilities.
- Phase distortion oscillators.
- 56 variation of waveform shapes.
- 5 oscillator quality modes, HQ, Digitized, Sampler Computer, 8bit, 8bit Glitch.
- 4 modulation types.
- 1 square wave sub-oscillator.
- Monophonic Glide.
- 11 Filter types from low-pass with an analog tone to variants that sounds digital.
- Filter drive control.
- Filter modulation with rate and depth control.
- Filter modulation rate can be sync on the beat.
- Triggering, Dip wave and Invert modulation controls.
- ADSR amp and filter envelope, AD pitch envelope with depth control.
- 2 voices chorus, sync delay, reverb and auto-pan effects.
- Bass and treble tone control.
- Switchable output soft limiter.
- Sound morphing with depth control on any parameters.
- Visual feedback of the amount of morphing effect.
- Morphing fade with 2 envelopes modes.
- 8 voices arpeggiator sequencer.
- 8 pattern by presets.
- Save, Load pattern and patterns bank.
- Support MTS (MIDI Tuning Standard) file.
- Velocity amount control on 12 parameters.
- 10 Velocity curves.
- Full MIDI automation support.
- Easy MIDI learn on all parameters.
- Use 7-bit MIDI Continuous Controller or High resolution 14-bit MIDI NRPN and RPN.
- Selectable Maximum MIDI pitch bend range.
- Four note playback priority mode.
- Selectable envelope re-trigger mode.
- Preset manager, rename, copy, save, load…
- Undo your changes to initial preset value.
- One click randomize for all parameters.
- 326 Factory presets.
- Up to 128 user presets per bank.
- Easy installer.
Pricing and Availability:
Introductory price: €39 / $55 (normal price will be €49 / $69)
All sounds from the 1978 Roland Jupiter-4 analog synthesizer. One of the best sounding analog poly synths ever built.
The first Jupiter synth. It was among one of the first poly synthesizers (4 individual voices which could be synced together for one fat monophonic lead), it had a pitch wheel that could be assigned to the VCA, VCF, VCO or all together, there are 8 memory locations and a cool arpeggiator – the arpeggiator can be heard in the Duran Duran classic, “Rio”. It also has a very slow LFO for those ever-so-long filter sweeps. Pretty good for 1978!
Not so cool however, are the 10 preset sounds which sound nothing like the piano, brass or strings they claim to be. The placement of all the preset buttons below the keyboard can be inconvenient, especially while playing it. And as with most old analog synths, the Jupiter-4’s tuning can go out often. Still it is a nice analog synth for creating weird trippy analog sounds.