Syntovox 222 Vocoder

Syntovox 222 Vocoder

Specifications
Oscillators –
1 VCO
Effects –
White Noise
Filter –
10 Filters

Naomi Bolton
Mon, 05/25/2020 – 08:38

The Syntovox 222 Vocodor was released in 1981 by Synton, the Dutch brand who also worked on the Syrinx as well as Fenix I and Fenix II synths. The Syntovox 222 is a 1 HE rack-mounted module and was quite a high-end instrument for its time.

Synton advertised the Syntovox 222 as a simplified, yet versatile adaptation of the larger Syntovox 221 studio vocoder. The Syntovox 222 is a vocoder, so it imparts vocal articulation to musical signals. This is accomplished via two inputs, one that is used for balanced microphone signals while the other handles line-level signals.

For output, the Syntovox 222 used the articulated carrier analog with adjustable amounts of straight speech and/or carrier signals. For increased intelligibility, Synton also included an internal unvoiced sound synthesizer. The Syntovox 222 also has panel switches that can be used to turn the articulated carrier and unvoiced sound signals on and off. Alternatively, the same can be accomplished by making use of an external footswitch.

The front panel of the Syntovox 222 has the “Speech” and “Carrier” knobs on the left of the module and these are used to control the level of the speech input fed to the vocoder and to control the level of the carrier fed to the vocoder. Next to these are the Cleanfeed Speech and Cleanfeed Carrier knobs along with the Hoise/HF Syn knob. The Cleanfeed Speech knob is used to control the amount of speech signal that is mixed with the effect output while the Cleanfeed Carrier knob controls the amount of carrier signal mixed with the effect output. With the Noise/HF Syn knob you have control over the amount of noise that is mixed with the effect output. Finally, on the far right of the front panel you’ll find the “OUT” knob and jack for the footswitch. The rear panel is just as sparse and has MIC, LINE, and CARRIER Line inputs along with one “Out” jack.

Synton has a bit of a cult following for their products, but since the Syntovox 222 was handbuild in the Netherlands, it can be difficult to track down in some parts of the world. It does produce very smooth vocoder sounds, so it’s no surprise that the Syntovox 222 ended up being one of the best selling vocoders for Synton. The Syntovox 222 also cropped up in different parts of the world under different brandings, such as being the Dynacord SRV66 in Germany.

Make

Year
1981

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Syntovox 222 Vocoder

Files
Type
Link

YouTube

Synton Syntovox 222 vocoder test

by

ian hall

syntovox 222 vocoder

by

debauche node

User Rating
Texture
Monophonic instruments

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Niels Gordon Streams Live Concert From The Woods

Niels Gordon Streams Live Concert From The Woods
Naomi Bolton
Fri, 05/22/2020 – 08:07

Volca Nubass

Volca Nubass

Specifications
Polyphony –
1 voice
Multitimbral –
1 part
Oscillators –
1
Waveforms –
Saw Up, Square, Sub Oscillator
VCF –
1
LFO –
1
VCA –
1 VCA with AD envelope
Controls –
MIDI In
Sequencer –
16-steps sequencer
Patterns –
16 patterns

Naomi Bolton
Tue, 05/19/2020 – 09:48

The Korg Volca Nubass is a powerful bass synth that bases its sound source around a vacuum tube oscillator. It was released in 2019 as a sort of update to the very popular Korg Volca Bass from a few years ago. The name is derived from the “Nutube” tech that Korg has used for this synth, which is essentially a modern refresh of the classic vacuum tube.

The original Volca Bass featured three oscillators and all of them could be tuned and played independently of each other. With the Nubass the Nutube tech is used for the main oscillator while also adding saturation to a sub-oscillator. The main oscillator can still be switched between square and saw waves while volume and saturation levels can be controlled on the sub-oscillator. Modulation is also largely handled the same way as the original Bass with an envelope generator and LFO. The only difference is that you can’t route the envelope generator of the Nubass to the VCA. The Nubass does have an attached step sequencer and it allows for both accent and slide functions. Also, it boasts analog overdrive, which is serviceable, but not as powerful as expected.

In terms of design, the Nubass continues with the style of the Volca range. The size and feel of the unit are the same as most of the other Volca units, so it will fit in nicely if you already have a collection. It’s also as light as the rest of the range and can be powered by six batteries or via an optional power supply. The most striking new addition is obviously the glowing tube at the top of the unit. Although it looks like a gimmick, it actually does drive the sound of the Nubass quite well in addition to looking very neat. The sounds it produces are not quite as warm, thick, and rich as a traditional vacuum tube, but thankfully it is a lot more reliable and resilient. The fact that it uses much less power than a classic valve amp is also a big plus.

Korg designed the Nubass specifically for acid bassline and as such it’s hard to fault it. Thanks to its speaker and battery compartment the Nubass is one of the most portable acid synths on the market, which is reason enough for most people to covet one. It doesn’t have anything exciting in terms of inputs or outputs, but it does exactly what it is designed to do.

Make

Year
2019

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Sound types

Price range

Image
Korg Volca Nubass

Files

YouTube

KORG volca nubass: Delivering huge bass via a real vacuum tube

by

Korg

KORG volca jam pt.1 | volca nubass, sample, and keys

by

Korg

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Monophonic instruments

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Drum&BassArena to release documentary

Drum&BassArena will premiere its first full-length music documentary Drum & Bass: The Movement on May 25. Five years in the making, the film comprises of unique interview footage from nearly all the scene’s top players plus never-before-seen footage.

The most detailed and explorative documentary of the scene to date, the feature-length production tells the story from the artists themselves and covers many of the essential characteristics that make the genre what it is: its UK inner-city underground roots, dubplates, its many sub-genres, MCs, key territories, crucial clubs and tracks that changed the scene forever.

Directed by prolific music videographer Bailey Hyatt, produced by music video director and producer Craig Haynes and written by journalist, author and presenter Dave Jenkins.

Dave Jenkins: “In 2016 we set about the task of interviewing 30 pioneers and influential artists in drum & bass artists to try and capture as much of the story of the genre’s meteoric movement across the world as possible. With unlimited access to two decades worth of Drum&BassArena video archives, we created this unique snapshot of a 20 year period in the genre. It’s not the ultimate or definitive history by any means – the genre is so big and means so much to people that it could never be condensed down into one documentary – but it is an exciting, intense and super-detailed tale of just how drum & bass developed from its underground roots to worldwide dominance… Where it remains to this day.”

Premiering on May 25, and available to stream thereafter, Drum & Bass: The Movement will be aired as part of Drum&BassArena’s D&BTV: Locked-In series.

The post Drum&BassArena to release documentary appeared first on Kmag.

BNDT72 are the French footwork jungle duo you need to know

BNDT72 have released their new EP “Lost” on Beat Machine Records, signed by footwork pioneer and TEKLIFE head honcho DJ Spinn.

If you consider yourself a Junglist or a Hip Hop head, chances are you’ll love Footwork too. Why? Because it bangs at a similar tempo to jungle at 160 BPM: filled with frenetic percussion, rumbling basslines, minimal production and choppy Hip Hop samples. It’s no wonder that when you mix Footwork with jungle, it’s a match made in bass music heaven!

For anyone wondering what Footwork is, in a nutshell, it was born in 1990s Chicago. Kind of like a love child of Juke and Ghetto House! The genre was pioneered by producers like DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, RP Boo, Traxman and DJ Clent, and their infectious beats sent dancers’ feet flying.

Since then, cities around the world have brought their own cultural influences to the sound, from Japan to Poland and France. And given its fast tempo, it’s no surprise UK Junglists have taken to Footwork like a fish to water too! The sound has been mixed beautifully with UK 160 BPM flavours, by artists like Om Unit (under the alias Philip D Kick), Machinedrum, Fracture and most recently, Sherelle and the Six Figure Gang.

One French duo that embodies Footwork’s global eclecticism are the talented BNDT72. Their latest EP ‘LOST’ has just been signed and remixed by Chicago legend DJ Spinn, and cuts up Footwork with acid jazz, dub vocals, and basslines reminiscent of early Dillinja or Lemon D. We loved the EP so much we were keen to meet the guys behind it! So we caught up with BNDT72 to hear about their influences, what the Footwork scene looks like in France, what makes French Footwork “French”, and what Footwork jungle tracks every d&b lover should check out…

Hey BNDT72 , absolutely love your new EP ‘LOST’! How did you get it signed and remixed by DJ Spinn!? 

Adios:Hey thanks for the compliment! We simply sent a demo and Beat Machine replied that they were interested shortly after.

Broady:And for DJ Spinn’s remix, Beat Machine took the initiative and we are very happy that he participated in this project! It’s truly an honour, much respect to him.

How did you take Chicago Juke and Footwork and flip it in your own way?

Broady: It’s the result of our diverse influences. We like a lot of different genres. So we didn’t want to put up a barrier and lock ourselves in one unique style. The EP is very Juke/Footwork but there are sounds from jazz, dub, techno… we like to try to mix genres and break codes. That’s all.

Adios:I don’t know if we could say that we really appropriated Chicago Footwork because precisely it is a very clean style with sounds proper to itself. Our sound has a lot of elements and inspirations, and the rhythm is the only element that we pick from Chicago Footwork.

DJ Spinn

DJ Spinn, Captured by TEKLIFE

What are your other key musical influences?

Adios: Our other influences are dub, jungle and hip hop and many more.

Broady: We like boom-bap style sampling and also breakbeats. Hip hop and jungle appeal to us a lot because these musical styles are already full of sample influences.

BNDT72

Captured by Eric Dietz

How did you hear about Footwork in France?

Broady: Since we met in high school, we’ve always been sharing our underground music discoveries. We always liked to find genres little known to the general public. We were fully into the deep dubstep at the time. Almost nobody spoke about it in France, and even less in our area.

Adios: In 2012, a mutual friend [also a producer/digger, called Itako]advised us to listen to the Bangs & Works compilations of Planet Mu (volume 2 was released a few months ago) and at the same time, there was also the release of Reworkz EP from Dream Continuum. We found it really refreshing and innovative. Then in 2013, it was like a revelation hearing Legacy – RP Boo, Double Cup – DJ Rashad, Teklife Vol. 3: The Architek and Vapor City – Machinedrum.

What’s the Footwork scene and sound like in France?

Adios: Footwork and more generally sounds from UK or American underground cultures are little represented in France. It’s a kind of music classified as “marginal”. It works almost like communities, where we talk and get to know each other through forums or Facebook groups.

Broady: In 2015 there was a collective called Le French Work. It released the first compilation with the aim of bringing together French-speaking producers from France, Belgium or Switzerland. They warmly welcomed us. They’ve just released volume five and with each volume, we’re happy to see new names and the collective growing. Big shout out to them!

Adios: And in terms of sounds, the compilations are rich with various influences, which will sometimes even draw on the old French song or Eurodance Anthem.

What are your top 3 Footwork Jungle tracks that we should check out?

Adios: 


Broady:


Why do you think Junglists and DNB lovers should listen to footwork?
Broady: I ​​think it’s the right musical style for Junglists and D&B lovers looking for freshness. They will find tracks close to d&b/jungle with a different and innovative look. It’s also a genre close to hip hop by its approach to street culture with mixing urban influences.

Adios: Because more and more D&B/Jungle producers are inspired by this culture. So it will help them understand why this genre is becoming a pillar in electronic music.

Follow BNDT72 on Soundcloud, Instagram and Facebook. You can contact them at bndtseptdeux@gmail.com

The post BNDT72 are the French footwork jungle duo you need to know appeared first on Kmag.

Sampleson Releases Free Vintage B3 Organ Softsynth

Sampleson Releases Free Vintage B3 Organ Softsynth
Naomi Bolton
Sun, 05/17/2020 – 07:31

VL-70m

VL-70m

Specifications
Polyphony –
1 Voice
Multitimbral –
1 Part
Oscillators –
1
Filter Slopes –
24dB Slope (4-pole), Low Pass, Resonance,
LFO –
1 LFO with Triangle, Delay
Controls –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Effects –
Reverbs, Chorus, Variations, Distortion
Memory –
64 Patches RAM, 256 Patches ROM

Naomi Bolton
Thu, 05/14/2020 – 09:30

The VL70-m Virtual Acoustic Tone Generator is a unique bit of gear released by Yamaha in 1996. The basic idea behind this module is that it uses computer-based physical modeling technology in order to produce a high-quality monophonic voice. The technique simulates not just the complex vibrations and resonances, but also reflections and other acoustic phenomena that impact the sounds of real wind or string instruments.

The VL70-m has a built-in effects section that offers independent Reverb, Chorus, and Variation as well as Distortion effects. Most of the parameters of this unit can be edited using the panel controls, but Yahama also released peripheral voice editing software that allows for even greater flexibility. Also, a visual editor application was available featuring clickable buttons and easy to understand palettes for selections. Those preferring more familiar-looking knobs and switches could make use of the analog editor graphical interface, while the expert editor was reserved for those looking to unlock the complete range of physical modeling parameters.

Although the VL70-m can be controlled using a keyboard it is versatile enough to be used with many different controllers. It has a WX In jack for connecting a Yamaha WX-series Wind MIDI controller and could be connected to a computer with a TO HOST connector without the need for a separate MIDI interface. Using something like the BC3 breath controller with this unit allows for greater musical expression than using a keyboard. It can also be used in conjunction with a Guitar MIDI converter.

The VL70-m features a straightforward design with the Power/Vol Control, Breath Controller Jack, WX IN Jack, and PHONES jack all on the front panel. Here you’ll also find a large backlit LCD panel as well as the various buttons used to control the VL70-m, access different modes, and choose effects. The rear panel has the DC-In Connector, Output L/MONO, and R Jacks, MIDI In/Out/Thru connectors as well as the TO HOST Connector and Host Select switch. It features 256 presets in 2 banks and VL-XG mode with effects.

The big selling point of the VL70-m was the Virtual Acoustic Synthesis, which was a completely different way of ton generation compared to oscillators, function generators, preset waveforms, or samples. It offered more depth and allowed for expressive playing. Overall, the VL70-m lived up to the promise of being an exceptionally powerful, flexible creative tool.

Make

Year
1996

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Yamaha VL-70m

Files
Yamaha VL-70 User ManualYamaha VL-70 User Manual

YouTube

YAMAHA VL70-m Midi DEMO SONG

by

どうかひとつ

Yamaha VL70-M Demonstration

by

Bill Blair

User Rating
Texture
Monophonic instruments

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Two Voice Pro

Two Voice Pro

Specifications
Polyphony –
2 Voices
Multitimbral –
2 Parts
Oscillators –
4 VCOs
Waveforms –
Pulse, Saw Down, Square
Filter Slopes –
12dB Slope (2-pole), Low Pass
LFO –
2 LFO
Envelopes –
4 Envelopes
Controls –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Sequencer –
Enhanced onboard mini-sequencer
Songs –
9 user songs
Keyboard –
37 non-weighted keys

Naomi Bolton
Wed, 05/13/2020 – 08:44

Before synths like the ARP Odyssey and Roland SH-101, there was the Oberheim Two-Voice. This analog synthesizer was in production between 1975 and 1979 by Oberheim Electronics with artists like Vangelis and Vince Clarke making use of it. However, even at it’s time not a lot of people managed to get their hands on one and after it was discontinued it only cropped up occasionally in the hands of musicians such as Liam Howlett.

Many people expected a reissue of the Two Voice when Tom Oberheim re-entered the synth market in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2012 that it was announced and 2015 that it was finally released. However, the long wait was worth it as the Two Voice Pro is more than just a simple reissue. Instead, the Two Voice Pro retains everything that made the original great but includes a whole host of brand new features.

The Two Voice Pro sacrifices the road case of the original for a lighter and more compact design. It does, however, feature its own integrated power supply. The keyboard is also much improved over the original and while it still has 37 keys you now get velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. The area next to the keyboard is called The Bendbox and here you’ll find the modulation and pitch-bend wheels, an independent vibrato LFO as well as the headphone jack, a Fine Tune control, and VCO2 Detune knob.

One of the highlights of the Two Voice Pro is the Mini-Sequencer which allows you to program 16 steps for each voice. It’s very easy to use and can store 50 sequences that can be chained together into songs and saved using 9 available memory slots. With 56 mini-jack patch points, you can take advantage of the semi-modular nature of the Two Voice Pro for plenty of sonic possibilities. There are also 1/4″ audio inputs on the rear panel as well as the usual MIDI In/Out/Thru connectors.

The Two Voice Pro is a very worthy reissue of the original, but it does come with a rather hefty price tag. Having said that it does offer great analog synth sounds and Oberheim clearly put a lot of thought and care into it. The Two Voice Pro may not have as many features as its competition, but it sounds great and offers the authenticity of the original hardware while bringing its own enhancements.

Make

Year
2015

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Two Voice Pro

Files
Type
Link

YouTube

J3PO – Tom Oberheim TWO VOICE PRO synth demo NO TALKING

by

J3PO

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Polyphonic instruments

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Four beautiful ways D&B promoters have reacted to COVID-19

Missing the rave? Why not take solace in the touching ways D&B promoters Distant Planet, Innersoul, Moondance, Rebel Music, S2K, SINE and Stay at Home Festival have risen to the 2020 pandemic.

Drum & bass: you either get it or you don’t! But if you do, chances are our scene has added profound joy and meaning to your existence. But as this pandemic’s revealed, it goes deeper than that. Millions of people’s livelihoods depend on our community too, and on dance music’s in general. From artists and promoters, right through to nightclub cleaners and door staff.

Despite the industry’s uncertain recovery, what’s been beautiful to see are the ways our niche D&B community has held one another up. Here at Kmag, we want to shine a light on some of those people. So this week we chatted with some of the top D&B promoters, who’ve grafted hard to maintain our community platforms in the absence of raving. It’s no wonder these guys have provided us with so much euphoria over the years!

Innersoul

Innersoul, Captured by @AppsPhotography

1) Promoters are staying motivated thanks to the D&B raver community

The sudden loss of income is devastating for rave promoters all around the world. And let’s face it, millions of us are struggling with money in lockdown. But the good news is, boosting artists and promoters’ algorithms with likes and comments is the number one way to support your scene for free. 

It’s this crowd reaction that gives promoters the hope and morale needed to keep pushing out music and maintain their brand presence… Regardless of physical venue or income.

“The biggest thing that we’ve learnt from the lockdown is how amazing all the ravers can be by coming together to support the artists and music communities in this difficult time.” – Julian, Goat Shed (Stay at Home Festival)

Likes, comments, follows and shares make a huge difference

Like Nicky Soula (Innersoul co-founder) told us, “we won’t be able to run an event for pretty much a whole year. That’s tough for us. So if we’re putting on a live stream, come say hello! Share the live streams! Let us know you’re there”. Online interactions are the best way to support your scene, even if you’re out of pocket.

It’s been so encouraging for promoters to see how the ravers have reacted with online support. Moondance owner Funki told us how this pandemic has “really hit home how much of a family we are”. From lively DJ Whatsapp groups, to ravers keeping each other’s spirits up on comment feeds.

SINE

SINE Summer Series: Anca, Sweetpea and Becca Jane Grey

2) D&B promoters are sharing advice on how to stay afloat

“Do a bit more in terms of radio stations, online streaming, label podcasts. Anything that’s creating a bit more content that will allow your fans who like your music to get more of it and keep them interested.” – Ben Green, CEO at Rebel Music

Use this time to build your online presence

As Distant Planet managers Louise Plus One and DJ Hughesee told us, it’s essential to “keep a high profile and stay in contact with your fans” in lockdown. Similarly to Rupture head honchos Mantra and Double 0, who did a hugely successful three-hour live stream on the night that would have been their event… On 30th May, Distant Planet are doing an all-nighter rave. It’ll last in real-time from 10pm – 7am!

“Things move fast in our scene. So it’s important to reach out to your fans and let them know you are still there and not going away.” Simon and Louise – managers at Distant Planet

This rave crew have utilised their time in lockdown to deliver consistent, high-quality vinyl live streams on Distant Planet TV. Featuring crowd favourite DJs like Coco Bryce, Double 0, FFF, Equinox, Pesk, Hijack, Warlock and Dwarde who represent their old skool hardcore/jungle sound. You can catch their next all-dayer this Saturday 16th May, from 3pm-midnight.

Coco Bryce, Distant Planet

Coco Bryce at Distant Planet: Captured by @Holographicz Creative

Don’t sweat the tech!

Also, Funki from Moondance reminded us not to “sweat the tech. There will be lots of glitches on home setups using domestic broadband with feeds being taken down all the time”. It’s a learning process for everyone. So “just think of it like the early 90s when we had to move venues… and trust that the ravers will understand!” Everyone is adapting to live streaming, so don’t panic about glitches. We’re all in the same boat!

3) Promoters are running charity initiatives despite losing income

Live stream mega raves

Some of the big old school D&B promoters like Moondance, or the live stream experts behind Stay at Home Festival (AKA Goat Shed) have brought the mega rave home. Attracting over two million views and £30,000 for the NHS collectively! Whether Moondance’s old skool Lockdown Sessions is more your style, featuring DJs like Ratpack and Slipmatt, or Stay at Home Festival’s lineup of D&B legends like Sub Zero, Aphrodite and Bryan Gee – the quality of these sets are as good as any rave. And the best part is, after the events, everything’s immediately available online!

“Moondance is a fun event and you can really feel the energy on the night, despite being online. The volume of comments and videos of ravers having their own home parties tell their own story. It’s an escape from the madness and best of all we’ve raised thousands of pounds for the NHS!” – Funki, Owner of Moondance.

 

MOONDANCE AND GOATSHED

Left: Moondance raised £8,000 for the NHS through T Shirt sales! Right: Stay at Home Festival poster

[Update]: Just in! If soulful liquid is more your vibe, on 15th May the guys at Innersoul are hosting a three day House Party for Refuge: the domestic violence charity. You can find all the details here.

Brand new D&B LPs

There’s been an influx of music production in lockdown. So it’s no surprise promoters like SINE and Rebel Music have utilised their labels to curate LPs to help those who need it most. The Rebel One LP features the likes of Tephra & Arkoze, Kolectiv and Taelimb, and is a “donate what you can” concept for the NHS. “A SINE of Relief” showcases artists like Villem, Subtle Element and Trex, with proceeds going to the NHS, MIND and some of the contributing artists who need the support.

Rebel One by Various Artists

Pyxis at S2K Publishers has also been busy raking in the pennies for artists, while simultaneously creating a series of albums for mental health charities. It’s called “Beats in Mind: Headsbass”, and features liquid legends like Ben Soundscape, Loz Contreras and Collette Warren. It’s a double win that we can still enjoy listening to our favourite artists while knowing our money is going to a great cause.

4) D&B promoters can see a light at the end of the tunnel

We rise together and fall together

S2K encouraged us to keep the faith, “because this will make us stronger in the end”. And Innersoul reassured us that “whatever the D&B scene goes through, we’ll get out of it – we rise together and fall together”. For all of us missing the rave, it’s comforting to know D&B promoters and organisers can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“This is time to get on the decks, learn a new skill, so that when we emerge from this lock down we will have the best rave scene ever!” –  Simon and Louise, Managers at Distant Planet

There’s now a more level playing field 

As Andy Wade (head honcho at SINE) pointed out, “with people being online a bit more, the lockdown also gives artists a more level playing field. It gives more unknown DJs, producers and independent labels a better chance to come through”. Stay at Home Festival also noted that “the current times give newcomers a chance to get themselves noticed on what is now a more equal platform”.

And it’s true. With everyone’s attention online, and with more time on our hands, now is the perfect time for up-and-coming artists to get musically productive in quarantine.

Moondance

Captured at Moondance

Thank you, D&B Family! 

“This pulling together epitomises what the D&B family are all about and always have been. As a veteran raver in the 90s, I can honestly say I have never known a stronger bonded scene”. – Pyxis, S2K Publishers

D&B and dance music generally has taken the biggest blow in the history of time. Its severity depends on what steps the government will take next. But COVID-19 has only revealed our D&B community’s beautiful true colours. Championed by acts of generosity, positivity, and motivation. Everything our promoters are doing to bring our scene closer together is crucial. So let’s continue doing everything we can to save our scene, so our promoters can continue to put on our favourite raves and support artists on the flip side!

The post Four beautiful ways D&B promoters have reacted to COVID-19 appeared first on Kmag.

M.A.R.S. Monophonic Analog Rack Synthesizer

M.A.R.S. Monophonic Analog Rack Synthesizer

Specifications
Polyphony –
1 Voice
Multitimbral –
1 Part
Oscillators –
2
Waveforms –
Saw Down, Square, Sub Oscillator
Filter Slopes –
24dB Slope (4-pole), Low Pass, Resonance
LFO –
2 LFO with sample & hold, sine, square, Triangle
VCA/Envelopes –
2 VCA with ADSR
Controls –
MIDI In/Out/Thru
Memory –
128 patches

Naomi Bolton
Fri, 05/08/2020 – 09:21

The Vermona M.A.R.S is a compact synthesizer that is just a single rack unit high and 2.5-inches deep. It was released in 2006 and Vermona opted to keep the front panel design just as simple and compact as the unit itself. It features a stylish silver design with knobs, LEDs, and LCD.

The first knob is the PROG/PARAM, which is turned to select presets and pushed to activate them in Play Mode. It is also used to select parameters in Edit Mode, as well as change between modes, which is accomplished with a push and hold. Next is the Value knob, which is turned to adjust values. It can also be used to audition the active preset and clear the internal note memory by pressing it. There’s also a Brilliance knob for adjusting the cutoff frequency in a smaller range and a Volume knob for setting the main output level of this synth. Between these four knobs, a lot can be accomplished and by limiting their numbers Vermona has kept the front panel uncluttered.

The only other things on the front panel are the 2-line LCD, the section LEDs that show which synthesizer section is being edited in Edit Mode, and a set screw that is used for tuning the synth. The screw is a rather interesting addition to the synth, but provided you warm up the M.A.R.S sufficiently it stays stable, so you don’t have to mess with master tuning too much. The back panel of the M.A.R.S is just as clutter-free with only a Footswitch/ENV 1 Out, 9-12V AC jack, MIDI In Jack, MIDI Out/Thru jack, and output jack.

The Vermona M.A.R.S features a total of 128 onboard patches, but all of these can be overwritten with your own if you wish. It features the usual assortment of leads, sound effects, and basses that give analog monosynths their distinctive sound, and tweaking everything to your own liking is a simple process. For those who find programming the M.A.R.S via its front panel to be too simple, Vermona also released a special optional control unit. This 2U rackmount module has 56 small knobs that can be used for tweaking all the addressable parameters of the M.A.R.S unit. The unit itself is not quite as stylish or solid as the M.A.R.S but offered an inexpensive way for greater control of the M.A.R.S for those who didn’t already have a MIDI controller box.

Overall, the Vermona M.A.R.S was a decent synth for its time that offered powerful analog sounds in a very compact unit.

Make

Year
2006

Musical genre

Synth type

Interface features

Format

Sound types

Price range

Image
Vermona M.A.R.S

Files
User ManualUser Manual

YouTube

Vermona M.A.R.S. demo 2

by

Skinny Cow

User Rating
Texture
Monophonic instruments

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