Reviewed: Sonicware ELZ-1 Portable Synth
Whether you’re still saving your pennies up to splash out on a mighty Moog One or you’ve been slowly plugging all your funds into tiny obscure modules to finesse your Eurorack rig, there’s certainly no shortage of synthesisers on the market today.
Reviewed: IK Multimedia UNO Synth
If you’ve been keeping up to date with what’s trending in the music gear sphere, you’ll have noticed a steady shift towards companies mass producing relatively affordable analogue synths in recent years. Spearheaded by the likes of Korg and Arturia and followed somewhat sluggishly by Roland and Behringer, this shift has seen manufacturers eschew the bulky digital workstation in favour of small hardware units that act as the perfect gateway into the winding world of analogue synthesis.
Reviewed: Yamaha MODX6 Synthesiser
I’ve seen a lot of great keyboard releases from Yamaha in my time and owned my fair share of them too, going back to the mighty DX7, which still gets used in my arsenal, right up to the modern day workstations. One constant with Yamaha synthesisers is that they continually grow to meet the user’s needs. The ever-changing musical landscape dictates what musicians are looking for, and Yamaha strives to take the latest advancements in technology to deliver that. Of course, once a flagship engine has been offered, it isn’t long before we see a range of slightly feature-reduced models at a far more affordable price. That is, in part, what the new MODX range of keyboards from Yamaha is, but don’t be fooled into thinking these are just a budget offering. They have a huge range of sounds, effects and clever features in a more portable casing that will appeal to a far wider demographic of keyboard players.
Reviewed: Waldorf Quantum Synthesiser
Waldorf are the one synth brand that in my eyes can never do wrong. Although there was one desktop build from a number of years back that didn’t really float my boat, I am always excited when a new super-synth is announced and even more so when it bears the Waldorf insignia. You can imagine my joy when a couple of weeks back a giant box was wheeled in and I took delivery of the newest beast from Waldorf, the Quantum.
Reviewed: Moog Grandmother Semi-Modular Analogue Synthesiser
Every now and then, the creative geniuses at Moog Music really get it right. Yes, pretty much every instrument they have ever released is on my wish list, but there are some standout models that simply capture everyone’s attention. I remember when the Little Phatty came out some years back and you couldn’t even sell your grandmother for one in the first six months because they were that popular. It seems fitting that Moog has now released a new semi-modular synth that is again set to be the most popular keyboard on the market, the Grandmother.
Reviewed: Elektron Digitone Digital Synthesiser
The electronic music machine makers from Gothenburg in Sweden are at it again with a new offering in their ever-growing range of thoughtful synthesisers, sequencers, samplers and drum machines. For those of you who are not aware of Elektron, then you must have been living under a rock, or a blues guitarist perhaps. Either way, it’s time to pop your head up and have a listen, because what’s on offer here is really going to change the way so many of us perceive FM synthesis. It’s not just another grey box with a very Swedish design and cool colour palette; this is a new way of finding your sound within a machine and giving it life. Have a look at the Elektron Digitone with me and see if you can hear some new inspiration from what it has to offer.
Reviewed: Moog Mother-32 Analogue Synth
Analogue synthesis has been around for about a jillion years, and yet there’s still a seductive mystery to it. Some call it ‘raw,’ some call it ‘funky,’ some call it ‘chaotic’; there’s something that speaks to us all in the magic of knowing that everything you’re hearing is the result of a physical process rather than an algorithm. The Moog Mother-32 is the first tabletop semi-modular synthesiser from Moog, designed to be used either by itself or in conjunction with a full electronic or modular system. Handcrafted in Asheville, NC, it has the classic Moog look and feel as though it could have been made 30 years ago. And yet here it is, new and different, and sized to be easily transferred into a Eurorack skiff or case, or in any combination of Mother-32 and Moog DFAM units in Moog’s Three-Tier Rack Kit or Two-Tier Rack Stand.
Reviewed: Moog Subsequent 37
There is one name that lives in the world of synthesiser folklore ahead of all others, the name that was adorned by many of the various models from the brand, and the name of the inventor and creator of some of the most musical and challenging synthesisers to this day. I am, of course, talking of Moog, the legacy of the late Dr Bob Moog that carries on with a very forward thinking company today that is constantly delivering new designs and products to meet the market’s needs. That is exactly what the Moog Subsequent 37 is: the result of user demands coming to fruition in a serious keyboard that is now readily available in Australia.