Reviewed: Waldorf STVC String Synthesiser with Vocoder
String synthesisers have always been viewed with a bit of a contentious eye by keyboard purists. Introduced in the ‘70s, they formed a middle ground between a digital organ and a regular keyboard, allowing groups to embellish their music with soaring tones to emulate the crescendos of a live string quartet. While boasting a remarkably unique sound, their association with the rise and fall of disco saw them become seen as a bit of a fad in many musical circles, and when poly-synths were introduced to the masses in the early ‘80s, it looked like it was all over for the string synth.
Reviewed: Pioneer DJ Toraiz AS-1
Perfect for the DJ that wants to add some individual performance to their set, the Toraiz AS-1 synthesizer packs a lot into a small package. The AS-1 is an analogue monophonic synthesizer created as part of a partnership between Dave Smith Instruments and Toraiz (this same collaboration produced the Toraiz SP-16). The AS-1 is based on Dave Smiths iconic Prophet 6 voice and offers the same dynamic synthesis engine to produce cutting leads and hypnotic bass lines.
Reviewed: Waldorf Kyra VA Synthesiser
Waldorf Music are set to excite a few synth nerds and gear heads with the Kyra VA Synthesizer on its way down under. A lightweight and ergonomic piece of hardware set to physically downsize your studio or live set up whilst up scaling your entire sound. Suited for the most immersive of musicians, this piece of hardware is hitting the charts and being named one of the most powerful synths ever – and rightfully so.
Mixdown's 2019 Christmas Gift Guide: Keyboards & Controllers
Ho ho ho - where did the year go!? All of a sudden, the festive season has snuck up onto us once again, and if you're anything like us here at Mixdown, there's a good chance that you're probably incredibly disorganised. To prevent you from having to endure the agony of Michael Bublé churning out another frostbitten rendition of a Christmas carol down the aisles of your local department store, we've put together a comprehensive guide of all the hottest musical gifts to keep your eyes peeled for this festive season. If you're an sucker for synths, MIDI controllers and things that go bloop, this is the definitive list for you.
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.