Archive for April, 2021

IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro In-Depth Review

In the latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth at IK Multimedia’s new UNO Synth Pro.


IK Multimedia has released the Uno Synth Pro, so does it offer “next-generation analogue for everyone”?


IK Multimedia took its first step into the analog synth world with the launch of the monophonic Uno Synth, and now IK is striding confidently onwards with the releases of the paraphonic Uno Synth Pro and Uno Synth Pro Desktop, which it says offer “next-generation analogue for everyone”.


Once again, made with the help of Italian boutique synth maker Soundmachines, these synths expand on the original Uno by offering more of everything: oscillators, filters, sequencer memory, presets, connectivity and programmability.


The Synth Pro is a 37-note Fatar keyboard and pitch/mod wheels, while the Synth Pro Desktop has capacitance-sensing keys and pitch/mod touchstrips. The sound engines for each model are the same.


The synths have three analog oscillators, each of which offers continuously variable waveshape and pulse width modulation. You can hard-sync the oscillators, and there’s FM, ring modulation and a white noise oscillator.


The original Uno Synth had a 2-pole OTA multimode filter, but the Pro versions have been enhanced by adding a new SSI 2/4-pole low-pass filter with self-oscillation into the mix. You can use the two filters in series or parallel and with invertible phase, giving you a total of 24 possible filter modes.


Modulation options include two ADSR envelopes dedicated to the filter and amplitude. These can modulate everything from oscillator pitch and waveshape to LFO speed or other envelope stages. There are two LFOs, while a 16-slot modulation matrix is on hand for routing purposes.


In addition, the Uno Synth Pros have four effect blocks – the analog overdrive circuit from the original Uno is joined by digital modulation, delay and reverb blocks. You can route external signals through these effects, too, and there are also pre-effects. Whereas, in terms of control, the original Uno’s touch buttons have been replaced by proper rubber ones, and there are LED-backlit indicators and an LED display so you can keep track of what is going on. There are 256 presets, while the 64-step sequencer also supports realtime recording, and has more than 80 automatable parameters. There is also a 10-mode arpeggiator and a new Chord mode to take advantage of the paraphonic sound engine.


Finally, connectivity includes two balanced stereo outputs, headphone out, USB and 5-pin MIDI I/O and CV/Gate. There is an audio input, and the option to daisy-chain units, as well.


Keyboard and desktop models take IK deeper into analog waters. Find out more on the IK Multimedia website.


The Uno Synth Pro and Uno Synth Pro Desktop are available now priced at $650/€650 and $400/€400 respectively.






Free Capcom OP-Z videopaks will turn you into a Street Fighting Mega Man


Following the launch of Teenage Engineering’s Street Fighter and Mega Man-themed Pocket Operators, Teenage Engineering has hooked up with Capcom once again to create a series of free videopaks for the OP-Z synth. You play scenes from iconic video games in time with your music.


The scenes are built from the ground up using original graphics from the games. You can fire your arm cannon, breakdance on rooftops and perform a perfect Kick Out!, all in time with the tempo of your song.


Available via the OP-Z app, these run in sync with your music, and can be controlled in realtime using the keyboard and dials on the OP-Z hardware.


The OP-Z is available now priced at $499 and you can find out more on the Teenage Engineering website.



Cicada Acoustic Synthesizer Lets You Physically Interact With Modular Sound


Physical Synthesis, a new hardware startup, has introduced Cicada, a sound design tool that lets you physically interact with sound in a modular way.


The Cicada is made up of five primary components: AMP, PRE, Actuator, Bridge, and Soundboard.


The Actuator acts as a voiceless speaker, and generates signal vibrations supplied from up to three amplified input signals (carrier modulator and DC offset) produced by the AMP module. These vibrations are carried across the Bridge and transformed into nonlinear tip surface interactions with the Soundboard, containing a piezoelectric pickup, where the sound is modulated. The signal from the pickup is then attenuated, filtered, and pre-amplified via the PRE module.


By experimenting with different materials and shapes, you can use Cicada to explore interacting with sound in a tangible way.


More details:


Cicada is an expandable modular system, comprised of five primary components: AMP, PRE, Actuator, Bridge, and Soundboard.


The Cicada Actuator generates vibration through two voice-coil motors, supplied from up to three amplified input signals (carrier modulator, and DC offset). These vibrations are carried across a steel Bridge and transformed into a nonlinear tip-surface interactions with a Soundboard containing a piezoelectric pickup. The signal from the pickup is pre-amplified, filtered, and compressed to +5dB level output to either direct (speakers) or back into a DAW or effects chain.


In addition to audio, the Cicada Soundboard has four force sensitive resistors (FSRs) located beneath the four corners of the unit. When the soundboard material is compressed, the FSRs transmit CV voltages (0 to 5V+) from each of the four FSRs.


Find out more from the Physical Synthesis site.


The Cicada is available now to pre-order, with a deposit of $230. The pre-order deposit represents 10% of the total unit price of $2,300.