Last week I also added a new synthesizer to my Apollo studio. It is the first hardware synthesizer that the well known software manufacturer Arturia from France has introduced. They already introduced it in 2007 and I actually ordered it in December 2007, but they kept on postponing and postponing. Probably because it was not ready yet. Well I was quite surprised that last week I was finally able to get my hands on one. It is a lovely machine with lots of controls as you can see and a large display. It also has a multi line step sequences that you can see on the bottom.
What I loved instantly about the concept of this synthesizer is that it is completely modular. It is a virtual analog synthesizer. So emulating analog synthesizers. Arturia put in all the components that they developed in their software the last years and you can combine them as you please. So you can take a Minimoog oscilator and run it through a CS80 filter, but you can add and hookup modules however you want. So you can create very complex sounds with it. And does it sound like a real CS80, Minimoog, Prophet5, ARP2600 or Jupiter 8? No of course not! Nothing beats the real thing but they come pretty close. And it is not emulating these machines that I want to do with it. I want to create unique new sounds. The hands on controls make it very easy to work with.
There is also a nice joystick on there and just like the knobs you can assign it to every parameter you like and that makes it a dream in modulating and thus adding expression to the sounds. It is still running OS 1.00 and there is already 1.06 so I need to upgrade it right away I guess. They will have solved some bugs. I played around with it a bit and I like it a lot. The only thing I'm a bit dissapointed about is the quality of the reverb, but the internal effects are very easy to switch of and you can hook up your best external reverb, chorus or whatever. Programming it is not even that complicated I found out. Everything is layed out very logical and the big display helps a lot. In every screen you have a lot of corresponding controls on the knobs around the screen. It is not a touch screen by the way.
In this picture you can see where I put it in the studio. On my main desk on the right side next to the Virus TI Polar. The wooden sides fit the wood of the studio desk quite nice don't you think? Well I'm sure I will have a lot of fun with this one. I already made some great sounds with four layers or complex sounds on top of each other. It sounded quite powerful. Also some nice arpeggiator loops are easily build. Don't let the internal presets or demos fool you when you try it out. This thing can do much more than that. I'm sure you'll hear this one on some of my future productions.
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