For those of you lamenting at the high costs of analogue synths, you may be glad to hear that there is a new affordable synth in town. Surprisingly, IK Multimedia has jumped into the spotlight today, announcing their Uno synth. A "True Analogue", monophonic synth and sequencer, with delay and 5 performance buttons (including a "wah" and an intriguing "scoop" button). This all comes for €243.99 (including VAT) and is available for pre-order now, with the release expected in July.
The look of the synth is actually rather appealing for something in its price range, while it does lack the "clicky" buttons, it does have touch buttons which look quite cool. The bottom showcases the combined keyboard and sequencer, while the upper section displays all the performance and programming controls, 7 knobs. These are complemented with LEDs, where appropriate, to aid the use.
From the video, this synth sounds like it will be a beast, it has a 2-pole OTA-based resonant multimode filter, and IK Multimedia says it has HPF, BP, and LPF. It also outdoes any competitor in its range with the 5 performance effects, which are unusual even on more pricey synths.
"This highly flexible synthesis engine not only excels in producing the rich, warm, punchy, deep bass sounds that are the core of a high-quality monophonic synth, it’s also perfectly designed to bring a wide sonic palette of leads, drones, arps, sequences, sweeps and effects."
While monophonic, the Uno has 2 oscillators meaning that it has a good breadth of sound at its disposal, and with arp and sequence modes there is sure to be plenty of opportunities. There are 100 presets built in with the opportunity to reprogram 80 of them so this is a generous synth that will suit the needs of most people.
The synth can be both usb and battery powered, providing flexibility for the user, and the presence of a MIDI in and out option will suit many users wanting to make it a bit more playable with their own MIDI keyboards and controllers.
For people who have paid attention to budget analogue devices for a few years, you may remember the tuning issues with the Akai Rhythm Wolf. The industry must have learned a valuable lesson from that mess because I'm pleased to see that the Uno has "self-tuning and auto-tune calibration" on board.
"And thanks to its precision controlled self-tuning circuit, UNO Synth will always be ready for any performance, avoiding the hassle of manual tuning."
This surely will be a successful synth as it is both cheap and a lot better looking than it's alternatives. It doesn't currently have much to compete against, perhaps with the exception of the Korg Volca Bass and Monologue, but IK Multimedia really have managed to make a tactical move jumping into the budget analogue synth market now.
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