• 2016 EM Review - Part 1: Analog Synthesizers

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      This week Encyclotronic is looking back at 2016 and the many instruments, people and things we remembered most about last year. Part one of our series begins with some of the most popular products of 2016, Analog Synthesizers. Note: we have included an handful Virtual Analog synthesizers in this list as well.

       

      Dave Smith Instruments

      OB-6 

      The OB-6 is a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between the two most influential designers in poly synth history, Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim. The OB-6 takes the classic bold Tom Oberheim sound — with its true voltage-controlled oscillators, 2-pole filter, and amplifiers — and adds modern enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more. No other modern analog poly synth can boast such a pedigree or such a massive, in-your-face sonic signature.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      OB-6 Desktop

      The OB-6 desktop module is just as powerful and easy to use as its counterpart, the OB-6 Keyboard. The module has all of the same controls as the keyboard version and provides the same immediacy and ease of use. As with the OB-6 Keyboard, all parameters are at your fingertips, with full-sized knobs and switches and a comfortable, intuitive layout.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      KORG

      minilogue Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer

      A next-generation polyphonic analog synthesizer and more. the stylish, innovative, minilogue is a 37 slim-key fully programmable analog polyphonic synthesizer.

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      ARP Odyssey Module Duophonic Synthesizer

      The ARP Odyssey has been loved by countless musicians as a classic analog synthesizer. Forty years later, in 2015, with the advisory assistance of David Friend, co-founder of the ARP Instruments company, KORG resurrected the ARP ODYSSEY with a complete reproduction of the ARP Odyssey’s original circuitry. The ARP sound, which continues to be envied as an iconic analog synthesizer, was once again back in the hands of today's musicians. Now, KORG has further broadened the reach of the ARP ODYSSEY in today's world by releasing a new model.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      Make Noise

      0-COAST

      The 0-COAST is a single voice patch-able synthesizer. It’s name reflects the fact that it utilizes techniques from both the Moog and Buchla paradigms (aka “East Coast,” and “West Coast,” due to their locations), but is loyal to neither and thus implements “no coast synthesis.

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      Modal

      CRAFTsynth Digital Monophonic Synthesizer Kit

      The Modal CRAFTsynth is a digital monophonic synthesizer kit which can be assembled (without need to solder) in less than 10 minutes. For a small format synth kit, the Modal CRAFT features some advanced features usually only found in much higher priced synths. The CRAFTsynth features 2 oscillators per voice, Sine, Tri, Saw, PWM, Noise and FM and an LFO with six destinations, including VCA amplitude, filter cutoff and PWM.

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      008

      The Modal 008 is an 8-voice analogue synthesizer with two 100% analogue VCO’s per voice with two sub oscillators, an innovative and extremely flexible 15 multi-mode filter, VCA, 11 modulation sources, including two audio rate LFOs, with unlimited destinations and a very powerful Sequencer and Arpeggiator.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      008R

      The Modal 008R is an 8-voice analogue synthesizer with two 100% analogue VCO’s per voice with two sub oscillators, an innovative and extremely flexible 15 multi-mode filter, VCA, 11 modulation sources, including two audio rate LFOs, with unlimited destinations and a very powerful Sequencer and Arpeggiator.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      Moog

      Modular System 55

      Faithfully Recreating The System 55 witht hree years of research and design has culminated in Moog Music recommencing the manufacturing of a limited number of Moog System 55 modular synthesizers. Using all of the original documentation, as well as the original circuit board and art files, Moog engineers have hand-built true recreations of the original instruments based on their 1973 factory specifications.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      Model 15 Synthesizer

      Faithfully Recreating The Model 15 three years of research and design has culminated in Moog Music recommencing the manufacturing of a limited number of Moog Model 15 modular synthesizers. Using all of the original documentation, as well as the original circuit board and art files, Moog engineers have hand-built true recreations of the original instruments based on their 1973 factory specifications.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      Roland

      SYSTEM-500

      Based on the legendary SYSTEM-700 and SYSTEM-100M, the SYSTEM-500 Complete Set is a fully analog mdular synthesizer inspired by two of the most revered electronic instruments of all time. Made for Eurorack format, it's a complete system with multiple oscillators, filters and effects in a versatile custom case with top-quality patch cables. It's perfect for your first modular synth or as the centerpiece of an expanding Eurorack system.

      (+) Complete Specs

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      System 8 Plug-Out Synthesizer

      The SYSTEM-8 delivers a vast palette of sounds inspired by over four decades of legendary Roland synths. Its next-gen Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) engine powers an eight-voice, three-oscillator monster with stunning filters and effects, highly versatile LFOs, and a massive array of high-resolution knobs and sliders to control it all. Support for three PLUG-OUT synths means the SYSTEM-8 can host spot-on recreations of numerous Roland classics, and JUPITER-8 and JUNO-106 PLUG-OUTS are even included with purchase*. Split and layer synths for unheard of sounds, and tap into the integrated vocoder, arpeggiator, CV/Gate outs, and advanced polyphonic step sequencer to fuel endless creative explorations 

      (+) Complete Specs

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      TB-03 Bass line Synthesizer

      The battery-powered TB-03 is a direct descendant of the famous TB-303 Bass Line Synth. The layout and controls are unchanged, so it works just like the original. It sounds like it too, thanks to Roland’s advanced ACB technology that recreates the hypnotic liquid grooves of the magic silver box. But the new TB-03 goes even further, with several enhancements not found on the original model. The four-digit LED display makes programming easier and more accurate, while overdrive and delay effects let you unleash a twisted, tribal wall of sound to send the crowd into a frenzy. Back in the studio, the TB-03 can send control information via MIDI or its USB port, the latter of which also functions as a audio interface 

      (+) Complete Specs

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      VP-03 Vocoder

      The VP-03 is a miniature version of the VP-330 Vocoder Plus, one of the most popular vocoders ever made. Part of the Roland Boutique series, the VP-03 brings together the worlds of synthesized sound and the human voice, using the latest ACB technology to accurately emulate the sound that made the original so influential. The VP-03 has the VP-330’s vocoder, human voice, and strings sound sources on board, and comes with a gooseneck microphone. And when paired with the optional K-25m Keyboard Unit, you’ve got the authentic VP-330 vibe in a reliable, low-cost setup that’s highly portable. There are new features too, including 16 Chord Memory setups and a Voice Step Sequencer for even more creative potential. Whether you want the classic, electro-infused “talking robot” sound or the expressive power of shaping synth sounds with the human voice, the VP-03 puts it all at your fingertips 

      (+) Complete Specs

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      To Be Released...

      Over the years we have seen manufacturers introduce new instruments that have yet to be announced ship dates. 2016 was no exception with a few new synthesizers introduced, but not shipped at time of writing. Below are a few that are eagerly anticipated in 2017. 

       

      Arturia MatrixBrute

      MatrixBrute is an analog synthesizer with three Brute oscillators, a Steiner-Parker filter and a ladder filter, five analog effects, and a advanced modulation matrix 

      (+) Complete Specs

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      Behringer DeepMind 12

      Behringer's new synthesizer called DeepMind 12 features 12 analog voices and 4 digital effects offering 30 algorithms from Klark Teknik and TC Electronic. The DeepMind 12 has 2 DCO's per voice, noise generator, Unison mode with a dedicated detune fader, three envelopes, two LFO's per voice and an 8-bus modulation matrix offering extensive control. Newer to the synth game is built-in Wi-Fi featuring remote control of parameters over using a WIFI enabled computer or tablet.Iit has a 49 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch.

      UPDATE: We have seen reports of shipments in Europe and soon from Sweetwater in the USA.

      (+) Complete Specs   

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      Korg Monologue Monophonic Analogue Synthesizer

      The monologue is a 25-key, fully programmable monophonic analog synthesizer with a voice all its own. While sharing its sleek layout, knob-per-function workflow and high-quality construction with the best-selling minilogue, monologue is a truly unique new synth for all types of musicians; featuring new voicing and sound sculpting abilities – at an amazing price. The monologue's completely new filter, modulation, drive, and LFO can generate powerful basses and sharp leads, creating awesome mono sounds that showcase its single-voice design

      (+) Complete Specs 

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      Did we miss something?

      Even with 1,000+ synths in the library. It is entirely possible we missed some things. Please help us by leaving a comment and link to any new products from 2016 that we missed. We will be happy to update these reports with the information ASAP.  EMjoy!

       





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