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Impressions of the Roland System-8

In short: Roland’s new Synthesizer flagship – the System-8 – is amazingly powerful. Ok, ok, today’s “synthesizers” are light-weight plastic boxes (a fact that we probably have to accept), but in terms of musical output, the System-8 offers a whole universe. And – ! – Roland’s great step-sequencer can now be transposed via the keyboard. Something users of the JP-8000 and JD-XA would love to have at their disposal.

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Impressions of the NEW Minimoog

The best idea Moog has had in years. The original Minimoog! Now that the first units have been delivered, it’s time for a first feedback. The handcrafting is excellent (what else would you expect from Minimoog?), that great sound is as it was (or … at least almost … sensitive eary might hear little discrepancies in the envelopes, but … who cares).

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Jean Michel Jarre and the …?

The guru of synthi-pop hasn’t let up a bit. He’s as active as ever. The young 68-year-old Jean Michel Jarre beguiles his public with high quality mutimedia stage shows, bringing old and new songs, using old and new instruments. A nice addition to the troupe is the GRP A4 that has replaced the ARP 2600 at the side of the memorymoog in the middle of the action.

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Hartmann “20” – an Aston Martin in bits and bytes?

Looking for a virtual-analog synth with a wavetable (Waldorf) engine, for a puny 20,000 Euros? (And don’t forget those taxes!) Get one before they’re all gone. Axel Hartmann’s hand-crafted Designer-Synth “20”, the new Aston Martin under the synths, will only be produced 40 times (20 x silver, 20 x black) – and that’s it! This sportscar has new SUPRA Op-Amps inside, which should give it a special dynamic sound.

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Softube MODULAR – Eurorack For Everyone?

Buchla and Moog started it all with their modular synthesizers in the 1960s. Doepfer made it affordable in the 1990s by introducing the Eurorack standard. Today, the Modular plug-in from Softube makes the modular synthesizer truly accessible to everyone.

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Softube Modular – the first truly expandable software modular system that looks, works, and sounds exactly like its hardware counterparts. Both as an effect and as an instrument, Modular is simple to use, with a massive preset library and clever Utility modules.

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Ernst Krenek’s Buchla Synthesizer (Part 1)

Many electronic synth freaks don’t know who Ernst Krenek was. Which isn’t particularly surprising, since the composer is known above all for his orchestra- and choir-music and for his operas. But Krenek was also involved in making tape music and electronic music. Two Buchla synths from his studio, vintage 1967, are among the oldest originals still in existence …

Buchla-Synthesizer1976-Krenek-01

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Analogue Solutions – Polymath

The Polymath is one of the most beautiful analog synthesizers on the current synth market. It’s not cheap, true, but it sounds amazing. And it feels great. This 4-VCO synth has an interesting poly-mode similar to Korg’s classic Mono/Poly (arpeggiator / sequencer and incoming MIDI data can run all 4 VCO’s at a time or cycle through each voice per note)! But the Polymath is far more flexible! It is patchable, has a fantastic multimode VCF, step-sequencer, arpeggiator and spring reverb. Ah … and MIDI plus CV/gate … of course.

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