Category Archives: Product Reviews

Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In—A Real-World Review

Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In
Sonnox Oxford Inflator v3 Plug-In

While I’ve had this plug-in for years, it has become such a valuable ally in my productions that I made sure to use it on this trip. The Sonnox Oxford Inflator is a multipurpose tool that I used to handle several different tasks. There are only a few controls on it. To begin with, I set the output level to just below 0 dB, which prevents clipping of the track. By engaging the Clip 0 dB button, the input level meter will not rise above 0 dB. From there, I literally assign an Inflator across every single track in the mix (minus the auxes). Think of it like a console strip. I then apply processing or input volume as needed. If I do need some gain on a track, I often turn to the Inflator first in my “console,” and it can provide up to 12 dB of gain.

Roland JU-06A Sound Module: A Real-World Review
Sony C-100 Two-Way Condenser Mic: A Real-World Review
Yamaha EAD10 Drum Module – A Real-World Review

The magic sauce for me is inside the Effect slider. Since I tend to use a lot of strings and percussion in my work, I’ve found that by pushing up the Effect slider, there is a perceived increase in harmonic brightness and clarity without volume or EQ. I would note that the amount of effect seems to be program-dependent, and that strings and percussive hits benefit the most. Overall, the Inflator continues to be a go-to production tool for me and was quite valuable in the islands for its flexibility and sonic prowess.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Roland JU-06A Sound Module: A Real-World Review

Our review team recently put the Roland JU-06A Sound Module to the test while in the Virgin Islands
Our review team recently put the Roland JU-06A Sound Module to the test while in the Virgin Islands.

Another perfect fit for the “compact” theme, the Roland JU-06A Sound Module was not only a pleasure but a problem-solver for quite a few of the cues we had to deliver. Essentially the sound and control of a Juno 106 in a four-voice compact package, it’s a perfect example of how certain limitations can make some things easier to achieve. Being familiar with the classic single OSC polysynths from the early ’80s, we depended on the Chorus effect that was so loved from those days for thickening and smoothing the different patch settings.

When taking it a step further, we used the pulse width modulation capability to make it sound like a slightly detuned two-OSC polysynth, offering up sweet strings and big pads with swirling filtering and spacey resonance.

Sony C-100 Two-Way Condenser Mic: A Real-World Review
Yamaha EAD10 Drum Module – A Real-World Review
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Studio Monitors—A Real-World Review

On one dramatic crime-like track, we actually used the JU-06A for every sound. We began with a kick drum, adding in a snare and hi-hat, crash cymbal and toms. Each of these sounds is achieved by blending the OSC with the noise source and simultaneous high- and lowpass filters to get a variety of small and light as well as huge and punchy sounds.

For bass, I used the pulse width modulation via the ENV rather than the LFO so as to mimic the pluck of a bass string that mellowed and got richer as it decayed. From there, we went for an electric piano sound similar to the “No Quarter” tone from Led Zeppelin’s classic song, so we set up the filter mod by the LFO, set the quivering LFO rate, and the vibe was just right. The sub OSC blend added the lower octave when we needed to get the super bottom bass sweeps and pulsing eighth notes that the tracks demanded. The Chord memory function, arpeggiator and hold were so much fun to pepper in and out while synced to MIDI clock that I simply forgot we were only dealing with four voices of polyphony.

The presets were great, but the Roland JU-06A Sound Module is so easy and quick to program, we didn’t need them on this trip. Aside from that, there’s quite a bit under the hood, with 23 parameters accessible via the front control panel. Additionally, the JU-06 will slide into an optional Roland K-25m keyboard unit for easy control.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Yamaha EAD10 Drum Module – A Real-World Review

The Yamaha EAD10 Drum Module
The Yamaha EAD10 Drum Module

A major theme on our yearly St. John recording trip is portability. We have to squeeze our entire recording rig into our suitcases, so we’re always thinking about how we can get the best sounds out of the smallest equipment. Not surprisingly, recording a full drum set with these restrictions can be tough, so when drummer Ray LeVier told us about Yamaha’s new EAD10, we knew we had to bring it with us and give it a try.

The EAD's drum mic.
The EAD’s drum mic.

EAD10 is a hybrid electronic/acoustic drum recording system that consists of a main unit, sensor unit and optional snare/tom triggers. When it came time to record drums, we clamped the sensor unit—which comprises a stereo pair of mics in an XY configuration and a bass drum trigger—onto the hoop of the kick drum. We connected it, along with the additional triggers, to the main EAD10 unit, ran two quarter-inch cables to our interface, and we were up and running. This was certainly one of the easiest drum setups we’ve ever done, but we still had to answer the most important question: How does this thing sound? The short answer? Great.

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Studio Monitors—A Real-World Review

Starting with the most basic sounds from this unit, the stereo mic gives an incredibly natural and honest picture of the drum kit. We were all impressed with how well it was able to capture a balanced picture of the drums for such a minimal setup, but we had only scratched the surface of its capabilities.

The EAD's trigger pickup.

We started flipping through some of the 50 included preset scenes, which introduce anything from subtle reverb and compression to wild distortion, flanger and more. If the presets aren’t quite to your liking, you can always tweak them or build your own sound using the 32 built-in reverbs and effects, and save it to the unit. Also included are more than 700 samples that can be blended in with the mic’s signal, opening up a whole other world of sonic possibilities. Whether you want to subtly enhance your kit’s acoustic sound with rock-style samples or completely replace your drums’ sound with 808-style electronic sounds, the EAD10 has you covered. You can also load in your own samples—meaning that the sounds you can get out of the EAD10 are literally limitless.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Studio Monitors—A Real-World Review

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Studio Monitors, on location in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Studio Monitors, on location in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Having used IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors on last year’s trip, we wanted to kick the power up this time by turning to the iLoud MTM monitors. With 100 W RMS and 40 Hz–24 kHz frequency response, as well as a built-in 0–20-degree tilting stand for easy positioning, we definitely made the right move. At 5.5 pounds each, the pair is small enough to fit easily in one of our gear suitcases. They are two-way/three-speaker bi-amped with 2 x 3.5-inch polypropylene custom-made mid-woofers and a 1-inch low-distortion, back-chambered silk dome tweeter. Connected via XLR-1/4-inch TRS balanced input, there are buttons for LF Extension (40/50/60 Hz), LF (-3 dB, Flat, +2 dB), HF (-2 dB, Flat, +2 dB), CAL/Preset (Cal, Flat, Desk) and SENS (-10 dBv, +4 dBu). On the rear is the AC power input, power switch, USB port, 1/8-inch ARC mic input, volume control and the bass reflex port.

Universal Audio Apollo x4 Interface: A Real-World Review

Each iLoud MTM monitor speaker includes a small omnidirectional mic that allows you to do a custom calibration; although it’s easy to perform, we honestly did not get to do it. (Stay tuned for an update on that.) While they can be placed horizontally, these speakers have been optimized to work vertically, and by using the included stands, they can be titled from 0 to 20 degrees. Unpacking them from the suitcase, we mounted them to the stands, set the tilt to work without setup, connected the XLR input on the back, and away we went. Since the guys had never heard them before, they were blown away when I started playing a pulsing, bass-heavy synth part.

These speakers not only put out a lot of volume, but they put it out across the spectrum with amazing clarity. The strong spot to me is the way they handle bass, and the port on the back makes it truly sound like there is a subwoofer attached. We used them mercilessly, cranking everything through them, from heavy guitars and huge synth parts to drum impacts and even the drum kit itself. They took everything we threw at them and never blinked once. The reason we didn’t calibrate them is simply because they sounded so good as they were, we just thought “leave it as-is.” I look forward to doing a calibration session soon on them, however. Without hesitation, I can highly recommend these for not just a mobile rig, but virtually anybody’s home studio.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Universal Audio Apollo x4 Interface: A Real-World Review

 

Universal Audio Apollo x4 Interface
Universal Audio Apollo x4 Interface, on location in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Every mobile session needs a central brain to run the show. On a recent recording trip, it was the Universal Audio Apollo x4—and that was for good reason. We won’t go into every detail of what is included; instead, I’ll talk about how we used it. Connecting to my MacBook Pro via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, Apollo x4 includes four Unison mic preamps and two Unison Hi-Z instrument inputs. While you can have up to eight channels of additional digital input via optical ADAT/SPDIF input, we kept it simple and just used the four channels and Hi-Z inputs.

PhantomFocus System Studio Monitors Review

We connected one of the two independent headphone outputs to an external headphone amp; we used the second one for the pair of cans worn by whoever was running the laptop. It was very useful to have the Monitor button on the front, enabling access to each of the HP1 and HP2 outputs, so we could quickly change levels with the large rotary knob. By clicking a third time, “Monitor” lights up on the front panel and the rotary knob then controls the two TRS L R monitor outputs on the back, which were connected to our main monitors.

There are a few functions on the X4 that became useful during the sessions. The Preamp button on the front allows easy access to switch between CH1, CH2 and CH3/4, from which you could choose Mic or Line. There’s also a button for 48V phantom and a talkback button, which we didn’t need as we were very close to each other. We did use the dim button during playback to communicate ideas to each other (at a lower volume!).

Where the X4 really shined was during guitar and bass tracking, when we used the Unison features to dial up any number of amps, from the Marshall Plexi Classic to the Ampeg SVT VR (which are both included). Having near-zero latency is critical to me as a player, and the ability to get the feel and sponginess of the amps because they are Unison-enabled made a big difference in the quality of the parts. We also were glad to have quad-core processing because we ran a lot of plug-ins, such as the Lexicon 480L, AMS RMX16, 610B Tube Preamp and the Avalon VT737, which we used on a lot of tracks.

The Apollo X4 was undeniably a critical piece in the production chain, and the ability to have too much power and flexibility in a product with such a small footprint made it one of the stars of the show.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

PhantomFocus System Studio Monitors Review

PhantomFocus PFM UHD-1000 monitor
PhantomFocus PFM UHD-1000 monitor

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more passionate about audio than Carl Tatz. Not only is he serious about it, he knows it inside out. I got to know him before Recording Arts, his legendary Nashville studio, wound up in the hands of Sheryl Crow nearly two decades ago. Even in those days, more than anything else, Recording Arts was known for its exceptional monitoring. The fundamentals of the PhantomFocus System (PFS) were developed during Tatz’s Recording Arts tenure. That system has evolved into a portfolio of both physical studio designs and products that hold their ground against anything in the world today. The number of top engineers around the world who use Tatz’s talents to ensure their mixes accurately translate anywhere—be it streaming, on television or in movie theaters—continues to grow every year.

While Tatz often designs recording studios from the ground up, the PFS branding includes various pieces of hardware that are configured and “tuned” by his process, which combines physical properties, hardware design and system settings. Tatz can be hired to build a PFS studio from the ground up, but an existing studio can also bring him in to transform the facility into a PFS space through the integration of specific hardware that he configures via a combination of physics, software and his golden ears.

While the PFS process can be applied to any high-performance studio loudspeakers, Tatz had historically gravitated his clients toward the now-discontinued Dynaudio M1s because of their sound quality and their adaptability to the PFS process. The M1s were never perfect, but Tatz was convinced that they were the closest thing to perfection available on the market at the time.

Never one to settle for the status quo, Tatz began developing his own monitors. After finessing his dream over the years, the PFM UHD-1000 and PFM HD-1000 Professional Reference Monitors and PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer are finally ready for public consumption. Tatz boasts that the monitors’ accelerated response times, phase linearity and tightly controlled mid-bass response result in high confidence, better and faster mixes, and increased enjoyment. My own extensive listening supports my assertion that this isn’t hype.

The Carl Tatz Interview, by Russ Long, Feb. 11, 2015

Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus Monitor Optimization System (PFS), by Russ Long, Oct. 21, 2011

PhantomFocus PFM HD-1000 monitor
PhantomFocus PFM HD-1000 monitor

Both monitor models are passive and share nearly identical 8.2 x 17.8 x 12.2-inch cabinets with a built-in custom integrated IsoAcoustics pistonic decoupling system with a studio black luster finish. The UHD version, which is designed to be biamplified and features upgraded low-frequency drivers, weighs 24.1 pounds. The HD version is offered in two configurations: the PFM HD-1000A is actively biamped, requiring two channels of amplification per monitor, and the PFM HD-1000P features an internal Straight Wire passive crossover, requiring one channel of amplification per monitor.

The PFM ICE Cube-12 subwoofer is a 15.75-inch cube weighing 55 pounds. It incorporates a 700-watt amp that provides 120 dB maximum continuous SPL. It includes typical subwoofer functions including 40–140 Hz LPF with LFE Bypass and 0–180 Phase Switch. It’s important to note that both the PFM HD-1000 and UHD-1000 monitors are part of the PFS turnkey precision monitoring instrument ensemble and can only be purchased with the installation of a PhantomFocus System using the proprietary PFS tuning process.

I’ve spent a lot of time in PhantomFocus rooms around Nashville and my only complaint had been the rapid degradation of sound quality as you move away from the sweet spot. When you’re in the sweet spot, you’ll likely be experiencing the best monitoring situation of your career, but once you begin sliding one direction or another, the sound quickly deteriorates. I had always attributed this to PFS processing, but after spending time listening at The Upper Deck, one of the first studios to install PFM HD-1000 monitors, my tune has changed. The sweet spot of that room is still precise, but as you move in and out of the sweet spot, the transition is smooth, natural and subtle—an entirely different experience than listening in other PFS rooms with other monitor models.

The Ultimate Home Studio? Upper Deck Hits It Out of the Park, by Steve Harvey, Nov. 29, 2018

PhantomFocus PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer
PhantomFocus PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer

This was confirmed when I spent time listening at Doug Sarrett’s Uno Mas studio. Sarrett was an early adopter of the PhantomFocus System, and he updated the Tannoy Super Gold monitors that he’d been using for over two decades to the premium PFM UHD-1000 monitors; the results were stunning. The complete system has excellent imaging, pristine depth of field and accurate, extended low-frequency response regardless of monitoring volume. As is always the case with a PFS implementation, the speakers magically disappear, leaving a detailed sonic landscape. While the difference was subtle, the upgrade to the UHD version of the PFM monitor that I auditioned at Uno Mas in comparison to the HD version that I listened to at The Upper Deck was a definite improvement in both depth and clarity.

The new PhantomFocus monitors and subwoofer elevate monitoring accuracy to yet another level. Regardless of whether you are upgrading a current room or planning to build a space from the ground up, PFS along with PFM monitors and subwoofers should receive top consideration.

Carl Tatz Design • carltatzdesign.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Book Review: Get Tusked – The Inside Story of Fleetwood Mac’s Most Anticipated Album

Ken Caillat (left) was the co-producer and engineer for Fleetwood Mac’s 40-plus million-selling Rumours album, as well as its challenging follow-up, Tusk. Caillat discussed those days as he chatted with journalist Bobby Owsinski, playing clips from the albums, sharing never-before-seen photos and videos and more, as well as discussing his new book recalling the era, Get Tusked.
At NAMM 2020, Ken Caillat (left) talked about recording Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk with journalist Bobby Owsinski, and also discussed his new book recalling the era, Get Tusked.

It’s a rough time right now and whether we like it or not, a lot of audio pros have more time on their hands than they’d like. If nothing else, it’s a good time to catch up on that pile of books you’ve been meaning to read. If you’re looking for suggestions, try the just-published Get Tusked: The Inside Story of Fleetwood Mac’s Most Anticipated Album [Backbeat Books], which goes inside the epic year of recording sessions that spawned the band’s sprawling double-album, 1979’s Tusk. Unlike a lot of tell-alls, this one is written by folks who were there: Grammy-winning co-producer Ken Caillat and assistant engineer Hernan Rojas. It’s a fascinating read, and you don’t need to know Tusk well (or at all) to enjoy it.

Book Review: Making Rumors: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album.

The subtitle gives it all away, of course, calling Tusk the Mac’s most anticipated album, because you can’t call it their biggest—or anyone’s favorite, for that matter. To be fair, any album that would come after 1977’s industry changing, 40 million-selling Rumours would face hard comparisons, but even in that charitable view, Tusk is widely seen as a misfire—but an intriguing misfire that sold two million copies. Given that they spent a year recording it, it’s not like they didn’t make an effort, so what exactly went wrong? That’s what Caillat and Rojas try to reveal.

Some of the culprits are predictable; it was the ’70s, so sex and drugs (and drugs, and then even more drugs) fueled the rock ’n’ roll created by Fleetwood Mac. To say that the participants were undisciplined is an understatement, as the book recounts endless Animal House-level food fights in their favorite restaurant, and every few pages, someone’s got a new sports car that has to be pushed to the limit.

The book also recounts guitarist/ co-producer Lindsay Buckingham trying to break the rules in other ways, aiming to defy the world’s expectations for a Rumours II. With a record company demanding more of that smooth, harmony-drenched California sound, Buckingham finds himself suddenly—and very inconveniently—enthralled by the post-punk sounds bubbling up. Aiming to not get left behind, he spends much of the book working in self-isolation (sound familiar?), recording lo-fi tracks at home rather than use the opulent, custom-built studio at the band’s disposal. With DAWs and even Alesis ADATs still years away, the project quickly takes over Buckingham’s house. At one point, Caillat visits the rock star’s mansion for a very un-PC Halloween party, discovering mic cables everywhere and an Ampex 1-inch tape machine parked outside a reverberant tiled bathroom referred to as “Studio B.”

Sandwiched between the rock star excess and the endless tug-of-war between Buckingham and the rest of the band and producers, there are tales of love (Caillat gets married, while Rojas and songstress Stevie Nicks become an item), and plenty of recording tips—how to get singers to trust a mic, analog tape-flipping tricks and more, plus a great section advising how to set up a mixing space and create a solid mix. And the part where they rent Dodger Stadium to record USC’s Trojan Marching Band, only to discover the band can’t keep time unless it’s marching? Priceless.

The coming weeks will be extraordinarily hard, which means allowing yourself a little fun is more crucial than ever. Pick up this book (or Caillat’s other one, Making Rumours—you’ll never guess what that one’s about) for an enjoyable way to pass the time.

Get Tusked • https://gettusked.com

 

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

DPA 4560 CORE Binaural Headset Microphone—A Real-World Review

In 1992, Denmark’s distinguished measurement equipment manufacturer Brüel & Kjaer spun off its specialist pro audio division. At that point, the sales and service of the B&K Series 4000 microphones were outsourced to Morten Støve and Ole Brøsted Sørensen, two former employees. Shortly afterward, they went on to form Danish Pro Audio (DPA), which launched its first product, a series of compact cardioid and omnidirectional condenser mics, in 1994. Since then, DPA has established itself as a leading manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphones for professional applications in studio, film & video, broadcast and sound reinforcement.

My first DPA purchase was a pair of 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones which I fell in love with after reviewing them nearly 20 years ago. Since the 4060 and 4061 share identical capsules but have slightly different sensitivities, I was very pleased to discover that the DPA 4560 CORE Binaural Headset Microphone (4560) was based around the current version of the 4060, now called the 4060 CORE Miniature Omnidirectional Microphone.

Samson G-Track Pro USB Mic Review
Real-World Review: IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitors
Real-World Review: Royer AxeMount Dual Microphone Clip

The 4560 is a handpicked stereo pair (sensitivity within ±1.5 dB) of 4060 CORE microphones uniquely mounted on a pair of earhooks (from DPA’s 4266 Flex headset). The headset is ergonomically designed for easy adjustment and a comfortable fit. It is adjustable to fit any head shape and ear size and from more than a few feet, is virtually invisible. Included with the 4560 is a pair of foam windscreens that both secure the microphone’s position in the ear and provide wind noise damping. Since the 4560 terminates in DPA MicroDot connectors, it can be easily utilized with DPA’s standard XLR adapters along with high-end mic preamps, but it also works with the MMA-A Digital Audio Interface. This creates a compact and completely mobile binaural kit as once the 4560 CORE BHM is connected to the MMA-A’s MicroDot connectors, the MMA-A can then be connected directly to an iOS device or the USB port on a Windows or Mac PC. iOS operation is via the free DPA MAA-A app. The app includes gain control, HP filter activation, and the ability to store settings into one of four presets. There are also three recording Mode options (Mono, Stereo or Dual), but recording binaural requires the interface to be set to stereo.

Binaural recording is centered on the principle of placing microphones on an artificial head or an actual human’s head with the mics positioned either just outside the ear canals or at the bottom of the ear canal in close proximity to the eardrum. The recording technique facilitates extremely accurate sound reproduction through headphones, giving the listener the sense of actually being in the space where the recording was made. Creating binaural recordings has traditionally been quite expensive as dummy heads configured for binaural recording typically cost several thousands of dollars, and recording has to be done utilizing expensive low-noise mic preamps along with a professional recording medium. The 4560 is affordable ($1,100) and yields stunning results that will no-doubt rival the results from a binaural recording configuration that costs several thousand dollars.

Binaural recording captures the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) which expresses how much the influence of the head, ears and torso affect the transmission of a soundwave from a sound source to the eardrums. Ear shape and size, head shape and size, and the distance between the ears are just some of the factors that contribute to the HTRF. This means that the most accurate binaural recordings will always be made using the listener’s head, not someone else’s head or a dummy head. That said, any binaural recording will typically create a more encompassing and 3D listening experience for everyone, even if the HRTF isn’t their own.

The applications for binaural recordings are endless and include capturing sound effects and location ambience for theatrical podcasts, capturing sound effects and/or soundscapes for film, TV, video games and VR, and capturing musical performances for headphone playback.

I’m a bit of an ambience fanatic, so I couldn’t wait to take the 4560 into the world to capture some audio. I found the headset a bit clumsy and slow to properly fit the first couple of times I put it on, but once I became used to the placement and fit, taking it on and off became second nature and took virtually no time.

The majority of my 4560 recording was done utilizing the MAA-A interface and iOS app, and everything worked like a charm. Capturing everything from the sound of traffic at a busy intersection to birds in a park to a winter thunderstorm (yeah, I live in Nashville, so it rains here even in the middle of the winter!) was flawless. I even snuck the headset into a symphony performance, where I wonderfully recorded a 62-piece orchestra at 24-bit/96 kHz.

While binaural recordings are designed for headphone listening, an inverted HRTF can be utilized to convert the binaural recording into a stereo recording perfectly suited for loudspeaker playback. DPA recommends a simple (+2 dB low shelf @ 480 Hz, -11dB bell, Q=1 @ 4 kHz, +8dB, Q=2 @8 kHz) curve to utilize a binaural recording for stereo playback. Of course, every HRTF is unique, so this curve becomes a starting point and adjustments should be made from this point according to acoustical analysis and/or taste. I used the 4560 to record an acoustic guitar in the studio and then applied the HRTF “decoder curve” to the recorded audio to use it in a track I was engineering, and it worked perfectly. I should also point out that users utilizing the 4560 CORE BHM for scientific purposes will want to incorporate the DPA DWA4060 calibrator inserts so the microphones can be perfectly calibrated.

In true DPA fashion, the DPA 4560 CORE Binaural Headset Microphone is a spectacular device that is fun to use, but more importantly, it wonderfully captures audio without compromise. Anyone interested in binaural or portable hi-resolution recording should give it top consideration.

DPA Microphones • https://www.dpamicrophones.com/

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Behringer Model D Analog Synthesizer Review

Behringer Model D analog synthesizer

Behringer has started releasing classic true-analog synth designs at a rapid rate; the first one I encountered—and immediately purchased—was the Model D Analog Synthesizer. As an owner of an original Minimoog from the 1970s, I can attest that the Model D is for the most part a dead ringer, with some extra features above and beyond the original. It is, however, more like the Moog Minimoog reissue from 2016, with the inclusion of a low-frequency oscillator and a filter EG modulation source.

On a basic level, it features three voltage-controlled oscillators, filter selectable lowpass or highpass, classic 24 dB voltage-controlled filter with Emphasis, an overdrive circuit, USB-MIDI plus 5-pin DIN In and Thru, Low and High output 1/4-inch outs, and CV connectivity. The classic layout and simple signal path help make this the best bang for the buck I’ve encountered in this new era of inexpensive clones of the classic synths. The CV (control voltage) ins and outs that integrate with Eurorack and vintage synths is what really gives this compact unit a winning profile. Even the Minimoog sound charts book that was shipped with the old Moog Model Ds will fully translate and quickly allow you to get those classic sounds.

Music, Etc.: Craig Leon, by Jacques Sonyieux, May 23, 2019

The firmware updates that have been released throughout its short lifecycle have also been welcome. For me, pitch-bend range was the most useful, in order to closely emulate the original’s bend range. You can set the pitch bend range up to the amount of semitones you desire, including the common +2 default with most synths. True waveforms and noise sources, including the noise mod source, are fully implemented.

Real-World Review: Roland SE-02 Analog Synthesizer, by Bruce MacPherson, Nov. 1, 2019

The filter EG as a pitch modulation source is wonderful to see, and, of course, the ability to blend the sources simultaneously give this synth its incredible power. A High pass filter is included, as well as a hardwired “output to input” feedback circuit, which help adds cool harmonic distortion and saturation. The trusty, old A=440 sound source makes it easy to tune your three oscillators to unison with a slow, smooth phasing sound and big fat detuned unison, or to tune to intervals for parallel chords.

The Model D is a great educational tool that not only sounds great, but will give you a solid foundation for subtractive synthesis without breaking the bank.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com