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Kurzweil Music Systems unveiled the VA1 synthesizer at the 2004 Winter NAMM trade show. Developed using Kurzweil's newest proprietary DSP technology, the 61-note VA1 is an analog modeling synth that employs patented "Power Shaped Oscillators" to generate classic analog-style waveforms which can be smoothly "shaped" from one into another, without the use of cross-fades. Presets include everything from classic analog emulations to new sounds.
The VA1 combines a vast array of real-time DSP processing with flexible FM and sync capabilities, providing a wide spectrum of sonic possibilities. Dual multi-mode 4-pole resonant filters, 3 LFOs, 2 ASRs, and 2 fast ADSR envelopes are just a few of the sound-sculpting tools available. The VA1 offers 16 voices of polyphony, 7 simultaneous sound-sources per voice, and 4-part multitimbral capability. Each multitimbral part has its own effects (based on the KDFX and KSP8 processors) and its own independent arpeggiator.
With 59 knobs, and 108 buttons, the VA1's user interface provides instant access to nearly all synth parameters. The VA1 offers performance control as well, with pitchwheel, modwheel, joystick, and inputs for 4 switch pedals, 2 CC pedals, breath controller and Kurzweil's exclusive ribbon controller, all of which are assignable in the VA1's 6x46 modulation matrix. The LFOs, arpeggiators, portamento and effects can all be easily synced to MIDI clock and/or each other.
External signals can be processed in the VA1's oscillator and filter sections, or through its built-in 48-band vocoder. Stereo inputs with Neutrik "combo jacks", and a stereo mic pre-amp with phantom power give the VA1 an edge in both live performance and studio settings, allowing quick "1-step" vocal processing with superb sound quality. The audio outputs are equally impressive, with 4 1/4" balanced analog outs employing Kurzweil's patented circuitry, standard headphone jack (with independent headphone monitoring), and an optical port with up to 8 channels of 24-bit digital audio.