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Sound Quality

I rate the sound quality quite high, despite the pretty poor noise floor of the device. I am using the thing in a live sort of way, and mostly for effecting the output from a drum machine. I have found it quite useful. Filter, Flange, LO-FI, phaser all are good for this, especially when using the step sequencer. I sync that up through midi, and it works very well. I have also used the SynRhythm patch to make drum patterns on the fly using the step modulator. Great fun. Also the vocoder (VO MOD) effect is fun to muck around with especially when using in the L-R mode, where you use left for the synth, and right for the voice works very well, but i don't think that it would be that easy to setup for a live situation, as the levels for each side have to be quite carefully set to make a nice vocodery sound to come out. Reverb is pretty average though, and there are better slice effects in other live effect boxes (I prefer the efx-500's slicer). One dumb thing about the filter is that the freq range simply isolates a single range - I would have MUCH preffered that this change the filter between LP/BP/HP instead.

Reliability/Durability

I have found the thing to be pretty reliable, however I have also found that if you leave it on for a long time (say 4 hours or more) without touching it, when you get back to it, it will not respond to any inputs until you press the MANUAL button. (i.e. the realtime controller reading code has crashed.) I therefore normally reboot before I start a playing session, and it is annoying when I forget, as I have to normally reboot.

Price/Value


General Comments

Overall, this box does things that other boxes can't do - I think that the step sequencer can make some wonderful effects that are really amazing.

I guess that there is also a bit of a shame that they didn't add a bit more. A multitap delay would have been awesome, A slicer that cycled through the whole 16 sliders in 1 beat would have been great, a filter that did BP HP and Notch would have been even better.

A straight up distortion would have been good also, and let's be honest here the SYN-Bass and SYn-DLY effects are totally useless compared to a real sequencing synth (The mc-303 does a much better job, even).

All in all, though, this sort of box is something that fits in very well with my kit, and adds a dimension to certain sounds that are not very easy to achieve with other devices, and the realtime control of most of the most important parts is right there in front of you. I think that this machine is best suited to electronic performance based people, not really for the studio. mabye some djs would find it useful as well.

 


Reviewer's Background



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