Behringer TD-3 review

Behringer TD-3 is a clone (with added features) of Roland’s TB-303, a synth that was originally designed to mimic bass guitars, failed commercially, but despite that has now become one of the most iconic mono synths, core to acid music but used in other genres as well. In this video I’ll show you what the Behringer TD-3 can do, and compare it to an original TB-303 as well as the RE-303, a replica by DIN SYNC, and XOXBOX, a souped up open source clone: TIMELINE: 0:00 Intro 0:55 Overview 2:05 Synth tool 3:55 Oscillator 5:10 Filter & resonance 5:55 Envelope 6:15 Accent 6:55 Distortion 8:20Read More →

Behringer Pro-1 Review and Tutorial

Behringer Pro-1 is an analog remake of the classic Sequential Pro-One, with the same interface, and internal oscillators and filters that are clones of the originals. Behringer also added an interesting new duophonic mode that doesn’t exist in the original Pro-1, as well as additional patching points that open it up to interesting sound design opportunities. In this video I take a brief look at how Pro-1 compares to Behringer’s existing monosynth line up (Neutron, Crave, MS-1, Model D and K-2), then take an in-depth beginner-friendly look at what Pro-1 can do, and finally wrap up with some patch ideas, and pros and cons: TIMELINE:Read More →

erica synths pico system 3 review

PICO SYSTEM III from Erica Synths is a step away from the previous PICO systems. The cost has been reduced by creating one set of modules rather than individual swappable ones, and complex digital modules have been replaced with simpler analog ones. However, an interesting feature has been added: support for Buchla Easel-style preset cards. This video is a full review of PICO System 3, and also includes a little hack for getting much more than just simple patch presets out of the voice cards: TIMELINE: 0:00 Intro 0:50 Overview 2:55 Preset cards 4:10 DIY expansion – “hacking” a preset card 6:15 Sequencer 7:00 OscillatorsRead More →

Voltage Research Lab Loopop Review

Voltage Research Lab is now in production and Pittsburgh Modular had a spare prototype to send in for review. VRL is their Buchla-inspired mini synth with a primary complex oscillator that has a unique take at waveshaping and folding, an emulation of the classic low pass gate response and more. Here’s my review of VRL along with detailed scope analysis of the various waveshapers and dynamics features (response and pluck): TIMELINE: 0:00 Intro 1:05 Overview 3:20 MIDI 4:45 Clock 5:00 Arpeggiator 6:50 Primary oscillator 11:10 Secondary oscillator 12:30 FM, AM, Ring, and wave modulation 14:45 Function Generators 17:10 Unison 18:00 Dynamics controllers 19:30 Response 20:40Read More →

Frap Tools USTA Review and Tutorial

USTA is a eurorack sequencer based around the concept of four independent tracks with variable stage lengths, meaning that each step in a sequence doesn’t necessarily represent the same amount of time as the one before or after it. It also supports chance and randomization or a per stage basis and has 16 stage knobs for immediate access stage parameters. It’s quite a bit more powerful than may initially seem, but with power comes complexity. Here’s a full review and tutorial alongside a walk through what a set up it controls can look like: TIMELINE: 0:00 Intro 0:50 Overview 3:40 Setup walkthru 5:00 Project structureRead More →

Novation LaunchPad X vs Mini MK3

Novation just updated the LaunchPad Mini with RGB color pads and the LaunchPad X with velocity sensitive pads and polyphonic aftertouch. But that’s not all… check out all the differences and new features in the review below: TIMELINE:0:00 Intro 0:45 Hardware 2:25 Using the grid with Ableton Live3:15 Stop/Mute/Solo on Launchpad Mini 4:50 LaunchPad X’s Mixer 6:30 Playing notes in Live with LaunchPad X 9:00 Factory MIDI layouts 10:05 Creating a custom layout 14:10 Light shows 14:40 Settings 15:00 SummaryRead More →

Behringer DeepMind Review Tutorial Tips and Tricks

In this video I take a deep dive into DeepMind – it’s part review, part beginner’s tutorial, and also has a “tips and tricks” part, highlighting 10 little gems hidden in this synth that may not be obvious from a first look at the interface. It’s quite a long video, but there’s a timeline as usual both in the video and below so you can skip around to the parts that interest you most. TIMELINE: 0:00 Overview 4:00 Main screen 6:20 Oscillators 11:25 Filter 13:45 HPF & boost 14:35 Modulation 15:30 LFOs 17:55 Envelopes 20:35 Curves 22:55 Mod matrix 25:10 Effects 27:10 Arp & SeqRead More →

Roland MC101 vs MC707

In this video, I compare the Roland MC-101 to the MC-707, as well as give context to other instruments in the category: standalone hardware grooveboxes – meaning machines that let you create multitrack musical performances with drums, synth sounds and even looped clips. Both the MC-101 and the MC-707 have the same core sound engine with around 3600 synth presets and over 600 drum samples and dozens of kits, but the 101 gives you more limited access to changing that sound engine’s parameters and creating your own presets. Other than that, a surprising number of features are equally accessible on both instruments Here’s a detailed walkthroughRead More →

Polyend Preset Anywhere Poly 2 review

Here’s my review of all three of Polyend’s new modules – Anywhere lets you power a modular setup with a regular phone charger – I explore how far this goes; Poly 2 is an updated version of their polyphonic MIDI to CV module with additional functionality, fewer outputs and a smaller footprint; and Preset – a module designed to give you preset-like functionality for eurorack, but also has custom LFOs, a sequencer, and can function as a mini keyboard: TIMELINE: 1:00 ANYWHERE 1:30 mA vs mAh 4:15 Power needs 5:10 Pros & cons 5:40 POLY 2 6:20 MIDI in 7:10 CV outs 10:20 Pros &Read More →

Matriarch vs Grandmother

This video covers two things – first, updates to Matriarch since my original review, and then second, to answer a question I got quite a lot after my review, which is what are the differences between the two? Is Matriarch an upgrade and should you “upgrade” Grandmother? Or are they two different things. Here’s the full video, and there’s a timeline for your reference below. TIMELINE: 0:50 What’s new? 3:20 CV to CC 5:00 Param ctrl 6:15 Bird’s eye vs. 7:00 Grandma pros 8:45 Detailed vs. 9:45 Mod & utils 11:30 Osc & VCFs 14:30 Env & delay 17:10 MiscRead More →