Today IK Multimedia released UNO Synth PRO X, a new desktop-friendly analog synthesizer, created in collaboration with Soundmachines. I had a chance to spend some time with it, so let’s find out more about my hands-on impressions.
First Things First – All You Need To Know
UNO Synth PRO X is a 3 (wave-morphing) oscillator monophonic/paraphonic synth. It provides over 30 hands-on controls plus a 16-slot modulation matrix.
It also offers a 64-step paraphonic sequencer with parameter automation including CV and Gate. It has step and real-time recording with a sequence randomizer (following the scale selected) to create intricate and evolving soundscapes. There’s also a 10-mode arpeggiator with pattern designer.
In addition to legato, mono and paraphonic modes, users will find a new Bassline mode which modifies the behavior and interaction between core parts of the synth like the filter and envelopes in exciting and inspiring ways.
To add more color to the sound, there’s a warm and organic true-analog overdrive, plus 10 studio-quality effects (including a new shimmer reverb and uni-vibe-like modulations) in three simultaneous slots: modulation, delay and reverb.
External signals can be routed through the filters and the effects in addition to UNO’s original thru-put for daisy-chaining multiple units together without using a mixer.
Connectivity includes USB-C and 5-pin DIN MIDI In and Out making it easy to integrate with other synths and Mac/PC, while assignable CV/Gate connections let UNO Synth PRO X interact effortlessly with Eurorack or other modular systems.
UNO Synth PRO X can be powered via USB-C and includes a standard power supply unit with a barrel for the power-in jack. It has a dedicated 1/8″ stereo headphone out as well as balanced stereo outputs.
UNO Synth PRO X stores 256 user-editable presets, each capturing the full state of the sound engine from oscillators to effects. Presets can be further managed with the included Editor/Librarian. The Editor works as both a standalone application and as a plug-in inside a DAW allowing users to program and play the UNO Synth PRO X just like a virtual instrument.
UNO Synth Pro X Quick Review
It’s been some years since our original UNO Synth review and I’m glad the IK Multimedia/Soundmachines collaboration hasn’t stopped there.
IK Multimedia might not have yet a big reputation in the synth-heads world, but frankly, the UNO Synth line is proving to be a solid option in the current market – without offering half-assed clones of instruments of the past.
In these first few days with the UNO Synth Pro X I came to appreciate how compact, easy to use yet versatile it is. It can be used on its own, as a capable “synth groove-machine” – the 64 step sequencer with per-step automation and the arpeggiator might be all you need for basslines and hypnotic technoid sequences.
But the UNO Synth Pro X is equally at home in a more traditional keyboard player/producer setting. Just connect it via MIDI (DIN, yay!) or USB to a controller and voilà, now you have an analog synth module at your disposal. And don’t forget it can also be used as a filter for external sound sources (drum machines, soundscapes, etc.).
Now, the question is, how does it sound? Again, I’m going to use the word versatile here.
The UNO Synth Pro X has a classic subtractive architecture and can easily mimic those lead and bass sounds we’re all familiar with. It can also sound bold and EDM-friendly, if that’s what you’re after (hello, Drive knob!).
At the same time, its wave-morphing oscillators, sequencing and modulation features, CV/Gate connectivity and internal FX section are a great match for those more advanced and sonically fearless musicians. Here’s a ‘dirty sounding’ example of the raw side of the UNO Synth Pro X, that probably you won’t hear in other demos.
While preparing for this review, I lost track of time on more than one occasion, as the UNO Synth Pro X is super-easy to get into (you can figure it out even without reading the manual!), and pretty inspiring to experiment with. I also like how snappy it can sound, like in the video below.
Speaking of time (or lack thereof), I haven’t yet been able to dig deep into the provided software editor. I know I can trust the developers here anyway, given the brilliant work they did on the previous UNO instruments. And the fact I can use it as a plug-in inside my DAW will be definitely a cool bonus!
Things I didn’t like? Well, nothing big really. The display is quite small, but at least easy to read. I wish the audio input and headphone output were standard-sized and not 3.5 mm. There’s no on/off switch. It’s worth mentioning that the instrument gets quite hot at the bottom, probably due to its compact shape. So no, I wouldn’t use it like a laptop… unless it’s winter and I’m freezing!
Wrapping It Up
For me, it’s a YES. It’s still early days, but I’m enjoying my UNO Synth Pro X, and I look forward to playing more with it, and pairing it with other instruments. I love the fact it’s so light and compact, yet with plenty of hands-on control, a big sound, a solid effect section (I wish the Microifreak had something like that!), plus all the connections I need.
Options, Pricing and Availability
UNO Synth PRO X is available now from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $/€499.99.*
*Pricing excludes taxes
For more information about UNO Synth PRO X or to see it in action, please visit:
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