February 10, 2006

Sknote Realthing analog synth thingamabob...

by Chris Randall

This is a cool idea, but I'm not too sure about the execution. The Italian company Sknote is apparently thinking about making a hybrid VSTi/analog synth. (Whack the "software" button when you get to their frame-a-thon of a site. Didn't they get the memo about frames back in, like, '97?)

Anyways, Realthing is (or rather "will be" assuming it gets out of its vaporous state) a 1U analog monosynth of the 2 OSC variety, which, if I'm reading this right, is entirely controlled via a VSTi interface. This is a most excellent idea, but if I'm parsing things out correctly, I don't believe the audio appears in the DAW via the VSTi itself. Rather, you have to pipe it in the old-fashioned way. The VSTi is just a mechanism for sending it MIDI CC messages, I believe, and is thus just front panel with delusions of grandeur.

I think a 1U rackmount analog synth with just a USB 2.0 interface on the back which could be addressed via a VSTi, or maybe use the filters as an insert effect, would be a much cooler (albeit more complicated) device. If anyone has the skinny on this, I'd be more than happy to be utterly wrong in my detective work. All that aside, I kind of want to hold it and pet it and put it in a rack and call it "George" anyways. (Or "Giorgio," as the case may be.)




Feb.10.2006 @ 9:17 PM
someone should make a VSTi front end for the matrix 1000.... hint hint

Feb.11.2006 @ 1:17 AM
The last product Waldorf made was the AFB 16, a box of analog filters that interfaced (control and audio) through USB. Seemed very promising but they threw in the towel shortly after it came out, and only a few pieces of software were developed to make use of it. I don't know how many of those filter boxes actually made it out into the world...

Feb.11.2006 @ 2:45 AM
Chris Randall
Yeah, I remember when that Waldorf box was announced. I thought that would be the shit, but they folded so soon after, I totally forgot about it. Thanks for putting that back in my head. Maybe the rumors of their resurgance will prove true, and they'll release it again.



Feb.11.2006 @ 5:58 AM
Further to having analog audio piped in & out over USB, it would be cool if all the control signals were digitally generated. EG: LFOs, envelopes etc, could all be done in software & sent over USB. That would allow very complex modulation routings without requiring huge amounts of circuitry. After all, it's the analog sound that is the ultimate goal.

Feb.11.2006 @ 8:05 AM
Indeed, implemented as you said, this could be very cool. But one would also have to hear the quality of the components (filters et al) to be sure. And the posted photo is a little "black box"; what good is gear porn if it doesn't look cool sitting in your studio? Why not throw a few assignable knobs on the front? But, yes, passing audio through it would be, as the kids say, the bomb.

Mar.28.2006 @ 9:12 AM
Meng Qi
well,, better to have some hardware interfaces(for different purposes) added onto this box as well... that'll be cool for the hw heads out there (incl' me..)



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