Korg reinvents a cult favorite with the Modwave wavetable synthesizer

In 1985 Korg released the DW-8000, an analog-digital hybrid synth that combined at the time cutting edge digital oscillators with analog filters. The Modwave is an all digital take on the DW, updated to fit in with the company’s modern lineup, includ...

Arturia updates the MicroFreak synth with three new oscillators

When Arturia launched the MicroFreak in early 2019 I said “there's nothing stopping Arturia from adding more oscillators down the road through firmware updates.” They have born that out time and time again. In January of last year it added a noise so...

Uno Synth Pro is IK Multimedia’s attempt to move beyond budget instruments

It was only two years ago that IK Multimedia decided to branch out from its normal MIDI controllers and mobile audio interfaces to try its hand at building a standalone synthesizer. The Uno Synth was pretty successful — it packed big authentic analog...

Roland’s Verselab is a groovebox built for vocalists

Keeping track of Roland’s various drum machines and grooveboxes is getting tough. But its latest, the Verselab MV-1 is unique for a number of reasons. For one, it’s the company’s only instrument that combines the classic TR-style 16-step sequence wit...

Hologram Electronics Microcosm: A cheat code for making ambient music

Sometimes I come across an effect pedal that almost feels like cheating because it just makes everything sound amazing. Empress Effects’ Reverb and Earthquaker Devices’ Afterneath come to mind. And now, Hologram Electronics’ Microcosm joins that list...

Atom SQ review: An affordable and powerful companion for Studio One

In 2013 Ableton introduced the Push, a MIDI controller built specifically for Live, one of the most popular audio workstations on the market. It had some flaws, but it proved popular enough that the company quickly followed up with the Push 2 in 2015...

Artiphon Orba review: Much more than a musical fidget toy

I am both fascinated by and skeptical of strange, nontraditional musical instruments. And it’s this very thing that drew me to Artiphon’s Orba. It’s about as nontraditional as you can get. It’s a tiny synthesizer and looper, and an MPE MIDI controlle...

Erica Synths SYNTRX review: A classic reimagined

Sometimes I hate having to score reviews. A number can’t always capture the nuances of a reviewer’s opinion, or make clear who might want to buy something and why. Often practical considerations drag down a device’s score, regardless of an individual...