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...

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...

Arturia’s flagship instrument bundle is getting a major upgrade…

In the world of softsynths Arturia’s V Collection and Analog Lab are two of the best bangs for your musical buck. (The fact that they frequently go on sale for half price doesn’t hurt, either.) And today both are getting major upgrades. Though, there...

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...

Korg goes for the sequencing crown with the modular-friendly SQ-64

Korg’s SQ-1 is a bit under appreciated. It’s a simple and affordable two track eight step sequencer. It can play nice with Korg’s analog and semi modular fair like the MS-20 Mini as well as eurorack modular synths and basically anything else that wil...