IK Mul­ti­me­dia UNO

UNO is a $200 synth to ri­val the Volca Bass or Ar­turia Mi­croBrute

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

IK Mul­ti­me­dia are step­ping out of their in-the-box box with the launch of the UNO, an af­ford­able, por­ta­ble ana­logue monosynth. This was cre­ated with the help of Ital­ian bou­tique synth maker Sound­ma­chines and Erik Nor­lan­der, one of the cre­ators of Ale­sis’s whop­ping An­dromeda synth and now part of the IK team.

The UNO is said to be ca­pa­ble of cre­at­ing both clas­sic and mod­ern sounds and of­fers plenty to both be­gin­ners and more ex­pe­ri­enced synth users. One hun­dred pre­sets are in­cluded, each of which comes with its own arpeg­gio and se­quence, and IK prom­ises plenty of scope for hands-on tweak­ing.

The all-ana­logue sig­nal path in­cludes two os­cil­la­tors that can be tuned in­de­pen­dently, a noise gen­er­a­tor, a res­o­nant mul­ti­mode fil­ter and a VCA. The os­cil­la­tors of­fer saw, tri­an­gle and pulse wave­forms with con­tin­u­ously vari­able shape (in­clud­ing PWM of the square wave), while the two-pole OTA-based res­o­nant ana­logue fil­ter can be switched be­tween high-pass, low-pass and band-pass and comes with over­drive. On the mod­u­la­tion side, there are seven LFO wave­forms to mod­u­late pitch, fil­ter, amp and con­tin­u­ous os­cil­la­tor wave shapes in­clud­ing PWM.

The UNO comes with a 27-note mul­ti­touch key­board that can be played chro­mat­i­cally or locked to one of 13 se­lectable scales. It dou­bles as a step-edit con­troller for the 100-pat­tern se­quencer. You can also pro­gram se­quences in real-time, and synth pa­ram­e­ters can be mod­u­lated on a per-step ba­sis. There’s a built-in arpeg­gia­tor, too.

This is a highly por­ta­ble synth that can be bat­tery-pow­ered, though there doesn’t ap­pear to be a built-in speaker. An au­dio in­put makes it pos­si­ble to daisy-chain other de­vices, and there are MIDI In and Out ports. You can also sync to your DAW via USB MIDI.

At $200, the UNO is cer­tainly ag­gres­sively-priced, though it re­mains to be seen if it can find its niche in what is a highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. It re­mains to be seen if the touch in­ter­face is con­ducive to sat­is­fy­ing lev­els of playa­bil­ity and hands-on con­trol, but in our brief hands-on ses­sion we found it sur­pris­ingly nice to play and tweak.

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