There is absolutely nothing like the feeling you feel when you hear the sound of a synthesizer. Listen.
“Hi, we’re at the 2017 NAMM show in Anaheim California, and I’m here with –”
Wait. No. That is definitely not why I love synthesizers. Nor am I particularly enamored with the hum of a convention show floor with the apparent adjacent guitar booth blaring over the top of someone reading a product sheet. (As I write that, I realize I’ve just dared some CDM reader to make an eerie, ambient 5-hour version of an Akai demo using paulstretch.)
Here’s what you really want. You want German site Bonedo.de‘s beautiful “no talking series” – which also hones in on two of the instruments we most care about. That includes Dave Smith Instruments’ REV2:
and the Pioneer TORAIZ AS-1, made in collaboration with Dave Smith.
Okay, now back to some talking. I talked with Dave Smith of …erm … Dave Smith Instruments. I was particularly curious because Pioneer said that the AS-1 was “based on” the Prophet-6. How “based on” was it? Well, here’s Dave:
The AS-1 came out really well; quite happy with it. The voice is exactly the same as the Prophet-6, same VCOs and filters. Much easier that way. And it sounds great as a monosynth! Effects are basically the same as the P6/OB6.
So wait a minute: forget for a second that this says Pioneer on the tin. Getting everything that’s brilliant about a Prophet-6 as a little monosynth is actually fantastic. And frankly, the fact that it borrows liberally from the form factor and touch screen of the AIRA TB-3 is also a plus. (A few intrepid synth lovers had put together side-by-side comparisons. Let me also emphasize, with apologies to Roland – it features 100% less neon green.)
In other words, to anyone griping that the Pioneer AS-1 is for EDM DJs who don’t know any better, well … maybe I should start producing EDM. I hear they’re fairly well paid.
I actually really want this thing. It’s time for a new Dave Smith monosynth, after all … even if it’s just a Prophet-6. (Prophet-1? Uno?)
This is way up on my review list for 2017, as I think it may be on yours.