IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
Scotty
KVRAF
1725 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Thu May 03, 2018 5:52 am

Inexpensive synths are defined as much by their limitations as they are by their features and that is not always a bad thing.

The entire Korg Volca line is "limited" in some way. The Korg FM only does 3 notes polyphony... The vocal bass doesn't have a mixer for the three voices, The Korg Volca Sample doesn't really sample and it only has 4 mb of memory. The Volca Beats doesn't have a song mode and some hate the snare sound... etc. It is what they do well that makes them interesting and useful and earned them many fans. .

This doesn't keep people from being resourceful and making good music or just having fun with them. I think the UNO fits into that category. It can't do it all... On the other hand it has 100 patterns/presets.. per step sequencing with 20 parameters, independent VCOs, a multi-mode filter and arpeggiator and some handy performance features (constrain to scale). It sounds good to my ears.. the filter in particular is different than the Moogs, Arturias and Yamaha's that I own. Yes ring modulation would be nice as would an LFO that went into the audio rate frequencies but there is enough good features in there that I can and will find a home for it my studio. Just like I have with my 6 volcas , 2 - Brutes and other more expensive options that I have at my disposal.

You may not be part of the target audience and that is completely fine. Others will have a different experience based on a different set of expectations.

Rock on IK. Great to have another major player enter this sphere. By the way the sound demos and product demo videos are very informative and leave very few questions unanswered as to what the Uno can and cannot do. Nick Batt's Sonic State interview at Superbooth fills in the missing blanks. You'll have a well deserved hit with this no doubt.
Last edited by Scotty on Thu May 03, 2018 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
838 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 5:57 am

MrWildBunnycat wrote:As for the bass synth argument, straight from their product page:
"This highly flexible synthesis engine not only excels in producing the rich, warm, punchy, deep bass sounds that are the core of a high-quality monophonic synth, it’s also perfectly designed to bring a wide sonic palette of leads, drones, arps, sequences, sweeps and effects."
That isn't the same as marketing it as a monophonic bass synth. That's a paragraph in a description which explains its sound palette extends beyond bass.
I feel like you're driving the discussion away from talking about this particular synth to some sort of red herring argument about other synths.
I'm trying to put it into context given the complaint about its lack of "basic features" - yet the features it does have compare extremely favourably at this price point.

When I listed those key features specific to this synth, you were quick to dismiss them so that you could list products that don't come close to the spec/price.

MrWildBunnycat
KVRer
28 posts since 5 Nov, 2015

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 6:24 am

Scotty wrote:Inexpensive synths are defined as much by their limitations as they are by their features and that is not always a bad thing.

...

This doesn't keep people from being resourceful and making good music or just having fun with them. I think the UNO fits into that category. It can't do it all... On the other hand it has 100 patterns/presets.. per step sequencing with 20 parameters, independent VCOs, a multi-mode filter and arpeggiator and some handy performance features (constrain to scale). It sounds good to my ears.. the filter in particular is different than the Moogs, Arturias and Yamaha's that I own. Yes ring modulation would be nice as would an LFO that went into the audio rate frequencies but there is enough good features in there that I can and will find a home for it my studio. Just like I have with my 6 volcas , 2 - Brutes and other more expensive options that I have at my disposal.

You may not be part of the target audience and that is completely fine. Others will have a different experience based on a different set of expectations.

...

By the way the sound demos and product demo videos are very informative and leave very few questions unanswered as to what the Uno can and cannot do...
I agree with you, you're right about being resourceful and working within the limitations. It's exactly as you've said - I'm not a part of the target audience. But I really like the form factor and wish I could be part of that audience, that's where the cognitive dissonance lies for me.

I have to disagree on the "very informative" point though. I still know little about the sequencer or how to use it, apart from the most basic mentions. I feel the demos could be expanded and the delay could be shown off more.
OneOfManyPauls wrote:
MrWildBunnycat wrote:As for the bass synth argument, straight from their product page:
"This highly flexible synthesis engine not only excels in producing the rich, warm, punchy, deep bass sounds that are the core of a high-quality monophonic synth, it’s also perfectly designed to bring a wide sonic palette of leads, drones, arps, sequences, sweeps and effects."
That isn't the same as marketing it as a monophonic bass synth. That's a paragraph in a description which explains its sound palette extends beyond bass.
I feel like you're driving the discussion away from talking about this particular synth to some sort of red herring argument about other synths.
I'm trying to put it into context given the complaint about its lack of "basic features" - yet the features it does have compare extremely favourably at this price point.

When I listed those key features specific to this synth, you were quick to dismiss them so that you could list products that don't come close to the spec/price.
What is marketing? They showed their product in an area it excels in to make it desireable and said something about it to describe it to their prospective customers. At it's most basic terms - that's marketing. And so far they have marketed it as a bass monosynth.

I did not dismiss the Uno specific features. You must misunderstand me - I like how the synth sounds and I like the sequencer and especially the form factor. The multi-mode filter is great, having an LFO is great, having envelopes is great, all of that is great - it's a bloody good synth. I have problems with the flaws and was critical of the features that would be nice to have. What is has is good. Some of what it has is hard to reach.

You look me in the (hypothetical) eye and tell me it's not uncomfortable to adjust the Amp Decay. Tell me you're OK with that artifact you can hear in the recordings. Tell me it wouldn't be cooler to have some crossmod. Tell me you don't want to know more about the sequencer. Are all of these points true?

I don't understand what you're trying to achieve. For me to admit it's a good price for the product? Yes, it's a really good price for the product, I never said it wasn't. For me to say it sounds good? I never said it sounds bad (apart from the unclear artifact). For me to say it has a good set of features? I never said it didn't, it really does have a lot in it which is good. What do you want me to say? I've voiced my concerns and areas I'm unhappy with.

If you personally don't care for any of what I have problems with, I truly wish I could be the same! The product is attractive. If you're OK with the things I've voiced - then you've got the golden ticket to happyland! I, on the other hand have to wait for something else similar and it makes me upset.

If you're trying to defend the product - why? Neither of us have it and the information we have is limited. If it comes out and has some of the kinks ironed out and turns out to be really successful - that would be cool. That would be a product that's out there competing and showing off what's possible at this price range.

perpetual3
KVRian
511 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 6:28 am

OneOfManyPauls wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:Oh, and I don't give a shit what was meant, it's not any kind of "paradigm shift" for anything, anybody, anywhere..jesus!
From IKM's perspective, surely a shift from samples+modelling in software, to building a physical analog-signal-path hardware unit could legitimately be described as a "paradigm shift" for them?
While I think that the word “paradigm shift” isn’t a bit overused over the last decade, I see where they are coming from. I mean, look at Audio Damage. They went Eurorack and practically abandoned developing new plugins.

Still, to me, it’s not a paradigm shift. They are still making electronic instruments. U-he developed Eurorack hardware too, and I don’t think anyone has treated it as such.

Regardless, it looks and sounds good to me st that price point.

chk071
KVRAF
18570 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 6:31 am

I don't see an issue with the narrow knobs, or the touch interface. For $200, i don't expect them to be able to put control elements on it, which would already cost that much, if the thing would be merely a control surface. The sound is OK, but, doesn't overly excite me. Might be testament to the 2-pole filter, i prefer 4-pole for most sounds. Still, great to see such low cost devices. Personally, i think i'd put 100-150 € on that, and get a Behringer D, but, that's pretty much a matter of taste.

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Peter - IK Multimedia
KVRAF
6094 posts since 20 Oct, 2009

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 6:58 am

Bonedo stopped by yesterday and posted a video demo with just the sounds of UNO Synth while tweaking which might be informative to some here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOI4ql3M1s4
UNO Synth tutorial videos
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SampleTank 4 announced and available for pre-order.

Elektronisch
KVRAF
2693 posts since 3 Feb, 2010

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 6:58 am

chk071 wrote:Personally, i think i'd put 100-150 € on that, and get a Behringer D, but, that's pretty much a matter of taste.
Or this one :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBnhs5qw-pw

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11421 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 7:03 am

MrWildBunnycat wrote:
OneOfManyPauls wrote: is this a joke? synths that are 50-100% more expensive, synths that aren't even analog - used synths? Seems we have very different definitions of "similar".
That list was off the top of my head, I don't know everything that's out there. I told you it's pointless to try and come up with exact comparisons. I feel like you're driving the discussion away from talking about this particular synth to some sort of red herring argument about other synths. "Is there anything else out there? No? Well this is good enough then and you should be happy!". If we were comparing the synth to other products, we'd be having a different discussion, but as it stands right now I'm talking about the Uno Synth. Not any Volca, not any other synth, but the Uno Synth and its features and flaws.

I never said the synth is bad, but SUBJECTIVELY (as in, in my personal opinion) I found it flawed and said why. I'm sure some might agree or disagree. If you have a problem with my opinion, well, I'm very sorry. I find the product interesting and curious, but I just wish it was better for me and for the way I would use it.

As for the bass synth argument, straight from their product page:
"This highly flexible synthesis engine not only excels in producing the rich, warm, punchy, deep bass sounds that are the core of a high-quality monophonic synth, it’s also perfectly designed to bring a wide sonic palette of leads, drones, arps, sequences, sweeps and effects."

They mention a wide sonic palette, but you can apply that to ANY mono synth. The Bass Station 2 can be used to also make leads, drones and effects. I don't classify arps and sequences as a sound. Also in the sonicstate video I think I heard them mention it's a bass synth. The demos are also bass heavy and both demo songs open up with the synth playing the bass line. It's a friggin' bass synth! You don't look at a bicycle and claim "Nobody said this ain't a skateboard".

I'd classify having an ADSR envelope as a pretty freaking basic feature.

Edit: spelling

Yep, spot on. We're talking about this synth and it's limitations and whether or not those limitations make sense and whether or not it represents good value.

Mushy Mushy
KVRAF
10652 posts since 7 Sep, 2008

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 7:11 am

Remember guys, “no compromises” were made.
"I was wondering if you'd like to try Magic Mushrooms"
"Oooh I dont know. Sounds a bit scary"
"It's not scary. You just lose a sense of who you are and all that sh!t"

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Peter - IK Multimedia
KVRAF
6094 posts since 20 Oct, 2009

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 7:14 am

UNO Synth tutorial videos
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SampleTank 4 announced and available for pre-order.

Robmobius
KVRAF
3110 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 7:30 am

Hmmm... One thing I'm always worried about super cheap hardware synths like this is how well are they actually built?

You get what you pay for and all...

Personally, if I was going to get a mono synth I'd pay the extra cash for something like a Waldorf Pulse because you know it will be around for years.

I can't attest to IK's 'paradigm shifter' but I generally don't like gadgets that have touchpad buttons as they never seem to last (from my experience). But whatever floats yer boat.
We 'the leaders' bring you the ultimate paradigm shift. Dramatization: No paradigms were actually shifted in the making of this statement. Furthermore, any reference to paradigms is for entertainment purposes only.

perpetual3
KVRian
511 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 7:37 am

Looks really good, and seems to sound good too.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
6336 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 7:50 am

Seems like a nice synth, especially for the money. Did they ever explain what the paradigm shift was though? What paradigm was shifted? And how so?
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit. Once I have something clever, I will certainly fill it in.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
1867 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 8:05 am

A shift for IKM from modeling software based to real analog... I didn't know that modeling was a paradigm for them...;-)

SLiC
KVRAF
3228 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Re: IK MUltimedia UNO Synth

Post Thu May 03, 2018 8:11 am

Echoes in the Attic wrote:Seems like a nice synth, especially for the money. Did they ever explain what the paradigm shift was though? What paradigm was shifted? And how so?
The paradigm shifted as they are a company that made 'virtual' analog synths now making 'real' analog synths, it shifted for IK, not the users....

I have to laugh at all the people saying if you just add anther XXX you could have a (insert better synth)...I could another XX to all the synths suggested and get better again....this synth may not be for you (especially if you already have hardware analog) but the only fair question is what synth can you get for the same money that is better. For me half of the reason I bought it is the form factor, portability and 'fun' factor.

I paid £160 for the UNO after redeeming some JAM points I didn't know I had, I cant think of anything better for that money. The list gets shorter if you want a portable/battery powered synth for with a good sequencer (I have a Prophet8, Moog, ARP...si I have analog, but this is pocket sized FUN)...the only real comparison I can think of is the Novation CCT for about 50 quid more, but that's virtual analog (not that that really matters, it also sounds great and is also 'fun' :-))
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