Consider some of the great analog synthesizers of the 1980’s: Roland Jupiter 8, Rhodes Chroma, Elka Synthex, Crumar* Bit One. Well, That last one may not appear on everyone’s list, but for the dwindling number of people who own a Crumar* Bit synth, almost all agree that the sound that comes out of this beast is first class – somewhere between an OB-X and a Synthex; bright & punchy but also rich & eerie Unfortunately, there are a few down sides to this machine – reliability, poor midi spec, missing features and an awkward programming interface are generally the most common grievances. MNX have cast those issues aside with the release of our Bit-100 software emulation of the original Bit One, which combines all of the punchy sound, plus the unique features of the Bit One (such as velocity control of pulse width), with all of the advantages of a software implementation. We’re not aware of any other synth which implements DCOs in quite the same way as the Crumar Bit range. In my opinion, they sound superb. Fortunately, they appear to lend themselves to digital emulation quite well. The Oscillators are complex though, and when combined with our highly refined V2 filter and envelope stages, the result can be heavy CPU usage. Please note that unison mode and oscillator LFO modulation will increase CPU usage considerably, as will long VCA envelope release times
Complex modulation facilities and excellent raw oscillators combine to make the original synth a unique, timeless classic. These qualities are brought to you by the MNX Destiny using the same technologies which feature across our entire range. Version 2 has been updated to include our latest filter and envelope designs; other minor issues have been snagged and the default patch library has been completely updated to accommodate the version 2’s new dynamics.
Whilst the fast envelopes on the MM-2 make it ideal for fantastic lead & bass lines you will also find that the sound of the three oscillators ‘beating’ can produce the kind of rich and haunting sounds iconic of 1970’s synthesis. The palette of sounds available from the MM-2 is further enhanced by the possibility of modulating oscillators 1 & 2 pitch by the output of oscillator 3 at both audio & sub audio frequencies. This is in addition to a separate vibrato LFO, so you need not sacrifice an oscillator in order to achieve a simple vibrato effect. Each oscillator can produce six different raw waveforms, making for a thoroughly versatile sounding monosynth. For version 2 we have totally redesigned the envelope and filter sections, plus a few little tweaks to other parts of the audio path. The patch library has been completely updated to accommodate the version 2’s new dynamics.
Of all the different kinds of vintage hardware synthesizers, our favourite has to be the wave of programmable polysynths which appeared during the eighties, such as the Jupiter 8 and the MKS-80 rack-mount. It wasn’t just the breakthroughs of polyphony & patch recall that made these instruments popular – they also had (and still have) a distinctive sound which is quite magical. We’re very proud to present the SJ-2 as our own tribute to these awesome, IC based beasts! It’s no accident that the SJ-2 sounds the way it does – it features several layers of audio processing ‘algorithms’ designed to reproduce subtle audio nuances that you’ll find in analog synthesisers. This ‘no stone left unturned’ approach is, of course, computationally expensive and depending on patch settings, your CPU may take a hammering. Rest assured that we have tried to minimize CPU use as much as possible, spending many hours on optimisation. (Unison modes and pitch lfo modulation are particularly harsh on the processor.)
The XS-4 attempts to reproduce the sound a group of similar analog synths which appeared in the mid 80’s. Examples are the Korg Poly 800, Siel DK-80 and Suzuki SX-500. These instruments have a very similar architecture, but do not have identical sonic characteristics. The oscillators, typically built around chips designed to power organs, do sound very nice when run through an analog filter and a punchy set of envelopes – we felt this was a sound well worth emulating. The result is the XS-4, and were broadly happy with its performance. Regrettably, it’s rather power hungry (CPU usage) because the oscillators are outputting 8 waveforms per note and the filter / envelope stages are also now very CPU intensive. Selecting monophnic filter mode may eleviate the issue somewhat. However, pitch modulation will place a particularly high load on the CPU, as will long loudness decay times Despite this, we feel that sonically, the instrument has considerable merit; you can assess it yourself, within minutes, by downloading the demo from the link below