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 sound into a portable and affordable package. But now the company is looking to stretch its wings again, this time with the Uno Synth Pro, a three-oscillator paraphonic instrument looking to carve out space among more established names in the industry like Korg and Moog.
The upgraded Uno Synth will come in two versions the $650 Pro and the $400 Pro Desktop. The primary difference is that the Desktop version is smaller, made entirely of plastic and has a touch-based keyboard as well pitch and mod touch strips. The regular Pro on the other hand as a full 37-key Fatar keybed with aftertouch and proper pitch and mod wheels. Its chassis is also partially metal, making it much better suited to live performances.
The sound engine in both though is exactly the same. You’ve got a three oscillators with waveshapping controls and options for saw, triangle and pulse with pulse-width modulation. There’s also hard-sync, ring modulation and FM (frequency modulation) options for getting harsher and more metallic sounds out of the synth.
There are 256 preset slots for saving your patches, a 10-mode arpeggiator as well as a 64-step sequencer with automation for 80 parameters to lay down your tracks, plus a 16-slot modulation matrix, two LFOs and two envelopes for creating everything from subtle vibrato to wildly shifting tones and evolving pads.
IK Multimedia kept the original two-pole multimode filter from the original Uno, but also added a self-oscillating SSI 2/4-pole LP filter. And you can use both filters simultaneously in series or parallel.
Oh, and there’s an effect section with four blocks, one of which is dedicated to the analog overdrive circuit, also carried over from the original Uno. The other three blocks can be filled with a combination of the 12 built-in digital effects covering reverb, delay and modulation.
There’s also plenty of connectivity here too — balanced stereo outs, headphone out, 5-pin MIDI DIN in and out, USB MIDI plus assignable CV and gate connections for connecting to modular and semi-modular gear. There’s even an audio input incase you want to run other instruments through the filter and effects.
The Uno Synth Pro isn’t as cheap as the original, but it looks like it’s offering quite a bit for the price point. Especially the $400 desktop model. Of course, full judgement will have to wait until we can try one out ourselves.
The Uno Synth Pro and Pro Desktop are available now for preorder and should be shipping in Q1 of this year.