Coming straight out of Moscow is the MBS-100 from AVP Synthesizers. It’s a monophonic bass synth built and inspired by Soviet era synths such as the Polivoks. AVP have always drawn from their local heritage for their electronic instruments but this is their first melodic synthesizer.
AVP do a great job of capturing the look of Soviet synths. The darkness and the lines, the font and the knobs all contribute to the authentic vibe it gives off. The sound is a digital/analog hybrid and comes from 2 voltage controlled digital oscillators, each with 4 waveforms. The two pulse waveforms are designed to have the fixed nature of those found on the Polivoks and Aelita synthesizer.
From there it’s quite a standard array of Polivoks based VCF, two ADSR envelopes, a VCA with distortion and an LFO for the filter. All the stuff you’d expect to find in a mono-synth. The front panel consists of 19 knobs, 3 switches, 4 buttons and 11 LEDs. The layout is simple and obvious and would be instantly satisfying to play with.
AVP have put a lot of work in the MIDI side of the MBS-100, seemingly at the expense of any CV jiggery-pokery. That’s a shame because we all like a bit of modular potential in our synths.
How does it sound?
There are no videos or sound examples as yet but hopefully, they will emerge soon.
Update: Here’s a video! Sounds great to me.
It does look great, I am enjoying the size of the wooden sideburns. I had hoped, when I saw that AVP had announced a new product, that it would be the “HMS-100 Hybrid Monophonic Synthesizer” but that appears to still be under development. The MBS-100 should give us a good idea of what AVP are capable of.
According to a post on Facebook the first run will be of 9 units. So if you’re interested you need to in touch with AVP as soon as possible. For €449 there’s a lot of competition so it will be interesting to see how well the MBS-100 stands out from the crowd.