Mono is an analog synthesizer with a pumping sequencer, endless modulations and a unique synthesis engine for thick modulated textures, fat basslines and FM tones.
It all seems straight forward enough with two detunable oscillators with morphable waveforms, hard-sync and Thru-zero frequency modulation, then a filter section with colour and self-oscillation ending up with an ADSR envelope. Good, standard monosynth type stuff. However, preconceptions get blown apart by the “X-MOD” section which pumps an LFO up to audio rate modulation and an envelope into every parameter. Just touch a knob and the fiddle with the X-MOD to get it all moving about. Hit the Record button and the modulation gets automated while you fiddle with something else.
It’s instantly dynamic, fluid and engaging with a front panel you already know how to use and a modulation engine waiting to be discovered. This is really nice.
The images give the impression that it’s more compact that it is – it’s actually quite meaty. Here’s a demo of it in action being a regular monosynth:
But there’s a lot more to it than being a cool bassline synth. On the website there’s an incredibly impressive and simple demo of dialling in a range of sounds including a kick drum, phase effects, Filter FM, 4-Operator FM and a Buchla style pinged LPG.
Half the front panel is given over to the sequencer and it is full of features. It starts off with the nice retro synth buttons that form a playable keyboard but then you find that you can record everything and anything into a step. It has up to 64 steps per pattern with individual lengths, scales and beat divisions. Each step can have its own probability, ratchet and microshift values. You can stick in some swing, slide and accents, copy and paste anything and store it all in 32 projects worth of 64 patterns. Everything can be randomised – patterns, notes, parameters and outcomes.
There’s also a “Mod Note Mode” that lets you save 40 patches for instant playing or triggering effectively turning it into a drum machine. This is amazing.
I think the key feature is simply that Mono can do and implement everything, all at once, wherever you like within the context of a dual oscillator analog synthesizer. It also has some CV outputs for getting a larger system involved.
The Mono will be available in the New Year and you can preorder now for €666 which is 25% off the retail price.
- Norand website.