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Dreadbox Nymphes

Dreadbox Nymphes  ·  Source: Dreadbox

Dreadbox Nymphes

Dreadbox Nymphes  ·  Source: Dreadbox

Nymphes is a neat and tidy analogue polysynth with 6 voices that come from springs, from groves and from the sacred rivers flowing seawards.

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Nymphes

The layout is rather beautiful in the metal enclosure. It’s compact and minimalist while providing hands-on control over the most important parts. It only has the one oscillator per voice and so that keeps things simple and focused. The interface also uses a Shift function so that every slider can do at least two things. It’s going to be interesting to see how well that all works in practice.

Dreadbox Nymphes

Dreadbox Nymphes

The VCO has “Wave Forming” which I think is how it slides from one waveform to another and has a sub-oscillator and noise with level controls. There are two envelopes per voice and one LFO with key track, fade and 5 waveforms up into audio rate. Another LFO is available globally. The filter offers a 24dB/octave low pass resonant and a 6dB/octave high pass non-resonant mode.

There are 6 playing modes including polyphonic, unison, tri, duo, mono and chord. The Chord function lets you store up to 7 chords on each preset. You can store 49 presets and there are 49 factory sounds as well. At the end of the chain is a lush digital reverb.

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Nymphes is powered by USB and can run for 50 hours on a 20,000mA power bank. It should be able to run via USB from your computer but it depends on how much power is being generated. Otherwise, there’s a MIDI port, mono output and headphone output.

Smash the patriarchy

At the end of the press release Dreadbox make the following statement:

This synthesizer is dedicated to all abused and oppressed women. May our voices unite and bring light, joy and happiness to this world of injustice and inequality.

Each time you play a note on this synthesizer, imagine that you soothe their pain away and you will become a better human being and synth player.

That’s fantastic.

In response to some of the comments posted below, I’ll add this link to an article on Resident Advisor where Dimitra Manthou, creative director and co-founder of Dreadbox responds to the commentary and clarifies their stance. Click here.

Dreadbox Nymphes

Dreadbox Nymphes

Nymphes is available now for €499.

More information from Dreadbox

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29 responses to “Superbooth 2021: Dreadbox Nymphes 6-voice analog synthesizer”

  1. Fern says:

    So you get political virtue signalling instead of an arpeggiator or a sequencer.

    • Robin Vincent says:

      No, you just get positive vibes of encouraging and celebrating equality

      • Jesus Christ says:

        “Playing this synth will make you a better human being” is one of the more disgusting things I’ve ever read in music marketing.

        • Ab. says:

          So if I sum up your thoughts :
          – the bazillion slogans claiming an instrument will turn you into an ubermensch : it’s fine

          – one slogan claiming it’s gonna makes you nicer towards women : Outrageous !!

          Marketing IS dumb, but be honnest, it’s not what’s bothering you here.

          • Fern says:

            If you are making a political statement (“smash the patriarchy” together with a feminist symbol) you must count with the fact that some people will be put off by it, especially if it pops up as part of the marketing of a desktop analog synthesizer. I think it’s fine to voice this, it’s fine that you reply and it’s fine that gearnews allows for this to happen. At the end of the day, we will judge this synth based on its own merits (looking forward to upcoming sound demos).

    • Ab. says:

      This was so predictable. You guys got to realise your masculinity isn’t threatened by hardware manufacturers.

      Jeez.

      • Jesus Christ says:

        I am a woman and an abuse survivor.

        “Play a few notes and soothe their pain away”. Anyone who has had to endure real abuse knows just how asinine this statement is.

        This marketing ploy disgusts me. And so do your predictable assumptions.

        “Allies” like you can go fuck right off.

        • Ab. says:

          Let’s say I believe you. Note that they do support charities for abused women. Dreadbox is a small team, not a cynical mega corporation. : This is what they actually believe in, not just a ploy for likes. If that’s not your political views, fine : there are plenty of other brands

          • Jesus Christ says:

            So let me guess, you’re one of those “believe all women” (until they say something that I don’t like and then I will diminish them personally) kind of guys?

  2. pfrf says:

    This marketing almost sounds like it’s meant to be sarcastic. I hope not, I hope there is a sincere sentiment behind it.

    But with the name (nymphe means bride or wife in Greek, I believe, and nympths of lore were vaguely evil), the pink (because grown women love pink???), the slogan, and the FB post- “A 6-Voice Analog Polyphonic Synthesizer that will witch your ears” (witch???) I really can’t tell. If English is a second language I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    As an aside, I would never tell an ally to “go fuck right off”. Every single person on earth has or will have a struggle of their own. Any time another human reaches out, I consider it a gift even if it’s imperfect. No one owes anybody anything.

    • Jesus Christ says:

      “As an aside, I would never tell an ally to “go fuck right off”.”

      Please mansplain to me some more.

      • pfrf says:

        I’m not a man..

        • Jesus Christ says:

          You are lying to your god and will be judged accordingly.

          • Sambi says:

            I hope this is a joke. Your accusing someone of lying about being a woman then right after (according to the time stamps) you replied to someone else because they implied they might not believe who you claim you are… Your username and the bits you’ve done with it are funny at first, but don’t you think it might hurt your credibility, and maybe even go so far as to give people the impression that you are a liar/troll/sociopath? Not saying you are, of course.

          • pfrf says:

            I’m not lying. Not that it matters as I see now you’re just trolling.

            I’m glad to read from other posters that the Dreadbox folks are sincere.

          • pfrf says:

            @Sambi
            I just wanted to clarify that my last post was in response to Jesus Christ, not to you.
            I don’t intend to minimize anyone’s past suffering, but I assume anyone who calls themselves Jesus Christ and tells me “You are lying to your god and will be judged accordingly.” has to be joking. Which is sad as this is not a funny subject.

  3. Adrian says:

    Wtf is happening to the world, they have all gone mad?! Is it a synth or a statement?! Is it a conspiracy of all corporations to align themselves with something or wtf?!

    • Robin Vincent says:

      I don’t think Dreadbox is a corporation, it’s a tiny company and creative director Dimitra Manthou can do what she likes.

      • Ab. says:

        This. Anyone who’ve have followed them for a while knows they are rather punk…. And pretty bad with marketing. This is their convictions, and not much more

  4. Adrian says:

    PS. I already have a Moog… Grandmother. Enough with this feminization

  5. Ruben says:

    I would have been more relaxed about the marketing if it had been released ten years ago. Nowadays it comes across as rather dull, rehashed, and a tad patronising. Not to mention that political priorities and battles have drastically changed in the last year. I am a bit disappointed that this isn’t a six-voice Typhon like many had predicted. We’ll see, it may be a bit skimpy in features but the pure tone may well make up for this.

  6. Eric the Pattern Tractor says:

    I want to upvote this comment: “I don’t think Dreadbox is a corporation, it’s a tiny company and creative director Dimitra Manthou can do what she likes.”

    In this case the copy isn’t drivel from some advertising manque, it is the personal authentic expression of two technologist artisans, if I am interpreting their actual product webpage correctly. My bullshit meters did deflect a bit I must admit – I am glad I went to the website to check it out myself. I feel a good product and good people as a result.

    • Jesus Christ says:

      Their personal “authentic” expression is the problem here.

      They made a synthesizer. For most people who buy it, it’s a toy. Suggesting that playing with a toy is going to make someone a better person by helping them to imagine soothing some woman who just got beat by her husband is absolutely insane.

      “Buy this and have a hero fantasy about soothing your damsel in distress” is not the positive message some of you think it is.

  7. blah says:

    “That’s fantastic.”

    the archetypal soyface/redditor writing these articles never fails to crack me up

    • Ab. says:

      Imagine calling out a so-called “archetypal” behavior and using the word “soyface”

      That would be delightfully ironic, wouldn’t it ?

  8. smash the patriarchy says:

    Rip deadbox

  9. Robin Vincent says:

    In response to some of the comments posted here, I’ll add this link to an article on Resident Advisor where Dimitra Manthou, creative director and co-founder of Dreadbox responds to the commentary and clarifies their stance. https://ra.co/news/76049

  10. Null Command says:

    I think the interface on this is just too Spartan unless there are a bunch of non-obvious LEDs to make the selections and shift functions really obvious. Also, the patch selector could be tolerable or really, really bad depending on what type of knob they used. If it’s a rotary switch it will be prone to failure. If it’s an endless encoder, it will be fiddly to use. I think they would have been better off re-using the Typhon housing and screen configuration or at least adding a lot more status LEDs at this price point. Very interested in hearing it regardless, love my two other Dreadbox synths.

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