Nymphes is a neat and tidy analogue polysynth with 6 voices that come from springs, from groves and from the sacred rivers flowing seawards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nymphes is available now for €499.