Can Small be Big?
In June, at Synthesea 2017, we met with John Simpson from Dübreq for a preview of the new Dübreq baby, the Stylophone GEN X-1 a battery operated portable analogue synthesiser with built-in speaker, a keyboard sound strip and a stylus.
Apart the On/Off switch, volume control and Minijack In/Out, the front panel groups the available hands-on controls, 10 knobs and two switches, into four clearly labeled areas.
- ENVELOPE group with three knobs: Attack, Amount and Decay
- LFO group with: wave selection Switch (Square/Triangle) and knobs for Rate, Depth
- DELAY group with: Delay On Switch and three knobs for D-Time, F-Back, Level
- FILTER (Low Pass) group with two knobs: Cutoff, Resonance.
- SUB-OCTAVES buttons: -1 and -2
- X BUTTON: for PWM
In this video demo-preview, we recorded the GEN X-1 first from its built-in speaker then via its minijack output straight into the camera mic input. Next time we will use a dedicated audio recorded for better audio quality
Note that during the section where we record audio from minijack-out into camera mic input, John was not able to hear sound. That was a bit like Beethoven I guess 🙂
I was only able to spend a few minutes with it, initial reaction was that the Stylophone GEN X-1 while small in physical size it did pack a punchy strong sound. I thought there were enough knobs and sound-tweaking options to keep sound editing going perfectly fine during our brief encounter.
It should also be noted that within this small form factor you do get two ways to ‘play’ your voice: melodically with the Keyboard+Stylus and using the Stylus (or finger) to sweep the sound on the Soundstrip.
When you consider the sound and features against an estimated retail price of no more than £59.99… well it delivers a very positive first impression.
Looking at my modular setup I can’t help thinking the Gen X-1 could be a nice little box to have by the side of the modular case to play additional melodic lines adding spice to a performance. Also, during the preview I was not able to plug anything inside the Minijack Input to see the effect the GEN X-1 could have on external audio. I would also like to bring the Gen X-1 sound into my eurorack modules and process the sounds with eurorack filters, wave shapers, etc…
Estimated release month is July 2017 with an anticipated RRP of no more than £59.99!
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