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Studio Electronics


American brand Studio Electronics was founded in 1981 in Sunset 'n' Gower S.I.R. Rehearsal Studios, Hollywood. Val St. Regis and designer Tim Caswell became the company’s founders. In 1985 and 1989 the team of developers included Val's sons - Greg and Mark – 4 years later together with them Studio Electronics released the first monophonic programmable discrete "Analogue Premium Quality" synthesizer - SE-1. Since then, Studio Electronics supervised by Analogia Inc. has continued to shape and maintain the image and design standards of its analog synthesizer, creating a powerful, rugged and durable analog sound and establishing a trustful relationship with its partners (currently Studio Electronics is partnering with Pittsburgh Modular, Slate Digital, Slate Pro Audio, Marc Sirguy of Eowave, and Space Hardware) and customers. The company manufactures racks, analog synthesizers, Class-A Audio, sound modules and systems based on its Premium Quality Analog technology. In the 90s Studio Electronics was one of the few brands on the music market who supplied electronic music products that included subtractive synthesis as well as a full range of monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers.

The company's instruments have a full package of MIDI functions; oscillators and filters are based on electronic components. Synthesizers are equipped with filters that allow producing the same sound characteristics as Moog, Oberheim, ARP, Roland TB-303 synthesizer and Yamaha CS-80 brand instrument do.

The company was opened in 1993 with its Premium Quality Analog product - SE-1, which was recognized as an instrument that fully recreates the sound of the famous Minimoog. The keyboardless version of the mono analog SE-1 reproduced the very character of the sound of the well-known electric musical instrument plus included all the possibilities of the MIDI interface. It seemed ideal for Hip Hop, R&B and dance music. SE-1 generates the classic Moog sound thanks to a 24 dB analog low pass filter, while you can also achieve the voice reminding of Oberheim's synthesizers thanks to the 12 dB filter which would emulate that voice properly. SE-1 uses discrete analog oscillators with all standard waves - 3 VCOs, as much as Minimoog had. Here there are 4 ADSR, ring modulation and glide effects. The instrument with generous memory allowing up to 396 factory and 396 user patches was used by such eminent people as Fatboy Slim and Dr. Dre. In the 2000s, the new improved version of SE-1 appeared - SE-1X - which included the capabilities of its predecessor and also extended memory through the introduction of Flash-ROM, updated via the Internet, as well as featured improved MIDI and modulation capabilities. Cooperation with Nova Musik resulted in the creation of SE-1X Red Eye with new 693 presets.

Studio Electronics began to release ATC series (Analog Tone Chameleon) analog modules, including such models as: ATC 1, ATC X in 1997, ATC Xi in 2008. For a convincing streaming of analog audio, the first model, ATC 1, used external completely equivalent cartridges containing two filters: ATC-1 was equipped with a Minimoog filter, but you could also buy cartridges with the filters from TB-303, ARP 2600 and Oberheim SEM. The module operated with two LFOs (modulating pitch, VCF frequency, resonance, OSC1, OSC2, pulse width) and three envelopes (VCF control, resonance, VCA, frequency and OSC 2 level, pulse width and, of course, LFO depth). The instrument was also equipped with MIDI and CV/Gate support, external audio input for VCF. This unit has gained popularity as a product perfectly suited for music studios as it allowed deep enough editing of sound and programming in general. However, ATC-1 programming seemed to be a no less intricate process than the vintage Moog Source and Alpha Juno featured – you had to assign the desired parameter each time since there was only one assignable controller. ATC-1 aimed quite clearly to emulate the classic analog sound, adding MIDI, memory and advanced editing capabilities to the device, enclosing it all in a compact housing. Fatboy Slim enjoyed using this Studio Electronics machine too. The next version boosted the creative potential of ATC 1 with the Quad System Filter. The ability to program SEM modes, as well as the LFO, allowed the instrument to reach higher altitudes in the reproduction of analog sound. The latest model of the series was developed together with Nova Musik and relied on the architecture of ATC-X. However, the instrument distinguished itself by its wider possibilities: the new switches on the front panel and the smoother shape of the triangle sound wave generated by the OSC 1. This waveform was converted into the sine waveform thus increasing the sound quality of the model.

In 2000 the company released two analog sound modules. Their oscillators and filters were assembled with discrete elements. Omega 8 module included eight voices of polyphony, oscillators and filters, assembled on discrete elements, multitimbrality, stereo sound, arpeggio, new DSP Analog Dream Machine with SE sound engine. This module made by Studio Electronics has a completely different concept and offering 32 knobs, 34 switches and rotary encoder it’s clearly intended to be an intuitive and affordable device. Omega 8 includes 2 analog oscillators (with synchronization and individual settings exactly like the classical analogs include) again emulating Moog and Oberheim filters (with the ability to add the filters from TB-303 and ARP 2600), 3 LFO, multistage envelope generator for the amplifier. Also there’s a very capable arpeggiator with MIDI sync control and such useful effects as Glide with a set of controls and destination parameters. The number of modulation sources and controllers in real time makes Omega 8 a competitor to Novation SuperNova, JP-8080 and Korg MS-2000, but it's worth noting that Omega 8 is also a fully analog synthesizer. Hans Zimmer, Outkast, Dr.Sc. Dre and E.L.O. are in the list of admirers of this model. Orion polyphonic synthesizer is based on the Omega’s specification. The next module, Omega 2, became a more budget version with a 2-voice polyphony, 2-part multitimbrality, 12 controls and 30 switches.
A series of polyphonic synthesizers called Code was released in 2007. Thanks to the new filter control section the instrument has made it possible to carry out a fine tuning of the sound and individual types of filters in real time. The synthesizer was built on the capabilities of Omega 8: SEM, standard filters, as well as a large number of presets (512).

Boomstar modules (2012) included 6 filters: Yamaha CS-80-like multimode SE 80, MiniKORG 700, 5089 based on the classic Moog filter 24 dB, 4075 with powerful resonance of ARP 2600, SEM 12 dB from Oberheim, 3003 Roland TB-303. Each filter has its own specs but, nevertheless, any Boomstar filter would be an excellent addition to the sequencing.

For many years the company hasn’t given up its positions in the production of quality instruments for amateurs and professionals offering them a wide choice of products, remaining true to its analog design and adding modern microprocessors to the systems. One of the main goals of Studio Electronics is to bring joy when you get in contact with music, to develop and produce new equipment, and not to lose brand’s face, to maintain the highest quality vintage sound of instruments of the 80s.