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Toraiz AS-1 New Analog Monosynth from Pioneer DJ and DSI

Toraiz AS-1 New Analog Monosynth from Pioneer DJ and DSI

If you’re willing to possess Prophet 6 but all you can do is to watch other people playing it on Youtube, then maybe there is something that can help you. We talk about Pioneer DJ. And why exactly we talk about it you’ll find out in a minute.

Pioneer DJ Toraiz AS-1Analog instruments become more and more popular bringing on a huge competition to the market. The headliners are obviously DSI and Korg. But there are others able to present synths which are by no means less prominent: Roland JD-XA, Arturia MatrixBrute or Behringer DeepMind 12. But Dave Smith Instruments is a classic American engineering responsible for revival of their own legendary synthesizers, and KORG is back to basics (KARP Odyssey) while also is quite successful in paving analog through modern days in the new synths (minilogue, monologue).

Uli Behringer has broken the price bracket in our minds having released DeepMind12. DSI stays afloat the other way, for example, by range extension and cooperation with Pioneer DJ. On the one hand the king of analog synthesizers created a peerless super synthesizer REV2 cutting the price twice straight away comparing to the price of Prophet ’08 in 2007.

On the other hand Dave Smith grabbed a bigger part of the target audience by working with Pioneer DJ on their top sampler Toraiz SP-16 having provided them with the classy Prophet~6 filters. Tempting but not enough. Considering the fact that Deep Mind12 is so affordable while Korg and Arturia appear to be in demand Dave Smith Instruments started to find a proper way out. Small scale production of exclusive synthesizers under the control of the independent company has nothing in common with the cost-reduction policy. Selling more units for higher price is not an option because not so many people want to pay when other companies make them think they’re overpaying and release quality products twice cheaper. Brand fans are always outnumbered and can’t buy everything everytime anyway, so even such companies as DSI should stick to that humiliating but essential rule – “more for less”. Though Dave Smith Instruments chooses to give “fewer for less”. And that worked great.

With Toraiz AS-1 we got only one voice but a wide set of functions at the same time. AS-1 is a multifunctional analog monophonic digitally controlled (to be precise) synthesizer module. The price is 5 times lower than that of Prophet 6 but we still get all the functional blocks of the true analog synthesizer – 2 VCOs, 2 VCFs (LPF 4-pole, HPF 2-pole), analog amplifier (VCA), envelope generator (AR/AD), LFO; MIDI, USB and Trigger IN.

So why we call it “multifunctional”? Except of what has already been noted it has a built-in arpeggiator, 64-step sequencer and memory storage for 495 presets! Furthermore the effects choice is impressive – there is a Prophet-6-derived dual FX engine which allows to use a single effect or pair 2 together, for example, delay, distortion or ring modulation with chorus and several types of phaser. It seems to be the most powerful analog monophonic module in its range at the moment! Sure, it’s much more expensive than Korg Monologue or Novation Bass Station II. Nevertheless let’s go back to the top of the page and read again its abilities and remember that AS-1 replicates technical details of the top-notch Prophet~6 – we pay for the history and enjoy the quality.

Pioneer DJ Toraiz series is a direct hit. The target audience is the next generation who value the combination of 20-25 experience brought by electronic musicians and DJs with the daring sound experiments and stage performance partial automation. Toraiz line of musical instruments is perfect for that mission and ready to overtake Roland AIRA devices.

Published: 19:27 22.01.2017
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