I wiggled the Nyborg 12, here are my thoughts

Introduction

I have slimmed down my workspace by shedding some weight in terms of analog synth gear, but I still have a soft spot for physical knobs and I will always want a solid analog instrument on my desk.

On that note, I looked around for what my next analog synth should be, and there was one that really stood out for me, the Analogue Solutions Nyborg 12. The thing that caught my eyes, besides the well rounded specs, was the fantastic design and form factor. Like something taken straight from the set of a 50s sci-fi movie I pictured it towering on my desk with its LFO led slowly pulsing…

Right??? Yes, awesome indeed!

Still it’s a pricey piece of kit, so I wanted to actually ‘play’ it for a while to get a feel before I pulled the trigger, and here are my initial thoughts after wiggling with it for about 20min in the store.

Impressions

nyborg-12-rightYes, the design is fantastic, including the font and color scheme, size and slight inclination of the font panel.

Ergonomically it’s a great kit to work with. Knobs are large and easy to grip and the placement of the patch points along the top makes it easy to connect to the outside world without cables cluttering up the whole front panel.

(You really wish the Dark Energy from Doepfer would take a cue here…)

The whole unit is also a lot lighter in weight than you might think, which at first had me worried that it would tip over. Turns out the wider base is enough to support it though, and you can flip the front panel over and lay it down flat on your desk if that suits your taste.

Soundwise the filter (SEM style, 12dB, multimode) sounds every bit as nice as you would expect. Friendly, warm and creamy, especially the LP. It does lack some of the biting quality of a Moog style 24dB filter, but that’s not what the Nyborg is trying to deliver. If you want that you want another synth.

The oscillators I found to be very well behaved. Suffering perhaps a little from the same somewhat constrained qualities (a bit tame?) as I often hear in DSI instruments like the Tetra and the Prophet 12. (Yes, I know those use DCOs and not VCOs, but to my ears they sounded similar for some reason.)

The build quality was OK but not as stellar as Analogue Solutions like to tote on their website. Potentiometers felt a bit wobbly and the casing was not 100% sealed in the edges meaning dust could easily find its way in. Could just be that the unit I wiggled had stood in the store for a while and taken some abuse…

Conclusions

front-flatI’m sure there’s an audience for the Nyborg and that in the right hands it can and will sound great, but for me it was not that immediate fit that I had hoped for.

I had a hard time dialling away the metallic cleanliness which I did not expect to find in an all analog instrument like this, and the build quality just didn’t feel as solid as I had wished for.

Still, it’s a fantastic instrument if this is what your looking for, and there’s a good chance me and the Nyborg might meet again. Perhaps then the stars will align and it could be the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship…


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Where to download the Access Virus TI Software

I have no clue why Access Music has decided to make it bloody impossible to find download links to the TI Software Suite (which includes plugins and Virus Control) anywhere on their website.

If you are looking for the downloads you need to go to this specific URL, which as far as I could see in my 5 min attention span searching the site, is not linked anywhere…

http://www.virus.info/start

(I found it on a postcard that’s included in the manual and warranty information bag that you get when you buy one of their synths…)

Anyways, hopefully this saved you 5 min of trying to navigate the Access Music web maze…

Interview with Glitzerstrahl

Check out this interview on the Glitzerstrahl project over at the Geeky Disco blog:

http://geekydisco.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/inside-music-henrik-johansson.html

Big thanks to Andrew for including me!

Fiddling with deadly currents

A while back my good friend Niklas from NOR and Norator visited me here in Stockholm for an epic synth weekend (featuring amongst others Kraftwerk and Cold Cave…) and helped me modify my Doepfer LC9 boxes from north american voltage (110v) to the swedish (230v).

Its a relatively simple modification if you’re handy with the soldering iron and know the basics of electrical engineering, but since I wouldn’t put either on my resume Nicklas volunteered to perform the procedure.

Below are some shots from the operation.

Start by loosening the screws in the back…

photo 3

That hold the cover for the actual PSU (the one that say you will DIE if you tamper with it…)

photo 2 Next break the two soldering bridges that north american units ship with, and create two new ones to match the spec of the european units…
photo 4

And that’s it! My LC9 boxes are now fully compatible with the swedish electrical standard :). Many thanks to Niklas for taking the time!

You can find a document that explains the necessary steps near the bottom of the following page on Doepfer’s website: http://www.doepfer.de/faq/a100_faq.htm#Modification%20mains%20voltage

Cumulus 2, The Start…

Now that I’ve gotten most of my gear in place I’ve slowly started to work on material for the next Cumulus compilation. The track below is a sketch, not yet complete but I thought I’d share the working versions along the way. Have a listen if  your interested.

The track was made in one take entirely on my modular system. Live 9.1 was used as a recording device only.