There's something evocative and mysterious about firsts. Normal people will recall their first pet, first crush or their first kiss. That's not us. For us, that warm ethereal feeling comes from our first analog synth. There's something timeless about it. Part of it is its place in history, being the first affordable and accessible analog synthesizer. Part of it is a sonic fingerprint that resonates through over 40 years of live and recorded music. Regardless of the criteria we can only summarize by saying this instrument has made a permanent impression on us, and we're not alone.
First made available to the public in 1971, this synth continued to be produced with very little change for over 10 years. Considered the most popular synth ever by some there's no doubt the instrument has led a prolific life, leaving a massive wake in its path; changing perceptions and influencing synthesizer design to this day. With a striking balance of simplicity and sonic range it was one of the first real novice-friendly systems, a factor that surely contributed to its success and also made it a superb tool for teaching the basics of subtractive synthesis.
As firsts often do, this one taught us a great deal. It cultured in us a sensitivity to intuitive design and the importance of great sound regardless of form. In fact we've been speaking about it from a project perspective since we began. We knew that if we were going to do it, it would not only have to sound great but it would need to elicit that same balance of immediate simplicity and sonic reward - a deceptively complex task. As time progressed our vision crystallized; the design was ambitious but it was clear to all of us that this was a project we had to do.
One of our specialties is making hybrid instruments. With a hybrid instrument we get the best of both worlds. High fidelity sample-based waveforms, produced by real circuits in real machines, give the instrument a pure sound from the start. Then accurately modeled filters and effects are used on the backend to shape and control the sound, spending precious CPU cycles only where they're needed. For this approach to work you need to build an amazing library of sounds and marry them to a truly advanced DSP engine. This is exactly what we've done for UltraMini thanks to hundreds of man-hours of tedious multisampling and the award-winning UVI Engine™.
We started with the beautiful 1971 model, sampling every waveform of every oscillator across every key - and we did this for multiple overdrive settings. UltraMini seeps with a thick and immediate analog sound produced with the same 3-oscillator configuration. But we didn't stop there. In 2002 the king of mono synth had a second coming; this version has its own wild character and we figured, what better way to make a Mini ultra than to give you two of them. Taking the new 2011 model, we performed the same comprehensive session creating an identical sample footprint.
UltraMini includes two fully independent instruments with uniquely skinned GUIs giving you the choice of vintage analog or crushing new school grit.
Oscillators are only half the story - what about the filters?
Don't worry, we've got you covered. We've included not one, but two of our aggressive analog-modeled Xpander filters in UltraMini, giving you unprecedented control and a sound so sweet you'll swear it's analog.
Additional features include amplitude and filter key follow, unrestricted polyphony, mono retrigger, per-oscillator amplitude, stereo, color and drive control, a built in bit crusher, phaser, delay, limiter and our advanced algorithmic reverb - SparkVerb, built-in phraser and arpeggiator assignable per-oscillator, step and LFO modulations and a huge library of expertly crafted presets to explore.
UltraMini has been designed to give you a rich, authentic sound and an immediate experience. An elegant GUI presents controls in an easy-to-understand layout, grouped for efficient and intuitive operation eliciting the feel of a real analog synth.
Whether you're an analog aficionado or just looking to add a sonic giant to your studio, UltraMini won't disappoint. A preset-packed, tweaker friendly ode to the arbiter of analog - available now at an incredible value.
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