The original Electribe line packs a lot of power into an inexpensive power. The EA-1 is an analog modelling synthesizer that’s designed for electronica. It is a two voice synth that lets you create and store patterns of up to 64 steps.
You can create 2-part sequences using the psuedo-keyboard, or play into the input using a MIDI keyboard while the EA-1 loops. Either way, it’s easy to input new sequences.
Each voice has two oscillators, and these patch into a analog-modelled filter. There are several effects that can be applied, including Ring Modulation, Sync, and Decimator. The sound of the oscillators and filters don’t have the bite and fullness of traditional analog synthesizers. However, they do have an intersting sound themselves.
If you compare the EA-1 to a traditional analog synthesizer, it will come up short. It doesn’t have the same rich filters, LFO’s, or the flexibility of patching that a vintage synth might have. However, it does have some unique features of its own.
You can record two sequences into each “pattern”. The EA-1 stores 4 banks of 64 patterns, giving you a lot of space to work within. You can also apply what Korg calls “motion sequences” to sequences that you have recorded. Motion sequences are a way to record your real-time knob manipulation into a sequence. You can change the knob settings in real-time while a sequence loops, and it will be added to the sequence. The motion sequence can also be enabled, disabled, and rewritten independently of the sequence itself.
The EA-1 is not limited to playback of these sequences. You can also manipulate the sequences on the fly. For example, you can fade them in or out, modify the filter settings, change the tempo, or transpose them.
The EA-1 isn’t a replacement for a juicy analog synth. However, the EA-1, like the other Electribes, is a fun synth to play with, and offers a lot of features for people interested in electronic and dance music.