Chimera BC16 Mini Synth Review

Music Thing’s Tom Whitwell has posted a short review of the Chimera BC16 mini-synth, a tiny semi-modular synthesizer.

The Chimera BC16 is a $269 miniature patch synthesizer, offering a VCO, LFO, 24dB VCF, VCA, envelope generator, noise source, ring modulator and headphone amplifier – all in a crisp, white, round, CNC machined acrylic housing the same diameter as compact disc.

Here’s Tom’s take on the “pros” of the BC16:

The good bits:

1. Looks great, and feels fantastically well made.
2. Intuitive, fun, educational interface. You’ll learn more about how synths work in a few hours with this than with years of VST plugins. My 5 yr-old sonimmeditately fell in love with it, making helicopters and sirens and turning the sound down, randomly turning knobs, then turning it up to see what came out. Nothing is labelled, so you have to listen.
3. It makes a huge range of noises. The digital multi-waveform oscillator will annoy purists, but it’s versatile. A reasonably effective two-oscs-in-one system can sound pretty fat.
4. It’s a quirky, unique synth, hand made in Britain and absolutely in the lineage of EMSEDP,OSCar.
5. The sound is immediate, ballsy and gritty. Huge bass, huge brightness.
6. It’s absolutely a real synth, not a toy. Compared with the Tenori On, this is a real (if simple) instrument. It makes any sound you can patch, not a bunch of presets.
6. It has no blue LEDs, but several red and green ones.
7. It’s totally self contained – 6xAAA batteries last a few evenings. There is a power supply on the way (soon). 
8. In theory, they can make these in any colour, including clear. That will be hot. 
9. It’s £136 shipped – the price of a Squier strat or an effects pedal, cheaper than many soft synths. The price is crucial, because it makes most of the other issues irrelevant.

Get the bad bits in the full review at Tom’s site. 

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