IK Multimedia Debuts $199 Analog Synthesizer, The Uno Synth

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Ahead of Superbooth 2018, IK Multimedia has announced the Uno Synth, a $199 portable, monophonic, true analog synthesizer:

“We combined our two decades of experience in software and hardware development with the expertise of Italian boutique synth-maker Soundmachines and IK’s synth guru, Erik Norlander (one of the brains behind acclaimed synths like the Alesis Andromeda).

The result is a no-compromise instrument with massive analog sound that’s also easy to use with hands-on programmability and advanced features at an unbeatable price.”

Uno Synth Intro Video:

Uno Synth Overview Video:

IK Multimedia has designed the Uno Synth to combine portability with a powerful analog synth engine:

  • All-analog audio path with 2 VCOs, noise generator, resonant multimode VCF and VCA
  • 2 independent VCOs with Saw, Triangle, Pulse waveforms with continuously variable shape including PWM of the square wave plus a separate white noise generator
  • A 2-pole OTA-based analog resonant sweepable multimode filter with LPF, HPF and BPF
  • Custom-designed, dual-stage overdrive that provides filter input overdrive for classic synth saturation tone, from subtle warming to aggressive distortion
  • LFO with Sine, Triangle, Square, Up Saw, Down Saw, Random and Sample-and-Hold to modulate Pitch, Filter, Amp and continuous oscillator wave shapes including PWM


Features:

  • All-analog audio path with 2 VCOs with continuously variable waveshape, noise generator, resonant multimode VCF and VCA
  • 2 independent analog VCOs with Saw, Triangle and Pulse waveforms with continuously variable shape including PWM of the square wave and a separate white noise generator
  • A 2-pole multimode OTA-based sweepable analog resonant multimode filter with LPF, HPF, BPF
  • LFO with Sine, Triangle, Square, Up Saw, Down Saw, Random and Sample-and-Hold to modulate Pitch, Filter and Amp
  • AD (Filter) + AR (Amp) envelopes (full ADSR control available via MIDI CC or software editor)
  • 40 onboard controls and LED display
  • 10 mode, 4-octave arpeggiator
  • Real-time and step edit 16-step sequencer with 20 automatable parameters
  • Onboard multi-touch 27-note chromatic and scale keyboard with 13 scales
  • Sync Delay audio effect and 5 performance effects
  • Self-tuning with auto-tune calibration
  • USB MIDI and 2.5 mm jack MIDI IN/OUT (cables included)
  • Audio In to daisy chain other audio devices with no need for a mixer
  • Mac/PC software Editor/librarian
  • Complete MIDI implementation with all parameters and clock can be controlled via MIDI CC
  • Battery (4xAA) or USB powered
  • Ultra-portable and lightweight
  • Designed and made in Italy

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

The Uno Synth is available to pre-order now, priced at US $199/199 Euro.

93 thoughts on “IK Multimedia Debuts $199 Analog Synthesizer, The Uno Synth

  1. It’s hardware even…that’s pretty cheap for something that is not gadget…It’s hardware even…that’s pretty cheap for something that is not a gadget…It looks like something that excels in low/bass sounds…

        1. Volca Bass is the closest Volca model to this and does not have more features, etc:

          1. UNO Synth has a wider sound palette, not just bass

          More waveforms: 3 with PWM and a waveform shaper on both OSC that allows more creative “morphed” waveform to be generated, vs Volca “selector”. Plus UNO Synth has white noise, while Volca Bass does not.

          Multimode filter (LPF, HPF, BPF) with drive circuit vs Volca Bass’s 2-pole LPF.

          Wider number of LFO modulations waveforms: 6 vs their 2 = More sounds, wider sound pallette.

          More envelopes controls on Filter and Amp

          Delay effect (synced w/tempo) vs no effects

          2. Usability

          100 presets vs none, which makes UNO Synth much more flexible and usable for sound storage and recall and ease of use. Presets also include sequences and arpeggiator settings as well.

          Full 27 note chromatic keyboard that doubles as a scale keyboard (and step sequencer) with 13 scales vs their 16 note chromatic keyboard

          UNO Synth has an arpeggiator with 10 arpeggio modes on 4 octaves vs none

          Our Sequencer can be programmed both in real-time (like Volca) but also step by step and we do have more parameters automatable for much more complex and animated sequences

          UNO Synth has 40 controls on board (excluding the keyboard) vs 21 on Volca Bass

          3. Integration with other gear

          UNO Synth has MIDI IN/OUT while Volca Bass has just MIDI IN

          USB MIDI IN so no interface is needed to connect UNO to Mac/PC or mobile (Volca Bass does not)

          UNO Synth has an audio input to mix line signal directly with no need for a mixer

          All UNO Synth parameters can be controlled via MIDI CC, while Volca Bass has a limited set (no filters, no waveforms)

          UNO Synth can run on batteries (like Volca Bass) or any other 5V USB power-source with no need for a dedicated PSU

          I hope that helps clarify some of the defining features compared with the unit you mention.

          1. I had the Volca bass. UNO kicks the crap out of it. IMHO of course… I also had Monologue. UNO sounds better on YouTube so I’d imagine it sounds better in the real world.

        1. Sorry was making two different replies quickly (see the Behringer / pricing comment below – I seemed to have flip-flopped the replies!) and meant in general UNO Synth is not a typical “made in China” product. Didn’t mean to confuse.

        1. I’m sorry you interpreted that, but it is not and was not intended that way. People would (and do) assume that a product of this nature at this price point would be made in China. To that notion is what I was responding, nothing else.

          I’m also sorry that you were offended enough to throw a shot at products from our home country and the quality of our products but I assure you they and UNO Synth sound really great, as much as you are also entitled to your opinion.

  2. This looks like an incredible value.

    It has better specs than my Pro-One and it’s about a tenth of the price.

    It’s a good time to be into synths!

  3. I thought the times of membrane switches and 3-number LEDs would be over (thankfully).
    OK, it’s 199 only. But seems they used potis instead encoders for the parameter matrix, which will make it’s use quite a pain……

        1. Okay, that makes a difference to me. I hate membranes, but do not mind capacitive sensing. This synth just got a lot more interesting.

  4. It’s hardware even…that’s pretty cheap for something that is not gadget…It looks like something that excels in low/bass sounds…

  5. Ok, I want one. The “everyone can afford it” part is a lie though. Because I can’t afford right now. Not even that stupid Beavis shirt over at Ript.

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing. Now I think I would rather have a Volca Keys at this price point, or a Monologue for an extra hundred. But, nothing wrong with having options.

        1. I bought a used monologue for 200 bucks and it was a great synth. I sold it because it sounded a lot like my minilogue and was hard to get a massive but clean bass sound out of. It’s a great synth for weird noises (opposite of s bass station in my opinion) but for those of us that own a minilogue and want some massive clean bass sounds this might be better. It will probably be like 125 to 150 used.

  6. hmm, the 50 demos mainly show 50 different bass tunes. I wonder if the soundspectrum with 2 VCOs ist really so limited. You get what you pay for…, but its not cheap, considering you get a monologue with a real keyboard for just 100 bucks more.

  7. The Korg volcas all have membrane switch pads, and they’re just fine. The quality depends on how the pad is constructed.

    1. Korg Volca has capacitive touch fields. If it’s the same here, it’s OK. If it’s membrane switches (like Moog Source or Aka AX-80 had), they will not last long.

      1. Hey IK commenter, can you tell us if the ‘keyboard’ is capacitive or membrane?

        I for one love the 80s aesthetics, very tempting

  8. Im glad ive selled my volcas 😛 This will be a no brainer for this price point… Hopefully roland and korg will take a look…

    1. why are you glad? do you live somewhere so small that you can’t fit both a volca and this, like a cardboard box or something?

  9. For things like pitch, amp, and filter, it would be nice to have more that 128 values to knock around. There are plenty of cases where 14-bit CC’s would make some sense. But most of these devices won’t go there. Then the other question is what are the scan rates for the digital control sources– which is essentially the “sample rate” and “bit depth” for the modulation sources.

    It’s understandable to have sacrifices in an entry-level device like this, so we shouldn’t expect high res controls & modulation. Perhaps there’s added cost with higher bit ADC, and having a beefy enough CPU to boost scan rates.

  10. They have went for the 80s look for this thing, which I quite like. I don’t see anyone applying pressure to the buttons so I hope they are capacitive.

    100 pattern sequencer + 10 arp. modes, is also quite impressive.

    Great price which is definitely down to Behringer IMHO, other mono synth makers take note, your prices need to beat Uli from now on!

      1. My point is the game has changed, I doubt this would have been sold at anything near this price pre Model-D / Neutron.

        1. I think Korg has been more influential on lowering the prices for small synths than Behringer. This loks interesting I hope IK releases a whole serie of synths, sequencer, effects and drummachines in this formfactor.

          1. I agree Korg has lowered the price point. Behringer would actually have to release synths to lower the price. I really want a neutron but I bet this comes out first.

    1. Wondering too. Description says it’s for “daisy chaining other gear without the need of an additional mixer”, so I would say no. 🙁

    1. Really? I’ve bought a lot of gear over the years and not once did the availability of an editor for a touchscreen OS, influence my purchase decision. Neiter did the availability of an editor for other operating systems.
      What matters to me, are sound and workflow.

  11. I’m not in the market for this at all, but I have to applaud IK for bringing this to market. It appears very comprehensive and does not make me think “toy” as other devices in this price range do. Well done!

  12. I like what’s happening in Italy these days….Italians doing it better n less expensive n not made in Asia! Can’t wait to see more videos on it! How can one go wrong for $200.00….Hats off to their design engineers. One of them worked on the Andromeda!!

  13. I am definitely down for this – I don’t reeeealy need a monosynth but for the price+portability+ function it looks hard to pass up.

  14. By the way, people’s hands don’t stop growing when they’re 12 years old!!

    Thank goodness for full-size midi keyboard controllers.

  15. When I go shopping for a new synth the sound quality is the first thing on the list, listening to the demos tells me whether of not to buy.

  16. 250€ with VAT in Europe. 50 more and there is Monologue (there was quite long promo for it just 250, I see is gone now). Not so tempting for me.

  17. I think I just found a cheap performance synth to go with my TR-8S! That price,though… Holy shit… Vs something like a Toraz which seems like a close comp… But I guess when you think about it, a mono should only cost this much… You can get an A4 for like 4x this… So that feels about right to me…

    Kinda reminds me of an Evolver…

    Kind of a shame though that it looks like they are doing the thing with limited envelopes… Only two stage… No sustain from what I can see in pics…

  18. $199 in the title and 42 comments:) It looks pretty interesting and probably worth a try but those buttons…. The ones on my microwave last about a few months before they are all sticky and peeling.

  19. Christ… some people will moan at ANYTHING… finding fault that where there is non to be found AT THIS PRICE POINT!!!! (Please keep remembering THAT bit!)

    I’ve not really any interest in this product but for the money the facilities, spec, apparent build quality, and most importantly sound this looks like a GREAT product… and I think if you look at the (limited) competition it seems better on all counts.

    People still complaining it’s too expensive?… for christ’s sake… get real!

    People comparing it unfavourably to previously more expensive s/h gear?… you can do that with ANY peace of gear….

    All in all I hope this is a great success…. and it will be…

  20. At this moment, before having seen or heard more than the images and text on this page, it looks very promising spec-wise. What I like much about it are the 5 performance knobs. The ARP odyssey and Korg Sigma originally had 3, resp. 2 of these knobs, and I like to see them return and expand to 5. Wonder if these are radio buttons (one at a time) or if you can activate multiple performance knobs simultaneously.
    Now on for the sound and video!

  21. Strong points: sounds good, not lacking in parameters, *capacitance* keybed (nice!), includes a delay, good connector options, librarian included, the match between IKM, Soundmachines and Erik Nordlander means the chances of it being a solid collaboration are strong, merely $200.

    Weak points: People bitching about inexpensive magic, HEH… I’d personally go a bit more upscale for analog, such as a DSI synth or Korg Monologue, but its a nice design at a good price point. I expect to see it in a few rigs.

  22. Where does the audio input go to ?
    – into the filter / drive / effects, or just mixed with the synth audio output ?

  23. I love all the new gear that is coming out but I dislike how they only seem to think to market it to EMD or whatever dance music is called this week. (And I disliked that back in the 80s and 90s and 00s as well)

  24. Mirror mirror on the wall, which synth is fully analog, has patch memories, a sequencer and is the cheapest of them all?

  25. Far out! What a bargain!?!?!

    But it has 2 oscillators, so shouldn’t it be called DUO????!?!?
    Bit of an obvious naming mistake there…;)

    1. I think they call it “uno”, because it is their first hardware synth.
      Following your logic, it should be “due” and not “duo” 😉

  26. 100 points to IK for pulling this off as synth one. Don’t forget, Korg had been mass producing synthesizers for decades when the Volcas came out.

    I wish them a ton success but, for me, the sound is just not all that interesting. As an all-in-one for 200 bucks, I doubt it can be beat feature wise. But if you already own a sequencer, or a bass synth…

    1. I don’t know – I am really excited by it because of all of the function + portability and ui- it is something I can throw in my backpack easy and write patches and record at lunch while at work.

      1. Not to mention that it looks like a really good companion for the Circuit. Doesn’t even need a mixer to use them together.

  27. Dear IK Multimedia commenter: is the digital audio converter needed for the digital delay entirely bypassed when turning the delay level down to zero, or is the analogue sound running through a DAC at all times before it reaches the output?

    1. The audio path is still all-analog. The designers created a send to the delay so it is technically in parallel and that is why there is still – even with the delay – no need for AD/DA converters in the full-analog audio path.

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