IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro In-Depth Review

In the latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth at IK Multimedia’s new UNO Synth Pro.

The UNO Synth Pro features three wave-morphing oscillators, dual filters with 24 modes, deep modulation options, 3 effects slots with 12 effects, a sequencer with automation of 80+ parameters and MIDI/CV/Gate connectivity.

It’s available in two models, a full-size keyboard model and a compact model with a capacitive touch keyboard.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
1:20 Overview
3:30 Workflow
5:20 Synth guts
6:40 Connectivity
7:50 Oscillators
8:40 Mixer
9:50 Osc x mods
11:40 Paraphonic
14:05 Filter
17:00 Series/Parallel
19:15 Effects
22:20 Mod matrix
27:45 Arpeggiator
29:20 Sequencer
32:40 Song mode
34:45 Scales
36:00 Pros & cons
41:05 128 Presets
1:02:50 Outro

Pricing and Availability

The UNO Synth Pro and UNO Synth Pro Desktop are available to pre-order now, priced at 649.99 USD/EUR and 399.99 USD/EUR.

37 thoughts on “IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro In-Depth Review

  1. I haven’t watched the review so obviously this is a completely unsubstantiated bias by myself.
    However, I can’t help but feel £650 is on the expensive side.
    Especially when compared with the competition.
    Korg’s Wavestate & Opsix are cheaper.
    Admittedly they don’t have a Fatar keybed.

    1. Sorry but Wavestate and Opsix are totally different machines. They are VSTs in a box. This is a very powerful monosynth that is perhaps a competitor for the Pro 3. Each is fine, but they’re not comparable and totally different products.

      1. Digital instruments are not “VSTs in a box” simply because they don’t have analog filters or oscillators. They have hands-on control panels filled with knobs and buttons and will continue to function for decades, just like any other synthesizer.

        1. theoretically you can make an exact copy of digital hardware synth sound with a vst.
          with analog hardware synth, not really or it’s debatable.
          but if there is no vst version of the hardware and you like it or it’s not only about the sound, it doesn’t really matter

          1. The Wavestate is built around a Raspberry Pi Compute module, which is a smart development approach. The critical part when it comes to the sound of the device is the DAC chipset and they way it is laid out. The sound of many digital instruments is colored by the output circuitry; the way the Prophet VS oscillators alias, the crunchy low-fi sound of the original Yamaha DX7 DAC, and so on. Heck,I used an industrial DAC in a hybrid design a few years ago simply because there was something about its low end that was incredible.

        2. Yes, I didn’t mean this in a derogatory way at all. As you say, there’s a lot of value in having a closed, carefully designed box that will continue to work for decades, without worrying about software updates, deprecation and compatibility.

          But, technically, in contrast to the 80’s and 90’s digital synths and the Waldorf Kyra, the Wavestate does seem pretty close to a VST in a box: my understanding is that it has a raspberry pi inside it, running Linux and some Korg software on top of that.

        1. I understand they are different, they were just the first couple of examples I could come up with!
          However, I would argue that they offer a lot more “bang for buck”.
          If you really wanted a truly analogue synth for the same money you could get a Mother 32 which I bet would have a higher resale value in years to come. Admittedly it doesn’t have the feature set the Uno Pro has. But the Deepmind 12 does and is cheaper (yes, I know it’s a Behringer so that’s a no for some people).
          Like I said, I haven’t seen or played a Uno Pro so this is just my opinion.

          1. Are you kidding? Mother 32 is a single osc synth with a horrible filter, no patch memory and no effects, plus it is $200 more expensive than the Uno Pro Desktop. Honestly, you couldn’t give me a Mother-32 and if you did I would use it as a door-stop.

            I’ve messed around with a Deepmind 6 in a shop and it’s nice for what it is but it completely lacks any kind of character. A decent bread and butter synth, for sure, but not in the same league as Uno Pro.

            I’ve had my Uno Pro for a few weeks now and it is hands-down the best sounding hardware synth I have owned since I bought a brand new Korg Mono/Poly, way back in 1982. It’s an absolute monster, devouring everything in its path. Even in paraphonic mode, a single oscillator sounds huge, just like the Mono/Poly.

      2. I understand they are different, they were just the first couple of examples I could come up with!
        However, I would argue that they offer a lot more “bang for buck”.
        If you really wanted a truly analogue synth for the same money you could get a Mother 32 which I bet would have a higher resale value in years to come. Admittedly it doesn’t have the feature set the Uno Pro has. But the Deepmind 12 does and is cheaper (yes, I know it’s a Behringer so that’s a no for some people).
        Like I said, I haven’t seen or played a Uno Pro so this is just my opinion.

    2. seems like loopop video’s are becoming an investment in time, i get that youtube love long videos and i respect the effort to cover all but maybe he can divide it to 3 parts?

      it cost more and can be consider expansive if you use the equation of price divided the number of voices or any other feature that is important to you.
      it seems like higher quality build and not all circuits cost the same (especially if you compare analog synth to digital)

      1. It costs more than a value analog monosynth like the Bass Station 2, but it has more features. And it costs a lot less than a pro analog mono like the Sequential Pro 3, which has more features and probably a better build.

        So it seems like it’s priced right in line with what it’s offers.

        Comparing it to a Wavestate makes as much sense as comparing it to a Volca keys.

        Wish people would move beyond the standard, low-value knee-jerk reactions they share with every new synth (“It’s too expensive”, “It’s a VST in a box”) and share some intelligent thoughts on: 1) Responses to the actual video; or 2) Actual pros and cons of this synths’ features.

        1. I wish that too, but I would also be really surprised if that happened here on Synthtopia. So thanks for your sensible comment.

        2. I agree. The reason I said “vst in a box”, which I didn’t mean to be inflamatory, was to indicate why the design and production costs for something like Wavestate are probably similar to something paraphonic like this. But yes, I’d much rather discuss the sonic and UI aspects of the synth!

          (I mean, I think Korg already had a close version of the wavestate software in oasys.)

      2. I have a real question, how do youtubers like him get hold of every new gear just to review it if the channel is really fan supported?

            1. yes, it’s usually very small expense for the manufacture but very efficient advertising.
              i heard behringer unusually ask the products back, I guess they don’t want reviewer talking about reliability 🙂

    1. People have two misconceptions about monosynths:

      1) They’re just one voice out of a polysynth, so you get more value with a polysynth.

      This is not what most synth designers have done for 40 years – they’ve tailored the design of monosynths to make it easy to create sounds that cut through a mix and demand attention, while they’ve tailored the design of polys to make it easy to create sounds that blend well in a mix. There’s obviously overlap between the territory of the two, but monosynths will usually have more hands-on controls and a more complex voice architecture.

      So there aren’t a lot of classic polys designs that are essentially 8-voice monosynths. The Elektron Analog Four is one exception to this idea, because it’s essentially a 4-voice poly made up of four monosynths. I think it will be a classic, but its design does make it way harder to program than more traditional polys.

      2) Monosynths are a ripoff compared to polys.

      On synths nowadays, you’re paying for a box with knobs as much as anything. They electronics are a tiny fraction of the cost. This is why Behringer can sell their clones for $300-400 – they’re just putting cheap electronics in a cheap box. If you want ANY synth with nice build and full-size controls, it’s going to cost more.

      And a nice monosynth will easily cost as much as a poly these days, because what you’re paying for is mainly an interface that gives you great hands-on control.

      1. also the components you get in a mono aren’t always great for poly applications as they tend to muddy up the sound – in addition to the analog 4 the tetra and mopho x4 were initially mono but put into poly applications – you can say the same about something like a monopoly too

      2. Of corse you get more musical value out of a real polyphonic synth (not cheap paraphonic junk).
        On a polyphonic synth you can play Beethoven, if it has enough voices.
        On a monosynth you can play a single bass or lead sound, that’s not much music, is it? 😉

        1. I know you’re trying to troll. But if you’re keen on classical music, see “art of moog”, using monosynths to play classical music in a beautiful way.

          1. Nope. I always prefer something polyphonic.
            See it this way: would you ask a percussionist if he prefers to play the triangle or a drumkit? You wouldn’t. 😉

        2. Unfortunately, you’re very confused.

          You can’t get a good orchestral sound with a polyphonic synth – you have to play & articulate each voice independently, because that’s the way the music is written.

          Nothing sounds more 80’s than somebody trying to play horn parts on a polysynth.

      3. 1. not really , no differences needed to accommodate poly accept for the headroom. other thing should be taking into account like clocking and calibrating of the voices.
        many mono synth are somewhat single voice of bigger poly, most of the most complex single unit analog synth are poly.
        i don’t think that analog multi timber synth prove that point. you also have vermona perfoumer, the poly evolver’ss, cheetah ms6, the new tooro…

        2. some electronic part can be very expensive and some not, pcb can manafactured for x8 time the price. it depends on many parameter and design choices and it can’t be sum into one equation. an 8 voice synth will not usually cost like 8x mono synth based on the same synth this is true, but some poly synth are almost not practical to build because the electronic in one voice are so expensive. the box and the knobs will not be the biggest expense. you can actually tell the price of 1 voice on synth like studio electronics omega-8, black-corporation’s polys, Abstrakt vs-1…

  2. I like that they included real buttons now vs the first UNO which was zero fun using.
    The small form factor and that it has presets, arp and 64 step polyphonic sequencer and even songmode is great.
    UI wise seems pretty easy most of the time, but they could’ve made things more clear. (overlay would fix that)

    With its onboard okish effects it sounds pretty decent but if analog is your main thing I think money can better be spent at other analog synths. At €450,- I’m expecting more.The knobs are still total crap from what I get out of this review. That’s a big bummer and only made possible because IK got too greedy and wanted more profit. They can improve a lot with updates on the firmware and I hope they do, but my guess is they wont. I’ll wait a year or 2 and see if they did their best getting the most out of this and if knobs still work from those that bought it at day 1. Hopefully they’ve released something more mature by that time and keep it at the same price.

    1. greedy? so you know the exact total cost for ik and the margins? and you can tell pot’s are total crap by looking at a video?

      you should really make your own youtube channel with reviews based on other channel reviews and first reactions based on your mod on that day,
      I will be happy to help, commenting about your reviews based on moving pictures and gut reaction.

  3. sounds really good but life is too short for a deep menu diving gear, zero fun, not suitable for improvisations/recordings/live and the look of these is amazingly ugly, probably the ugliest synth i’ve ever seen.

    1. matrix control is not menu diving, it can be great for live and even faster then one knob per function, the only downside is you can’t move two encoders that are not on the same line.
      life is too fun to demand limited control and the same boring way to do things just because some are to lazy to learn something new.

    1. maybe for the pro version, i prefer the matrix control for the desktop and would love it smaller like the first version or even take the keys out completely, the smaller a unit the better. no space anymore so one knob per function is to big and wasteful, a good matrix is the best but I’m not shore if this is a good one, yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *