"IK Multimedia certainly did their homework before launching the UNO Synth. In addition to an impressively warm analog sound, it’s packed with features that make it a great first synth for newcomers or an excellent addition to music education programs."
Electronic Musician's own Francis Preve got his hands on an UNO Synth and had some interesting takes on the powerful little analog synth. Francis first goes in depth into the Synthesis Engine, then dives into not only Performance & sequencing with UNO Synth, but also MIDI Control & The Editor.
Check out some excerpts from this review below:
"The Uno Synth’s architecture is surprisingly capable for a $200 synth, with an interface that includes impressive attention to detail."
"The filter sounds great, by the way, with 2-pole (12dB/oct) roll-off for all three types. Wisely, there is a dedicated cutoff knob at the top of the synth panel, conveniently placed near the tempo and volume knobs, which is wonderful for live control."
"The envelopes are simple, but elegant. The filter envelope is an attack-decay affair, while the amp envelope consists of attack and release, with full sustain level. This is sensible, as it allows for a wide range of articulations with a minimum of fuss."
Performance & Sequencing:
"While the flat-panel keyboard may put off some users, there’s also MIDI and USB control if you prefer real keys. For a synth this size and price, it’s fine—and the ability to select from 15 different scale modes makes it easy to solo without flubbed notes."
"The arpeggiator covers the gamut of standard up and down styles, with two additional modes that strike each note twice before moving to the next note in the arpeggio. These are quite useful for quickly generating '80s and synthwave patterns. Random and play-order types are also available, in conjunction with up to four octaves of range. On the whole, it’s surprisingly capable."
"As is fairly standard nowadays, sequences are saved as part of each preset. With a bank of 80 user-programmable options, this is ample storage for most applications."
MIDI Control & The Editor:
"The UNO Synth features an extensive MIDI implementation, specifically with regard to Continuous Controller assignments, which integrates with the downloadable editor. In addition to essential pitch-bend, mod wheel, velocity and other expressive control, many of the unit’s synthesis parameters can also be accessed via CC information."
"What’s more, you can add pulse-width modulation from either the LFO or envelope via MIDI, so working with the editor expands the Uno Synth’s sonic palette greatly. Naturally, these MIDI adjustments will be saved with your presets, so if you want to rig up a secondary controller for live editing, that’s also possible."
"IK Multimedia certainly did their homework before launching the Uno Synth. In addition to an impressively warm analog sound, it’s packed with features that make it a great first synth for newcomers or an excellent addition to music education programs. The integrated sequencer and arpeggiator will undoubtedly appeal to the DJ crowd, too."
The Final Verdict:
"All in all, it’s an excellent value for the price and will fit nicely into rigs of all shapes and sizes."