There was a time when the party or club DJ would just have to scratch, mix and spin to get the joint jumping and the bodies grooving. More recently, electronic instruments like synthesizers and drum machines have been nudging their way into the DJ's sonic arsenal. Pioneer DJ has teamed up with Dave Smith Instruments to create another tool for music producers, a monophonic synthesizer named the Toraiz AS-1.
The collaboration brings together two experts in their respective fields. Pioneer has been churning out pro DJ gear for years, while Dave Smith's Prophet 5 analog synth has been used by numerous chart topping artists like Duran Duran, Gary Numan and the Eurythmics. The AS-1's synthesis engine has been based on the analog circuitry of Smith's Prophet 6 synthesizer, a modern refresh of that iconic Prophet 5.
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The new monophonic synth has two voltage controlled oscillators offering variable triangle, sawtooth and pulse waveforms, two VC filters for sonic sculpting, two envelope generators, a 4-pole low-pass filter that can self oscillate and a resonant high pass filter. And there are seven included effects derived from the Prophet 6 on offer (including delay, chorus and phaser), available as single or paired options.
The user interface up top looks focused for performance, and includes parameter knobs, a touchpad-like keyboard, a touch slider and backlit low profile buttons. The unit has 495 preset programs to choose from, each with a different sound and 64-step sequencing. Users can also save up to 495 presets of their own, and assign up to 13 programs to quick recall keys. Players can keep track of settings on the OLED display located center top.
Connectivity shapes up as 0.25-in TS audio outputs and a 0.25-in stereo headphone jack, MIDI In, Thru and Out ports, USB and a 0.25-in trigger jack.
The Toraiz AS-1 will be manufactured and sold by Pioneer DJ, and is due for March release for US$499. Meanwhile you can get a taste of what's on offer in the intro video below.