After a short teaser campaign promising a "paradigm shift," Italy's IK Multimedia has unveiled the UNO Synth, its first hardware synthesizer. The monophonic synthesizer is battery-powered for music creation on the go, invites novice sonic scientists with a hundred ready-to-go presets and promises capable musicians an inexpensive "real analog synth with professional sound."

IK says new and experienced users alike can look forward to "rich, warm, punchy, deep bass sounds" and "a wide sonic palette of leads, drones, arps, sequences, sweeps and effects" from the UNO's flexible synth engine. And a full analog audio path includes two voltage-controlled oscillators that can be tuned independently (with saw, triangle and pulse waveforms on tap), a noise generator, seven low frequency oscillators (for sine, triangle, square, up saw. down saw, random and sample/hold waveforms), 2-pole OTA-based resonant multimode voltage-controlled filter with overdrive and voltage-controlled amplifier.

It's 15.6 x 15 x 4.9 cm (10.1 x 8.9 x 1.9 in) dimensions and fairly light 400 g (14.1 oz) weight are geared towards music creation on the move, and cemented by a choice of power from four included AA-sized batteries or cabling up an external powerbank over USB.

Analog synth newbies can dive straight into 100 sonic presets (80 of which can be rewritten if desired) and go wild on the 27-key, two octave multitouch keyboard, while more experienced musicians can plunge deeper into sound shaping using the UNO's 40+ included controls on the top panel for on-the-fly access to system parameters. Additional control is available courtesy of a Mac/PC software editor.

The keying zone can be used as a chromatic keyboard or to explore the 13 available scales as a predefined scale keyboard built-in arpeggiator offers 10 modes and a four octave range. Modulations available include delay, vibrato and tremolo, and the keyboard is also used to set the patterns in the UNO's 16 step sequencer.

Audio jack input allows for inclusion in a hardware chain, and an audio out jack feeds the sonic creations to headphones or powered speakers. MIDI in and out caters for connection to a piano-like keyboard or other MIDI hardware, while USB MIDI means that the device can be used with music creation software running on a computer without the need for a separate interface.

A team effort that included input from the company's Erik Norlander and Italian boutique synth maker Soundmachines, the UNO Synth is currently up for pre-order for US$199.99, with shipping expected to start in July. The video below demonstrates the analog synth's feature set.

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