Stylophone goes pro with DS-2 Analog Drone Synthesizer
Brit musical instrument maker Dubreq has released a number of key upgrades to its iconic pocket synth over the years, but the Stylophone CPM DS-2 is something of a departure from the usual playbook.
Millions of Stylophones have been sold since the battery-operated portable synthesizer was launched in the late 1960s, its stylus-led tones finding favor with young sonic wizards and famous artists alike – it was "used to create the unique sonic buzz of David Bowie's Space Oddity" for example.
Production of the toy-like original stopped in the mid-1970s, but then a revival model appeared in 2007 followed by a flavor aimed at more serious musicians in 2012 and a drum machine. More features and sounds came with the Gen X-1 introduced at NAMM 2017, and the mighty (but limited) Gen R-8 landed in 2019.
Since then, we've seen an updated beatbox and most recently a nifty Theremin-like creation. The new stand-alone drone synth marks the beginning of a new pro-audio Compact Portable Modular range, and also a major departure from the familiar styling.
It's based around two 3340 analog oscillators and a pair of sub-oscillators, for two drone voicings controlled by filter cutoff and volume knobs. Dynamic waveform blending is made possible via the Ultra LFO section up top, and the pitch of the two 3340s can be linked "to ensure everything stays harmoniously in tune" or set to hard sync "for even wilder sounds."
Dubreq has included analog filters with drive, vintage modulated delay and a choice of eight vintage-inspired reverb algorithms. The unit is Eurorack compatible, there are a dozen modular patch points, a pair of stereo outputs and an aux input, tones can also be output through the built-in speaker or headphone jack, and the drone box can be powered by mains or AA-sized batteries.
"The Stylophone CPM DS-2 Analog Drone Synthesizer is an ideal companion for those seeking innovation in sound creation in the studio, on stage or on the go," said the company in a press statement. It's up for pre-order now priced at US$259, and sounds pretty good if the video below is anything to go by.
Product page: Stylophone CPM DS-2