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Quasimidi | Technox
The Technox was something of a follow-up to Quasimidi's first rack-mountable synth, the "MASS" engine Quasar. The Quasar was a do-it-all multitimbral unit that was quite powerful, but had a rather lacking overall sound. The single-unit-high silver-clad Technox is a vast improvement based upon the Raven engine, though it's still a mid-90s ROMpler and so playing many sounds at the highest or lowest octaves brings out tell-tale artifacts.
But what are those sounds? Well the phrase "techno rave electronic" on the fascia would probably hint at what one would find, and indeed the presets are utterly 90's techno, rave, IDM, electronica goodness from every pore. Lots of pretty solid basses, rave leads, hooverish sounds, acid squeals, spacey pads and some great drum kits. The latter includes full sets of TR-808, 909 and 606 hits. There are 512 presets, which for a 1995 synth wasn't bad!
Whereas the Quasar excelled at providing a ton of bread-and-butter sounds, the Technox is oriented towards dance musicians. To this end, a sequencer is also included which can address up to 16 MIDI parts. Each part has its own level, pan and effects send, and much more besides. Using this and editing in general is a touch fiddly with the two knobs and four buttons, paired to a 2-line 16-character dot matrix LCD. But it isn't difficult, and while the presets tend to cover early-90s techno, a touch of editing can go a long way into many other genres. There's a lot of good stuff here for darker and ambient genres!
There's only stereo outs, but full MIDI In/Out/Thru and a foot switch jack. The Technox's greatest asset, ultimately, is its 16-part multitimbrality. Channel 10 is fixed to addressing drums, but the other 15 channels can go where you want. There are only 14 memories for these multitimbral setups, though, which is a touch limiting.
One aspect of these Quasimidi synths that throw some off is their sound creation, or rather the lack of. Similar to the Quasar, it isn't really possible to build sounds from scratch. Instead you use the preset samples and alter their settings using offset values. But where the Quasar had difficulty sounding anything more than "slightly muffled", the Technox's samples are higher quality and at least provide better starting points.
Don't expect anything close to a raw analog sound, or the sheen of a Korg workstation. While the Technox can sound a touch thin when playing single voices, a few of them mixed together can sound a lot beefier. There's a ton of good sounds in the Technox, and it is still very useable in many electronic music genres. They're not easy to find, but not all that expensive either. Not outstanding, but definitely worth a listen!
|Engine Detailed||ROM sample playback. 3 samples per performance. Various ROM samples. 64MB ROM sample bank.|
|Filter (VCF)||Single low-pass filter per performance.|
|FX||18 effects across 2 effects units, FX1 for delay & reverb, FX2 for modulation (chorus, delay, flanging etc).|
|Memory||512 sounds, 100 performance slots, 14 multitimbral setups.|
|Produced:||1995 - 1995|
|Legend:||Obvious||Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable|
|VCO||Voltage Controlled Oscillator||DCO||Digital Controlled Oscillator|
|LFO||Low Frequency Oscillator||Sub||Sub Oscillator|
|VCF||Voltage Controlled Filter||VCA||Voltage Controlled Amplifier|
|Velocity||As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key.||Aftertouch||Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.|
|Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.|