4 track FREE EG recorder
There is also an AWM Subsynth, which provides bass and drum sounds and the 16-step sequencer with control over pitch, gate & velocity for the synth track and sample select for the rhythm tracks. There are 256 preset patterns covering a variety of styles from Trance to Drum and Bass and a 128 patch user memory for storing sounds. Connections available are Midi in/out, Stereo analog out and Headphones
The AN200 is designed as a performance instrument and as such it has 16 knobs for real-time changes. These allow control over the LFO speed, Sync Pitch, FM Depth, VCO mix, envelopes, FX and Filters. A scene control enables you to morph between two different set-ups for further creativity.
The Free EG is a four-part motion sequencer for recording your controller moves into the selected pattern - these can then be turned on or off as the pattern loops. Although this feature is incredibly powerful, it is not possible to 'drop-in' to record whilst the pattern loops, so to record you have to stop and restart playback. I feel this is an oversight as it detracts from the performance element of the synth.
Having said this, the synth does offer enough real-time options to allow very creative sound manipulation. The addition of a variable swing function and reverse feature are great plus the roll/re-trigger button allows for live drum fills.
The sound of the AN200 overall is very impressive - it is capable of producing some very fat deep basses and (very) cutting leads. The filters are smooth and versatile, so as a sound module alone this is a worth a look. Essentially a scaled down AN1x, the sounds will be familiar to most Yamaha synth owners but the addition of internal sequencing enables quick creation of parts you might not programme using a computer-based sequencer.
The AWM engine that provides both simple bass and rhythm sounds is also impressive, although the variety of drum sounds is limited, there is enough selection for most modern styles. The addition of a dedicated drum module to the Loopfactory series would be a bonus.
The sounds have a solid quality to them and easily cut through a mix.