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In-depth Feature:  Yamaha AN200
Bruno writes: .

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In Use
The AN200 is great fun to use.Within a short space of time you can learn most of it's features so creating new patterns is almost instant. The real-time controls are smooth and responsive and the Free EG recorder enables some very creative changes. The swing function can be both subtle and extreme - altering this in realtime is great for interesting fills. The FX section is also very useable; the delay grooves musically, the overdrive retains the fatness of the sounds, the phaser works well on drums and adds some nice bottom end at short times. It is a very playable synth in which you can get lost for hours - I tend to keep an audio recorder running as it's easy to miss some magic moments.

Once the basics have been mastered, the AN200 offers some nice hidden facilities, a 13-note keyboard with octave shift allows you to play the synth live even if the synth sequence is muted and the Beat setting, which shortens the loop to 8 or 12 steps, effectively slows down the pattern for some fine builds.

The Competition
The Loopfactory series is in direct competition with the Roland Groove products and Korg Electribes. All offer Synth/Drum modules with 16-step sequencers and real-time control abilities.

The Roland products have reached a small cult status; the album "At home with the Groovebox" on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal Records features tracks by artists such as Beck, Pavement, Money Mark and Air - all composed using just the Groovebox.

The Korg Electribes are finding favour with users such as the Chemical Brothers and New Order and have some extra features worth considering, such as 64-step sequencing and a very useful audio input which allows incoming signals to be gated and processed live as part of a pattern. If there was one thing I could add to the AN200 it would be this, although I believe it is a feature of the SU200 Phrase sampler.

On the plus side, the Yamaha synth sounds are very versatile, more so than the Roland, and the addition of computer-based editing software is excellent. I hope Yamaha have designed this to be upgradeable as the addition of new features is something not available to Korg or Roland.

Pricing for the AN200 is just above that of Roland's MC303 but around one hundred pounds (+/- $140) more than the Korg EA-1 and ER-1., I my opinion, it is a better buy than the Roland, but lacks one or two of the extra facilities of the Korg - notably 64-step sequencing and the external audio input.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • AN200 Demo from the Author
  • AN200 reviews@ Synth Site
  • AN200 Price from zZounds
  • Discuss this review
  • Mail the author
  • AN200 factory Demo
  • AN200 Price from Piedog

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