Large knob and switch encrusted synths don't come along all that often, but when they do, you can always expect a crowd, and that's what Kurzweil had around their stand where they were showing an early version of the new 61 note, VA1 analog modelling synth.
Developed using Kurzweil's newest proprietary DSP technology, the VA1 employs patented "Power Shaped Oscillators" to generate classic analog-style waveforms which can be smoothly "shaped" from one into another, without the use of cross-fades. Presets include everything from classic analog emulations to sounds which are truly ground-breaking. The VA1 combines a good chunk of real-time DSP processing with flexible FM and sync capabilities.
Dual multi-mode 4-pole resonant filters, 3 LFOs, 2 ASRs, and 2 extremely fast ADSR envelopes are just a few of the sound-sculpting tools available. The VA1 offers 16 voices of polyphony, 7 simultaneous sound-sources per voice, and 4 part multitimbral capability. Each multitimbral part has its own effects (based on our acclaimed KDFX and KSP8 processors) and its own
With 59 knobs, and 108 buttons, the VA1's user interface provides fast access to nearly all synth parameters. The VA1 offers plenty of performance control as well, with pitchwheel, modwheel, joystick, and inputs for 4 switch pedals, 2 CC pedals, breath controller and Kurzweil's exclusive ribbon controller, all of which are assignable in the VA1's 6x46 modulation matrix. The LFOs, arpeggiators, portamento and effects can all be easily synced to MIDI clock and/or each other.
External signals can be processed in the VA1's oscillator and filter sections, or through its built-in 48-band vocoder. Stereo inputs with Neutrik “combo jacks”, and a stereo mic pre-amp with phantom power give the VA1 a unique edge in both live performance and studio settings, allowing quick “1-step” vocal processing with superb sound quality. The audio outputs are equally impressive, with 4 1/4" balanced analog outs employing Kurzweil's patented circuitry, standard headphone jack (with independent headphone monitoring), and an optical port with up to 8 channels of 24-bit digital audio.
But you'll have to wait a little before you can get your hands on one, the VA1 is still in development and according to Kurzweil, will be released when it’s ready. So, no pricing info as yet , though we’re told that it will be particularly competitive.