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Sonic LAB: DSI Tetra Four Voice Analog Synth
  10-Nov-09
11 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
eXode    Said...

Good review but shouldn't that be digitally controlled analog oscillators (DCO)? AFAIK the synth is analog but controlled digitally. I think there's a big difference compared to i.e. evolvers oscillators 3 & 4 which are indeed digital.

10-Nov-09 08:58 AM


Nick B    Said...

Thanks eXode, will fix in the text

10-Nov-09 09:08 AM


eXode    Said...

Cheers Nick!

And maybe it was just me being nitpicky! :$

I do own the Tetra and it's a cool little synth. Great sounds out of a little box, who knew that 4 voices in unison could sound so good!? You can get some very nice Oberheim-like sounds out of it as well.

Also a tip from me to everyone that think that this synth sounds too clean:

I often use slop (i.e drift) and I also almost always set noise to between 8 and 12. I also use noise as a mod source and filter freq as destination with a very modest mod amount. 1 or 2 at most. Add a touch of audio mod (also just 1 or 2) and voilá! You got a slightly dirtier sounding Tetra! This technique is obviously applicable on any DSI product such as Evolver, Mopho and P08.

10-Nov-09 09:58 AM


loneraver    Said...

According to their youtube channel they are working on making the editor into a VST editor.

That would make this the perfect synth.

10-Nov-09 02:48 PM


HG Fortune    Said...

just for the records: as of the filter chip mentioned in the video it was related to the Sequential Sixtrak. Well, the Sixtrak did use a CEM 3394 being one-synth-in-a-chip design, like the CEM 3396 used in Oberheim Matrix 6, 1000 & Elka EK-22/EM22. The original CEM filter chip had been CEM 3340 (iirc) being used in Prophet 5 rev 3, Pro One and Prophet 8. As Dave Smith himself said somewhere the current filter chip is a new design. HG

11-Nov-09 09:15 AM


Nick B    Said...

Thanks for the clarification HG

11-Nov-09 11:36 AM


S R DHAIN    Said...

It's interesting you mention holding out for a keyboard version Nick, cause thats the FIRST thing i thought when i first used one and emailed DS to let them know. Either that or they get the flakey editor sorted, cause its glitchy.

16-Nov-09 07:28 PM


Peter Kadar    Said...

Love the review Nick!

I think the Tetra is a pretty cool machine... but wouldn't a keyboard version be not unlike the Prophet '08?

Of course, the Prophet IS 2 1/2 times the price...

17-Nov-09 11:00 PM


ram    Said...

If they made their editor software so it ran under Linux I might even get one. Strange it doesn't have an analog input if it is really an analog synth and not an emulation. For emulation it is hard to beat the ALSA Modular Synth (AMS).

24-Nov-09 04:07 PM


S R DHAIN    Said...

I always find it a bit worrying when people start reselling NEW gear on ebay within weeks or even days of purchase. Ive spotted a number of used ones on said website in the last month, which begs the question...why?

Probable answer? Not the easiest synth for a lot of people to GET INTO, other than perfunctury cutoff and resonance tweaking, even with the editor. Id like to believe it ISNT cause of the sound, as surely most people who buy DSI gear arent silly enough to compare them to VA's and DO KNOW - maybe via youtube or whatever- what they sound like?

Bring on the keyboard Dave, and ill put my wallet where my mouth is and buy one; ive already got another analog beauty on backorder cause its a "name i can trust" to deliver ;-D

S R DHAIN, DIRECTOR, JUICY AUDIO PRODUCTIONS.

26-Nov-09 01:49 PM


Neon Sega    Said...

Nick B, it's great review, thank you for the completeness! The weakest area of the Tetra stoped me of getting one, and it's too bad. DSI, please, don't ruin my dreams on good compact analog synth. We could not re-assign Evolver's knobs. We can't re-assign Tetra's knobs! What's going on? It's DSOed, not analog! It's 2010 now, we really need 4 switchable layouts of front-panel controllers for every of 4 voices

AND(!) the ability to have special multimode front panel lay-out with totally re-assigned knobs/pots and buttons. It's not so good to have no inputs for complete patch-ability and Volta-control, it's ok with no audio via USB for now. But multimode! Not another good compact cool synth with critical points for live setups!

05-Jan-10 04:25 PM


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