Synth Site: Studio Electronics: ATC-1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.9 out of 5
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Willian a professional user from Brazil writes:
This is probably one of the best synthesizers ever created. The only thing i dont like on it are the membranes. But what you get on this package its out of this world, 2 bass monster oscilators with a nice top end, 4 freaking filters (have you ever got this except on a modular ?), 3 envelope generators, 2 LFOs. The filters sound so good i've had to sell my Tb and get something better for the money. This synth is pure fun, if youre thinking seriously on expanding your sound pallete do yourself a favor and get one of these, its a keeper.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-02-2008 at 16:24
a hobbyist user from Holland writes:
I got a second-hand ATC-1 some weeks ago and found additional old-stock filter cartridges at a local shop. I now have the MiniMoog, SEM and 303 filters and fear that I can't resist buying the 2600 filter too.

The sound is amazing. As is stated in a previous review, it impossible to make it sound bad. It's sweet spot is everywhere. Deep juicy basses, harsh screams, mellow leads, extremely punchy bass kicks, other percussive electro sounds, etc., the ATC does it all and does it well.

I edit the ATC through Sounddiver which is very convenient. Sounddiver allows to easily bind the knobs and sliders of my midi controller to the ATC's functions, so it is as if I have a synth with hands-on controls. I never need to touch the instrument to edit it. And editing is fun. You get the impression that you are realy playing with elektricity, which is of course exactly what you are doing. Try making sounds with only the filter, turn down both VCOs and have the waveforms of VCO 2 modulate the filter. Lots of unexpected, but very usable sounds come up. Needless to say I hardly ever use the stock sounds.

As to the filters: I think the Moog filter is best for your bread and butter basses. Reasonably controlled and very punchy deep sounds can be had. Of course, all the usuall squelshing too. In short, it makes the ATC sound like a Moog. The SEM filter is crazy. It screams and howls and, as its slope is only 18 Db, leaves a bit more high tones than the Moog. Relative to the SEM the 303 also gives controlled sounds. It can sound like a 303, but also very differently, I would say "wood-like", if that means anything. As I said, I don't have the ARP 2600 filter... yet.

The only downside: it looks like a toy. But perhaps it is a toy. Great fun to play with.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-19-2006 at 09:09
sjmojo a professional user writes:
it deserves a 5!!!really a great sounding module i've ever have.i have all filters and the selector rack,it doesn't has any knobs but the sounds made u forgive it.imo,atc-1 is better tahn the new atc-x just coz it got cv/midi i/o.it's really a bonus!!!like my pulse plus and revolution!!!juicy!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-12-2005 at 13:09
yorick a hobbyist user writes:
This is one synth that really deserves the hype! Were it that all synths sounded so good. I can't get it to make a bad sound, the bottom end is so round and full, the top is detailed and yet, even when the filter(s) are screaming it doesn't sound at all harsh. I really can't say enough about how good this thing is. It compliments my Odyssey and Waldorf Pulse really nicely - much fuller, warmer, rounder sounding than either - but at the same time it makes tham sound good alongside it! I don't know why. It's just very musical. Deeply satisfying. I have the Mini and 303 filters so far. I was surprised at how good the 303 sounded - you can get the full on Acieeed sound very easily, but it also lends itself to all manner of analog sounds.

I haven't done a great deal of editing - just the odd filter tweak - but what I have done was very easy. There's 512 factory patches with just about every hue and nuance synth sound catered for. The majority of them are very usable and skillfully programed.

I wish I hadn't bought it though, cos I'm going to have to get an SE Omega, now that I know how good SE stuff is.

10 times 10 times 10 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-09-2005 at 08:32
Eivind Fivelsdal a part-time user from Norway writes:
I bought the ATC-1 a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for an analogue monophonic synth - or a VA like the MicroModular or maybe a Waldorf Pulse. At some USD500 with two filters (moog and 303) and the internal selector I think it was a fair deal. I used to own a Minimoog years ago - and missed it like hell. But that was then. I no longer miss my old mini.

THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! OK - so it's one of the ugliest synths ever made, but who cares?? Close your eyes and play. It's absolutely brilliant. I set it up with a Behringer BCR2000 controller and only touch the membranes for some esoteric functions that's not included in the MIDI-spec. This beautiful synth deserves a controller with lots of knobs.

The ATC-1 got a plenthora of modulating routes, and functions - at some point I got the feeling that it's actually a big analogue modular synth... and not the little polkadot box in my rack. Ofcourse it helps that it's built like a tank.

If you get one make sure you buy an EPROM from SE containing the latest OS-upgrades. When I got it - it had the 2.2 upgrade inside - which doesn't support saving edits from external MIDI-controllers. A bit of a shock really. Somehow I was extremely lucky - because the same day I bought my second hand ATC-1 - Studio Electronics announced OS 2.3 which supports saving patches made with a MIDI-controller.

The ATC-1 is no longer in production, but the newer ATC-X is. SE however continue developing upgrades for it. A new VCA and sinewave convertor (PCB) is recently announced.

So - stay clear of leaking electrolytic capacitors and old IC's that are about to die - get yourself a new analgoue synth that sounds exactly like an analogue synth is supposed to. There are still people out there who knows how to make them.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-14-2005 at 15:37
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