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User reviews on Sound Module products

Buggy (Ketron - SD1000)

By plunoi, 20/10/2019
This module has mostly very good sound fonts, the problem is that it has also a critical software bug which makes it sometimes impossible to render MIDI files properly. I tried to upgrade to the version from year 2015, which I do not think would help, as my device was bought in 2019. But the update procedure did not work on Windows 10 anyway. I thus contacted Ketron with this issue, they do not respond. They do not even list the sound modules on their site any more.

But let the sound output of Ketron talk. It is a rendition of a MIDI file which has been tested with another synthesizer and worked perfectly. I attach two files, one played with MIDI port 1 of SD1000 and the rendition is perfect. The other is played on MIDI port 2 and the sound of the trumpet is cut several times around 20th second and this is only one of more bugs. Restarting, resetting does not help. Good on MIDI port 1, bad on MIDI port 2.

In my opinion, unacceptable even for a module 10 times less expensive.


Simple old-school analog presets (Roland - EM-101 SoundPlus)

By stiiiiiiive, 04/09/2017
Roland’s EM-101 Sound Plus is a MIDI expander that features 6, non-editable Juno voices: 8 poly presets, 8 mono presets and 8 (surprise !) hidden presets. Unrealistic analog, then.
Controls include Volume, Attack, Dynamics (allowing to modulate the volume, but it can also be quite interestingly used the other way around). Plus, a bonus Brilliance setting that sounds more like a tone than a cutoff control. Regarding connectors, a MIDI duet, a ¼” Jack output and a footswitch input fot the mute function. In the end, very easy to use.
I had started to look around for mods so as to make it more versatile, I know that some went way further (more details can be found on the web).
There’s also a video tutorial that shows how it works.

So, how does it sound?
Well, a bit like a Juno trying to imitate other instruments. I find an interest to 3 or 4 presets at best, but it’s up to everyone’s taste… Among these, two Strings and an Organ preset. Picture yourself back in the 1980s, with those synthetic strings and organs that have become real references since then. However, as for the sounds labelled “trumpet” or “piano”, that’s another story.
It can suit a Krautrock fan, or be of use to anyone revering these old-school sounds, but in all cases you’ll have to do with what it can offer in three minutes of tweaking as you won’t get much farther without adding a few effect boxes.

I personally sometimes use it MIDI-controlled by a Little Phatty, injecting the audio output into the said Phatty to get a colored paraphonic, Moog-y sound. The Phatty’s mixer is unfortunately quickly overdriven, but that’s a real pleasure to get huge overdriven sound textures. Maybe an MF-101 would be better suited for the job? The Phatty’s point here is that you can tweak the note priority setting to get a bass and overlying chords, or chords and an overlying lead sound, with all pertaining constraints. However, constraints can be stimulating, ain’t it?

As for synthesis (hohoo), it’s a very simple analog module that’s to be taken for what it is: it can be a nice instrument for whoever prefers an RS-09 to a Nord Electro, or a TS-909 and a Holygrail to a great multieffect – so in the end whoever prefers a unique yet minimalistic sound to something more diverse and complex.

I have this Yamaha FB01 Sound Generater. (Yamaha - FB-01)

By John-Michael Mahnke, 17/07/2015
I have this Yamaha FB01 Sound Generator on top of my Technics PR-305 Digital Piano. It was made back in 1985. It has 240 instrumental sounds on it. I have the instruction book to it. It was given to me by a piano tuner, as I had the Technics EX-10 organ that I got rid of, with my mom in the fall of 1998. The Yamaha FB01 has a polyphony of eight notes at the most, I use it to play with when I`m playing some songs, or playing along with some songs that I hear on the radio. The Yamaha FB01 can be tricky to use, and has a polyphony of 8 notes maximum, if you don`t know about it. But anyway it can fun to use. You can look up on how to operate it.

News Sound Module

Ixox introduces the Preenfm v2 DIY expander

Published on 05/27/14
Ixox announces the immediate availability of DIY Kits for the second version of hist preenfm expander.

Mutable Instruments updates Shruti

Published on 12/31/13

Roland VIMA JM-5

Published on 05/19/11

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Roland BK 7M

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Yamaha FB-01

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