The Dave Smiths Instruments tetra is a small portable desktop synth, it has 128 programs and comes with software for Mac and PC. It has 2 oscillators and a 100 percent analog signal path on this 4 voice analog synth. This unit is not rack able but its so small and portable that you would not want to rack it, you can pretty much take it anywhere with you. I think it only weighs about a 1 pound and is small enough to fit into any gig bag.
The manual is easy to navigate through and to understand, it comes with a wall power supply too. There are no digital ins or digital outs on this unit it is completely analog. There are also no effects, which it would have been nice to have some on board effects so you wouldn’t have to route it through your DAW to get to them.
It comes with 500 plus presets , some of which are pretty good, and some that are pretty simple and basic. It does have an arpeggiator and a simple MIDI step sequencer. The 4 voice polyphonic synth on the Tetra makes it an amazing value for this unit to cost under 900 dollars. Generally an analog synth with 4 voice polyphonic synth will cost you over a grand easily.
The workflow of the Tetra is pretty cool, it’s a simple layout and easy to work with and to understand. It wont take long for you to understand this unit because all of the knobs are labeled so you can see what you are doing right on the board. The software with PC or Mac’s is pretty cool, but it does not seem to be very stable. I have had it crash on me several times and I kept thinking it was some sort of a driver issue but never really figured it out. My favorite part of the Tetras is that it has a combination mode that allows you to take up to 4 different programs and put them together to get the ultimate sound. It is worth the 850.00 dollars If you ask me.
The Tetra by Dave Smith, this thing is powerful Forget the fact that Dave Smith is responsible for Sequential Circuits Pro One & Pro 5, or the "Father of MIDI" or for the first computer based synthesizer, or the Korg Wavestation.The synths he has been cranking out the past decade have been damned near unbelievable.
The signal path is 100% Analog. What that means is there is no digital conversion of the audio signal path. The oscillators are DCO which stands for Digitally Controlled Oscillators. Even though they are digitally controlled, they are still analog just like the standard VCO's (Voltage Controlled Oscillators).
The difference is DCO's are digitally fired by electronic pulses that drive the oscillator and generate tone, where as VCO's are fired by capacitors, which, over time will not hold a charge as well as it did when it was new and cause the oscillators to drift out of tune and require regular maintenance to keep in tune. This actually gives the Tetra a leg up compared to some other analog synths.
Overall, It's biggest downfall is the interface, but, this is of course what keeps the cost down. On analog synths, the keys can make up a large part of the cost of the synth. But, if you get the SoundTower Editor, it is easy to access all of the features on the computer, which this thing has a ton of! But, if you absolutely need hands on control, just get a DSI Mopho Keyboard Synth and polychain it with the Tetra. Not only do you now have a 5 voice Polyphonic synth, but the Mopho becomes the control surface for the Tetra! The editor has a few bugs, but nothing that you can't work around, and I'm sure this stuff will get ironed out as the product matures. Otherwise, I'm in love. The only thing I'd want more is a keyboard version!
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Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" TOP"
All is said below about the features.
I use it on raw logic while waiting for my compressor and my charisma lexicon fx box.
Grip super simple, everything was super thoughtful congratulations dave smith!
I wanted an opinion mainly left to talk about her, because after hesitating for a long time on the choice of a poly synth I must say that I made the right choice ...
I wanted to make a synth techno (Drumcode / older.8 ...) and this is a killer for this style!
The lead can be both aggressive as well mild, fx are terrible, you can make tablecloths completely twisted and the bass is not bad at all especially thanks to its Arpeg that is doing very well, indeed I ' also have a moog for bass but I prefer some sound in the lower (more accurate but less powerful).
I use it for two days and it is very inspiring, it's simple let me start with my track!
For those who love his broad, strong and not afraid of a little grind their machines I advice you as to the price hard to beat ... I also dropped little by little all my plug gradually and as I invested in analog, then it's a matter of taste I guess, but there's no picture me I prefer 100 times a little synth as tetra vst that all I could have (diva, massive, absynth, impOSCar, Rob Papen ...)
Next purchase a small SH 101 and after I stop!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
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ThisIsTheSky's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Analog synthesizer small table with four voices. Possibility to connect to a second Tetra, a Mopho or Prophet to increase his capacity polyphonic.
The possibilities of synthesis are complex, but the programming architecture is relatively simple for anyone with the knowledge required for analog synthesis. The synthesizer can be programmed directly from its eight knobs board (with submenus sometimes a little difficult to be sure), since a master MIDI control surface with (the solution I use most) or from the publisher software via a programming cable usb.Pour more complex, especially those including step sequences, the computer solution is strongly recommended.
The sound is the Mopho a clear analogue with fat and more polyphony. I used to sample the Mopho to make polyphonic, where the magic happens immediately when you turn the synthesizer. The sound is broad and far richer than most VST / AU, or to synthesize virtual analog synthesis. For me, several plug-ins become instantly obsolete with the synthesizer.
- Analog sound
- The little room he uses studio space in my already saturated
- The complexity of patches that can be programmed
- Unbeatable price!
- Four-voice polyphony (only!) is that you quickly get there
I hesitated a Prophet 08 but the small price of Tetra, the prospects that the synthesizer did not take too much space in my studio attracted me to him. I already have a Mopho and other analog monophonic (Moog Voyager, Novation Bass Station, Evolver). Real analog remain a pleasure, and at this price point and polyphony, frankly, yes I would do this choice. I'm going to probably buy me a second to double the polyphony. I have time ...