(Originally written by Guillaume35/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
- Velocity-sensitive 6-octave keyboard without aftertouch.
- Pitch bend, mod wheel
- Stereo + headphone outputs, patch recording input/output, sustain pedal and program up jacks
- Midi In/Out/Through Midi split option
- Proprietary input for Akai sampler
The unit is an analog, monotimbral synthesizer with one VCO and 6-voice polyphony.
- VCO: saw, pulse, triangle, saw+triangle, PWM for all wave forms
- Low-pass filter with HPF
- LFO: saw 1 and 2, pulse, triangle, random destination: VCO, VCA, VCF
- 2 envelopes for VCA and VCF. You can use the same envelope for both. The second envelope can be used to control the VCO's height.
- Dual mode chorus
- 3 modes: poly (max polyphony), dual (2 voices per note) and unison (6 voices per note) with detune
- 100 presets
The control panel is quite simple: it has a numeric keypad and two sliders, one for volume control and the other for editing.
The editing layout uses submenus. Although the unit has no rotary controls, editing is fast because of the simplicity of the synthesis architecture (one VCO), the direct access to each parameter, and the edit slider that allows you to step the values extremely fast.
The pitch wheel can be used to control the pitch and/or the filter cut-off (with adjustable intensity), which is particularly interesting since the unit has no rotary controls. The modulation wheel controls the LFO modulation depth.
It's very easy to learn how to use the AX73.
It's the only analog synth with VCO I own so I can only compare it with a Roland Roland JX-10 with DCO. The bass response of the AX73 surprised me, especially in unison mode and even without detuning. The tuning and timbre imprecision provided by the VCO is wonderful, but you'll have to use the autotune and the small fine tune control on the rear panel to tune the synth to other instruments.
The chorus sounds warm but, to be totally honest, you won't need it to get a good sound.
You can create good pad sounds but that isn't this synth's main use. The attack of the lead sounds isn't as percussive as with digital units.
The white noise allows you to create nice effects. It's independent of the VCO so it's possible to play with the balance VCO/noise + sampler.
I like the PWM function. With speed set to 0, it allows you to change the wave form of the VCO.
I've been using this instrument for 2 months. I bought it broken on ebay for next to nothing because the description given by the vendor led me to think it was only an internal battery problem, and it was!
The AX73 complements my bass and effects rig which I control with a Midi footcontroller.
The synthesis architecture is pretty basic since it only has one VCO, but the dual and unison modes provide rich possibilities where only one VCO can replace several DCO!
It has enough storage capacity (100 presets) and you also have the possibility to export audio files.
This synthesizer is pretty rare, interesting for its sound quality (especially the bass sounds) and for its VCO. It's an affordable instrument. I bought it really cheap and even though I had to service it (batteries, battery slots, autotune switch, one broken switch and keypad contact) it was a very good deal which I don't regret.
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Cripur's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
6-octave keyboard velocity sensitive, no aftertouch
Pitch-bend, mod wheel
Stereo Headset +-Output, Input / Output for recording on audio tape patches, sustain pedal, pedal up program,
Midi In / Out / Through noon with possibility of split
Entry for owner-sampler Akai
This is an analog synthesizer with VCO (one), monotimbral, polyphonic voice 6
-VCO: saw, pulse, triangle, triangle, saw +, presence of PWM for all waveforms
-Low-pass filter with HPF
-LFO: saw 1 and 2, pulse, triangle, random destination: VCO, VCA, VCF
-2 Envelopes for the VCA and VCF. The same envelope can be used for 2. The envelope 2 can be used to control the height of the VCO
-3 Modes: poly (polyphony max), dual (two voices per note) and Unison (6 voices per note) with detune
The control panel is simple and is limited to buttons of type "numeric" with two faders, one for volume control and the other for editing.
Editing is done by sub-menus, it has unfortunately not blessed with lots of knobs which is obviously bad, but the edition has the advantage of being fast on both the relative simplicity of synthesis scheme (a VCO), the ability to access by shortcut to each of the parameters and especially the fader editing, which allows you to scroll the values at breakneck speed.
The pitch wheel is used to control the pitch and / or filter cut-off (with a dimmable) which is particularly interesting in light of the absence of knobs. The mod wheel controls the depth of the modulation by the LFO.
The AX73 is taken in hand very quickly.
This is my only analog VCO, my point of comparison is the Roland JX-10 to COD. The AX73 was surprised by the strength of its low, especially in unison mode without even touching the detune. The imprecision in the patch and the height afforded by the VCO is tasty though to agree with other synthesizers must be used autotune and the small knob to Fine Tune on the back of the instrument.
The chorus is warm, and fortunately not necessary for the instrument "sounds".
Can be drawn from groundwater is not suitable but the main use we can make. The leads are not as powerful an attack on the digital unfortunately.
White noise can draw some nice effects. It is separated from the VCO so that it is possible to play on scale VCO / Noise + Sampler.
I like the presence of PWM, when the speed is set to 0 it can "distort" the waveform of the VCO so highly appreciated.
Finally the velocity of the keyboard is assigned to the volume control but it is also possible to set the cutoff frequency of the filter.
I use this instrument for 2 months. In fact, I bought it down on e-bay for 60 €, was described by the salesman reminded me a problem with internal battery, which proved to be accurate at the reception.
The AX73 is in addition to my set for bass and sound effects, including controlled via a foot pedal south.
The synthetic scheme is simple with a single VCO, but the dual mode and harmony overcomes this simplicity and richness, the thickness of a single VCO is far more COD!
A wide backup space (100 presets) is offered with the ability to export audio files for storage.
This is a synthesizer uncommon, interesting for its sound quality especially for low and by the presence of VCO, whose value is very affordable. Given the price I bought it after some minor repairs (batteries, battery holder, push-button autotune to replace a broken key keyboard and touch to change) I did a very good deal that I regret obviously not.