Pioneer DJ TORAIZ AS-1 Desktop Analog Synthesizer Review!

TORAIZ AS-1 Synthesizer PC/MAC editor 

A lot of modern Synthesizers exists but most of them don’t ship with an editor for managing the sounds. That’s different here. Each customer can download a well-readable and editable software editor for the AS-1 for free.

The editor not only gives you access to all available parameters but also offers you a nice way to edit the sequencers and to manage the presets. A very handy feature in m opinion which one seldom sees in this price range because often you must invest some more money in a third party editor. In the video below, you can see the editor in action.

Verdict

On the whole, Pioneer DJ has developed a beautiful monophonic analog Synthesizer together with Dave Smith Instruments. One of the biggest positive points of this machine is its precious sound quality. It possesses the same noble and fat sounding engine than the Prophet 6. If you love the sound character of the P6, you will love for sure also the AS-1 Synthesizer by Pioneer DJ. Even if the synthesis structure is very classical oriented, the sound design possibilities are big for such a compact machine. Excellent sounding effects like different types of chorus, delay, a new design distortion, ring modulation and more expand even more the sound spectrum of the AS-1. The selection of interesting effects makes the AS-1 more exciting than other monophonic synths without onboard effects. These give musicians a bigger sound palette. If you are not so deep in sound design, no problem at all. The AS-1 includes 495 high-quality factory sounds which fit in every kind of music production. Here I have to say that the presets are excellently designed and almost all can be used for composting.

Likewise positive to see for me the intuitive and easy to use arpeggiator and the 64 step sequencer. The sequencer is very live-oriented designed and works perfectly on the stage. Also on the favorable part to mention is the good playable touchpad style keyboard which doesn’t represent an obstacle. Also excellent is the free accessible third-party synth engine editor. The build quality is excellent and very solid. The knobs come with a perfect surface feeling, an excellent grip and don’t feel cheap. Last but not least, for me positive to see is also the simple FX On/Off button the synth that allows to quickly switch off /on the effects section of the synth.

On the negative or improvement side, the AS-1 lacks a more advanced step sequencer with more creative features like motion recording. The few available knobs on the front of the instrument are also for many users not perfect and split the opinions of the users. If you are a synth enthusiast who loves a lot of knobs and a knob per parameter structure, the AS-1 is the wrong synth for you. During my tests, a serious problem existed with the syncing. If you switch a factory sound to another one, the AS-1 falls out of the synth. It’s for sure something which can be improved with a firmware update. My review is already longer than so I hope they fixed in the meantime.

In short: the AS-1 is a fantastic sounding analog monophonic Synthesizer with clever features and some minor negative points. But for whom is the AS-1 the perfect synth? From my point of view, users with an experimental music vain will not be happy with this device because it doesn’t offer such crazy features like the Monologue from KORG: I think, the AS-1 is the perfect synth for musicians who always loved the sound character of the Prophet 6 but can’t afford it. If you are always looking for a Prophet 6 for your bass and lead sounds than consider the AS-1 Synth from Pioneer DJ. Same big sound, only some knob, mono and on the device is written Pioneer DJ but inside it’s a Dave Smith Synthesizer.  If you don’t have a problem with these points, the AS-1 is a perfect synth for you.

Can the AS-1 be compared with other mono Synthesizers on the market? I would say no because I don’t know any mono synth on the market for this price point with such big sound quality. Sure there are other mono synths for less money with also a great sound quality and good features but when I compare the AS-1 with the Monologue from KORG or the Microbrute /Minibrute from Arturia, the AS-1 is for me the winner because the sounds are fatter and nobler.

More information here: Pioneer DJ TORAIZ AS-1 Synthesizer

Hardware Synthesizer Reviews

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