SoundForce SFC-60 V3, the boutique MIDI controller for Juno-60/106 emulations just got a third version with a revised design and better U-NO-LX integration
The discussion hardware vs. software synthesizers goes on forever. For me, they are both sound tools that you can work with right away. Hard or soft, both make a variety of sounds. Where they differ, however, are the haptics. Either you play with a real Synthesizer instrument where you have all the functions of your finger or you use the unsexy mouse or generic MIDI controller to control parameters. Even if software synths are considered as more powerful than “real” instruments, the point here goes to the hardware.
In the meantime, however, there are boutique MIDI controllers that have moved away from classic monotonous colors and are specially developed for soft synths. Of course, no sound comes out of these units, but they give mainly users a better haptic feeling for a soft synth. SoundForce from the Netherlands, for example, has a beautiful range of MIDI controllers that almost look like real synths.
The Juno-60 or Jupiter 8 controllers both could be in a parallel world the real boutique synthesizers from Roland. Joke beside, the SFC-60 has now received a huge update with new features, design & more
SoundForce SFC-60 V3
The SFC-60 is both a classic USB-MIDI controller for hardware/software but also a hands-on editor for TAL’s lovely Juno-60 emulation U-NO-LX. Besides many software integration updates, it has a redesigned case that arose from great teamwork with other boutique European developers. Graward from Poland manufactures the enclosure which is made of 100% sheet metal. Rob Gould of Gouldcaseworks from the Netherlands is responsible for the Walnut wood side panels.
Nicolas from SF teamed up with Patrick from TAL-Software. They have developed exclusive features that improve the user experience and the hard/soft integration.
Collaboration With TAL Software
For example, all the LED-based physical switches update their states when a preset is changed in the plugin. The same applies if you switch instances on different tracks. The plugin can sync the controller and update the switch as well. Jumping parameters are a thing of the past. The SFC-60 comes with pick-up or scaling modes for the sliders/faders that avoids annoying “jumping” parameters. It is inspired by the takeover modes in Ableton Live.
The controller also works with the new JUN-6V from Arturia or the DCO-106 from Cherry Audio. But not as perfect and optimized as the TAL plugin. Important to add: there is only MIDI via USB, not a real MIDI interface. This is mainly because the controller focuses on plugins and less on hardware.
SFC-8 (Jupiter 8) News
During the Superbooth 20 HE, Nicolas also showed a promising Jupiter 8 controller (SFC-8) for the Arturia Jup-8V and Roland Cloud Jupiter-8. The controller is late due to the current global situation and will hit stores in 2021. The developer also wants to make sure that everything also works with the new Jup-8V4.
If you want to know more about this and about Soundforce, here is an interview from the SB20 HE
SoundForce SFC-60 V3 is available for 349€ incl VAT in the EU and 288€ for customers outside the EU. In the US, Perfect Circuit is distributing the full SoundForce product line.
More information here: Soundforce