At SynthFest France 2021 the French Boutique developer unveiled the Big Ancestor, a new 3-oscillator analog Synthesizer available either with an ARP or Moog core.
Synthesizer fairs, currently virtual ones, are nice, cozy events for fans by fans where even small Boutique manufacturers get the opportunity to present their instruments. These are often overshadowed by the big players as they have other financial resources to promote their latest product releases on social media. Without money, you won’t get very far on Facebook and co these days. Also as a media website.
Back to the positive. The Synthesizer trade fairs season 2021 starts today with the SynthFest France 2021. Once again in virtual form with many video releases. Here the French boutique manufacturer NRSynth presets the Big Ancestor.
The Big Ancestor is a classic analog mono Synthesizer packed with tons of features. But before we deal with the new release for SynthFest 2021, we have to briefly highlight the Ancestor where many of the features of the Big Ancestor come from.
Ancestor is a fully analog 3 VCO mono Synthesizer that is based on circuits from synthesizers from the 1970s. There are two different versions. One with recreated/cloned Minimoog circuits that use 3 (921) VCOs, CP3 mixer, a ladder filter, VCA, and the ADS envelope. Another one features revived ARP 2600 circuits with 3 (4027-1) VCOs, VCF (4012, 4023, or 4072 possible), (4019) VCA, and two ultra-fast ADSR envelopes.
In addition to the envelopes that come from the cloned circuits, both synths also have other modulators. These are the same in both versions. You get a single LFO with 8 waveforms and a sample & hold generator, both synchronizable. The built-in switch-based modulation matrix with sources & destinations takes care of the routings. The modulation can be created in a flash, even without a patch cable.
Ancestor supports MIDI with control of the wheel and velocity. Plus you get numerous I/Os that allow you to connect it to other devices. The modulation can be created in a flash, even without a patch cable.
NRSynth Big Ancestor
The Big Ancestor takes everything from the Ancestor but in a much-expanded form. It is also available in a Moog and ARP version. It starts with a new 2dB multimode filter (LPF, HPF, BP, notch) which can run in series or parallel to the actual Moog or ARP filter. A sine-based wavefolder brings new harmonics and timbres to the entire synth. Perfect for building sounds that are more than just classic analog.
The XXL version also includes a second fully analog non-synchronizable LFO with multiple waves and two different frequency ranges. Then, you get a dedicated envelope that only detunes the attack of the sounds. Thus, you can re-create wind instruments or make add a different flavor to sequences. Further, it comes with a clock divider, expression pedal input with support for the Moog EP-3, and more I/O.
The latter looks modular but they aren’t. These give you direct access to the VCOs, filters, modulation outputs, clock dividers… good for integrating the synth into other setups. The Big Ancestor is not semi-modular and therefore not a patch matrix either.
Big Ancestor Demo
The video demonstration from SynthFest France 2021 will premier at 9:30 CEST (06/06/2021)
Ancestor and Big Ancestor are two very massive synthesizers. Not only is the look great, but also the sound. I find the approach chosen by the developer for cloning the Moog Minimoog and ARP 2600 interesting. Not a 1 to 1 clone but Stephen, the developer put the circuits in a new Synthesizer that is nothing to do with the original. Similar to what Studio Electronics does with its synths.
NRSynth Big Ancestor is available now on-demand for 2850€, the Ancestor for 2200€.
More information here: NRSynth