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Revolt into style

Quasimidi Technox

Article from The Mix, April 1995

Germany's latest synth


The Quasimidi Technox is a synth module which acknowledges that we don't all want pale imitations of natural sounds and acoustic instruments. Rob Green gets creatively kinky with some anarchic arpeggiation...


Hot on the heels of the Quasar comes Quasimidi's latest brainchild, the Technox. With many of its big brother's features, Technox offers the dance enthusiast a fair selection of acidic basses, dirty 'hardcore' synth pads, and spiritual sweeps. All of these are divided over 16 parts, with added effects, and packaged in a cool, sleek, brushed steel 1U rackmount box.

As with the Quasar, the editing system could be operated by a monkey, except that here, our monkey has to settle for less functions at the touch of a button. This, however is a necessary evil in a cost-effective unit as the Technox. Some more laborious wading through LCD pages is necessary in this case, but in some ways, I think they've actually improved the operating system, making it even more logical.

Overall features



The Technox is very pleasing to look at, combining a DeLorean-type finish with modern graphics in a robust, professional unit. It certainly wouldn't look out of place in any modern studio rack. The LCD screen is perfectly acceptable in size and visibility, and further benefits from back lighting.

On the front panel, going from left to right, we have the power switch, LCD screen, two large knobs for changing sounds and parameter settings, the Edit/OK, Exit and Part/Bank buttons, the volume knob, followed by the headphone jack output. On the back panel we are offered stereo outputs, MIDI In, Out and Thru, and a footswitch socket. Full marks to QuasiMIDI for using a proper Euro connector for power.

Of course, the Technox has half the sounds of its predecessor, therefore cutting down the cost. But Quasimidi have taken some of the strongest dance sounds from the Quasar, and the extra TRE board along with a few new ones – some from the same basic waveforms but edited with filtering, modulation and effects. There are some new drum sounds here too, featuring even more panel-beating kick power. The kick drums on the modular kits will blow your socks off!



"The kick drums on the modular kits will blow your socks off"


The Technox features 21-note polyphony, and like its bigger brother, 16-part multitimbrality, two effects processors and an arpeggiator with portamento. The main differences are its six-Megabyte sample memory (as opposed to the Quasar's eight), 512 ROM patches, and 24 ROM drum sets.

The drums are some of the more striking aspects of the Technox. They seem slightly stronger than those of the Quasar, with some nice velocity-switching effects going on, for example.

Editing



Contrary to the layout of many similar modules, the Technox is incredibly logical to operate. There's no need to decipher any cryptic codes and abbreviations. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is not even necessary to read the manual to get right into the Technox's functions.

Editing couldn't be much simpler, with nine different edit functions on the menu: Edit Common, Edit Part, Edit Drums, Edit FX1, Edit FX2, Edit Arpegg., Edit System, Write/Dump, Play Demo. Edit Common controls global functions such as master volume, while Edit Part can alter the timbral properties, panning, and effect assignment for each individual sound in its part.

Edit Drums is used to change the separate effects sends, the individual panning and volume of the drum sounds, and the effects themselves are edited within the pages of Edit FX1/FX2. The arpeggiator function is controlled (funnily enough) via Edit Arpegg., while global tuning, transpose and MIDI functions are available in Edit System. For straightforward SysEx dumps, look no further than Write/Dump.

Effects menu



The Technox also delivers some quite usable effects, including various types of reverb, delays and modulation. These are laid out for the user in two groups, called FX1 and FX2. FX1 handles the room simulation and delay, with everything from small room to Cathedral, along with some gated versions. The second effects processor performs chorus, phaser, delays, Wah Wah, and EQ. I'm not a great fan of built-in effects, believing that a little extra time and effort in that department will lead to more impressive results, but certainly they are convenient for those working within a strict budget. The effects on the Technox, though, are of a quality and variety sufficient to guarantee their use even with those who have dedicated units.

Verdict



As a unit, the Technox looks somewhat better than its larger predecessor. The surface is tougher, it's more compact, and the overall look is more 'sexy'. As I mentioned in my Quasar article last year, it's a shame that there aren't more editing possibilities for the sounds themselves. We are basically limited to cut-off frequency, tuning, and effects to alter the voices. However, most of the sounds are interesting enough in themselves, and there is such a selection that you would be hard pressed to run out of adequate voices for modern dance tunes.

In general, I have to say that I like this machine – it represents pretty good value for money, and provides a reliable base on which to build techno, house and ambient sounds. Of course, even when you expand to an arsenal of samplers, analogue synths, and effects racks, the Technox will still have its place. When used in performance mode, the voices have even greater possibilities, providing a very agreeable sound source in a professional multi-unit setup.

The essentials...

Price inc VAT: £749
More from: Key Audio Systems, (Contact Details)


Spec check

Polyphony 21 note
Multitimbrality 16 Part
Memory 6 Meg
ROM Patches 512
ROM Drum Sets 24
Effects Two built-in effects
Arpeggiator Yes
Size 1U rackmount


On the RE:MIX CD

A storming demo of the Technox synth on this month's cover CD, courtesy of staff writer Rob Green



Previous Article in this issue

Hair raiser

Next article in this issue

Clean machine


Publisher: The Mix - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
More details on copyright ownership...

 

The Mix - Apr 1995

Donated by: Colin Potter

Coverdisc: Chris Needham

Control Room

Gear in this article:

Synthesizer Module > Quasimidi > Technox


Gear Tags:

Digital Synth
Polysynth

Re:Mix #10 Tracklisting:

17 Technox - Rob Green


This disk has been archived in full and disk images and further downloads are available at Archive.org - Re:Mix #10.

Review by Rob Green

Previous article in this issue:

> Hair raiser

Next article in this issue:

> Clean machine


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