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Future Retro Revolution R2


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Future Retro Revolution R2

Category:  Products / synthesisers / analog synthesisers

Added: 22-Jan-08  |  Author: admin

New price: 798.00 Euros - 582.53 GBP  |   S/H price: Not listed

Future Retro Revolution R2

FutureRetro REVOLUTION R2, 303 clone Synthesizer with Stepsequencer, OSCILLATOR WAVEFORM SELECT: Sawtooth, Square wave, TUNE CONTROL: +/- 1 semitone, FILTER: 3 pole, 18db lowpass resonant filter, CUTOFF: Filter frequency, RESONANCE: Amount control, CV MOD: Amount of filter modulation, ENVELOPE: Amount control for modulating filter, ENV DECAY: Envelope decay time for filter, ACCENT: Amount of signal to modulate the filter and amplifier, ACC DECAY: Accent decay time, VOLUME: Master/headphone output level control, OVERDRIVE SWITCH: Off/on. 16 preset 24 bit stereo effects, NUMBER OF Sequencer PATTERNS: 256 patterns (16 banks x 16 patterns each) x 16 patterns. MIDI IN/THRU/OUT, DIN SYNC OUT, 1/4" JACKS, V/OCT CV OUT, +12v GATE OUT, CV IN (for modulating the filter cutoff frequency), AUDIO IN, STEREO HEADPHONE OUTPUT, STEREO MASTER OUTPUT, WEIGHT 2,3kg.

The new R2 unit, designated by the gun metal grey chassis, has an updated PC board design using a new RAM chip which extends the internal back up battery life from approximately 1.5 years on previous white faced units to now more than 10 years life span. In addition the R2 units include OS version 2.0 making it more compatible for use with our XS semi-modular synthesizer.

The Revolution is our latest concept synthesizer providing an intuitive interface which we feel most accurately represents the principles of time and music. From ancient sundials to modern day analog clocks, time has been represented as the circle, a cycle which never ends. For time itself is nothing more than our perception of the revolution of planets as they journey through their celestial orbit. It is this motion we call time which can be measured, divided, and arranged to provide the foundation of music. This circular cyclic theme can furthermore be found throughout music in everything from song structure, and repeating rhythms, to the fundamentals of sound itself, being the sine wave. With this understanding we must conclude that music is cyclic, and should so be represented in its natural form.

And so it is... the Revolution

A true analog monophonic synthesizer with an easy to use step-based digital sequencer, analog and DSP effects processing, and various interfacing for controlling MIDI, CV/Gate, and Din Sync devices.

Continuing in our tradition of building quality products, this unit is housed in a rugged aluminum chassis, with aluminum side panels, high contrast white on gun metal grey finish for superior viewing of controls in dark environments, and topped off with bright blue LEDs all around.

Let's start with the sequencer...

As you can see, the sequencers interface is now circular which has several benefits over the traditional linear style step sequencers. Visually it is easier to divide a measure of music into equal parts. It also provides a more intuitive way of displaying patterns playing as cyclic loops, either forwards or reverse, and will help you better understand the underlying geometric symmetries used throughout our Remixing process. This design also allows the user to carry out all sequencing functions with a single hand.

There are 256 recordable patterns available. Each recording note duration, pitch, accent , glide, loop point, time signature, and swing amount. Pattern editing features include copy/paste, pattern shifting, pattern transposing, multiple pattern cueing for chaining patterns together live, and LED chase. In addition, all pattern editing and recording can be done while the sequencer is running, and it will automatically save all your edits so you don't have to stop creating!

The Revolution also provides the ability to play patterns forwards or backwards, and remotely select patterns to play using MIDI program change messages.

There are 16 songs to arrange the patterns in, each recording its tempo, the bank/pattern for each step, the transposition of each step, and the song's loop point. Each of the 16 songs contains up to 3580 measures, and multiple songs may be chained together so they play sequentially.

In addition, the Revolution provides our unique Remix feature which provides 256 variations for every pattern and song, for more than 65,000 possible patterns right out of the box. Whether your improvising during a live set, creating variations for other parts of a song, or simply have a case of writers block, our Remix feature is sure to inspire you and speed up your creative process.

The analog section...

The Revolution uses true analog synthesis throughout its entire sound engine. Only the DSP effects are digital, and if these are bypassed the signal remains true analog through every stage right to the output. We've gone to great lengths to ensure that the Revolution is fully capable of the most accurate replication of the original TB303's sound, and in many ways surpasses its signature liquid tones and capabilities.

The Revolution has a new oscillator design which provides superior note tracking and temperature stability, as well as providing the exact same waveforms found in the original TB303. The revolution also provides the correct 3 pole filter design, gated amplifer, accent and glide circuits which are all crucial to the TB303's sound. In addition to the original controls of the TB303, the Revolution also has a CV Modulation amount control which allows the filter's cutoff frequency to track either the internal control voltages generated by the Revolution's sequencer, or external control voltages may also be applied to modulate the filter. You may also notice that there is now an Accent Decay time control for varying the duration of filter and amplifier modulations by the accent circuit. This control provides everything from tight zap-like accents to much longer sweeps of the filter resulting in a very funky sound. All in all it's one tricked out acid machine for creating everything from warm deep basses, silky smooth liquid chirps and bleeps, to the more aggressive ripping overdriven lead sounds.

The effects...

The Revolution uses both analog and digital effects to process its sound. The overdrive stage is true analog and can be activated by a switch on the rear panel. The overdrive stage is a dynamic process related directly to the filter's resonance amount, so that as the resonance is increased, so is the overall gain of the overdrive section. This preserves the shape of the oscillator's waveform at lower resonance levels instead of just clipping them into a square waveform as a typical distortion stage would. This also provides a much smoother transition from the original bubbly liquid sound, into those ripping lead sounds more common in todays electronic music.

The DSP section provides true 24 bit stereo effects processing, arranged as 16 preset effect which include: chorus/room1 and 2, delay 1 and 2, chorus, flange, plates 1, 2 and 3, rooms 1, 2, and 3, halls 1 and 2, rotary speaker, and a low pass muffler. In addition, wet/dry controls are provided for both left and right output channels. These controls can be used to help place the sound within the stereo field, or create two different mixes of wet/dry amount.


Although the Revolution's analog signal is mono, the DSP effects do provide movement through the stereo sound field, and appropriately we have provided a stereo master output, as well as a stereo headphone output using standard 1/4" jacks.

Also provided are separate 1/4" jacks for both CV out (1v/oct standard), and Gate out (positive type, 0 to +12v) for playing other analog equipment using the Revolution's sequencer. Or if you prefer, the Revolution can act as a MIDI to CV converter when it is not playing its internal patterns.

1/4" jacks are also provided for CV in to modulate the filter's cutoff frequency with external control voltages, and Audio in for processing external sounds through the Revolutions filter, amplifier, overdrive and DSP effects sections. The Audio in jack can sum the external signal with the internal oscillators, or completely override the oscillator signal so that just the external sound is processed.

Here's where things get even more interesting... by connecting these outputs and inputs in various ways other sounds are possible without any additional equipment. For instance you can route the signal from the headphone output back to modulate the filter's cutoff for some unusual self modulation effects. Or route the output back into the Audio input, which can produce everything from self resonant sounds, to bizarre feedback loops, and remember the effects section are included in this processing chain.

MIDI In/Thru/Out are all provided for syncing playback with external sequencers, playing MIDI sound modules, or having external sequencers or MIDI keyboard controllers play the Revolution's analog section.

Din Sync out is included for syncing up the playback of the early Roland TR and TB type devices to todays MIDI sequencers.

Product Manuals or Files

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Product Resources

User Comments

Last added comment

Product:  Future Retro - Revolution R2
Name: T Price
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 16-Dec-12

This is a seriously powerful and under-appreciated instrument. It has a lot of
useful features found on few other 303 emulations that set it apart and make
it a handy tool and a ton of fun to use.

The most obvious feature is the round sequencer with the bright blue led
display in the center. The display is only 4 digits, but it gets the job done
and looks very cool. The circular interface is easy to use and lets you setup
sequences of up to 16 steps. They can be edited, shifted, transposed,
reversed and scrambled using the remix feature, all in realtime.

My favorite and most-used features are the overdrive, selectable
triangle/square waveforms and remix feature. By using remix along with the
reverse function, you can easily create evolving, musical tracks on the fly.
It's an inspiring, fun machine to play with and it invites hands-on exploration.
I even use the CV/Gate outputs to control my Moog Voyager XL. The only
thing that invites criticism is the effects section, which is not very useful and
would not be missed IMHO. Other cool features that more than make up for
the weak effects include Filter CV Input , External Filter Input and DIN Sync

I have a lot of keyboards (20+) and the Revolution truly is a unique part of my
rig. I use it more often than almost any other synth I own and would hate to
give it up. Now that they're no longer in production, I'm sure they will
become a classic. Mine is built like a tank and I've never had any problems.
Every button and knob is rock-solid. Oh, and it sounds absolutely great -
very close to the original.

I think Jared is an inspired young synth designer and I can't wait to see what
he comes up with next. Chances are I'll buy it.

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