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In-depth Feature:  Future Retro 777
Albert Potts writes: .

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No, there is no "impressions" knob, but that's about the only knob missing.

I come from a polyphonic digital synth/sampler background, so reviewing a monophonic analog synth was a bit of a learning experience for me. The last time I spent serious time with a monophonic synth was on a huge old Moog at college, where we used patch cords to create the sounds. In addition, I didn't have a TB-303 available to make direct comparisons with the FR-777, so for those of you looking for 303 type sounds I can't state with complete certainty how they compare sonically. Pretty close but not exact is how I'd best put it. However, I have played with other 303 emulators a bit, and the FR-777 offers up more features and capabilities than any I have seen to date, although I certainly haven't used them all. There is plenty of programming power in the FR-777, and I was able to get a wide range of sounds from it. To my ears, the FR-777 has an aggressive personality (in a good way). I was able to get straight ahead analog bass sounds, and also create a huge variety of outlandish chirps, bleeps and other oddities. I could also see the FR-777 being used to create lead sounds that really cut. The Shape, Slope, and CV Type controls are wonderful and have a huge effect on the sounds. In particular, I was quite fond of the 3 Pole and 7 Pole filters.

The audio output is clean and loud, no problems getting enough level from this instrument. I also want to comment again on the sturdy aluminium construction of the FR-777, and the lovely wooden end pieces. Obvious care has gone into constructing this unit, and I've had far more expensive items from big name manufacturers arrive at my studio with less attention to detail as far as build quality. Kudos to Future-Retro for the quality control. One area where there is some slight room for improvement is the manual. It is actually quite well written and educational, but it could use a little more proof-reading and a few minor corrections. I'm really getting into nit-picking now, which shows you how well Future-Retro has done, but I also would have loved a pull out sheet with the face of the instrument on it, for reference while reading the manual. There is one in the manual, so a quick trip to the copy shop would fix this, but I found myself flipping back and forth to the page with the front panel diagram quite often. One other request I have is for Future-Retro to provide a few additional patch sheets with example patches. This would be unnecessary for anyone with a lot of experience with monophonic analog synths, but for anyone relatively new to this kind of synthesis, a few extra patch sheets would go a long way toward understanding the capabilities of the unit.

The FR-777 is an excellent TB-303 emulator that goes far beyond the 303. Anyone looking for 303 sounds and beyond would do well to consider the FR-777

The FR-777 costs $777 US (what else!) plus shipping and can be ordered from the Future Retro WWW site

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Future Retro WWW
  • 7-pole filter in action
  • Complete track with only 777 sounds
  • FR 777@synthsite
  • Lager 777 image

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    Vidar Johansen    Said...

    OK. AWESOME! Kind of limited in one way, but if you learn to use it right it´s one of the most exciting monosynths you can come across. There are wild smoothness in the filter/modulation section and it has a few functions which I have never seen in any other analogue synth, maybe best comparable to mks-80/jupiter´s X-MOD. Its solid stuff, and you get even more surprised when you discover the "hidden" soundshaping possibilities it has. I can tell ya, I had a bass-loop going and suddenly i found the spots and got THAT INSANELY FAT groove and by twisting the cutoff knob up and down in sync with the loop, the coolest bassdrum (accent) came out of it. Lovely!

    16-Feb-08 10:28 PM

    ali    Said...

    i need lvl up 50

    03-Aug-08 02:04 PM

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