Sonic LAB: Make Noise Strega Review

US Unique desktop instrument      26/03/21

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The result of a collaboration between Make Noise and Alessandro Cortini - who also collaborates with Trent Resnor and NiN as well as being a highly successful artist in his own right, with a large and impressive collection majoring on Buchla instruments.

What we have here is a desktop unit in the form of the 0-Coast and 0-Cntrl. 

As it is essentially from inside the head of Cortini, some of the terminology used is unfamiliar - the Tonic, is a semi-complex oscillator with Triangle, Saw, Square with sub and  wave folding controlled with a dedicated knob (Tone). Voltage control is available for pitch modulation and Tone.

There is also a separate Triangle output and super low frequency (we guessed -5 octaves) output

Activation what I would describe as the VCA for the oscillator and has CV control, initial level plus an random voltage input for random level.

All this then goes into the analog delay which is based on a karaoke chip with wide control over time from extremely low grungy almost noise only to a pingy short delay. Decay is essentially feedback and has CV control as well. You also get attenuverter mod input for time, a full range control input and a third time mod input normalised from the sub oscillator output.

There's a filter in the feedback path which sounds like a 2-pole with no resonance, plus you also get CV control of the filter frequency (normalised from the function generator).

Speaking of which, the function generator is a cycling type with variable wave ramp(ish) through triangle(ish) and back to saw(ish). You can also send it a trigger for a single cycle envelope. Range is pretty wide and can generate tones, though sadly CV control is not scaled and cannot be used with a CV input to play actual meaningful notes.

It's an interesting instrument, with a real penchant for atmospheric and grungy delay based sounds. Really lovely and also dirty sounds are very vibey. It's a shame the filter routing is not more flexible, as you can only use it post delay.

It's designed to be an Alessandro thing, and it does that well and has plenty of character in doing that, I like it, but it does feel a little expensive at £529/$599. However as a complete instrument it certainly has plenty of appeal, assuming thats sound world you are looking for, it's well worth a look.

Available now from Make Noise stockists


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