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  Neptune At a Glance
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arrowUser rating: 5.0/5 |  Read reviews (1)
spectralab ( writes:
I'm quite pleased with mine. It works well under CV/Gate control, though I haven't tried it as a MIDI-CV converter yet... it's definitely more on the aggressive side sound-wise, great for sound effects, ripping leads and basslines. And with the external input, it's kind of like buying a synth and an analog effects unit all in one. You can run external signals through the filter and the Distortion/Fuzzer circuit, as well as Ring Modulate your external source against the Neptune's Osc. 1... the LFO does as it should and has seperate assignments to each of the two Oscillators and the Filter (in any combination you wish). The LFO also doubles as a Sub-Oscillator, which can reach down to the 64' octave for some nasty rumble. Sync between Osc's 1 and 2 is great...

A few drawbacks: Osc 1 has no octave switch and appears to be fixed at the 8' octave setting. This can make for some nasty sync sounds when Osc 2 is set at the 32' octave, but it's a shame both Oscillators don't have the same octave range. The Sub-Oscillator can step in to do the job, but then you lose LFO capabilities and can't ring mod it. Filter key-tracking is fixed at 100%, which is kind of a drag. It works for most sounds, but the timbral possibilities would be greater if this were an only an optional limitation and not an imposed one. Those are my only complaints.

Generally, I like this unit. Analog gear in my rig consists of an Oberheim Matrix 6R, a Roland JX-8P, an Akai VX-90 and the Neptune. The Matrix and JX are both great pad machines and, incidentally, both DCO based. The VX-90 is a rip-your-head-off machine most of the time, though capable of some subtler sounds as well. The Neptune evens the playing field for me in terms of VCO vs. DCO. It's definitely more on the aggressive side tonally, but it rounds out my analog rig nicely. If it were good at pads, it would become redundant!

Now I'll have to go home and try assigning the LFO to VCO 2, with VCO 2 as the mod source for the LFO, and see what kind of madness ensues 8 )

Comments About the Sounds:
Well, it's a true-VCO monosynth. It has some cool features which can be activated through MIDI program change messages... for example, you can set it to emulate the

(Thanks to spectralab for this info.)
and Burster1 for the pic

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