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Thursday, January 26, 2017
Pioneer DSI Toraiz AS1 Demo by INHALT
Published on Jan 26, 2017 INHALTVIDEO
"When Dave Smith Instruments approached us to do sound design for a new compact synthesizer, we weren't really sure what to expect. It had been several years since the Mopho had come out, and we had used one to full effect as a touring bass machine, so we need it was going to be loud, fully functional, and easy to gig with. However, we did not expect the varied sonic palette that comes with the Toraiz AS-1. During our time working on the factory banks and sequences, we had a chance to listen to the synth on many different sound systems, and the constant descriptor that came to mind was "Pro One". We've essentially concluded that the AS1 is the modern day Pro One. It has the distinct drive and loudness associated with the high headroom of the mono synth and the tone colour has that charismatic dryness associated with the "One".
The sequencer present here is far more comprehensive than that of the Pro One, but nonetheless, just like the older, bigger brother, it oozes Electronic Body Music unlike anything else. The feel and movement present with straight 16ths playing back on the low end gives the speakers an expected workout but without sacrificing that all important low mid. Far too many modern synthesizers accentuate the low bass and the top end but usually leave the mid range (especially the low mids) either thin or almost nonexistent. Not so with the AS1. The mid range is completely present and this midrange is critical to achieving the signature bass line sounds that the Pro One does so effortlessly.
From a feature standpoint, the little metal box is fully stacked. Everything architecturally from the flagship Prophet 6 has been ported over and the only exception is a slimmer fx section. However, considering that the preoccupation with the AS1 will be basslines and sequences, we didn't feel left out despite the fact that the FX engine is slimmer.
Please take a listen on a quality set of headphones or studio monitors. The low end is very present here and many of the sounds in the demo emphasize basslines, so you'll need something that can transmit the low end. Computer speakers just don't do this synth justice. We definitely feel like Pioneer has an absolute winner with this little box and after wrapping the sound design, we gave the unit back with much hesitation as it was leading to song ideas and inspiration non-stop!"