MATRIXSYNTH: Revisiting the Futuresonus Parva

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Revisiting the Futuresonus Parva


Published on Sep 8, 2019 ProckGnosis

"We're revisiting the Futuresonus Parva after last playing with it almost 3 years ago. The firmware for the OS and the voice cards has been updated a few times since then, and now at v0.7, it appears (according to some feedback from online forums) that it might not be getting any more updates.

I like the way it sounds quite a bit, and the intent of this video was to highlight how good it can sound, but it's far from a smooth operating, problem-free synth. There are still some common problems multiple units still have, and then individual units seem to suffer from varying problems too. I'm pretty lucky that mine operates fairly well under basic operating conditions. With a great mod matrix, lots of source and destination modulations, 4 LFOs, and 4 envelopes (all 4 assignable to whatever mod), it's also fairly programmable (the menu diving doesn't slow it down too much). Add to that, it's MPE-capable, so it's pretty playable too (as long as all your voice cards are working fairly well).

You'll hear over the course of the video, the oscillators or filters started adding a slight buzz beyond the normal over driving of the filter. Though that slight additional buzz can sound cool under some circumstances, it's better to be able to control when that happens. Usually doing a reboot of Parva and calibrating the filters fixes any problems like that, that can develop. There's no excessive buzzing during the filter sweeps in the video because that was recorded the following day, after I had powered the Parva off and on.

As mentioned in the video, supposedly Brad (the creator of the Parva) has moved on to other projects, which is unfortunate. It would have been great if similar to how the Exodus Valkyrie synth was adopted by Waldorf (and rebranded Kyra), the Parva had been picked up by a more established company and supported/developed into a full-up, finished product. Hopefully whatever new project he's involved with will be able pick up where this left off.

I had a blast programming it the last week, so if I come up with even more interesting patches or if there IS another firmware update, I'll likely do another video."

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