Erica Synths’ SYNTRX II is more modern and affordable

In 2020 Erica Synths released an ode to the legendary A. That wasn’t what you call practical. It was big, niche, and quite expensive at around $ 3,000. But I wasn’t shy about it and turned it upside down. Today, Erica adopts the same core concept and adds a unique twist to the SYNTRX II instrument. In addition, we are reducing the price to a more reasonable $ 2,179.

The unique 16×16 is still here, as well as the trio of oscillators (one of which is specifically tuned for modulation) and the joystick. However, this time you can record joystick movements for onboard sequences and modulations. There’s also a ring modulator, and if it’s something like the original, it should be surprisingly musical. In addition, there are multi-color noise generators, trapezoidal envelope generators, and even analog VU meters.

SYNTRX and SYNTRX II are, of course, similar rather than different. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some significant updates. For one thing, they are very visually distinctive. The original retains the same basic layout and cream aesthetic as the EMS inspiration, but the SYNTRX II is a darker case of throwing away the speakers and oversized tuning knobs for a more monolithic look.

I miss those tuning knobs. They were a pure pleasure to use. But it’s a little sad to see Spring Reverb get the boots. Instead, Erica Synths includes DSP-based reverb and delay effects. I believe in the company’s ability to deliver high quality effects, but I’m still amazed at the original spring reverb.

One of the last major upgrades worth mentioning is the ability to use the grid as a piano roll style sequencer. Originally, there were very limited ways to control the actual pitch of a built-in synth. But now it looks a bit more like a self-contained instrument.

SYNTRX II aims to carry on the powerful history of Erica Synths’ creation of very bizarre instruments and encouragement of experimentation. But it also makes some of its more experimental impulses more accessible. It’s hard to call a synthesizer close to $ 2,200 “affordable.”

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