Studio Electronics SE-3X, the SE-1X analog Synthesizer expanded with a three-voice paraphonic mode, additional analog filters, and more.
Analog is available in cheap and expensive. Behringer, for example, makes analog synths affordable for everyone. The complete counterpart to B, Korg, and others is Studio Electronics from the USA. The company is known for programmable fat-sounding analog synthesizers with rather higher prices.
In 2019, the developers released two of their well-known synthesizers from the past in new versions, the SE-1X and Minimod V3. The SE-1X got a software update today and as an additional toping, they also published a SE-3X with more analog goodness.
Studio Electronics SE-3X
SE-3X is based on the well-known 3-oscillator Minimoog-inspired design of the SE-1X Synthesizer. Much of it is also available in the Roland SE-02 but in a smaller format with only one filter circuit. For the new SE-3X, the developer has expanded this rich-sounding engine once again.
Like the SE-1X, it features 3 voltage-controlled analog oscillators with different waveforms. OSC1 has triangle, sawtooth, variable width square, OSC2 sine, sawtooth, variable width square, and OSC 3 sawtooth, variable width square. Plus, you can sync oscillator 1 to osc2 and osc3. Also onboard is a noise generator, and ring modulation.
The filter section is very different from the SE-1X. Besides the 24dB Moog® and 12dB Oberheim SEM filters, it includes a 24dB ARP® and Juno/Jupiter filters with four different modes. Both filters come from the Boomstar Synthesizer series where each version has a different iconic filter.
Then, you have four multi-stage ADSR envelope generators with inverting and multiple triggering options. Envelope 1 & 2 are again fixed, 3 & 4 are assignable. According to SE, the ADSR speed in the SE-3X got also an upgrade. Next, you have 3 multi-wave LFOs with one destination/amount for each LFO with key trigger, phase, clock-divisible MIDI sync, and auto-gate.
At the end of the signal chain, there is a VCA with a built-in fuzz circuit for amplifier saturation and overdrive. New in the SE-3X is the ability to switch between a ’70s inspired soft fuzz or a ’90s hard fuzz.
Paraphonic & New Software For SE-1X & SE-3X
You read that right, the SE-3X is not only an analog monophonic Synthesizer but also a paraphonic with 3 voices. This is a nice, welcomed upgrade for this analog synth series. You can also save patches. In total 8 banks of 99 patches (396 patches in ROM and 396 in RAM).
The developers have also improved the software for the SE-3X release. Not only buyers of the SE-3X can benefit from this, but also SE-1X users. It includes:
- exponential glide routines from the OMEGA synth and the original linear glide.
- OMEGA/SE-02 envelope routines in addition to the original linear & magical quasi-exponential Envelopes.
- panel control for oscillator mix, and OSC 2 & 3 fine-tune
- LFO gate from the Boomstar & Midimini V30
- paraphonic mode for easy and electric 3X chords and colors.
Since the SE-1X users also get the software update, it’s possible that they can also benefit from the paraphonic mode. This information is however not confirmed. There is a story behind the development of this new version.
The Story Of The SE-3X
In 2020, we got a request from one of our top dealers to make a (second) special model for him. In addition to the custom hardware he wanted—2 extra VCFs—he wondered if we could include some software updates too. At first I declined, since I hadn’t been working with the Motorola (now Freescale) chip that ran it for several years, added to that, my development system for it didn’t work anymore.
After some persuasion however, I decided to try. Progress was painfully slow at first, but I was eventually able to put it all together, with the usual optimistic and determined assist from Greg St. Regis. The SE-3X… Hard to believe it was nearly 30 years ago the SE-1 helped the world to play…
In Analog, Studio Electronics are specialists. The SE-3X shows once again this clearly in the extremely fat-sounding analog engine. It sounds super juicy and with the new filter + paraphonic combo, the concept of the SE-1X has become even more analog versatile.
Studio Electronics SE-3X is available now for $2199 USD.
More information here: Studio Electronics
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