Future Retro Vectra, a new hybrid Synthesizer that combines modern vector synthesis with expressive playability (4 joysticks…), now available for pre-order.
After the new Boutique synths by Roland today, I also have something that is much more experimental and unique. In September I reported about Vectra, a new vector Synthesizer that is in development.
Today Future Retro published all details with the possibility to pre-order it. It’s a feature festival, be curious
Future Retro Vectra
Vectra is a new hybrid vector Synthesizer that offers analog and digital elements. The core is semi-modular and can be played in monophonic or in 8 paraphonic modes. There are four fully-featured digital oscillators onboard featuring traditional virtual analog and 500 digital waveforms. You get a wide range of oscillator features with which you can dive very deep into the sound generators.
Onboard are oscillator sync, PWM, innovative waveform phase slice, fade features, constant beat detuning, FM, AM, ring modulation per OSC, and more. Tons of shaping options. And you get dedicated LFOs, envelopes, and VCA’s per oscillator making these oscillators super flexible. The built-in four-channel mixer is special. Besides classic mixing, it offers automated vector mixing, mixing modulation, and even balance when mixing multiple sources.
We switch to analog in the filter. It’s an analog multimode filter that provides six primary filter types incl. 4-pole low-pass, 2-pole low-pass, 1-pole low-pass, 2-pole band-pass, 2-pole high-pass, 2-pole notch. Plus, you can adjust the filter’s self-resonance resonance with the ability to recreate an EMS VCS type filter modulation characteristic. Also, the filter has its own modulation sources incl. dedicated LFO, envelope… and it can track notes. The VCA section is analog as well and has a dedicated morphing envelope.
The Vectra modulation engine is pretty impressive with five multi-wave LFOs and six morphing envelopes. Starting with the LFOs providing 500+ waveforms to choose from. Yes, it won’t get boring here. Each LFO can work with sub-audio to audio rates, can have a fixed frequency or one that is tracked by the keyboard notes. They also feature sync, FM, and more. So they can act as LFOs, complex envelopes, or audio-rate oscillators.
Next to this, you have six morphing, snappy DAHDSR envelopes with loop functionality. Each envelope provides different types including one-shot, multiple envelope curve selections, looping, and morphing. The latter goes deep as you can modulate between two individual values per each envelope stage. And with 500 internal signal routings, you have a lot to discover.
Effects are not onboard, which is a shame.
Future Retro attached great importance to the expressiveness. A classic keyboard is not available. Instead, Vectra provides a newly-designed 29-note capacitive keyboard with note-on/off, pitch, velocity, and aftertouch. Then, you get auto-glide features, pitch-bend, and mod-wheel controls, as well as sophisticated scales support with linear & scale transposition.
It also ships with an arpeggiator and sequencer which can be linked to each other. So you can switch smoothly from one to the other. You can program them in real-time or play notes momentarily. There are also tons of functions with which you can edit both very extensively. Cool, the sequencer also provides scale support, 29 selectable play directions, adjustable loop points, multiple time signatures, and an auto-fill mode. No motion recording for the parameters according to the current info, which is a shame for such a clever sequencer.
A big highlight is its interface, which consists of four XY joysticks to alter multiple parameters simultaneously. The first is for pitch-bend/mod-wheel, another for the four-channel mixer, the third for filter cutoff/resonance and the last is freely mappable to multiple parameters. Very exciting approach as you can twist parameters or entire sounds around very quickly and intuitively. Further, you get 8 fully-customizable encoders with a handy assign mode. So you can tailor the interface very much to your workflow.
The back is very simple. Full MIDI (In, Out, Through) as well as a mono output. MIDI allows you to use the keyboard, arpeggiator, or sequencer as an expressive controller with other synthesizers.
According to the developer, the synth is capable to create a wide range of sounds. From analog-style to crisp digital sounds, traditional to experimental, bass, leads, solos, percussion, effects, drones, ambient sounds, and those yet to be discovered. On the feature sheet, a very exciting, utterly unique Synthesizer. I also love the refreshingly different design of it with the four joysticks and touch keyboard. An eye-catcher, for me. But whether Vectra stands out in terms of sound and workflow can only be seen later in tests.
Retro Future Vectra is available now for pre-order. The unit will cost $1100 plus shipping and the developer will start shipping in Spring 2022. Deposit payment in the amount of $550 is required to pre-order this unit
More information here: Retro Future
It’s an awesome synth, but it’s not 8 voice paraphonic. It’s 4 voice paraphonic with 8 modes: 4 modes using env1 settings for all voices and 4 modes with independent envelope settings. Sequential voices, sequential with retrig of filter and amp env, round robin and RR with retrig.