Superbooth 23: Norand has unveiled the Norand Mono MK2, a further development of its analog bassline synth on steroids with more features.
The Roland TB-303 is a legendary analog bassline Synthesizer. There are many clones/replica of it, from super affordable to expensive. The young French company Norand showed in 2020 that it’s possible to take the core concept to the modern age. With the Mono, they created a 2-oscillator analog bassline synth with a flexible filter, supercharged modulation with 13 envelopes and 20 modulators, and a powerful sequencer. A massive feature set.
The developers are showing two new releases at Superbooth 23. Firstly, the new Norand Mono Mk2, very surprisingly, and firmware 2.0, a free update for all existing Mono users.
Norand Mono MK2
Mono Mk2 is a further development of the original Mono analog Synthesizer but with many new features and improvements. According to the developers, they created this new version because they wanted a hardware version capable of handling the many new features they had in mind.
The first thing you see: a new design. The Mono MK2 will come with a new fully machined aluminum body, new RGB LEDs, and major UI enhancements. Mono’s engine remains largely the same. The MK2 version brings an improved analog path, with the addition of a new custom soft overdrive circuit on the output. This multiplies the sonic capabilities of the synth says the devs.
Let’s stick to the design. There we see some new features in the playability. First, it introduces new 3D sensors to the mini-keyboard, allowing for expressive control over each note. This includes velocity, aftertouch, pitch, and vertical modulation on the keyboard. That’s a great addition and makes it more of a ready-to-use instrument for key players.
Then, you can explore a new continuous sequencer strip which is also powered by the new 3D sensors. The same applies to the page buttons. This unlocks dozens of new musical features such as live play head, multi-pattern morphing, and precise control over patterns.
Mono MK2 also intros high-resolution automation usable with the 1024 PPQN sequencer system. Thus, you can record high-resolution automation data using the knobs and buttons. The 3D sequencer strip allows precise creation and editing of these automations using the curve mode.
Besides this, you can benefit from microSD storage capabilities, a new USB-C port, a USB host mode, and more.
The Superbooth 23 not only brings new hardware but also a major firmware 2.0 update that existing Mono Mk1 users will also benefit from. And without paying extra. Here is a selection of the new features:
- duophonic mode
- now the knobs parameter LED brightness will always reflect the current parameter value
- pattern morphing, allowing you to morph between the patch and content of 2 patterns
- expressive features: velocity, pitchbend, aftertouch, and vertical support.
- randomize step range and automate range
- song mode now has unlimited patterns
- step dice range
- new shortcuts
- song mode now has unlimited patterns
- and more.
At first glance, a big update for the Norand Mono. Many interesting features make the “on steroids” bassline synth more expressive. It’s a bit strange, however, that the developers already do a hardware update after 3 years. Find it a little early.
Norand Mono MK2 will be available soon for 839€. Next week, you can explore the new MK2 version on Superbooth 23 at booth 0246. The firmware 2.0 is available now as a free download.
More information here: Norand
the first version looks so much better
It’s on the very expensive side for a mono synth, but those features, modulation, and sequencer have made it very tempting.
This new version makes it even more enticing.
Now to convince myself to sell gear I never use.
€839 for what?! What’s up with these prices on Superbooth 23?! These people are raving
It can do so much but I played with version one and it is simply not fun to use. Always there is the constant war with the interface to control.
good idea but very very ugly design, it looks like a 20€ Chinese amazon midi keyboard and the price is very ambitious for a mono synth.