Review: IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro X

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Review: IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro X

UNO Synth
Words by John Tucker

IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro X | Sound and Music | RRP $1099.99

Since its inception in Modena Italy in 1996, IK Multimedia has made significant contributions to the music industry thanks to founders Enrico Lori and Davide Barbi, amongst other talented creators now spread across nine locations worldwide. Pioneering software and hardware solutions for musicians and producers, IK Multimedia first broke through with their revolutionary AmpliTube software, some of my favourite guitar and bass amp modelling software. Over the years since, IK Multimedia have continued innovating, resulting in products such as the iRig Interface, Virtual Instruments, plugins and MIDI Controllers. 

Read more gear reviews here.

The new UNO Synth Pro X by IK Multimedia is a recent addition to the world of IK Multimedia Hardware Modules and is the successor to the UNO Synth Pro, released a few years ago and only exists in the Desktop format with Internals designed by Italian Synthesiser designers Soundmachines. 

Dressed in a classy black finish, the UNO Synth Pro X doesn’t shy away from its capabilities by hiding its potential. With 23 high quality rotary pots and 66 backlit buttons, the front face of the UNO Synth Pro X resembles the sort of interior you would expect inside the cockpit of an aeroplane. Despite the formidable appearance, IK Multimedia have designed a synth that is as easy to use and intuitive as the rest of their lineup of products, thanks to accessible design, and not hiding anything critical, means that the lack of menu-diving needed to generate some awesome tones creates a brilliant creative experience using the UNO Synth Pro X.

The IK Multimedia UNO Synth Pro X is broken up into sections on the face of the instrument. The first section contains the master controls featuring VCA AM drive, Glide and Volume. Nothing much to cover here, but it is great to have a master drive. The second section has much more contained within it and that is the oscillator Section

The UNO Synth Pro X is a three oscillator synth. They are all discrete oscillators with FM Tune and pulse width Modulation capabilities alongside other functions such as sync and ring modulation. There are two analogue filters, a low-pass variant of an SSI-based Filter with two or four pole slopes, and a High or Low pass OTA-based Filter. The filter combination is quite deadly with the OTA set to HPF and the SSI set to 4-pole, which is both extremely versatile and highly musical. These are routed in series or parallel. The oscillators themselves are continuous from triangle to pulse width, so modulation is a lot more involved than with traditional PWM synthesis, making for a whole host of unique tonal options.

The next section on the UNO Synth Pro X houses the controls for the Envelopes, LFOs and FX. There are three built-in envelopes with Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release parameters (ADSR), two LFOs and a suite of controls for the stock effects that the synth comes equipped with. IK Multimedia have shipped the synth with a total of ten effects to take advantage of, including essentials such as a chorus, a uni-vibe, a generous handful of delays and the classic plate, hall and shimmer reverb which is a new algorithm for the Uno seriea, with its roots in IK’s awesome Amplitube X-Space pedal. There is also an analogue overdrive found on the master section, which is sure to get plenty of use. 

Something else which it would be remiss to not mention is the onboard sequencer. Boasting an impressive 64 steps, and offering per-step recording including up to 48 parameters, the sequencer is well equipped to nurture intuitive composition with the ability to be set to Legato, Paraphonic or Monophonic as well as a Baseline option. The factor that jumps out at me over the top of the arpeggiator with ten different modes is the randomiser function. The randomiser allows for the creation of random sequences automatically generated by the synth that follow a key selected by the user.

Uno Synth Pro X

In terms of I/O on the UNO Synth Pro X  we have the same full size MIDI IN and OUT, stereo TRS outs, Audio In and Phones as well as the two pairs of CV/Gate In and Out found on the rear panel of the UNO Synth Pro, however we now have split Power and USB which means we avoid the potential for ground loop noise, as well as the fact that the USB has now been upgraded to the much tougher USB-C flavour, and the power socket is for a dedicated PSU powered from the wall rather than from the PC. 

My favourite aspect of the UNO Synth Pro X, and one of the deciding factors when choosing which synthesisers to travel with, is portability. No other synth I have has the capability of the UNO Synth Pro X at its weight category. At a feather light 800 grams (1.76lb!)  I have guitar pedals that way more than that, it goes gram for gram with my long XLR cable in my live kit. With this sort of power from such a small package, it is a no-brainer for anyone whose synth travels with them or anyone who performs live on a regular basis. 

The UNO Synth Pro X is a remarkable synthesizer designed with a dual purpose in mind. First and foremost, it delivers professional-grade sound and sonic versatility, offering musicians a wide range of possibilities with its wave-morphing oscillators, analog filters, envelopes, LFOs, and built-in effects. However, what sets the UNO Synth Pro X apart is its exceptional portability. Its compact and lightweight design makes it an ideal companion for musicians on the go, allowing them to harness its powerful synthesis capabilities wherever inspiration strikes. Whether in the studio, on stage, or during a creative journey, the UNO Synth Pro X combines portability with pro-level sound to cater to musicians’ diverse needs.

For local enquiries, visit Sound and Music.