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The Revolution is our latest concept synthesizer
providing an intuitive interface which we feel most accurately represents the
principles of time and music. From ancient sundials to modern day analog clocks,
time has been represented as the circle, a cycle which never ends. For time
itself is nothing more than our perception of the revolution of planets as they
journey through their celestial orbit. It is this motion we call time which can
be measured, divided, and arranged to provide the foundation of music. This
circular cyclic theme can furthermore be found throughout music in everything
from song structure, and repeating rhythms, to the fundamentals of sound itself,
being the sine wave. With this understanding we must conclude that music is
cyclic, and should so be represented in its natural form.
And so it is... the Revolution
A true analog monophonic synthesizer with an easy to use
step-based digital sequencer, analog and DSP effects processing, and various
interfacing for controlling MIDI, CV/Gate, and Din Sync devices.
Continuing in our tradition of building quality products,
this unit is housed in a rugged aluminum chassis, with aluminum side panels,
high contrast white on gun metal grey finish for superior viewing of controls in
dark environments, and topped off with bright blue LEDs all around.
Let's start with the sequencer...
As you can see, the sequencers interface is now circular
which has several benefits over the traditional linear style step sequencers.
Visually it is easier to divide a measure of music into equal parts. It also
provides a more intuitive way of displaying patterns playing as cyclic loops,
either forwards or reverse, and will help you better understand the underlying
geometric symmetries used throughout our Remixing process. This design also
allows the user to carry out all sequencing functions with a single hand.
There are 256 recordable patterns available. Each
recording note duration, pitch, accent , glide, loop point, time signature, and
swing amount. Pattern editing features include copy/paste, pattern shifting,
pattern transposing, multiple pattern cueing for chaining patterns together
live, and LED chase. In addition, all pattern editing and recording can be done
while the sequencer is running, and it will automatically save all your edits so
you don't have to stop creating!
The Revolution also provides the ability to play
patterns forwards or backwards, and remotely select patterns to play using MIDI
program change messages.
There are 16 songs to arrange the patterns in,
each recording its tempo, the bank/pattern for each step, the transposition of
each step, and the song's loop point. Each of the 16 songs contains up to 3580
measures, and multiple songs may be chained together so they play
In addition, the Revolution provides our unique
Remix feature which provides 256 variations for every pattern and song, for more
than 65,000 possible patterns right out of the box. Whether your improvising
during a live set, creating variations for other parts of a song, or simply have
a case of writers block, our Remix feature is sure to inspire you and speed up
your creative process.
The analog section...
The Revolution uses true analog synthesis throughout its
entire sound engine. Only the DSP effects are digital, and if these are bypassed
the signal remains true analog through every stage right to the output. We've
gone to great lengths to ensure that the Revolution is fully capable of the most
accurate replication of the original TB303's sound, and in many ways surpasses
its signature liquid tones and capabilities.
The Revolution has a new oscillator design which provides
superior note tracking and temperature stability, as well as providing the exact
same waveforms found in the original TB303. The revolution also provides the
correct 3 pole filter design, gated amplifer, accent and glide circuits which
are all crucial to the TB303's sound. In addition to the original controls of
the TB303, the Revolution also has a CV Modulation amount control which allows
the filter's cutoff frequency to track either the internal control voltages
generated by the Revolution's sequencer, or external control voltages may also
be applied to modulate the filter. You may also notice that there is now an
Accent Decay time control for varying the duration of filter and amplifier
modulations by the accent circuit. This control provides everything from tight
zap-like accents to much longer sweeps of the filter resulting in a very funky
sound. All in all it's one tricked out acid machine for creating everything from
warm deep basses, silky smooth liquid chirps and bleeps, to the more aggressive
ripping overdriven lead sounds.
The Revolution uses both analog and digital effects to
process its sound. The overdrive stage is true analog and can be activated by a
switch on the rear panel. The overdrive stage is a dynamic process related
directly to the filter's resonance amount, so that as the resonance is
increased, so is the overall gain of the overdrive section. This preserves the
shape of the oscillator's waveform at lower resonance levels instead of just
clipping them into a square waveform as a typical distortion stage would. This
also provides a much smoother transition from the original bubbly liquid sound,
into those ripping lead sounds more common in todays electronic music.
The DSP section provides true 24 bit stereo effects
processing, arranged as 16 preset effect which include: chorus/room1 and 2,
delay 1 and 2, chorus, flange, plates 1, 2 and 3, rooms 1, 2, and 3, halls 1 and
2, rotary speaker, and a low pass muffler. In addition, wet/dry controls are
provided for both left and right output channels. These controls can be used to
help place the sound within the stereo field, or create two different mixes of
Although the Revolution's analog signal is mono, the DSP
effects do provide movement through the stereo sound field, and appropriately we
have provided a stereo master output, as well as a stereo headphone output using
standard 1/4" jacks.
Also provided are separate 1/4" jacks for both CV out
(1v/oct standard), and Gate out (positive type, 0 to +12v) for playing other
analog equipment using the Revolution's sequencer. Or if you prefer, the
Revolution can act as a MIDI to CV converter when it is not playing its internal
1/4" jacks are also provided for CV in to modulate the
filter's cutoff frequency with external control voltages, and Audio in for
processing external sounds through the Revolutions filter, amplifier, overdrive
and DSP effects sections. The Audio in jack can sum the external signal with the
internal oscillators, or completely override the oscillator signal so that just
the external sound is processed.
Here's where things get even more interesting... by
connecting these outputs and inputs in various ways other sounds are possible
without any additional equipment. For instance you can route the signal from the
headphone output back to modulate the filter's cutoff for some unusual self
modulation effects. Or route the output back into the Audio input, which can
produce everything from self resonant sounds, to bizarre feedback loops, and
remember the effects section are included in this processing chain.
MIDI In/Thru/Out are all
provided for syncing playback with external sequencers, playing MIDI sound
modules, or having external sequencers or MIDI keyboard controllers play the
Revolution's analog section.
Din Sync out is included for
syncing up the playback of the early Roland TR and TB type devices to todays
The new R2 unit, designated by
the gun metal grey chassis, has an updated PC board design using a new RAM chip
which extends the internal back up battery life from approximately 1.5 years on
previous white faced units to now more than 10 years life span. In addition the
R2 units include OS version 2.0 making it more compatible for use with our XS