As part of the NAMM 2017 show, Pioneer DJ is introducing the TORAIZ AS-1. AS stands for Analog Synth – and as with the SP-16, it has been designed in collaboration with Dave Smith Instruments. What’s a DJ company doing making a synth? Keep reading to hear about the new AS-1, modeled after the Prophet 6, and $500.
- Product: TORAIZ AS-1
- Manufacturer: Pioneer DJ
- Price: $499
- Release Date: March 2017 (in the US/Canada)’
Been wondering what Pioneer DJ might announce this year at NAMM 2017? Us too. But who would have guessed that the next big thing on their product roadmap would be a synthesizer? After all, isn’t this a DJ-oriented company, with competitors like Denon, Mixars, and Gemini starting to take aim at some of their product lines?
Born Of TORAIZ: Another Dave Smith Collab
The AS-1 starts to make a bit more sense combined with the TORAIZ SP-16 sequencer/sampler. Having an analog synth to sample and step-sequence those samples is a lot of fun. The other big connection is the other company printed on the AS-1’s case: Dave Smith Instruments.
Dave Smith is famous for being the co-designer of MIDI, co-founder of Sequential Circuits, and the man behind the much revered Prophet synthesizers. For the SP-16, he helped to design the raw filter and overdrive features. On the new AS-1, the entire synthesis engine is models after the Prophet 6 synth:
“TORAIZ AS-1 is driven by a fully programmable, true analog synthesis engine based on the discrete analog circuitry in Dave Smith Instruments’ Prophet-6 synthesizer – a modern reboot of his classic Prophet-5. Working closely with Dave Smith himself, we’ve created a synthesizer that produces powerful analog sound and makes an ideal addition to the set-ups of professional and aspiring producers.”
TORAIZ AS-1 Feature Set:
Wondering what the full feature set is? Here’s the complete details from Pioneer DJ’s press release:
- True analog sound from Dave Smith Instruments’ Prophet-6: Create your own fat bass and edgy lead sounds thanks to the synthesis engine at the core of the TORAIZ AS-1, which is based on the discrete analog circuitry of Dave Smith Instruments’ revered Prophet-6 synthesizer. [It] has two voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO) with continuously variable triangle, sawtooth and pulse wave shapes. Sculpt your sound using the two voltage-controlled filters (VCF) also from the Prophet-6: a 4-pole, resonant low-pass filter that can self-oscillate and a 2-pole, resonant high-pass filter.
- Full programmability and 495 presets: Use the TORAIZ AS-1 to create one-of-a-kind sounds using two VCOs, two VCFs, one VCA,1 two EGs,2 and one LFO,3 then save each sound and its parameter settings as a program so you can access it later. There are 495 preset programs to give you inspiration, each with a different sound and 64-step sequence that can be edited independently. In addition, you can save up to 495 of your own programs in the five user banks, and you can assign up to 13 programs as Quick Programs to each key on the keyboard and instantly recall them at any time.
- FX from the Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-6 synthesizer: Get creative with the Prophet-6-derived dual effects engine. Add a single effect or pair two together to add extra texture to your sounds. True bypass preserves a pure analog signal path.
FX1: Bucket Brigade Delay, Distortion, Ring Modulation
FX2: Chorus, High-resonance Phaser, Low-resonance Phaser, Maestro Phaser
- Keyboard and Scale Mode: Use the touchpad-style keyboard to perform with the sounds you create. Use Scale Mode to change the notes assigned to the keys, choosing from any of the 21 on-board scales. You don’t need a deep understanding of musical theory. Just select the scale in which you want to play and the TORAIZ AS-1 will make sure your performance is in perfect harmony.
- Slider: Add dynamism to your performances by moving your finger up and down the slider to manipulate your choice of seven different parameters. Change the pitch of two oscillators at once, adjust the amount of FX, and more. The slider is sure to become an essential tool in your live performances.
- Arpeggiator: Perform a repeating chord pattern by holding notes on the touchpad-style keyboard. Change it in real time, either by octave or by changing its key in semitones. Experiment with combinations of different scales, or match the scale with that of a track that’s playing.
- 64-step sequencer: Use the 64-step sequencer for step recording of patterns. Change the musical key of a pattern in real time by touching the relevant key of the keyboard during playback. Find inspiration from a preset sequence pattern and use Sequence Lock so you can play the keyboard and quickly edit the sound without editing the pattern that’s playing.
- Other features
- Bright OLED display shows parameter information
- USB-B port and MIDI terminals (IN, OUT/THRU) for easy connection to a PC/Mac or an external MIDI device
- Robust metal chassis suitable for use in the studio or on stage
What Else From Pioneer DJ?
The 2017 NAMM Show officially opens at 8AM on Thursday, and there could be another surprise from Pioneer waiting behind the walls – but we won’t know for a few more hours.
Wondering why there’s so much new gear news on DJTT right now? Companies are rolling out their new products ahead of the NAMM 2017 industry convention. We’re giving DJTT readers the first coverage and insights into what’s coming out: