The proliferation of digital modeling of analog synths has lowered the barrier for cash-strapped would-be musicians hoping to become the next big synth group like S U R V I V E (the band responsible for the Stranger Things theme). Cheaper synths and drum machines are great, but because they don't decay like analog instruments, they also lend themselves to everyone sounding the same. For anyone looking to add more warmth and variety to their sound, Elektron recently started shipping the Analog Heat sound processor.
If you are looking to enhance the sound or your gear either new or old, the $750 Heat comes equipped with eight analog distortion circuits (Clean Boost, Saturation, Enhancement, Mid Drive, Rough Crunch, Classic Distortion, Round Fuzz and High Gain) that can be tweaked to your liking. It also has a stereo EQ, multi-mode filter, LFO and assignable envelope. During my time using the device at SXSW, the plethora of features and adjustments resulted in sounds that sounded full and warm even with the gain turned all the way up.
Additionally, it lends itself to quick knob twists via the on-board controls and fine tuning of parameters with the Heat's display. That tiny window into waveforms also serves as the navigation for the up to 128 presets that can be added to the device. That's probably more than enough ready-to-go processors for even the most prolific artist.
The Heat supports 1/4" stereo audio in and out and has two control ports for pedal manipulation of features like gain and LFO so your feet can get in on the action. Plus, it hooks up to your favorite music application as a VST/AU effect plugin, which is great for at-home musicians.
Whether you're recording at home or performing in front of an audience, then, if you're looking for a fuller sound and you have $750 burning a hole in your pocket, the Elektron Analog Heat is worth checking out.
Click here to catch up on the latest news from SXSW 2017.