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Studio Electronics CODE 8

Studio Electronics CODE 8

4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 1 Review

An 8 voice polysynth, featuring fully discrete, analog architecture. Differs from the Omega with 8 sinewave generators for Osc 1 plus a brilliant new Filter Control Section which allows real-time sweeping and tweaking. Auto-triggering External Audio Input for momentary control of various parameters.


31st January 2016

Studio Electronics CODE 8 by Rasi

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Studio Electronics CODE 8

I've only ever seen myself owning a single analog poly, and my choice was heavily dependent on a few things: Continued support from the manufacturer, proper VCOs, as well as many flavors of internal filters.

Picking up a used CODE 4 OD (with overdrive switch) seemed to be a no-brainer in my case! My electronic music productions were satiated with its analog warmth even at half the potential voice count -- but growing up playing jazz piano I immediately knew I would need 8 full voices. Sending in the CODE to Studio Electronics was necessary, as installing several voice cards changes the calibration required for each voice due to different temperature constants. Installation was free of charge, of course, as they're loyal to the musicians that use their products.

Sound: The oscillators themselves are very creamy with a very smooth high end. Driving the Osc levels harder into the filter section can yield just the right amount of grit for things to feel "vintage" while not driving the filters as hard can leave a very pristine sound intact. Flipping the overdrive switch on the front panel will drive the voices quite a bit, but all depending on their independent Osc levels. I have several patches that use the subtle fuzz of the OD driving 50% volume Osc's to great effect.

Filters: The Mini filter is not a faithful emulation of the ladder filter it's named after, but good nonetheless. The SEM multimode filter however is absolutely spectacular. It's a sound I've always loved, and this synth does it well.

Programming: Many people complain that a rack synth such as this is a PITA to program, but I disagree. Most modulation tweaks involve a button press to get into a parameters menu, simple navigation with the arrow buttons, and finally spinning the selector to alter the value. However, with the advent of a specially designed SysEx editor; Editing the CODE could not be easier. The editor has unique features for blending two patches together, generating random patches, or even binding parameters to MIDI CC.

Now I find myself desiring a "fully decked out" CODE -- Which is to say, I "need" ARP and CS-80 modeled discrete filters added to each voice.

All in all, the synth is quite an expensive choice. However, it is an amazing all-rounder for an electronic musician's studio.

Last edited by Rasi; 11th February 2016 at 12:25 PM..

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