Realthing: Analog synth engine for your computer

The Sknote Realthing is one of those products that you might invent yourself while drunk in the pub. "Wouldn't it be great," you say, "If you could have some analog synth bits in a box - oscillators, filters and stuff - but you'd plug it into your computer and control the whole thing from a VST plugin?". And here it is - a 1U rackmount box which comes with a VST interface. Specs are still hazy, and there's no price yet, but apparently the Italian developers have 8 manufactured prototypes in hand. The connections look a little bit clunky - MIDI ins and outs + analog ins and outs for your soundcard. If the concept was tidied up so sound, control and power went through USB, it could be a hit.
And a concept this obviously appealing isn't a completely new idea. The first ever 'Analog Plugin' was the Waldorf AFB16, a rackmount box with 16 analog filters and a USB cable. It was very expensive (£1,699) and Waldorf went bust pretty soon after it was announced.
If your tastes are more exotic, you might also want to try the HardSid, a $229 card which can host up to four Commodore 64 SID sound chips on a PCI card in your computer. There's no VST interface yet, though. (via Analog Industries)

Wow, that'd be cool. Had lustings after the Waldorf thing too, but the trouble with any of those (along with Nord modular etc) is that they'll prob. stop supporting it at some point; some iteration of OS later, & you'll have to maintain a machine running an old OS for the sake of being able to use this thing. Straight midi synth with knobs on it, no such problem in the forseeable future.
I was idly thinking of doing something like this as well. It's almost always too late to be the first to do anything... *sigh*

Potential Marketing Hurdle:
How do you say "Sknote?"
isn't having the audio going back into your computer defeating the object a tad? same with having it i/f with USB, you're digitizing the signal so losing some of the 'analogue magic'?

or do digitized analogue osc/filters still sound better than software ones...?
Too bad the 'realthing' sounds naff. The hardsid sounds grand tho. Costs a lot less too.
It's a good idea... it's be cool if they had an AU interface as well..
the HardSid has a 500ms latency, booo.

go to the MIDIbox project already has:

: a four-SID hardware analogue synth
: a VST control panel
: almost zero latency (measured in microseconds, not milliseconds)

Build it yourself.
The Vintage Computer Festival has selected Commodore 64 Orchestra ( to be the first to compose on the historic Commodore 64 Parallel Super-Computer. The project is slated for completion for exhibition at VCF 6.0, where the 20th anniversary of the Commodore 64 will be celebrated. The first prototype will utilize 16 Commodore 64 machines in sync with a musical application that Commodore 64 Orchestra will program to write its Symphony No 1. series. Founder Nico of the Commodore 64 Orchestra states that "We are pleased to have been chosen to compose on the world's first Commodore 64 Parallel Super-Computer and would like to thank The Vintage Computer Festival for their support and vision." The Vintage Computer Festival is an international event that celebrates the history of computing. The mission of the Vintage Computer Festival is to promote the preservation of "obsolete" computers by offering people a chance to experience the technologies, people and stories that embody the remarkable tale of the computer revolution.
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