Eowave Ribbon

A 3-in-1 synth, MIDI and CV controller

Some pieces of music gear scream quality and artisan craftsmanship the second you pull them out of their packaging. The Eowave Ribbon isn't one of them.

That's not to say this is a badly made piece of gear, but there's no getting around the fact that what we have here is essentially a two-foot long block of clear plastic with a black plastic strip along its length. It's admittedly solidly built, but it's not exactly pretty.

"First and foremost, it's a very basic monophonic digital synth"

The Ribbon is three things in one. First and foremost, it's a very basic monophonic digital synth, with pitch controlled by your finger's position on the ribbon, volume controlled by your finger's pressure, and frequency modulation controlled by the separate tactile pressure pad. Sound output is via a mini-jack socket.

Secondly, it's a USB MIDI controller, configurable via a Max-based editor. Each of the three control elements - ribbon position and pressure, plus tactile pad pressure - can be assigned to MIDI controls. Alternatively, it's a CV controller with two CV outputs (also via the audio socket). There are a couple of downsides to this flexibility.

The unit can only take power from the USB port, meaning you always need it plugged into a computer or USB power supply even if you're only using the synth or CV functions. A battery option would surely make sense.

Also, there are only two CV outputs despite the controller being capable of three parameters. It'd be nice to be able to use the ribbon position for oscillator pitch, ribbon pressure as a gate to trigger envelopes, and still have the tactile pad CV output to control maybe something like a cutoff of a filter.

MusicRadar Rating

3.5 / 5 stars
Pros

3-in-1! Interesting, quirky idea.

Cons

No battery option. Only two CV outputs.

Verdict

It's not the smoothest design we've seen, but Eeowave nonetheless deserves praise for the Ribbon's idiosyncratic concept and functionality.

Description

A 3-in-1 digital synth, MIDI and CV controller

Features

USB-powered; two CV outputs; three CV parameters

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

Comment on Facebook