Nunomo Qun mk2: What is it?
At first glance this unassuming little device may not cause any great waves. Although billed as a pocket synth, it feels a little unfinished, with exposed internals sandwiched, along with the ports, between the front and back plate, the tiny screen and a lot of text.
That said, the screen is very clear and legible, the ports all feel solid and the text on the front face makes sense after not too long spent playing and exploring the synth. The feeling soon changes to one of astonishment at just how capable the Qun mk2 is.
The navigation involves, by dint of the size and space, some button tap dancing and menu diving, however, the menus are clear and the labelling becomes easy to understand fast. Every button here has multiple uses but that doesn’t hinder use.
Without the clear text, if it was a matter of reading menus, the Qun mk2 might be a more problematic synthesizer to use. A shift button is slightly separate from the other controls and it’s used to toggle which of a button’s functions is selected. Easy does it. The screen, although tiny, is actually very clear and crisp with a surprising amount of info displayed at any given time.
The Qun mk2 has a huge array of features packed into a tiny device, many of which you would expect to find only on much larger, more costly synths, like the looper/sequencer, which is capable of multitracking, stereo mixing and more.
It’s easy to use, saves to the Micro SD card, along with associated patches and you can load the patch without the sequencer data, for reusing sounds while having fresh sequencer tracks.
We're big fans of randomisation tools, as they can produce some golden ideas that might not have appeared any other way. The Qun has these, making it a very fun little experimentation tool.
Nunomo Qun mk2: Performance and verdict
So, how does it sound? Pretty good. Although there are plenty of presets, factory and user, the sound design options are broad. There are two analogue modelling oscillators, each with two voices, which can be played concurrently, so building a three-channel track is possible and intuitive.
There’s a gorgeous filter, that can be run as a low-pass, high-pass, notch and band-pass. A single LFO is there for some easy modulation, although the Qun can accept outboard modulation too and is MIDI capable, shipping with a mini TRS to MIDI adapter.
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Based on classic Juno-60 sounds, this packs a lot into its diminutive case, including 64-step sequencer, envelopes and effects. For those seeking ’80s tones but without the budget for an original, this is a good compromise.
These oscillators offer even more bang for buck as they can operate as granular synth voices, FM with four operators each and they have wavefolding. That’s a lot of sound design for under £150, and that is before you account for the onboard delay, flanger and chorus effects. It would have been nice to see a reverb as well, but for this price you really can’t complain.
Everything here sounds great, probably due to the sound engine being bespoke for this device and the variety of patching methods.
Although the Nunomo Qun mk2 plays on the size and weight to an extent, being able to integrate it into a wider workflow is a big deal. Nunomo has made this easy, with the inclusion of a decent midi implementation, featuring in and out, although no through.
Sitting alongside this is a pair of audio connections. There are both ins and outs here too, so connecting to a rig is easy. The microSD card can be used for loading patches and sequence data, also accessible from your Mac or PC, adding extra possibilities for those with the need to add the Qun to existing gear.
Although the physical feel isn’t totally inspiring, in use the Qun mk2 really is. We’ve found it to be a wonderful tool for experimentation that won’t break the bank, or, for that matter, your back when you’re on the move.
MusicRadar verdict: While the synth itself may not be the most roadworthy of tools and the navigation might not suit all users, there is no denying that the Qun mk2 is a very capable little machine, with lots of scope for sound and pattern design, and at this price, you really can’t lose.
Nunomo Qun mk2: Hands-on demos
Nunomo Qun mk2: Specifications
- Compact analogue modelling synthesizer
- Granular and FM capabilities
- Two oscillators
- Four envelopes
- Looper and sequencer
- micro SD card for saving and loading
- MIDI (TRS to MIDI adapter included)
- CONTACT: Nunomo