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Studiologic Sledge Black Edition

Virtual Analog Synth

Studiologic Sledge Black Edition

Succumb to the Dark Side…

It was in 2016, at Musikmesse, that Studiologic presented the Sledge Black Edition. It's a 2015 Sledge Yellow V2.0 dressed in black with its keyboard that has turned into video inversion (almost), the white ones are black and the black ones are… gray. Its characteristics and functionalities are the same as the Sledge version 2 which benefits from a lot of improvements compared to the original Sledge released in 2012: from 16 to 24 polyphonic voices, from monotimbral to bitimbral (Split or Layer), you can mix Reverb and Delay, the ability to load your own samples into the internal 60 mega Flash memory, the boosted audio output of + 6dB (only on the Sledge Black Edition), among others. The sound engine is still from Waldorf and the keyboard is also a 5 octave semi-weighted Fatar, the famous TP / 9S which equips many famous synthesizers. This 61-key keyboard responds to velocity and monophonic aftertouch. As for the design of the physiognomy of the control panel of the Sledge, since the origin, it is signed by Axel Hartmann. The Sledge Studiologic is the first synthesizer from the Italian manufacturer of MIDI master keyboards, in cooperation with Waldorf. The Studiologic Sledge is the reincarnation of the Waldorf Blofeld, with some adaptations and modifications.

The “all plastic” aspect is a bit off-putting because this visual catalogs the Sledge in cheap and low-end synths, despite the grained plastic. And the base of the Sledge, the underbody is strange, like a bowl/pan… It makes think of a proto. But on the sound side it is not, because this VA synth takes its breath away and brings out familiar and recognizable sounds, timbres and textures of the 70s and 80s. It sounds analog or digital through the wavetables. Its factory programs are reassuring about the potential of Sledge V2.0 (even V2.5.2). We are in known sound regions: Brass, Pad, Leads, Bass, E.Piano, Ambient, Arpeggiator and other sound effects (FX), as well as evolving timbres à la PPG thanks to 66 tables with 64 waves (Wavetables) drawn in the 68 of the Blofeld (missing the "67: True PWM" and "68: UpperWaves"). It is sometimes written that these 66 tables come from the PPG Wave, except the latter has only 30… The Sledge V2.0 is capable of a wide range of new textures, Techno, EDM, Ambient, Psychedelic, even of strange sound effects. The control panel has no less than 39 50s Bakelite-style buttons topping knobs and rotary switches, and a few push buttons — round slightly domed reminiscent of black Smarties — some of which are illuminated when the assigned function is active. The selected LFO indicator pulses at the frequency assigned by the SPEED knob, funny. The distribution of controls is airy and they are pleasant to handle. The keyboard with black keys is the most beautiful effect and pleasant to the touch. On the other hand, fingerprints can be seen very well, and I am not talking about small dust. The aftertouch allows a sympathetic expressiveness. The keyboard's velocity sensitivity is adjustable by the "VELOCITY CURVE" parameter. The Sledge has 3 different curves (Low / Mid / Hi) up to a fixed MIDI value (from 003 to 127). With the "HI" setting the keyboard responds with maximum sensitivity, while with the "LOW" setting you will have to hit harder. With a fixed dynamics value, the keyboard no longer has any dynamics sensitivity and some other parameters can be affected, such as the dynamics control of the AMPLIFIER ENV section.

The organization of the control panel is the same since the first version of the Studiologic Sledge, the Hartmann design. This panel is not tilted. It is flat, parallel to the keyboard raised a few centimeters. It is organized much like an analog synth, by section. From left to right, the first section — under the Waldorf logo — is made up of round STORE, EXIT, ARP, MIDI, GLOBAL and PANEL pushbuttons. This last command makes it possible to read the physical position of all the knobs, switches and keys, and to adjust according to their position or activation the parameters associated with them to adjust the sound generator to the settings of the control panel. I wonder what this RECALL command is for… At the very bottom is the MASTER VOLUME knob and the MODE section containing two functions. The TRIGGER mode offers two options: MULTIPLE and SINGLE. MULTIPLE mode lets you trigger the envelopes with each new “legato” or “staccato” note played. And SINGLE triggers the envelopes with the very first note when the others are played “legato” or all notes played “staccato”. MONO mode activates "mono" playing mode for any selected sound, which then becomes monodic regardless of the number of keys pressed on the keyboard. This function gives priority to the last note played. Above this section is a numeric keypad for selecting the Sound number (program), surmounted by two buttons [▼] (Down / Dec) and [▲] (Up / Inc) having the navigation / selection / modification function. These buttons are overlooked by an obsolete small LCD screen of 2 lines of 16 characters backlit in lunar white, very stylish 90s. On the first line are displayed the program number (on three characters) followed by the name of the program. On the second line is displayed on the left the category of the program followed by spaces and ended by a kind of strange smiley: "[ – – ]". To the left of the LCD display is the VALUE push encoder. Turn it to select a program number in memory (001-999). If you press it (PUSH function), the cursor is positioned on the right on the second line, between the brackets "[ – – ]". There, you can select a Program category by turning the encoder: INIT, ARP, ATMO, BASS, DRUM, FX, KEYS, LEAD, MONO, PAD, PERC, POLY, SEQ. You validate your choice by pressing the VALUE encoder, and the cursor returns to position itself under the program number. There, when you turn VALUE or press increment [▲] or decrement [▼] to change the Sound, only the programs in the selected category are displayed, with jumps in the sequence of program numbers. This is followed by the MODULATION section with its two LFOs (phase synchronized) and the mod WHEEL. The modulation source can be sawtooth, square, triangle, sine, Sample & Hold (S&H), ramp (RAMP). The destination can be either OSC1, OSC2, OSC3, PWM / WAVE / FM, VOLUME, or the CUTOFF of the filter. The SPEED and DEPTH knobs adjust the speed and depth of the signal. Note that the DEPTH depth value can vary from -64 to +63 (phase inversion). The SPEED, DEPTH and DESTINATION parameters may be different for the two LFOs and the WHEEL wheel. The Mod Wheel can affect any destination, just like LFOs. Note that the modulation and destination selected for the MOD WHEEL (MOD WHEEL) are also assigned to the keyboard pressure function (AFTERTOUCH) and to the expression pedal which can control VOLUME or MODULATION (if it is plugged in). Below is the GLIDE section. If GLIDE is on and SINGLE mode is on, the glissando / portamento effect will only be achieved by playing “legato”. The following is a presentation in minimoog style sections (one command = one function) with the 3 OSCILLATORS, MIXER and FILTER, with filter and amp each controlled by an ADSR envelope.

The OSCILLATORS section includes 3 digital oscillators of the subtractive type, as in analog. Sound synthesis is a mixture of analog modeling and wavetables. Among the three VA oscillators, oscillator 1 is very interesting because, in addition to the sine, triangle, square, sawtooth, and square waves with variable pulses (PWM), we also have the 66 waveta 64 16-bit waves from Blofeld. The WAVETABLE knob is orange, like the CUTOFF knob. Basic analog waveforms are also available on the other two oscillators. For Oscillos 2 and 3, there is a tune guy that can slightly disaggregate the oscillators with respect to OSC 1 (which does not have a DeTune command). There is thus obtained an thickened stamp with a kind of "chorus" effect when the oscillator is disagreeped below or above the oscillator 1. The sine or triangle waves of OSC 2 can also be frequency modulated (FM) by OSC 1, as well as the sine or triangle waves of OSC 3 can be frequency modulated by OSC 2. This configuration allows to obtain typical timbres of FM synthesis. For oscillator 2 there is a "SYNC TO OSC3" button (sync from OSC 2 to OSC 3). When this function is activated, oscillator 2 is slaved to oscillator 3. Each time oscillator 3 starts a new cycle, it sends a trigger signal to oscillator 2, forcing it to restart at the same time. the cycle of its waveform. As on a minimoog, the three oscillators arrive in a MIXER section to balance the levels (balance). As on the aptly named minimoog, there is a NOISE noise generator which can be white (WHITE) or pink (PINK). Pink noise is more muffled compared to white noise which is brighter. Each of the 4 MIXER volume potentiometers is associated with an illuminated channel ON / OFF switch. Note that activating (MIXER ON) the output of an oscillator (with the knob not at zero) will cause that oscillator and / or noise to pass through the filter and envelope sections. While the output of an oscillator chosen as FM modulator can be deactivated without this preventing it from acting on the destination oscillator. For example, if OSC 2 is enabled (OSC2 MIXER ON), OSC 1 will modulate OSC 2 as an FM parameter even if its output is disabled (OSC1 MIXER OFF).

The FILTER section is a version of the Waldorf digital filter. It is multimode with LP, BP or HP (TYPE). It can be switched between a slope of 12 dB or 24 dB (SLOPE). Resonance (RESONANCE) controls the boost of frequencies around the cutoff frequency (CUTOFF). The knob of CUTOFF is orange, like that of WAVETABLE. The filter may go into self-oscillation. KEYTRACK determines how the pitch of the filter follows the pitch of notes played on the keyboard. As for the DRIVE knob, it more or less emphasizes the saturation added to the signal at the input of the filter. Increasing the value will cause more distortion. The filter envelope has 4 ADSR segments (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release). The AMOUNT parameter in the FILTER ENV subsection determines the magnitude of the action of the ADSR envelope on the frequency and response of the filter. The higher AMOUNT is set, the greater the sweep / variation effect of the filter, controlled by the ADSR envelope section. This command accepts both negative and positive values, ranging from -64 to +63. For typical analog sounds positive values ​​are applied. With negative values ​​an inverted filter envelope is obtained. Under the FILTER section is the one dedicated to the effects.

The effects section has two modules: EFFECT 1 and EFFECT 2. The first is dedicated to modulation and the second to spatialization. These two effects can be used simultaneously. EFFECT 1 can be chosen by pressing the TYPE button: a FLANGER, a PHASER, or a CHORUS, with the LED next to the effect name on. The selected effect 1 is adjustable in RATE (speed) and DEPTH (depth). EFFECT 2 can be either: a REVERB, a DELAY, or a combination of both. The settings for effect 2 are TIME (duration of the reverb or time between two echoes) and LEVEL (“Dry / Wet” mix). By pressing the TYPE button in the EFFECT 2 section several times, the following states are successively obtained: REVERB (REVERB LED on, DELAY LED off), DELAY (REVERB LED off, DELAY LED on), REVERB + DELAY (two LEDs on) ), OFF (two LEDs off). Note that the reverb setting will be kept as it was before the DUAL EFFECT mode was activated. When REVERB + DELAY is selected, you have access to the TIME and LEVEL settings only for the Delay. The Reverb and Delay are not high end. It can help, but your best bet is to use a better quality external spatialization effect. The Chorus does better with a nice, well-enlarged stereo image.

All these buttons invite you to manipulate them to go into the sound exploration of Sounds. When you modify a parameter of a patch by turning a knob, the LCD displays the name of the parameter for a few moments on the first line and on the second line are presented the new and the old value [NEW YYY  OLD XXX]. the modified or created patch is destined to be reused later, it can be saved in one of the 999 memory locations via the STORE key. A first press on this prepares the function and you can then modify the location number The second press of the STORE key, the sound is stored in the memory at the selected address "STORE PROGRAM TO". The STORE function consists of 3 pages, accessible via the two navigation keys [▼] and [▲] under the screen. Pressing the [▼] key displays the "NAME" page, or the name is modified with the VALUE encoder. Turning it changes the underlined character, pressing PUSH advances to the letter Note that the name can only have a maximum of 12 characters The third page has displayed by pressing the [▼] key again displays "SOUND CATEGORY". When recording a new sound, it is better to assign it one category out of the 12 existing ones. This can be chosen as follows: INIT, ARP, ATMO, BASS, DRUM, FX, KEYS, LEAD, MONO, PAD, PERC, POLY, SEQ. The INIT category is for unbuilt programs, those after 206 when the Sledge has just been unpacked. Note that there is no physical COMPARE button on the Sledge. Maybe it will appear in software during a next update… The Sledge Black (in V2.5.2 for mine) comes with a little more than 200 factory programs preloaded (206 Factory Programs to be exact).

Since version 2.0 of the Sledge firmware, the AUTO DUAL mode allows you to play 2 Sounds (programs) simultaneously, either in SPLIT (2 ranges of the keyboard) or in LAYER (superposition of 2 Sounds). The default setting is OFF on page 5 of the GLOBAL menu and is changed with the VALUE encoder. Like any other Program, “Dual Sound” combinations can be saved (and renamed) to any of the 999 memory locations. To create a LAYER, hold down at least two keyboard keys, then select a new sound with the numeric keypad or the VALUE encoder. To create a SPLIT, just hold down a key on the keyboard, then select a new sound with the numeric keypad or the VALUE encoder. The selection of this new sound will be UPPER from the split point set with the keyboard key pressed. Page 4 of the GLOBAL menu allows you to choose whether the Pitch Wheel and Sustain pedal are active for the Upper sound, the Lower sound or both. This function is only active in DUAL MODE and affects all DUAL sounds, as it is a GLOBAL setting.

The arpeggiator (ARP) is classic. It is derived from that of the Blofeld. The arpeggiator is an automatic arpeggiator in real time, controlled by a few menu pages, programmable by the user, which I can scroll through using the navigation buttons [▼] and [▲] below the screen, which I select and modify with the VALUE encoder. The modes are OFF, ON, LATCH, the direction is UP, DOWN, ALT UP, ALT DOWN, ranging from 1 to 5 octaves. Individual notes follow one of these chosen parameters: AS PLAYED, REVERSED, KEY LO-HI, KEY HI-LO. There is no random (RANDOM) order of generation of notes. The arpeggiator has its internal tempo (40-300) or MIDI (DIN or USB) which is specified in the options of the GLOBAL menu.

In the global settings (GLOBAL), you can assign different uses of the pedal (PEDAL): with a setting on Mod Wheel, the expression pedal (if there is one connected) has the same functions as the wheel modulation. If Cutoff is selected, the pedal controls the cutoff frequency of the filter. The pedal can control the VOLUME.

With Sledge OS version 2, you can now load samples and new waveforms into the 60MB internal Flash memory. Only oscillator OSC 1 can play these samples. They are modifiable by all the parameters available on the control panel, to which are added the other oscillators, the filter and the envelopes, as well as the effects. Adding samples allows you to expand the sonic possibilities of the Sledge.

The Sledge Specter software allows you to edit the samples (notes, chord, length, etc.) and send them to the Sledge 2.0 via the USB port. You can work with Specter without the Sledge being connected to the computer. You can even listen to them on the computer. Then you can transfer them to the Sledge memory. Specter software is Windows and macOS compatible. It can be downloaded from the Studiologic website.

The Sledge Sound Mapper software allows you to organize Sounds in memory, load sounds (.syx), copy or move programs, save libraries (.syx), send or receive one or more or all Sounds to or from the Sledge via a USB MIDI connection.

The Sledge has a fairly wide sound palette, from analog bass like minimoog, including Brass or String from Oberheim Matrix-6 style. The digital register is not to be outdone with acid sounds or timbres in perpetual movement thanks to the wavetable tables which are very “alive”, more animated than on the ASM Hydrasynth. These wavetables are very close to what I had on the Ensoniq VFX. Programming or modifying a Sound is simple because the parameters are reduced to a minimum. Access is direct without going through a choice on the LCD screen with menu and submenus. The aftertouch is very pleasant because it is progressive over a depth run which is correct, not by one millimeter, and the action is felt without pressing the keys like a nag. The Sledge Black has a look that does not leave me indifferent.

The Studiologic Sledge is or has been used by Kern Brantley, Kim Bullard, Geoff Downes, Kit French, Tony Gerber, Gianni Giudici, Adam Ledbetter, Jordan Rudess, Neara Russell, Derek Sherinian, Michel Taran, Mike Taylor, Rick Wakeman...

A Virtual Analog synthesizer is all digital (or uses digital circuitry to control analog components). It emulates analog characteristics by implementing mathematical models of analog circuitry. Analog modeling is a type of physical modeling, which imitates electronic hardware.

The principle of subtractive synthesis consists in filtering signals rich in harmonics. Simple to implement and economical, subtractive synthesis naturally imposed itself on the first synthesizers, from the sixties. Subtractive synthesis can take another source than the classic oscillator delivering simple periodic waveforms, whether it is analog or digital. Beginning in the late 1980s, many subtractive synthesizers used digital samples as a source of synthesis. They can be samples of acoustic or electric instruments, taken separately (piano, bass, organ ...) or recorded together (section of brass, strings ...), but also of various voices or noises. . The efficiency of a filter is a function of its slope, also called "rolloff" or "slope", expressed in decibels per octave (dB / octave) or in pole. The term "pole" refers to the typical diagram of a filter having a slope of 6 dB / octave. Thus, there are 1 pole, 2 pole (12 dB / octave), 3 pole (18 dB / octave) and 4 pole (24 dB / octave) filters. Adding the poles amounts to placing identical filters in series. Robert Moog is credited with the idea of ​​putting four low-pass filters in series, a scheme referred to as the Moog cascade. On a subtractive synthesizer, two main parameters allow you to adjust the filtering effect: the cutoff frequency which is the frequency from which the filter will come into action, and the resonance (available on some instruments), which allows to bring the filter into self-oscillation. This then behaves like an oscillator. It is also possible to modify the temporal evolution of the effect by adding an amplitude envelope to the filter.

Wolfgang Palm, creator of the German firm PPG, is credited with the idea of the wavetable reading principle: using the standard synthesizer scheme, the wavetable system replaces the classic oscillator, delivering waveforms. single waves, by a memory containing digital samples of waveforms, each sample being more or less different from the other. It is therefore a question of chaining in reading several different waveforms, with varying degrees of fade between each one, in order to create an effect of modification of the timbre of the final tone, or on the contrary sudden changes of tone. The first synthesizers to use this technology were the PPG Wave. Korg with the Wavestation, or Waldorf with the MicroWave and the Wave, or Ensoniq with the SQ and VFX, have adopted this system, generally coupled with other synthesis processes.

Vector synthesis first appeared in 1986 on the Prophet VS at Sequential Circuits thanks to an idea by Chris Meyer with the help of Dave Smith. Also using a joystick for controlling the effect, vector synthesis is not to be confused with matrix modulation systems using the same type of controller. Vector synthesis is in fact, like matrix modulation, more of a sound control system than a system of modifying or creating the final timbre by electronic processes. Controlling two or four sound sources (oscillators, samples, FM operators), the joystick simply allows you to mix the volume of each of them. As it is a joystick, moving the cursor to a point will increase the volume of the generator associated with that point, while that associated with its opposite will be decreased in inversely identical proportions. Note that it is also possible to intervene on the tuning of the elements. Integrating a system for recording the position of the joystick, making it possible to store several seconds of manipulation and to loop all or part of the stored events, associated with a keyboard triggering system, vector synthesis allows some interesting sound effects. The reading speed of the recorded movement can also be modified.

Constituting the major part of the current electronic instruments, the reading of samples is an easy way to manufacture synthesizers with subtractive synthesis. Indeed, rather than making original and evolving waveforms, we thought it was interesting to store a multitude of sound samples and use them as a basis to create complex timbres. This technique made instruments based on this principle very realistic. Because of the recognizable character of a number of samples, it is sometimes difficult to create radically new sounds. Strictly speaking, it is not a true synthesis.

Synthesis by frequency modulation was developed in the early 1970s by the American John Chowning at Stanford University in the United States. Naturally linked to digital technologies, the only ones capable of providing the necessary precision, FM synthesis uses a modulation principle similar to that used in radio transmission: the frequency of a periodic wave, the carrier, is varied as a function of the amplitude of another wave, the modulator. Despite the theoretical simplicity of the system and the few calculations required to obtain a signal, programming a sound by FM synthesis remains a delicate task because intuition is not required: a slight modification of a single parameter can radically modify the final tone, which is not the case for other synthesis processes.

Expression in real time! Modulating means intervening on certain parameters of the sound, either interactively, in the same way as an instrumentalist with velocity, pressure, Pitch bend, Breath Controller or any MIDI control, or by means of a predefined effect: envelope, LFO… Matrix modulation is in fact, as with vector synthesis, more of a sound control system and allows you to modify or create the look of the final timbre by electronic processes. Like modular synthesizers, made up of various modules that can be connected to each other, matrix modulation makes it possible to create various connections between the modules of the synth (LFO, envelopes, etc.). It is in fact an extremely flexible method of sound control, allowing most of the instrument's controllers (keyboard, knobs, envelopes, etc.) to be assigned to sensitive parameters (filter, LFO, amplifier. ..). On the old modulars, such as the Moog 55, it was necessary to physically connect ("patch") cables between the modules or insert plugs on a matrix: junction in X and Y (sources in rows, destinations in columns) as on the EMS VCS3; hence the name "matrix". On modern machines, the wheel to the LFO and the Bender to the Pitch are already pre-patched. Today, the modules are assigned to each other by software. Synthesizers incorporating matrix modulation generally offer flexibility of use and a wide range of creative possibilities.

Technical characteristics

Issue dateJune 2016
Synthesis typeVirtual analog, Subtractive,
Wave table,
Sample Player,
FM (2 operator),
Mutators (4)
Memory66 waveforms in ROM
KeyboardNumber of keys61
Full-Size Keys
AftertouchMonophonic YES
Polyphonic NO
(Pitch and Vibrato)
Ribbon controllerNO
Touch PadØ
Potentiometers, encoders and commutators39
DisplayLCD with 2 lines of 16 characters
Programs, Singles, Voices (presets/progr.)999 programs
Combis, Patches, Performances, Multi (presets/progr.)NON
Polyphony24 voice
Number of oscillators/generators3 oscillators per voice
MultitimbralYES, bitimbral
Drum soundsimitation
wave drum loop
Effects Spacialisation :
Delay, Reverb

Modulation :
Flanger, Phaser, Chorus
Phrases integrated
External storageStudiologic Sound Mapper,
MIDI (DIN)OUT (1) / IN (1)
USBConnectorYES (type B)
Version mini2
Interface MIDI YES
Audio NO
Compatibility OSWindows - MacOS
Driver NO
Class Compliant
FIREWIRE (IEEE-1394) ConnectorNO
Version mini
Interface MIDI
Compatibility OS
Audio outputAnalog Stereo JACKs 1/4" TS
Digital NO
OptionsSustain pedal,
Expression pedal
Compatibility programsStudiologic Sledge Yellow

/!\ Set the MASTER VOLUME to zero before turning on the Sledge. Otherwise beware of the big "PLOC" in the listening system (ditto in the headphone output). Be careful, when you switch off the Sledge, there is also the "PLOC".

/!\ There is a slight constant background noise as soon as the MASTER VOLUME reaches the "8 o'clock" position, graduation 10. Between 10 and 127 this background noise is constant. It is especially noticeable with headphones.

/!\ When you turn on the Sledge again, the last previously selected program is gone. We start with program OO1. If a category was selected, it's the same, back to [ - - ].

/!\ There is no PANIC button which would come in handy when there are stuck notes, as happens on some patches or when changing patches (CC # 123 All Notes Off and CC # 121 Reset All Controllers). Perhaps this function will appear in software during a next update, by pressing a combination of keys [▼] (Down / Dec) and [▲] (Up / Inc) for example.

/!\ When a program has been edited, we are not notified that the patch has been modified. The screen does not display a star "  " conventionally between the number and the name of the Sound, as is often done on other synths. However, there would be space in the second line between the name of the CATEGORY of the Sound and the selected category to display a message, like this :

POLY*EDIT*[ -- ]

There is no light that would start to flash to warn. 

/!\ There is no Audio Over USB.

crayon The audio, headphone, MIDI and USB jacks are on the left side. This is useful when you want the Sledge to stick to the wall.

crayon The power supply is internal and universal 100-240V. The bipolar mains socket (IEC C8 male) is on the back, next to the ON / OFF switch. We cannot therefore stick the Sledge to the wall.

crayon Behind the Studiologic Sledge 2 is the Italian company Fatar, known as a supplier and manufacturer of quality master keyboards.

crayon With its ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) body, the Studiologic Sledge Black weighs just over 8 kilos. And the ABS is solid.

Yep ! The Sledge Black has two golden buttons in the shape of a Nespresso® capsule. The yellow Sledge doesn't have them.

Yep ! If you want to stand out on stage, take the yellow version. souriant

Yep ! There is a very nice customization of the Sledge woody version.

See Owner's Manual pdf (3,8 Mb) ITEN

See SPECTRE Manual pdf (494 Kb) EN

See Sledge Factory Programs Map du Sledge V2.0 pdf (300 Kb)

The PANIC function exists !
(All Notes Off & Reset All controller)

After asking Studiologic support if it was possible to add a PANIC function to the Sledge (with my idea mentioned above), they replied that the function already exists! It is in the MASTER VOLUME potentiometer. When we turn this knob all the way to the left we hear a small “Click” which acts on a circuit which stops all the generators (oscillators) and also cuts the left and right audio outputs (to avoid hearing a “Ploc”).

▶ So if you have problems while using the Sledge, for example if notes do not stop or the sound is strange, you can use this PANIC function to solve the problem.


The unusual case of the Studiologic Sledge is nothing new. This is a recycling of an old master keyboard produced by FATAR in the mid-90s. This body is that of the CMS61 “Computer Music Station”, a 5-octave MIDI controller keyboard, appeared in 1994 or 95. The large recessed area on top was intended to hold a computer keyboard with a space for a mouse pad on the right. This piano keyboard was in velocity sensitive light touch, pitch wheel, programmable modulation wheel, program change keys, channel change, a volume pedal input and two MIDI outputs, etc. The CMS61 was configurable a bit like the Roland PC-200, using the keyboard keys. It was necessary to supply it with 9V by an adapter.

What is fun on this advertising photo is the keyboard that is not plugged in.

Axel Hartmann has devised and designed the ergonomics of a number of synthesizers. So the Alesis Andromeda, Access Virus Pølar, Moog Voyager, Arturia Matrixbrute, Roland Fantom 2019 and Studiologic Sledge synths, to name a few, have control panels of its creation.

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