At the recent Musikmesse Ken Macbeth introduced the improved M5, the M5N. There have been some refinements in this design of the M5N instrument including yet further tightening of the of the transistor based Envelope Generators, on the ‘FAST’ setting, the Attack/Decay/Release parameters have been shortened by some milliseconds to produce the snappiest envelopes to date.
On the contrary, the ‘SLOW’ setting has these same parameters generating constants of up 5 minutes in rise and fall times, great for slow evolving ambient movements. Both Filters have been subject to far greater signal to noise ratios providing clean and equal outputs due to improved output stages using a combination of different parts. Cosmetically, it’s not just a new paint job, Macbeth has changed the slider caps from the mixer type to a more conventional synthesizer type.
Each Oscillator now has the ‘hidden’ preset calibration parameters available to the user with the use of a small screwdriver, parameters such as tuning, waveshaping and range are now at the discretion of the player, not everybody wants oscillators rigidly in tune and some may feel that they prefer a more vintage sound by affecting how the oscillators track in accordance with each other, subtly adjusting the oscillator tracking can provide the user with some very ‘fat’ bass end sounds, conversely high end detuning can add some real sparkle to recordings! Any of the adjustments can be quickly and easily returned to the normal without fuss. Other functions also have this facility and this also means not having to send a unit back to be recalibrated.
Other features that have been included in the M5N are the facility to voltage control the dual LFOs with and external OV to +5V signal, great with an external function generator. Even some of the ‘normalised’ patching has changed too, VCF2 mixer is now mixed in to the VCF1 should the user desire, as is mixing the VCF2 mixer into the Ring Modulator.
M5N is currently being produced in a short run- the unit is available from Analogue Haven (USA), RL Music (UK), Schneiders Buero (Germany) and MESI (France). Buying the M5N from MacBeth Studio Systems is £2500.00 GBP excluding VAT if in the EU, excluding shipping.