In a new era of MIDI instruments, synthesizers, workstations, and turntables, it can be hard to find that mix of quality construction and function. Instruments should first and foremost be fun to use; if an instrument doesn’t feel good to play, people won’t use it. While plenty of manufacturers miss the mark when it comes to creating a user-friendly experience, Critter and Guitari have always prided themselves on creating unique products to fit every musicians’ needs and tastes, and the ETC is their latest flagship video synthesizer that blows the competition out of the water.
If you’re a musician looking to step up your live visuals or music videos, the ETC can be your all-in-one graphics powerhouse. A serious upgrade from the BW and Rhythm Scopes, the built-in visual algorithms provide close to infinite permutations of scenes and patterns, and you can even program your own if you have the know-how. Critter and Guitari products are made with metal housing with wooden buttons. While this simplistic design may seem a little on the nose, the tactile feeling from pressing the buttons is very satisfying; this instrument is undeniably fun to use.
The coolest part about the ETC is that it the algorithms respond dynamically to the music, like the iTunes visualizer but way more sophisticated and involved. There are options to save effects to user presets, so your favorite scenes can be accessed with the push of a button. The ETC also supports foot switches, MIDI, USB, and HDMI (it can even turn into a WiFi hotspot if you set it up with an additional USB device, effectively turning the ETC into a web browser). Critter and Guitari continues their practice of creating well-designed and functional products for musicians with their new ETC synth; any musician would find this a powerful tool for creating a profound live experience.