The Midium




Future Retro's description of the Future Retro Vectra Analog/Digital Hybrid Synthesizer  

THE MIDIUM® CURATOR'S NOTE: Low serial numbers available.

Cam: As Future Retro returns to the world of electronic musical instruments with their upgraded Vectra, it is worth noting that The Midium® currently holds two low serial number units: #011 and #012. According to Future Retro, the first 10 were issued pre-release, so #011 and #012 stand as two of the earliest production units you can get. Typically, instruments with low serial numbers tend to hold historical relevance over time, since they represent the beginning of a particular model's run. If you have any questions, or a preference for one number over another, please make sure to contact us. We would be more than happy to provide you with all the information you need and to accommodate your request while supplies last.

Welcome back, Vectra.

After a long year of getting Futureretro back up and running, the Vectra, of which only 90 original units were ever produced, is once again ready to ship in limited quantities. The improved Vectra features new firmware which includes:


    • Randomization over sequencer parameters.
    • Reset to step 1 of sequencer.
    • Midi cc control over sequencer parameters.
    • Midi cc in and out of joysticks.
    • Sequencer parameter improvement for more convenient usage of features during live performance including keyboard enhancements.

Bug Fixes.

    • Eliminates crash when receiving midi data during preset change.
    • All 16 midi channels now sending and receiving.
    • Fixes crashes on sequencer edit page when using for long periods of time.

Soundset Expanded By...

    • Matia Simovich
    • Jon Sonenberg
    • Drew Schlesinger

The Vectra also now features highly stylized, black anodized aluminum end caps, attractive / easy to re-use packaging with Styrofoam inserts & box handle, a universal power supply, and both an addendum and quick start guide to accompany the original, high quality, owner’s manual.

Quick Overview.

The Vectra is a unique hybrid synthesizer with a flexible architecture that allows many different forms of synthesis to be realized. It’s the best of both worlds… The Vectra utilizes digital oscillators, ring modulators, noise sources, vector mixer, LFO’s, complex envelopes, and modulation routings providing many capabilities that would be very difficult to produce with analog circuitry alone. This allows for accurate tuning, repeatability of complex patches, and patch storage. The Vectra also provides a multi-mode analog filter, VCA, and final output, as these provide the best sonic qualities.

The Vectra includes a powerful and fun sequencer and arpeggiator, with many new capabilities. Although the Vectra is a self contained instrument, MIDI can be used to interface with other devices.

Detailed Description.

The Vectra provides four oscillators, white and pink noise sources, four ring modulators, a four-channel mixer, five LFO’s, six morphing envelopes, six primary multimode analog filter types, a main analog VCA, and numerous internal modulation routings and VCA’s controlling modulation amounts.

It really is like having a powerful self-contained semi-modular synthesizer with approximately 500 internal signal routings, and around 256 storable sound parameters.

The synthesizer architecture is designed to allow the greatest flexibility in recreating multiple synthesis techniques of the past while introducing several new innovations. The sound section has been inspired by features of the greatest synthesizers ever made, while not focusing specifically on recreating any instrument in particular. The Vectra is in fact it’s own unique self-contained instrument.

The oscillators are digital as this provides the highest degree of tuning stability, while allowing both virtual analog and digital waveform generations. With features like oscillator Sync, PWM, our new waveform Phase Slice, and Fade features, independent glide times per oscillator, constant beat detuning, and paraphonic voice modes, not to mention FM, AM, ring-modulation, and dedicated LFO’s, envelopes, and VCA’s per oscillator really make these oscillators a power house.

The four-channel mixer is unique in that it provides an even balance when mixing multiple sources, either manually with the joystick, or applying automated vector mixing, or mixer modulation.

The five LFO’s provide 500+ waveforms to choose from, with their frequency spanning from sub-audio into the audio range. Their frequency can be stationary or track keyboard notes with glide. Waveforms can sync to any waveform phase at a note-on, and they can be frequency modulated as well. In short they can be used as LFO’s, complex envelopes, or audio rate oscillators.

The six morphing envelopes are really something else. With each envelope providing initial Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, Release, as well as a loop time when they are set to Repeat. Ultra precise and snappy they provide envelope times from 0ms to 14.7 seconds per each stage. Each envelope provides multiple envelope curve selections, and can be one-shot, normal envelope types, or looping.

And did you notice they can morph? Yes, that’s right! Envelopes can morph and modulate between two individual values per each envelope stage.

The analog multimode filter provides six primary filter types being: 4-pole low-pass, 2-pole low-pass, 1-pole low-pass, 2-pole band-pass, 2-pole high-pass, 2-pole notch, with some additional selections to define a filter’s self resonance response, and also to recreate a very unique characteristic of the EMS VCS type filter modulation. The filter can track notes played on the keyboard, has a dedicated LFO, Envelope, and one additional modulation source.

And finally the analog VCA before all those sweet sounds hit our ears. The Amplifier VCA has a dedicated morphing envelope as well.  This synthesizer covers so much sonic territory from analog to digital sounds, traditional to experimental, bass, leads, solos, percussion, effects, drones, ambient sounds, and those yet to be discovered.

The Vectra provides a 29-note capacitive touch keyboard for ultra-fast key response, with Note-On/Off, Pitch, Velocity, Aftertouch, Auto-Glide features, with Pitch-Bend and Mod-Wheel controls. The Vectra keybed incorporates our original design to allow gliding through chromatic notes, major keys, or minor keys. The keyboard also provides 29 selectable musical Scales, with linear transposition, and scale transposition. While some may think this 29 note keybed is limiting, realize that most real instruments do have a limited range of notes. However once you apply scales to the keybed, you have instant access to four octaves of major scale notes, and six octaves of pentatonic scale notes.

The Vectra also includes an integrated arpeggiator and sequencer, so you can begin arpeggiating and then edit the arpeggiation just like you would a sequence, or be playing a sequence and jump into playing an arpeggiation. All arpeggiator and sequence data is stored with each individual sound file, and a total of 999 sound and sequence files can be stored on the memory card.

The arpeggiator can play notes momentarily, or up to 16 notes can be entered in any order, and held. You can then edit and manipulate the arpeggiator data just as you can do for any sequence, changing the Rhythm, or Velocity parts, entering new notes in real-time, editing any number of steps simultaneously, or applying Fills to introduce variations.

The sequencer can play internally, or sync to external sequencers, and play the internal sound section or external MIDI sound modules. Tempo range is from 10-250 BPM, with adjustable swing timing. The sequencer also provides 29 scales, linear transposition, scale transposition, octave reiteration range, 29 selectable play directions, adjustable loop point, and multiple time signatures. You can enter Pitch, Velocity, and Rhythm (note-off/on, glide, sustain) part information using the Arpeggiation mode, Step editing (where any number of steps can be edited simultaneously), Real-time recording, and Auto recording (when sequencer is stopped). The Fill mode allows multiple ways to quickly introduce variations into your sequences, and perform your music in new ways.

MIDI allows you to play any external sound modules using the internal keyboard, arpeggiator or sequencer, sync or send sync to external MIDI sequencers, and of course you can also play the internal sound section using any external MIDI keyboard or sequencer. The MIDI channel can be changed on the fly as well.

The interface is designed to be simple and to the point, providing the essential controls for performing with ease, and offering plenty of expression. As I'm sure you noticed by now, the Vectra provides four joysticks to alter multiple parameters simultaneously. One is dedicated to Pitch-Bend and Mod-Wheel control, another for the four-channel Mixer, another for the filter Cutoff and Resonance, and the fourth can be assigned to control multiple parameters simultaneously. Eight encoders with built in switches are provided to edit sound parameters and settings. The Vectra includes an Assign mode where any eight synthesizer parameters can be assigned to these controls and tailored for each individual sound. The smaller display is the Scope and is used as visual aid to see waveforms, signal levels, and modulation signals. The large display will show all parameter values for the sound and sequencer.

Each unit will include a printed manual, micro SD card, and power supply.


Frequency Range: <0.01 Hz to 20.00 kHz
Analog Modeled Waveforms: Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, Square, Pulse Width Modulated
Pulse Width Range: 1% to 99%
Pulse Width Modulation Sources: Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y,
LFO, Envelope
Digital Waveforms: 500
Number of Digital Waveforms per Oscillator: 2
Waveform Modulation Types: PWM, Slice, Fade
Waveform Start: 0 to 255 samples
Waveform Modulation Sources: Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y,
LFO, Envelope
Waveform Modulation Amount: 0 to 100
Octave Range: -7 to +5
Pitch Tuning: Semitones
Fine Tuning: 128 steps per semitone
Constant Beat Detuning: -/+5.00Hz
Paraphonic Modes: 8 total
Sync: Off/On, 0-360 degrees
Glide Time per Oscillator: 0ms to 14.7 seconds
Key Tracking: On/Off

Modulation 1 Source: LFO
Modulation 1 Control: Off, Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, LFO,
Modulation 2 Source: Envelope
Modulation 2 Control: Off, Randon1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, LFO,

Modulation 3: Randon1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, Filter LFO, Filter En-
velope, Amplifier Envelope

Total Modulation Range: 0.5 to 10 octaves
Individual Modulation Amounts: -99 to 100

LFO (1-4, Filter)
Analog Modeled Waveforms: Sine, Triangle, Ramp, Sawtooth, Square, Random
Digital Waveforms: 500
Waveform Start: 0 to 255 samples
Initial Frequency Range: 0.001 to 1001Hz (greater with key tracking and modulations)
Fine Tuning: 128 steps per semitone
Key Tracking: On/Off
Sync: Off/On, 0-360 degrees
Frequency Modulation Sources: Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y,
LFO, Envelope, Filter LFO
Total Modulation Range: 1 to 10 octaves
Modulation Amount: -99 to 100


ENVELOPES (1-4, Filter, Amplifier)
Initial Envelope Stages: Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, Release, Repeat/Loop
Modulated Envelope Stages: Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, Release, Repeat/Loop
Normal Envelope Contours: 5
One-Shot Envelope Contours: 4
Looping: On/Off with repeat time
Envelope Times per Stage: 0ms to 14.7 seconds
Sustain Level: 0 to 100%
Key Sync: on/off (retriggering)
Attack Reset: Off/On
Time Modulation Sources: Off, Random1, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y

Channels: 4
Audio Sources:
Oscillator (1-4)
Oscillator (1-4) controlled by Envelope (1-4)
Oscillator (1-4) controlled by LFO (1-4)
Ring-Modulation of Osc 1&2, Osc 2&3, Osc 3&4, Osc 4&1
White-Noise controlled by Envelope (1-4)
Pink-Noise controlled by Envelope (1-4)
Mixer Types: Manual, Envelope, One-Shot, Key-Synced, Free-Running, Modulated
Automix X:Y Location Stages: 4
Automix Stage Times: 0ms to 14.7 seconds
Mod Mix X:Y Location Stages: 2
Mod Mix Control Sources: Off, Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y,
LFO, Envelope
Mod Mix Sources: Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, LFO, Envelope,
Filter Envelope
Mod Mix Amount: 0 to 100
Output Gain: 1.00x to 5.00x

Primary Filter Types: 4p low-pass, 2p low-pass, 1p low-pass, 2p band-pass, 2p high-pass, 2p notch
Filter Frequency Range: approximately 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Resonance: 0 to 100
Key Tracking: Off/On
Modulation 1 Source: LFO
Modulation 1 Control: Off, Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, LFO-4,
Filter Envelope
Modulation 2 Source: Envelope
Modulation 2 Control: Off, Randon1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, LFO-4,
Modulation 3: Randon1/2, Key1, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-Wheel, Stick X/Y, DC+, Mix-1, Mix-2,
Mix-3, Mix-4, LFO-1, Env-1, Amplifier Envelope
Individual Modulation Amounts: -99 to 100

ANALOG AMPLIFIER (see also Envelope parameters)
Additional Envelope Type: Drone

Envelope Amplitude Modulation Control: Off, Random1/2, Key1/2, Velocity, Aftertouch, Mod-
Wheel, Stick X/Y, LFO-4, Envelope-4

Keys: 29
Scales: 29
Linear Transpose: -12 to +16
Scale Transpose: -12 to +16 notes
Octave Reiterations: -3 to +3
Tempo: 10 to 250 BPM
Swing: 50% to 75%
Sequencer Modes: Play, Arpeggiate, Fill, Edit, Real-time, Auto
Max Steps per Sequence: 16
Sequencer Parts: Pitch, Velocity, Rhythm (Note-On/Off, Glide, Sustain)
Time Signatures: 1-4, 2-4, 3-4, 4-4, 6-4, 8-4
Directions: Down, Up/Down, Up, Random, (plus 25 complex directions)
Loop Point: 1 to 16 steps

Max Number of Sounds and Sequences: 999
Global Parameters Saved: Output level, MIDI Channel, Fine Tuning, Screen Saver Time, Last File

Channels: 1-16
MIDI Messages Supported: Note-Pitch, Note-On/Off, Velocity, Aftertouch, Pitch-Bend, Mod-Wheel,
MIDI Sync: Clock, Start, Stop

Input/output: 15V DC input, MIDI (IN/THRU/OUT), 1/4” unbalanced Audio Out
Unit Dimensions: (width) 18.25” x (depth) 11.0” x (height) 3.5”
Unit Weight: 5.0 lbs
Power: 15V DC (center-pin positive) rated at 1 Amp current.