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One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

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One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:52 am

Im considering (and I must stress considering) selling up my JP8080 and Juno 106, saving my money I already have saved and not buying the Nord Rack and the Roland Rompler (mentioned in other threads) and buying something like the Alesis Andromeda A6 or a prophet 08?

What would others do and why? Every one I have chatted to or heard mentioning the A6 had nothing but praise for them so far.

Also anyone owned an A6 or a prophet? Opinions?
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Zukan » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:37 pm

Yes, but each one of your synths has a different matrix, colour etc...

The A6 is a beast, no doubt about that, but you will limit yourself in terms of flexibility and colour.

Not saying it's a bad idea but one to think about carefully.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:42 pm

Hello Zukan

TBH, I doubt id go for this. I just enjoy creating healthy debate on synths

Seriously, I love my Juno and JP. But I do ofter wonder what if if, we all do.

I def won't be getting a pro 08 as its only bitimbral. Hardly a workhorse. Also I have heard that the A6 is damned hard to program to get the best out of it.

Still its often a thought that passes through my mind so thought id run it by the SOS psychology dept

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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:09 pm

I wouldn't buy it even if I had the money
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:12 pm

Care to elaborate Martin? Pro or A6? Why also?
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:49 pm

Prophet fo'sho over the lame Andromeda...
This may hurt some people..but there was a mint Jupiter 8 here for only 1k....now that imo poops on both of them synths..this biatch has full blown discrete vco oscilators
What a discrete circuit is instead of using an IC (intergrated circuit aka small chip) it uses big components like capacitors, inductors and resistors..ok so it's a bit more prone to drift BUT it sounds better.
For the money of the Andromeda I want blood...I heard it and it's nothing special imo..
While the Prophet what ever it uses I know it's bound to have some balls and character..it's Dave Smith! lol
He's a small independent company so yea it's expensive but I can justify it more than smelly Alesis aka Numark aka Akai
Also you may find the A6 a bit fidly to use and program actually..
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:54 pm

Kola I recomed to you a Waldorf Pulse....please try it
People never took notice when I said it untill they got one and wen ohhhh s*itt so thats what he was on about
It's an analogue mono synth you can pick up for about 150 sheets that has a truly barking mad sound...you can even stack them up if you have more than one and it becomes polyphonic
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:26 pm

Had one when they first come out mate. Very good.

First mono synth I would go for though would have to be Studio Electronics's SE-1.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:56 am

Never used an Andromeda, but last year I sold my Jupiter 8 (which was the only hardware synth I had) and have since bought a few monosynths to replace it. It's way more fun and I get loads more out of the replacement gear. Yes a big analogue poly is a wonderful thing, but I don't think I would go back.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:13 am

Hi Sam,

What mono's did you replace it with out of interest?
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:35 am

Knowing your predilection for hardware I would suggest not only selecting the flavour-fest of a few separate boxes, rather than an all-in-one, but also going back a little more into history to the true analogues you clearly covet.

Failing that my first contemporary hardware purchase right now would be a Moog Little Phatty. I'd also get on the waiting list for one of those new Moog Taurus. It's all going to be about budget.

Give me a shout when your current gear goes up for sale!
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:17 am

Hiya Elf.

Don't hold you breath re me selling my stuff. As said im more just exploring a thought here. I already know the answer.

Not sure Id like to go too far back to owning analogues now after my experience with my 101. Thanks to my recent buying and selling I now have strict parameters with what I require.

1 - Stable tuning or the ability to effectively auto tune
2 - Patch memories
3 - A synth is only as multitimbral to me as the amount of mono outs's it has. IE 32 part with 4 mono outs in my book is four parts.
4 - Must be MIDI compatible. (As I have learned MIDI to CV converters add even more tuning problems.)

I think the above pointers preclude anything from before the mid 80's and so the majority of true analogue.

As much as Id love to have (and the money to be able to actually afford) a Minimoog, Prophet 5 and a Jupiter 8 etc etc I have found with my brief experience with my 101 that 50% of your time is sent as a technician trying to keep them running or sampling due to no memories. My 106 on the other hand just switches on and off we go.

Im not doubting for one minute the superiority of these legend synths (moog, pro, Jupiter) but it seems you really do have to work had for that sound.
As said in another thread, im 36 with a 2 year old daughter, wife, University and a part time job. I need simple and effective from the off set.

I honestly love the position I am in. I am finally at a stage where I at least have an idea of the direction I am heading in with what kit I knew. I know one mans meat is another mans poison but the hardware and indeed studio I build is already dictated to me by life. Until I can earn a full time income through music (extremely doubtful ever) this is no doubt the way it will be.

I do love running all these questions by board members here. I have learned so much here just running things by other members. Thanks to you all.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:07 am

At the mo I've got an MS20, a Polivoks and a Kawai/Teisco S100p. I'm vaguely on the lookout for a smaller and cheaper polysynth like a Juno or Polysix but don't feel any urgent need.

Dunno about other polys, but the Jupiter was built like a tank, I never really had any reliability problems with it, and you could always dump the memories to a computer via the tape interface. But what I found was that I spent ages programming great sounds that never fitted into my tracks, and that for the poly sounds I did want in my tracks, soft synths did the job fairly well. The JP8 does sound great, but in some ways quite tame next to a fully analogue monosynth like the MS or Polivoks. Yes you can stack all 16 oscillators in Unison mode, but it doesn't usually give you useful results, and you can't abuse the filters in the same way.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Beerma§ter » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:35 pm

Well with your requirements there is quite a choice out there. I would be working out If wanted a Rompler synth with tones of everything from sampled sounds to synth OR a dedicated synth that sounds great as a synth ( but not good at acoustic emulations ! )

A6 is a love or hate thing. I have the second unit to hit the UK - don't use it much when I do It's just right. Excels at unusual and complexed sounds especially evolving pads and such.

Maybe you should think about an Oberheim Xpander. 4 part multitimbral - individual voice outs. THE original MIDI-Modular architecture with amazing power and versatility .

Omega 8 - LOADS of money but quality sound... limited mod routings.

Lester Barnes.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby The Silent Coup » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:54 pm

Get the A6. end of story!

Weve been using one for the past 7 years, and it is still a joy to use. Once you get to know it, the interface is quick to use, intuitive, flexible, and clear (you will be hard pressed to find a bigger screen on a synth).

The sounds that come out of it are immense. As Dnb/jungle producers, it provides everything we ever need: from techy stabs and lush sweeping pads, to tearing LFO monstrosities and the deepest sub tones imaginable. The freqs and overtones go lower than we need (and hear!). The filters sound great as well, with the option of LP/HP/BP/notch as well as pre-filters. While it can be a fight to get good sounds out of it, the rewards are endless.

Not to mention, you can also run up to 16 voices simultaneously with their own separate outputs, although these do get eaten up if they are polyphonic. However, if the voice is routed via that master out rather than a voice out, this can be avoided.

There are also massive routing options which, despite the years, we still havent got out heads around. FM modultation, sub-OCS', engine optimiser, 3 envelopes, audio inputs for filters, sequencer (complex but deep), arpeggiator... its just too sick.

Of course, your decision depends on your musical intentions as well as your budget. But if youve got the funds, get one. Get one!
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:21 pm

I'm surprised you’re finding the 101 CV tuning such a problem Kola – I wish I could take you through it one time and show you how easy it is! The 101 is a fairly stable synth tuning-wise – once done the volts-per-octave would probably not need re-trimming for years.

I re-trim the volts-per-octave span on all my analogue monos in about 5 minutes every few months - it's certainly not a major undertaking. Other than that all they need is a quick tweak of the tuning knob before an important take.

The tip about the Oberheim Xpander is certainly a good one. Expensive, but what a monster of a synth! And it has an autotune feature…
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby narcoman » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:02 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:Prophet fo'sho over the lame Andromeda...
This may hurt some people..but there was a mint Jupiter 8 here for only 1k....now that imo poops on both of them synths..this biatch has full blown discrete vco oscilators
What a discrete circuit is instead of using an IC (intergrated circuit aka small chip) it uses big components like capacitors, inductors and resistors..ok so it's a bit more prone to drift BUT it sounds better.
For the money of the Andromeda I want blood...I heard it and it's nothing special imo..
While the Prophet what ever it uses I know it's bound to have some balls and character..it's Dave Smith! lol
He's a small independent company so yea it's expensive but I can justify it more than smelly Alesis aka Numark aka Akai
Also you may find the A6 a bit fidly to use and program actually..


as an owner of a Prophet 5, Prophet 08 and an A6 - wildy wildy different beasts. Not even for the same things at all - like comparing oranges and sheep.

The A6 is a very good synth - starting to sound a little dated though... and all over media music like CSI.... Prophets - GREA synths, but very much in that vein of analogue synths. you'll not get Prodigy basslines out of one, for example. heh.... Yes on the "deep and lots to get lost in "

New love at the moment - is the Monomachine..... but that aint vintage
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Dave B » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:21 pm

narcoman wrote:as an owner of a Prophet 5, Prophet 08 and an A6 -

It's official. I now hate you!!



(jealousy is such an ugly thing...)
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Zukan » Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:28 pm

narcoman wrote:
as an owner of a Prophet 5, Prophet 08 and an A6 - wildy wildy different beasts. Not even for the same things at all - like comparing oranges and sheep.

The A6 is a very good synth - starting to sound a little dated though... and all over media music like CSI.... Prophets - GREA synths, but very much in that vein of analogue synths. you'll not get Prodigy basslines out of one, for example. heh.... Yes on the "deep and lots to get lost in "

New love at the moment - is the Monomachine..... but that aint vintage

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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby narcoman » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:03 pm

Dave B wrote:
narcoman wrote:as an owner of a Prophet 5, Prophet 08 and an A6 -


It's official. I now hate you!!



(jealousy is such an ugly thing...)


i was gonna give you them as well...... darn it.... and I guess they're not strictly mine, but the companies..... sooooo

Speaking of nice pieces of kit. The Dave Smith Mopho is a great little thing - and a great price to boot. Sort of thing you could plop a nice mono bass sound on a live sequencer.... really cool .... seriously recommended.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Peter Conz Connelly » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:25 pm

Kola wrote:Had one when they first come out mate. Very good.

First mono synth I would go for though would have to be Studio Electronics's SE-1.

I have to say... I owned as SE-1X, sold it for £1200 and replaced it with a Pulse+ for £200 which isn't all that different. The Pulse, IMO, is the better mono-synth. As others have said, you'll know why if you get to play with one. WOW!!!

P
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby steveman » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:00 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:
This may hurt some people..but there was a mint Jupiter 8 here for only 1k....now that imo poops on both of them synths..this biatch has full blown discrete vco oscilators
What a discrete circuit is instead of using an IC (intergrated circuit aka small chip) it uses big components like capacitors, inductors and resistors..ok so it's a bit more prone to drift BUT it sounds better.
While the Prophet what ever it uses I know it's bound to have some balls and character..it's Dave Smith! lol
He's a small independent company so yea it's expensive but I can justify it more than smelly Alesis aka Numark aka Akai
Also you may find the A6 a bit fidly to use and program actually..
The new Prophet actually uses DCO's(OMG!), and 8 Curtis VCF/VCA chips, so by your definition should sound even worse.

You can't simplify the sound of an instrument down it "it's discrete, therefore way better than anything else", there's a lot more too it than that. Never found the Andromeda smelly either.

On the few occasions I've fiddled with the Andromeda it's not blown me away, but I know it's a real programmers synth that takes time. Did find it fiddly to use too. Reckon the Prophet is more immediate.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby jellyjim » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:04 am

vinyl_junkie wrote:Dave Smith! lol
He's a small independent company so yea it's expensive but I can justify it more than smelly Alesis aka Numark aka Akai

You can't really make that equation, certainly not in that order anyway. Numark acquired Alesis in 2001 and then Akai Professional in 2004. Whilst the A6 release was around 2000/2001, it's development certainly pre-dates the Numark acquisition.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby hollowsun » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:33 am

steveman wrote:The new Prophet actually uses DCO's(OMG!), and 8 Curtis VCF/VCA chips, so by your definition should sound even worse.

You can't simplify the sound of an instrument down it "it's discrete, therefore way better than anything else", there's a lot more too it than that.
Quite. A lot of old analogue polys used Curtis and SSM chips.

The much acclaimed Oberheim Xpander/Matrix 12 is made of chips for the analogue signal path but the LFOs and envelopes, etc., are actually software.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby hollowsun » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:09 am

jellyjim wrote:You can't really make that equation, certainly not in that order anyway. Numark acquired Alesis in 2001 and then Akai Professional in 2004. Whilst the A6 release was around 2000/2001, it's development certainly pre-dates the Numark acquisition.
Indeed.

The 'Andy' was an ambitious project that pretty much buggered the old Alesis (that and Masterlink I think) and when they were in trouble, they were acquired by Numark. Numark were such ruthless, smelly bastards that they, ermmmm, funded the projects through to their conclusion so that Alesis could finish them and get the A6 and Masterlink to market. The A6 is an excellent polysynth with a lot of depth and power that has a strong user base and a lot of very devoted fans (oh - and the Masterlink is still in production and sells well).

As you say, Numark acquired Akai in 2004 and once again, the bastards were so smelly and ruthless that they, ermmmm, funded the re-release of Akai's popular DPS24 24-track 'digital studio' as well as getting the troubled MPC4000 into as good a shape as they possibly could before (reluctantly) discontinuing it owing to the unavailability of some rather obscure components the 'old' Akai chose for the product. Numark also funded the further development of the EWI resulting in a new model as well as further development of the MPC range.

Numark could have, if they chose, dropped all of these products and just acquired the technology for themselves. But they didn't. And although Alesis and Akai are under the umbrella of Numark, the companies remain pretty autonomous even if there's some commonality between them and a sharing of resources ... which makes perfect sense now in this economic climate.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Dave B » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:58 am

Interesting that Narcoman rates the Mopho. And I almost went for a Pulse a couple of times many moons ago.

I've been having analogue acquisition thoughts recently but I never even considered the Andromeda. I understand that they pretty much stabilised the reliability but at launch it was very flaky and I was put off. Plus I didn't really _get_ it - a lot of money for a hardware synth as the world was looking to downsize makes it a niche item for me. Oh .. and I thought that it looked pants too!



The Prophet 08 is _very_ tempting at the moment, with just lack of funds stopping me rushing out to sound one out. So I am taking another look at modern machines again. The Little Phatty may have a lot of high profile users, but I just can't get beyond the fact that I'd always resent it for not being a Voyager - and those are still very highly priced. Plus, it seems a little 'sharp' for my tastes - those envelopes are so fast that they hurt my poor old ears for some reason.

What I have been drawn back to are the DSI Evolvers - the mono evolver looks very tempting at it's pricepoint. I'm going to have to try and have a listen to them and see what they are like as synths and see if they float my boat. The specs say yes, but it's all about the sound.

Given that Kola has a JP8080 and Juno106 already - both fine Roland synths - I'd be looking at some additions rather than ditching everything for one sound. Oberheim Matrix 1000s are programmable by PC editors and have a good, weighty, 'American' sound. Old Ensoniqs have an interesting sound, as do E-mu 'romplers' as opposed to more Roland. Or how about looking at Waldorf? Good things have been said about the Blofeld.

So many options! So little cash!
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:26 pm

Yeah think I was a bit ott on the A6 and Alesis but going to Akai I wish they would of dropped the MPC's totally after the 4k which is a brilliant machine imo.
I know Hollowsun you got a 1k but I really didn't like where they went with the MPC line and how it's marketed or the feel of them compared to the 3000 or even the slightly cheaper feeling 2000XL but this is just my personal preference, when my 2000XL gives up the ghost I'll get a 4000.
Blofeld hey lol I just got one after slagging new Waldorf off lol after looking into it and if it lives up to the hype then it should be a nice machine. I should get it in a few days time..got a good deal too..I don't usualy buy new gear but this was cheap..330 inc postage from the UK brand new from a shop and also bundled is the Waldorf synth collection VST's
Any way it does have a few bad points like only a stereo out and for a 16 part multy synth is imo really really lame but they wouldn't of sold it so cheap if it had 4 or 8 outs.
What swayed me was all the XT and Wave wave tables and the PPG filter model which the XT didn't have..another bad thing is it looks like a girls purse and it's not rack mountable lol
I used to own a Micro Q few years back which I didn't like..I proffered the biger Q sound and I loved the pads from the XT..also the Pulse was a favorite too so I hope this is nice too.
How much are JX-3P's worth now days if any one in Kent wants a good condition one let me know cos I'm not posting this thing.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby narcoman » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:01 pm

interesting. Of all the MPCs I've had my fave was the MPC2000..... not the XL, just the straight 2000. It was solid and tough.... lasted a gruelling tour through 2000 and several rainy festivals....

Yup on those evolvers - something a little different aint they. Might drop for one.....
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:12 pm

Evolver's are realy nice imo, I would love the poly evolver but it's a bit pricey.
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Re: One do it all mega synth Alesis A6 or a four smaller synths?

Postby Kola » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:35 pm

Hi guys,

Sorry been absent a day.

I heard that the evolvers sound digital but ive never heard one myself to comment. I can say one thing though. Name any synth and I can find 100 threads slagging them off and another 100 saying there awesome.

As said at the start of this thread this was just a though to run by the guys and hey, I love taking synths and hearing others opinions.

Can't see the day coming whan I want to sell my JP and Juno though.

Im tempted back towards another supernova 2 as what I need at the mo is something that is good at multitimbility. SN2 is 8 part and has 8 outs. Think it would fit the bill quite nice. Could use the JP for leads and the Juno for Bass (love the warm bass of the 106) and the SN2 could fill in the gaps. Great for trance also as it can have a separate arpeggiator on each channel.

Wondering where the Nord Lead 2x would fit into this. Was the Nord lead 3 any cop? If so how comes they stopped making it and they still make a guise of the Nord Lead 2? Or have I answered my own Q here.
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