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A nice palette of hardware synthesis

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A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby Popup » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:36 pm

While polishing off some remaining rack spaces recently I came to the conclusion that I would like to have a classic, value based examples of each of the various types of synthesis that have come about to give me a nice wide palette of sound.

So can anyone offer me some wisdom as to which models are worthy of consideration or just favorites..... within limits!

- Has to be rackmount (up to 2U)

- Ideally not too rare and bargains are good!

I got a FS1R the other day and would like to think that I have FM covered in part at least

Any other ideas or wisdom?
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:42 pm

Analogue VCO: Roland MKS-80
Analogue DCO: Roland MKS-70
FM: Yamaha TX-802
S+S: Kurzweil K-series, Korg Wavestation SR, Roland JV-series
Virtual Analogue: Normally I'd say Roland JP-8080, but a Novation Supernova 2 would take up less rack space and is also very good.

These are all find-able, if your patience and budget will run to it.

HTH!
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby BJG145 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:11 am

A Kawai K5000R would cross off Additive nicely...if you can find one...
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby vinyl_junkie » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Waldorf Microwave 1 Hybrid Analogue/Digital Wavetable synth basically a PPG
Waldorf Microwave XT/2 > Digital Wavetabe synth
Korg Wavestation A/D Digital Vector Synth
Clavia Nord Modular mk1/Waldorf Q Rack/Waldorf Micro Q > Virtual Analogue
Roland MKS-50/MKS-80 > Nice DCO analogue
Novation Bass Station/Suber Bass Station/Waldorf Pulse > Modern DCO Analogue synths
Roland D-550 > LA Synth
Roland JV5080 > S&S Synth
Yamaha TX81Z > PROPER gritty 4op FM Synth
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby BJG145 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:19 pm

FS1R -> TX802 -> TX81Z. I love the progression here!

An MKS80 is going to be out of most people's pockets. I wonder if we can think of any great lo-fi modules with analogue circuitry. A Cheetah MS6, or an ESQ-M maybe...? Don't see many of those about.

How about a sampler? There's an ASR10R in reader's ads that Timbaland would be glad of.

(I've always thought the ATC-1 was a pretty cool rackmount.)
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby vinyl_junkie » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:34 pm

MKS-50's are pretty cheap aren't they though, I have the keyboard version and it's a lovely warm synth...Yea the ATC1's are cool and considering one my self at the moment.
To be honest I want a Pulse, Microwave 1 or ATC1...just none for sale at the moment at a sensible price other than the Pulse but the other two interest me more

Akai S-950 and the Ensoniq EPS are dope sounding cheap samplers
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby jrbcm » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:29 pm

BJG145 wrote:A Kawai K5000R would cross off Additive nicely...if you can find one...

+1

... took me a while to find one, and it's a little gem
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby Popup » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:48 pm

Loads of goodness here. I am having a great time looking it all up

Really liking the idea of a Kurzweil. When I got my JD800 15 years or so ago, I remember wanting a JD990 then wanting a K2500. It all came flooding back...
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby flo » Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:29 pm

Lots of great suggestions!

I could add the Korg EX8000 which is a 'hybrid' (but not at all in the same ballpark as the lovely microwave I). i saw your other thread about 'percussive synth' and the waldorf would be fantastic for this. Loads of blippy sounds and good at many other things.

Back to the korg ;-). Has digital waveforms (the usual ones and few 'instrument' ones which are, well, quite special), nice modulation, an analog filter and a digital reverb. Cool synth and if you are patient you will find one rather cheap.

Have fun!!
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby The Elf » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:25 pm

[pedantry]The MKS-80 is actually VCO, not DCO.[/pedantry]

I believed the MKS-50 was DCO-based?

If I wanted some budget analogue poly action I'd maybe look to the Cheeta MS6 or the Oberheim Matrix 1000.

Although MKS-80s don't go for pocket-money prices I think they are better value for money that many VCO-based synths, such as the likes of Oberheims, JP-6/8 and Prophet 5s.

If you want to keep costs down then there really is no need to shell out for the MPG-80 programmer, as long as you know what you are trying to achieve.
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby BJG145 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:43 pm

I'd like to try out an Oberheim sometime...the Matrix 1000 is a bit of a classic, and the Marion MSR-2 is also on my watch list.

Off-topic, I was intrigued to read about the "Dead Presidents Society" in a recent issue of Electronic Musician. Apparently various luminaries including Tom Oberheim, Don Buchla, Roger Linn, Dave Smith and others meet up weekly at a Californian coffee shop. I want to gatecrash that.

http://emusician.com/interviews/feature/genius_bar/
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby Popup » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:53 pm

Well, I have added another to the mix. An Oberheim Matrix 1000 has moved in Trouble is, I feel I could never say 'that's analogue covered' because it never could be.. but, I must keep control.

Here is what is living there now and maybe you can help fill in the gaps or choose to replace any bad eggs.

Vsynth and JD800 Keyboards (going to sell JD as no room)

Roland JV1080 (4x card things)
Roland VariOS (running either Vocal designer or D50 cards)
Roland Fantom XR
Yamaha FS1R
Oberheim Matrix 1000
Access Virus B

Only 2 rack spaces left, room on desk top maybe 2 desktop units and still need some kind of crazy drum/percussion creating synth in there too.

Having loads of fun doing this, thanks for all the help and ideas so far

I drift through most styles of music so there is no real focus. It is just diversity that I crave!
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby BJG145 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:46 am

That's a pretty good haul. There's another synthesis model we haven't mentioned yet, which is physical modelling. Examples include the Technics SX-WSA1R and the Yamaha VL1M - both quite rare, especially the Yamaha. (These are pretty chunky though, might be more than 2U, as are some of the modules listed above.)
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby BJG145 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:40 am

PS...just spotted on eBay, the SY77/TG77 has a reputation for being a deep synth which is almost impossible to program. SY77s regularly go for less than DX7s, which is daft from a sound perspective. Might well go for a bargain price - less than this VL1M anyway...)
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby vinyl_junkie » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:27 pm

Oh noes not the Matrix 1000 lol I hate that thing, sloppy slow envelopes and boring DCO sound, not dissing DCO's but this one smells lol..nothing like the Oberheim's of the day imo.
No patch edit from the front panel really gets up my nose too, this is at least where the Matrix 6 was better at.

Different strokes for different folks i guess
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby MarkOne » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:36 pm

For pure analogue goodness, if you can find one a Studio Electronics SE1-X
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby tomafd » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:02 pm

Also hard to find, and probably for too much money that it's really worth ... and, not, strictly speaking, analogue (but then neither is the tx802 or tx81z) but one of these will offer you a different kind of sound- neither 'Prophet 5' nor quite as digital-sounding as later synths based on the same principles. My keyboard version still going strong.

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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby Popup » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:04 pm

My matrix seems to smell ok It has 6 notes and cost 200 notes and seemed to get way more thumbs up than down no matter how hard I internetted'd it. Mind you, I like the sound of the SID chip too so my tastes may be somewhat skewed.

I would swap it out though if something trumped it on all counts of course.

The VL1M and Physical modelling would have to be an ingredient for sure!

all the Studio Electronic gear sounds good to me!

...In fact, just how many different types of synthesis are there in total?!
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby Shreddie » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:45 am

Popup wrote:...In fact, just how many different types of synthesis are there in total?!
How long is a piece of string?! There's loads!

But it depends on how you look at it... Some might consider one manufacturers version of S+S a different form of synthesis to another manufacturers version of S+S... And the synthesis engines might be different enough for that to be considered true. But at the other end of the scale, some might say that there are only two kinds of synthesis, subtractive and additive.

The main ones that most people will accept are probably Sampling/sample based, Analogue and virtual analogue, FM, Physical modelling, Additive and Wavetable... There are numerous variants of all of those. As an example, vector synthesis is a variant of sample based sysnthesis... And technically so is wavetable.
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Re: A nice palette of hardware synthesis

Postby fay spook » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:02 pm

I also recommend Kawai K5000R. Ive got one and it is a pain to program but it sounds unique.
Waldorf MWII, sounds great and is easy to program.
How about some EMU rack S&S, Audity, Orbit etc?
Finally I have a Casio VZ10M, sounds unique- whatever you do it has a "plastic" sheen.

There is a lot of unique sounding kit but you have to think how easy it is to work with, my Kawai gets used but I dont program it much. The MW gets used and programmed a lot more. I am sure an XT would be easier still.
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