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Small synth epidemic

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Small synth epidemic

Postby vinyl_junkie » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:07 pm

Is any one else here getting really annoyied with all these new small desktop synths coming out?? esp the ones with poor user interfaces encouriging the use of presets that need PC/MAC programers...first thing that comes to mind is the MoPho by DSI...
Other than the fact of how much more space to I need on my desk for these the user interface usualy sucsk balls..i'm aware they are made on a budget but just look at the Waldorf Pulse, Micro Q, Yamaha DX-100 even Prophet 2000 are deep synths that are very easy to program thanks to a great matrix style interface.
The Waldorf Blofed is another annoying small desktop synth that you can't put in a rack but it's user interface is great...
Also DSI should of copied the Roland MKS series...rack mount them and release programers if they wanted to sell them cheap or just spend a tiny bit more and copy a Waldorf..I hate small annoyingly coloured desk top toy synths...I have to say thought it sounds good and other than that I like it but not going to buy one just yet...i'm one of those strange people that still uses mainly hardware down to the sequencing lol (old MPC)
What's every one's view on this? If you buy hardware you at least want to get away from staring at a stupid computer screen right?

Sorry for all the typos and spelling mistakes but i'm writing this in a rush as I'm about to go out
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Dave B » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:08 am

Have to disagree.

These types of synth are economical to produce in low numbers and that's the nature of the industry that we have. They won't be bought in large numbers and we all know it. So if it's a choice of having a convenient small box that links to my computer or having nothing, I'll gladly grab the Mopho (actually I'm eagerly awiting the Tetra) with both hands.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Evie McCreevie » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:39 am

I've never understood why it's supposed to be cheaper to make desktop units, rather than rackmounts.

Surely a custom-made box is more expensive to design and manufacture than a standard 19" rack unit?
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Shreddie » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:06 am

As Dave B said, it's economical to produce small synths. Since the 'software revolution' the bottom has fallen out of the hardware synth market, big stuff just doesn't sell in the volume that it used to so manufacturers have to be very careful what they produce if they want to make a profit... Some large/powerful synths have barely broke even in recent years, many others have made big losses. The only money makers now are big bread and butter workstations (which often comprise of old/recycled technology), small, cheap, limited synths or 'bespoke' units from small manufacturers.

Personally, I love hardware, especially big knobular synths but I'm resigned to the fact that there's very few of them out there compared to a decade ago. There's still plenty of those older synths on fleabay and in readers ads though!
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby OneTrakAudio » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:42 am

no offense, but might be a tad heavyhanded to say they annoy you?

whats not to like. We are consumers, and we are being given choices. desktop, rackmount, full keyboard.

the TI snow is perfect example. its a natural extension.

What gets me a little bit is the trend for manufacturers to make a unit that 'sits between your qwerty keyboard and your screen, the heart of your studio'

well, that space can only accomodate one such unit - not five different things. it can be a deal breaker. at least always offer a rackmount kit.

;)
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Freuman » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:50 am

I don't mind any size synths, even software synths!

But if I see another bloody Micro-Korg I'll eat it!!!

:madas:
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby MarkOne » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:19 pm

I can live with the odd desktop unit, but I agree, rackmount is surely a cheaper option, given you don't need to engineer a special box - just a front panel.

But my big gripe of late is that pretty much every new controller keyboard that comes out assumes that 24 or 36 keys are enough :x
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby vinyl_junkie » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:35 pm

Although I don't digg them as I said my bigest gripe is the user interface on these small devices i.e. on the MoPho you realy need a PC to take advantage of it and for a hardware synth that is a BIG let down to me...what is the point, I mean VST's already sound so good. And if you are sequencing with hardware aka midi via a MPC or simmilar you can't realy eddit the parameters unless you stick it in the PC..a USB would of been nice.

Things like the Blofeld on the other hand are small desktop devices with few knobs but great user interface and even better a good price...even I went out and brought one new
And yes if I see another Micro Korg I wll kamikaze it through the window lol
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby vinyl_junkie » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:38 pm

As to rackmount must be cheaper than custom box...that may be right BUT this box you can paint funky colours and tarnish it with blue led's will probs sell more than some boring 90's looking rack mount box that your now avarage consumer see's as dull and out dated..people seem to buy on looks and price now plus as they don't realy use hardware any longer they are indeed looking for that "one" center piece item lol grrr
I wouldn't touch Access Virus TI's with a barge pole
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby crofter » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:19 pm

I quite like my Microkorg.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby ewe » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:02 am

Tetra sounds cool! That is a lot in such a little box. Reminds me of the SCI six trak :)
Too expensive though.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby SecretSam » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:51 am

It may be worth remembering that entry-level monosynths like the SH101 used to cost about 200 to 300 pounds in their day. Add on 25 years of inflation since the early '80s, and you probably get to something like the price of a Moog Little Phatty, or a Dave Smith Evolver with a keyboard. I.E. about the same as we pay now for comparable instruments.

The new tiny synths are a whole different class of machine: big sounds made affordable by skimping on the interfaces. This isn't really dumbing down the industry, more opening up a new set of users for whom hardware (and especially analogue hardware) would otherwise be out of reach. And if you have to program the box from a PC, well, that is a pain but possibly a fair tradeoff.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Shreddie » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:12 am

ewe wrote:Tetra sounds cool! That is a lot in such a little box. Reminds me of the SCI six trak :)
Too expensive though.
Too expensive?!

It's dirt cheap for what it is!
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Dave B » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:44 am

I'm with Shreddie on this one. The Tetra has a full two oscillator architecture as opposed to a cut-down single osc in the Sixtrack. That makes it pretty darned spiffy for the money in my book!

;)
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby db73 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:32 am

Just bought a DSI Tetra myself. I'm loving it. It sounds great & for the money there isn't really another analogue polysynth out there. Not a new one at least. I've toyed with the idea of something like a Juno 6/60/106 in the past but I've always had reservations about buying a machine that's almost as old as I am!
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Syncratic » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:09 am

I'm impressed with my new MicroKorg XL, great sounds and flexibility. Has been built on the cheap though, a bit more metal wouldn't go a miss.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby emperorcos » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:57 pm

db73 wrote:Just bought a DSI Tetra myself. I'm loving it. It sounds great & for the money there isn't really another analogue polysynth out there. Not a new one at least. I've toyed with the idea of something like a Juno 6/60/106 in the past but I've always had reservations about buying a machine that's almost as old as I am!


i find the dsi range funny - some lovely sounds but unable to fit them in on a track because they stand out too much,sold my evolver
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby db73 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:43 pm

emperorcos wrote:i find the dsi range funny - some lovely sounds but unable to fit them in on a track because they stand out too much,sold my evolver
You think the DSI stuff cuts through the mix to much?! It is a big sound I must say. Might need a bit of taming to make things work I guess. I don't know. I've never finsihed a track in my life that I'm completely happy with! I'm more into fiddling with things & the Tetra is made to be fiddled with ;)
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Michael Dow » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:26 pm

db73 wrote:I've toyed with the idea of something like a Juno 6/60/106 in the past but I've always had reservations about buying a machine that's almost as old as I am!


I own a Juno-60, an SH-09, a tb-303 and a tr-606, all of which are older than me! (im 23) and i absolutely love everything aout all of them! I think possibly my MKS-50 could be older than me too!

And then there's my bon-tempi air organ..... that could be ancient!

I had a guy in the studio the other day, we had the sh-09's CV and GATE's linked up through the 303's midi retro fit and cv/gate outs and used it through a valve preamp (1960) and it sounded out of this world. Something i couldnt have quite created with software synths or probabaly a mopho etc.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Steve A » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:42 pm

Whilst I accept that software editors are a necessary evil given the economic realities outlined above, my main worry would be how will you edit these things in say ten years time when computers/OS/platforms will have moved on so much and the current editor is unlikely to work and most likely won't be getting updates that far down the line.
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