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SynthFest UK 2019

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:25 am

The Elf wrote:I can now reveal that Hydrasynth is here! :clap: Eek!

Also Waldorf Kyra.

And Roland Jupiter XM.

This is a good Synthfest! :smirk:

Looking forward to getting there myself in the morning! :thumbup:
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:39 am

ReadySaltedChris wrote:Might someone be kind enough to avail oneself of some car parking options?

Thanks.

Silly me didn't print my ticket out until just now and saw something in the mail about a 20% discount in a multi-storey if prebooked but being rather late now, checking the website it seems that's not an option to select all day, only evenings.

I'm just going to wing it. I don't mind walking for a while if necessary so it'll be a mini-adventure to find parking before I even get to the door!
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Guest » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:42 am

I am gonna try that Durham street one. Probably gonna be full tho so if someone can recommend a reserve that would be coolio. I really don't fancy driving round Sheffield like a headless chicken! I get all confused in big cities.
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:01 am

The Elf wrote:This is a good Synthfest! :smirk:

Lying on my bed in my hotel room at midnight I can say yes, for me it was a good synthfest.

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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:06 am

A great day, some very tasty gear to lust after and a lots of fun to meeting up with everyone !
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:52 am

Just got back to Northampton, torrential rain all the way, slightly grumpy Father because it's nearly 2am and it was completely worth it :thumbup:

Thanks all for a brilliant day and next year I'm booking a room in the hotel :lol:
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby The Elf » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:35 am

For me, quite simply, it was the best Synthfest yet.

Not only did I have far fewer technical problems to sort out, leaving me more time to actually get to talk with exhibitors, but some of the clever gear out there really caught my interest.

A couple of the studio furniture and stand exhibitors will be getting calls from me over next few months - I think I could finally have a live rig that works for me, rather against me!

I picked up an 'intelligent' MIDI cable that looks like it will sort out a couple of annoying quirks in synths.

And I discovered a USB/MIDI/CV converter that may finally make make a couple of my old monosynths actually playable over MIDI - and no power supply required!! :crazy:

The buzz over Hydrasynth (I've bought it in my head), Waldorf Kyra, Novation Summit (also bought in my head), Fairlight, Colossus, Jupiter XM and the mighty CS-80 in the Yamaha room...

Yep, the best Synthfest yet. Here's to the next!
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby IAA » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:34 am

Oh dear, I had my ticket, (hobnobs - for Eddy), up early yesterday to catch the train to Sheffield and then .....had to abandon it as our surveyor needed to do his inspection in our tortuous house move - yes I know on a Saturday! :frown:

Downside missed synthfest and I REALLY wanted to get to the Modal stand.

Upside, my new studio is getting closer...(and the rest of the house for mrs IAA). Mrs IAA says I’m a hero for missing Synthfest and sorting Surveyor. In my book “hero” translates to a Modal Argon.....

Oh and a spare hobnob which the Surveyor gracefully left me after galloping down the packet “Don’t mind if I do....” not sure I’ve ever seen a loft space inspection performed whilst drinking coffee and eating biscuits but he seemed to know his stuff.

So will look forward to all your stories and if anyone spoke to the Modal team and played the Argon ?

Eddy sorry about the hobnobs, be reassured they were went to a good cause :headbang:
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby BillB » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:29 am

Agreed, it was a great event, lovely gear, lovely people - all that nerdy passion and camaraderie, fabulous. The overwhelming impression I came away with, though, was that I should use what I have got - more and better! Odd example, I was drawn in by Tom Szakaly, lovely bloke doing Keith Emerson and other licks on his CS60 (he had left his CS80’s at home). He showed me how he had added a lever to route Aftertouch to LFO speed and depth, and used it to great effect. I realised I could do that via the Mod Matrix on my Pro 08 and at least a couple of other synths. Not in the CS60 league sonically, but it just underlined that it’s how you use the gear.

Similar impression from the modulars, much of the basic stuff can be done by a decent monosynth, obviously not esoteric routeing, but much of the time it’s musical, rather than sound, effects that are wanted... (sorry, heresy in some circles). I did enjoy noodling on Nathan’s prototype modular though, hints of Tomita at times...

I played on a Studiologic Sledge, basically simplified Waldorf Blofeld Engine with a really clearly organised front panel, illuminated buttons etc. Absolute doddle to get any basic polysynth sound. Much easier to make basic changes than on the Blofeld. Made me think though, set up the basic CCs on a MIDI controller and you have similar functionality, if not such well-designed clarity.

It is a great time for synths, but I stayed away from some of the stuff I could not justify shelling out for. Got a Rakit Metal synth after having a load of fun on their stand with their little units. :bouncy:

I was blown away by Folderol’s demo of Yoshimi soft synth on a Raspbery Pi. Couldn’t think of a use for it in my setup, but it’s an answer looking for the right question.

I, and others, were impressed by AMS Stands - very cost effective aluminium extrusion stands for small or large gear.

Elf, I was trying to track you down because the guys on the TA Programming stand were talking about an excellent-sounding polysynth they are developing. I thought it should pass the Elf test(s), even at concept stage. Couldn’t find you as I don’t know what you look like, despite asking around. Anyway, I think you did talk to them?

Lovely to meet Eddy D and see Eddie (Jumpey) and Drew again, as well to meet and say ‘thanks’ to members of the senior SOS crew :thumbup:

So, really enjoyed the show, the gear, the atmosphere, but came away determined to make better use of what I have! I hope that feeling lasts!
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby The Elf » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:30 am

BillB wrote:I, and others, were impressed by AMS Stands - very cost effective aluminium extrusion stands for small or large gear.
I agree. Their design is genius and I think they are going to be very successful. I'm already working out the system I want them to design for me. And their prices were almost crazily low! I just bought a 3D printed stand for a pair of refaces, and that has cost me more than one of AMS's infinitely adjustable three-synth stands!

BillB wrote:Elf, I was trying to track you down because the guys on the TA Programming stand were talking about an excellent-sounding polysynth they are developing. I thought it should pass the Elf test(s), even at concept stage. Couldn’t find you as I don’t know what you look like, despite asking around. Anyway, I think you did talk to them?
I did, and I'm going to follow it up. Their MIDI/CV box is the answer to a prayer! I did hear that a polysynth was being considered - I'll be sure to find out more.

I was fortunate to be given a few bits of juicy inside info from a few of the exhibitors - some of which has me shivering with antici... ... ...pation!

I had a much easier time of it this year, but I do have a lot of work ensuring everything is running smoothly - even supplying cold drinks to the poor chaps roasting in the lower rooms!

Sorry you couldn't find me. I chose my human guise for this event. Although I'm easier to spot in my natural 8-inch high form, it can be disconcerting for you humans, and I do tire of being kneed in the ears.
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby nathanscribe » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:58 am

BillB wrote:I did enjoy noodling on Nathan’s prototype modular though, hints of Tomita at times...

And thank you for all your assistance in getting my gear to the show in the first place!

It was indeed a great day. I got a lot of good, useful, and encouraging feedback on the modular. Lots to think about and work on.

I didn't get much chance to explore, and when I did, the obvious suspects were always busy – CS80, Colossus, Hydrasynth – I did get a quick go on the UDO, but not the Summit. I have a Peak and think it's great, but do wonder how the Summit feels in comparison.

Those AMS stands caught my eye also. Very well thought out.

The only swag I came away with in the end was the usual t-shirt and mug combo. Got quite a collection going now :D

Thanks for another superb day, to all those involved!
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby blinddrew » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:21 pm

Great event again, didn't get as much time to look around this year but that's only because footfall was up again and we volunteers were pretty busy. But loads of good feedback from punters and exhibitors alike. :)
And good to chat to everyone again, no matter how briefly.
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby The Elf » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:38 pm

I should add that I met the Novation designer who told me he was responsible for the Summit having an internal PSU. I hugged him until his ears fell off! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Mate, if you're reading this - you're a hero!
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:56 pm

Ay de mi! There's always a fly in the ointment. My train from Sheffield to Bristol turfed everyone off at Birmingham due to "overrunning engineering works" and so here I am on a train to Reading. Reading! I spent years getting to get away from Reading back in the day!

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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:02 pm

Great to see so many forum regulars at the Synthfest again this year, and to meet many face to face for the first time. Thanks to everyone for supporting the show and making it the success that it has become. And thanks, too, to all the helpers and volunteers that make it run as smoothly as it does behind the scenes (well, mostly -- PA issues notwithstanding! ;-) )

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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Stephen Bennett » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:00 am

The Elf wrote:I can now reveal that Hydrasynth is here! :clap: Eek!


How was the keybed?

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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby The Elf » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:08 am

Stephen Bennett wrote:How was the keybed?
An octave short, for my ideal, but felt very nice under these fingers. I should point out that I prefer synth-action keyboards, so read my opinion with that in mind.

It was really playable, without any clackiness, or sense of being 'cheap'. I'd liken it to one of the better synth action keyboards from Roland, such as the System 8. The poly aftertouch, whist being a tad heavy for my playing, was responsive (I didn't check for adjustability) and oh so seductive. Within a minute I had CS-80-type pads oozing from it, whilst lifting notes of the chord out of the pack with searing filter sweeps. Mmm...

This is going to be one those exceptions where I will buy it, even though it has an external PSU - that situation won't last long if my engineer can find room inside the case. ;)
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby Stephen Bennett » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:48 am

Thanks Elf.

While I do like the HS, I'm more interested in the keyboard and the ribbon. Give me that with a 73 note piano-ish action and I'd be there in a heartbeat.

It does sound nice in videos, but I think I could get those kinds of sounds in software—but I would need a poly AT keyboard to do them justice.

I think 2020 will be the year of the return of the PAT. I may get a HS in the interim ...

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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby BillB » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:07 pm

Stephen Bennett wrote:Thanks Elf.
I think 2020 will be the year of the return of the PAT. I may get a HS in the interim ...
Stephen

Watch out for TA Programming in 2020...
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Re: SynthFest UK 2019

Postby The Elf » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:49 pm

BillB wrote:
Stephen Bennett wrote:Thanks Elf.
I think 2020 will be the year of the return of the PAT. I may get a HS in the interim ...
Stephen

Watch out for TA Programming in 2020...
I'll be getting in touch with them shortly...
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