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True "performance" synthesisers.

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

Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:46 pm

I'm not sure what you're after here Tony.

A performance synthesizer is... a synthesizer. You play it, it makes noise, you perform on it. I did hundreds and hundreds of gigs using a 90s rompler and it was, and is, a performance instrument by definition as are pretty much all synthesizers.

The market is replete with synthesizers that have useful performance-related controls on them, though most people underuse them.

Are you talking about a syntheziser that, as you play it, allows you to drift off into happy circumstance-land? Modular will do that. Are you talking about a synthesizer that allows you to jump from one crazy way-out sound to another with ease? Hydrasynth will do that.

Arpangel wrote:I'm happy with my patches in Reaktor, so that could be a way forward, I just need the right controller, wide ranging, can be a conventional keyboard if required, have ribbon qualities and at the same time as that, play discreet notes.

Arturia do a half decent Easel emulation. It's probably not going to match your hardware experience but it'll work in much the same way and nobody listening will be able to tell the difference.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sympathetic to your cause, but echoing what Hugh said about the Buchla, if you need a something that looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck you should probably buy a duck, regardless of your past record pertaining to duck ownership ;)
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby resistorman » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:50 am

I think the thing to keep in mind is why you sold it in the first place. If you were desperate and needed money for food, that’s one thing. Regrets are certainly understandable in this situation. If the monetary gain outweighed the enjoyment you were experiencing is another kettle of fish. Going all nostalgic on an instrument you were willing to sell under normal circumstances is just spray painting over your reasoning.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:08 am

I haven’t been happy about making music for a long time, and equipment musical chairs doesn’t help anything.
I’m very aware that it is possible to make good music with anything, I sit down and twiddle with my £35 Korg Monotron Delay and what comes out, to me, is just as powerful as what comes out of thousands of pounds worth of gear, or, a Steinway piano, so equipment has nothing to do with my attitude towards making music right now, as anything will do.
I get very guilty about ownership of lots of things, and I’m always trying to cut down, plus I am constantly looking for this one box, that will do everything, and it's a fruitless search, it just doesn’t exist. Sure, there are some people that seem to get by with very little, you don’t hear a violinist going on about getting "more stuff" I’m always jealous off people like that, and maybe that’s why I’ve been playing more piano these days, there is only one sound, all I have to do is play, electronics are rapidly becoming a real pain for me, and I can see a point in the future where I take a deep breath and just let go, it has to happen at some point. Looking at this logically, electronics equals pain aggravation and indecision, my piano equals happy music making, and I don’t even have to record anything.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby BillB » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:16 am

Hmmm. The tone of a lot of your posts is “I really fancy something that will do X, this looks like it might, please vindicate my desire by agreeing with this choice”.

A lot of us have gear lust, it seems to go with the love of synths. There is always just one more bit of gear that will do something that none of the other gear does, provide a ‘sound’, be easier to use, or invoke new creative approaches that will set us apart from the crowd. In my case, I have come to recognise that lusting after new gear is a much easier alternative than actually using my existing gear, which takes time to setup, connect, turn on, learn, play, record, mix... It is also something that I can fit in last thing at night and first thing in the morning on my iPad, whereas actually creating anything is time and brain intensive, something I don’t always have after a day’s work.

I am not criticising you - I recognise very similar traits in myself. But perhaps it is possible to stand back and consider what you really want from music making or music technology. As you say, just being able to sit at a piano (or any acoustic instrument) and play is liberating, compared with the technical labyrinths of our studios.

One final thought, as you found with that duck you sold... be really careful about what you part with. I did head ‘into the box’ in the early 2000’s and sold, or worse, gave away gear that I now regret. The desire to do things in certain ways goes around in cycles. If you stripped back everything to a Steinway, you might be reallly happy for five years, then start to get an itch to add in more synthetic textures... and really miss the stuff you parted with.

I was very struck by Resistorman’s Hydrasyth+LinnStrument combo - two relatively affordable bits of kit (certainly if we look at the combined value of all the bits acquired over the years) so it is nice that he can find musical satisfaction in a small amount of very capable gear.

No easy answers, but actually achieving musical things with what you have can temper the driving desire for new gear.

I seriously intend to try it one day! :headbang:
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby BJG145 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:31 am

BillB wrote:No easy answers, but actually achieving musical things with what you have can temper the driving desire for new gear.

I seriously intend to try it one day!

Haha, let me know how that goes...
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:38 am

BillB wrote:Hmmm. The tone of a lot of your posts is “I really fancy something that will do X, this looks like it might, please vindicate my desire by agreeing with this choice”.

A lot of us have gear lust, it seems to go with the love of synths. There is always just one more bit of gear that will do something that none of the other gear does, provide a ‘sound’, be easier to use, or invoke new creative approaches that will set us apart from the crowd. In my case, I have come to recognise that lusting after new gear is a much easier alternative than actually using my existing gear, which takes time to setup, connect, turn on, learn, play, record, mix... It is also something that I can fit in last thing at night and first thing in the morning on my iPad, whereas actually creating anything is time and brain intensive, something I don’t always have after a day’s work.

I am not criticising you - I recognise very similar traits in myself. But perhaps it is possible to stand back and consider what you really want from music making or music technology. As you say, just being able to sit at a piano (or any acoustic instrument) and play is liberating, compared with the technical labyrinths of our studios.

One final thought, as you found with that duck you sold... be really careful about what you part with. I did head ‘into the box’ in the early 2000’s and sold, or worse, gave away gear that I now regret. The desire to do things in certain ways goes around in cycles. If you stripped back everything to a Steinway, you might be reallly happy for five years, then start to get an itch to add in more synthetic textures... and really miss the stuff you parted with.

I was very struck by Resistorman’s Hydrasyth+LinnStrument combo - two relatively affordable bits of kit (certainly if we look at the combined value of all the bits acquired over the years) so it is nice that he can find musical satisfaction in a small amount of very capable gear.

No easy answers, but actually achieving musical things with what you have can temper the driving desire for new gear.

I seriously intend to try it one day! :headbang:

I’m not going to sell anything, apart from a few things I’ve no use for, and will "never" use, things that are worth very little money anyway.
I’m going to order a new Easel, we all make mistakes, and this was a big one, but as Hugh says, no point in pissing about.
My first Easel was a BEMI and now a Buchla one is available, with some slight differences, so it would be good to get one of those.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby ajay_m » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:50 pm

As a Hydrasynth owner I think if I had to own just one synth this would be it. The 1
5 firmware upgrade added a swathe of new features particularly 64 step modulators - and it has five of these! Along with the polyphonic aftertouch of the cs80 and a ribbon controller and all at an incredibly reasonable price. I can understand your regret over the Buchla but I think if you picked up one of these you would find it equally inspirational. It's just so well designed and built.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:25 am

ajay_m wrote:As a Hydrasynth owner I think if I had to own just one synth this would be it. The 1
5 firmware upgrade added a swathe of new features particularly 64 step modulators - and it has five of these! Along with the polyphonic aftertouch of the cs80 and a ribbon controller and all at an incredibly reasonable price. I can understand your regret over the Buchla but I think if you picked up one of these you would find it equally inspirational. It's just so well designed and built.

I know what you’re saying, but the Buchla is so simple, but so rich, a simple sound goes a very long way, it’s intuitive too, and not complex, and there’s a surprise around every corner.
Todd Barton also said, it’s the ultimate performance instrument, it can "turn on a dime"
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Folderol » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:56 pm

Arpangel wrote:
ajay_m wrote:As a Hydrasynth owner I think if I had to own just one synth this would be it. The 1
5 firmware upgrade added a swathe of new features particularly 64 step modulators - and it has five of these! Along with the polyphonic aftertouch of the cs80 and a ribbon controller and all at an incredibly reasonable price. I can understand your regret over the Buchla but I think if you picked up one of these you would find it equally inspirational. It's just so well designed and built.

I know what you’re saying, but the Buchla is so simple, but so rich, a simple sound goes a very long way, it’s intuitive too, and not complex, and there’s a surprise around every corner.
Todd Barton also said, it’s the ultimate performance instrument, it can "turn on a dime"
The thing is, that description fits so many synths - hardware and software :beamup:
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:00 pm

Folderol wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
ajay_m wrote:As a Hydrasynth owner I think if I had to own just one synth this would be it. The 1
5 firmware upgrade added a swathe of new features particularly 64 step modulators - and it has five of these! Along with the polyphonic aftertouch of the cs80 and a ribbon controller and all at an incredibly reasonable price. I can understand your regret over the Buchla but I think if you picked up one of these you would find it equally inspirational. It's just so well designed and built.

I know what you’re saying, but the Buchla is so simple, but so rich, a simple sound goes a very long way, it’s intuitive too, and not complex, and there’s a surprise around every corner.
Todd Barton also said, it’s the ultimate performance instrument, it can "turn on a dime"
The thing is, that description fits so many synths - hardware and software :beamup:

You need to play one, to really get what I’m talking about.
I bought a few Buchla E Series modules after mucking about with Eurorack, and the difference was like going from merely OK to WHOAH! It’s just the real thing, there’s a guy Alessandro Cortini who says the same thing, it has a magic that is so obvious when you play it.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:20 pm

Arpangel wrote:I know what you’re saying, but the Buchla is so simple, but so rich, a simple sound goes a very long way, it’s intuitive too, and not complex, and there’s a surprise around every corner.
Todd Barton also said, it’s the ultimate performance instrument, it can "turn on a dime"

You need to play one, to really get what I’m talking about.
I bought a few Buchla E Series modules after mucking about with Eurorack, and the difference was like going from merely OK to WHOAH! It’s just the real thing, there’s a guy Alessandro Cortini who says the same thing, it has a magic that is so obvious when you play it.

Hi Tony!

I suspect after all these eulogies you're going to have to open a lending library once you've re-bought this Buchla Music Easel, so we can all experience this revelation in person.

I'm sure folk would be happy to pay you for the privilege!

Here it is, so we can all whet our appetites for its synthual excess:

Image


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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Folderol » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:47 pm

Sorry, that doesn't appeal to me at all.
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby BJG145 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:48 pm

It's a beautiful thing, there's no doubt.

https://youtu.be/Uhtar8FlgzU?t=65
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Vox Gnus » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:40 pm

Visually, it reminds me of the Roland V-Accordion... ;)

https://www.musicnexo.com/2948-thickbox ... 1x-red.jpg
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Re: True "performance" synthesisers.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:40 pm

I’ve just spoken to the usually brilliant KMR, looks like I’ll be getting one of these....

https://www.kmraudio.com/buchla-lem-208-includes-case.php

I found a couple of things frustrating about how I wanted to use the keyboard, in the LEM 208 I've got space to put my random modules, a Midi converter, and a proper sequencer module.
The keyboard on my Micro Freak behaves in a similar way, and if necessary on those rare occasions when I need to, I can output pressure to the Easel via the Midi module.
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