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Most underrated synths...

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

Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby The Elf » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:07 pm

BillB wrote:Is there no better half to worry about...
Music has given us, and continues to give us, a good life. I get no complaints! :lol: :thumbup:

BillB wrote:And besides, how do you go from reminder to done in a day?
There are a few available on a popular auction site. Some are the usual chancers, hoping that someone is fool enough to pay well over the odds. I chose the one with a reassuring description and a fair price.

If it doesn't work out I'll just sell it on - sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but I'm in the black with these moves and it gives me a chance to try out gear that may be good for me; I've acquired some gems based on this principle.

Remember that when you're doing this professionally every piece of gear has to earn its keep. If it doesn't - out the door! There's very little I keep for sentimental reasons (OK, my MiniMoog and Taurus...), so I turn around gear all the time.

Specifically right now I need a portable way of recreating a lot of old Teutonic sequences, which were typically a huge Digisound modular and a handful of MC-202s, SH-101s and TX-7s. Between the Tetra and the Synthstrom Deluge I have something I can drag up the motorway a couple of days a week and conjure up that old stuff quickly.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:39 pm

The Elf wrote:Remember that when you're doing this professionally...

Yeah, I think that may be the key! Hobbyists like me have to balance (and justify) synth purchases against other, usually less exciting, considerations.

The Elf wrote:Music has given us, and continues to give us, a good life. I get no complaints!

Marvellous :thumbup:
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:09 pm

desmond wrote:Martin Russ' fairly epic reviews of the SY77 and SY99 in Sound On Sound make pretty interesting reading if you're into the SY series.

The SY77 was the first of the FM+AWM machines, but Yamaha learnt a lot from it and improved on many shortcomings in the SY99, which is the preferable machine to get if you want an SY. They are still reasonably inexpensive when they come up, but they are pretty large, so you'll need some space to entertain one...

https://www.cashconverters.co.uk/shop/p ... 0catalogue

£399 + £25 delivery. Just sayin. I got no room!
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby shiihs » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:04 pm

I'd go with the roland integra-7. Some people think it's not a synth but a rompler (it's kind of both really). It gets very little love on the internet (youtube, reddit, SOS, ...). Yet it's quite competent and so far I cannot see myself parting with it any time soon.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BJG145 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:48 pm

BillB wrote:
desmond wrote:Martin Russ' fairly epic reviews of the SY77 and SY99 in Sound On Sound make pretty interesting reading if you're into the SY series.

The SY77 was the first of the FM+AWM machines, but Yamaha learnt a lot from it and improved on many shortcomings in the SY99, which is the preferable machine to get if you want an SY. They are still reasonably inexpensive when they come up, but they are pretty large, so you'll need some space to entertain one...

https://www.cashconverters.co.uk/shop/p ... 0catalogue

£399 + £25 delivery. Just sayin. I got no room!

...yeah, I did dabble with an SY77 at one time. The SY99 is supposed to be pretty decent if you know what you're doing with it. My understanding was that the SY85 was a totally different kettle of fish (sample-based rather than FM) and not so cool, but, Eddy seems to have time for that one and he knows his synths. Me...I'm lazy, and getting interesting new sounds out of FM is too much like hard work.

(I got the impression they were more powerful than the DX7, but in their obscurity they went for less, at least they did some years ago. But then again, membrane keys FTW.)
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Arpangel » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:27 am

BJG145 wrote:
BillB wrote:
desmond wrote:Martin Russ' fairly epic reviews of the SY77 and SY99 in Sound On Sound make pretty interesting reading if you're into the SY series.

The SY77 was the first of the FM+AWM machines, but Yamaha learnt a lot from it and improved on many shortcomings in the SY99, which is the preferable machine to get if you want an SY. They are still reasonably inexpensive when they come up, but they are pretty large, so you'll need some space to entertain one...

https://www.cashconverters.co.uk/shop/p ... 0catalogue

£399 + £25 delivery. Just sayin. I got no room!

...yeah, I did dabble with an SY77 at one time. The SY99 is supposed to be pretty decent if you know what you're doing with it. My understanding was that the SY85 was a totally different kettle of fish (sample-based rather than FM) and not so cool, but, Eddy seems to have time for that one and he knows his synths. Me...I'm lazy, and getting interesting new sounds out of FM is too much like hard work.

(I got the impression they were more powerful than the DX7, but in their obscurity they went for less, at least they did some years ago. But then again, membrane keys FTW.)

^^^^^

Yeah, 77/99 are great, but..... :boring:
I have better things to do with the rest of my life other than staring at menus battling with FM.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby blinddrew » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:07 pm

Arpangel wrote:Yeah, 77/99 are great, but..... :boring:
I have better things to do with the rest of my life other than staring at menus battling with FM.
What you need is a piano... ;)
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Stickman0_3 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:40 am

I used to have a Korg DW8000 and liked it. The programming process was a bit repetative as you had to pick a parameter and edit it, then pick another and edit it, plus it had limited controls. Apart from that, it sounded really good.

Another synth I had that was interesting was the Kawai K3m.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:53 pm

I’m not sure DW8000’s and EX8000’s are under-rated any more. Folks who know of them know they have a great sound - one of the very first digital-analogue hybrids. And Espen Kraft has been doing his bit to publicise them. Don’t think you would see an EX8000 under £4-500 these days.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Stickman0_3 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:40 pm

I'm beginning to wish I'd never sold it. Nowadays, I have an MS2000r which I love.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby The Elf » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:04 pm

Just to follow up on the Tetra...

I got it. It's an excellent synth saddled with *the most* abysmal piece of editing software I've had to endure. This is the kind of software that would make most people give up in exasperation within minutes, but I am a patient guy. I managed to get results, but it it was a fight from start to finish. Just trying to get a rename to stick to a Preset is a battle royale. I had to lose and re-find Presets over and over again just to get them written into a Bank.

To say that this software is flaky is a vast understatement. And we are expected to *pay extra* for this binary junk?!?! Soundtower - hang your heads in shame. :frown: :wtf:

I certainly won't be paying for any other of the editing software if the full-blown standalone editor is this poor.

Unfortunately, given that you all but *need* the software editor to program this thing, it leaves the Tetra with a bit of a problem. It's such a terrible shame. In use it sounds fantastic.

I can manage to scrape through it, but it takes patience and care to not lose anything. The patience is rewarded - it is, indeed, like having four Pro-Ones on tap (my favourite bass synth), but it goes WAY beyond that, with sub-oscillators on *every* oscillator, four LFOs and three envelopes per voice, and oodles of modulation options.

The sequencer doesn't interest me - I suspect if I had to use the software editor to access it then it would probably interest me even less.

I will likely look into the potential to create my own editor in MIDI Designer Pro, but that's time I begrudge spending when I could be making music with other synths.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby desmond » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:17 pm

The Kawai K1 is a seriously under-appreciated synth, most people tend to think it's pretty poor.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby desmond » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:17 pm

desmond wrote:The Kawai K1 is a seriously under-appreciated synth, most people tend to think it's pretty poor.

Wait.. did I say *under-appreciated*..?

No, I meant the other thing...

It's a terrible synthesizer with only a handful of decent sounds which use the samples, none of which you can change much because there's essentially no tone-shaping or filtering other than a terrible distortion feature. The only other interesting feature is that you can delay each of the four layers in a patch, but that's about it - once you used sounds with the 12 or so samples that sound ok, everything else will sound the same, and the inbuilt thin and buzzy waves are next to useless (because no tone shaping etc).
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Stickman0_3 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:45 pm

Wasn't the Kawai K1 dubbed "The poor man's D50?" or something?
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby desmond » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:52 pm

Stickman0_3 wrote:Wasn't the Kawai K1 dubbed "The poor man's D50?" or something?

Yes. That's pretty much why I bought a K1r back in the day...

It let you "chiff" and "aaah" and layer sources, but with no effects and lower quality etc...
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