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Most underrated synths...

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

Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Stickman0_3 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:04 pm

I remember buying a Kawai K1r. First impressions were good, very good. But as time went on, I was beginning to wish it had an effects section. Then the K1 II was introduced with basic reverb, but by then, I'd moved onto (or back to) the Yamaha SY35.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:51 pm

The Elf wrote:Just to follow up on the Tetra....
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:

Soundtower editors usually seem to get a bad rap from users online. Shame that DSI (and Korg with the KingKorg) - and others - went to them.

There is a Mopho editor within Patchbase for the iPad - don’t know if that would work with the Tetra... I tried is with the Prophet08 and it wasn’t great, but the Tetra has more in common with the Mopho than it does the Pro08.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:26 pm

And another (VST) Tetra editor.
https://codeknobs.com/products.php?id=16
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby The Elf » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:29 am

BillB wrote:And another (VST) Tetra editor.
https://codeknobs.com/products.php?id=16
Well it can't be any worse than the 'official' one. But looking at the spec I do reckon I can rustle one up in MIDI Designer in a couple of hours.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Arpangel » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:36 am

There has to be a section for the worst name given to a synth...the "Fizmo" it put me off straightaway, without even hearing it, I imagined all these awful fizzy early digital patches, and we always used the word fizzy to describe anything we didn’t like.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:58 am

The Elf wrote:
BillB wrote:And another (VST) Tetra editor.
https://codeknobs.com/products.php?id=16
Well it can't be any worse than the 'official' one. But looking at the spec I do reckon I can rustle one up in MIDI Designer in a couple of hours.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but MIDI Designer, TB MIDI Stuff etc cannot read incoming patches and parse the parameter values so that they are reflected in the editor settings. Unlike say Patchbase, Codeknobs , MIdiQuest etc editors. So you cannot effectively *edit* existing patches, but you can create them from scratch - perhaps starting with matching INIT values in the editor and the synth. Is that how you work?
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby The Elf » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:25 am

BillB wrote:
The Elf wrote:
BillB wrote:And another (VST) Tetra editor.
https://codeknobs.com/products.php?id=16
Well it can't be any worse than the 'official' one. But looking at the spec I do reckon I can rustle one up in MIDI Designer in a couple of hours.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but MIDI Designer, TB MIDI Stuff etc cannot read incoming patches and parse the parameter values so that they are reflected in the editor settings. Unlike say Patchbase, Codeknobs , MIdiQuest etc editors. So you cannot effectively *edit* existing patches, but you can create them from scratch - perhaps starting with matching INIT values in the editor and the synth. Is that how you work?
I can certainly correct you as far as MIDI Designer goes! I can't speak for the others.

MD will not only reflect incoming MIDI and update the on-screen controls in real time, but it is also possible (with the use of a little plug-in called 'StreamByter') to parse entire sys-ex dumps and update the on-screen controls to reflect the current patch.

I've created several MD Layouts that take advantage of this - the Roland MKS-70 and MKS-80 for example. When I change patch on these devices I capture the incoming sys-ex data and my iPad screen shows me all of the current controls in their correct positions - then I can tweak from there. Anything I tweak on the synths themselves (or from the MKS editors) will also update the MD Layout.

At a pinch, when the device doesn't volunteer its sys-ex on patch-change (the reface series, for example), I can create a 'Get' button that asks the synth for a sys-ex dump. This is useful when I've been tweaking with the MD Layout active and I need to capture and store the current patch. I have reface CS, CP and YC Layouts that take advantage of this.

You can imagine, for such as the reface, which have no patch memories of their own, creating my own MD panels to catch and store their settings is a huge benefit!

From a quick look at the manual the Tetra looks like it has the necessary abilities for me to achieve what I need.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:55 pm

Ooh, didn’t know that. I’m going to have to give MD another look. I just assumed it was like TB MIDI Stuff with a different screen layout. Definite food for thought. I have found its split screen approach confusing in the past, but seems I need to invest a bit more time to get to know it better.

You have mentioned MD many times, Elf. Has there ever been a thread dedicated to discussing it? Might be a good idea. A few insights (like the bombshell above) go a long way!
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby The Elf » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:59 pm

BillB wrote:Ooh, didn’t know that. I’m going to have to give MD another look. I just assumed it was like TB MIDI Stuff with a different screen layout. Definite food for thought. I have found its split screen approach confusing in the past, but seems I need to invest a bit more time to get to know it better.

You have mentioned MD many times, Elf. Has there ever been a thread dedicated to discussing it? Might be a good idea. A few insights (like the bombshell above) go a long way!
I thought I had raised a topic, TBH, but I will now...

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=74161
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby babeleGrande » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:42 am

The Waldorf Pulse. Massive and very usable sound. They’ve always been dirt cheap too so you can stack several of them and play them polyphonically. A bit of a pain to program via the front panel, so you have to spend a few hours thinking and tinkering with a MIDI controller to set it up for editing, which may be off putting for people that look into analogue monosynths for their immediacy, but totally worth it.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BanquosGhost » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:58 am

I'll put my neck out and say the OB12...

Not everyone's cup of tea (that's putting it mildly), but I've had mine since 2005- yes, it takes patience to get the best out of it; yes, it's a fiddle to get it to sound right (but not to program); it can't really compete with my Prophet8r2 or my Matrixbrute for versatility (or a bunch of other things)...but: it doesn't really ever sound like anything else, it does "wierd" better and the sounds it makes fit very nicely into mixes alongside the heft and beef of the P8/MB.

It does fabulous pads (that mix nicely as I say); great "thin" sounds that augment what other synths do and great "what was that??" noises.

I made a decision last year sometime of not buying any more synths- my three go-to's (OB12, Prophet 8 and Matrixbrute) have to produce all the sounds I use- that's forced me to go even deeper into the capabilities of all three- I've found the OB12 augments both of them very nicely.

This track shows the P8 and the OB12 doing all the heavy lifting (the MB is doing the fade-out arps only)- https://open.spotify.com/track/4XU52xhD ... bmsRwrk3eA
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby The Elf » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:02 am

BanquosGhost wrote:It does fabulous pads (that mix nicely as I say); great "thin" sounds that augment what other synths do and great "what was that??" noises.
Well done you. It's very easy to dismiss a synth that sounds lacklustre on its own, yet makes magic when combined with others. Despite what my learned friend above might say ( :lol: ), the K1 (I have a K1r here) falls into that bracket perfectly. On its own it's a junky piece of nonsense, but combine it with 'better' synths and it adds something wonderful. It's pretty much a three trick pony (only the choir, strings and flute sound any good), but it's a great trick.

Then there are the synths that sound appalling in isolation, but become something amazing in a mix, such as the ARP Pro Soloist. This is easily one of the weediest synths ever made, but throw it into the melee of a mix and something incredible begins to happen.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:21 pm

BanquosGhost wrote:I'll put my neck out and say the OB12...
Good call
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/oberheim-ob12-v15
Always liked the look and potential of this synth.
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby BillB » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:23 pm

The Elf wrote:Despite what my learned friend above might say ( :lol: ), the K1 (I have a K1r here) falls into that bracket perfectly. On its own it's a junky piece of nonsense, but combine it with 'better' synths and it adds something wonderful.
Looking forward to your examples... :D
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Re: Most underrated synths...

Postby Dave B » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:15 pm

Nice ones chaps.

I tried a few times to pick a Pulse up 'dirt cheap' but I was obviously too dirty and extremely cheap so never pulled it off. The idea of a rack mounted, 3 oscillator monosynth was very appealing - a sort of poor mans Minimoog for lead parts. One of these days I'll have a fiddle with one and see if I missed out.

And the OB-12 is a funny one. Look .. it wasn't an Oberheim - it just had the badge. So I was a little skepticaly, but still have come close a few times to splurging on one just to see what they were capable of. But the s/h prices reflect the name on the badge, sadly, so I've never really been serious about getting one.

One of my favourite underrated synths was my old Roland D70. Slim, light, excellent keybed, large display, cool sounds, I loved mine to bits
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