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Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

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Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:58 pm

Well, after reading reviews and watching all the youtube demos of the Synthx analog kind of VCS3 clone, but not, I decided to pull the trigger. It sounds great, but a steep learning curve BUT to my shock (and my fault for not finding this out) I was under the impression that the saved patch matrix programmes saved the matrix positions as well as the sound state. Unfortunately they only save the matrix routings, the sounds being lost whenever the dials are changed after saving.

I have 10 days from point of sale to return this and at the moment I am veering towards sending it back as £2500 is a lot of cash for something that potentially could not get so much use due to this set back. I get that it's a tool for crafting sounds, in my case experimental sound design, and it takes work to make these unique sounds BUT I don't feel that happy about never being able to recall those crafted sounds again without taking snapshots with my camera and digging them out every time I want to work with a patch.

As I have only had this a couple of days and have no idea how deep and lasting this could be in it's usefulness in unique sound design I really don't know what to do. I could just get used to this limitation but I am not sure. I have the Soma Lyra 8 (and hopefully soon the Pulsar 23) so I am no stranger to analogue knob tweaking.

Has anyone else got one who would like to share their thoughts ?
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:05 pm

I haven't got one, and it's not really my kind of synth, but to be fair to it - it's doing what it was designed to do.

It's not a programmable synth, with patch memories. All the digital matrix is doing is saving you the hassle and reliability issues of using tiny metal pins to make the matrix connections - and rightly so, IMHO.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BJG145 » Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:22 pm

Marbury wrote:...the Synthx analog kind of VCS3 clone...

If you want something VCS3-like but you're not sure, I should return it and wait to see what the Behringer clone sounds like. It's a lot of cash for something you're not passionate about, and there are other sound-design monsters like the Polybrute vying for your savings.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:53 am

BJG145 wrote:
Marbury wrote:...the Synthx analog kind of VCS3 clone...

If you want something VCS3-like but you're not sure, I should return it and wait to see what the Behringer clone sounds like. It's a lot of cash for something you're not passionate about, and there are other sound-design monsters like the Polybrute vying for your savings.

^^^^^

What he said, also, being able to save anything on a new version would be a bonus, not an essential, it’s not what the real thing was about, the way it is encourages exploration, a new sound every time, as I’m sure you know and love.
When I had my VCS3 back in the 70’s I never ever thought about saving anything, or even thought that it was important.
The Syntrx is cool, and I was seriously considering one, but not until I see what’s around the corner.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:02 am

Arpangel wrote:
BJG145 wrote:
Marbury wrote:...the Synthx analog kind of VCS3 clone...

If you want something VCS3-like but you're not sure, I should return it and wait to see what the Behringer clone sounds like. It's a lot of cash for something you're not passionate about, and there are other sound-design monsters like the Polybrute vying for your savings.

^^^^^

What he said, also, being able to save anything on a new version would be a bonus, not an essential, it’s not what the real thing was about, the way it is encourages exploration, a new sound every time, as I’m sure you know and love.
When I had my VCS3 back in the 70’s I never ever thought about saving anything, or even thought that it was important.
The Syntrx is cool, and I was seriously considering one, but not until I see what’s around the corner.

Are you referring to the Behringer ? The reason why I am on the fence is because of the amount of cash I have laid out for this. I could sell it and get the same or more than I paid as I did haggle the price down (the site does state to phone for the best price) but I can't help thinking how low they could have gone and shaved some more off the cost. I just have a gut instinct that it's not exactly what I am looking for. I just got carried away with Youtube reviews like you do. I am sure I am not the only one who has suffered with buyers remorse here.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:17 am

Marbury wrote:
Arpangel wrote:
BJG145 wrote:
Marbury wrote:...the Synthx analog kind of VCS3 clone...

If you want something VCS3-like but you're not sure, I should return it and wait to see what the Behringer clone sounds like. It's a lot of cash for something you're not passionate about, and there are other sound-design monsters like the Polybrute vying for your savings.

^^^^^

What he said, also, being able to save anything on a new version would be a bonus, not an essential, it’s not what the real thing was about, the way it is encourages exploration, a new sound every time, as I’m sure you know and love.
When I had my VCS3 back in the 70’s I never ever thought about saving anything, or even thought that it was important.
The Syntrx is cool, and I was seriously considering one, but not until I see what’s around the corner.

Are you referring to the Behringer ? The reason why I am on the fence is because of the amount of cash I have laid out for this. I could sell it and get the same or more than I paid as I did haggle the price down (the site does state to phone for the best price) but I can't help thinking how low they could have gone and shaved some more off the cost. I just have a gut instinct that it's not exactly what I am looking for. I just got carried away with Youtube reviews like you do. I am sure I am not the only one who has suffered with buyers remorse here.

It doesn’t sound like you’re very happy, so I’d return it and wait and see what comes out from the likes of Behringer, moral standpoints may be relevant here though ;)
Please don’t be seduced by Youtube, buying gear ultimately rests with you, no matter how many recommendations from others, or videos watched, it’s down to you and what you connect with, and that means slowly getting your hands on things and waiting, before you buy. Difficult now I know, but stay cool, save your money, and wait until things calm down.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby The Elf » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:59 pm

This is one of those types of device that you really do need to be sure you want. It's not for instant gratification, and it demands a lot of its user.

I would echo the above - unless you are very sure you're going to have a very expensive dust gatherer there.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:56 pm

The Elf wrote:This is one of those types of device that you really do need to be sure you want. It's not for instant gratification, and it demands a lot of its user.

I would echo the above - unless you are very sure you're going to have a very expensive dust gatherer there.

I get that it isn't instant gratification, I just would like to be able to recall the sounds I had taken the time and effort to craft.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby tea for two » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:36 pm

For decades I was used to writing *everything" down, as far as possible, when it involved anything requiring writing down.

I actually enjoyed reams of paper. I still like looking at interesting notebooks.

Yet nowadays I just want "total recall".
I don't want to write anything down unless I have to.
Why should I when tech facilitates.

So I get this.

We are not in the 70s. A reworking reimagining should have had "total recall" of parameters.

If it were probable the original would have had "total recall" .
Decisions of that era were obviously dependent upon what was possible. Peter Zinovieff interview would clear this up.

Tbfair im not sure where it would fit in the music you make.

If commissioned to write musik for documentary on AI or Robots
Or future retro series in style of Bionic Woman, Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers, Battle Star Galactica.

There is escapism in randomness especially in monotony of lockdown.
It could even be therapeutic this Syntrx during lockdown.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:48 pm

tea for two wrote:We are not in the 70s. A reworking reimagining should have had "total recall" of parameters.

With any hardware product, there's a wish-list of 'wouldn't it be nice to have' features, but that normally has to be reigned in to meet the marketing department's target selling price point to ensure they can sell enough to make it worth their while, and also to fit in with what the engineering realistically allows in the real world.

To provide 'total recall' of all parameters, every user-variable element in every circuit has to be digitally-controlled and every rotary control has to be an encoder. Often that's just not technically possible. But even where it is, it often involves making changes to the intended circuitry which alters behaviour, characteristics, and sound in ways which might not be deemed acceptable in the overall product.

Moreover, that kind of 'modernisation' on a product clearly inspired by vintage technology will also add considerably to the technical complexity of the unit, and thus the R&D time to create a production prototype and so, inevitably, hike up the end price.

So while certainly a nice-to-have feature, on a product like that I humbly suggest it's highly impractical in the real world.

.... that said, maybe Behringer will prove me completely wrong with their upcoming VCS3 alternative... :lol:
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:57 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
tea for two wrote:We are not in the 70s. A reworking reimagining should have had "total recall" of parameters.

With any hardware product, there's a wish-list of 'wouldn't it be nice to have' features, but that normally has to be reigned in to meet the marketing department's target selling price point to ensure they can sell enough to make it worth their while, and also to fit in with what the engineering realistically allows in the real world.

To provide 'total recall' of all parameters, every user-variable element in every circuit has to be digitally-controlled and every rotary control has to be an encoder. Often that's just not technically possible. But even where it is, it often involves making changes to the intended circuitry which alters behaviour, characteristics, and sound in ways which might not be deemed acceptable in the overall product.

Moreover, that kind of 'modernisation' on a product clearly inspired by vintage technology will also add considerably to the technical complexity of the unit, and thus the R&D time to create a production prototype and so, inevitably, hike up the end price.

So while certainly a nice-to-have feature, on a product like that I humbly suggest it's highly impractical in the real world.

.... that said, maybe Behringer will prove me completely wrong with their upcoming VCS3 alternative... :lol:

I get that Hugh but do you personally think it is worth the 2.5K or are there better analogue options for the money ?
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:02 pm

I've not had a play with it, it's not a sector of the market I know anything about, and it's not a type of synth that I personally find inspiring or would be suitable for my musical preferences.

It does appear very expensive for a fairly basic synth... but what really matters is whether it generates the noises you want/need.
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby IAA » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:09 pm

My minimoog reissue has no patch presets and thank goodness they didn’t add it :D
Mind you its a far, far easier proposition to programme and remember what you programmed than the VSC3!
I would say you have two choices;

1/return it and accept that not having the recall ability is a no go for you.
2/Embrace the form factor and the methodology that kind of unit requires, put the time in and learn to love it. Many do (look at the upsurge in modular.....)
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby The Elf » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:37 pm

Just for comparison... For 2,500 you could have a Hydrasynth and a Novation Peak. All the programmability you could wish for, lots of voices and poly aftertouch...

...and the completely opposite end of the synth spectrum from the Syntrx. ;)
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Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BJG145 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:18 pm

The Elf wrote:Just for comparison... For 2,500 you could have a Hydrasynth and a Novation Peak

For £2.5K I could think of all kinds of gear I could buy that would leave me grinning like a Cheshire cat. ;)
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