What's the worst synth ever made?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Post by joerg721 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:03 am

gryphon wrote:let's think about sound quality for a second. there are many many digital synths that do many things an analog could not do (at least at the price point, etc) but as far as FM it seems the DX7 doesn't provide nearly enough control/tweakability an it seems to sound kind of, well, annoying. or at least thin. if you use it for the sounds it has historically been used for (electric piano, pads, bass, whatever) it seems just plain cheesy (not that cheesy isn't appropriate sometimes, but really, a wurlitzer or at least a physical modeling synth should do ep sounds, pads on analogs or any other polysynth, bass on a bass guitar (or something else, IMHO almost anything else sounds a bit more interesting or powerful to my ears. I don't mean to piss people off, but it just sounds dated basically, and it seems like such a b***h to program (from my experience) that there's just not that much of a point (in nearly 2007). For its time, yeah, ok. but come on. Now there are better and more powerful ways to achieve those results (ableton operator, etc.) without the lame interface. thanks, sorry about the long post.
It´s as cheesy as you program it.
The DX7 still can deliver great basses, metallic pads, weird noises etc., with a certain raw edge that Operator does not have.
The user interface is much better than most people think, imho. Granted, if someone does not understand FM, he will have a hard time using the DX7.
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Ok. Worst synth? The microKorg perhaps.

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Re: another vote for the darkstar XP2

Post by 7Hz » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:50 am

Dunewar wrote:I also vote for the Darkstar XP2! I bought this as my first hardware synth a couple of years back from ebay, and it is horrible. I kept wondering why I didn't get a decent sound out of it, only useless squeeks and noise.
I bought it because Future Music listed this as (and I quote) "a truly underrated synth". They even put it in their list of top-10 hardware synths..... I wonder what they were smoking.
Without wishing to be rude, they were probably smoking their advertisers c*cks, same as every magazine available. When was the last time you saw something trashed in a mag? They never do it, because they are b**ches to the pimp advertisers.

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Post by sam » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:59 am

Poly 800 always dissapoints me.....Also I used to have a sixtrack..

Also depends on what other synths you have.
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Post by nathanscribe » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:09 am

TB or not TB - that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The glitches and f**k of an outrageous interface
Or to take arms against a sea of burbles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep -
No more, not if you use a bloody 303:
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to...

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Post by EddieJ » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:29 pm

Dammit, why was this thread started an hour after I placed what landed up being the winning bid on a Darkstar XP2???
I guess I'll just sell it right away. I was reading reviews for a while before I decided to go through with it, then I get here and this thread has popped up. There was also another thread that I found which educated me on the fact that I'd spent too much on it.
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Post by gubon » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:53 pm

gordwiebe wrote:Out of everything I've owned I'd have to say I disliked the poly 800 the most. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. It would just sit there in the corner mocking me - promising to sound like c**p/itself if I were to ever turn it on again. I never really understood how it only had a square wave, and the square when "stacked" or something made a quasi saw wave - but I always understood I hated its sound. I think the filter was ok though...
With the Moog Slayer mod, the Poly-800 can sound like a dream!

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Post by shoontz » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:58 pm

It's funny that the Dark Star/303 comparison has popped up, because I was just thinking of pointing it out in a previous thread. People selling off Dark Stars for dirt cheap now will probably be crushed later when someone else discovers a glitch unique to it that becomes fashionable. Be prepared to shell out for the soft synth version in a decade or so.

Worst interface: E-MU Proteus 1, 2, and 3
Worst sound: the Yamaha PS range of home preset synths

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Post by CS_TBL » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:08 pm

It's hard to tell which synth is the worst, I rather focus on a more wider scale and vote for *any* synth which is only a mere primitive Soundcanvas, like the JV30. The Soundcanvas/GM standard was quite c**p if you ask me. In the 80's you really had reason to choose synth A above synth B, but ever since GM became a buzzword and people appeared to be listening to -OMFG- midifiles as if they were listening mp3's today, ever since that moment, everything was the same.

The problem with this GM standardisation wasn't so much the idea of a standard, but the implemention of it, typically a 2MB/4MB ROM with the most ridiculous sounds like bird tweets, telephones, and the 'real' instruments were still as small as a dime, while a more dedicated synth could offer quite some useful material in 2MB/4MB. But alas, if you sell more by including dull sounds at the cost of really good non-GM samples, then what can ya do?

Also, the envelope section of the Soundcanvas lacked sustain level, so no matter how much you tweak the decay in some sounds, it's not going to make a difference.
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Post by 23 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:17 pm

Though I own one and love it, I'm going to say the Roland TB-303.

Aside from the fact that it was absolutely horrible at accomplishing the job it was designed for, the thing was one of the most timbrally limiting synths (if not the most) I've ever encountered.

Despite things like the crappy interfaces of the DX series, the fact of the matter was that off the shelf, simply with the presets they came with they were made sonically more diverse than the TB-303. The same can be said for a lot of the toy keyboards one can find in their local K-B Toys store, Toys R Us, and the like.

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Post by t.o.t.s. » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:06 pm

I love my Darkstar. It's a quirky lil cus that will always have a home in my studio.

"People selling off Dark Stars for dirt cheap now will probably be crushed later when someone else discovers a glitch unique to it that becomes fashionable"

My feelings exactly :)

Worst synth in my opinion? Kawai G-Mega/K-11. Shittiest sounds EVER. c**p interface. s**t for control. Dealing with that piece of s**t lost me a good portion of my soul I'm sure.
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Post by mwbassguy » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:36 pm

every roland between the d-50 and the jd-800.
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Post by redchapterjubilee » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:05 pm

The Darkstar isn't that bad. I had an XP2 for awhile and I thought it was ok but it didn't really knock me out. I found that I could dial up sounds like it with software much easier than using it (it does have a crumby interface for being so knobby.) They're great $100 synths but I wouldn't pay any more than that for one.

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Post by JSRockit » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:14 pm

Well, alot of you know I buy and sell alot... but I didn't hate any synth...except for the Micron. I hated the way they implemented every feature on that synth. However, alot of people use this synth in an effected way, so it must just be another one of my quirks that wouldn't allow me to get into it.
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Post by Zarith » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:12 pm

The worse synths ever made are, for me, the last E-mu racks: Proteus 2000, Virtuoso 2000, Orbit3, Planet Earth, Turbo Phatt...

The hardware was the worse you could imagine: Cheap plastic, bad design, ugly colors and labels, bad interface, not reliable,... really awful. Open one if you can, the inside is even worse. The fact that E-mu used the same box for at least 10 modules is beyond me!


The sound was nasty: noisy samples, bad loops, metallic filters, poor effects.

The Virtuoso 2000 was supposed to be the ultimate "Virtual Orchestra", but it sounded like a casio home keyboard in a toilet!

Honestly, I'm really glad E-mu is out of the synth business... it had to stop!

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Post by neandrewthal » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:17 pm

shoontz wrote: People selling off Dark Stars for dirt cheap now will probably be crushed later when someone else discovers a glitch unique to it that becomes fashionable. Be prepared to shell out for the soft synth version in a decade or so.
So someone will push a button and make a sound so unique it will spawn a whole new genre of music which will live for the next 20 years :lol:

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