What's the worst synth ever made?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
elmosexwhistle
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:27 am
Real name: Alex
Band: Elmo Sexwhistle
Location: Birmingham
Contact:

...

Post by elmosexwhistle » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:28 pm

Ensoniq SQ-1 - Although it wasn't mine, this is probably my least favorite keyboard. . . the sounds were appalling and the s/n ratio was terrible. . . the owner of the synth actually found more use for it as a coffee table in his sparcely decorated apartment. . .[/quote]

it's an aquired taste. the ESQ-1, i happen to find it's warm analogue filters combined with beautiful gritty samples to be a sublime combination...ok so the acustic emu's are c**p (except for nostalgia mode) but the sheer depth of sounds you can get out of it is quite amazing...it's not gonna do acoustic that well...but if you want acoustic go buy a rompler of gigs of multisamples...

but then again...i'm damned adventurous when it comes to sounds and maybe you prefer bread and butter...i like aliasing and digital artifacts...gimme 12 bit! the SQ80 is even better so if you want those type of sounds try and get one instead :) x

User avatar
OriginalJambo
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:04 am
Gear: Check my sig
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom

Post by OriginalJambo » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:53 pm

Image
SQ-1

Image
ESQ-1

Two different synths I'm afraid elmo. ;)

Chazman
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:19 pm

Post by Chazman » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:56 pm

Worst synth I've used? GEM Equinox.

I bought one after listening to demos on Synthmania. Many of the demos, especially the COMBI1 and COMBI2 demos, really impressed me. Unfortunately, it was a $450 lesson that you can't always believe what you hear.

Most of the sounds on the board were weak and had bad loop points. It sounded like an Internet downloaded soundfont had been crammed into a keyboard.The keyboard's velocity sensitivity was horrible; I had to pound the s**t out of the board to get more than a whisper.

The built in OS was so unstable that the keyboard would crash when I sent MIDI data to it from the PC. Even after the upgrade it constantly crashed when attempting to load floppy disks and was ultra slow at editing and browsing.

It's General MIDI functionality, which consisted most of its non-synth sounds, was horrible. General MIDI playback on the device sounded worse than a Radioshack/Casio General MIDI keyboard. The instrument set balance would make even a Creative cards' GM look good by comparison.

It featured a simulated tonewheel organ, but sounded extremely thin and weak. It had horrible emulation of every possible variant of the Hammond sound you can imagine.

The non-Equal Temperment scales support is great in concept but is really a b***h to use on a diatonic keyboard.

Support for the keyboard is atrocious. I had the 61 key model and GEM didn't even acknowledge the existence of it. Only a fortunate find on the Internet after hours of searching turned up an OS update.

For a professional keyboard, even of 1998 standards, it was really noisy. The board was so prone to interference that it would actually pick up and play radio station signals in certain situations.

Finally, it had a weak EFX unit. GEM used reverb in the same manner Casio uses their "DSP Effects" on their new cheap keyboard. All of the patches are heavily drowned in reverb. This makes them sound a bit better by themselves, but awful when used in a composition....if you could ever figure out the onboard sequencer or make it work with a PC.

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2235
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Jupiter-6, DX7, TX7, Juno-106, AX60, Pro One, S1000, M1r, Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Post by Alex E » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:51 pm

I don't know if I put in a vote yet. But I think I should-

Roland MC-303 (+1)

I gave mine to a friend this week. I don't want anything to do with it anymore. Great build quality, but it isn't anything like the TB-303. Try finding an even decent TB-303 sample in that box. It's supposed to be a TB-303 clone, so maybe it should actually sound like one?

Why not make the TB-303 again? Oh, analog parts are too expensive?? Why weren't they too expensive in 1982? The TB-303 and the MC-303 sold for the same price when they were new! Sometimes I think Roland makes really dumb decisions. Sometimes I think I make really dumb decisions. For both of us maybe it was the MC-303.
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
whiteyhouston
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:11 pm
Location: Shame Tunnel
Contact:

Post by whiteyhouston » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:26 am

I'm drunk.. and I'm only gonna post what I know about..

but both the DX-7 and Poly 61 were extremely un sassifying..
got 'em cheap and sold 'em both right quick

User avatar
Suburban Bather
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:58 pm
Gear: Wretch Machine, Oberkorn3, Monotribe, TR-626, FX
Location: Waldorf, MD

Post by Suburban Bather » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:47 am

konvert wrote:
Jabberwalky wrote:Another vote for the Poly800. What a pile.
:lol:

I'm glad I just sold mine.
But it wasn't _that_ bad was it? I mean, worst ever? Nooooo. It was nice for pads.
Every time I go to this used music gear store "Atomic Music" in College Park MD, I always see the same Poly800's sitting in the corner(I think there also always a couple DW 6 and 8000's) these synths are never hooked up too a keyboard amp and they look terrifyingly unintuitive to program, so I ignore them. They are dirt cheap though, but I always assume for a good reason. Maybe I should entertain myself and have one of the employees dig a power cable out and hook it up to an amp.

User avatar
Suburban Bather
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:58 pm
Gear: Wretch Machine, Oberkorn3, Monotribe, TR-626, FX
Location: Waldorf, MD

Post by Suburban Bather » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:03 am

Alex E wrote:I don't know if I put in a vote yet. But I think I should-

Roland MC-303 (+1)

I gave mine to a friend this week. I don't want anything to do with it anymore. Great build quality, but it isn't anything like the TB-303. Try finding an even decent TB-303 sample in that box. It's supposed to be a TB-303 clone, so maybe it should actually sound like one?

Why not make the TB-303 again? Oh, analog parts are too expensive?? Why weren't they too expensive in 1982? The TB-303 and the MC-303 sold for the same price when they were new! Sometimes I think Roland makes really dumb decisions. Sometimes I think I make really dumb decisions. For both of us maybe it was the MC-303.
There is not a single TB-303 clone that sounds exactly like the original, because "all of the actual chips" are no longer in production. Every single piece of circuitry plays a part in "the sound" you can disect the the signal path all you want but you know that saying, "they just don't make em like they used to"

303's are only overpriced now because of the invention of Acid House/Techno. Before that they were thought of as worthless virtual bass accompany machines for song writers and producers. Its not hard to make 303-like squelches at all, it may not sound like a real 303 but who gives f**k when it still sounds bad a*s on top of the fact that its mixed in with a lead synth, drums, and possibly a sub-bass line. Acid is easy, tweak it till it squelches.

Bring on the Chemicals :wink:

User avatar
whiteyhouston
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:11 pm
Location: Shame Tunnel
Contact:

Post by whiteyhouston » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:09 am

Suburban Bather wrote: Its not hard to make 303-like squelches at all, it may not sound like a real 303 but who gives f**k when it still sounds bad a*s on top of the fact that its mixed in with a lead synth, drums, and possibly a sub-bass line. Acid is easy, tweak it till it squelches.
yes!!! I actually think the newer 303 ish clones are better.....

MrFrodo
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 952
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:29 pm
Real name: Eric
Location: New York, NY, USA
Contact:

Post by MrFrodo » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:27 am

The Elctro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer???? If I wanted that keyboard, I'd look for a Wasp or Gnat by EDP. I don't need one with only that many sliders.
The greatest thing we ever have is the will to survive.

Rest in peace, Dr. Robert Moog.

http://www.ericbenjamingordon.com
http://cdbaby.com/cd/ebgordon
http://www.myspace.com/ericbenjamingordon

User avatar
Suburban Bather
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:58 pm
Gear: Wretch Machine, Oberkorn3, Monotribe, TR-626, FX
Location: Waldorf, MD

Post by Suburban Bather » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:30 am

Exactly, I would love a FR Revolution, but my credit card is still blistering sore from a drum machine and some .com modules. Maybe next year!

Some Reaktor ensembles really get on my nerves sometimes. Fun, but don't have a slightest clue what I'm doing. Sine Beats is one of my favorites right now. Easy to use, quick, and dirty :P

Post Reply