one line synth reviews

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Post by Jabberwalky » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:23 am

Yamaha An1x - Smooth, Crisp, but gritty, and unwieldy at the same time. Only VA you would really ever need.

Univox Minikorg 700
- A monument to what all synthesizers should try to be like. Buzzzz

Yamaha CS-5 - Versatile, little insanophone. Give me a reason to hate it and I'll just ignore you and continue to make music while you b***h about it.

Alesis Ion - Built well, but designed by chimps. The sound wasn't there for me either.

Oberheim Matrix 6 - Modulation you could only wish your VCO synth had. Wonderful for pads, but a waste at bass, and weak at leads.

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Post by voicedood » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:46 am

Current gear in order of acquisition:

Juno 60 - Had a 106 too. I don't have the 106 any more. Immediately easy to use and get the sound you're after. If you're after 'the Juno' sound

Emax II - B I G. All functions are on it's face so it's easy to get to know

CZ 101 - cute & portable, but I don't really use it much.

Sirius - my drum workhorse. Synths are great too, esp. for dance/techno. FX, sequencer, 7 pt. multi timbral. Great machine.

Jupiter 8 - My dream synth. Best interface ever. Beautiful. Beautiful sounding.

SH2 - Monster bass monosynth. From deep heavy bass to squelchy synth goodness. SO glad I got it back!!

Prophet 5 - Classic. The most haunting and organic sounding of my Big 3. Bad sounds just don't come out of it.

Crumar Performer - Great little - but heavy - string synth. Don't bother with the brass. Sounds great thru a phaser.

OB8 - Huge and Huge sounding! Louder than the rest. Nice interface. Impulse buy but glad I went for it.

MEK - Still getting to know but seems like a fantastic piece of kit. From simple analog sounds to comlicated soundscapes. Glad I got it over the DeVO
Chronologically speaking: Performer, Prophet 5, SH2, Juno 60, Jupiter 8, OB8, CZ 101, Emax II, Sirius, MEK

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Post by Alex E » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:39 am

CZ-1000- Cool, Strange, quasi-analogy sounds.

CS1x- I can't sell it. Sometimes it just sounds too beatuiful.

MC-303- okay... cheap drum module for me. I love the very dated Nintendo 64 sounding preset patterns.

DX7- I seriously don't reccomend that to Techno-heads.

Ensoniq EPS, Very versitile and handy! Awesome key action, too.

Juno-106, Warmest synth I think I may ever hear. Voice chip reliability can be really annoying, though.

MicroKORG, I wish it just had some more knobs.

PSR-41- It's fun!

CS01: One VCO can get boring, but some situations don't need much more.
Last edited by Alex E on Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by severen » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:40 am

s3000i - Classic. But inconvenience.

Wavestation SR - Pure Korg!

TG55 - Sharp.
An1x - Cheap. sharp and interesting.

Micro Q - Sharp, weirdy, powerful and cold.

SC55 - Bored. But easy.

FIZMO - Lush.
Knobs Good. But always need computer editing.
And 1970's LED......

Hamony SVC 650 - Cheap vocoder. But noisy. not bad.

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Post by piRoN » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:35 am

Okay, here goes...

Akai S2000 - Fantastic reliable workhorse that never let me down. Gave me eyestrain maybe, but that's where...

Akai S3000XL - ...this box o' love comes in. Will probably survive along with the cockroaches in a nuclear war, but filters are bit weak.

Akai X7000 - Warm 'n' gritty early digital ear-candy, velocity-sensitive filter is totally unique. f**k QUICKDISKS!

Elby Designs ASM2 - Can't really think of a way to put it... imagine me pumping my fists in the air and screaming "YEEEEEHAAAAWWWW!".

Electro-Harmonix Bi-Filter - Would marry it if I could. Ridiculously versatile, makes anything sound fantastic.

Ensoniq EPS-m - Loop Point Modulation. Or rather, "oin/op /Po/dulat/Loo/n./n./n./nt Mo/op Po/Modulati/ Point M/oint Modulation." Low end shows up on seismographs.

Korg EA-1 - Only here because I'm too lazy to sell it.

Novation KS-4 - Doesn't sound particularly analogue, but does sound like liquid silk being poured into your ear canal. Rocks.

Roland D-10 - Bizarre clanky digital ambiences 101. You'll want the programmer.

Roland MKS-7 - Dead voice chips are a pain.

Roland S-50 - Looks nice, impresses visitors. Is, in actuality, useless. Boots only slightly faster than a PDP-8. Nice keybed.

Roland TR-606 - TsssTskaTsssTskaTsssTskaTsssTsTsTsTs... And the best "Tsss"s you'll hear, too.

Yamaha CS15 - "Squelch". And lots of it.

Yamaha TQ-5 - Programming causes seizures. Nice pads and punchy sounds to be had. Looks like an early 90's design student Final.

Yamaha RX11 - The soul of the 80's squeezed into a big black flat thing.
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Post by Mixolydian » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:28 pm

Yamaha YS-200 - odd looking keyboard version of TX81Z. Use for controller too.

Yamaha TX802 - clean, fast, almost always works somewhere in the mix - records exactly as it sounds.

Korg EX-800 - Almost all sounds have cool resonant tails - records very well.

Roland Juno 106S - There are just so many cool things this will do. Didn't really want the speaker version, but hey, a 106 for $100.

Roland MKS-50 - A great synth if you use the PG-300 (or software version of same.) Nice routed through delay.

Roland MKS-7 - got it to replace my Juno 106, but very different. TR606 drums are deep and loud.

Roland MKS-70 - lush pads like no other. Suprisingly good piano too.

Korg TR Rack - had to have one modern rompler with all this other stuff. Nice MOSS VA on synth patches. Don't care for the drums.

Yamaha CS-10 - sold - what was I thinking? I've got to get another or CS-15.

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Post by neandrewthal » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:28 pm

piRoN wrote: Yamaha CS15 - "Squelch". And lots of it.
:o Never thought I'd see CS15 and "squelch" on the same line.
What happens at fondue stays at fondue!

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Post by piRoN » Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:37 pm

Our definition of "squelch" must be somewhat different then. I mean, you basically can't get anything out of the CS15 filters apart from squishy resonant sounds as far as I've discovered.

Not that that's a bad thing. I do love my CS15.
Roland MKS-7 - got it to replace my Juno 106, but very different. TR606 drums are deep and loud.
Those are TR-707 drums, actually. And yes, they're very loud and punchy.
Ensoniq EPS-m | Elby Designs ASM-2 | Yamaha TQ5 | Akai S3000XL | Akai X7000 | Novation KS-4 | SCI Prophet 2000 | Kawai K1m | Korg Monotribe | Korg Monotron | Roland S-50 | Roland D-10 | Roland MKS-7 | Yamaha RX11

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Post by 23 » Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:22 pm

ALESIS QS 6: You're straight forward and simple, and yet I found myself thinking about bringing you back into my life.

EMU PROTEUS 2500/CS: MY GOD YOU'RE A BLOODY MONSTER!!!! Programming you can be intensive though.

FUTURE-RETRO 777: You're my favorite synth. The perfect balance between uniqueness, capability, and intuitiveness.

KORG EA 1: You're a poor mans 777. I never liked you, probably never will, but I respect you none the less.

KORG ER 1: My you're a simple but effective little beast; wish I had reason to deal with you more often.

KORG Z1: My god you're horrible at what you were designed are unique though.

KORG WAVESTATION: Interesting but over rated. You can be a pain to program and made me realize how much I like resonant filters.

MFB SYNTH II: What would happen if a Model D weren't as pretty and put on steroids?

NOVATION SUPERNOVA II: Your Oscs are like silly've been tied as my favorite VA for years.

ROLAND TB-303: AAAcccccccciiiiiieeeeeeeD. And you really are an "o.k." bass and lead synth.

ROLAND SH-101: I always thought you were a lot of fun, but you're over rated none the less.

ROLAND JUNO 106: What on earth do I find so special about you. You're so simple, and yet I'll forever love you.

ROLAND ALPHA JUNO 1: Yeah....without a programmer, you're just about as fun as paper cuts and an alcohol bath.

ROLAND MC-303: My, that's a pretty cool looking paper weight.

ROLAND MC-505:You are not my favorite "synth", you are not my favorite "sequencer", you are my favorite overall instrument.

ROLAND MC-09: You're not a are a unique acid device and you can get harsh REAL damn fast.

WALDORF Q: match my respect for the SNII.

YAMAHA FS1R: You're a beast, you pretty much require a software editor & I'm still trying to really understand programming you.

YAMAHA SU700: I still think to this day that Ableton's Live was modeled after you.

Last edited by 23 on Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DX » Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:22 pm

Yamaha DX27 S: Raw (built in chorus helps to get warmer), even cheesy but capable of some sounds really interesting. I love it.
Yamaha DX7. Warmer than 4 ops, Nice keyb action (noisy), Sounds unique.
Yamaha DX7 II FD. The same as above. Also, more clear sound, with Unison detuned mode is a monster.
Roland D10. Synthetic 80's sounds. Nice noises and strange landscapes. 8 parts multitimbral !
Roland JX8P. The pad monster. Difficult to fit in the mix. If you are programming dx series for years, this machine w/o programmer is a heaven.
Korg POLY 800. Presets Sound cheesy, but capable of fantastic sounds if you tweak them. Love specially for vintage-analog fat mono basslines.
Casio CZ1000. Interesting. Sounds across a DX7 and an analog. Love it. (Hate its inside, not good built, PCBs linked with bad ribbons w/o connectors).
Akai S3000 XL. I love it since I fitted an internal HD. Before that, not much useful for me :)
Roland JP8000. Synthetic beast. If you are producing house, you need it. Capable of nice analog emulations. Love its arpeggiator.
etc XD
Roland Promars, E-mu EMAX and some other machines...

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Post by kulten » Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:52 am

OK :

BOSS DR-110 : poor man's TR 606/808 but genuine electro sound.

: good VA synth in your pocket, deep bass, extreme filters.

: plastic sound, but fun : trig it on its own with its LFO.
a way of live : BOSS SYB-3 bass synthesizer


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Post by Sealed » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:49 am

My newest synth;

He's a real nowhere man
forever scratching his nowhere disk
making all his nowhere SysEx for nobody

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Post by crystalmsc » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:39 pm

Stromberg: I want a synth like this

MC-909: I always want something like this in the form Sony PSP with touch view and sliding drum pads, usb, vga output, d-beam, etc.

Open Labs Miko: I dream of the miniaturize of this a lot :)
Kaossilatron - Voicillator
Station: Ableton Live 10 Suite, Obscurium, Push 2, Ultranova, MS-20m, Wavedrums

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Post by jsgarr1 » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:44 pm

Cool thread - I love the idea of just a raw, honest impression.

My stuff, colored by the way I use (or don't use) it. I must admit that I don't take advantage of all my gear's capabilities:


JX-10 - Beautiful sound and feel - the place I start.

TG-33 - Dirty, fun nostalgia.

Matrix-1000 - Obie warmth that I should program more.

Nord Rack 2 - Has it all - the go-to hardware synth to fill out a song and cut through the mix.

Wavestation SR - Pure Korg digital sparkle, and Ski Jam is a guilty pleasure.

JV-1080 - All the meat and potatoes I'll ever need, plus the orchestral boards!

01/W - Unfortunately surpassed by the rest, but still a great controller.


ES2 - I love beating the drum for this beast. Just because it's embedded in Logic doesn't change the fact that it's one of the best sounding synths (hard or soft) out there.

Reaktor - Even if you don't build your own ensembles, an incredible source of atmospheres (and fun).

CS-80v - Closest I'll ever get to the big guy - wonderful, dark pads. But how come all my film-type stuff sounds like Blade Runner?

Pro-53/PPG Wave 2.x/JP-8v - Great to have. "Hey, a PPG chimey-sound would work great in the bridge..."


Hardware: JX-10 w/PG800, Nord Rack 2, Wavestation SR, TG-33, Matrix-1000, JX-8P, 01/W, JV-1080, PowerMac G5
Software: Logic Pro (ES2 is an amazing synth!), Reaktor 5, PPG Wave 2.x, Pro-53, CS80v, JP-8v

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Post by Bob-omb » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:27 pm

Alesis Ion - Horrible keyboard, boring to program and too digital sounding.
Clavia Nordlead 2 - So fun to program - sounds way too cold.
Clavia Nord Modular - If you have got time to build stuff and can live with the cold sound - then it's a great little box!
Korg MS2000 - Decent, fun to program - but way too cold and digital.
Roland JD-800 - Wamer than all VA:s above and one of the greatest digital synths ever built IMO (too fragile though!).
Yamaha DX7 - Horrible horrible horrible 80's!
Roland TB303 - Funny machine but not worth the money these days unless you make old school acid.
Roland Jupiter 4 - Not really all "that" but it's still my one true love.
Yamaha CS15 - Versatile and very smooth sounding analog!
Yamaha CS15D - Presets that could be combined was actually very useable.
Roland JX3P - Nice strings but I'd go for a Juno 6/60 instead.
Roland Juno 60 - So I did... :)
Korg MS20 - Very versatile analog with a angry filters.
Korg Polysix - When you want a warmer sound than your Juno 6/60.
Moog LP - Makes all the useful sounds your old Mini did and much more.
Moog Prodigy - Wonderful sounding leads and basses.
Solina String Ensemble - This is the real s**t!
Logan String Melody - Nice sound but too noisy.
Roland CR-8000 - Very versatile and TR-808:ish!
Korg KR55 - Speak & Spell or Magnetic Fields anyone? :)
Linndrum - Sounds like Harold Faltermeyer's scores and I like it!

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