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one line synth reviews

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:49 pm
by jp8080
Here are one line reviews of (nearly) everything I've owned. Add yours!

tr505 - drums, eh... not really. sequencer for other midi gear? yeah!

casio cz1 - wow multi-timbral back in the day. never play you now. sorry. let's schedule some time!

fs1r - very clean sounding, too hard to program

dx100 - wow, i actually like programming this! fm not so bad (i never thought i would like it)

jx8p - ok, envs not as fast as junos

jp8000 - wow, i hated you when you came out. love you now.

sh101 - wonderful

tr909 - i was so wrong to ever think having samples was just as good

tr808 - pure beauty

tx81z - $40? bargain! now i want a dx11 too

microkorg - wow, pretty good. no need to diss you

ms2000br - disappointed in your mod sequencer. i wanted fr 777 style. i'll stick with the microkorg. do like the knobs and enjoy playing the ms2000 (keyboard version)

fr777 - never sell

fr revolution - yucky. a tb303 you are not

tb303 - so much more than acid. a classic and real instrument.

er1 - hated you in the store when you cam out. years later... love you. just need to accept you are not a 909 or 808.

em1 - wow. not sure how i got you but instant acid box. nice saws and squares. a bit grungy sounding (in a good way)

emx1 - wow. best all in one box. could sound better but overall workflow rocks. why are you a little noisy?

esx1 - great sampling beat box. better than any mpc for creative stuff. why you so noisy?

roland vk7 organ - i like your keyboard. good sounds and nice non-organ bonus sounds too

jv1010 - big time bargain. just what i need for non electronic sounds. i don't think i'll need anything else for standard sounds.

quasimidi 309 - don't like. do like. don't like. do like. you take some time. you've got your own grungy sound.

evolver desktop - again, i wished you were a 777. too hard to use. tried keyboard version - joy! i need to look at you again.

nord modular (g1) - nice sounds. need more time with you.

tr606 - nothing else like you. i wish i had time to mod you

tr707 - chicago. acid. yeah!

tr727 - i need to play with you more.

rm1x - could never totally get how you store patterns. horrible sounds. yet when tweaked just right... you can sound ok. i wish i had more time for you

mc909 - you could be great but the emx1 keeps getting all my time. stop playing to save or edit? no thanks. aw, what you could have been.

mc505 - $250? bargain.

mc303 - you still have your own sound. let's chill on the couch sometime. wait, i've got an em1, sorry.

esq1 - you rock and are easy to program

esqm - you are hard to program

sq80 - need more time with you, but esq1 plus disk and more waves? sounds good to me!

jp8080 - more jp8000 goodness.

es1 - i like your sound and interface

ensoniq eps - if people only knew all the songs made with you (esp. hip hop stuff). you are a classic

juno 106 - never sell you. no a juno 60 is not better. different but not better

boss dr110 - if people new the snare and cymbals you had you'd sell for so much more (poor mans 808)

roland d110 - tiny interface. at the time i did just fine. i didn't expect you to have knobs and just lived with the interface you offerd. built-in reverb? wow! (back in the day)

Re: one line synth reviews

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:51 pm
by JSRockit
jp8080 wrote:
boss dr110 - if people new the snare and cymbals you had you'd sell for so much more (poor mans 808)
The prices are going up steadily... but since it has no midi or din sync (or truly famous users)... my guess is it will never be priced like a TR-606. I can't do this type of list... it would be huge...

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:12 pm
by redchapterjubilee
OK. I'll go as far as what I own now.

Moog Source
- Burly. Beefy. Surprisingly easy to program despite the interface. As close to a Mini as I will ever get.
Roland HS-60
- Gauzy. Atmospheric. Team player. Heavy bastard, then again so am I.
Technosaurus Microcon
- Don't use it with a keyboard so it's just for noise. For that it's fabulous.
E-Mu Vintage Keys Plus
- Sure it's a ROMpler but has stellar Mellotron strings and lots of programming choices. The piece I've had the longest.
Realistic Concertmate 350
- Wannabe Casio PT-1. Otherwordly. Cheesy. One trick pony. Instantly recognizable.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:13 pm
by fingerbib2000
MC303 - s**t Sandwich.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:25 pm
by antilles

Access Virus C - The best VA I've played. Not as fun to program as you would think though.

MicroKorg - Eh... it can run on batteries and has DWGS waves.

Korg Triton - I like workstations. It's a workhorse. Some samples are great others not so. Weak filter.

SCI Pro One - Versatile mono synth. Great fun with modulation. Snappy envolope. One of the best monosyths around.

Korg MS-20. Great filter. Fun to experiment with. Dirty.

Roland JV-1080 - Ok rompler. Some really good sounds on the expansioncards.

Roland JD-800 - My favorite digital synht. A delight to work with. Pad monster.

Roland JD-990 - Great sound. Pad monster. Nice big display.

Korg M1 - Not that useful anymore. But great nostalgia.

Roland Jupiter 4 - Very fat sounding. Great Roland chorus. Ugly buttons.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:26 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
fingerbib2000 wrote:MC303 - s**t Sandwich.
You made me hurt myself with laughter. :D

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:40 pm
by Shleed
MFB Synth II: Looks cheap, but don't judge a book by it's cover. ;) Fat, dirty sound combined with a lovely filter... not to mention the crazy amount of tweaking to be done... sync/fm/dual ring-modulation anyone?

Microkorg: Not as warm as the MFB, but a great synth in it's own right. A bit difficult to program at times, but it's very capable of making a wide palate of sounds if you bother your arse learning to program it.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:51 pm
Automatic Gainsay wrote:
fingerbib2000 wrote:MC303 - s**t Sandwich.
You made me hurt myself with laughter. :D
I just let out a random chuckle and the office is looking in my direction now...

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:14 pm
by Joey
Virus B - You can do so much. I get lost in you.

Microkorg - Go die in a car crash.

M1R - Wait you're telling me this has the enjoy the silence choir on it?

TX81z - Now I can play the people are people bassline and sound good.

ER1 - I don't use you enough.

DR660 - h**l yeah super huge 80s snares.

TD-3s - How I love thee, Oh V drums.

Juno 106 - Your sound is unparalleled. Be my wife.

AX-7 - Jumping around like a wounded duck never looked so cool.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:27 pm
MC-202 - a bit flat in a mix but can pump out flat sub bass like no other. You also have the best sequencer ever.

Juno 106 - I thought you were cute at first and reliable. Always there for me .. but I find that I keep cheating on you with your close friends. I'm over you.. you don't attract me anymore.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:39 pm
by Carey M
Arp Axxe - Instant 70's p**n soundtrack melodies (and bass). A very funky little synth.

Casio CZ1000 - Sounds like a noisy aliasing c**p-machine, sometimes in a nice way.

Crumar Multiman S - Very nice strings. Not lush, but more "authentic" than the Solina.

E-Mu Vintage Pro - My first rompler. Z-plane filters not that good. Most samples are average.

Hohner Pianet T - My first electromechanical, ok sound, lifeless compared to Rhodes / Wurlie.

Jomox Sunsyn - A BIG, warm, punchy, snappy, discrete analogue sound. Still not totally bugfree, but worth every penny. Love it.

Korg CX-3 (1979) - Not that good. Really.

Korg Polysix - Warm, lush, not japanese sounding. Great synth.

Macbeth M3X - Moogbeth? My alltime favourite synthesizer. Really!

Moog Opus 3 - I liked the strings, organ sounds great for combo-organ stuff, polysynth usable, but not great.

Moog Micromoog - I'd rather have a Micromoog than a Rogue. A great little Moog.

Moog Polymoog Keyboard - I had to let her go and it makes me sad. A lovely instrument, but a maintenance catastrophy waiting to happen.

Oberheim Matrix-1000 - I hate programming with a computer editor. Still, it's a cheap little CEM box, with a pretty nice DCO analogue sound.

Rhodes Suitcase 73 Mk I - Sold to purchase another Wurlie. Still, a great, expressive instrument.

Roland Alpha Juno-2 - My first synthesizer. Slow envelopes and the Alpha Dial sucks. A sort of JX/Juno hybrid. Will never sell.

Roland Juno 60 - First analogue I've ever played. One of the best DCO synths with a lovely arpeggiator.

Roland Juno 106 - I much preferred the 60. Hated the buttons.

Roland JX-8P - A synth that sounds like 80's Bryan Ferry. Looks great, annoying to program, sounds pretty good. A pretty unique sound.

SCI Prophet 600 - One of the best value-for-money VCO analogues. Crappy performance controllers and keyboard, poor resolution knobs, but sounds like a big american CEM polysynth.

Solina String Ensemble - Very nice! I don't like the single VCA/ENV -solution, but it sounds pretty damn nice.

Waldorf Pulse - A very versatile, punchy monosynth. Didn't like it. Shallow, lifeless sound.

Wurlitzer EP-200 - My favourite electromechanical. I had two at one time. Wurlies sound like I feel.

Yamaha A3000 - My first sampler. Ok interface, crappy FX, sloooow SCSI, but it was cheap!

Yamaha CP30 - A curious analogue piano. Heavy, but built to last. The best electronic piano.

Yamaha Motif 6 - My second and current rompler. A very, very, very useful tool. Weighs too much. FX are average. Great controller.

Yamaha SK20 - A great multi-purpose synthesizer. Surprisingly good Hammond sounds. Usable strings and polysynth. Built like a tank.
fingerbib2000 wrote:MC303 - s**t Sandwich.
You can't write that, can you? :D

- CM

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:02 pm
by braincandy
In somewhat chronological order:

Yamaha DX-21:
my first synth. Cold, thin. Key Clique's sounds made it passable.

Ensoniq ESQ-1:
Jack-of-all trades, master of none. Good interface, though. Great key feel. Learned sequencing on it.

Ensoniq EPS:
Had all sorts of potential & fun when it worked. Horribly unreliable. Danger, Will Robinson!

Alesis QS6:
One of the worst interfaces I've ever encountered. Good drums.

Roland XP-50:
Flexible, loved the light keys. Extremely versatile. Get Vintage Expansion.

Oberheim Matrix-1000:
Should have kept. Tons of sounds to work with, even if uneditable by itself.

Kawai SX-240:
Never did really grow on me. Solid basic analog sounds, though.

Yamaha AN1x: (now on my 3rd one)
Limited knobbage, but lots of fun. Nice pads/strings/drums/arps/basses. Still really like it.

Korg DW-8000 (owned twice):
Loved the onboard delay. c**p key action. Easy interface. Ambient, spacey, resonant drones.

Roland JX-3P:
Hated the interface. Quickly sold it and don't miss it.

Roland JX-8P (owned twice):
Loved the pads. Relatively easy to edit. Solid & inexpensive bargain.

First synth ever desired. Sounded nice, but everything started sounding the same. Lovely strings & great UI.

Korg Polysix:
Ballsy. Nice strings with ensemble effect. Raw, whereas Juno= smooth. Lots of character, but noisy.

Yamaha TG-33:
Impulse buy. Should have given it more of a chance before selling it.

Yamaha FS1r:
Horrific interface. Loved the sounds. Would have been legendary with a better UI.

Kurzweil K2VXs:
Did it all. Deep. Reliable. Flexible. Favorite rompler. My workhorse 6 years ago.

Kawai K5000s:
Shimmering, ethereal-sounding slab of silver. The beautiful freak. Lovely key action. Will re-acquire one day.

Roland Jupiter-8:
Best interface on any synth ever. Soundwise, good but not great.

E-mu Vintage Keys (original):
Some sounds were great (CP-70, Fairlight, strings), but too many omissions & too many non-vintage sounds.

Oberheim OB8:
Lush, warm, gargantuan in size. Preferred it to JP-8.

Virus A:
Nice synth, but too many other toys @ the time. Unfortunately neglected.

Waldorf MicroQ:
One of the best bang-for-buck pieces I've owned. Waldorf on the cheap that doesn't sound cheap. Will get a Blofeld as I miss it.

Casio CZ-101:
I regret selling it as I bought it for so little. Would have been perfect lap synth.

Roland XP-30:
Tons of stock sounds to work with & reasonably editable. Covered lots of ground ala XP-50.

Yamaha P-50m:
extremely basic piano module. Ok if paired with effects.

Hated the clackety keys. Brought back memories of ESQ-1.

Alpha Juno-1:
Very basic. Ok, but I would pay a little more for a JX-8P. Don't miss it.

Alesis Ion (still have):
Flexible, nice interface for the most part. Just doesn't grab me.

Roland JD-990 (still have):
Pads, pads, pads. Deep, rich sounds. Not as hard to edit as it looks.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:11 pm
by Carey M
braincandy wrote:Oberheim OB8:
Lush, warm, gargantuan in size. Preferred it to JP-8.
I've been thinking about the OB8 a lot recently. Since I sold my P600 I'm somtimes missing that CEM sound. And the OB8 looks so good :) Got to stay focus and get that SQ-80 first...

- CM

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:13 pm
by MitchK1989
Electribe ER-1 MK2 - Why did I buy you as my first drum machine? Quirky bloops you're good at, the samples waveforms are mediocre... Would be better off without the samples and more synth parts... Goodbye

Electribe ES-1 MK2 - Smartmedia? You won't take my 128 meg card? You say I need a 64 meg card or smaller? Goodbye

Alesis Micron - I sold you when I got the fusion, because I thought I wouldn't need you anymore. I'm now selling the fusion, and someday I will have you back. You sound so good but are terribly difficult to deal with sometimes.

Nord Lead 2X- It's not that I don't like nords, but it's time for an upgrade... I wish you had effects and another envelope. Goodbye

Korg Z1 - You're so clean. Almost too clean... You sound good but your interface is terrible. Goodbye.

SQ-80 - Cool sound, very unique... Worst keybed ever. I think I'll replace you with your little brother the ESQ-1 someday, as your sampled attack waves are pretty much useless anyway and the poly aftertouch doesn't justify the c**p keybed. Goodbye

MPC 1000 - I can see why some love you so much, but for me you're just a poor substitute for a computer.

AN1X - The bastard who sold you to me had a bad power adapter that causes you to make gross digital noise sometimes while I play you. I now have you tucked away until I buy a new adapter for you, so I haven't really heard what you sound like yet.

Alesis Fusion - I know you're flexible, but you're just way too big for me to want to be seen with you in public. It hurts my back to carry you around sometimes, and you won't even fit in the car to come to my shows. You're on the way out.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:25 pm
by fierywater
Roland RS-50: You were a rompler when I wanted a synth, back in the early days. I'm sorry.

Alesis Micron: I thought I hated you for your lack of knobs, but I didn't know that it was my lack of knowledge that pushed me away. Now you're coming back to me.

Novation X-Station 25/49: I'm sorry, you had the perfect interface but your build quality and sound weren't good enough.

Korg MicroKorg: You were cool, but I only paid $100 for you and needed some spare cash.

Roland XV88: You were amazing, but I didn't have the space to keep you when I went to college.

Emu PK-6: I know you had a powerful engine, but your sound wasn't what I wanted. I felt software did what you did better.

Novation V-Station: Well, you came free with a Remote LE. You aren't bad.

Novation BassStation (plug-in): Eh. Why bother getting rid of you?

Korg SP100 Digital Piano: You have a great feel, even if your polyphony is lacking. And h**l, you were cheap enough.