What qualities do you like in a synth?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Analogue Crazy
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Post by Analogue Crazy » Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:48 pm

Fore me its:

Character - I love vintage synths that have a special sound which is hard
to emulate.

Knobs and Sliders - I prefer programming synths in realtime (but don't
mind step)

VCO's - I much prefer synths with VCO's. I also like DCO's but VCO's
Sound nice and raw and have a few tuning issues. I love synths
which drift out of tune because it makes them more interesting.
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Post by Psy_Free » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:22 pm

1. The potential to create insane, mind altering, planet destroying, star crushing, universe warping sounds, along with the old bread and butter synth sounds.

2. Good external interfacing (CV/Gate or MIDI), so I can connect up as many synths as possible to help achieve point 1.

3. Relative ease of tweaking/manipulation. (pressing myriad buttons through countless submenus to change the filter cutoff is a real bore).

4. Something without Roland written on it :wink: (Don't get me wrong, I like Roland stuff soundwise, it's just that every piece of Roland gear I have ever owned develops faults/breaks down/goes wrong whether bought new or 2nd hand, whereas none of my Korg or Yamaha gear has ever had a single problem).

4. Realistic price, that's not to say cheap necessarily, but certainly it's got to be worth the money.
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Post by OggeOJ » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:11 pm

FM8 holds everything.

Exept hardware :/
Image
yeah, im also obsessed with it.

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Post by wysiwyg » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:49 pm

Alex E wrote:"If it sounds good, it is good."

I don't remember who said that, but my dad has that quote on the wall of his studio in the form of a small cut-out piece of a magazine or newspaper. It makes sense. It just has to sound good. Easy and fun programmability would be nice too though. :)
Your dad has a studio?

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Post by tom Cadillac » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:06 am

shaft9000 wrote:Studio:


3. Sound and Weight. Strange to put them together, perhaps. But I find them often to be inverseley proportional. As if the lighter something is, the less it will do or sound like something comfy and old. There are exceptions of course, but the trend has been toward lighter, faster, smaller in most developments - often at the expense of a weightier sound. Organs, polysynths and what used to be string machines all follow this paradigm. Also the progression/evolution through the years from tubes->discrete transistors->ICs->DSP.
Mmmm I think you're right - I demoed an R3 recently and was put off by its "light plastic soound" and have bought a casio FZ1 (fuzz one) instead. Weighing in at 19kilos its gotta sound good!! ? :shock:
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Post by stikygum » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:25 am

I usually go for unique raw character synths. Love rich sounds. I usually go analog, but love my digitals like the Fizmo and FS1R.

The deeper the synth or the wilder effects I can get from it, the better. I appreciate creamy rich analog too. I also have a thing for blinky lights on gear. The more color the better.

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Post by Alex E » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:04 pm

wysiwyg wrote:
Alex E wrote:"If it sounds good, it is good."

I don't remember who said that, but my dad has that quote on the wall of his studio in the form of a small cut-out piece of a magazine or newspaper. It makes sense. It just has to sound good. Easy and fun programmability would be nice too though. :)
Your dad has a studio?
Yup. It's very small, and he's less hardware oriented now, and currently he makes great orchestral arrangements with virtual samplers. They're amazing.
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Post by Alex E » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:06 pm

I almost forgot: I like synths with built in sequencers, too. Not too complex ones, just simpler ones like on the JX3p, Ms2000, JP-8000, etc.
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Post by MitchK1989 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:45 pm

Needs to be something I can't replace with software.

A) Extremely good interface
B) Unique sequencing (so it actually makes me work in a different way. Elektron, etc.)
C) Interesting analog or hybrid designs (sherman filterbank, evolver, etc.)

Unfortunately I can't afford anything like that at the moment... As much as I'd love to have a Nord Lead 3, a Monomachine, and a sherman...

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Post by JUGEL » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:21 pm

I tend to like synths that are "unmusical". Brash, harsh, ring mods, clank clanks and clanks.

2 Env's is a must..

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Post by Mpresev » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:32 pm

knobs and big screen like the ION. I like a synth that has a nice analog tone like the AN1X. I like a synth that also has a step sequencer like the SH101.

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Post by Mpresev » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:32 pm

knobs and big screen like the ION. I like a synth that has a nice analog tone like the AN1X. I like a synth that also has a step sequencer like the SH101.

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Post by divineaudio » Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:41 pm

1. a comprehensive interface. generally speaking a knob per function analog style setup is good, but having a few deeper menu features available isn't bad, especially for global/auxilliary features like midi/tuning. the ms2000 is a great example of this, so intuitive. what i hate is when an os has multiple sub menus on every page to edit patches. the esq1 is an example of good menu implementation, whereas later emu stuff like the xl7 i once had is an example of bad menu implementation. i also really like when manufacturers print programming diagrams and various parameters on the front panel. they come in handy when you don't feel like digging out the manual. :)

2. a good backlit or fluorescent display is also a necessity. to display the above mentioned menus and various parameters. an lcd screen that displays all sorts of data is useless if you can't read it (like in the dark at gigs) and small 2 or 3 character led displays irk me also (like my nord lead).

3. sequencers! all synths should have some sort of sequencer - step, knob motion or multitrack whatever. and they should all be able to record and edit data in realtime.

4. tons of memory. this should be a no brainer. enough with buying extra memory cards (obsolete ones at that) and more ram and other expansion c**p. memory cards are useful for backing up data and that's it, and really, all new synths/drum machines/whatever should just have a built in hard drive and a usb port. and don't cheap out and not let us delete the crappy presets. stop paying sound designers a ton of money to make shitty presets that i will never use, that way you can charge less for your product and sell more of them. this especially holds true for drum machines. who the h**l can get by on 100 user patterns? 1000 would be more like it.

(and now for the obvious ...)

5. internal power supply. need i say more?

6. small and lightweight. 49 keys or so is just about right for me.
Psy_Free wrote:1. The potential to create insane, mind altering, planet destroying, star crushing, universe warping sounds...


7.duh. nothing else matters if your synth sounds like it ate one too many burritos. :twisted:

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Post by hyphen nation » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:56 am

-Low Noise Floor

-EASY to use. f**k menu diving. We all work on computers, I want music to feel as far away from my work experience as possible.

-Solid Build Quality

-Connectivity [midi/CV]

-Innovation. I don't want something that is trying to sound like something else. Do something new, open up new opportunities of experiencing sound.
Last edited by hyphen nation on Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MrFrodo » Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:38 am

For me, it'll have to be some of th things already mentioned. I like th eability to program one's own sounds, a good, thick sound, versatile keyboard control, easy portability and, also the ease of recalling patches.

Before, it was difficult when I had just my Alesis synth (with its tedious menu programming), the ARP Axxe and a Roland JX-8p which I wasn't allowed to program on my own. Very frustrating. With the Voyager and JX-10, the worlds of patch memory storage, good keyboard touch, warm sound and programmability all became one.
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