MicrowaveXT, JD-800, or original V-synth?

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SubliminalEffect
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Post by SubliminalEffect » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:32 am

i don't mean to continue the off-topic roadside brawl or put anyone in particular off but what irks me much, much more than this question of which synth should i buy are posts like this one:
gs wrote:I was not aware that MicrowaveXT had a control surface. It's a module, no?
it really contributes absolutely nothing to the poster's question or even the discussion around it.

why on earth bother wasting everybody's time or even the bytes of bandwidth to let us all know what you don't know?

why do so many people feel compelled to post about gear they don't know about? it's especially bad when it's not just background noise but plain, bald, factually wrong.

are people just posting here to boost their post counts higher and "earn" a higher seniority credential? what's the worth of that when people with over a thousand posts are every bit factually more wrong than a noob with less than a dozen posts?

the way i see it , if i don't know something - i don't feel compelled to announce that to everyone here. who cares about what i don't know?

even if you're not sure about something like whether a synth has much in the way of a control surface than spend the five minutes to google it and optionally contribute to the discussion - wow, that synth sure has a lot of knobs available on it, can anyone with experience compare the layout and workflow of its knobs versus the sliders of the other synth?

with that off my chest and getting back on topic, i have two MicroWave XT (the original ten voice and the fully expanded) and a JD-800. the V-Synths i've lusted after since they were originally launched at NAMM several years ago - i just balk at their retail prices and bog down choosing which particular version/form factor (for the record, currently leaning toward getting a used XT).

if i were to choose among them for my first hardware synth (especially supported by softsynths), i'd prefer a MicroWave XTk over the JD-800 because the latter's traditional ROMpler origins and architecture will always get trumped for unique tones but even though i don't have one, i think i'd get the V-Synth over the MicroWaveXTk. from the time i've spent on it at NAMM and Guitar Center stores, it's sound mangling and warping capabilities lend it a richer, broader sonic palette from a strategically populated set of user controls plus the additional performance controls (D-Beam and touchpad) for your real-time tweaking. also, there are several choices available for very powerful softsynths with wavetable oscillators now but none that i know of that conveniently encapsulate a V-Synth's architecture and capabilities. of course, your personal preferences may lead you to draw different conclusions, as always...

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Post by Jack Spider » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:32 am

SYNbiotic wrote:And apparently over 200 people thought it was a somewhat interesting topic as well, so far.
I fear this more a case of people checking in to see if the brawl has spilled out onto the pavement. :shock:
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Post by Entropy Farmer » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:55 am

tallowwaters wrote:this used to be a place for intelligent discussion. now its a dump where people ask us questions about how we should spend their money.
The intelligence of a discussion does not depend upon the subject being discussed. I can put forward erudite meditations on the meaning of s**t (both word and product) and crass deconstructions of Wittgenstein.
let me give some examples of why web opinions are s**t-

people would normally agree that an XT would be better than a Fizmo. I hated the XT and loved the Fizmo.
I can find people on this very forum who would disagree with that (especially in the unqualified form you put forward). h**l, I disagree with that myself. I nearly bought a FIZMO a couple weeks ago (until I saw sizzle's polysix).
people told me that a more modern rack sampler would be a better ideal than a huge clunky 2 meg beast. i still love that 2 meg beast, and flogged that rack off real quick
I can find people on this very forum who would disagree with that. I actually like the Emax I'm trying to sell, but I have no space for its hugeness to occupy.
some people honestly recommend ART gear etc.
Were you expecting everyone to have the same opinion as you? Certainly no one can tell you whether you will like a thing before you use it - h**l, I can't even tell me that - but this does NOT negate their opinions. It was these opinions precisely that SYNbiotic was looking for. I can't believe you hold everyone's recommendations here in such low estimation.
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not once, with a few exceptions recently, did i ever need advice. h**l, its hard to believe i used to do all this s**t before i ever had internet access. i had to f**k dig, i had to hang out at the pawn shop, i had to talk to people that *gasp* made different music then me. I had to play live with no f**k clue and i have had to repair gear without ever having touched a soldering iron.

as such, i take great respect in the fact that i earned my knowledge without treating an internet forum like a place to personally dump any question i didnt have the gumption to turn out myself. its ridiculous to expect people to hold your hand. do the research. h**l, you have a h**l of a lot more to find then i did, which was even more then the older studio gurus around here had when they started. you wont find any satisfaction thinking inside the "goa producers need an XT" box. none. you will buy it, and you will use it for what the h**l ever goa needs and thats it.

f**k all that. i am going to take a stand now, because i know there are tons of people that have the same story as me. no computer, no information readily available, and no large community to parent you through these choices. you are just going to have to do it for yourself folks, otherwise you are just going to be a revolving door of untapped gear. you are going to listen to dancing words on a pixelated screen other than the electric signals pulsing through your own frigging body. I t would be different if you people were coming here saying "i have a big problem fellas. my wife f**k my friend and i dont what i should do" but you people are coming here saying "i am going to the carniceria for frozen bars, should i get arroz con leche or tamarindo?" which, quite frankly would be intensely more interesting to discuss right now
Let me preface the following with some info in case I find myself *cough* suddenly unable to post: I like tallow. Great poster, interesting sampler antics, and a posting style similar to my own on certain other forums (that style being "punch them in the face"). I find myself unable to repress said style at the moment because I think tallow's continual grousing about soliciting advice on purchases is completely insane. So, here goes:

Why the h**l are you moderating an internet synth forum if you hate people sharing synth opinions on the internet so much that you would rather talk about Mexican desserts? OH s**t PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHAT TO BUY ON THE INTERNET WHEN I DIDN'T HAVE A STRING TO TIE MY TWO CANS TOGETHER TO USE AS A PA SYSTEM HARUMPH HARUMPH HARUMPH! How is this anything more than a personal decision and/or hangup being arbitrarily applied to thread topics?

See, when I'm about to plunk down a week's pay on an item, I do some research before, like you said. I search and I listen. I gauge people's opinion. Then I pick one and buy it. This is exactly the process you outlined, except that I have added opinion collection in there. Now, I generally don't start threads about it, but I tend towards the passive end of the conversational long-throw fader. I don't see what the issue is with people who do, especially when put forth in a synth deathmatch format of particular synths for a particular situation.

In this instance, I didn't know the JD800 was big with the goa/psy crowd, so, even without the ensuing discussion, I gained by reading. I found several of the other on-topic posts interesting as well. Everything was fine; you trolled the thread off-topic.

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Post by Jack Spider » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:43 am

Oh, another fight! That makes a change.
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Post by Yoozer » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:32 pm

Actually, I like this comparison a lot better than "MICRON OR MICROKORG???!" ;).

When I had to do everything myself (never stole cymbals, though), I poured over the glossy pictures in the folders. Imagining what those sounds would be like - I'm still wondering how "Sunbeam" and "Daybreak" sound on the PSR-47 and that's a PSR for goodness' sake. I bothered the music store owner.

The DIY mentality has its uses, though. I wasn't familiar with electronics, physics or signal theory and there was a slider called "cutoff" on my Juno-60. All I knew was that the sound would get dull when I would slide it down, and it'd get bright when I'd slide it up. In that case, suck it up and remember what it does; it'll be much more useful than a 3-page academic discussion on the merits of vactrol, diode-ladders, or 30-year old capacitors that are leaking. But the trick is that nobody here can move that slider or knob for you.

So, I remembered this. I eventually was confronted with the actual construction of filters, things about octaves and poles - much later.

Synth choice:

- determine budget
- find hole in sonic range or concept offered by current setup
- start looking for demos
- start looking for any sales
- buy

Because as neat as those fan pages about a machine are, they're also biased. Furthermore, few things suck as badly as reading a gushing over the machine-description of a synth without an audio demo.

You nowadays have the advantage of eBay which means that a bummer will leave the premises a week after it's been purchased, provided that you're willing to suffer the price drop (if it occurs at all).

On a nonrelated note, this thread has gotten me more interested in the V-Synth :D.

So you want long evolving sounds? I'd pick the V because you can load in your own stuff with relative ease and it's got great tools to directly manipulate the audio. Few things can replace the wavetable goodness, but be prepared to assign controllers or modulators (LFO/env) to get anything moving.
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Post by crufty » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:58 pm

i have never used an mw xt or a jd 800. But based on my experience with a v-synth xt, i'm not sure it's the best synth for goa/psy. vsynth xts are not the greatest live tools for va because of zippering. So be sure and twiddle those knobs at the store before plunking down the cache.

Based upon what I'm thinking your price range, though I have never used it, I'd suggest looking at at a used nord 2x + a multi-effects box.

Also, though it is in essence a preset box, the mc303 (is to me anyway) a goa-box-2-go. Considering that you can find them from $50-$200, I'd spring for one if you find one under $100.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:23 pm

crufty wrote:i have never used an mw xt or a jd 800. But based on my experience with a v-synth xt, i'm not sure it's the best synth for goa/psy. vsynth xts are not the greatest live tools for va because of zippering. So be sure and twiddle those knobs at the store before plunking down the cache.

Based upon what I'm thinking your price range, though I have never used it, I'd suggest looking at at a used nord 2x + a multi-effects box.

Also, though it is in essence a preset box, the mc303 (is to me anyway) a goa-box-2-go. Considering that you can find them from $50-$200, I'd spring for one if you find one under $100.
We're not talking about the V-Synth XT here, we're talking about the original V-Synth.

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Post by gs » Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:22 pm

SubliminalEffect wrote:i don't mean to continue the off-topic roadside brawl or put anyone in particular off but what irks me much, much more than this question of which synth should i buy are posts like this one:
gs wrote:I was not aware that MicrowaveXT had a control surface. It's a module, no?
it really contributes absolutely nothing to the poster's question or even the discussion around it.

why on earth bother wasting everybody's time or even the bytes of bandwidth to let us all know what you don't know?
Sheesh dude, chill. What is the big problem with such an innocuous question? You can ignore it if you don't like it, you don't have to waste MORE bandwidth here by ranting about it.
SubliminalEffect wrote:why do so many people feel compelled to post about gear they don't know about? it's especially bad when it's not just background noise but plain, bald, factually wrong.
What did I write that was factually wrong? Where did I say it didn't have a control surface, I was asking not saying. You can shoot me now for mistaking the rackmount one with the desktop one, okay? Also, I am not "so many people", I am "me".
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Post by pricklyrobot » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:25 pm

tallowwaters wrote:we didnt even have a real drum set, but rather a high chair, various buckets, a few stolen cymbals and saw blades lodged on pool cue with bricks tape to them. we sawed off croquet mallet handles to use as drum sticks. the mic stand was a pitchfork jammed into the ground with homemade mic/telephone duck taped to it.
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Post by SYNbiotic » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:25 pm

The moderators here are insane... harping on us for engaging in a fight that they started.

Yes, the JD-800 is heavily used in Goa trance. From what I understand 90% of Etnica's "Alien Protein", an epic synth album by anyone's standards, was done on a JD-800. This was gleaned from the fact they recently sold their JD-800 on eBay with all of that album's presets intact. Damn cool.

As far as the V-synth goes, I am comfortable slicing samples and getting them in Stylus RMX and tweaking from there... and I'm imagining the V-synth works along the same lines. The VA stuff on board would be used for sample-fodder, not primetime sounds.

I'm not into psytrance/Goa sounds per-se... I think today's galloping SH-101 bass lines are lame and I'm tired of everyone making their Nords and Viruses screech and howl in some scary funhouse. I'm more about the flowing ride that Goa had, but with psytrance speed and style.

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Post by Huppo » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:36 pm

SYNbiotic wrote:As far as the V-synth goes, I am comfortable slicing samples and getting them in Stylus RMX and tweaking from there... and I'm imagining the V-synth works along the same lines. The VA stuff on board would be used for sample-fodder, not primetime sounds.
The V-synth is anything but an ordinary sampler in the same sense you'd expect. That's why I said if you haven't used one it's kind of hard to grasp.

I also wouldn't know trance/goa or any other genre of electronic music by name or sound so perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree.
~huppo

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Post by SYNbiotic » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:43 pm

Stylus RMX is the only sampler I know/use. I dunno if it's considered "ordinary" or not in the sampler world. With RMX you .rex your samples, load it in and then tweak the h**l out of it with fx, lfo's and randomness... all while RMX keeps the rhythmic structure of the sample intact.

I'm guessing the V-synth does about the same thing, except with keyboard tonal control and all the other wicked hands-on goodies it has. If I'm wrong about this then I'll be bummed.

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Post by carbon111 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:47 pm

SYNbiotic wrote:I'm guessing the V-synth does about the same thing, except with keyboard tonal control and all the other wicked hands-on goodies it has.
Its very different than that -

The V-Synth isn't a sampler in any ordinary sense of the word at all. You can load a sample but its pitched across the keyboard using Roland's proprietary "Variphrase" technology which gives rather quirky and interesting results if not always realistic-sounding. Then the results proceed onward through the semi-modular synth engine which has some odd filter choices, waveshapers, and FX that are fully-integrated into the synth engine itself.

The V-Synth is a real weird one. I love it :)
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Post by SYNbiotic » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:49 pm

Dang... that sounds great anyways. Even better since I'm not looking for a RMX replacement.

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Post by carbon111 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:08 pm

Even so, you really should get a Microwave XT.

...or a V-synth.

I quite like the JD-800 as well...lots of hands-on control and a wonderful "clear" sound.

:lol:

Forget "apples & oranges", those three synths are like comparing a hovercraft, an omlette and a goat. :twisted:
Last edited by carbon111 on Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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