Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

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salwa
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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by salwa » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:19 am

baz99 wrote:I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the AKAI S2000 yet, but that's probably because most of you have never touched that piece of garbage with a nightmare UI...
S2000 may have small display, but its UI is far from being nightmare. And manual is quite good in my opinion. Also - S2000 sounds good, which is, i think, crucial.
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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by baz99 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:05 am

salwa wrote:
baz99 wrote:I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the AKAI S2000 yet, but that's probably because most of you have never touched that piece of garbage with a nightmare UI...
S2000 may have small display, but its UI is far from being nightmare.
The tiny text based LCD display is exactly what makes the UI a nightmare. I owned a S2000 in the late nineties for about 6 months since it was the only sampler I could afford at the time, but I was glad to get rid of it as it was pure frustration to use.

The sound is nothing special, clean and digital AKAI sound, these days using a S2000 makes no sense at all anymore since other AKAIs with much better graphical displays and the same or better sound can be had for very little money.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by abruzzi » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:19 pm

White wrote:what's wrong with the FS1R?
Ever hear the phrase "painting the Sistine Chapel through a keyhole"?

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by nuketifromorbit » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:14 pm

baz99 wrote:I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the AKAI S2000 yet, but that's probably because most of you have never touched that piece of garbage with a nightmare UI...
Ha, I have to disagree, it's user interface is a bit tedious, but everything is laid out pretty logically in a list like fashion. The sampler I love to hate however is the esi32. Christ I owned two and could never figure out how to simply map samples across the keyboard despite reading the manual multiple times. It didn't help that the manual was about 400 pages long for some reason. I also found the yamaha tx16w to be vexing and impenetrable, even when running the typhoon os.
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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:08 pm

While talking about early samplers, has anybody mentioned the Prophet 2000 yet?

It took me ages to figure out how to loop a sample properly... I never got beyond that point as I simply couldn't fathom how mapping worked...

Great sound, though.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by piRoN » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:59 am

baz99 wrote:I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the AKAI S2000 yet, but that's probably because most of you have never touched that piece of garbage with a nightmare UI...
Can't agree with that. I had one for years, and you could fly through editing at speed on that thing despite the tiny screen. Akai's samplers have always had very straightforward architectures and nicely done UIs.

I do agree on the Prophet 2000, but that's only partly a UI thing - it also has a rather unusual and complicated patch structure that makes it hard to keep things straight in your head. You have to deal with samples, keymaps, patches, presets, independent but interrelated sample and patch parameter values, all presented to you via a cryptic three-character LED display. Sounds fantastic though.

I can well imagine the D-110 being atrocious, though I've been getting back into the D-10 lately and it's actually not anywhere near as bad as I remember. I'm not even bothering with the PG-10 I have because it doesn't really speed things up much.
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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by foodeater » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:23 am

setting up multis or whatever the manufacturer calls it on almost any digital synth i've used is a nerve wracking experience! good practice for using modular, i always just record because i'm never sure if i'll be able to get it back.

d110 took a long time used to be my least favorite..my issue with the d110 is (i think) from the third (or is it forth?) sub menu (group/bank) when editing sounds. it's hard remember what sub menus branch off that one. some places all go the same page but kinda important stuff like amplitude envelopes you have to pick the right one and dig pretty deep. then there's the the whole partial interaction thing, i think you have to print out manual really. more confusing than fm imo.

i find wavestation software to be the worst though. really slow to edit, seeing everything doesn't help. no shortcuts, pretty sure numeric entry isn't there. underwhelmed with sound for time put in. i hope the hardware had some tricks...

honorable mentions:
mirage with mass os or whatever i get the same trouble as d110 with the context dependent sub menus.

k5000 keyboard i just wish had a slider to move large ranges quickly as well. or shortcut to speed up that damn dial. hmm. i should try hacking cv into it like with k1 to fake pressing the button. lol i guess the rack only has a slider? that would be just as bad...maybe i could use both at once. lol

i have sound diver and it's okay, but honestly what i like about using the front panel is that it leads me to make different sounds. i just wish i didn't have to hold button down waiting and work on something else while it slowly increments or decrements with so many of them.

i've realized that as long as i have slider or knob for fast changes and buttons for slow i'm pretty happy. sy77 i think it pretty good really with quick direct access to ops and stuff like that. programming envelopes is slow because so much interaction between different parameters and different operators. nord modular is the only one that really works with complex fm (imo better than commercial soft synths even) so i can't really fault companies too much for that.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by Jabberwalky » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:40 am

D50. It's a headache. I like what can be achieved with careful editing/time, but it's not for the weak willed. Patience is key. I learned that from Dark Souls.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by Alex E » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:26 am

Jabberwalky wrote:D50. It's a headache. I like what can be achieved with careful editing/time, but it's not for the weak willed. Patience is key. I learned that from Dark Souls.
And here I was thinking about buying your PG-1000/D-50 combo ;)
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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by elsquirrel » Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:43 am

I have to agree that the cz-101 is just really uninviting. Yes that structure and layout is quite good but those up/down arrow keys...horrid. At least the dx7 has a slider.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by vinyl_junkie » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:48 am

I can't agree with the S-2000 either, it's not a badly designed UI for what it is. Actually it's pretty intuitive considering the tiny display and 100s of parameters.
You have to understand where the S-2000 came from and what it was aimed at.

It was basically a S-3000XL (same mainboard inside) at a considerably cut price due to some hardware omissions i.e. LCD screen, cheaper PSU etc.

The whole selling point other than it's price point was using it with Akai's MESA computer editing software which gave it a graphical user interface from your PC/MAC so whilst the hardware UI might of been a little tedious you had almost full access to most parameters from your computer, point click, drag+drop.

It was of it's time really and was Akai's best seller.

The Avalanches album was all done on S-2000's

Personally I went for the S-2800 when buying my first sampler as the whole computer thing and SCSI was something I had very little clue about. What I should of really brought was a EPS-16+ Now there's a sampler! ;)

Also yes the P-2000, had one.. Lovely sound but quite a confusing way of doing things.

The one I hate the most is the Wavestation A/D... Nice big scree yes? Lovely graphics representing things yes? Oh yea but the whole architecture of the thing I want to shoot some one. Shame cos it sounds beautiful.

I may be wrong here but if it's one thing I have noticed over the years is the Japs have difficulty at making clear, easy to use user interfaces cough Roland, Korg. Where's the American's always seem to come out on top Ensoniq, EMU etc

The Akai samplers weren't designed by Japanese guys but a few English dudes. The S-3000 OS was done by Chris Huggett of EDP/OSCar fame and hardware by David Cockerel of EMS fame who did the software/hardware for the prev products.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by Calgonstudio » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:34 pm

I like my S2000, LCD could be a bit bigger but other then that I find it kind of simple to use.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by desmond » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:28 am

foodeater wrote:i find wavestation software to be the worst though. really slow to edit, seeing everything doesn't help. no shortcuts, pretty sure numeric entry isn't there. underwhelmed with sound for time put in. i hope the hardware had some tricks...
I loved editing on the Wavestation, and found it far more practical than software editors. The layout is good, there are lots of useful macros like envelope presets, and the architecture and FX routings are very flexible.

Most people's problems with the WS is in understanding the architecture, but the interface I always thought was pretty good, for such a complex architecture under the hood. I programmed hundreds of sounds for it using it's interface.
vinyl_junkie wrote:The one I hate the most is the Wavestation A/D... Nice big scree yes? Lovely graphics representing things yes? Oh yea but the whole architecture of the thing I want to shoot some one. Shame cos it sounds beautiful.
Never had a problem with this. There are a few basic best practices to use in terms of resource management, but the architecture is basically a performance, the main unit of sound that you play, can consist of 1 to 8 patches + FX, with flexibility of how you layer and split them. And a patch is simply a 1, 2 or 4 oscillator sound, with each oscillator able to have a single waveform, or a wave sequence (and vector mixing between those oscillators too, if desired).

So at it's simplest, a performance can be a 1-oscillator patch with some simple effects, up to a polyphony-killing, layered, morphing, modulating, wave sequencing monster.

With these rompler type synths, particularly with weak filters like a lot of the Yamaha/Korg 90s stuff was, the key to sound design was effective use of layers, rather than trying to do everything in one patch - it's a slightly different way of sound design compared to a regular simple analog-type synth, but is quite flexible. I use a similar approach in programming sounds for something like Zebra, as you can design your basic sound, then add in oscillators for other parts of the texture as needed.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by skellyt » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:21 am

Alesis Micron would make your wrist ache twisting the knob over and over going through the settings.

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Re: Which Synth Had The Worst User Interface Ever?

Post by Esus » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:18 pm

Synclavier 9600.

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