pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

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balma
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pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by balma » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:09 pm

Wich of the synths of your setup frustrated you the most when learning it?

Is there any special case that made you reconsider your skills on synth programming and was a big challenge?
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by RD9 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:56 pm

When I first started out, the patch memory behavior on the Polysix and the MAQ16/3 totally confused me. I thought for sure they were broken until eventually I realized that old or old-style gear with patch memory don't have good feedback for stored parameter values ("catch" type of knob behavior, as opposed to "jump").

On the MicroKorg and Radias this was never a problem because they have a little LED that lets you know when you pass the stored value, but on the Polysix and MAQ I never noticed any feedback so I always thought the controls weren't responding properly. It's kind of funny, in retrospect. For some reason I assumed they were jump type of knobs.

Other than that, I don't think there has been anything particularly hard to figure out in the stuff I've used. Maybe the MS-20 patch panel diagrams could have better labeling. The flow is a little confusing since the layout of the panel is kind of dictated by the hardware behind it I think, so the hierarchy isn't evident at first.
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by krzeppa » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:17 pm

When I first got the Roland Fantom (the original one) I didn't like the fact that it only had 4 knobs, and I had to search in menus for everything. Also, the buttons didn't alway "line up" on the screen with item you were trying to access. It initially took me about 10 times longer to find and do things on it than it should have. After time though, I began to figure it out. It just seemed difficult at the time to do anything productive in real time. Though the original Fantom is definitely no where near one of Roland's best synths, I found that I have used this quite a bit and got my money's worth out of it.

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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by shaft9000 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:06 pm

without a doubt, Korg Prophecy.

the most complex architecture vs. fewest# of controls of anything I've met.
cryptic UI , awful 'blob' knobs, c**p keybed w/ all-or-nothing AT, laggy internal processor, on and on
t-e-d-i-o-u-s.
which is a shame, because it has some fantastic qualities not found elsewhere, even in the Z1.

the Spectralis is not far behind. Talk about a monster in need of a PC editor.... It could fill 3 monitors easily.
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:19 pm

After using an SQ-80 for 15 years, switching to a Motif ES was a huge hurdle. There was just so much Yamaha did differently than Ensoniq, the key was to forget whatever I had learned and start over from scratch.

The machine is so deep that I keep learning something new about it all the time...after five years I feel like I'm just starting to really understand it :yahoo:
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by balma » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:36 pm

meatballfulton wrote:After using an SQ-80 for 15 years, switching to a Motif ES was a huge hurdle. There was just so much Yamaha did differently than Ensoniq, the key was to forget whatever I had learned and start over from scratch.
That's what I meant. You feel comfortable with your synths, have a long time not adding anything to the setup, or just adding machines where your knowledge is useful, and then, a new synth with features too bizarre for you gives you a hard time.

It's not always to blame the machine, but you. A new area to investigate? or another synth in your setup for sale: I have no time to get into it....

Maybe they can be that missing element into your music.

I'm into the Fizmo right now, and still giving me headaches.
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by schmidtc » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:41 pm

Monomachine just popped up a bug saying the midi note capacity is full. Deleting a few patterns I rather liked didn't fix it, and the user's forum says updating the OS is needed. I lost my midi to USB converter and I couldn't find a used one locally so I just spent $50 on a new one. Hopefully I should be making music again this eve. It's not at all hard to learn to program the monomachine, but this was a total PITA.

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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by krzeppa » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:48 pm

meatballfulton wrote:After using an SQ-80 for 15 years, switching to a Motif ES was a huge hurdle. There was just so much Yamaha did differently than Ensoniq, the key was to forget whatever I had learned and start over from scratch.

The machine is so deep that I keep learning something new about it all the time...after five years I feel like I'm just starting to really understand it :yahoo:
I understand all too well....I figured out my Fantom and was really comfortable with that, and then I bought an MO8 (which is basically a Motif ES)....I had to start from scratch all over again. It may not be the easiest thing to use, but they definitely are really cool once you figure them out. :D

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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by griffin avid » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:00 pm

the Spectralis is not far behind. Talk about a monster in need of a PC editor.... It could fill 3 monitors easily.

I agree.

I'd add the Andromeda A6. Firstly because the engine is 'free running' so I'd make a change and never get it to repeat the same sound from a new key depress because she was in the middle of an envelope and everything seems to be happening in real time with tons of active modulation affecting...well, everything.

Secondly, there is no UNDO because of that. I've had a wonderful sound going and jacked it up- tried to undo my last programming change and have the sound never revert back to what it was. So, when creating or experimenting, I always have the record going and tweak along with the track.

Third is that 'Buffer Update' issue with loading of new patches that keeps EVERY soft editor from working properly. Not to mention the unorthodox MIDI implementation that makes designing a soft editor problematic.

Finally, along with the Spectralis the horror of spending so much time working on an idea only to find out there's a typo in the manual or that feature doesn't work the way it's described or it isn't 'finished'.
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by mute » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:05 pm

EMU Command Stations.

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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by StepLogik » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:15 pm

Korg Karma - the display was very cryptic and would often show garbage/hieroglyphics in certain fields. the soft buttons didn't line up with the LCD display. worthless manual.

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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by JJQ » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:27 pm

The sequencer on my first 202.

Keeping check of the multitimbral patches on my Cheetah MS-6.
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by Solderman » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:34 pm

No question. The Polivoks.
Goddam thing has non-linear pitch-tracking, with different tracking curves per oscillator, and pitch drifts differently between oscillators. Most of the pots only use about 40% of their rotation. Self-oscillation on the resonance pot rotation comes up suddenly and very loudly.

I've got it tamed now and it was worth the effort!

The TB303 sequencer would get a close second. I've yet to write a pattern like I want it the first time through.
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by balma » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:56 pm

Oh yes, f**k Karma.

I definitely cannot blame any user. It's like having a Triton with an additional software adapted to it to make arranger compositions. Is one of the most boring synths to browse menus, terrible slow, and that arppegiatorm you better do the sequencers yourself than putting in charge a brainless software to do your job.

That was one that I said: is not my blame, I'm free of any guilty, give me $500 and it's yours..... There was no "revolution" or relearning in my thought process, just a bad purchase.


Fizmo. It has 64 memory locations. If you are learning a synth like this, is very useful to have a whiteboard and a pilot next to it. I'm used to work with screens, menus, asteriscs, but programming this synth is CLUELESS some times. You change a transwave just moving a knob, problem is, what was the f**k transwave assigned to the patch, before you moved that knob? No way to know what did you edited. Parameters appear on the tiny screen only when you modify them

Also, is very easy to erase your stuff with the 64 memory locations. No way to hear what you are about to overwrite....

And this structure of 8 transwaves per patch is totally bizarre to me.

The command station as mentioned before, can be the most frustrating synths for lots of users.... but it will reward you, 100% sure
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Re: pain in the a*s synths (frustration)

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:16 pm

shaft9000 wrote:without a doubt, Korg Prophecy.

the most complex architecture vs. fewest# of controls of anything I've met.
cryptic UI , awful 'blob' knobs, c**p keybed w/ all-or-nothing AT, laggy internal processor, on and on
t-e-d-i-o-u-s.
which is a shame, because it has some fantastic qualities not found elsewhere, even in the Z1.
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