Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
balma
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2851
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:52 pm
Real name: Mauricio
Gear: DSI Tempest/Prophet 08/Roland V-Synth/Ensoniq Fizmo/E-mu MP7-XL7/Electribe ESX1/Radias/Waldorf MicroQ
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by balma » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:48 pm

samuraipizzacat29 wrote: I really hope my ex5r doesn't start giving me problems. I spent some time with it last night and holy poop that thing is deep. The level of sound that comes out of that unit really is ridiculous. And I was just messing with rom (awm) sounds ....e
The arppegio sequencer is buggy. There are 50 arppegio patterns of 4 tracks each one. 51 and ahead are for user patterns. When you have recorded several of them, sometimes the data will get corrupted on the latest ones.

Memory for the sequencers (patterns, songs and arps) is around 28000 notes. When you have recorded around 75 percent of them, bugs can appear when loading the patterns. The synth gets stuck and must be reinitialized.

The samples/pattern map, a wonderful feature, can't be saved alone. It can be saved only as ALL DATA. That's no bug, that's stupidity from the programmers....

I could go on and on listing problems with this Yamaha synth after 9 years using it. The most frustrating stuff:

this could be one of the greatest digital synths ever, but they screwed it with a lot of real stupid problems.

You must save the samples on diskettes. There is no internal memory for them.

Each diskette, can save 1.44 Mb only, that's around 12-15 seconds of mono samples.
Loading one diskette, can take up to 3 minutes. Loading a set of samples, can take around 30 minutes.

If somebody wants to avoid this f**k problem:

forget about the sampler... :roll:
buy a SCSI expansion, wich was around 180$, and now is very hard to find, and then install a hard disk.
FInd a nonflash memory RAMS (where....?)

This won't accelerate the loading process BTW.

But the serious stuff comes with the EX7, the reduced version. Poly is the half, VL engine is missing, can't record stereo samples. The multitimbre mode becomes almost useless if you select a VA sound, or use a FDSP sound.

but you won't notice this problems, if you always work with Solo Mode, if you don't mess with the sequencer, and if you don't try to use the sampler too much. :mrgreen:
His sex dungeons are rumored to hold hundreds of people in secret locations around the world.
https://soundcloud.com/balma

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3890
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Ashe37 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:01 pm

balma wrote:

If somebody wants to avoid this f**k problem:

forget about the sampler... :roll:
buy a SCSI expansion, wich was around 180$, and now is very hard to find, and then install a hard disk.
FInd a nonflash memory RAMS (where....?)

I assume you mean flash memory, as the RAM that the EX5 uses is old standard computer SIMMs which are quite cheap.

User avatar
balma
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2851
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:52 pm
Real name: Mauricio
Gear: DSI Tempest/Prophet 08/Roland V-Synth/Ensoniq Fizmo/E-mu MP7-XL7/Electribe ESX1/Radias/Waldorf MicroQ
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by balma » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:33 pm

Ashe37 wrote:
balma wrote:

If somebody wants to avoid this f**k problem:

forget about the sampler... :roll:
buy a SCSI expansion, wich was around 180$, and now is very hard to find, and then install a hard disk.
FInd a nonflash memory RAMS (where....?)

I assume you mean flash memory, as the RAM that the EX5 uses is old standard computer SIMMs which are quite cheap.
Yes they are cheap but they erase data after turning off the synth, mine has installed two SIMMS of 32MB each one. however, in order to fill them with samples, you must load the samples from the floppy unit or if yu have the SCSI expansion board, from the hard disk each time you turn on the synth. And the loading process is really tedious.
If you want to avoid this problem, the only alternative is to purchase nonflash memory SIMMS, wich retain the samples after turning off the unit.

The s**t comes if you have patches that uses samples. If you have more than 15 seconds of samples and no hard disk and no SCSI interface, you must load from more than one floppy disk. Then, you must numerate each one of the floppys and load them one by one on a specific order. Because if you skipped one single sample, all the other samples will move one location, and all the patches that use samples will be screwed.



From the three versions, maybe the EX7 is the perfect description for "unreliable synth". An a good example of why tons of features doesn't always mean great quality or a good deal.

Another detail, on the EX7, they supressed the VL engine, but the EX7 still having the breath controller input on the back But they took away the Stereo input for sampling.... WTF???? Wouldn't be better to miss the BC input, instead the stereo sampling capability?

The reason I still having the EX(5 is for the hability of create patches wth VA combined with VL and AW2M at the same time, and, mostly, for the FDSP effects. Ten effects that f**k kick a*s. The tornado, or the water effect, or the pickup rhodes, are simple gold and unique. And mostly, because it hurts to sell a synth that cost you $3000 when released, on $500 today.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Regarding what said about the Fizmo or Ensoniq I disagree. Fizmos rotate from owners a lot, and I understand that. However, I'm plenty satisfied with mine, because is, what I was expecting for.

Fizmo was released with a lot of mistakes. You can't complaint about the hardware except for the f**k screen and the power supply problem (wich can be solved).
Now, Fizmo is a performance synth. It has only 64 memories of 8 transwaves, but this forces you to REALLY work on those patches. And the sounds you can get from this synth are out of this world.

The screen is not so necessary, since almost everything is there on buttons and knobs.

Problems?: when editing patches, how do you know wich transwave is using each patch? You move the transwaves knob, and there's no way to know wich transwave you just changed, unless you're using f**k Sounddiver.

When moving a knob, there's no way to know wich was the default position. No light, no indicators.

But, these problems ended with a curious result: Fizmo, maybe in a unintended way, avoids determinism, and maybe this can be good and could provide a great contribution to your music, if you just let it be. It has a superb engine to create weird stuff, great effects, unusual tweaks. And huge polyphony for a interpretative synth is enough to let you be expressive with both hands over the keyboard. But for some users, this "what the f**k" can be really frustrating.
And I can't blame them.

It's a reliable synth, if you want to add some little drops of chaos to your music. Almost all of my Fizmo patches, are a result of random, unexpected weird sounds. After pulling my hair with it during long hours of sterile results on editing sounds, trying to get "that" patch, I just said f**k it, let's use another method.... anyway, I have other synths like the microQ or the Vsynth, they can show me the way to reach certain type of sound, why not doing sounds on the Fizmo, as a kid with no knowledge, would do???? Just apply certain basics, and when the thing resists to your willing due to its unfinished configuration, let him do his part.



But I don't think this synth worths more than $700. But its price lately goes from 750 to $1000. That' s a rip off for this synthesizer. I paid $565 for mine, with the power supply fixed, and I love it.

The control that you can get on a single Fizmo patch with MIDI, is amazing. It has 4 pairs of transwaves inside each patch, and with a MIDI sequencer, you can play each pair by separated using several tracks at the same time. That's a great and very unusual feature.And still playing the 8 transwaves at the same time on another separated channel. You can even play an arpeggio using a separate MIDI channel, and the patch on the keyboard, can be performed without it. This way to control a patch with a MIDI sequencer, is my favorite feature on the Fizmo.

All the sounds on this track, except the percussion, are fizmo sounds, and all of them, are just ONE patch, being played by a sequencer using the split MIDI channels feature. :)
It's very very reliable!
His sex dungeons are rumored to hold hundreds of people in secret locations around the world.
https://soundcloud.com/balma

User avatar
piRoN
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:04 am
Gear: A fair bit.
Location: The crotch of The Lucky Country

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by piRoN » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:42 am

I'm going to go with the EPS as well, though in my case the EPS-m.

The nice thing is that these days you're not likely to be using an EPS as your sole workhorse sampler, so it goes from being an irritating and unreliable POS to a quaintly charming and quirky character piece. I'm one of those people who takes great pride in knowing my equipment down to the last screw, and the EPS is the only bit of kit that to this day has me rocking back on my heels and saying "Er... right. I've got no idea why it's doing that."

Makes a good chaser after a few hours of the vanilla predictability of Akais.
Ensoniq EPS-m | Elby Designs ASM-2 | Yamaha TQ5 | Akai S3000XL | Akai X7000 | Novation KS-4 | SCI Prophet 2000 | Kawai K1m | Korg Monotribe | Korg Monotron | Roland S-50 | Roland D-10 | Roland MKS-7 | Yamaha RX11

User avatar
severen
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:55 pm
Location: South Korea

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by severen » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:09 pm

Why didn't anybody tell us k5000?
I have fizmo and k5000s. they are underdog synth.
these synthesizers need emagic sounddiver all of the time.
emagic was even out of business too.

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5978
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:33 pm

Since this thread came back from the grave, how about Waldorf Blofeld?

Image
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

schmidtc
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:27 pm
Location: Virginia / Paris

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by schmidtc » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:16 pm

+1 for the Emulator II in my experience, I hear the PPG wave 2.2-2.3 and prophet 3000 where pretty buggy as well. Avatars didn't have nearly the failure rate of the Arp Quadra or Piano.

mute
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 640
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by mute » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:42 pm

The Six-Trak, although that is mainly due to the buttons that needs the membrane regularly replaced, and the fantastic, but quirky sequencer

forcedopinion
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:31 am

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by forcedopinion » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:48 pm

My digital synth experience -

Kawai K3m - Solid but a couple of times went waaay out of tune and I had to factory reset it to get everything back to normal.

Waldorf Blofeld - I think it's great buuut...freezes up and the first time I've tried to use it in a live setting it froze up 3 times, bummer.

Ensoniq SQ-80 - I've had to do 3 hard resets. That sucked.

User avatar
severen
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:55 pm
Location: South Korea

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by severen » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:35 am

I've never use blofeld before. but I've used microq a long times, it isn't very uncomfortable.
but microq's rotary knob is gradually dull.
it's infinity knob's destiny.
and microwave1 is most uncomfortable synth of waldorf.

oh roland jv series and other 1990 synthesizers has keyboard problem.
keyboard glue make collapse.

blavatsky
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:54 pm
Gear: MV8800, Sub37, Integra 7, Mininova, Fusion, Biscuit, TimeFactor, SP-555, SP-404, SPD-SX
Band: Blavatsky
Contact:

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by blavatsky » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:16 am

Alesis Fusion

...before I bash it, it has a GREAT sound, bread and butter rompler, decent VA and FM, ok effects, 80 gig hd, on paper its amazing...and I have a lot of fun playing it/it ends up on tracks and sits in the mix
but...

-MIDI would drift out of time (apparently due to heat from power supply according to some alesis forum) ruining it's chance of being a studio brain
-MIDI in general was a pain to get to work, never could competently control other gear
-Windows-like errors, VRAM Full, cannot access patch that sort of thing, randomly forcing a reboot or using different patch.
-if you loaded up a couple large patches in song mode, RAM would fill up (ok, fine) but then it would crash the whole system and require a reboot
-Issues with the black keys being more responsive than white, causing unbalanced velocity on playing.
-not a bug so much, but pretty awful OS in general, screen was fine but putting a song together on it was a huge pain...lots of buried screens/menus/shortcuts you had to learn to not go crazy....then it might crash before you had saved and you were done

User avatar
severen
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:55 pm
Location: South Korea

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by severen » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:26 pm

I have darkstar manual and bank list.
see that bank1:synth pads bank 4:bass
It has even manual jumbled too

Image

Grentzmann
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:49 pm
Gear: MKS70/PG800, XV5080, PCR500, SCI Prophet VS, Moog Voyager XL, Drumstation,
HR-16B, E4XT, DEP5x2,MDX2000, ATR1, Blackjack, Cubase.
Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Grentzmann » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:34 pm

Hi to all of you.

My top 3 worst synth, and its simpel.:

1.: Ensoniq, everything they ever made. sounds like s**t, bad building quality/components, OS with failure's.
I do not know one person who have had a new ensoniq, that has'ent returned it for repair within the first 6 month. When I see one today used, I think... poor buyer...

2.: US built synth (70-92), sorry US, no offence. But they sound great, except Ensoniq!) . Oberheim Matrix 6/R/1000 is okey and works, I do belive they where built in Japan??

3.: Every synth built of plastic and chipboard! What the f..c, chipboard is for furnitures from ikea, it's amateurish, even in the 80's. Shame on you JX 3P/8P/Polysix ect....

Kindly regards
Grentzmann
Kindly regards
Grentzmann
XV5080/MKS30/PG200/MKS70/PG800/PCR500/DEP-5x2/E4XT/ESI32/SCI Prophet VS/MOOG Voayager XL/Drumstation/HR16-B/DBX2000/ATR-1/Onyx Blackjack/Cubase.

User avatar
balma
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2851
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:52 pm
Real name: Mauricio
Gear: DSI Tempest/Prophet 08/Roland V-Synth/Ensoniq Fizmo/E-mu MP7-XL7/Electribe ESX1/Radias/Waldorf MicroQ
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by balma » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:46 pm

Grentzmann wrote:Hi to all of you.

My top 3 worst synth, and its simpel.:

1.: Ensoniq, everything they ever made. sounds like s**t, bad building quality/components, OS with failure's.
I do not know one person who have had a new ensoniq, that has'ent returned it for repair within the first 6 month. When I see one today used, I think... poor buyer...
Well, know me Sir... had three Ensoniqs during the last 20 years and no one gave me problems, have a Fizmo today and will never ever sell it.

And normally, s**t comes out from the hands and brains of mediocre players, not from the synth.
His sex dungeons are rumored to hold hundreds of people in secret locations around the world.
https://soundcloud.com/balma

gslug
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:41 am
Real name: Kevin
Gear: Jupiter 6, Juno 106, MKS-50, DX7, TX81Z, Emulator II (dead), DPX-1, EPS 16 Plus, x0xb0x, Shruthi, TR-707, 9090, MIDIbox MB6582, MIDIbox Seq V4

Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by gslug » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:01 am

Grentzmann wrote:1.: Ensoniq, everything they ever made. sounds like s**t, bad building quality/components, OS with failure's.
I do not know one person who have had a new ensoniq, that has'ent returned it for repair within the first 6 month. When I see one today used, I think... poor buyer...
My EPS 16 Plus has never failed on me, but maybe that is because I haven't used it in quite a while. I agree about the build quality though - a heavy machine, made out of flimsy plastic. You can hear and see the flex in the case when picing it up.
Grentzmann wrote:3.: Every synth built of plastic and chipboard! What the f..c, chipboard is for furnitures from ikea, it's amateurish, even in the 80's. Shame on you JX 3P/8P/Polysix ect....
I thought Roland used plywood.

Post Reply