Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

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garranimal
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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by garranimal » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:54 pm

To me synths offer a range of interface desirability. Fluid process, quick visual feedback, instant-access to parameters are ideal. But programming depth is a big factor as well.

Only the examples I have used, from most to least desirable:
Hybrid menu + many pots/buttons for added programming depth - Andromeda, JP-8000, MS-2000, Prophet '08
No menus, full knobs/sliders, numerical led, intermediate depth. Memorymoog, Jupiter-6,.
Hybrid menu + fewer pots/buttons/encoders - Supernova, Matrix-12/Xpander, Fizmo, Machinedrum.
Hybrid menu matrix programmers - Matrix-6, MicroKorg
All menu-driven, but with shortcuts to jump around. ESI-32 Sampler, DX-7.
All menu-driven, intermediate programming depth, data-dial input. Alpha Juno, Miniak.
All menu-driven, deep parameters, minimized input buttons. Wavestation SR.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by balma » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:11 pm

meatballfulton wrote: Korg Radias: Yes, it's got menus but every time you move a knob the related menu pops up on the screen. And there are plenty of knobs.
It has a nice interface, and I love how knobs glow in the dark. But there are no assignable knobs to personalize sound tweaks. Also, changing from one preset to another, or changing one of the four inside presets for browsing banks, cuts the sound. I hate that.
There are 6 slots for creating patch cords, but only one knob to tweak them, and the encoders are terrible. I want to reach the value 48. Moving the knob.... 47, 46, 49, 50, 49, 46, 47, 49, 47 BINGo!!! 48! :x


A good interface is the engine with its functions, spreaded over a surface, trying to get inside the musicians brain. The perfect synth interface? You think a song, and the song sounds. No matter wich form adopted the synth.

The best interface EVER, is the ROLAND V SYNTH. . I would love to find or use another synth, easier to program than the V synth.
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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by Shreddie » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:58 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
Shreddie wrote:I'm surprised that people are even mentioning software here... Anything driven by a mouse is instantly going to be slower and more awkward to use as you can't use muscle memory for it.
You do realize that e.g. FM8 has well over 700 buttons/sliders in total? You want 25 square feet worth o' sliders in front of your nose, all for $200? :P
C'mon! We know that'd be financially impossible for a start... But otherwise, yes! Cost wasn't mentioned earlier though, as the title says (what's the) best programming interface ever? For me, soft synths cannot possibly compete with hardware regardless of cost as far as user friendliness goes... With the possible exception of the FS1R which is pretty damned impenetrable for a hardware synth... Yet pretty much a hardware version of FM8 so I gather.

And by the way, the Kawai K5000s has something like 1500 parameters per patch and is quite heavily menu driven... But I'd still much rather use that than a software version... The menu system is pretty well put together on that one I feel.

Out of the stuff I have (alot of) experience with though, with it's 70 something knobs and 140 odd buttons, the Andromeda wins hands down... It's practically instant in use once you know your way around it.

And just so you know, I grew into music just as software started to become useful, I was an Atari ST user but had an old reel to reel too... I later tried going into pretty much a full software setup but hated it. Now I use a hybrid setup... Plenty of hardware synths and FX, software DAW and FX, software for sample editing... Almost all of my most used synths are hardware though... I just use what seems/feels best/easiest for each purpose, both hardware and software have their places... But I don't feel that software is good for synths, other things yes, it's excellent, but not for synths.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by Hugo76 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:43 am

+1 for the V-Synth, awesome interface

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by krushing » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:34 am

I'll second the NL3 - it's not terribly complex, but complex enough so it would be perfectly possible to make the interface a menu-driven h**l. But instead everything's there, intuitively at your fingertips. And as a bonus, I've used the thing in total darkness, and it's still intuitive.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by Trom69 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:14 pm

For me, anything with one knob per function.
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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by filtermod » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:21 am

meatballfulton wrote: Minor rant: all softsynths and patch editors should use only sliders, no knobs. Whether mousing or using a touchscreen, sliding is easier to deal with. I hate sliding a mouse to rotate a knob, moving my mouse far away from the knob I'm tweaking.
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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by theotherleadingbrand » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:55 am

I tend to favour the creative limitation factor imposed by performance oriented synths. Otherwise I just end up fiddling around instead of making music. The trade off, of course, is the list of features omitted for my convenience. Trigger/CV in/outs are a must though. Truth be told, I like the 808 for its 3 trigger outs, individual outs, and dead simple programming/tweaking, more than for its sound sometimes.
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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by Jabberwalky » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:10 am

I like my Octave Kitten. It beats out any other analog I've used, and of course anything with a screen. It's very spacious, and instantaneous.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by fatherferal » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:18 am

the synth with the interface i find the best is the nordlead 2. i like how easy it is to switch betwen multiple programs & layers in real time while playing. i also like that it has no internal effects so i can do things such as run each of the four outputs into multiple delays with differnt rates. using the morph function to accent certain notes with radical change in timbre allows playing what sound like several step sequencers weaving in & out but played in real time.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by tekkentool » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:33 am

Music Maven wrote: I just wish Massive sounded a bit more, er, massive. I find it a little thin, cold and digital (not in a good way) like most NI stuff. But great UI. :-)
I like the thin sound, initially when I first started using it. I was expecting this large broadband frequency output. But after using it a bit more I found the real strength of massive, it works so well in layers it feels almost designed to do so. I use it as my main synth for Most things I do. Working in razor thin layers of massive and working them all on top of each other creates that warm lovely sound it lacks solo. I love the felxibility, harsh, soft, distorted, modulated. It really does it all.

Also to whoever said only sliders in software? shame. You evidently haven't used massive ;)

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by tekkentool » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:39 am

theotherleadingbrand wrote:I tend to favour the creative limitation factor imposed by performance oriented synths. Otherwise I just end up fiddling around instead of making music.
That's why I almost invariably make synth presets for songs on demand and seldom use presets (aside from some reese's/wobbles I've made).

5 minutes tops for each one then move on with the work.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by silikon » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:30 am

I actually welcome different interfaces; if everything was the same, how interesting would that be? Exploration, arguably would be less, and that would be bordering on the inspiration free zone. The fact that machines share a common architecture but their programming interfaces differ wildly are in my eyes, a big part of what makes the instrument an instrument.

Also, speaking from experience (albeit in different disciplines), if you get a group of engineers in a room, and tell them to design a synth based on a single architecture, the result could be a sextillion different interface designs to get to the same goal.

Because of that, the question becomes somewhat subjective. I found the Fizmo's interface clunky and a pain in the cheek to get deep with. I find the Xpander's interface one of the speediest interfaces to get results on, purely for programming musical patches. I find Kyma's interface to be WILDLY complex and requiring a rather steep learning curve to get around in a reasonable fashion.

Regardless, I hold three hardware machines (that I can think of now) in high regards that cover depth, immediacy, and intrigue... Andromeda, XTk, Virus TI. Software... I'm a huge fan of Zebra, Aalto, and Massive, but I'm learning Kyma at the time, and really really beginning to enjoy it.

Also, Massive -- I'm not certain I would say it's shallow sounding. with all the wavetables available, and the different filter types onboard, I've been able to coax some huge sounding patches out of it. :D
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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:47 am

Prophet 600 is my fave--straightforward, logical layout, quick to learn, quick to edit and tweak.

For mondern synths: V-synth. Good combination of hands-on and graphic menus.

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Re: Best Synth Programming Interface Ever?

Post by hogberto » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:03 pm

Jupiter 8

end of thread. 8-)
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