Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

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Hybrid88
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:08 am

monolith wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:
plikestechno wrote:Nah, it's just that in the grand pantheon of synths they just sound bad to alright, but not great. Throw in an interface that people don't like using, especially since it's an instrument, and it will end up on many people's worst list.
Yeah, It doesn't help that they've had build quality issues from the get go with those shitty encoders they use. People will tolerate issues with an old and crusty Pro One, but not a brand new synth. :geek:
The encoder issue with MEK really pissed me off, they sold a dodgy synth then had the nerve to charge for the upgrade, even though they f**k up. Then people on forums were all 'I bought the upgrade, so much better - thanks DSI!!" :shock:

Am I the only one that finds that odd?

I loved the sound of my MEK but that put me off any DSI stuff.
Nah not at all, I thought that was bad form too. I mean you don't expect to have to fix a new synth. :?

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by ninja6485 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:18 am

I've always hated how Yamaha stuff has release rate, so a high number is a quick release and a low number is a long release trail, as opposed to like every other synth i own where turning the knob or amount up gives you longer release time :banghead:
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Zamise » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:35 am

I've never heard of that ninja, but I base the majority of my Yamaha experiences off about a half dozen or so of their gear.

The synth I'm most familar with, Yamaha RS7000, has a strange decay rate aDsr because positive is more, zero is center, negative not sure what the F if anything that does, nobody will understand it's wierdness anyway unless a synth design expert...anyway...

I'll be honest and say, the biggest door stop I've owned was a Yamaha DX7 IIFD.

It just made a great door stop, really, I used it as a door stop more than anything else, one of the few synths I've traded out right for less, actually traded it along with some other Yamaha gear for an Xbox which strangely enough I sold for $40 on a year or so ago on craigslist that I had a few folks fighting over it.

The other one I let go, but kind of regret but don't miss too much was a Korg Triton I.

Straight up honestly, Roland tb-303 would be total c**p if it came out with current standardss. Was c**p then, and always will be c**p, but hey see the fashionable synth thread here for any insight to possibly why I'd keep it around to show off when the cheese pattay and IPA beer can coasters run low at my next party.

Ones that I thought totally sucked and want back sometime would be Korg EA1 and EMX1.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:38 am

Nannerfan wrote:
Jabberwalky wrote:I liked the Orchestrator's strings. Beyond that it was a boat anchor.
The brass section sounds like The Warriors.
Might not be everyone's thing but I love that movie.

Piano is beautiful in that aphex twin sort of way.
Having now finally gotten mine and gotten to play around with it, I'll second this. Every section except the bass is great (even if their uses are probably limited,) and you can make some lovely ensemble sounds by layering them. Mellow brass + strings + a touch of piano and clavichord and set the release control for a modest trail-off, then play the opening arpeggio from Équinoxe - just beautiful.

That said, I gotta see if there's a way to calibrate the relative levels of the sections so that the same settings on the sliders give anything like the same volume - right now piano drowns out everything else and the brass is quieter than any of the other sections, which just ain't right.

Not gonna replace my String Performer, though - totally different character.
Last edited by commodorejohn on Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by ninja6485 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:57 am

The tx81z does it, and the rx-5 does it at least. Too early for the volca series to appear on here?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Dr. Phibes » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:39 am

Zamise wrote: Straight up honestly, Roland tb-303 would be total c**p if it came out with current standardss. Was c**p then, and always will be c**p, but hey see the fashionable synth thread here for any insight to possibly why I'd keep it around to show off when the cheese pattay and IPA beer can coasters run low at my next party.
I will one-up your sacred cow slaying and admit that, in general, I detest analogue drum machines.

Bum-tsss Bum-tsss Bum-tsss.... Image

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by philip » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:49 pm

Big Gnome wrote:
philip wrote:• Evolver
• Mono Evolver
• Mopho
• Mopho Keyboard
• Poly Evolver
• Poly Evolver Rack
• Prophet ’12
• Prophet ’08
• Tetra
• The next one from DSI
Jeez, did Dave Smith run over your dog or something?
My dog is fine))Thanx

Just don't like what he's doing these days. I find all those DSI synths pretty boring, uninspiring, and characterless in terms of tone. It's like they were born already dead.
I know that I'm not the only one who think so.

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by AnalogKid » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:09 pm

philip wrote: I find all those DSI synths pretty boring, uninspiring, and characterless in terms of tone. It's like they were born already dead. I know that I'm not the only one who think so.
Earlier this year, I bought a used Mopho Keyboard with a case for $500 on Ebay. I absolutely love the thing. This thing is far more versatile than the Little Phatty, which costs quite a bit more, and the bass on the Mopho Keyboard crushes the Little Phatty. As for boring and uninspiring, that is obviously in the ear of the beholder. I certainly find the Mopho Keyboard to be far from boring and uninspiring.

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:32 pm

Dr. Phibes wrote:
Zamise wrote:Straight up honestly, Roland tb-303 would be total c**p if it came out with current standardss. Was c**p then, and always will be c**p, but hey see the fashionable synth thread here for any insight to possibly why I'd keep it around to show off when the cheese pattay and IPA beer can coasters run low at my next party.
I will one-up your sacred cow slaying and admit that, in general, I detest analogue drum machines.

Bum-tsss Bum-tsss Bum-tsss.... Image
The thing about them is that basically all of them after the release of the 808 try so hard to be the 808, and I just don't like the sound of the 808 - the sharp, tinny snare, the weedy little cymbals, the vomitous cowbell, the lame, overblown kick that doesn't mix well with anything in the bass register...the only actually good sound on there is the handclap. It just hits all the worst sonic territory for drum sounds, and everybody imitates it anyway...it really is the drum counterpart to the 303, in that regard.

What kills me is that older machines like the CR-78 and any number of cheap-a*s home-organ percussion sections were just as ridiculous but not actively unpleasant to listen to like the 808; why didn't those get cloned?
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Cumulus » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:36 pm

Agreed.

I have tried very hard to love the 808 but I rarely use those sounds.

The 606, on the other and, gets a lot of use from me.

Wired, huh?

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by shaft9000 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:48 pm

the thing with the 808 is it's not a good primary drum sound-source. an 808 by itself is sorta stuck somewhere between Planet Rock and an early Too Short jam - fine, if that's your bag, but done to death.

it really shines when you bring it in for a middle-8, change up a break, or mix it with other drums.
used this way there's nothing else really like it and it's the perfect contrast to whatever you're using for chunky drums. the 808 always sounds EQ 'mid-scooped' - it's all boom-tsss w/ woody bits, and no blaarng/crash/bang or live-drums feel at all
the 909 goes 'thump' while the 808 goes 'boom'. both are very mechanized in feel due to the sequencers, yet also manage to get super-groovy, as millions of 12"s made with them can attest.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by walkathon » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:11 pm

philip wrote:
Big Gnome wrote:
philip wrote:• Evolver
• Mono Evolver
• Mopho
• Mopho Keyboard
• Poly Evolver
• Poly Evolver Rack
• Prophet ’12
• Prophet ’08
• Tetra
• The next one from DSI
Jeez, did Dave Smith run over your dog or something?
My dog is fine))Thanx

Just don't like what he's doing these days. I find all those DSI synths pretty boring, uninspiring, and characterless in terms of tone. It's like they were born already dead.
I know that I'm not the only one who think so.
Hmm, I completely realize that the PolyEvolver polarizes folks, but to Dave Smith's credit, at least he was trying something new with the digital hybrid aspect of it. While mine has the encoder issue (gets a fresh deoxit'ing every X months), and I have to hook up my Evolver desktop up to it to get it into "Prophet 5" numbers of voices, I still find it inspiring. So, per usual, YMMV.

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by walkathon » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:20 pm

cornutt wrote:Ones that I've played:

<snip>
Electro-Harmonix Mini Synth. Talk about flimsy: thin plastic shell and a cardboard (!) back. The capacitive keyboard seldom played the note you wanted on the first try. However, it did do a killer impersonation of a Moog Taurus.
<snip>
Ha, fair enough on all counts, but I still gotta say I LOVE mine for what it is. Nothing sounds like it, somehow finds itself on all sorts of demos. Folks paying $400+ for one? To each his/her own there, but I swear someday I'm gonna do some practical mods on mine ... WOULD be a cool rerelease to see EH attempt.

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by cornutt » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:25 pm

walkathon wrote: Ha, fair enough on all counts, but I still gotta say I LOVE mine for what it is. Nothing sounds like it, somehow finds itself on all sorts of demos. Folks paying $400+ for one? To each his/her own there, but I swear someday I'm gonna do some practical mods on mine ... WOULD be a cool rerelease to see EH attempt.
Take the electronics, re-package it in a new box, and get some better quality pots for the controls. Ditch the case and the capacitive keyboard and put in a proper CV/gate interface. Now you've got a useful little monosynth. And yeah, the LPF on that thing out-Moogs the Model D.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Sexor » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:18 am

My list:

-1)Gakken SX-150. Utter c**p. You thought the Monotron was bad? If you play this in a room full of people, expect them to be out of there within 1 minute of you trying to play a tune with that useless ribbon. Maybe you could count that as a good feature, if you're not that much into being liked by your peers. Sounds like a frog having a seizure.

-2)Yamaha YS-200.

Image

I can't believe I was fooled into buying this when I was getting into synths. And no, that big wheel is not an alpha dial of sorts. It's.... a volume knob. And it's not even a good one. The only redeeming feature of this assfart piece of ugly plastic is the cheesy demo track.

-3)Korg EA1. Just made me want to cry, it was so bad in every way possible.

Honourable mention:

-Akai AX-73. Bigger than a minivan but still you get to do all the editing with one dodgy slider and a numpad.
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