Synths that didn't impress you

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plikestechno
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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by plikestechno » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:50 am

8bit9bot wrote: ok so being super wow'd by a synth...
Things I took a chance on because they were a good deal or local (usually both) and ended up liking way more than I thought I would are...

-Teenage Engineering OP-1 (and it keeps getting better)

-Waldorf Microwaves 1 & 2

-Arturia Minibrute/Microbrute (have both chained together)

-Korg 770

-Octave Cat SRM

-Korg Microkorg

-Gotharmann Little Deformer with Analog Xpander

-Roland MKS50

-Hordijk Blippoo Box

-Serge. I knew I was going to like the Serge sound and function but didn't know how much I was going to.

-Roland RD700. To preface this, I'll say that it got it for $100 one day locally. Great controller, I let the kids beat it up because it was only $100, decent late 90s ROMpler but maybe my favorite thing to do with it is mess around with all the different arpeggiator modes it has and all of the digital effects inside it. I really wish it had an external input. You can take it to crazy town and make it do a lot of things it shouldn't.
Serge/Modcan A/MOTM/Frac/Phenol/Andromeda/Jupiter6Europa/OctaveCatSRM/ARPSolina/ARPPro Soloist/Pro2/Korg770/Juno60/Lambda/Anamono/Little Deformer/Integra7/Microwave1&2/Syncussion/FS1R/Microkorg/Xoxio/VL1M/JD990/MKS50/TX816/DSS1/KARP/TG33/OCoast/SC40

plikestechno
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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by plikestechno » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:03 am

Some more for the underwhelming pile...

I have tried 4 seperate times to like the DSI Evolver. The specs are amazing, the sound is bleh. The price is amazing so I keep buying them but always sell them on quickly as soon as I need some cash.

I had a EX5R for a bit that was great to use a synth but frustrated me as it always had issues syncing the sequencer and arpeggiator and was an awful sampler.

So because I liked the synth side so much I bought a cheap AN200 once and liked neither the interface nor the sound. Just had a way cheaper sound than the EX5R and even the AN1X.

I'm also done buying and trying anything that says MFB on it. And Studio Electronics. Nothing they release can get me back.
Serge/Modcan A/MOTM/Frac/Phenol/Andromeda/Jupiter6Europa/OctaveCatSRM/ARPSolina/ARPPro Soloist/Pro2/Korg770/Juno60/Lambda/Anamono/Little Deformer/Integra7/Microwave1&2/Syncussion/FS1R/Microkorg/Xoxio/VL1M/JD990/MKS50/TX816/DSS1/KARP/TG33/OCoast/SC40

plikestechno
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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by plikestechno » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:08 am

And the Nord Modular. Only tried a V1 keys but already had (and still have) Creamware Scope Modular which I like much better.

if you want to wow yourself go buy a cheap Creamware Scope card, get the latest version of Scope and Modular. For an old softsynth, still sounds decent and the latest Scope includes all the old synths that you used to have to pay extra for and are in the Plugiator. The only one you still have to pay extra for is the Prodyssey.

Softsynths in general underwhelm me. I tend to like and use software effects more.

The only one I've ever loved is Aalto. I only kinda like the XILS stuff, impOscar2, PPG Wave 2.V and Largo. Everything else I've tried has been super meh and samey. I don't buy them anymore. Just effects.

I always try to talk myself into buying a VSynth XT because of what it can do but then I go and watch demos and can't find anything that sounds great. Also every decently priced on online seems to have a flakey encoder or button or two.

I had a Virus TI Snow for a cup of coffee once but using it with a computer just created annoyance and I didn't like its sound enough to try it since. If a really great price came up locally on a TI rack I might try one but every time I go look at demos I think "This is neat, but do I NEED this? Am I going to keep it forever? No." And then don't buy it.
Serge/Modcan A/MOTM/Frac/Phenol/Andromeda/Jupiter6Europa/OctaveCatSRM/ARPSolina/ARPPro Soloist/Pro2/Korg770/Juno60/Lambda/Anamono/Little Deformer/Integra7/Microwave1&2/Syncussion/FS1R/Microkorg/Xoxio/VL1M/JD990/MKS50/TX816/DSS1/KARP/TG33/OCoast/SC40

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by CS_TBL » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:02 am

^ < How about some spaces in your gear?
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

plikestechno
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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by plikestechno » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:47 am

Nope. More fun this way.

Actually i should probably just move it down to my signature. Will do soon.
Serge/Modcan A/MOTM/Frac/Phenol/Andromeda/Jupiter6Europa/OctaveCatSRM/ARPSolina/ARPPro Soloist/Pro2/Korg770/Juno60/Lambda/Anamono/Little Deformer/Integra7/Microwave1&2/Syncussion/FS1R/Microkorg/Xoxio/VL1M/JD990/MKS50/TX816/DSS1/KARP/TG33/OCoast/SC40

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by WhiteBeetle » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:49 pm

I know that I shouldn't, but I do tend to judge a synth by its presets.

To that extent, I bought a Blofeld keyboard and returned it after a week. Given the undoubted ability of it, the presets were criminally dire and bland.
- WhiteBeetle

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Jonahs » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:16 pm

ETA: ^ yeah, what they said. :roll: :lol:

if i make the mistake of listening to presets on modern synths i quickly start to worry. until it use it for a while. :) i don't know why my dx100 has decent presets, my sy77 is meh and k5000 is blah. :lol: and in terms of synthesis the sy77 and k5000 still surprise me in different ways with what you can get out of them. h**l i still use a dx27 because the sines clip the outputs nicely among other things.

it's like the newer it is and the more you can do the worse the presets are. the korg radias took me a week until i realized it's a more buchla inspired than standard subtractive - start with semi-complex sounds + wave shapers and it's good fun. poly evolver took me 3 or 4 months until i could consistently get sounds i liked out of it, up until that point i'd stumble onto sounds i liked, but it could be all day before that happened. you basically just have to to learn that you're better off with setting at off a lot of the time. ;) imo the dsi stuff sounds good if you use moderation and is quite versatile, but if you make sounds by exploring, like me, rather than i guess, making sounds in your head, you can end up in some really ugly places. if it wasn't for the OS i'd still be using it.

analog4 impressed me, i guess. great patch management. sound wise it's capable of most of what i like about roland synths, a lot of hybrid synths and (again the sounds i like) out older semi-modulars. multi-timbral by default (if i want poly im probably going to use samples/digital) and the launch price was like 300 less than it is now. :) i never listened to the presets though. i'm not sure it even had any at launch.

what else... i suppose i was impressed by the mirage and fz1. i got them thinking percussion, but purely in terms of sound as poly synths i'd use them over the popular/coveted 80s analog polys all day. :o
Last edited by Jonahs on Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by zoomtheline » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:16 pm

You f**k fool! ;)

Edit: soz, that was for white beetle

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by skunk3 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:31 pm

There are few synths that I've found to be genuinely underhwelming, but I think that's due to certain expectations that I held at the time.

My first 'pro' (lol) keyboard was a Yamaha CS1x. This was back in the late 90s when I was in high school and wanted to imitate my heroes, the Chemical Brothers. When I got it I was dismayed that it wasn't loaded with "HARDCORE ELECTRONICA!!!1" sounds, so I eventually sold it. I figured that the blue color indicated that it had some attitude, but not really.

I've come to realize that the synths that I tend to find disappointing are the ones that have a 'sound' to them no matter what you do, how you program it, etc. Many Korg products are a perfect example of this... the R3 was terrible in that it always had this glassy/glossy/plastic-y sheen to the sound that was inescapable. I feel like the Radias is largely the same. Even their ROMplers like the Triton had a really tell-tale character to them that was hard to get away from.

The Moog/Realistic MG-1 is one of the most boring synths I've ever owned. I was stoked to finally have a REAL MOOG (Omg!) but the reality was... meh. Decent enough tone, but boring, and lacking in many features.

Arp Axxe. Totally boring as well. Nothing special about it.

SCI Pro One. I know that many people consider this one of the best monos ever made, but I never found it all that fascinating. It's okay and all but I expected it to blow me away. Definitely not worth their going rates these days IMHO.

Casio CZ-3000. Recently sold mine. Not THAT hard to program, but just didn't care for what I was able to coax out of it. I'm more of a fan of cheap Yamaha FM synths. (tx81z = my baby)

Roland Alpha Juno 2. I think it sounds good for what it is, but it is very limited and programming it sucks without a controller. I liked making weird chord memory Detroit Techno pads and stabs but overall I felt like it was kinda blah. Not bad for the money though. Definitely doesn't have the same mojo as the older Junos, even the 106.

PAiA Fatman. Yeah, it's a kit synth. Sounds like a rubber duck farting. Pass.

Roland JP-8080. Stupid Smartmedia cards. Nice enough interface but I felt like I could never get a decent bass out of it. Good build quality, but I remember being nonplussed. Polyphony was weak but surprisingly I REALLY liked the vocoder, even though it sounded nothing like what I was expecting. I haven't used one in several years, so I'd like to re-visit it since my tastes tend to change. That said, I think that I'll probably dislike it.

Synths that I didn't expect to wow me, but did:

Ensoniq SQ80
Yamaha tx81z
Novation Bass Station II

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by philip » Thu May 01, 2014 12:56 am

Korg Polysix/Monopoly-muddy and cheap sounding synths, didn't like it
ARP Odyssey-well, not my cup of tea, good modulation abilities but other than that, a pretty crappy tone
DSI Prophet 8 - dull and lifeless tone, crappy filter
Korg Sigma-it was fun,but not much
Korg DS-8 - just clipping all the time, alliasing!!! but the tone itself after all was flawless
Moog Prodigy- sold it, never missed it. Boring!!!

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by synthRodriguez » Sat May 03, 2014 12:06 am

Almost any synth has some sweet spots, but I agree with skunk3, the ones I tend not to like are those that always have a certain sound to them.

That is however, a not-good sound. The CS-80, ARP 2600, Mini Moog, OB's, etc. are pretty unmistakable, but the sound is very musical.

Most recently, I gave up the Prophet 8/12 as it just didn't do it for me. The V-Synth GT was a genius product, but the sound for me was always fingernails-on-a-chalkboard.

All 4-operator Yamaha's belong on the list.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by super_doraemon » Mon May 05, 2014 7:47 pm

DSI Mopho

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Virgule » Mon May 05, 2014 8:24 pm

Kawai K1 ...It just wasn't what I was looking for at the time but didn't sound all that bad for what it was.

I perticularly disliked the interface of the Alesis Micron (bought last year) and wanted it straight out of my hands by the end of the day, sold it not long after.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Broadwave » Tue May 06, 2014 8:27 am

Creamware Prodyssey - Buggy as h**l, and shocking aliasing.
Roland Gaia - Great idea, but horrendously sampled waveforms!! More bad aliasing. Ditched it after 4 days.
"Oberheim" OB12 - Ummm, no!
Avid Venom - Still in it's box awaiting a good home (See Roland Gaia)

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 am

Oh, I forgot to mention earlier: DSI Tetr4. Sounds like a good thing on paper, four voices of analogue synth in a nice little box, polyphonic or multitimbral (or both) with sequencers for each voice. The reality is that it's pretty much crippled in terms of interface, so so so much more annoying to program than the desktop Evolver, and the universal cuttoff, res, etc knobs on the front panel effect all voices, even in multitimbral mode.

Compared to the Elektron Analog Four which is what the Tetr4 should be, it's ridiculous.

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