Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

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Alphacode
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Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Alphacode » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:58 pm

Hi all

I had an Arp Pro-Dgx once and remember when i opened it , there was a h**l lot of components and cables inside . I guess each sound had to had it's on set of electronics so i was thinking if any of the more... veteran users here :) could explain the reasoning for making these preset synths back in the day and if they were more expensive/cheaper that say a Roland sh09 or any 1 VCO traditional synth at that time ?

thanks

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by commodorejohn » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:33 pm

They don't have a separate set of synthesizer components for each voice - that would indeed make them costlier than a fully-programmable synthesizer. They just have the necessary components for a simple synthesizer architecture, and some kind of switching mechanism to provide the appropriate control signals to those components for each preset voice.

Also, the appeal wasn't so much lower cost (though that was generally the case) as it was being able to switch between sounds at the touch of a button in the middle of a perfomance, instead of having to have a roadie dialing in patches on the fly or somesuch.
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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:45 pm

And not every keyboardist was a great synthesiser programmer (or cared to be, for that matter).

I wonder why Emerson didn´t replace his Moog with something like an SH-2000 or something...

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Bitexion » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:10 am

Actually the 16 presets on the might Yamaha CS-80 were hardwired "patches" too. No digital patch storage.
The first synth to have actual rewritable patch memory was the Prophet-5.

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:57 am

Those early preset synths like the ARP Soloist and Moog Satellite were marketed to home organists, believe it or not. Around the same time some organ companies offered organs with a preset synth built in.

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Algorithm » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:22 pm

Another reasoning behind that was portability. Moving some of those old organs is no joke.
My dad knew a guy who toured everywhere, had gold records all on his walls... His crew couldnt handle moving the thing, so they disassembled his organ and removed everything they could to build separate cases for each piece.

That CDX looks so awesome.
Is it trash or treasure?

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Micke » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:33 pm

Bitexion wrote:Actually the 16 presets on the might Yamaha CS-80 were hardwired "patches" too. No digital patch storage.
The first synth to have actual rewritable patch memory was the Prophet-5.
The PPG 1003 "Sonic Carrier" duophonic synth was fully programmable (50 memories) and it predated the Prophet 5 by a year or so!
It was also one of the very first synths to use DCO's (alongside the PPG 1020). The synth was rather error-prone though and afaik
only 16 units were sold. Its most famous user is probably Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream.

Another much more famous synth (than the PPG 1003) with complete programmability- and which predated the Prophet 5 by a
few months- was the Oberheim OB-1.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:17 pm

Micke wrote:
Bitexion wrote:Actually the 16 presets on the might Yamaha CS-80 were hardwired "patches" too. No digital patch storage.
The first synth to have actual rewritable patch memory was the Prophet-5.
The PPG 1003 "Sonic Carrier" duophonic synth was fully programmable (50 memories) and it predated the Prophet 5 by a year or so!
It was also one of the very first synths to use DCO's (alongside the PPG 1020). The synth was rather error-prone though and afaik
only 16 units were sold. Its most famous user is probably Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream. [...]
16 units seems a tad optimistic. To my knowledge, there were only seven or eight units made (the one I used to have had apparently been assembled from units #4 and #5 as it had parts with two different serial numbers). One or two 1003s even ended up as top tiers in PPG 300 Modular Systems -- I think Mel Wesson now owns one of these systems (originally owned by Lutz Rahn, then by Klaus Schulze, then by Cyborg Synthesis Berlin, then Synco, and now Mel Wesson).

Its achilles heel were the early 4XXX CMOS component parts which were extremely susceptible to static discharge etc.

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Micke » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:22 pm

Wolfgang Palm says in his "PPG story" that 16 units were sold:
http://wolfgangpalm.com/about/ppg_blogs/c4/

Not sure what number is correct because in Mark Vail's "Vintage synthesizers" he mentions that "I think we sold only six pieces of that machine".

It's cool to hear that you actually had one!
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by V301H » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:31 pm

While not in the same league as other Synths mentioned here the PAIA Proteus introduced in 1978 was an early dual-VCO MonoSynth with 16 user-programmable memory locations. The proteus was available in kit form or fully assembled.
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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:31 pm

Micke wrote:Wolfgang Palm says in his "PPG story" that 16 units were sold:
http://wolfgangpalm.com/about/ppg_blogs/c4/

Not sure what number is correct because in Mark Vail's "Vintage synthesizers" he mentions that "I think we sold only six pieces of that machine".

It's cool to hear that you actually had one!
Wolfgang ought to know but then again, he is known for not being really good at keeping records :).

In Germany´s Fachblatt magazine, the 1003 was reviewed as a quirky beast, and the reviewer pointed out that PPG as a company would benefit tremendously from some more elaborate quality control -- maybe the units they sold came back so quickly, got fixed, and then went out of the door again. Every unit that went out of the door counted :).

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Micke » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:34 pm

V301H wrote:While not in the same league as other Synths mentioned here the PAIA Proteus introduced in 1978 was an early dual-VCO MonoSynth with 16 user-programmable memory locations. The proteus was available in kit form or fully assembled.
I totally forgot about the PAIA Proteus I but I can't imagine it was released to the market in 1978 seeing as it was based on
CEM chips which afaik were first introduced in 1979. According to Peter Forrest's A-Z the Proteus 1 was first shown at NAMM 1980.

The RSF Kobol (keyboard version) appears to have been released in 1978 though and it too was fully programmable I think.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by V301H » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:22 am

Although VSE lists the production dates as 1978/79-1982 it appears the PAIA Proteus actually came out closer to 1981.

An original Proteus order form from about 1981 can be seen here:

http://www.preservationsound.com/?p=4683

Here is Craig Anderton's audio demo from 1981:

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by Micke » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:46 pm

Yes, 1980 or 1981 seems more likely. Strangely enough though, John Simonton says it came out in 1978 or 1979 in
Mark Vail's "Vintage synthesizers". He also says it took a very, very long time to do (about a year) so maybe the synth
was initially supposed to be released in '79 but finally delayed to '80/'81.

New for the '80's from PAIA:
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/76/20866 ... 4982_b.jpg

Note that the synth pictured in this ad looks considerably different, possibly a prototype (?)

The Proteus 1 seems to be a very flexible synth. From what I understand it's more or less semi-modular through the patch points on the back panel, a very unusual 'feature' on a small monophonic synth.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: Monophonic preset synthesizers ???

Post by zoomtheline » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:50 pm

I always wondered why and how my Welson Syntex had only sawtooth osc's and in the presets there are patches made from square waves.

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