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3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:46 pm
by HideawayStudio
A few years back I spent the day with a friendly guy in Paris at his studio stacked high with just about every synth ever made - including a curious orange megaphone and a flock of Small Stone Phasers...

During a remarkably long conversation we got on to the subject of the musicality of various oscillator configurations in polysynths. He raised a point that I have sometimes touched on that in non-sync'd configurations three oscillators per voice produce more musical results than the more commonly found two as the effects of phasing and beating in dual oscillator synths can often be rather cyclical/mechanical leading in extreme cases to null points. Having three oscillators produces a much more complex and natural effect more a likened to the strings on a piano beating or a natural complex ensemble effect (which, incidentally were almost always triple parallel delay effects in string synths).

But it got me thinking.. just how many 3-Osc per voice analog /hybrids polysynths were ever produced??...

NEW CRITERIA: Marc raised a good point and after some contemplation I've decided to bar all DCO and Wavetable Synths unless they can be proven to have multiple free-running HF master oscillators.

Caveat: I've decided to allow VCO based synths with layering facilities to obtain 3 free running oscs.

Obviously the Memorymoog fits the criteria but I'll be darned if I can think of many more bar the Korg PS-3300 and its direct descendants...

List of Triple Free-Running Oscillator Polys as it currently stands:

Definitely fit the criteria:

Memorymoog
*Korg PS-3300
*Korg PE-2000
*Korg Lambda

*Divide down but feature multiple free-running master oscillators.

Futuresonus Parva?

Can Achieve Same Effect Through Layering: (All VCO based so definitely fit the bill for free running oscs)

Oberheim OB-8
Oberheim OB-Xa
SCI Prophet-10
Rhodes Chroma
Rhodes Polaris
Roland JP-6 Europa
Roland JP-8
Roland MKS-80
Alesis Andromeda
Octave Voyetra-8

Questionable - Potentially phase locked to HF Master Osc:

Ensoniq ESQ-1
Ensoniq ESQ-M
Ensoniq SQ-80
DSI PolyEvolver (4 OSC)
DSI Prophet 12 (4 OSC)

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:27 am
by Alphacode
Well Elka Syntex has 3 oscillators as well and fairly complex. Also are you referring to only true analogs or VA as well as you can find a lot of them with 3 osc : All Novation K/S station and Supernova, Alesis ION i think and Access Viruses.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:30 am
by CfNorENa
And this one (3 osc., 8 voice), which is on its way:

Futuresonus Parva

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:30 am
by HideawayStudio
Alphacode wrote:Well Elka Syntex has 3 oscillators as well and fairly complex. Also are you referring to only true analogs or VA as well as you can find a lot of them with 3 osc : All Novation K/S station and Supernova, Alesis ION i think and Access Viruses.
EDIT: Synthex is 2OSC / voice

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:39 am
by Automatic Gainsay
Korg Lambda.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:40 am
by commodorejohn
If you count hybrid, there's the Ensoniq ESQ-1 and SQ-80.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:42 am
by HideawayStudio
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Korg Lambda.
Interesting... this would therefore include PE-2000..
commodorejohn wrote:If you count hybrid, there's the Ensoniq ESQ-1 and SQ-80.
Yup, hybrids allowed (love them!)

Good call on the Ensoniq hybrids - I recently parted with my ESQ-M..

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:02 am
by max badwan
If you count sub-oscillators, the Akai AX 80 has two DCOs and a sub. I think cost would have been a major factor in the development.
Edit: The Electron Analog Four, two DCOs + two subs also springs to mind.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:06 am
by HideawayStudio
max badwan wrote:If you count sub-oscillators, the Akai AX 80 has two DCOs and a sub. I think cost would have been a major factor in the development.
Sub-oscs not allowed - that's cheating :-)

They need to be endowed with three free-running oscillators...

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:09 am
by GuyaGuy
DSI PolyEvolver has 4
P12 has 5

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:45 am
by Automatic Gainsay
DCOs shouldn't count, either. What the eff good are oscillators that are exactly in tune stacked atop each other?

Sub oscillators are divisions of oscillators... they are aligned in frequency and phase... and therefore don't matter at all as a "separate oscillator." You can't detune a sub oscillator. There is no point in bringing them up.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:49 am
by max badwan
HideawayStudio wrote:
max badwan wrote:If you count sub-oscillators, the Akai AX 80 has two DCOs and a sub. I think cost would have been a major factor in the development.
Sub-oscs not allowed - that's cheating :-)

They need to be endowed with three free-running oscillators...
Fair enough.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:DCOs shouldn't count, either. What the eff good are oscillators that are exactly in tune stacked atop each other?

Sub oscillators are divisions of oscillators... they are aligned in frequency and phase... and therefore don't matter at all as a "separate oscillator." You can't detune a sub oscillator. There is no point in bringing them up.
I was just putting it out there.
Re DCOs: assuming enough mod sources, the DCOs shouldn't be discounted, but in general I agree.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:19 am
by Z
Alphacode wrote:Well Elka Syntex has 3 oscillators as well and fairly complex. Also are you referring to only true analogs or VA as well as you can find a lot of them with 3 osc : All Novation K/S station and Supernova, Alesis ION i think and Access Viruses.
I never seen a Synthex with 3 oscillators. Mine only has 2.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:32 am
by max badwan
Z wrote:
Alphacode wrote:Well Elka Syntex has 3 oscillators as well and fairly complex. Also are you referring to only true analogs or VA as well as you can find a lot of them with 3 osc : All Novation K/S station and Supernova, Alesis ION i think and Access Viruses.
I never seen a Synthex with 3 oscillators. Mine only has 2.
The Synthex can have four DCOs in layer mode, as can a Super JX - so they're both out.

Re: 3-Oscillator Per Voice Polysynths??

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:44 am
by iphoenix
Well if you're counting the Polyevolver & Prophet12, then I suppose you could count the Prophet VS.
4 oscillators , digital I know, but you could just use 3 oscillators all set to traditional analogue waveforms & turn the 4th off.