AN1x - Amazing!

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knolan
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AN1x - Amazing!

Post by knolan » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:35 pm

I'm a long time owner of the AN1x but have not being using it in recent years.

But I'm going through about 100 sound sets downloaded from the Web, bank by bank, and selecting the best for an optimised library (using Derek Cook's excellent an.factory software), and I have to say, there are a lot of stunning sounds for the AN1x, and boy, it is one incredible VA synth. I'm not saying that lightly - from Minimoog leads to SYNC leads to stunning polysynth sounds, massive basses and huge pads, the AN1x is one of the strongest synths I've come across in ages.

And - there's no alisaing I can detect. This synth has definitely gone under the radar in terms of strength, versatility and sheer synth audio quality. Yamaha really did an excellent job on this. I wonder if it contains the same high grade circuitry as the VL1, because for a late 90's VA - it competes with anything on the market today (and I'd say exceeds much of it).

Hugely impressed - the quality of programming done for it is amazing, and I'm delighted to rediscover an amazing synth.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Percivale » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:05 am

My AN1X is one of my most accessible synthesizers.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by madtheory » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:34 am

Shhh! You'll put the prices up! ;)

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by vinyl_junkie » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:28 pm

Good synth I used to have one some years back, loved the sound. Actually uses physical modelling and if I remember correctly they voiced it after the Prophet 5.

I was talking about this the other day actually re VA's, I think the King Korg is the first VA to impress me sound wise from what I heard online since the golden era of VA's such as the AN-1X, JP8080, Nord, Q etc

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by zukskywalker » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:44 pm

If you've got either an iPhone or an iPad you're in for a good time if you check out the free Yamaha Synth Book which contains a very nice virtual AN.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by ranzee » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:07 pm

a cool way of getting the AN1X sound without spending the money is to get the AN200 - it has half the voices (5) but very capable, and fun too!

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Bitexion » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:17 pm

Cool, I'll download the Yamaha Synth Book on my ipad. Seems pretty neat. A "book" celebrating 40 years of Yamaha synthesizers. A complete history of Yamaha synths, an integrated virtual analog soft synth (an1x). A must-read for all synth fans, says the itunes description.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Pro5 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:05 pm

It's a great synth! Have had 2 but now both gone (only due to streamlining which is on-going).

I found it could get very close to some JX-3P sounds in weight and texture (if not quite as analog sounding in isolation). And obviously can do fair imitations of even better analogs too. On top of that is just has a great tone of it's own also (even when just being digital) it rarely sounded bad.

My favourite VA of any I've tried (other then if you count the VA section inside the V-Synth - which sometimes gets put down as not great, and maybe, but when you use it within the V-Synth to it's strengths it sounds alive and with a real edge/tone that I've not heard from other VAs I've owned + love to combine it with the other side of the V)

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by philip » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:18 pm

Simply is the Best VA ever!!!
Last edited by philip on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Rokk » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:27 pm

One of the best VA's for sure. But it's aliasing and harmonics beating has really been annoying for me. The stepping of the parameters, also and the weird oscillator behavior in polyphonic mode, when playing one note with long release staccato prevent this synth to be the king of VA's.
But the sound is warm, rounded, the filter is really great and the sweet spot is just all over this synth. You really can't make it sound bad and that is a great plus.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by knolan » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:53 pm

Yes - actually beginning to notice some aliasing in the upper end as I go through the program banks. Nowhere near as bad as the aliasing on the PWM oscillator on my JP80, however. No synth is perfect.
Last edited by knolan on Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Jabberwalky » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:01 pm

Great VA. I'm on my 2nd one :). One negative that no one mentions, all the front panel graphics tend to rub off. Mine started coming off on it's own, so I had to put tape all over it to remember the buttons.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Kenneth » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:04 pm

I have been interested in the AN-1X for a few years now, though I have never seen one in person. I own a JP-8000 and love the sound, but it definitely has a "comfort zone", or to be specific: it sounds good if you stay within a certain sweet-spot, but if you try to push it to its limits (fast LFO modulations in particular) it starts to show its ugly digital face in the form of aliasing and weird, glitchy artifacts. I know all synthesizers have their strengths and their weaknesses, but I am interested in how the AN1X and the JP stack up against each other. Does the AN have similar downfalls? How does it sound in comparison to the JP?
Comparison is the thief of joy.

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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by Pro5 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:14 am

I think the AN1x has less aliasing, maybe a slightly warmer character, and probably a deeper possible sound (in this way it sounds more analog as it doesn't show up it's digital side so readily imo). The Roland (at least the similar/improved slightly engine in the V-Synth) seems to have a bit more edge, weight and rawness (and in that way sounds/feels 'more analog' in it's less smooth/less pretty textures) but is easier to miss the mark with and end up sounding 'bad' or.. just harsh/digital - but if you nail it it can sound quite alive in a way the An1x doesn't, not a bad thing about the An1x btw, it depends how anal you are about texture and sound, the AN will serve you in analog mimicking more easily I think, but the V's VA has a wider range of 'hit or miss', but as said, if you get it just right it can sound very vibrant and ballsy. I'm c**p trying to explain things -

I think of it like this:

Take a "sonic photo" of a prophet 5 and Jupiter 8 (as your ideal sound to mimic)

On this photo the AN1x will, at first glance, look more like the original. It will have the colours and subjects the same. If you rub at the photo it'll quickly lose it's colour and reveal less underneath. Which is fine, don't rub the photo, stick it in the mix and you'll never know.

The V VA (and poss JP) might have a more fuzzy photo, with some kinda noise over the top but you work a bit at removing the noise and underneath there is a touch more depth/clarity/vibrancy in the photo, the only problem is the synths in the photo don't really look like JP-8 or Prophet 5 now, but some kinda warped, but nonetheless cool looking, synths. This could maybe be a touch more rewarding for sound designers who are not hung up on it sounding exactly like analog, but just wanting something, even digital, that has presence and vibrancy. In the mix this will maybe sound more characterful, while not always sounding 'almost like a jupiter or prophet' (or JX-3P)

Did I just make my explanation worse? :roll: I need to sleep...

Both have their ups/downs. The JP does sound a bit different from the V's VA apparently (in both a good and bad way) so my assessment can't be entirely accurate on it vs the AN1x. And I'm sorry for the p*ss poor attempt at the above explanation of how I feel the difference in sound and behaviour of their engines. :lol:

EDIT uploaded some of my V-Synth sounds that ONLY use the VA engine - pretty thick and wide I think. An1x doesn't really touch this side of things (AN1x is very much more 'software' like and doesn't quite get that deep rich texture and thickness the V can in VA mode) BUT this is strictly V-Synth (the FM stuff is one of it's tricks), not JP.
Last edited by Pro5 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:27 am, edited 4 times in total.

knolan
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Re: AN1x - Amazing!

Post by knolan » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:59 am

What impresses me about the AN1x is the strength of its sound. Basses are VERY strong, pads are smooth, silky and rich, SYNC leads are sharp and edgy just as they are with my MonoPoly. And it can sound very 'moog-ish'.

The Aliasing doesn't dominate - yes in the top end if you sustain a note with some sort of vibrato you'll hear it but if you playing a lead line then it's just not an issue. By comparison on my JP-80, using the standard PWM on the Supernatural Synth Tone, ALL patches have harsh, loud aliasing from about C4 upwards - and if you sustain a pad sound, it's woeful.


So here have a 2012 flagship VA from Roland with far worse Aliasing than the AN1x. I used my AN1x in the music for two documentaries about 10 years ago and never noticed any aliasing - it is only because I'm pain stakingly going through several thousand programs available for it online and selecting the best that I'm happening to notice slight Aliaising, on occassion, at the top end - but this instrument is not dominated by it; and as said, what's striking me is the strong, deep, clear, sharp sounds; as well as the sheer breath of sound and instrument types its 'synth engine' can deliver. It's not a great looking instrument, and I find its "operating system" very tricky (partly why I left it down for so many years); but it is to me, very impressive.

To boot, it's "Free Envelope Generator (EG)" allows you to record control surface movements, on several Free EG tracks - per program - and its an amazing feature. And what I'm really aiming to exploit is its sequencer - yes it's a quite standard step sequencer at its heart - but its the playability of of the sequences on the instrument that is very impressive - in particular you can set up the two lowest octaves so that each note can trigger a difference sequence, while the upper three octaves can trigger the chosen sequence according to the note(s) you play - and that can be polyphonically as well as monophonic - so the real time performance of sequences is very flexible and impressive.

Overall, a very substantial package, which to me rivals most contemporary VA's, and at second hand prices in and around the £250 mark, a complete seal these days. In fact I'll likely buy a 2nd one as a back up / future use investment.

I do thing the AN1x is a special instrument, in an understated kind of way (and have only come round to that way of thinking about it quite recently).

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