Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

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FredSynthstone
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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by FredSynthstone » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:18 am

Don't forget SCI MultiTrak or SixTrak (or even MAX, as I use - upgraded with the Tauntek mod: http://tauntek.com/SCIMax.htm) - at least the MultiTrak is still somewhat underrated (but also quite rare) and can often be found in the cheap. Just use a good midi controller or some software and you can get create some nice varied poly-patches... especially with a bit of chorus.

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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by stephenjbennett » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:07 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:You know, I love the JX3P as much as anyone. Probably more. I've owned three.

But "warm?" "Warm?" Does the initialization "DCO" and its subsequent functionality mean anything to you? Nothing that is rigidly in tune can be "warm." That's just not how "warm" in regard to synths works. Yes, even if it has the richest filter ever made... frequency rigidity is better described with another adjective. "STERILE."
I managed to make my JX3P sound extremely warm using effects - specifically the Roland Dimension D, Space chorus and the Ursa Major Space Station. Nothing to do with DCO vs VCO - the DSI Prophet 08 can do 'warm' just fine too.

Stephen

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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:53 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:You know, I love the JX3P as much as anyone. Probably more. I've owned three.

But "warm?" "Warm?" Does the initialization "DCO" and its subsequent functionality mean anything to you? Nothing that is rigidly in tune can be "warm." That's just not how "warm" in regard to synths works. Yes, even if it has the richest filter ever made... frequency rigidity is better described with another adjective. "STERILE." [...]
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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by madtheory » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:09 pm

Prophet 6.

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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by HideawayStudio » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:45 pm

The Rhodes Chroma is quite simply the most versatile,powerful and expressive analog poly I've ever owned.. and now much more enjoyable and accessible to use now there is a hardware programmer solution available (BCR-2000 with template).

The modulation is supremely powerful and the dual oscillator and filter patch combinations are very special - I don't think I've ever heard anything quite so close to a Mellotron choir emanate from an analog synth!

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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:19 am

"Warmth" comes from distortion and variability. There's no doubt that chorus, especially analog chorus, can create some really pleasing tone. When you take a functionally rigid DCO output and put it through a lot of great analog chorus, the result is beautiful... but it's still not like the output of vintage VCOs through the same effects, and even not through the effects.
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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by stephenjbennett » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:43 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:"Warmth" comes from distortion and variability. There's no doubt that chorus, especially analog chorus, can create some really pleasing tone. When you take a functionally rigid DCO output and put it through a lot of great analog chorus, the result is beautiful... but it's still not like the output of vintage VCOs through the same effects, and even not through the effects.
The latter statement I agree with - it's definitely sonically different.

I was disagreeing with the statement that 'warmth' comes only from VCOs and cannot be created using DCO based synthesisers.

Stephen

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Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Post by tomorrowstops » Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:32 pm

Side by side comparisons; VCO>DCO all day long in terms of "warmth." For exactly the reasons Marc stated. However, DCO isolated from VCO can definitely yield some pleasant results. Especially if you haven't had a VCO board under your fingertips and in front of your ears before. Then, we can talk about actual context within a song/mix. It's one thing to buy a synth, sit down with it, tweak knobs and enjoy the solitary effects of the details in your ears. But is that what you're buying it for? Or is it just another instrument layer you're adding to a bigger arrangement of sound elements? What are those other elements - other synths? Acoustic instruments? There are plenty of examples of great tunes with great sounding polys of all bloodlines. The type of stuff where you don't give a f**k about which board they used, it just sounds great!

While I'm typing this, I'm listening to some tunes of mine featuring the poly I've claimed to have hated the most; the Prophet '08. However, within the context of the other elements/mix involved (Rhodes, Tempest, Mellotron samples) AND the material I composed, it sounds f**k great! The type of great where I stop and consider picking up a P08 for a FOURTH time. But I still just have to shake my head when I listen to this stuff (now 3 or 4 years old), as I know mostly why it sounds so good is because I just cut loose writing and forgot about everything else. And here's where I contradict myself; could I live with the Prophet '08? Of course. But I hate programming it. Its not fun, and its fatiguing to listen to for long periods of time. When I'm in sound design mode, I AM just listening to the damn thing by itself and not hearing the bigger picture.

But anyways, its an ongoing battle - here's my list of opinions on polys I've spent time with:

- The warmest I've experienced is most definitely the CS50, albeit limited in the polyphony department.

- Second to that would be my experience with the Polysix, albeit a little limited in the versatility department.

- To me, the Prophet 5 could go either way. Its more towards the harsher end of the spectrum. I had to work pretty hard for warmth, especially for smoother sounds.

- The Prophet 600 felt warmer than the Prophet 5, but I didn't have them side by side. I have always threatened to get this one again as my main poly. The prices are holding at a reasonable level, and the advent of the GliGli software update address a lot of the stock flaws in this unit.

- The Jupiter 6 was a bit boring, but definitely had some warmth, especially sweet in the upper harmonics range.

- Prophet 08/Poly Evolver: versatile, but way too stiff and sterile overall.

- Opus 3: warm all day long, not super versatile though.

- Juno 6/60: too boring and too much $$.

Sorry for the soapbox rant - not directed at the OP (or anyone else) in any way! As always, I'm just sorting out my feelings regarding my own personal battles with the subject!

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