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Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:02 am
by prizzmaster
I'm currently trying to decide on a analogue polysynth, but there are so many demos on Youtube playing repetitive techno samples with little time put into making a nice preset that it's hard to tell without getting to play around with them myself.

So that brings me here, anyone got ideas?
Here are some sounds that brought me to the Korg Polysix:


and my favourite,

Mind you I've only been looking for the past 4-5 months and I've thought about the Roland Juno-60 but I'm not totally sold. A Sequential Prophet-5 would be ideal but it's a bit pricey for me at the moment.

Any suggestions on other synths out there, or what to look for in a synth would be massively appreciated.

Cheers

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:01 pm
by mini700
As always, it depends on what music you intend to make and your budget.

I own the Polysix myself and it's great for warm sounding string-sounds.
And for pretty much any early-eighties-sound you could want :-)

And if you buy vintage, remember that you are likely to experience trouble getting everything to work properly. Most things can be fixed, but not always.

Good luck, there's bound to be a synth for you out there. :-)

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:09 pm
by ppg_wavecomputer
Roland JX-3P.

Probably the best buy you can get for money at the moment. Get yourself one while you can.

The Polysix is a bit of a one-trick pony: It always takes the on-board FX section to make it sound richer, and once you're using this section, everything will sound the same. I've never missed mine, the only thing I find myself missing is the opportunity to sell it for three times as much as I sold it for...

Stephen

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:49 pm
by recordbot
get a prophet 6 while you can still get demos at a reduced price

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:22 pm
by prizzmaster
Great, great, great! This is really helpful so far, thanks dudes/dudettes. I didn't realise the JX-3P was so cheap, I still prefer the Juno-60 and I'm in the UK so JX-3P and Prophet 6 are kind of difficult to get a hold of. It's probably best I hold out a little while longer and save up some more. But I've been swayed away from the Polysix a bit but that's good it means I'm not gonna jump into anything I regret.

A PPG wave I've seen has some really nice presets but they're too rare, I've only seen one remotely close recently and that was Germany, any more like that? Like this one:


or this,

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:02 pm
by abruzzi
Doesn't seem to be all that popular, but I quite like the sound of the Oberheim Matrix 6. Both the keyboard and rack sell for around $500.

I'd also look at the Ensoniq ESQ-1. The oscillators are digital but the rest is analog. Very nice sounding, very flexible, and very cheap. (Got mine for $150 shipped.)

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:34 pm
by ppg_wavecomputer
prizzmaster wrote:Great, great, great! This is really helpful so far, thanks dudes/dudettes. I didn't realise the JX-3P was so cheap, I still prefer the Juno-60 and I'm in the UK so JX-3P and Prophet 6 are kind of difficult to get a hold of. [...]
It's worth holding out rather than spending an over-inflated amount of Money on a Juno 60.
abruzzi wrote:Doesn't seem to be all that popular, but I quite like the sound of the Oberheim Matrix 6. Both the keyboard and rack sell for around $500. [...]
They sound fairly usable, agreed, but the user interface is a bit tricky, and my tech told me they are rather difficult to fix if something goes wrong.

Stephen

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:06 am
by CfNorENa
prizzmaster wrote:A Sequential Prophet-5 would be ideal but it's a bit pricey for me at the moment.
Have a look at the Prophet 600. 75% of the P5 at 1/3 the price.

I owned the P600, and now own a P5, and while I do prefer the latter, the former is a fantastic synth in its own right. Real, honest-to-goodness VCOs. And two of 'em, too. Lots of knobs for fast, real-time tweaking. And a big, big sound.

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:48 am
by V301H
The Prophet 600 is great sounding and is still probably the lowest-priced dual VCO vintage polySynth. It does lack some versatility due to the absence of a noise generator. If you are into sound effects or percussion sounds this could be a consideration. Also no splitting or layering of sounds.

For more versatility, good reliability and still less money than a Prophet 5 and many other vintage polys I would recommend either an Oberheim OB8 or Roland Jupiter 6.

The OB8 has that smooth, fat, warm sound that Oberheim is known for and has a multitude of LFO assignments that make it well suited for sound effects the average poly can't do. The OB8 can be split or layered and each set of four voices can respond to a separate MIDI channel so it is almost like having two four-voice polys in one box.

The Jupiter 6 is a dual VCO Synth that has a different sound character than the Oberheim being brighter sounding more like the other Jupiter series Synths. The multi-mode filter is a very uncommon feature on any poly which gives the Jupiter 6 a wide sonic range. The oscillators have a greater frequency range than usual which also expands it's sonic potential especially in Sync mode. Add invertible envelopes to this and you have a great sound effects machine. No layering but it does have 4-2 or 2-4 split capability. Adding the Europa upgrade gives the Jupiter 6 even more versatility.

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:58 am
by megamanx
I would add the chroma polaris, sounds great, it is faily cheap.

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:22 am
by thefonz003
abruzzi wrote:Doesn't seem to be all that popular, but I quite like the sound of the Oberheim Matrix 6. Both the keyboard and rack sell for around $500.

I'd also look at the Ensoniq ESQ-1. The oscillators are digital but the rest is analog. Very nice sounding, very flexible, and very cheap. (Got mine for $150 shipped.)
In a similar vein to the ESQ-1, I'll recommend the Korg DSS-1. Hybrid, but extreme versatility because it can sample. There are dozens of free sample banks online if you have a computer with a floppy drive. It is similarly cheap to the ESQ-1.

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:00 pm
by vinyl_junkie
Every one's tastes are different. Just get what ever you can afford and may fancy the sound of.

When I started I just got what ever was the cheapest in the classified ads... That included JX-3P's for £80, cheap Juno's, DX'es and what ever else was unpopular or considered c**p.

I don't know what's "affordable" any more as even the un-cool old poly's are going for way too much imo.
I'd just look at a decent virtual analogue say Walrof Micro Q/Q, Alesis Ion, Korg King Korg, AN1x... And if you still want the real deal the new DSI Prophets are very nice.

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:16 pm
by stephenjbennett
For warm, a JX3P or Akai AX73 through a Boss Chorus, a Behringer Dimension De clone or something like a http://wutierson.com/en/home/sound-proc ... -v3-detail would give you a very warm sound for little cash.

Stephen

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:16 am
by Automatic Gainsay
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."

Yes, I love the sound of the JX3P... in fact, it blows away the single-osc Junos. In fact, the only point in having a Juno is its superior interface. But since we're talking about "warm" here, interface is irrelevant... and so is the JX3P.

If you want a "warm analogue" polysynth, you want something with VCOs, plain and simple. You also want something that allows you to introduce some saturation, and noise, and modulation into your oscillator and/or filter output.

If you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for this (CS-80, Prophet 5, Memorymoog, Jupiter 8), I'm going to say you pretty much have to get a Prophet 6. If you're happy with a single oscillator, then maybe CS-50, CS-60, Jupiter 4, or Polysix.

Re: Versatile, warm analogue polysynths?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 am
by Z
The Akai AX60 is an underrated analog poly synth. It's filter can be a bit harsh, but you can still find some sweet spots.

The AX60 also has some features not commonly found on synths in its range (stuff only the "big boys" might have):

VCO modulation to VCF - you can make some NASTY sounds with this.

PWM on ALL waveforms - I don't know of any other synths that have that.

5 waveshapes for LFO: tri, up & down ramp, square and random. Most comparable synths only have tri/sine

Split mode with UNISON available for both upper and lower parts (make a 2/4 split with unison on bass and 4 voice poly for upper)

And if you have an 80s Akai sampler, you can layer its samples with the AX60's VCO or turn the AX60 balance mix to sampler only and process the samples through its analog filter. You'll need a 13 pin DIN cable (you can find it on eBay) to hook them up.