Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by 8bit9bot » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:14 pm

DesolationBlvd wrote: For some reason, the Prophet-600 demo videos sound "bigger" and more pleasing on the polyphonic sounds than the Prophet-5 demo videos (does one extra voice make that much of a difference?). That's a late generation CEM machine, right?
the prophet 600 was developed in 1982... hardly a late generation CEM machine - it even has the same oscillator chips as the prophet 5 and memory moog - the matrix-1000 was made into the 90s... i'd say those CEM chips are the ones you could call later generation

i never had an issue w/ the matrix envelopes - however the prophet 600 envelopes were horrible - not because they were slow... it seemed almost like they had poor resolution... almost like at the fastest settings they would just jump instead of follow a ramp

on both machines... the CEM chips do not generate the envelopes - they are software generated

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by phesago » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:12 pm

For what it's worth, I think the Xpander is one if the best synths you can get. Probably my most used piece of gear...

Anyway, I'd say try and get both if you could. DSI old and new sound fantastic and plays well with obby stuff.

EDIT: Auto correct on my phone made some stupid typos that didnt make any sense
Last edited by phesago on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by DesolationBlvd » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:31 pm

My source for Matrix being slow (20ms minimum attack): http://faq.waldorfian.info/faq-browse.php?product=pu - scroll to the "why do some synths click" part.

And as for the maximum time, this review: http://www.studio250.fr/docs/oberheim/obem12.pdf says Oberheim claimed there was a way to make the envelope run for a half-hour - impressive, though I can't see much use in that. What worries me is that they say some Matrix-12 keyboards don't have aftertouch. Release velocity sounds interesting, though.

Anyone have any demos of the Matrix-12/Xpander doing plucked/percussive sounds? I hear that having the envelope modulate itself is supposed to help improve the decay shape, which also contributes to "fast" envelopes.
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by schmidtc » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:49 pm

I don't believe that. 20ms is really slow and these synths do percussive stuff really well. The self-generating patches run forever. Some of the Matrix 12's don't have aftertouch, I think but most do.

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by DesolationBlvd » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:00 am

Also, quick OB-8 question: Does the arpeggiator have a "latch" mode? I see videos that hint it does, but read complaints that it doesn't. I hated the lack of a latch on the XP-80 arpeggiator.
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by synthparts » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:10 am

You can latch the OB-8 arp with the hold button. You can even transpose the whole arp by pressing different keys in chord hold mode.
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by V301H » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:53 am

It's true that the early Matrix 12's were sold without aftertouch because of a problem with the supplier of the pressure bars. My Matrix was one of these. When the pressure bars became available Oberheim offered a free retrofit if you took it to a service center. As a reward for waiting for the pressure retrofit they installed the 12 individual output option for free. It's possible a few early purchasers never bothered to take their units in for the retrofit or didn't know about it.

Release Velocity is an unusual feature found on the Matrix series and only a few other Synths and controllers such as the Kurzweil MIDIboard or CME UF7. Alesis had this feature on most of their keyboards.
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:08 pm

DesolationBlvd wrote:Anyone have any demos of the Matrix-12/Xpander doing plucked/percussive sounds? I hear that having the envelope modulate itself is supposed to help improve the decay shape, which also contributes to "fast" envelopes.
Search, and ye shall find...

Xpander envelope test
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by phesago » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:22 pm

The funny thing about this is the Xpander has like 15ish presets that are percussion sounds. Another thing you can easily find by searching.

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by DesolationBlvd » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:49 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:
DesolationBlvd wrote:Anyone have any demos of the Matrix-12/Xpander doing plucked/percussive sounds? I hear that having the envelope modulate itself is supposed to help improve the decay shape, which also contributes to "fast" envelopes.
Search, and ye shall find...

Xpander envelope test
Actually seems to be on par with the MKS-80, or slightly slower. I'm more inclined to believe the claim of 2ms minimum attack from Oberheim themselves over 20ms from Waldorf. In that thread, SWAN brings up the OB-8 as slow (his seems to be badly calibrated).

Wait, are the drums in the second demo the Matrix-12/Xpander?

(I used Google, but forgot it didn't search this forum very well)

Also, the resistor mod described in that thread - will something similar turn an OB attack into a Prophet attack?
phesago wrote:The funny thing about this is the Xpander has like 15ish presets that are percussion sounds. Another thing you can easily find by searching.
Actually, the percussion presets were mentioned in the review! It said they were the worst presets, though the pitched percussion sounds were pretty good.


So on its own, the Matrix-12 beats out the OB-8. But, again, I have to consider the other gear. The character doesn't strike me as much more aggressive than MKS-80 before all the modulations. Had I gone with the JP-4 instead of MKS-80 at the time I was in the market for the big Roland, the Matrix-12 would be the perfect companion.
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:29 pm

DesolationBlvd wrote: Actually seems to be on par with the MKS-80, or slightly slower.
No, it's definitely slower than the mks-80.
I'm more inclined to believe the claim of 2ms minimum attack from Oberheim themselves over 20ms from Waldorf
I'd put it closer to 5-8ms.
The character doesn't strike me as much more aggressive than MKS-80
They are not outrageously different when you're comparing unfiltered waves, but the the xpander definitely is more aggressive overall. That demo really only gives a small idea of what it can sound like with all the filters.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by DesolationBlvd » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:53 am

Found out that the XP-80 has release velocity - in fact, release velocity is far more common than I originally thought.


To tell the truth, I was already leaning heavily towards OB-8 when I created this thread. After this thread. While I'm still squeamish about making the big Matrix my big poly, I am considering the Matrix-1000 (or 6R). I think I could trade either the Alpha Juno or MKS-30 for it, so I don't cut into the OB-8 fund. The little Matrix will tide me over until then. Also, once I get the OB-8, the little Matrix is still useful - it offers many things OB-8 and MKS-80 don't, like filter FM.

I see that the little Matrix has "key click" (the big Matrix doesn't to my knowledge) - does that help with the envelopes?
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by nvining » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:52 am

I've sort of been staring at this thread and avoiding chiming in, but as somebody who's owned a MKS-80, a Matrix-6R and a Matrix-12, here's some thoughts:

1. I've never had a problem with the Matrix-12 envelope sluggishness. They are definitely digital envelopes, and aren't as fast as the envelopes on - say - a Minimoog D; nonetheless, they're still plenty good for me. I think this is one of those urban legend things that comes up with a synth where they didn't make many of them, and you get a lot of guff spread by people who never played them or who are just cranky that the LFO doesn't go into the audio range.

Things to watch out for if you get a Matrix-12 or Xpander: dying encoders, dying buttons, dying VFDs (occasionally), power supplies that should be rebuilt by a qualified tech at the earliest opportunity, and that one stupid DAC that occasionally dies and where there are no good replacements.

2. On that note, beware *any* CEM synth if you're worried about chips dying or otherwise fading into obsolescence. Frankly, this worries the h**l out of me, as both my big polysynths are full of Rare Unobtanium (the Chroma, especially; it's basically the only synth that uses the CEM3350 so if those die I'm in trouble.) I don't know what the practical alteratives are, other than maybe selling everything and buying something like an OB-X where the discrete parts outnumber the IC parts.

3. If you want envelopes in a polysynth with analog snap (i.e. the envelopes are provided by ICs), you're basically looking at any of the select few synths that use the CEM3310: the Prophet-5 (but *not* the T8), the various Obies mentioned earlier, the Memorymoog, and... uh, I think that's about it, but I don't know what synths do, and do not, use digital EGs from Japan. The Alesis Andromeda is also plenty snappy if you set the optimizer to "fast" mode.

4. The Matrix 6 is not the Matrix-12. You lose the bonkers multimode filter, and you lose the VCOs. I actually picked up my MKS-80 in an auction for a rack of gear, which also contained a Kawai K5M (which never worked) and *three* Matrix 6Rs. I never figured out what the old guy whose studio was having the estate sale used three Matrix 6Rs for. Anyhow, don't buy it assuming you're getting anything other than a Matrix 6R. The envelopes are still going to be sluggish.

I think it's a good trade for an Alpha Juno-1 or MKS-30 though.

4. If your concern is envelope speed, do you really need envelope speed *and* polyphony? If you just want snappy envelopes, go get a little Eurorack and shove some Cwejman EGs in it. The best case I can think of for needing polyphony and fast EGs is if you want to play snappy syncopated funk parts with both hands on the keyboard - in which case, yeah, nothing does it better than an OB8 or a Prophet 5, and you just need to decide which flavour of funk you want. But that's the main legitimate case I can think of.

5. Two options you may not have thought of: the Rhodes Chroma Polaris (based around the 3374/3372) and the Akai AX80 (more 3372, but based on DCOs.) The AX80 is fun and includes one of the weirdest, and yet strangely most comphrensive, user interfaces ever. It's a bit like flying the Death Star. The Chroma Polaris is a very solid yet rather underrated machine; it's also now possible to get new membrane switches for them. The Prophet '08 Rack is also worth considering; it's hardly a Vintage Synth, but it does at least come with support from a company that's still alive. It gets a bad rep around here, but IMO that's mainly because of a poor keyboard action and some of the worst presets known to man. (There's also the whole DCO versus VCO thing.)
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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by phesago » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:36 pm

:agree:

This brings me to an interesting point: what analogs are discrete? I know the jp8 and the SEMs for sure, but what else is?

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Re: Which Curtis poly to complement MKS-80?

Post by pflosi » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:34 pm

phesago wrote:This brings me to an interesting point: what analogs are discrete? I know the jp8 and the SEMs for sure, but what else is?
For polys, see here. For monos it would be better to start a list of those that are not discrete I guess ;)

Apart from that, to the OP: have you considered the A6? Envelopes can go super fast (2ms) or super slow (130s) in each stage (a, d1, d2, r1, r2), the response curve can be altered for each stage (3 different log, exp, s-curve and linear curves), and then there's even another option to make the whole thing super plucky or slow and so on... Two different filters with very different behaviour... As complex an architecture as it can get... etc.

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