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Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:20 pm
by KinijAjaw

I decided to buy myself an analog synth for xmas. Which leaves me only about a day or two decide ;)

I experimented with a volca keys the past 6 months and had great fun with it, although I'm also an absolute beginner with music & piano in every other way. I love the volca, but it's usually a very limited sound spectrum that I really like and use. Time for a big synth with a proper keyboard.
I will eventually buy all of them :lol: but saving money takes a lot of time.

Unfortunately there is no shop around where I live to actually try the synth before buying and compare. So I mainly rely on YouTube videos watching and listening to others and I particularly liked the sounds of the following ones:

* Moog Sub(sequent) 37
* DSI Prophet 6
* DSI Rev2
* Roland Juno 60

I guess, I wont go for the Roland as my first, because of its prices on ebay and its lack of Midi. I use Midi a lot with the volca, because I'm still too bad on the keyboards.
About the Moog: I absolutely love how it sounds (and looks), but from the videos I listend to, it sounds always almost the same or lets say very similar. So I wonder if its a good "first" synth versatilitywise. I know it's a Mono, but thats probably ok.
Between the two DSIs I think I prefer the sound of the Prophet 6, but the pricetag of the Rev2. Though I read that the build quality and keys of the Prophet 6 are far better. I know that many praise the versatility of the Rev2, but in most of the demos I saw I wasn't convinced by its sound until I stumbled upon a vid of the "once upon a synth" guy on YouTube which put the Rev2 back on my list.

About my preferred genres: I'd say mostly synth wave with only little use of drum machines. I like Carpenter, Brian Eno, some of the stuff Moroder and Jan Hammer did back in the day. And perhaps how video game soundtracks of the 80s would have sounded if they had access to modern playback techniques.

Any ideas where to start from people who own(ed) one or two of these synths?

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:29 pm
by meatballfulton
KinijAjaw wrote: I read that the build quality and keys of the Prophet 6 are far better
That is BS. They are made by the same mfr. The P6 only costs more because it has more analog components. The only difference in the keys is that the P6 has less of them...49 vs. 61 on the Rev2.

The Moog is monophonic. That means one note at a chords!

As your first synth after a Volca, I would take the Rev2 hands down. It has far more functionality than the P6, so you it will take you a lot farther. Plus it's much cheaper.

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:23 pm
by Ashe37
plus if you want to there's a cheaper less-voice version of the Rev2.

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:10 pm
by KinijAjaw
Yes, the Rev2-8 would be about the same price as the Subsequent 37 and both of course less expensive than the P6.
I think I wouldn't buy the "big" Rev2-16 anyway and safe the money, as its' a long way until I'll even manage 6 keys at a time.

Thanks for the advice so far. Not being able to play chords with the Moog is something that bothers me.
But I'll give myself a couple more minutes until hit the buy button ;)

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:14 pm
by Ashe37
2-voice (and more) unison, and layering, mean you can end up using multiple voices per key.

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:44 am
by KinijAjaw
Thanks, guys!
The Rev2-8 is on its way.

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:06 pm
by Rubenvangare
Hey did you ever end up buying the Rev2?
I’m looking to buy a synth for ambient type stuff.
Would appreciate your advice and feedback on the rev2

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:35 am
by nuketifromorbit
Buy an older VA for poly duties, than pair it up with a newer analog mono.

Re: Buying my first synth (Moog Sub37, DSI P6, DSI Rev2)

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:35 pm
by Pro5
Bit late but I've owned two of these (Rev 2 and Sub 37) and have a borrowed Prophet 6 that I've used loads over the past year or so.

They are all quite different really, and all quite good.

Rev 2 is great for advanced sounds, modulation, and layering. It'll do lots of soundscape type sounds pretty easily, and good points like fading between sequenced layers with mod wheel. It's a very full synth feature wise, and almost as nicely built as the Prophet 6 (but not quite) but still very high quality.

Sub 37 is IME a bit more fault prone, at least the first/older ones, had to get my sorted for wonky keybed, bad filter pot etc. All better on latest versions though. Sound wise, I liked it but it's mono. The filter can get really aggresive and it has more 'hair' and wildness than either prophet. This said, I found it had a slightly hollow/nasal/harsh tone to the VCOs, but the filter was good. Not quite as good as the Slim phatty, I think the phattys have more organic VCOs and a nicer filter and nicer overdrive. Sub 37 is feature packed though and you can do a lot of mono stuff with it, but it's not very creamy and not quite as moog like as some would like. Phatty is a bit more so but more limited, neither are really like a minimoog if that's what you want.

Prophet 6 is probably my favourite of the 3 because what it lacks in features vs Rev 2 it makes up for in filter, depth of sound, quality of tone and overal 'fun factor' of instant hands on. REV2 is great if you want to dig in and nuance advanced sounds but Prophet 6 is very hands on. They do sound different, the filter in Prophet 6 is much nicer, it can actually bite properly (i.e high res fast LFO or low drone with filter LFO increasing - think the 'helicopter' patch on P5/P6 < doing that on Rev 2 just can't do it justice, it's weak).

Prophet 6 is the best built of the 3, yes same keybed as Rev 2 (it was Prophet 08 that had the cheaper/clanky keybed), but Prophet 6 has thicker wood, less encoders, nice buttons/switches and just feels even more solid than the already solid Rev 2. Both are fine though.

Ultimately it's about taste, there's NO wrong choice here at all. Rev 2 can do things Prophet 6 can't but it depends if you need those things/sounds in your world. Prophet 6 can do tonal things Rev 2 can't touch because Rev2 has wimpy-ish oscs and weak filter that's better off in 2 pole mode doing pretty stuff and med/bright pads and sequences. Prophet 6 can do proper 'dark' prophet 5 tones, and more than this it has a depth to the sound that's not in rev2.

Recording wise the Rev 2 can get a bit harsher and then also a touch lost in a big mix if you try to soften/darken it. Prophet 6 has no issue there, it's sound is very defined, very high quality/clear and sounds 'real'. The difference in sound is, to me, very much in the prophet 6's favour in almost every respect except that the rev2's modulation and softer filter can make for some pleasent keyboard tones, it doesn't get quite as analog as Prophet 6, and doesn't sound vintage at all. Prophet 6 can sound vintage or even just like a Prophet 5 (on some but not all sounds) but can also sound modern like rev 2, but 'thicker' and more interesting in the tone. If you took two simpler sounds on both synths the Prophet 6 one would win your heart, it swims more, feels more alive, speaks to the ears better. Rev2 though can make sounds beyond that, you pay the price of more range with less great tone, but still good.

I'd take them in this order:

Prophet 6
Rev 2
Sub 37

Sub 37 is great for aggressive/punchy and some lead lines. I prefer the SH-2 for mono as it sounds gorgeous but it won't do that aggro sub 37 style. Prophet 6 is a good middle ground between them all, can be a bit moogy/aggressive/dark or prettier/brighter like rev2. None of them sound like SH-2/