What piece of gear got your mojo back?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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stikygum
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by stikygum » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:51 pm

x0x sequencers like the Elektrons are certainly fun to use. But I'm not big on composing songs by chaining patterns in hardware. I like everything linear in Logic, it's easier for me to make fine adjustments over and over to progress into breakdowns and other variations (just my personal preference and off topic).

I was floored when I got the MEK and now have a PEK. These synths are very inspirational. When I have nothing going, I can usually and simply walk over to the PEK and start playing that inspires me to compose a song. The sequencers on it are so fun to use in a keyboard player context. You're playing the keyboard, but because you specify how you want the sequencers to work with you, it really is like playing with a chorus of band members and jamming. Love the sequencers on it. It's very easy to get wild sequences on the MEK/PEK since you sequencer parameters. I know the Elektron can do this, I think it's parameter locks does... but I found the MEK PEK much more interactive than the Machinedrum that I owned. Though I did not dig deep into the MD nor had it for very long. I just like the keyboard better for composing and the PEK is one of the most fun keyboards to play.

I love stuff like the Quasimidi Polymorph (still own it) too. But the PEK is even more fun to me. I personally also have to have x0x, I love them. I use Maschine though, because I like weird drum samples more than digital drum synthesis. Though I know Elektrons can use samples too.

All in all it would be a tough call if I were to choose between the two. If I could only have one...I might choose the Elektron just so I could make patterns and compose songs (but I rather do it with software personally). With the PEK you would want something to record it with because it spits out all kind of idea creations.
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by danbroad » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:38 pm

Well, it's food for thought alright. I know - of the MEK and MD - that both are worthy choices, and both offer me that control element I find so soulless in software peripherals.

Omnisphere, for example, sounds utterly divine - as does z3ta - but every time I reach from the keyboard/control surface to click a mouse a little bit of my workflow, my momentum, dies away. I tried mapping everything to hardware, but every synth is so different that I either just end up with the same limited front-page controller options [envelopes and filter C/R, for example]. Even if I could map every control ad minutum, there's something lifeless about a poorly-weighted, generic controller knob which just doesn't feel right to me [if there is a method to assign generic control, it's Elektron's...]

So, I'm off to audition both units this friday. TRondC, your Siesta Submarine stuff is exactly the sort of machinedrummery I'd like to make. But.. the Evolver desktop always sounded so good to me, and I missed out on the MEK because I bought the VIrus [it just came along at the wrong time...]. I'd like a modular, but patch cabling and children's hands mean no patch storage from even one minute to the next... and the Evolver allows me the sort of chained setup that I'd want from a Modular anyway. Now, if it were possible to LFO-modulate an Evolver using, say, a couple of E350's, then it'd be the Evolver as the one to beat. Can that be done?

I'm mainly concerned that as a keyboard player, I'll like the Machinedrum but be worried about losing the black'n'whites as control.
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by novielo » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:43 am

if you want to try out modular synth on your coffee break go for jasuto pro on the iphone/ipod touch. it worth a 7$ for sure. the only it's missing is midi over wifi.
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:13 am

novielo wrote:if you want to try out modular synth on your coffee break go for jasuto pro on the iphone/ipod touch. it worth a 7$ for sure. the only it's missing is midi over wifi.
It has OSC over wifi, which is like midi but better suited to going over a network.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:17 am

When will NLog offer OSC!!!!! UGH!!!!! :o
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:00 am

danbroad wrote:Now, if it were possible to LFO-modulate an Evolver using, say, a couple of E350's, then it'd be the Evolver as the one to beat. Can that be done?
Yep, keyboard Evolvers have 2 CV inputs on the back, just scale and offset the E350 output to 0-5V and plug it in, then choose where you want to send it in the mod matrix.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by novielo » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:49 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
novielo wrote:if you want to try out modular synth on your coffee break go for jasuto pro on the iphone/ipod touch. it worth a 7$ for sure. the only it's missing is midi over wifi.
It has OSC over wifi, which is like midi but better suited to going over a network.
i looked in the manual but i couldn't find info about this. still searching. on the other end i found out how with touchOSC. i'll build a template for resolume today or tomorrow.
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:07 pm

I'm going to use my Pro~One to control my Evolver later :P
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:21 pm

This might sound silly, but it's my Motif ES.

Because it integrates the functions of multiple pieces of gear into one interface, it's easier for me to get work done. The further I get into understanding what it can do, the more useful features I uncover.

Today it is easing my transition into working inside a DAW because it has the full Mackie Control protocol built-in. Live, Reason and Cubase all just recognize it with no setup required.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by danbroad » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:07 pm

Bought the Evolver. Wow - the knobbage control is excellent - sonic mayhem awaits, hehe...

Plus, a study of the back of the unit with its CV control [thanks for the tip, SF] for modular expansion in the future... plus [and here was something I wasn't expecting] the ability to plug in an un-DI'd guitar straight into the back for some LFO filterboxed, bitcrushed, grunged-up, multi-delayed nonsense aswell. Could there be a better monosynth on the market for the price?

I owned a little phatty briefly [actually, osc 2 developed a tuning fault, returned it about two days before the UK store chain went bust... lucky escape...] and although you have that boingy, round Moog sound, it just can't compare feature-wise. Plus, I prefer the imperfect sound of the DSI - especially the digital wavetables with their Fairlight-esque simplicity and their PPG/VS early grit. Why didn't I just get this years ago?
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:18 pm

danbroad wrote:Bought the Evolver. Why didn't I just get this years ago?
Because everyone complains endlessly about encoders, no 100% analog path and it doesn't sound exactly like Pro One :?

I didn't listen to them ;)
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by shaft9000 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:25 pm

mojo comes and goes, regardless of one's equipment list.
money doesn't buy experience.

that said, ime real 'head-slappers' and all-round great musical instruments I've had are:

MS-2000 : cheap and a ton of fun
Little Phatty TE : still the easiest synth in the world to play imho
Jupiter-8 : it's so easy to coax great sounds you can just play the day away (ditto for Juno 6)
SunSyn: lots of "wow, holy s**t that's f*cking awesome" to be found here
MEK: genius...simply genius

but nothing got me grinning faster than.............
.........ARP 2600
(ding! ding! we have a winner)
imho it's the greatest synth design of all-time. instant fun and flexible enough to apply well beyond synthesis alone. a massive range of classic analog sounds, easy as pie to use....it's actually DESIGNED to teach you how to use it ...while you're using it
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by Joey » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:29 am

starting a modular has been the best and worst decision for me ever.

I thought I had my gearlust cured, and all of a sudden its like just... one... more... module... every month.

right now I'm in love with my cwejman, metasonix, and harvestman stuff.
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so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

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