Crazy Analogue on a budget

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bendragon
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Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by bendragon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:29 am

I'm officially sick of my Juno-106. After only a week using a Poly61 and nearly 2 years of digging deep into an ESQ-1, plus the constant need to repair that stupid bit of cheap Roland c**p has pretty much forced me out of sheer frustration and boredom to do one last major repair (voice 2) and sell it on for a tidy profit. 3 Years down the line and a couple more powerful synths under my belt and I'm starting to see why people call it overrated. :lol:

So I'm looking at about £500 to spend on a crazy as h**l Analogue Poly Synth OR that rare breed of VA with an unpredictable synth engine and filters with bags of character. Something that sounds as different as possible from the Roland gear I've owned over the years that all sounds so plastic and safe.

Criteria are simple - lots of knobs to twiddle and tweak OR a very well designed digital interface (IE: Korg Poly 61 and DW-8000) and its got to have keys! :D Don't care about on board effects as I route everything through studio software with modular effect systems (MuX in MU:LAB 4) - MIDI (with thru) is also a must. The more reliable the better (as in, do not want a repeat of the Juno106 fiasco I've spent hundreds on!)

For Real Analogue I was looking at SCI Prophet 600s. I've heard some crazy things pop out of one of those with a bit of tweaking. Although not strictly analogue, I've been giving DW-8000's good long looks into, the complex waveforms intreigue me. :) Though I run the risk of it being too simmilar to my Poly61. An Akai AX80 is DEFINITLY on the top of my list of analogue synths from first impressions.

For VAs I'm looking to steer as far away as possible from Roland VAs (They feel and sound like half-hearted toys to me, the SH201 was a massive dissapointment) as well as steering clear of the Alesis, Akai and cheap Korg VAs.
Korg MS2000 (in that oh so sexy black if I can find one) or, if I can find one cheap, an Oberheim OB12.

I'm torn between the MS2000 and AX80 to be quite honest. From what I've seen, both can do their own brand of crazy nonsense. I especially like the mad sequence sounds of the MS2000, but the sheer raw brutality of the AX80 just makes me tingle. I feel like a damsal caught between two rugged knites. :lol:

Any suggestions and/or advice, please throw them my way. :D

Cheers all!
-Ben
Last edited by bendragon on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:22 am

Waldorf? I had an XT for a while, plenty of potential there, and sounds nothing like any Roland. If you want to try something different to the regular osc-filter-amp chain, how about some FM? The lesser DX and TX models can be had for absolute peanuts, and even the nicely comprehensive SY77 is well under budget. Which would leave plenty of change for something else too.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by bendragon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:32 am

nathanscribe wrote:Waldorf? I had an XT for a while, plenty of potential there, and sounds nothing like any Roland. If you want to try something different to the regular osc-filter-amp chain, how about some FM? The lesser DX and TX models can be had for absolute peanuts, and even the nicely comprehensive SY77 is well under budget. Which would leave plenty of change for something else too.
Already have a Casio VZ-1 and Casio CZ-3000, so digital grit is already fulfilled in my setup. I have a Casio FZ-1 somewhere (I think my cousin has it) that has mad analogue filters (resonance blows the roof off) and Additive synthesis. Some subtractive grit is something I want to offset the pure digital Casio units and the softer tone of the Poly61 and ESQ-1.

What do you think of the Waldorf Blofeld keyboard? For £500 I could get one new rather than second hand. The XT and XTk's are too expensive. :/

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by Cybercardinal » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:31 pm

Have you considered a Virus(KB)?

It should be possible to get a XT for 500£

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by bendragon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:46 pm

Cybercardinal wrote:Have you considered a Virus(KB)?

It should be possible to get a XT for 500£
I'll keep my eye out for a cheap as h**l XTK, but the normal XTs I stumble upon are all around £650. Not really that big a fan of the XTs to be honest.

Virus KBs are about £6/700 from what I can see - thats a bit high. I've heard demos as well, they're not really what I'm looking for. I'm looking for real late 70s/early 80s style substractive grit.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:02 pm

The difference a Waldorf would bring is proper wavetable synthesis - as far as I know none of your other kit can sweep through a table of waveforms (with that sweep controlled via modulation, envelopes, velocity, etc.) and then put the results through one or more of a variety of filters. I know you say you want keys, but an XT module with a controller keyboard should be within budget. I haven't tried a Blofeld more beyond dabbling in the shop, but my immediate concern was the small and rather pokey bend & mod wheels. Seemed fine otherwise, and I know the Waldorfs generally sound good. An older Microwave rack with analogue filters (the 1st version had those, the 2nd went digital) would also be a possibility if you desperately required genuine analogue filters, but you lose voices and other good features. It's also quite possible to use these things as a regular subtractive-style poly though, so you're not going to be stuck with a one-trick noise machine if you buy one. The wavetables contain the usual analogue waveforms as well as grittier material.

As for the Korg DW8000, I doubt it would sound like the Poly61. The waveforms are quite nice, and the synth has a very solid, almost brash sound at times.

Other options include the Oberheim Matrix 6, but it's not much fun to program I think.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by bendragon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:36 pm

nathanscribe wrote:The difference a Waldorf would bring is proper wavetable synthesis - as far as I know none of your other kit can sweep through a table of waveforms (with that sweep controlled via modulation, envelopes, velocity, etc.) and then put the results through one or more of a variety of filters. I know you say you want keys, but an XT module with a controller keyboard should be within budget. I haven't tried a Blofeld more beyond dabbling in the shop, but my immediate concern was the small and rather pokey bend & mod wheels. Seemed fine otherwise, and I know the Waldorfs generally sound good. An older Microwave rack with analogue filters (the 1st version had those, the 2nd went digital) would also be a possibility if you desperately required genuine analogue filters, but you lose voices and other good features. It's also quite possible to use these things as a regular subtractive-style poly though, so you're not going to be stuck with a one-trick noise machine if you buy one. The wavetables contain the usual analogue waveforms as well as grittier material.

As for the Korg DW8000, I doubt it would sound like the Poly61. The waveforms are quite nice, and the synth has a very solid, almost brash sound at times.

Other options include the Oberheim Matrix 6, but it's not much fun to program I think.
Several reasons why I want keys, but long story short; playing style and facilities do not allow racks. Part nit pick, part having to also cram a bed in the same room. The keys will fit on the 6 tier stand I already own. :)

Wavetable is a distinct possibility. The blofeld fits that rather well - its 60mb sample memory for custom samples could open doors to interesting sounds. Grunge from the VZ mixed with textures from the ESQ through its filter. Could be fun.

Any experiance with the MS2000? All the stuff I've seen just has people gushing over it - is it a tweakers dream like they say?

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:21 pm

Not personally. Had a MicroKorg, thought it was crud, and haven't seriously considered a new Korg since.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by bendragon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:44 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Not personally. Had a MicroKorg, thought it was crud, and haven't seriously considered a new Korg since.
Don't blame you after being subjected to that thing.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by Dr. Phibes » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:57 pm

High likelihood of useless advice to follow...

..but how about the Kawai Sx-240? Never owned one, but they look/sound interesting to me. It may be a bit too juno-ish, but 2 osc per voice + sub osc should offer some potential. There's just one big rotary knob though and lots of buttons. Price should fall within the £500 because they're not hyped like the Junos; of course, there may be a reason why they're not hyped :?

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by bendragon » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:10 pm

Dr. Phibes wrote:High likelihood of useless advice to follow...

..but how about the Kawai Sx-240? Never owned one, but they look/sound interesting to me. It may be a bit too juno-ish, but 2 osc per voice + sub osc should offer some potential. There's just one big rotary knob though and lots of buttons. Price should fall within the £500 because they're not hyped like the Junos; of course, there may be a reason why they're not hyped :?
They are very nice synths - anyone I've asked who has one would rather cut off their own leg than sell it. Though, just like the Juno's, from the demo's I've heard they're bright and cheery sounding synths.

If you have experiance with an AX80 or MS2000, that would be grand :D

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:28 pm

I didn't own an MS200 but did own the Radias. The main issue I have with the MS is it's only 4 voices (Radias is 24). Both models are nice, knobby machines that would complement the other gear you have.
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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by computron » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:35 pm

I have personal experience with the DW MS2000 Virus b Poly61 Microkorg and AX 80.if you liked your poly61 the DW is near to it in tone. The DWGS waveforms sound better of course on the DW then the MS and microkorg. Four note poly is a down side on the VAs but I still love mine for what they do.no crazy analog soud though .the virus comes much closer to analog sounds as a VA then the Korg VAs for wild sounds.The AX80 is the wildest synth I mentioned out of the bunch.Strings are not the greatest on ax80 but it can do dark crazy pads pretty good.I recommended it everyone who wants a industrial sounding analog for all its crazy sounds.beware membrane contacts.like the Polaris (awesome sound touchy membranes .another low priced analog you might want to look at is the Korg DSS1.huge synth huge sound .unision is huge on it.has the DW waves plus you can drawn your own wich is niffity
Last edited by computron on Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by nogginj » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:41 pm

ms2000 is great just cause so much is accessible right there - 4 voices might be a limiting factor though.

yamaha an1x sounds really awesome and has a pretty gnarly step sequencer similar to the ms2000. not as knobby but still easy enough to operate as most editing is a button press then knob turn. the modulation matrix is more complex on the yamaha too.

finally the alesis ion really does sound great.

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Re: Crazy Analogue on a budget

Post by computron » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:45 pm

As for the kawai sx240 my favorite poly I own.though its like the polysix meets a Juno. Lush lush lush awesome filter but not as wld as a AX 80.Its limted in the wild sounds department.pads can get pretty wild and 8 voices Porto and gliss can make some wild big sounds .its a Mega analog poly but limited in wild. Does every basic sound well a all around 8 voice monster.being able to self oscillate dually gets as wild as the 240 can get for a analog video game like sound.
Last edited by computron on Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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