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8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:34 pm
by fzp52j
Im looking for a good super synth. One that is capable of layering sounds together and has tons of modulation / sound capabilities. Im not a fan of DCO but I have a P08 which is good. There arent many options out there that I cN think of thst have been made in the last 30-40 years. These are the synths that I can think of. I do crappy youtube sound evaluations of most of these over and over everyday to see what direction to go in. And i missing any that fit into the dual VCO/DCO, 8+ voice with layering capaibilities? I wish there were more to choose from.

Prophet 08 (already have it, love it, but lacks a wide tonal range of sound in filters/oscillators)
Kawai SX240 (plasticy DCOs, only square wave on dco2, HP filter is weak, etc)
Jupiter 8
Andromeda A6 (awesome, but always buzzy sounding...like white noise is always stuck on)
Oberheim expander (terrible interface, but otherwise very intriguing, I assume it does layering)
Yamaha CS80 (someone needs to give me a CS80)

What am I forgetting?...and share your opinions of the sound and capabilities and whats your favorite!?

Can oberheim OBX or OB8 do layering and have a ton of mod capabilities?
Akai AX80 ? (layering? weak modulation capabilities?, flat DCO sound, somewhat unknobby control design)
Memorymoog (how many voices? layering?....Ive heard these things rock)
Arp chroma (layering? control? $$$$:($$$ )
Hmm I thought I had a few more in.mind. cant remember.

Im looking for top notch sound modulation and sound quality now. the best of the best. Ive went through all the rest and habe kept what I like. Now id like to start experimenting with the badest of the bad! Would like some outside opinion on where to start!

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:51 pm
by Dr. Phibes
Matrix-12? Expensive as h**l but probably in the same region as the J8. 12 voice polyphony, 2 VCO per voice, multitimbral (not sure to what extent), h**l of a lot of modulation possibilities and so on and so forth.

I've heard it can be a bit of a pain to program owing to lack of knobs but taking the time to learn Oberheim's matrix system is worth it in my opinion; it offers the most flexibility you're going to get out of an analogue synth without going modular.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:21 pm
by nvining
Rhodes Chroma. Each dual voice card has two VCOs, VCAs, and VCFs; they can then be layered in any one of sixteen (!) different routing combinations. You can even throw a ring modulator in there for Extra Happy Funtime.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:32 pm
by nathanscribe
Roland JX-10, with the PG-800 programmer for easier tweaking - 12 voice in single layer mode, 6 voice in layered. Each voice has 2 DCOs, noise, sync/and a bunch of modulation - not too much to get lost in, enough to get playful with. Layering two detuned 2-osc pads (with each osc detuned already) is a good way to big thick pads. Nice 76-key keybed too, with velocity and aftertouch, and 4 outputs for any combination from single mono out to dual stereo.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:54 pm
by schmidtc
Don't forget the Prophet T8 and OBXa. Personally, I'd favor the Matrix 12 out of all these options, but judging by the market, I'm in the minority. Matrix 6, Xpander and Jupiter 6 Europa V2, can layer also if you play one handed. oh and the Prophet VS if you wanna get crazy.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:05 pm
by plus321
Xpanders are 6 voices and they can layer some combination of the 6; like 3 and 3 or 2 and 4 etc. I think the interface on the xpander is pretty good actually. It's nice and clean and practically everything is 2 button presses away with a button for each module. I think the xpander can make a good bass sound, despite what other people say, but it won't snap like a pro-one, but I've never heard a poly synth that could.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:23 pm
by phesago
plus321 wrote:Xpanders are 6 voices and they can layer some combination of the 6; like 3 and 3 or 2 and 4 etc. I think the interface on the xpander is pretty good actually. It's nice and clean and practically everything is 2 button presses away with a button for each module. I think the xpander can make a good bass sound, despite what other people say, but it won't snap like a pro-one, but I've never heard a poly synth that could.

Agreed. To further the point, I think only people who have never touched an xpander would say the interface is terrible. It's not 1 knob per function, but honestly, depending on the synth, I wouldnt always want 1 knob per function. I like the bass sounds I have gotten from the Xpander. The hidden preset is great for that honestly. I also prefer the noise generator on it when compared to most synth's noise generators. Layering is super simple on it as well. You can even edit your layered sounds as well, while playing that is. However, you cant save in edited presets in multimode though.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:46 pm
by fzp52j
Wow, lots of good suggestions and opinions. The Xpander and Matrix 12 seem to be the king of modulation capabilities. But for the price, I'm not sure if I want to deal with those means of editing parameters. I'd much rather just pick up a JP8.

Someone suggested the JP6 Europa V2 but its layering is 4 and 2, not 3 and 3, but still neither of those options are very attractive.

I had a JX-10 and PG-200. Didn't like it. To clean, although it was brassy. That was a long time ago though.

Rhodes Chroma.......Hmmm I see a pattern. If you start going up in features, there are really only a VERY select few that dont sacrifice knobs and sliders in order to cut costs or whatever manufactures had going on in their heads at the time.

So basically for a no holds bared experience you have these (opinion of GENERAL sound character described in parenthesis):

Jupiter 8 (sounds Jupiter-ish)
Prophet 08 (warm warm warm and juicy)
Oberheim OBXa (I dunno?? gritty and warm)
Alesis Andromeda A6 (super agressive and gritty)
Prophet T8 (warm warm warm)
CS80 (freakin awesome, spacey and brassy)
Oberheim SEM 8 Voice (Will it also be able to drive me to work???$$$???)

Xpander/Matrix 12 (maybe)
Jupiter 6 (almost)


I'm starting my own company and building a knobby 8 voice, dual VCO, multitimbral synth. I'll be rich. Roland is so misguided right now its not even funny. If I was running that company there would be no such thing as a Jupiter 80. That synth is NOT a Jupiter and everyone knows it. I would make a Jupiter 16 though. mmmmm :shock: :o :shock:

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:28 am
by V301H
Here are the at least 8 voice dual VCO Synths I know about off the top of my head:

OB8 - 8 voices. Layer and split. Many uncommon LFO triggering options.

OB-Xa - available with 4, 6, or, 8 voices. Layer and split.

OBX - available with up to 8 voices. No layer or split.

Matrix 12 - 12 voices. Up to 6 layers and splits and combinations thereof across the keyboard.

CS80 - 8 voices. No layer or split.

Jupiter 8 - 8 voice. Layer and split.

Prophet 10 - 10 voice. Dual 61-note keyboards. Layer.

Prophet T8 - 8 voice. Layer and split. 76-note weighted keyboard.

And one 6 voice to answer your question:

MemoryMoog - 6 voice. 3 VCO's per voice. No layer or split.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:33 am
by fzp52j
V301H wrote:Here are the at least 8 voice dual VCO Synths I know about off the top of my head:

OB8 - 8 voices. Layer and split. Many uncommon LFO triggering options.

OB-Xa - available with 4, 6, or, 8 voices. Layer and split.

OBX - available with up to 8 voices. No layer or split.

Matrix 12 - 12 voices. Up to 6 layers and splits and combinations thereof across the keyboard.

CS80 - 8 voices. No layer or split.

Jupiter 8 - 8 voice. Layer and split.

MemoryMoog - 6 voice. 3 VCO's per voice. No layer or split.

Prophet 10 - 10 voice. Dual 61-note keyboards. Layer.

Prophet T8 - 8 voice. Layer and split. 76-note weighted keyboard.
....and the Oberheim SEM 8 voice and Alesis Andromeda A6. That seems to about cover it. I think price may dictate what I try out first.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:27 am
by synthparts
These are also VCO analogs that can layer sounds -

MKS-80 (8-voice)

CS70M (12-voice)

Voyetra-8 (8-voice)

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:20 am
by GuyaGuy
Poly Evolver KB + Poly Evolver rack :?

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:23 am
by V301H
CS70M. 6-voice. Can be configured as a standard dual VCO 6-voice or as two separate single VCO 6-voice PolySynths. In the latter configuration two different sounds can be layered but with only one VCO in each layer. Can do 2-4 or 4-2 split with single VCO layering possible on each side. Aftertouch. No MIDI but will interface with Yamaha CP35, SK50, possibly others. Kenton MIDI available. Separate output for each channel.

Slight correction on the CS80. It also can do the two single VCO layer with 8-voices. No split. L/R output identical except when Stereo Chorus is engaged. Pre-MIDI.

MKS80. Rackmount Synth Module somewhat similar to a Jupiter 6 but with 8 voices. Layer and split. Dual output. Velocity sensitive. MPG80 programmer desirable. MIDI keyboard controller required. Dual output.

Voyetra 8. Basically eight Octave Cat Synths under microprocessor control. First rackmount Synth Module. Dedicated remote keyboard connected by XLR cable. Can be played with MIDI controller. Most units have XLR instead of DIN for MIDI connection. Velocity/Aftertouch. Layer and split/Stereo output. Somewhat difficult programming interface with 14 pages of control configurations.

Oberheim 8-Voice. Split mode. You can have a different sound on each voice with several voice assignment options. The keyboard is 49-note. Each voice has to be programmed separately so none of the voices will sound exactly the same. Pre-MIDI. Stereo output with Panning.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:30 am
by b3groover
The Mix mode is one of the strongest features of the Andromeda, imo. It's very powerful. From the Sound on Sound review:

"An Andromeda 'Mix' is the same thing as a Korg Combi, a Kawai Multi or a Roland Performance. You use it to layer up to 16 Programs, create keyboard splits with up to 16 regions, or create 16-part multitimbral setups with (if you wish) a different Program responding to each incoming MIDI channel. You can even edit the contained Programs while in a Mix, because Mixes have a useful 16-Program buffer space that does not update or damage the original, saved patches. However... there is only one set of effects in the Andromeda, so you can not allocate different effects to the Programs in a Mix."

I've always wanted to try an Oberheim Matrix 12.

Re: 8+ Voice, Dual VCO/DCO, and Layering Capabilities

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:12 am
by fzp52j
GuyaGuy wrote:Poly Evolver KB + Poly Evolver rack :?
There are only four voices worth of analog oscillators on the PEK.

Oooo the andromeda sounds like the mother of all keyboards when it comes to layering. Its pretty incredible that out od the blue (late nineties???) Alesis had the idea to make a super analog synth. They made a lot of good choices with that synth that you wouldnt expect out od any modern company today.

And I think that Oberheim 8 voice is the runner up for multitimberal keyboards...just a bit too expensive.