what are some good affordable rack mounts?

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Re: what are some good affordable rack mounts?

Post by CS_TBL » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:01 pm

As for DX7 vs TX81z: the TX has 8 operator waveforms iirc, the DX7 only has 1 (a sine). You need like 2 or 3 waveforms on a DX7 to create what's a single operator on a TX81z, possible by also sacrificing the only feedback loop you can have, so the reduced amount of operators in the TX isn't all that bad. At the same time, an operator waveform in the TX will always be that waveform. A DX7 would need more operators to form a complex operator, but at the same time there's hundreds o' ways to add variations. And that isn't to underestimate: the best sounds come from nuances, and those TX waveforms may be so extreme, in a spectral way, that they lack these nuances.

Personally I'd skip a hardware FM synth unless you're a geek with menu diving and fixed algorithms. They simply can't stand in the shadow of having an FM (VST) plug-in with flexible FM paths and a large monitor to watch it all happening. And aye: that's coming from someone who has a DX7, FS1r and SY77.. :mrgreen:
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Re: what are some good affordable rack mounts?

Post by Pro5 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:27 pm

But he wasn't asking for software?

I use FM8 a lot and it doesn't 'replace' my SY/TG77. For the simpler FM hardware stuff maybe (and it does more but doesn't have the same weight/grit!) but the TG77 has a bit of mojo and the hardware coming in helps add some dimensionality to a mix that may otherwise be all software. I don't mean FM8 is only for 'simple' FM stuff - I know it can do stuff no hardware can, but it doesn't do everything nor does it's basic sound replace FM hardware fully.

I do love FM8 though - probably my most used softsynth. I get a very different 'feel' using, playing and programming FM8 vs the SY/TG77 though - and that is something I can't put a price on. FM8 is a 'tool' nothing more, the SY77 is more than the sum of it's parts.

I also have ZERO problem programming it from it's screen (TG is a bit less fun for that) I find solid buttons and well defined click/increments and hardware representation somehow more inspiring to program than inifinite smooth / easy mouse movement on a soft synth edit screen - why I don't use software editors for my synths too! It takes away something from my quest to make a good sound. On FM8 it's hard to know when you are done as it's too easy to tweak forever, on the hardware - done is when it sounds good, and it's instant recall no turning on the PC, loading the synth, setting the midi etc.

And that's coming from someone who has owned a lot of FM

And TX81z is a cool little grimy unit but no way does it compare to a DX7 (esp the MK2 or S with the extra features) and shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as the epic TG77 :)

So anyway my overall vote for best rackmount under £300 would go to TG77. Above £300 would be JD-990. Above £600 I guess you are getting into analog - MKS-80. Oh another cool cheapy is the DCO MKS-30 (Very close to JX-3P) but you have to watch for dying voice chips like the Juno 106.

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Re: what are some good affordable rack mounts?

Post by MrFrodo » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:23 pm

If I were in the market, I'd pick a Roland MKS70 or an Oberheim Matrix-1000 for analog.
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Re: what are some good affordable rack mounts?

Post by garranimal » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:24 am

Synthetech wrote:An old school digital/analog hybrid unit is the Korg EX800. The wedge version of Poly 800.
I was surprised the EX-8000 hasn't been mentioned yet. The rack version of the massive DW-8000 analog poly and worth every bit of $200-300.

On the TX81Z I'm so taken with them I've got two chained together for even/odd notes.

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Re: what are some good affordable rack mounts?

Post by bgi » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:18 am

Maybe a JV-1080? I do like the MKS-70 for the price.

I was going to say D-550 because they were cheap a few years ago. But wow - they have gone up!
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Re: what are some good affordable rack mounts?

Post by tamla » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:21 pm

I've missed out on some cracking rackmounts this year in the £250 region, the latest kick in the teeth being a Cheetah MS-6.

I'll throw a couple of different options into the ring - GEM 2R, and the Technics SX-WSA1R. I've picked up the keyboard versions this year for silly money (£75 and £200 respectively), and they are quite tidy, so I would imagine the racks are pretty reasonable when they appear.

I've picked up some excellent gear for well under £100:
Yamaha TG500, and a TG55 - these are not that expensive these days. AWM2 business - very nice digital synths with decent filters and polyphony. The TG55 was quite suprising as I thought it would be poor, but the fx do make some of the sounds quite pleasant.
Yamaha TX81z (as many people have mentioned) - I have a soft spot for mine although I use my DX21 more (sounds grittier + has the chorus effect).
Quasimidi Technox - mid-90s rompler that is probably a bit cheesy by todays standards. Not much you can do with the editing, but it's very useful.
Akai SG01v - a small half unit rompler with very limited editing, but these sound great.
Korg 05R/W - very cheap (sub £50) and cheerful AI2 half unit, based on the X3. Has GM as well.

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