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looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:46 pm
by ianmgull
Looking for a new synth for my band. Currently we have an m-audio venom but it's far too buggy and we need to upgrade. Here's what we need:

-multitimbral to at least 2 parts
-keyboard can be split so left/right hand play different sounds
-ability to send each voice to a separate output (on the venom we accomplished this by panning hard left/right)
-4 or 5 octaves
-kobby is better, we're sick of dealing with software editors
-reliable, will be used for liver performance.

I'm looking for any recommendations. It doesn't seem like the new market has a lot to offer (sub $1000) so used is fine. Any ideas?

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:48 pm
by CS_TBL
Supernova II

- can do a lot! (or let's say: I managed to get a decent piano, overblowing shakuachi and solo violin from it.. :)
- 8 part multi-timbral
- effects per part
- keyboard range per part

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec00/a ... vation.asp

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:26 am
by samuraipizzacat29
an1x immediately came to mind. supernova is more "flexible" but an1x has a particular sound to it and can do a lot of bread'n'butter electronic sounds quite well. can be a bear to program, but the an1xedit patch editor and librarian (for windows!) is quite good.

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:12 am
by silikon
I would say the Alesis Ion also fits the bill, and its a great sounding VA for very reasonable funds. I would also suggest, at the higher end of the price spectrum, Roland V-Synth; its not knobby, but all of the parameters can be modified with either the touchscreen or the soft-knobs on front.

Neither are buggy, in my experience; have only gigged with the Ion, not the V-Synth, and it is a pretty solid machine. The only thing I ever had a problem with, was having to solder the outputs due to heavy use and dare I say slight abuse.

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:10 pm
by ianmgull
Thanks for the replies everyone.

The Supernova looks amazing. I would love to have it but it's a little above our price range. (I have the ultranova btw and love it).

I have to admit I'd never heard of the an1x before now. It looks very interesting so I'll look into it some more. From what I've read the interface isn't the best but as long as the features are there I'd definitely consider it.

The Ion seems absolutely perfect for what we're looking for. In fact I've had my eye on that for a while. My concern is that I've read that they are somewhat buggy. I read about outputs suddenly dying or something like that. If this is something that could be fixed fairly easy I'd go for it. Have you had any issues with the ion besides the output? Was the output issue a result of just being rough on the jack or was it a manufacturing problem?

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:35 pm
by stich
I'm curious about the bugginess of the Venom. What's it doing on you?

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:02 pm
by silikon
ianmgull wrote:Have you had any issues with the ion besides the output? Was the output issue a result of just being rough on the jack or was it a manufacturing problem?
No problems other than the outputs as mentioned, and I have to attribute it to being buggered on stage a few times. Ahh, the things one does to entertain a crowd.

In all seriousness, I attribute the connection to 100% user inflicted damage. I had no problems with it ever locking up, or acting oddly -- that's not to say there are no issues, but I had mine for about 4 years and had no problems that were not caused by rough handling.

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:07 pm
by Allthesound
samuraipizzacat29 wrote:an1x immediately came to mind. supernova is more "flexible" but an1x has a particular sound to it and can do a lot of bread'n'butter electronic sounds quite well. can be a bear to program, but the an1xedit patch editor and librarian (for windows!) is quite good.
+1 on the AN1x . It's a killer VA one of my all time favs! The sound definatly has that special something about it. It could have something to do with Yamaha licensing Aphex Aural Exciter algorithms to use in the AN1x. Wish i never got rid of mine.

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:55 pm
by silikon
samuraipizzacat29 wrote:can be a bear to program, but the an1xedit patch editor and librarian (for windows!) is quite good.
ianmgull wrote:-kobby is better, we're sick of dealing with software editors
I don't recall if the AN1x does the following:
ianmgull wrote:-multitimbral to at least 2 parts
-keyboard can be split so left/right hand play different sounds
...that's why I refrained from advancing the AN1x to the next round.
ianmgull wrote:used for liver performance.
I'm not sure I want to know what that entails. ;)

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:11 pm
by samuraipizzacat29
silikon wrote:
ianmgull wrote:-multitimbral to at least 2 parts
-keyboard can be split so left/right hand play different sounds
...that's why I refrained from advancing the AN1x to the next round.
it's a strange kind of multi-timbral. You can assign two different sounds to the scenes, then set the scenes to split wherever you want. so it's not quick and easy multi-timbral, but it will work for keyboard splits.

yet, the fun part about it is you can morph between the scenes (mod wheel, ribbon controller, etc) which nothing is quite like yamaha's implementation.

I don't recommend programming without a computer. it's not that it's THAT difficult, it's just unintuitive. it's a load more flexible using an1xedit for programming.

also, never had an ion (the only VA I haven't had....) but I've heard nothing but good things.

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:55 am
by ianmgull
stich wrote:I'm curious about the bugginess of the Venom. What's it doing on you?

The software editor seems like a beta release that was given up on. Aside from being unintuitive it has quite a bit of erratic behavior for example:

I load a patch and begin to edit it. I tweak for a few minutes and then I want to save the sound. Hitting the "store" button will choose a seemingly random spot to save the sound you're editing as opposed to the actual sound you're editing. If I edit sound C01 and hit store it would ask me for confirmation to save over A68 or some other patch I was nowhere near. Needless to say it's incredibly easy to write over something you don't mean to.

Honestly there's just a multitude of small annoyances like this. At times it would change patches mid song when hooked up to my MPC and I verified that no messages aside from Midi Clock were being sent. MIDI has been around for 30 years and they managed to screw that up. I'm over the thing. Sorry if I'm venting.

Re: looking for a VA with split keyboard and 4+ octaves.

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:27 pm
by stich
ianmgull wrote:I'm over the thing. Sorry if I'm venting.

No, no! Thanks, I appreciate the information. I just bought one myself and noticed that it is pretty buggy just switching patches. The first note you hit will not trigger the patterns assigned to the multis when you cange patches with the selector. You have to hit a key again and it gets unstuck and then will trigger the arpeggiator pattern. Really annoying. But hey, I got it for $200. I do love the sounds and don't intend to use it live. I can deal with quirks in the studio.

Good luck finding a replacement hardware synth. I would just hold out for a Nord 2 Rack. You can find them for around $600 used. Worth saving up for.