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Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:29 pm
by T0tvm
I'm semi-new to synthesizers and I'm looking to buy something for a post-punk project in the vein of early The Cure, mixed with some newer influences. So far I've really liked the sound of a Roland RS-09 though I've only watched videos of it online.
Now I wonder if there are any newer affordable synths that could have a similar sound? It could be both analogue and digital, though I prefer synths with buttons and knobs over sub-menus on screens for when playing live.

As I'm a student I'd prefer for it not to be too expensive.
So far I'm thinking of buying an old RS-09, but I'm hesitant and want to see what options are available.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:45 pm
by commodorejohn
Good question. I don't know that there are too many modern stringers out there, but there's the Waldorf Streichfett at least.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:54 pm
by T0tvm
Yes, I've been recommended the Streichfett and I've considered it. I'd just like to hear about other options! Also since I would need to invest in a functioning midi-keyboard for the Streichfett.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:03 pm
by commodorejohn
Yep. Plus, from what I've read, it doesn't substitute for the lush Roland/Solina type stringers so much as for the JMJ Eminent 310 style. But I've never used one myself, so who knows.

It's actually kind of surprising that (as far as I know) nobody's done a modern analog stringer yet.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:09 pm
by garranimal
What is not too expensive, specifically? Under $1000? Under $500.?
As commodorejohn says Streichfett is all about that old string sound w/ a built-in phaser and all.
It's a one-off thing to see a new product emulation of that old string sound. Streichfett is unique in that way.
Otherwise you will have to go old school.
In order from cheap to more expensive:
Roland RS-101, 202
The JX-8P gets great string synth sounds and built-in chorus, but some menu editing.
Elka Rhapsody
Crumar Orchestrator/Multiman-S
Moog Opus-3
Logan String Melody II are more common in Europe, rare in USA
ARP Omni used by Joy Division, most need TLC and prices run up by repair costs/demand.
The Cure used an ARP Solina on Just Like Heaven, sometimes those can be had under $1000
Korg Polysix has a great ensemble for strings, but costly due to demand/repair costs.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:46 pm
by tim gueguen
commodorejohn wrote:
It's actually kind of surprising that (as far as I know) nobody's done a modern analog stringer yet.
It's another one of those sounds that most people are willing to accept from a more general synth as "good enough," and that the manufacturers figure there isn't a big enough market for a limited stringer keyboard.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:40 am
by Stab Frenzy
I use my Ultranova for those kinds of sounds, it's pretty easy to get strings with a bunch of saws and some fx.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:04 am
by T0tvm
I was hoping for something under 750 Dollars or so.

There's a lot of good answers here, thank you! Keep them coming!
I'm watching videos on Youtube, trying to learn all these great synths and make a good decision. And trying to decide for myself if I can afford vintage gear with all repairs and such.

I wish there was a modern analogue stringer though, definitely.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:56 am
by Ashe37
I just don't know enough electronics to be able to reverse engineer a stringer circuit, sorry. been trying, seriously.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:36 pm
by commodorejohn
Ashe37 wrote:I just don't know enough electronics to be able to reverse engineer a stringer circuit, sorry. been trying, seriously.
The basic concept is really simple, it's just a series of divide-down stages generating a pile of sawtooth waveforms, run through a nice chorus/ensemble effect.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:31 pm
by madtheory
commodorejohn wrote:Yep. Plus, from what I've read, it doesn't substitute for the lush Roland/Solina type stringers so much as for the JMJ Eminent 310 style. But I've never used one myself, so who knows.

It's actually kind of surprising that (as far as I know) nobody's done a modern analog stringer yet.
The Eminent 310 was the first stringer commercially released, and the Solina was a cheaper version made by the same company.

I guess "lush" is subjective- IMO the Eminent is a much fuller sound than the the Roland or the Solina, and personally I find the character of those two manufacturer's offerings to be quite distinctively different.

Agree with what Stab said, it's a great synth. The Waldorf is damn good, IMO. So is the GForce GSM plugin. So is a Casio CZ programmed right, with onboard chorus added! It really does do a good stringer. After all, as you describe, the basic concept is simple. IMO there's nothing to be gained here with analogue circuitry, since the waveforms/ pitches from the divide down circuit are very stable compared to, say, an SSM oscillator, and you still have the age old problem of either having one VCA for all the notes (c**p) or one per note (noisy, unreliable, gets expensive). Plus digital models of vintage chorussing are spot on these days. IMO.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:14 pm
by commodorejohn
Actually, now that you mention it, you could probably get just as good results with digital oscillators/envelopes and the output routed through a nice analog chorus, especially since (as I understand it) most stringer "sawtooth" waveforms are stepped digital-style anyway (since they're generally created by mixing successive divide-down octaves of square waves, which pretty much works out to creating a binary n-bit counter...)

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:00 pm
by garranimal
as madtheory says the G-Force software VSM Virtual String Machine (not GSM) is pretty amazing. I have it and it has ARPs, Rolands, Eminent, and even Oberheim strings and more. Has a built-in phaser effect as well.

There is another thread at http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... =1&t=82883 which talks about effects processors that could be used to achieve this string ensemble effect.

Lastly, another piece needs mentioning that is probably way out of your budget - but a newer item that has the luscious string ensemble chorus emulation - is the Nord Lead A1 KB and rack version where the string ensemble happens at 6:27.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:08 pm
by Ashe37
Yep, but my idea was to squeeze it into a 1U rackmount... I even dug up schematics to use as reference. Maybe shortly i'll have time to look into it again.

Re: Synths similar to the RS-09?

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:05 am
by wiss
the Roland RS 09 can usually be found for $100 to $200 on Craigslist, swap meets, pawn shops, guitar shops, and thrift shops.