Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

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Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Joey » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:57 pm

Hey all,

so I've gotten the itch for a hardware sampling keyboard lately - my MD UW has really gotten me into sample mangling, and I'd like something that can go even further

I read a couple articles that described the kurzweil K2000 as one of the best samplers ever, trent reznor even calling it "turbosynth in a box". How easy are these to use in today's floppiless day and age? Does the newer kurz stuff compare in terms of sound mangling capability?

I also read an autechre interview where they mention their ensoniq EPS 16 and how it blows away a ton of other samplers. considering they are pretty crazy with their sound design, I'm wondering if this claim holds true, especially today.

I quite enjoy digidesign's turbosynth for mangling samples, but I can only take so much of using a computer for sound design...

How about the V synth, how does it stack up against all of these? does it do more or less?

Basically what I'm looking for is a keyboard sampler with a serious amount of sound f**k capability, and serious ease of use when it comes to importing samples.

so, any suggestions guys?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by ninja6485 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:45 pm

ok, so it's not a keyboard, and it's not standalone, but if there's anything you wanted to do with or to a sampled piece of audio, you can do it using NI maschine. it might not have as characteristic of a sound as the old hardware samplers, and you need some sort of computer with you to play stuff live unless you want to just play the exported sounds with something dirt cheap, but when it comes to serious sound f**k capability, maschine has it in spades.

*and if your polar has the multi feature like the ti, you can use it in conjunction with multiple virus patches simultaneosly via midi :idea:
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Joey » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:05 am

I have battery - not buying maschine.
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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by colmon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:33 am

the ensoniq samplers were the main instrument of many glitch artists in the 90s, due to their ability to modulate loop-points. this allows you to, for example, time stretch a sample in real time

this was used extensively by autechre on their pre-max msp records. in particular, they would set loop-points beyond the length of the actual sample (or something like that), triggering a glitch that made the sampler spit out all samples in its current memory at random

tons of artists used this function of the eps-16/asr-10 in the 90s -- kid 606, jan jelinek, and fennesz to name a few

check out fennesz's album hotel paral.lel on mego for a good example of the ensoniq's capabilities. made entirely on an asr-10 (big brother of the eps-16), with guitar as the only sample source. its way better than anything autechre have ever done and should give you a good idea of what the ensoniqs are capable of:


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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by portland » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:12 am

I used the EPS for a while, tried the loop point trick and all that. The DSP "synthesize" effect created some interesting things, but it was very unpredictable. There's no way you could sit down with a sound in your head and mangle samples to get there. Also it took a while to process, so just playing around with it until you got a good sound would take some time. The EPS16 and ASR probably probably have faster processors, but this is still something to keep in mind.

More importantly, the sound quality of the EPS was terrible. Sure, the ASR and the EPS16+ undoubtedly sound better, but I think there could be a reason why pros in the 90s did film soundtracks with Roland S760s, Kurzweils, Akais, Emus, rather than Ensoniqs. I would have kept some of the sounds I made with the EPS, but they were always too lofi. You could always tell it was coming from a vintage sampler, so it wasn't useful for sound designs when I wanted a sound that you wouldn't immediately associate with a sampler.

I haven't used a kurzweil or a v-synth yet, but I like the sounds I've heard from. They seem much more fresh than the Ensoniqs, and I would prefer to do things in realtime (as on the V-synth) with a plan rather than spend an afternoon waiting for an Ensoniq to slowly make interesting but mostly unpredictable sounds.

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Hugo76 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:07 pm

@ colmon:
Thanks! Interesting info.

@ Joey:
I would go for the V-Synth - it has some fantastic features & awesome controllers enabling unprecedented realtime control.

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by speak_onion » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:48 pm

Joey wrote:Hey all,
sample mangling
Serious question: What does this mean?

I see this phrase a lot, and it's often used as though everyone reading it will know what it means. I don't know what it means. I've worked with samplers for years and I've done things to change the things I've sampled (FX, stretching, pitching, reversing, looping), but it's so broad that I wouldn't ever use that phrase and expect anyone to know what I'm talking about. But I dont' talk to a lot of people who use samplers, so maybe there's something universal about that phrase and I just don't know it.

Also, what about a Blofeld? I've never used one, but maybe someone who has can weigh in on whether it's good at "sample mangling."

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by balma » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:04 am

I had a Kurzweil K2000, and actually own the Vsynth since 4 years ago. So here are my 2 cents:

Kurzweil..... high, very ver high quality audio, components, controllers, incredible keyboard, very extensive response to control after touch.

Now, its technology manipulating samples is to sit down in fron of it, and editing a sample set, for about two days.

The strings and acoustics on this keyboard are the best I ever heard.... really. They are multisample based.

The programming workflow is kind of tedious, V.A.S.T is not for everyone, but the results are brilliant. The sampler on the K2000 is oriented to the multisample edition. This means, you want to sample your luxury violing and set it on a keyboard note by note. you can with Kurzweil. But you'll ran out of memory soon. Loading process are slow, this for age of this synth.

Now, the V synth is an experimental sampling station. I would consider this, the dream of the samplers freaks, if each patch could have more than 2 samples.

Sampling on the V synth is very very comfortable. Is a fast synth, ,you can load a huge project of 512 patches, and 300 samples, in a matter of seconds with the usb, and the V synth librarian.

Now, on each patch, you can spread 16 zones, of two samples each one, along the keyboard. This allows you to create keyboard mapping of 32 samples each one.

Formant can be assigned to the keyboards zone. there are FM link, and other types of ring two samples into one sound,. Then, you can resample, and add more layers.

varyphrase, allows a very intuitive manipulation of the pitch of the samples along the keyboard. I mean, if you sample C3, C2 and C4 will sound good, I assure you. the samples does not lose punchiness in around 2 octaves surrounding the sampled note.

GReat effect section, and what I tell you, I never touched a more friendly user interface than this one. Is a synth, that you when learn to play it, you'll never sell it, because EVERYTHING is on the surface, controllers are even duplicated, touch the screen, or reach a knob, is up to you.

And it's around $700, go for it Joey. Sound quality is better on the kurzweil, intensive ADSR. Sample mangling, is the V synth speciality
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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Hugo76 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:22 am

Great summary on the V-Synth, balma! And I totally agree, the V is a fantastic machine and very user friendly at the same time. That's not always the case with synths/samplers.

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:18 am

Yeah V-Synth can turn samples inside out in amazing ways, so many realtime controllers that can be assigned to stuff. Also it's really well built and works great as a controller. I keep saying these are going to be serious collectors items in a few years, it's insane that they go for as little as a Juno at the moment.

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Joey » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:51 am

how does the V synth compare to VAST?
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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:14 pm

I haven't gotten right into VAST, just a bit of preset tweaking on a K2500 for a thing at work a while ago. I honestly couldn't accurately compare them.

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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by impaler42 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:45 pm

I have recently gotten a Kurzweil K2vx (in the K2000 series) and I am highly impressed by its VAST architecture. Ive never had a sampler keyboard before. The disk drive is very easy to use and handy. I have loaded it up with some of the best sounds I could find created by professional sound designers online. There is a great user community and forum online specifically for VAST. Its massive sounding. I think its much better than the Vsynth in my opinion. The kinds of sounds you can get out of this baby is sick and its quite easy to use with the help of the online resources. The one thing the Vsynth has that intrigues me is the D-beam.
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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by calyx93 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:02 pm

I'd say try the V-Synth for the immediacy/speed - sure it doesn't have a ton of memory, the zone solution for multisampling isn't all that fun if you're used to traditional samplers and variphrase has a certain identifiable quality to it, but nothing beats it for real-time interactive sample manipulation. It'll make you grin like a fool once you start messing with it.
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Re: Kurzweil VS V synth VS Turbosynth VS Ensoniq

Post by balma » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:39 pm

impaler42 wrote:I think its much better than the Vsynth in my opinion. The kinds of sounds you can get out of this baby is sick and its quite easy to use with the help of the online resources. The one thing the Vsynth has that intrigues me is the D-beam.

D beam on the V synth is uselesss... they placed it in a position where it interfers with the controls, so it's very easy to activate it by accident, if you put your hand near to it in order to tweak something. I simple disconnected it.

Functionality of V.A.S.T. from Kurzweil and Variphrase from Roland depends of the application you give to it. For modern tasks, I found more useful the V synth. For sound designing based only on user samples, is better the Kurzweil:

On VAST, each sample can be edited in a very detailed way before being processed when assigned inside a patch. That's the main difference on general terms with the Vsynth and most of the samplers-workstations. I can set the filter, parametric EQ, automatic normalization of the dB, distortion, and other parameters I don't remember.

For example, you know that a filter on HPF on high amounts, reduces the volume or gain of a sample and waveforms. On VAST you can define wich frequencies you are filtering on samples before assign them to a patch. And then, adding 24 dB to them, to bring the sound louder. This results on sharp sounds, that later can be filtered again with LPF for very interesing effects.



On the Vsynth, sampling is more traditional. BUT is a great synth for recording samples. You have PRE-EFFECTS before sampling..

On most of samplers, you just have LINE IN and MIC. On the V synth, you can sample using

COMPRESSION
LIMITER
NOISE SUPRESSOR

The compressor can define sustain, attach, tone and level out from 0 to 24+.

It has even TEMPLATES of pre programmed settings for sampling, that can be stored and later recalled in a milisecond.

You can define the tempo of a sample, loop region settings, reverse, etc, all before use that sample in a patch.

Now, the core of the samples on V synth is the ENCODING.

You can encode a sample for:

LITE: default encoding, does not affect the pitch of the sound with variphrase
SOLO: for monophonic wind instruments. With solo you can control formant and the voice robot function.

BACKING: great for high attack like drums.

ENSEMBLE: heaviest of all the encodes (sample will consume more memory) for pads, choirs strings. Backing and Ensemble does not allow the use of FORMANT.

For acoustic instruments sampling, Kurzweil can't be better. Is simple perfect for regulating string tremolos, great ensembles of distinct strings sampled and filtered to create rich effects thanks to very detailed parametric EQ programmation.

Also, nothing better on keyboard bed, weight of the keys, durability and reall time control, and CAT. Kurzweil rocks on scenario. If you are skilled on keyboard performance, this is your synth.

But for OVERALL functions of sampling all kind of things, V synth is simple awesome. I would love to see this simple but effective way of reasoning on other synths of the same date.

i have owned (yes I know... bla bla bla) several sampling workstations: K2000, Motif, EX5, SY99, TS10 (not sampler but played samples) since I love to have incorporated sampling along rompler technology for more possibilities And I kept the V synth. And I will never, ever could sell such wonderful tool for sound design based on user sampling and experimentation.

Agree with S.Frenzy , V synth is totally underrated. I was surprised to to find bad opinions about it on the web. Anyone who says is roland c**p, just didn't use it properly. Lots of persons, just compare it with latest Roland products. V synth is apart from all the latest merchandising from Roland.

Is so, so fast and comprehensive synth. It brings high detailed programmation to the surface with a very intuitive interface. Is truly a professional instrument, that can be used studio or live, for sound design or performance.

I hope the detailed explanation helps....


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