The Official Sequential/DSI Forum

OTHER DISCUSSIONS => General Synthesis => Other Hardware/Software => Topic started by: Woland on August 30, 2018, 12:54:23 PM

Title: First Monosynth?
Post by: Woland on August 30, 2018, 12:54:23 PM
Hi guys,

So, I've been a really good boy this summer, working tons of overtime to save up for a mono to complement my Rev2. Only problem is, I can't for the heck of me decide which one to get! Some help/advice would be much appreciated. Here's a rundown of what I've been thinking about (the options):

1. MFB Dominion 1. Sounds awesome. Nice price. Not sure if I could tame her - it sounds quite aggressive in most demos I've heard online, and I guess I'm looking for something more versatile (Dominion 1 could be that, maybe I'me wrong about its aggressive nature).

2. Vermona Perfourmer mkii. Is this even a mono? I love the sound, but, in contrast to the Dominion 1 above, I'm not sure it can be aggressive enough. Again, I'm going on online demos, so, you know...

3. Synthesizers.com Box 11. Sounds wonderful (from the demos I've heard anyway). A bit more expensive and probably more difficult to get my head around (what with all the patching).

4. Moog Subsequent 37. I'm not really feeling it, but it's on the radar, just in case my mind gets changed.

5. Pro 2. I'm on the fence about this one as well.

6. A couple (or three!) Moog Mother-32s. I really like the sound. Not really anything I can add. Does the lack of keys take anything away from the instrument?

7. Korg Mono/Poly. I'm pretty much in love with this synth (based on what I've listened to anyway), but I'm worried that about things like age and maintenance. I've never bought used (never mind vintage!) before, so I'm a bit wary. Also, I've heard that it's not an ideal first mono (poly???).

8. Oberheim Two Voice Pro. Just kidding! Way out of my price range.

I guess the options I've presented speak for themselves in terms of the price range I am looking at. I keep mentioning listening to online demos as a measure for what I will buy. I understand that this is not ideal, but I don't have the luxury of living near any music shops where I could go and demo gear for myself, so online demos are pretty much the only thing I have to go on. I would very much appreciate any advice on this topic, because it's driving me a little crazy (and my wife changes the topic whenever I try to talk about synths - and she's a Depeche Mode fanatic!).

Thanks in advance

Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Bryan_D on August 30, 2018, 02:56:24 PM
If I had a REV 2 and could have only one mono, I'd go with the Moog Grandmother. It's got keys, easy sequencer, semi-modular patching for experimenting, a spring reverb, and it sounds vintage. You can't go wrong with it.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Gomjab on August 30, 2018, 05:18:51 PM
I own a Subsequent 37, a stack of three Mother32s, and the Grandmother.  The Grandmother is by far the best bang for your buck of those synths. The Mother32s work well with the Grandmother but if I were buying today I would buy the Grandmother and skip the Mother-32 for other Eurorack modules to expand the Grandmother.  Considering what you get with Grandmother over the Mother-32 its a much better buy IMHO.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: LoboLives on August 30, 2018, 05:56:44 PM
Moog Grandmother for sure.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: chysn on August 31, 2018, 05:53:18 AM
Grandmother. I mean... spring reverb.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Gomjab on August 31, 2018, 09:07:32 AM
Grandmother. I mean... spring reverb.

Buy two and use those external reverb patch points to create a nice stereo spring reverb for your Prophet X  ;D
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Ant of 12047 on August 31, 2018, 04:37:12 PM
Hell, I've got nowt better to do today, so yep, Grandmother! I've mucked about a few times with one in the shop, loved it, and now covet it. I've got "enough" mono synths in my life, so it's not often one pops up that calls to me so. Lovely creature, Grandmother.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: eXode on September 01, 2018, 01:26:24 AM
Any particular reason that you aren't considering the Korg ARP Odyssey (desktop or keys)?
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: LoboLives on September 01, 2018, 11:31:54 AM
Any particular reason that you aren't considering the Korg ARP Odyssey (desktop or keys)?

I guess most people (rightfully so) donít consider it a Mono Synth since itís technically Duophonic.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Gomjab on September 01, 2018, 12:04:09 PM
Any particular reason that you aren't considering the Korg ARP Odyssey (desktop or keys)?

I guess most people (rightfully so) donít consider it a Mono Synth since itís technically Duophonic.

His list included the duophonic Moog Subsequent 37 and paraphonic Mono/Poly so the ARP should be fair game for discussion.

My first synth was the Korg Poly-Six which my parents helped me buy after taking years of piano lessons and mowing lots of lawns.  The Mono/Poly was sitting next to the Poly-Six in the music store but coming from piano I opted for the six voice polyphony of the Poly-Six and at the time didnít appreciate the Mono/Polyís strengths. 

If I ever find a good deal on a decent Mono/Poly it would be a very tempting purchase!
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Woland on September 01, 2018, 01:08:56 PM
Thanks for all the responses! Seems to be a lot of love for the Moog Grandmother here, and that wasn't even on my radar! Might have to do some more research. As for the Korg ARP, I forgot about it, to be honest. Is it wrong to be more excited about Behringer's clone of the original than Korg's? If it ever comes out, that is...

Any opinions on the other models I mentioned?

By the way, what would be considered a reasonable deal for a Mono/Poly?

Choices, choices...
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: eXode on September 02, 2018, 04:31:41 AM
I think that a Moog like character will go very well with the REV2, be it the Subsequent or the Grandmother.

Two other contenders imho could be the Roland SE-02, if you can live with the small physical footprint, or the Studio Electronics Boomstar, the 5089 model in particular which I've owned and liked very much. The Boomstar is quite expensive though.

I don't know if you have a bias against DCOs but another synth worth mentioning is the Novation Bass Station 2, which I've heard a lot of good things about.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: SandyS1 on September 08, 2018, 01:03:27 PM
I haven't used the others, so can't comment, but: The Dominion 1 can be sweet or heavy and aggressive. The filter sounds a little like the SSM filter in the Polysix/Mono/Poly, but it's got its own character. That being said, don't expect it to have the sugary quality of a Minimoog or an SEM (or the Boomstar version thereof).

One of these days, I'll get around to actually recording a demo of it. Hopefully.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Soundquest on September 13, 2018, 01:36:27 PM
Well Woland,  I'm gonna go out on a limb here being its the DSI forum, mention a DSI product, ;)  and say Pro2.    I chose it over the Dominion 1 as I felt it had more features.   Though, I agree the Dominion is fine and did tempt me with it's sound.

An also wonderful sounding synth you mentioned is the  is the Vermona MK2.   I use it mainly polyphonically, but certainly capable of monophonic, as is typically the case with many synths.

You listed some diverse options. But I will tell you that the Pro 2 and MK2 I use in completely different ways, which makes sense being I had completely different intentions of use when buying each.   To ease you decision making maybe you should try to narrow down an idea on a shape, style and whether it even has keys or not.   

Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: discorules on October 03, 2018, 06:10:38 PM
If i had to choose only one mono synth, it will be definitely a Moog and in your cause, the Sub37 or the Grandmother. The Sub37 is more modern and can save presets. The Grandmother has more the Model D's feel, has semi-modular capabilities but can't save presets. This can be a problem if you plan to use it on a live situation.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: jdt9517 on October 18, 2018, 08:29:37 PM
As for the Korg ARP, I forgot about it, to be honest. Is it wrong to be more excited about Behringer's clone of the original than Korg's? If it ever comes out, that is...


I had a 2nd series original many years ago and used it extensively.  A couple of years ago, I  bought the KARP.  Except for the physical size, it really is true to the original.  I like the sound a lot.  It doesn't have the modern amenities such and patch memory and the MIDI only operates the notes, not the pitch or mod wheels.

If you are just learning about synths, there is a book by David Friend- Learning Music with Synthesizers, which uses the Odyssey to demonstrate all of the basic synth functions.  The two together make a great learning tool.  The book is out of print, but it's pretty easy to locate both print and online. 
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Woland on October 22, 2018, 08:25:55 AM
So, I ended up pulling the trigger on a Mono/Poly. Won't be able to play it until Thursday, though. I guess I'll see then whether it was a sound decision or not!
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on October 22, 2018, 08:36:29 AM
That's a nice instrument.  I hope you like it.  What's not to like about it, presuming it's in decent condition?
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Woland on October 22, 2018, 08:53:40 AM
Oh, I love everything I've heard from the Mono/Poly! I guess I sounded a bit gloomy in my previous post! Not at all. I can't wait to get my hands on it!
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on October 22, 2018, 11:22:41 AM
It's sort of the predecessor of the DSI Pro2.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: jdt9517 on October 22, 2018, 08:05:39 PM
Let us know what you think of it!
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Woland on October 25, 2018, 05:00:10 AM
I've only managed to tinker with it for an hour or so, but oh my word! I can't get a bad sound out of this synth! And I'm usually very good at coaxing bad sounds out of my Rev2! Just wonderful...
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: SandyS1 on October 25, 2018, 06:54:38 AM
I've only managed to tinker with it for an hour or so, but oh my word! I can't get a bad sound out of this synth! And I'm usually very good at coaxing bad sounds out of my Rev2! Just wonderful...

My experience on the Polysix was like that--almost everything is a sweet spot. I blame the SSM filter. On the other hand, the architecture on the Polysix is extremely limited compared to the Mono/Poly, so it's really cool they managed that kind of usability with it.
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Gomjab on October 25, 2018, 02:11:52 PM
I've only managed to tinker with it for an hour or so, but oh my word! I can't get a bad sound out of this synth! And I'm usually very good at coaxing bad sounds out of my Rev2! Just wonderful...

My experience on the Polysix was like that--almost everything is a sweet spot. I blame the SSM filter. On the other hand, the architecture on the Polysix is extremely limited compared to the Mono/Poly, so it's really cool they managed that kind of usability with it.

The PolySix was my first synth.  When I was looking at synthesizers they had a PolySix next to a MonoPoly.  Coming from a piano background I went for the six voice polyphony. I loved the PolySix but if I could go back in time I think the MonoPoly would have taught me a lot more about programming! 
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: megamarkd on October 28, 2018, 06:57:30 PM
I've only managed to tinker with it for an hour or so, but oh my word! I can't get a bad sound out of this synth! And I'm usually very good at coaxing bad sounds out of my Rev2! Just wonderful...

My experience on the Polysix was like that--almost everything is a sweet spot. I blame the SSM filter. On the other hand, the architecture on the Polysix is extremely limited compared to the Mono/Poly, so it's really cool they managed that kind of usability with it.

The PolySix was my first synth.  When I was looking at synthesizers they had a PolySix next to a MonoPoly.  Coming from a piano background I went for the six voice polyphony. I loved the PolySix but if I could go back in time I think the MonoPoly would have taught me a lot more about programming!

Getting given a "broken" MS-20 was like being given a crash-course in synthesis.  It wasn't broken, just the 1st owner couldn't program it to make a 'playable' (pitched) sound, even having a hard-routed signal as it does.

With regards to the original topic, I'd personally choose out of the options the Mother 32(s), as it is so much like how I started, but so much more!
Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: BobTheDog on December 10, 2018, 11:43:51 AM
So, I ended up pulling the trigger on a Mono/Poly. Won't be able to play it until Thursday, though. I guess I'll see then whether it was a sound decision or not!

A bit late to reply here but that has to be a good buy, it is a classic for a reason.

Title: Re: First Monosynth?
Post by: Woland on December 21, 2018, 03:15:36 AM
Oh, it's awesome! It's just not in my setup right now, as I have to ship it (or take it myself) from the UK to Russia, where I am currently living. Trying to work out exactly how to do that one...