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OTHER DISCUSSIONS => General Synthesis => Other Hardware/Software => Topic started by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 07:58:02 AM

Title: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 07:58:02 AM
I have been searching for years now for a specific type of synthesizer.  I've wasted countless hours late at night reading thousands of forum posts, and as many opinions have only led me away from common sense.  In other words, reading so many varied opinions tends to obscure my own certainties, and the short-lived desire to grab always the latest new synthesizer - the one getting all the glitzy marketing and forum attention - has the absurd effect of making me want what I know I neither want nor need.

My musical needs are wonderfully met, regarding polyphonic synthesis, by the Poly Evolver Keyboard and the Prophet '08.  Whatever musical objectives I have in mind at any time are happily fulfilled by these two instruments.  However, I'd like to have one dedicated instrument that is at all times reserved and programmed for melodic uses.  The upper P'08 in my set up usually serves this purpose well, but I'd like to improve on it, if I can.  I know exactly what I'm searching for, my needs are simple but specific, and here are my requirements:

1) Keyboard - This is my favorite part of any synthesizer.  I need a bare minimum of 44 keys, a high-quality keybed, and preferably aftertouch as well.

2) Tone - It must be warm and rich.  Classic old school but refined analog timbre is what I'm after.  And by the way, I've no interest in the usual analog vs. digital debates.  My stubborn Irish mind is made up, so let's move on.

3) Oscillator - There must be two or three complete and very stable oscillators (not subs), with triangle, sawtooth, and pulse waveforms, plus white noise.  Keyboard tracking must allow the oscillator beating rate to be the same at both ends of the keyboard.

4) LFO - There must be no fewer than two LFOs for simultaneous vibrato and pulse width modulation set to different amounts and rates.  A dedicated vibrato LFO would work.

5) LFO Delay - Aftertouch is no substitute for a fine and evenly controlled LFO depth.  I need the ability to control vibrato amount with a four-stage envelope.

6) Envelopes - There must be two or three four-stage envelopes.  Delay is not necessary.

7) Module - This is not absolutely necessary, but it will eventually become an issue.  I must have the ability, somehow, to achieve a stereo depth with the instrument.  It's  essential to the sound I'm after.  This means either a keyboard version MIDI-ed to a module version of the same instrument, two identical modules, or else, combining the instrument with an entirely different module.

Additionally, I'd like to have a high pass filter and onboard delay, but these are not absolutely necessary.

Everything on this short list of requirements is common and ordinary.  As I said, my needs as a synthesist are simple but specific.  Amazingly, it has been impossible to find all of these basic capabilities in one instrument.  Actually, the Prophet '08 comes the closest, but I would like to improve on its monophonic tone just a tad, if possible.  The DSI Pro 2 easily meets most of my requirements, but I'm not convinced it has a sufficiently warm tone.  My mind might have been changed if DSI had made a module version, because the stereo depth can greatly improve an overall character.  The Moog Voyager was nearly the right instrument, but I disliked its sawtooth tone, which sounded very nasal to me; plus, a second LFO required the addition of a CP-251 Module.  The MFB Dominion 1 and Oberheim Two-Voice Pro are also close candidates, but the keyboard lengths fall short; plus, the Dominion 1 is nearly impossible to get in the US.  I suppose the Matrix Brute is a possibility, but I don't personally like at all its lop-sided control panel, and being a totally new instrument for Arturia, I do expect it to be loaded with bugs and other problems.   I don't want to have an ongoing relationship with a company.  I just want to buy a synthesizer and end it. 

One possibility that remains is the forthcoming Vermona 14, although it has only two oscillators, plus two subs.  This would still work for me if paired with a module version, but I doubt Vermona will produce one.

At this point, my first preference would be to combine a Pro 2 with a good analog module, perhaps the forthcoming Oberheim SEM, a Boomstar 4075, or even a Vermona Perfourmer Mk. II.  This combination offers flexibility of tone, a manageable cost, and opportunites for expansion.  I'd like to "grow" this monophonic instrument over time by adding hardwired modules.

My second preference would actually be to use either a Prophet-6 or an OB-6 as the base for this instrument.  Their keyboards are an ideal length, and the polyphony would be a handy option when needed.  I would then have to combine the instrument with two panned modules.  This could result in a superb synthesizer, but it would also be quite expensive.

If I can't find the instrument I'm searching for, then the last possibility would be to create it through hardwired modules.  But the obvious shortcoming in this is that I would have to sacrifice one of my other instruments as a keyboard controller.  I would prefer the keyboard-module combination so as to have an independent monophonic instrument.

This is a rather complicated concept of an instrument.  Any serious suggestions?

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 10, 2016, 10:08:00 AM
Not really the standalone synth you're askign for, but if you would like to combine something with a Pro 2, the Analogue Solutions Nyborg 12 looks like it would be right up your alley. I mention it in favor of the Nyborg 24 because of your filter preference.

http://analoguesolutions.com/nyborg-12/ (http://analoguesolutions.com/nyborg-12/)

Marc Doty also did a great review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV23siPjkLM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV23siPjkLM)

I think this and the Pro 2 would be a killer combo as far as mono synths go.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 10:27:40 AM
The Nyborgs look interesting and I've never seriously looked into them.  Thanks for the reminder.

Besides the Pro 2, what also interests me is using either the P-6 or OB-6 as a base instrument, and eventually adding two panned modules.  I like the idea of an ongoing project, of adding pieces to the instrument over the next one or two years.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 10:30:45 AM
Whoops.  The Nyborg has only one LFO and three-stage envelopes.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 10, 2016, 10:34:02 AM
Whoops.  The Nyborg has only one LFO.

That's right. But it also has CV Ins, which you could connect to the Pro 2. That's at least why I picked it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 10, 2016, 10:35:57 AM
The Nyborgs look interesting and I've never seriously looked into them.  Thanks for the reminder.

Besides the Pro 2, what also interests me is using either the P-6 or OB-6 as a base instrument, and eventually adding two panned modules.  I like the idea of an ongoing project, of adding pieces to the instrument over the next one or two years.

I think - just based on the facts - the OB-6 would add greater variety to your setup, simply because of its state variable filter that covers timbres you won't get from an Evolver or a Prophet '08. Plus: You seem to have a soft spot for 2-pole filters and I think it would suit the tones you're looking for just fine.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 10:38:41 AM
Whoops.  The Nyborg has only one LFO.

That's right. But it also has CV Ins, which you could connect to the Pro 2. That's at least why I picked it.

Good point.  But the Nyborg has only three-stage envelopes.  Plus, for the purpose of multi-timbrality, I'd like the instruments to be able to be used independently of each other. 

And you're right, the OB-6 would be the better choice...except for the extra $200.

Sorry to be so fickle, but I'm envisioning the ideal synthesizer.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on March 10, 2016, 10:49:50 AM
The usual feedback I give in these situations and when doing voice architecture rants:


In other words I think the same kind of complex two/four voice module can serve both of our voice feature needs, Sacred Synthesis. Is it a demand that it should be three analog oscillators or could you live with two analog oscillators and two or four digital oscillators? My current wild dream is four analog and four digital oscillators per voice!

Side note: Would be cool if Prophet-6 and OB-6 had a stereo pan mode which plays the voices in stereo panned pairs.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 11:03:04 AM
A 44-key multi-oscillator two-voice panned instrument would be interesting, but I can achieve this with the Prophet '08.  It's the super-analog character that I'm after.  The Pro 2's digital waveshapes are only of secondary interest to me.  I'd be happy with a straight-up all analog instrument, as long as it had the six or seven features I described above. 

I think it's safe to say I'll have to create this myself, but even finding the right building blocks is a challenge.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on March 10, 2016, 11:09:04 AM
A useful starting point would be good digital control of analog eurorack modules.

Have to repeat my oscillator question again in a different way: Would digital oscillators work for you with the sounds you are after as long as there are enough analog oscillators as well?

. o O ( evolved oscillator section )
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 11:15:35 AM
Yes, that would be great.  I have uses for specific digital wave shapes.  It's just that I consider my digital needs to be served well by the eight-voice Poly Evolver.

As for module types, I'd prefer not to go the eurorack route.  When I say "module," I mean the non-patchable hardwired knobby type, as in a SEM.  I'm trying to keep the set up tight, neat, and orderly.  I prefer my spaghetti on the dinner table.

At this point, I'm happy simply to have a clear picture of what I'm after.  Figuring out how to achieve it will be the fun part.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on March 10, 2016, 11:24:25 AM
Sounds like DSI must up their game in the complex voice polyphonic module department including stirring in plenty of the new Prophet-6/OB-6 ingredients!

. o O ( ::) )
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 10, 2016, 11:27:42 AM
One more reason for the OB-6: With the updated FX section of the Prophet-6, I recognized one cool thing. You can use Flanger 2, which is a very mild Flanger, in order to produce shifting pitches. If you use it subtly, it is as if you would modulate the VCOs' pitches with a LFO. So in that regard you can use it as a supplementary LFO (in case you want this as a constant effect).
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 12:42:56 PM
Egads!  Am I trying to re-invent the Evolver?  It meets more or less all of my requirements.  But I'd like to boost the mono analog portion.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 10, 2016, 12:48:02 PM
Egads!  Am I trying to re-invent the Evolver?  It meets all of my requirements except the quality analog tone, which it meets about 75%.

Same for the Prophet '08?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 10, 2016, 02:03:33 PM
Doesn't the MatrixBrute tick off pretty much all the boxes? Except for the semi-optional "Module" part? But you're dismissing it because you expect it to be riddled with bugs? Maybe it won't be.

The difficult bottleneck to get beyond is the 3-oscillator requirement. That's an industry-wide Strange Thing. Like... Minimoog comes out in 1970 or whatever, and everyone loves it for how huge it sounds. So but then nobody replicates that salient feature for decades, including Moog. If the Minimoog appears in the #1 spot on every Top Synth List ever, why do we live in a world where two oscillators is the norm?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 10, 2016, 02:08:47 PM
Doesn't the MatrixBrute tick off pretty much all the boxes? Except for the semi-optional "Module" part? But you're dismissing it because you expect it to be riddled with bugs? Maybe it won't be.

I mentioned it earlier too. The MiniBrutes once got bad rep for the build quality of the first batch. It's kind of like how it was with the early encoder issues DSI had. Costumers are unforgiving (I still read comments about the encoder issue these days, as if it just happened yesterday). I never had a bad experience with my MiniBrute though. It was built like a tank and the keyboard even felt better than the one on the Sub 37.

In fact, I believe that if Arturia gets in right in terms of build quality and editor/plug-in support, this could become pretty threatening for Moog.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 10, 2016, 02:26:46 PM
The MiniBrutes once got bad rep for the build quality of the first batch. It's kind of like how it was with the early encoder issues DSI had.

I wasn't aware of that. I've always been pretty impressed by the build quality of my MicroBrute. The knobs are tightly-affixed and smooth, the case doesn't creak nor flex. I wouldn't have any reservations about buying another Arturia product, if my needs were to warrant it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Fuseball on March 10, 2016, 02:45:34 PM
Egads!  Am I trying to re-invent the Evolver?  It meets all of my requirements except the quality analog tone, which it meets about 75%.
I wasn't going to say anything but... Yes!  ;)

The P-6 (and presumably the OB-6) is a really good monophonic synth. Of course it falls down on your need for a second LFO and third VCO but ticks a lot of other boxes. Pan spread with an even number of unison voices gives a good stereo image, particularly if you have a little slop/detune to differentiate them. Also the effects are stereo and the chorus, phasers and flangers give a pleasingly stereo swirl to the sound. Much like a more subtle and controllable Juno chorus. Overall I find the P-6 feels a lot more lush and stereoscopic than the Pro 2, which is great in many other ways but decidedly monophonic. You would certainly need a second one to get that wide soundstage.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on March 10, 2016, 03:48:20 PM
The difficult bottleneck to get beyond is the 3-oscillator requirement. That's an industry-wide Strange Thing.

How would a voice with four analog oscillators with pairwise 1+2/3+4 sync work?

Given the requirement for stereo signal path would two analog oscillators per channel be enough? Or are we talking about three analog oscillators for each side in the stereo field?

Egads!  Am I trying to re-invent the Evolver?  It meets all of my requirements except the quality analog tone, which it meets about 75%.

Well, seen from a technical standpoint the Evolver do not have an analog signal path like the Prophet '08 and friends have. On Prophet 12 and Pro 2 we do have better handling of digital effects and a full analog signal path after the digital front end but there are no analog oscillators.

What I am after in a next generation Evolver like voice is both analog and digital oscillators plus an analog signal path but with both digital oscillators and digital effects mixed in to preserve the analog signal path as much as possible. This would combine the best results so far in DSI designs while taking advantage of the voice architecture ingredients developed since the Evolver was designed.

There are certainly plenty of room for improvement compared to the Evolver and all the ingredients are already there.

Project codeword: "Best of all so far".
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 05:18:17 PM
Egads!  Am I trying to re-invent the Evolver?  It meets all of my requirements except the quality analog tone, which it meets about 75%.

Same for the Prophet '08?

To my ears, the P'08 is a bit better for analog mono sounds than the PEK.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 10, 2016, 05:20:48 PM
Doesn't the MatrixBrute tick off pretty much all the boxes? Except for the semi-optional "Module" part? But you're dismissing it because you expect it to be riddled with bugs? Maybe it won't be.

The difficult bottleneck to get beyond is the 3-oscillator requirement. That's an industry-wide Strange Thing. Like... Minimoog comes out in 1970 or whatever, and everyone loves it for how huge it sounds. So but then nobody replicates that salient feature for decades, including Moog. If the Minimoog appears in the #1 spot on every Top Synth List ever, why do we live in a world where two oscillators is the norm?

I'm not entirely negative on the Matrix Brute, just a bit skeptical about an all-new design. 

If I can have a pair of modules, then I'd be content with two oscillators in each module.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 11, 2016, 06:53:20 AM
Since the announcement of the OB-6, I've completely put aside the Prophet-6.  Now I'm thinking, a combination of a P-6 Keyboard and a P-6 Module would make an exceptional mono and poly synth.  The main shortcoming would be the single LFO.  But with a monophonic PWM patch, it seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong, Paul) you could use one oscillator with a pulse wave, add vibrato with the LFO, modulate the pulse width with the other audio oscillator at a completely different amount and rate from the dedicated LFO, and then double the patch with the other unit.  This would allow for a two-oscillator sound, together with the ability to pan the two units at the mixer. 

Of course, I could also combine an OB-6 and a P-6 Module.  Then at a later time, I could add a module, such as a SEM.  Either combination seems like a very powerful and flexible solution to the mono synth dilemma, and it would double as an excellent poly synth as well.  Plus, I much prefer the full four-octave keyboard.  Does anybody see a problem with this arrangement that I've overlooked?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 11, 2016, 09:20:19 AM
Since the announcement of the OB-6, I've completely put aside the Prophet-6.  Now I'm thinking, a combination of a P-6 Keyboard and a P-6 Module would make an exceptional mono and poly synth.  The main shortcoming would be the single LFO.  But with a monophonic PWM patch, it seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong, Paul) you could use one oscillator with a pulse wave, add vibrato with the LFO, modulate the pulse width with the other audio oscillator at a completely different amount and rate from the dedicated LFO, and then double the patch with the other unit.  This would allow for a two-oscillator sound, together with the ability to pan the two units at the mixer.

Nothing you overlooked here. That's definitely an option.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 11, 2016, 02:23:42 PM
Excellent!  That's one more option now.  Thanks, Paul.  I listened to one of your P-6 demos on Soundcloud today, and I heard one of the very patches that interests me - a simple bright brass patch with two sawtooths.  Very nice, and it got me thinking.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 11, 2016, 03:25:31 PM
Excellent!  That's one more option now.  Thanks, Paul.  I listened to one of your P-6 demos on Soundcloud today, and I heard one of the very patches that interests me - a simple bright brass patch with two sawtooths.  Very nice, and it got me thinking.

Cool, thank you! What you could also do on top of what you're aiming for is to modulate the pulse width of the 2nd Oscillator with the LFO too. And although oscillator 2's PWM would then be running at the same rate as the vibrato, it would interfere with oscillator 2's frequency as an LFO and hence create an interesting movement. You might say now that this would only work if oscillator 2 is set to a pulse, which wouldn't meet the requirements of it modulating oscillator 1's pulse width. But that is only half true, as you could select a waveform that's located somewhere between triangle and pulse for oscillator 2.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 11, 2016, 04:59:29 PM
For this one patch, I need (by P'08 standards) a PWM rate of about 16 and a vibrato rate of about 70.  So, there's quite a difference between the two.  I could never get this sound out of one LFO.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 11, 2016, 05:18:43 PM
For this one patch, I need (by P'08 standards) a PWM rate of about 16 and a vibrato rate of about 70.  So, there's quite a difference between the two.  I could never get this sound out of one LFO.

Oh, I get it. I was only saying that you could even expand the complexitiy. As for the numeric values of the PWAM and LFO rates: Of course you'll have to go by ear on the Prophet-6 for that, since no values are being displayed.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 12, 2016, 10:01:36 PM
Is the keyboard length the only thing keeping you from buying a Sub37, or is it something else? That is, if the Sub37 was a Sub44, would you already own one?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 13, 2016, 07:40:41 AM
Yes, the Sub 37's killer shortcoming for me is the keyboard length.  I also would like the ability to control an LFO with an envelope, for delayed vibrato.  I believe there's some sort of work-around for this, but I'd like the envelope approach instead.  Aftertouch is not the answer, since it' virtually impossible to use it perfectly and consistently.  But I do like the Sub 37's sound, and had been hoping Moog would release a module version.  Then I'd control it with a Prophet '08.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 13, 2016, 08:10:03 AM
I also would like the ability to control an LFO with an envelope, for delayed vibrato.  I believe there's some sort of work-around for this, but I'd like the envelope approach instead.

I was thinking that you could use a looping envelope, routed to pitch, in conjunction with the envelope delay, so I looked at the manual. Unfortunately, the delay stage also loops. That doesn't make much sense to me, but I guess Moog has been doing this way longer than I have.

Edit: Further review of the manual's section on Mod Controllers shows that both EGs can be used as a control source for the LFOs. So that should provide a pretty clear path to delayed vibrato.

I'm going to stop reading the Sub37 manual now before I decide I want one.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 13, 2016, 08:31:46 AM
I also would like the ability to control an LFO with an envelope, for delayed vibrato.  I believe there's some sort of work-around for this, but I'd like the envelope approach instead.  Aftertouch is not the answer, since it' virtually impossible to use it perfectly and consistently.

The only way around that would be to sacrifice one LFO. Set its source to filter envelope and choose the programmable modulation amount of the other LFO (that you use for the vibrato) as the programmable destination.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: SpaceVoice on March 14, 2016, 01:58:46 AM
You may not find what you are looking for, however at least you have a lot of options to choose from.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 14, 2016, 05:44:03 AM
I agree.  As usual, it will come down to "creating" an instrument from a combination of things.  I'm fine with that.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 17, 2016, 08:56:05 AM
The Prophet-6 would be nearly the ideal basis for the instrument I have in mind.  Make a monophonic version of it, but add a dedicated LFO vibrato, and you'd have what could be a very popular instrument.  This would be the perfect beginning of my ideal mono synth.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 20, 2016, 11:05:23 AM
I was sooooo close to ordering an Analog Solutions Telemark Keyboard, with the intention of ordering later two Nyborg Modules. This wouldn't meet all my requirements for a mono synth, but it would certainly make a fine composite instrument.  Besides, I guess nothing will perfectly suffice except a DSI synthesizer.  Anyways, as I studied the control panel, I noticed one unexpected and painful omission: there's no glide, no portamento! 

Does anybody have firsthand experience with the Telemark or Nyborg that can verify this?  I find such an omission absurd.  It forces me to turn to the Leipzig Keyboard and Module, which might not be a bad thing, but it's not what I had planned.  Anybody?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 20, 2016, 11:22:56 AM
There's no glide, you're right. This has been a severe cause for criticism in some reviews.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 20, 2016, 11:34:50 AM
For me, lack of glide would be quite a deal breaker.

But let's back up for a second... you're about to order a synth when we're expecting something new from DSI in like three weeks?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 20, 2016, 02:28:21 PM
You're right in both cases, Chysn.  The lack of glide is a deal-breaker for me, too.  The Leipzig does, fortunately, have individual glide amounts for each oscillator, so that's the plan B.  And I'm going to wait until DSI announces its new product; but at the same time, I'm ready and eager to make a move.  For a day, I was going to go ahead, anyway - the Telemark-Nyborg combo so struck me.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 22, 2016, 03:58:09 AM
And I'm going to wait until DSI announces its new product; but at the same time, I'm ready and eager to make a move.

I get that. I bought my Evolver a couple weeks before NAMM, but I was pretty sure there was no chance of DSI suddenly releasing an Evolver 2. This time around, though, there's a slight possibility of them announcing something that you might be interested in. I'm certainly holding off on getting a CP-251, or starting a modular system, until mid-April at least.

Okay, but let me ask you this: If you're willing to compromise on keyboard length for the Leipzig-SK, then why take the Sub 37 off the table? Seems like a better value, what with the patch memory, etc. Is it because of the module situation?

In terms of synthesis resources, the Leipzig looks very, very similar to the Little Phatty, except with a sequencer instead of an arpeggiator, and no patch memory. And you'll still be stuck with one LFO. It seems like the Sub 37 hits more of your marks.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 22, 2016, 09:07:02 AM
Here's the larger picture.  For one weekend, I was an enthusiastic Analog Solutions guy.  I had known of the company, but, based on their instrument names, I presumed they were a German company, and therefore, were beyond my reach in the US (like MFB).  So, I didn't look any further into their instruments.  But at Paul's suggestion, I decided to take a look anyways.

With my initial research, I became quite enthusiastic about the Telemark Keyboard and the Nyborg Module.  It seemed like the keyboard, combined with one or two modules, would make a superb multi-timbral instrument with a rich lush analog sound.  They would also look sharp, due to their clean white uncrowded panels and wooden end cheeks - even on the modules.  Sure, they would require some compromises from my initial requirements, but I'd still have four DSI synthesizers to meet these, so that I could compromise on this one instrument for the sake of the most important requirement - the classic analog sonic character. 

For one weekend, I thought I had found the instrument of my quest.  Then I noticed a shocking omission - the glide.  How could anyone produce a synthesizer without portamento?  It's so fundamental to the mono synth sound.  Jeepers, even acoustic and orchestral instruments can glide to one degree or another; even a pipe organ can slightly bend a tone if the stop is pulled out very slowly. so that the pipe slowly fills with air.  So, that was the end of that combination.  I decided to hold out for Analog Solutions, though, by considering the Leipzig Keyboard and Module.  For a while, it looked like these would save the day.  Rather than an Oberheim sound, they had a Moog sound.  Excellent.  They have one glide knob for each oscillator, as well as four-stage envelope generators.  One minor shortcoming: no wooden end cheeks on the module, but only goofy-looking rack ears.  But even worse, I found what I think is the fatal flaw in this synthesizer as well: the square waveform sounds much like a narrow pulse - fairly reedy.  I still have to look into this further, but it does seem to be the case.  I like a pure hollow square waveform for clarinet and flute-type sounds.  So, at this point, it looks as if I'm out of Analog Solutions solutions.  What a disappointment.

Naturally, I've begun considering the Sub 37 again.  I do like its sonic character very much, being a long-time fan of the Moog sound.  One minor strike against it: I hate the appearance.  I've always thought the Little Phatty frame had an asymmetrical dumpiness to it, and so it seemed well named!  But the major issue is Moog itself.  Moog is in a strange state right now, having a huge gap in their instrument line.  From the $1,500 Sub 37, the next step up is the humungous $5,000 Voyager XL, and then from there, into the ionosphere with the modulars.  The synthesizer I have in mind would fit right into that gap - say, in the $1,800-$2,800 range.  In addition, I'd like an instrument that I could grow over the next year or two with modules, and I'd prefer that each unit be from one company and have a unified sound and design.  This is why I was willing to compromise somewhat on the Analog Solutions instruments - for the benefit of having the modules all ready for the next step.  So, if I bought a Sub 37, I'd be without a clear next move.  The Mother-32 is too limited and awkward a design for me, and is obviously sequencer-oriented.  That would be wasted on me.  But if Moog made a module form of the Sub 37, that might change my view.  So, right now a solo Sub 37 looks unlikely, but I'll continue thinking about it.  It does have an excellent sound and plenty of parameters

Presently, the synthesizers that have my attention are the Vermona Perfourmer Mk II, which could make a superb composite instrument when controlled by a Vermona 14, as well as the Oberheim SEM.  I've considered controlling two SEMs with my four-voice Poly Evolver Keyboard, with the possibility of later controlling them with perhaps an OB-6.  I'm also still considering a Prophet-6 Keyboard and Module combination, which would give me a fine analog tone, but with limited control. 

My four DSI synthesizers have me well-covered for polyphonic analog and monophonic digital synthesis, but it seems as if I will have to look beyond DSI for the classic analog monophonic instrument I have in mind.  Unless, of course, there's a one-voice version of the P-6 about to appear, but I doubt that's the case.  Besides, isn't this one going to be another collaborative instrument?  So, my hopes are modest for this soon-to-be-announced synthesizer.  My last idea would be a DSI Pro 2 combined with a couple of SEMs or Boomstar 4075s, but I'm not presently too impressed with the Pro 2's own sonic character.  It seems rather stiff and dry for my taste.

So, the quest for the perfect mono synth goes on.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: BobTheDog on March 22, 2016, 12:38:27 PM
How about one of these: http://www.anyware-instruments.de/tinysizer/

My favourite mono synth, SEM style, the oscillators and filter are wonderful.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 22, 2016, 04:00:47 PM
One minor strike against [Sub 37]: I hate the appearance.  I've always thought the Little Phatty frame had an asymmetrical dumpiness to it, and so it seemed well named!

The tilted panel is one of my favorite things about the Little Phatty. I play it standing up, and the panel keeps me from having to hunch over, which is probably good for my back. It would be bulky to travel with, and wouldn't be very good on the lower level of a tiered stand, but it's quite functional and--in my opinion--very handsome on an antique side table.

To my eye, the Sub 37 panel does look a bit busy, while the LP panel seems crisp and concise. But I'm sure it's easy enough to get used to once you dive in.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 22, 2016, 04:06:05 PM
To my eye, the Sub 37 panel does look a bit busy, while the LP panel seems crisp and concise. But I'm sure it's easy enough to get used to once you dive in.

Funny, I always perceived it the other way around: I thought there's too much hidden on the LP. If you know your way around a couple of shortcuts (like assigning alternative mod destinations for example), there's almost no reason to use the Sub 37's display at all, except for a couple of sophisticated CV routing options and of course MIDI related stuff.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 22, 2016, 04:25:45 PM
Funny, I always perceived it the other way around: I thought there's too much hidden on the LP.

Moog generally made good choices. Like, if you look at the Leipzig-SK's panel, all that same stuff is right at your fingertips on the LP. A filter pole selection button would have been a considerate touch, but it's an effective interface overall.

I guess we get used to what we have.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 22, 2016, 04:30:59 PM
I guess we get used to what we have.

Definetely. I remember that I was slightly confused when I first got the Sub 37, since I was so used to the DSI-way of doing things, and the Moog approach is slightly different when it comes to modulation routings.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 22, 2016, 04:50:29 PM
By the way, I've been meaning to ask this, and it's probably not too off-topic here. The Little Phatty's pots are analog, and when you have a parameter selected, they're wired directly to the circuitry of that parameter. The pot values are only digitized when you save the sound. In 2006, this was apparently quite a feat of engineering, which is why we only got four knobs. Do the Sub 37 knobs work like this? I'd imagine that ten years later, it would be much easier, but I haven't been able to find the answer.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on March 22, 2016, 04:54:19 PM
It is my understanding that everything is digitally controlled, so I would assume it works just as on DSI's instruments.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 23, 2016, 02:29:42 PM
If you're willing to compromise on keyboard length for the Leipzig-SK, then why take the Sub 37 off the table? Seems like a better value, what with the patch memory, etc. Is it because of the module situation?

In terms of synthesis resources, the Leipzig looks very, very similar to the Little Phatty, except with a sequencer instead of an arpeggiator, and no patch memory. And you'll still be stuck with one LFO. It seems like the Sub 37 hits more of your marks.

Now I'm curious why you haven't done the same, Chysn.  If it were financially feasible, would you swap your Little Phatty for a Sub 37?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on March 24, 2016, 10:31:57 AM
Now I'm curious why you haven't done the same, Chysn.  If it were financially feasible, would you swap your Little Phatty for a Sub 37?

It is, in fact, an option. I'm budgeting to purchase a CP-251. If I were to sell my Little Phatty, and combine it with my CP-251 money, I'm pretty much at the point where I could buy a Sub 37. I understand that it may seem ridiculous to some, but I'm pretty sure I'd have more fun with the LP/CP-251, with the prospect of more semi-modular gear, than I would have with a Sub 37. I don't think the Sub 37 has a sound advantage over the Little Phatty, but I'd have to give up my CV outs.

Right now, I think I'm about to get really interested in CV-based synthesis.

But as I mentioned before, I'm going to wait until April to do anything, in the unlikely event that we see the single-voice Sequential.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 29, 2016, 09:58:49 PM
This, to my ears, is a fabulous sawtooth lead sound coming from the lower synthesizer, an old Maxikorg.  It also shows how effective is a programmed delayed vibrato.  You could never get this effect so perfectly consistent with aftertouch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNaIIZaiSkE&ebc=ANyPxKoib4XMfS_Zh0fd7zpphk0h56WIAjRZhRbkbBJ8rWa6YdWLl8oQbG_c7lABlxZXfV0Bi8M1iDd1DW4P0_9lJh7DlC3Y4Q
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 01, 2016, 07:13:26 PM
Thus far, it seems as if DSI alone can possibly meet my mono synth requirements.  Otherwise, the instruments of greatest interest are the Dominion 1 and Oberheim Two-Voice Pro.  The former is a bit small in size, but also, not attainable in the US as far as I can tell; the latter is obviously a two-voice instrument, and is overly expensive for my interests, due, in part, to the sequencer, which I don't need.  That leaves the Pro 2, which scores well by my needs, except that I have a hard time thinking of it as an analog synthesizer.  To me, it just seems overly digital in tone, so that it would have to be supplemented by modules - which is my intention anyways - not to improve the tone, but to compensate for it.  Except for keyboard sizes, I would almost prefer a Mono Evolver Keyboard.  I'm also still considering the Analog Solutions Leipzig.

As for modules, the SEMs will probably always be on top for sound and in the middle for features.  Second to these, I've come to appreciate the Doepfer Dark Energy.  This little box has a nice warm sound, rich PWM, and, as small as they are, also have two LFOs.  This is just barely enough for a mono synth, but it will suffice.  Third is the Vermona Perfourmer Mk II.  That's where my quest stands at this point.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 02, 2016, 03:23:44 AM
I know that you're interested in new synths and, generally, you like to avoid the hassles that you associate with vintage instruments.

But.... what if, for one instrument, your monophonic synth, you made an exception. You've got these big, new(ish), reliable, modern analog instruments, so you're not going to be caught high-and-dry if something goes wrong; but then punctuate that setup with something really special, like an actual Odyssey or a Pro One.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 02, 2016, 03:31:24 PM
It's tempting, it's very very tempting; but fortunately, the astronomical prices prevent me.  I'm still hoping something new will strike me.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 02, 2016, 05:55:33 PM
You can get the Pro-One for free on Monday. All you need is enough CPU power.  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHof-2bIfA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHof-2bIfA)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 02, 2016, 06:01:40 PM
Quote
It's tempting, it's very very tempting; but fortunately, the astronomical prices prevent me.  I'm still hoping something new will strike me.

I mentioned Odyssey and Pro One because they usually sell in the sub-$2000 range in April 2016, financially in the ballpark of the other instruments you're considering. Of course, you're always going to be dealing with spotty tuning and other limitations, and I think you have the same been-there-done-that attitude towards vintage that I have.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 02, 2016, 06:19:48 PM
The real ARP Odysseys in good condition that I see on Ebay are closer to (or more than) $3,000.  Regardless of the price, I wouldn't risk the vintage dilemma.  Perhaps if there were no other options, I might, but today it's moreoften a matter of searching the internet for months.  I think I'll come up with something, but I'll need to let up on my requirements a bit.  Outside of the DSI domain, the architecture I want hardly even exists.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 02, 2016, 06:20:16 PM
I was hoping to see some new videos of the Matrixbrute from the Superbooth16, but for some reason there are none yet. I would definitely keep an eye on that one. I've heard that it won't be released until late summer (August/September), which might be a good sign in terms of quality control, dunno.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 02, 2016, 06:25:26 PM
I know of one guy who got hold of a Matrixbrute.  He said the build quality was excellent, but it was full of bugs.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 02, 2016, 06:28:56 PM
You can get the Pro-One for free on Monday. All you need is enough CPU power.  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHof-2bIfA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHof-2bIfA)

But, as you know....
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 02, 2016, 06:30:43 PM
You can get the Pro-One for free on Monday. All you need is enough CPU power.  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHof-2bIfA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHof-2bIfA)

But, as you know....

Yes, I know. Me too. I still like what he's doing and it's cool that he and Dave met.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 02, 2016, 06:35:49 PM
I know of one guy who got hold of a Matrixbrute.  He said the build quality was excellent, but it was full of bugs.

Well, but that are excellent news, since you can fix bugs any time, but not really the overall build quality. I'd rather have them postpone the release until fall and fix the most serious stuff in advance.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 02, 2016, 06:58:29 PM
Outside of the DSI domain, the architecture I want hardly even exists.

Indeed. The sooner you realize that the Mopho SE is your dream monosynth, the happier you'll be!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 02, 2016, 08:15:18 PM
Outside of the DSI domain, the architecture I want hardly even exists.

Indeed. The sooner you realize that the Mopho SE is your dream monosynth, the happier you'll be!

Alas, how did you ever discover my deep dark secret?

What I really need is a cross between the Pro 2 and the Prophet 6.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 02, 2016, 08:47:46 PM
Outside of the DSI domain, the architecture I want hardly even exists.

Indeed. The sooner you realize that the Mopho SE is your dream monosynth, the happier you'll be!

Alas, how did you ever discover my deep dark secret?

What I really need is a cross between the Pro 2 and the Prophet 6.

Then only one thing can help: Getting both.  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 09:56:30 AM
But I need them squeezed into one instrument!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 09:58:44 AM
But I need them squeezed into one instrument!

(https://www.raymears.com/_rm_pictures_/Gransfors-Small-ForestAxe1.jpg)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 10:00:56 AM
Hmmm, a little rough and imprecise, but I guess it will do the job.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 10:09:54 AM
Hmmm, a little rough and imprecise, but I guess it will do the job.

Well, there's still a file and sand paper.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 01:34:00 PM
Seriously, if I could only find the architecture of the Pro 2 and the analog rawness of the Prophet-6 in one instrument, I'd be all set.  In my quest, I've come to appreciate the standard DSI design all the more.  Everyone else seems to offer bits and pieces - and with plenty of them missing - whereas DSI provides the full battery of sound and sound-shaping tools.  I don't think I can find better.  Perhaps when DSI has finally offered a complete set of modular components, especially oscillators, the Pro 2 will have found its missing analog complement, together with a means of adding a stereo depth.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 01:40:27 PM
Seriously, if I could only find the architecture of the Pro 2 and the analog rawness of the Prophet-6 in one instrument, I'd be all set.  In my quest, I've come to appreciate the standard DSI design all the more.  Everyone else seems to offer bits and pieces, whereas DSI provides the full battery of sound and sound-shaping tools.  Perhaps when DSI has finally offered a complete set of modular components, the Pro 2 will finally have its missing analog portion and stereo depth.

You mean a collection of all the Pro 2 functions and more in modular form? That would still lack patch storage. I'm also not sure if we're going to see every aspect of the Pro 2's (or other DSI instuments') mod matrix in modular form at some point. It could be, but I would assume that this will take a couple of years, just for practical reasons alone.

Or do you mean that the Pro 2 might be expanded? - What you're asking for - stereo path and analog oscillators - is nothing you can add as a feature afterwards. You might as well wait for a completely new instrument, which will most likely not be a replica of the Pro 2 by any means.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 01:48:14 PM
What I mean is a small but complete self-contained modular mono synth with multiple analog oscillators and MIDI, so that it could be used independently, but also in tandem with the Pro 2 controlling the pitch, and nothing more.  I have no idea if DSI intends to go this far, but it would make a fabulous combination.  That way, we could add as many oscillators as we wanted.

Paul, I'm perusing your Pro 2 demos again.  They're perhaps the most helpful I've found.  I'm considering whether it might be the right place at least to start building.  My search led more or less to a dead end, so here I am again!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 01:57:46 PM
What I mean is a small but complete self-contained modular mono synth with multiple analog oscillators and MIDI, so that it could be used independently, but also in tandem with the Pro 2.  I have no idea if DSI intends to go this far, but it would make a fabulous combination.  That way, we could add as many oscillators as we wanted.

The problem is that this would still not offer you a true stereo signal path. As for a small self-contained modular mono synth: Everything you need is already out there, except you want everything made by DSI. But like I said, I doubt that we're going to see a huge increase in their modular product range. On the side they are probably going to release some more stuff, but I can't see them dedicating all of their resources to just one modular system. In the end, the Pro 2 is already a self-contained modular system that only lacks analog oscillators.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 01:59:44 PM
And let's face it: a complete self-contained modular system in the old school sense of the word would also be very expensive. Just search for the components it would take to recreate something like a Pro 2 with the available modules out there. You'll easily go beyond $3,000.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 02:03:54 PM
Stereo can be achieved by sending each instrument to separate channels.  And it's obviously not that I'm DSI obsessed.  I've been looking at other instruments for a few years now and haven't come up with anything nearly satisfactory.  But again, it's DSI's architecture that attracts me.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 02:07:11 PM
And let's face it: a complete self-contained modular system in the old school sense of the word would also be very expensive. Just search for the components it would take to recreate something like a Pro 2 with the available modules out there. You'll easily go beyond $3,000.

I'm not at all talking about recreating the Pro 2 in modular form.  I mean creating a very small and simple but complete system with multiple analog oscillators.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 02:09:05 PM
Stereo can be achieved by sending each instrument to separate channels.

Sure, but that wouldn't be the Evolver way if that's what you're looking for. But maybe I assumed something wrong here.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 02:10:12 PM
And let's face it: a complete self-contained modular system in the old school sense of the word would also be very expensive. Just search for the components it would take to recreate something like a Pro 2 with the available modules out there. You'll easily go beyond $3,000.

I'm not at all talking about recreating the Pro 2 in modular form.  I mean creating a very small and simple but complete system with multiple analog oscillators.

The question is, why wouldn't just external analog oscillators suffice?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 02:19:27 PM
Bi-timbrality.  I do prefer having independent instruments or at least layers.  The problem is, I would ideally like the choice to make the two layers either identical or different from each other.  That gives two variations on stereo.  It would have been ideal if DSI had produced a Pro 2 module.  Then one additional module could provide the analog, while the two Pro 2s could provide mirrored stereo patches.

You know, what I have in mind seems extremely simple to me.  I'm amazed it's become so complicated and has generated so much discussion.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 03, 2016, 02:34:20 PM
I'm not trying to be provocative, but most of the time it sounds as if you've already found what you're looking for.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 03, 2016, 02:50:46 PM
It would have been ideal if DSI had produced a Pro 2 module.

To me its a sign of a duophonic synthesizer with layers being more useful than a monophonic synthesizer and that Pro 2 would have benefited significantly from being a duophonic bi-timbral design rather than its current mono design.

From what I can understand from the sonicstate interview of Dave Smith at Superbooth the price of discrete machines are not all that higher compared to Curtis chip machines. So the nearly double price per voice of a Prophet-6 compared to the Prophet 12 is not entirely founded on component expenses alone.

I must say that I love the voice architecture features of a Pro 2 and hope to see more of that level of voice complexity in the future from DSI.

I have no idea if DSI intends to go this far, but it would make a fabulous combination.  That way, we could add as many oscillators as we wanted.

Yet Another Backseat Drivers Comment (TM): Please do not expect DSI to make a complete range of eurorack modules nor for them to produce the best sounding range of eurorack modules. Rather go shopping across multiple module manufacturers for the best possible sound and then combine that into a synthesizer of your choice. Such a system could very well have more than one filter and have stereo output. Its all up to you with your voice architecture design hat(s) on.

What DSI should do at some point is to use all of their digital voice control technology to make a preset/modulation manager module with plenty of pitch control, lfos, envelopes, modulation routings, sequencer and what else can be useful for digital control of analog voices and release that as an eurorack module with USB/MIDI and MIDI connections and at least 16 or 32 CV outs and possibly some CV ins as well. Such a module would allow one to make a voice architecture of ones own choice and have presets for it not to mention saving a lot of module space because the modules one need are mostly in the sound rather than modulation department.

Also it could be a great chance for DSI to make an even more complex voice architecture in module form. One of the things that current advanced DSI voice architectures miss are true audio rate modulation features in the CV domain such as lowpass/bandpass/highpass/slew and modulation with filtered noise (ref snowcrash comment on old forum where he mentioned that vintage instruments had pink, red or darker noise on its pitch channel).

There are many interesting options out there on the dreamy design spaces. In fact so many that it would be lovely if another visionary company with similar skill sets showed up on the synthesizer manufacturers arena.

. o O ( same old song )
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 06:21:59 PM
I'm not trying to be provocative, but most of the time it sounds as if you've already found what you're looking for.

Meaning what - the PEK and P'08?  Yes, it's true regarding polyphonic synthesis that I'm perfectly content with my current set up.  I'm only trying to enhance my sound with one exceptional mono instrument, that's all.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 03, 2016, 06:34:57 PM
I'm not trying to be provocative, but most of the time it sounds as if you've already found what you're looking for.

Meaning?

Clearly he's talking about the fact that you should buy a Mopho SE.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 06:39:58 PM
Dslsynth -

If you read back over this thread, you'll see that most of my searching has been of non-DSI synthesizers.  We only just recently mentioned modular, and only in theory, but that's not the direction I intend to follow.  My current interests are in Oberheim, Doepfer, Hypersynth, MFB, and Vermona hardwired modules.  I've almost given up on Analogue Solutions.  It's simply that I need a DSI keyboard controlling whatever modules because only DSI offers the voice architecture I need.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 03, 2016, 06:43:22 PM
I'm not trying to be provocative, but most of the time it sounds as if you've already found what you're looking for.

Meaning?

Clearly he's talking about the fact that you should buy a Mopho SE.

Fighting...resisting...trying to forget.... :-\
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Fuseball on April 04, 2016, 09:15:42 AM
Have you discounted the Modal 001 in your quest? There are frustratingly few demos of it out there but on paper it ticks a lot of your boxes.  Of course, it falls down on the keyboard length (as do most monos) but at least it looks like a good quality keybed and full size keys.

What caught my eye was the multi-timbral stacking possibilities.  Think it can be stacked in stereo or played duophonic. Interesting filter too by the looks of it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 04, 2016, 09:36:34 AM
I'm not trying to be provocative, but most of the time it sounds as if you've already found what you're looking for.

Meaning?

Clearly he's talking about the fact that you should buy a Mopho SE.

Fighting...resisting...trying to forget.... :-\

I can play Dr. Freud and set you back on track.  ;D

Seriously, what I was referring to are some the features you've been mostly asking for that seem to be covered by the PEKs and the Prophet '08. The duo-timbrality of both and the true stereo signal path of the Evolver. The only advanced monosynth - or rather duophonic synth - that currently offers duo-timbrality is the 001 as far as I know, which is price wise in the same ballpark as the Pro 2. It also offers a stereo input for external devices, but no true stereo signal path though.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 04, 2016, 09:38:50 AM
I just saw that Fuseball had the same thought. As usual, Nick Batt did a nice demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI2kMXbeAgA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI2kMXbeAgA)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 04, 2016, 09:42:55 AM
You could add something really advanced in terms of VCOs like the Schippmann CS-8: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/schippmann-cs-8-omega-phi-vco (https://www.modulargrid.net/e/schippmann-cs-8-omega-phi-vco)
Or: http://analoghaven.com/schippmann/cs-8seriesomega-phi/ (http://analoghaven.com/schippmann/cs-8seriesomega-phi/)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 04, 2016, 10:06:46 AM
If you read back over this thread, you'll see that most of my searching has been of non-DSI synthesizers.

Don't get me wrong, my old forum friend. All I wanted to make sure is that you did not expect DSI to make a full modular system including oscillators.

Now we are at it how about looking into these new modules once they becomes available? He is to the best of my knowledge known for his great sound:
https://youtu.be/AhAMcrHryOY?t=50s

The only advanced monosynth - or rather duophonic synth - that currently offers duo-timbrality is the 001 as far as I know, which is price wise in the same ballpark as the Pro 2.

Duophonic synths certainly have interesting options in the stereo signal path direction. Hope they will be the standard for the future.

Errr ... maybe ask Moog first though! ;)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 04, 2016, 10:12:01 AM
You could add something really advanced in terms of VCOs like the Schippmann CS-8:

Wow for an advanced VCO module. And way pricey too! But certainly looking interesting.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 04, 2016, 10:39:19 AM
Guys -

Thanks for all your ideas.  You've given me lots of help and many good suggestions, and I appreciate it.  Yes, the 001 looks very attractive, and I've considered all the Modal Electronics instruments.  I think my quest has worn me out a tad, though; I've got synth research fatigue.  It hasn't produced a clear direction, as I thought it would.  So, I probably need to make some mental adjustments.  My current set up has me quite satisfied, but I did want to add to it just one instrument with that classic old school analog sound.  It's been my intention for a while to complete my set up to a relatively satisfactory degree, and to devote more energy to composing and recording.  I'd like to spend much less time online and much more time on the actual instruments producing something like a finished musical product.

In terms of keyboard synths, I probably would have liked the Dominion 1 above the others, but it's not available or serviceable in the US.  In terms of modules, the Hypersynth Xenophone probably came the closest, but I'm not convinced it has a tone significantly better than the DSI stuff.  Nothing has really struck me clearly as being "the one," so I'll continue with this quest, but I'll take my time.  Who knows - perhaps it will all end with a Prophet-6 or OB-6!

 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 04, 2016, 10:46:41 AM
In terms of keyboard synths, I probably would have liked the Dominion 1 above the others, but it's not available or serviceable in the US.  In terms of modules, the Hypersynth Xenophone probably came the closest, but I'm not convinced it has a tone significantly better than the DSI stuff.  Nothing has really struck me clearly as being "the one," so I'll continue with this quest, but I'll take my time.

You know what? If you like the Dominion 1 so much, I would try to get in touch with MFB personally to see if you could order from them directly. I mean we are living in a globalized world so that really shouldn't be too difficult. Even if you decide not to go down that route in the end, you could just ask about the conditions and figure out how much it would cost you including customs and all that jazz.

Here's their contact: http://mfberlin.de/en/contact/ (http://mfberlin.de/en/contact/)

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 04, 2016, 10:56:44 AM
Thanks, Paul.  I'll consider that.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 04, 2016, 11:45:11 AM
I think my quest has worn me out a tad, though; I've got synth research fatigue.  It hasn't produced a clear direction, as I thought it would.  So, I probably need to make some mental adjustments.

Yeah I can imagine its quite exhausting to search for something when its not really in the market yet. I know that feeling too. Hopefully synthesizer manufacturers will finally see the light and opt for duophonic (rather than monophonic) instruments with strong fundamentals, layers and enough modulation to make them interesting. Really looking forward to follow your search here!

Also I would guess that a module is (hopefully) more likely to happen so be sure to check out for good keyboard controllers too. A foldable six octave version of this baby could be one interesting option (though they keys doesn't move much):
https://www.keithmcmillen.com/labs/k-board-pro-4/
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 09:14:17 AM
A few weeks ago, I somewhat rearranged my crowded little music room, so that the Prophet '08 Module and Evolver Desktop on the music stand to my right are now to my left, in between the Poly Evolver Keyboard and the Prophet '08s.  I also put the Lexicon MX300, Poly Evolver Rack, and Mackie mixer to my left behind the PEK.  This new arrangement is much tidier, better organized for live use, and looks sharper in photographs.  But its main purpose was to free up entirely the area on my right side for a proposed new synthesizer, possibly the one I've so often posted about here, which would be an ongoing project.  Yes, a new synthesizer, still to be determined but now mostly funded.  This was my long-devised plan which was smoothly unfolding...at least until this past Saturday when a large deer at full gallop crashed into the passenger side of my car, possibly totaling it.  Guess where my $2,000 is now probably going? 

So close, I was sooo close to buying a new instrument!  I've always been a outdoorsy nature kind of guy - hiking, camping, and boating - but I'm presently very much in the mood for covering my keyboard stands with deer skin, and I may add large quantities of venison to my daily diet.  >:(
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 13, 2016, 10:07:50 AM
That's terrible news. I'm glad you weren't injured.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 10:09:14 AM
Thanks, Chysn.  Aside from a neck ache, some minor head aches, and a terrible memory of it all, I'm fine.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 13, 2016, 10:19:26 AM
A few weeks ago, I somewhat rearranged my crowded little music room, so that the Prophet '08 Module and Evolver Desktop on the music stand to my right are now to my left, in between the Poly Evolver Keyboard and the Prophet '08s.  I also put the Lexicon MX300, Poly Evolver Rack, and Mackie mixer to my left behind the PEK.  This new arrangement is much tidier, better organized for live use, and looks sharper in photographs.  But its main purpose was to free up entirely the area on my right side for a proposed new synthesizer, possibly the one I've so often posted about here, which would be an ongoing project.  Yes, a new synthesizer, still to be determined but mostly funded.  This was my long-devised plan which was smoothly unfolding...at least until this past Saturday when a large deer at full gallop crashed into the passenger side of my car, possibly totaling it.  Guess where my $2,000 is now probably going? 

So close, I was sooo close to buying a new instrument!  I've always been a outdoorsy nature guy, but I'm presently very much in the mood for covering my keyboard stands with deer skin, and I may add large quantities of venison to my daily diet.  >:(

Oh no, that sucks. Doesn't your insurance cover that sort of accidents, at least partially?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 10:24:41 AM
Yes, I should get something from my insurance, perhaps $1,000-$1,500.  But I may have to replace the car, rather than repair it, since it's a 2002.  This wasn't a part of the summer budget! 

I had $2,000 reserved for a new synthesizer (or some recording equipment), and I could also have added to this another $2,000 from the sale of one of my PEKs, if I was motivated to sell it.  But all of this is changed now.

I don't mean to be whining here about my personal affairs, but I thought I would post an interesting update to my quest.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 13, 2016, 10:42:28 AM
Yes, I should get something from my insurance, perhaps $1,000-$1,500.  But I may have to replace the car altogether, since it's a 2002.  This wasn't a part of the summer budget. 

I had $2,000 reserved for a new synthesizer (or some recording equipment), and I could also have added to this another $2,000 from the sale of one of my PEKs if I was motivated to sell it.  But all of this is changed now.

I don't mean to be whining here about my personal affairs, but I thought I would post an interesting update to my quest.

No, you're not whining. Things like that are just really disappointing, especially as one thinks, "okay, I'm there now," and then something unexpected happens. I had a slightly similar issue - not with regard to a car because I simply don't own one - before I was planning to get my Prophet-6 (which would have been last fall originally). So I can understand your frustration.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: BobTheDog on April 13, 2016, 10:54:16 AM
Very sorry to hear that, I have had to pay nearly £4000 on my car recently and all I could think about was how I could have better spent that money on musical instruments :(

Life just gets in the way.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 10:59:28 AM
Thanks, Paul.  I'll just deal with it.  What matters most of all is that my wife was not involved, and also that I'm okay.

As much as I was looking forward to finally getting a new synthesizer, even if it was only a module, I was also trying to take a step up in recording quality.  Now I have prioritize the latter over the former, because I'm bound and determined to change my improvising into composing, and my Youtube postings into serious polished products.  I've been dragging my heels for long enough.  Now I want and need to produce polished recordings worthy of being sold.  That's my main objective now.  But I'll continue hoping and praying that there will be some opportunity for a new synthesizer in the near future.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 11:00:52 AM
Very sorry to hear that, I have had to pay nearly £4000 on my car recently and all I could think about was how I could have better spent that money on musical instruments :(

Life just gets in the way.

Thanks, BobTheDog.  Yes, every time we synthesists have to spend a large sum of money, we have tragic visions of synthesizers flying out the window!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on April 13, 2016, 11:55:07 AM
Thanks, Paul.  I'll just deal with it.  What matters most of all is that my wife was not involved, and also that I'm okay.

That is indeed more important than anything else.

As much as I was looking forward to finally getting a new synthesizer, even if it was only a module, I was also trying to take a step up in recording quality.  Now I have prioritize the latter over the former, because I'm bound and determined to change my improvising into composing, and my Youtube postings into serious polished products.  I've been dragging my heels for long enough.  Now I want and need to produce polished recordings worthy of being sold.  That's my main objective now.  But I'll continue hoping and praying that there will be some opportunity for a new synthesizer in the near future.

That doesn't have to be a bad compromise though. It may just fire up your creativity in different ways. I had similar thoughts recently, although the other way around in technical terms. I'm well-equipped with recording facilities, but would prefer to do more stuff live. While Ableton's Push controller is already a great enhancement in that direction, I always thought about getting a really good looper instead of a new synth or sound generator for that matter. Since - let's be honest beyond any G.A.S. shenanigans - I have already covered the synth field with a couple of diverse enough and powerful insruments. So something really new for me that would enhance my performance capabilities truly lies elsewhere.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 12:00:19 PM
That would certainly offer you some excitement.  I think it's good also to be challenged in your work, to be rattled a bit and pushed to try harder in some way.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 13, 2016, 04:38:54 PM
Aside from a neck ache, some minor head aches, and a terrible memory of it all, I'm fine.

Did you receive a full medical checkup after the accident? I know things can be challenging in the states regarding this. Anyway, both whiplash and head injuries need special attention and can have long term effects so I really hope its not that bad!

I am very happy it did not get worse than actually did. Still its a high price to pay on both health impact, studio impact and car reconfiguration artifacts. Good that your wife is intact! I really hope you get it all sorted out well, my old friend!

Sounds like a plan with the recording tools improvements planned. Do you consider getting yourself a modern computer (such as a Mac Mini) and an audio interface (such as RME Babyface Pro or Apogee Duet) to enter the world of computer based recording? Or are you more towards getting a standalone unit? The advantage of the computer based approach is the software tools such as iZotope Ozone (https://www.izotope.com/ozone) for mastering not to mention that someone may one day make a working editor for your synthesizers.

Best wishes for your recovery!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 13, 2016, 05:08:05 PM
Do you consider getting yourself a modern computer (such as a Mac Mini) and an audio interface (such as RME Babyface Pro or Apogee Duet) to enter the world of computer based recording?

I was going to mention this, as well. I recently came from an attitude where only a standalone recording unit would do, to the realization that computer-based recording is a friendlier way to go. If you already have a computer, then your investment would be (initially, at least) limited to the audio interface and the software.

It worth trying, at least. It took me quite some time to find software that worked like I wanted software to work. Fortunately, the big systems have demos that you can try out for a month.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 13, 2016, 06:12:51 PM
It took me quite some time to find software that worked like I wanted software to work. Fortunately, the big systems have demos that you can try out for a month.

For the record I actually have Ozone but have yet to use it partly because of unresolved platform decisions and partly because of my current mastering knowledge. Having access to a computer certainly makes audio processing better and allows to pick the best parts for each element of the recording chain compared to a standalone unit where all the decisions are made by the company making the unit. I am sure we can have many interesting discussions on that topic!

Anyway, current primary concern is your health, Sacred Synthesis! Wishing you a full and fast recovery!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2016, 06:28:05 PM
Thanks for all the kind words, guys.  I'm actually fine; I just got a bit of a jolt. 

As for the recording, I had a few things in mind, but all hardware.  For the time being, everything is on hold, and I'm thankful for what I do have.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 20, 2016, 03:02:23 PM
I haven't given up on this quest since my accident, and even if I can add only a little piece to the project, as long as it fits in with the larger long-term objective, I'm on track.

If anyone here has used the Analog Solutions Leipzig keyboard or module, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the instrument. 

The Leipzig seems to have an excellent analog sonic character, but two things put me off about it.  First - as I said before - it really doesn't have a pure square waveform to offer; it's square sounds just like a medium-width pulse.  The second thing is due to a little reading in between the lines.  Analogue Solutions' own descriptions of the instrument, as found on their website and in the manual, seem to boast about the Leipzig's bona fide old school qualities, including its instabilities!  To put it lightly, in my opinion, this is not a desirable feature.  I presume they're referring to 1) unstable and drifty oscillators, even after warm-up time, and 2) poor oscillator-keyboard tracking, resulting in varied oscillator beating, depending on where you are on the keyboard. 

Now I've been quite happy with DCOs, due to their stability in these two areas.  I have no interest in reviving the 1970s - problems and all - in my music room, but only in having a thick raw analog tone available from one of my instruments.  And I definitely want substantial oscillator stability!

Is anybody here familiar with the Leipzig and able to comment on these concerns?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on April 20, 2016, 03:19:25 PM
Hope your recovery is going well and that no severe health impacts are showing up.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 20, 2016, 03:24:39 PM
Hope your recovery is going well and that no severe health impacts are showing up.

Thanks, Dslsynth.  I have no health problems whatsoever.  I'm as healthy as a white-tailed deer.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: BobTheDog on May 03, 2016, 09:57:30 AM
How about the new Moog Model 15 iPad app, sound examples here: https://soundcloud.com/moogmusicinc/sets/moog-model-15-app

Sounds amazing to me!

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 03, 2016, 10:03:15 AM
I'm looking for a physical musical instrument with a keyboard.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 03, 2016, 11:25:34 AM
Re: the Model 15 app: I never enjoy those things. iPad synths, I mean. I've tried so hard. It's just not fun. I might buy the app, when it inevitably goes on sale for half-price, just to learn more about modular history. It's probably faithfully re-created enough to be a good educational tool in that respect.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 03, 2016, 10:02:57 PM
After spending a huge amount of time searching for months for the ideal monophonic synthesizer, I've come back to ye olde instruments.  The Prophet '08 best fills my list of ideals, and could even be improved if supplemented by a module or two.  The Vermona Mono Lancet would have made a nice supplement, but from what some users have claimed, its keyboard-oscillator tracking is apparently rather poor, and this is especially obvious when one uses the octave switches.  That would definitely be a problem for me.  Probably, the Oberheim SEM Pro would be the best choice. 

Two other possibilities are the Prophet-6 or the Pro 2.  One P-6 would be inadequate, but a keyboard/module pair could compensate for a few weaknesses.  The Pro 2 definitely suits my preferences in voice architecture, and it actually sounds pretty good, but it couldn't quite fill the analog duties which are the priority in this quest.

Decisions, decisions! 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: BobTheDog on May 04, 2016, 06:12:49 AM
I'm looking for a physical musical instrument with a keyboard.

It was said in jest ;)

Did you listen to the sound clips though, sounds good.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 04, 2016, 07:36:00 AM
Oh , I missed the joke.  But yes, the sound was quite good.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: BobTheDog on May 04, 2016, 08:21:29 AM
I should have added a ;)

I'm a bit too old for these things!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 04, 2016, 09:20:41 AM
Yes, I loathe those little emoticons, too.  It's unfortunate that we feel the need to use such things.  Surely the great literary figures managed without them.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Bryan_D on May 05, 2016, 01:22:16 PM
Probably, the Oberheim SEM Pro would be the best choice. 

The Pro 2 definitely suits my preferences in voice architecture, and it actually sounds pretty good, but it couldn't quite fill the analog duties which are the priority in this quest.

Hi Sacred Synthesis.

I was running a MIDI/CV SEM through a Pro 2 and getting fabulous results--some of my favorite tones, actually. I recently sold the MIDI SEM in order to get the Patch Panel SEM (I wanted the CV connections for more control from the Pro 2). However, the latest SEM production run (900 serial number range) sounds WAY different than the model I had (700 serial number range). It also had different knobs (matte finish versus gloss finish on the earlier model). I took it back to the dealer and tried a SEM Pro from the same shipment, and it had the same problem, as did their Two Voice Pro. The filter had lost that big, thick, wet, open, clean resonance that Oberheim is known for (the new OB-6 has this beloved character from what I can hear in some of the demos).

So, I bought a Nyborg-12 instead (which I think you mentioned earlier in this thread). And while it doesn't quite do the SEM resonance, it sounds brilliant. In fact, I find it more sonically flexible than the SEM. And it pairs beautifully with the Pro 2. One negative on the Nyborg-12 is that it doesn't have that real clean, hollow square wave (which I think you were looking for). But I think the Pro 2 would cover that. Or one of the earlier SEM Pro synths (pre-900s); my SEM had a great square wave.

Anyway, just wanted to give a perspective on that combo, if it helps.

Cheers.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 05, 2016, 02:41:31 PM
Thanks for that information, Bryan; it's very useful to me.  I had looked quite carefully at the Nyborgs, and I was on the verge of ordering one, when I realized they lacked glide/portamento.  This shocked me, and so I dropped the idea.  Any thoughts on this giant omission on an otherwise excellent synthesizer?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 05, 2016, 06:06:30 PM
At the risk of my recent enthusiasm crossing into zealous evangelism, I'll just say that a rack of three Mothers-32 would be an incredible monosynth. Downsides: no keyboard, no memory. Upsides: pretty much everything else.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 05, 2016, 08:29:27 PM
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/05/05/crowminius-synthesizer-700-minimoog-model-d-clone/
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 05, 2016, 09:19:27 PM
At the risk of my recent enthusiasm crossing into zealous evangelism, I'll just say that a rack of three Mothers-32 would be an incredible monosynth. Downsides: no keyboard, no memory. Upsides: pretty much everything else.

I'd agree that the Mother-32 sounds superb, and that three of them would be gorgeous.  But the limited modulation and envelopes make it a disappointment.  It seems to excel as an independent sequencing device, the sort of machine you could sit at a desk with and have good time.  But the voice architecture is light years away from what I have in mind.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 05, 2016, 09:24:43 PM
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/05/05/crowminius-synthesizer-700-minimoog-model-d-clone/

Interesting.  Meanwhile, what is Moog up to?  First the Matrixbrute, and now this?  Is the Minimoog model going to be ravaged by everyone and anyone?  And is that immense gap between the Sub 37 and the Voyager XL really going to continue indefinitely?  Surely they're cooking up something like another Voyager to fill it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Bald Eagle on May 06, 2016, 02:24:14 AM
The next logical step would be a Sub 61. There would be plenty of room for voyager like features.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 06, 2016, 03:05:44 AM
But the limited modulation and envelopes make it a disappointment.  It seems to excel as an independent sequencing device, the sort of machine you could sit at a desk with and have good time.  But the voice architecture is light years away from what I have in mind.

If you think of it in terms of its normalled state, the modulation seems limited. With the patchbay, its modulation flexibility is well beyond Evolver-level, especially in multiples. That might seem like a bold statement, but it's totally true.

The envelopes are a weak point, and almost why I passed. It's less of an issue than I thought it'd be. I've got the option to feed in envelope CV from the Little Phatty, but when I do that it's usually to have more envelopes rather than better envelopes.

If Moog were to make a 37- or 44-key MIDI controller that looks like the 953, I'd be really tempted to do what I suggested.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 06, 2016, 08:53:50 AM
The Moog products of greatest interest to me these days would be their modular keyboards.  But as far as I understand, they're CV, rather than MIDI controllers that you could use with a MIDI hardwired module.  Otherwise, one could assemble quite an impressive instrument with various modules and a five-octave keyboard having a nice wooden frame and a most useful flat top.  But I no longer consider Moog to be of any interest, but merely a curiosity.  Their instruments are either too small or too big for my needs.

Regarding the Mother-32's modulation, my issue is not with the flexibility of modulation, but with the ability to have several types simultaneously running.  Plus, isn't the panel a bit of a disorderly mess?  Visually, it's a put off.  I've always liked instruments with panels that were well ordered with clear lines and divisions between modules, as with the Sub 37.  But the M-32 is just the opposite, with not a single line or division and with one parameter and section running into the next.  It's not typical of Moog, which usually has excellent panels.  It's as if some one other than Moog designed the instrument.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Bryan_D on May 06, 2016, 10:46:43 AM
Any thoughts on this giant omission on an otherwise excellent synthesizer?

Well, in my case I have a small, 104HP modular system with a MakeNoise Function (slew generator). I experimented with that before I made the Nyborg purchase and found I had way more control over glide/portamento with the Function. This is to be expected, of course, and I found the results much more interesting. I guess it just depends on how much you use glide. It's nice to have, but it's not something I would use all the time (or want to hear all the time).

Perhaps a "perfect" mono synth might be a Pro 2 with some choice modular kit or a small analog voice (like a Nyborg, SEM or Mother-32) to compliment the digital oscillators of the Pro 2. My modular sits right above my Pro 2 for easy connection and manipulation. Not trying to sell you on modular (or a Pro 2), but the Pro 2 lends itself to such things, and there are a lot of VCO modules to choose from in the Eurorack format.   
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 06, 2016, 11:09:20 AM
Any thoughts on this giant omission on an otherwise excellent synthesizer?

Well, in my case I have a small, 104HP modular system with a MakeNoise Function (slew generator). I experimented with that before I made the Nyborg purchase and found I had way more control over glide/portamento with the Function. This is to be expected, of course, and I found the results much more interesting. I guess it just depends on how much you use glide. It's nice to have, but it's not something I would use all the time (or want to hear all the time).

Perhaps a "perfect" mono synth might be a Pro 2 with some choice modular kit or a small analog voice (like a Nyborg, SEM or Mother-32) to compliment the digital oscillators of the Pro 2. My modular sits right above my Pro 2 for easy connection and manipulation. Not trying to sell you on modular (or a Pro 2), but the Pro 2 lends itself to such things, and there are a lot of VCO modules to choose from in the Eurorack format.

I don't use a lot of portamento, but I certainly consider it vital for many sounds.  Some times, only a small amount is just right, but that small amount is so important.  So, I had been on the verge of putting together a Telemark Keyboard and a Nyborg 12 combination, until I made the unhappy discovery.  Then I considered a Leipzig Keyboard and Module combination, but the Leipzig square wave is anything but.  Plus, from Analog Solutions' own advertising, the instrument's oscillators seem to be rather unstable and the keyboard-oscillator tracking rather poor.  Correct me if I'm wrong in any of this, because I'd be happy to reconsider my judgments. 

I'd agree with you that the Pro 2 seems to be among the best options for building up a mono synth.  It's a strong instrument in the area of architecture, and the many possibilities for adding modules or modular pieces make it tempting.  I've many times thought about a Pro 2 controlling two SEM Pros.  But what do you think of its basic tone when using simple sounds that reveal its character?  I'm hesitant to buy a synthesizer, with the intention of adding other components to compensate for its weaknesses.  It seems like one way of getting off to a bad start.  I haven't had to do that with my current instruments.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Bryan_D on May 06, 2016, 01:55:59 PM
Plus, from Analog Solutions' own advertising, the instrument's oscillators seem to be rather unstable and the keyboard-oscillator tracking rather poor.  Correct me if I'm wrong in any of this, because I'd be happy to reconsider my judgments. 

I'd agree with you that the Pro 2 seems to be among the best options for building up a mono synth.  It's a strong instrument in the area of architecture, and the many possibilities for adding modules or modular pieces make it tempting.  I've many times thought about a Pro 2 controlling two SEM Pros.  But what do you think of its basic tone when using simple sounds that reveal its character?

As for the Nyborg-12 tracking pitch from the Pro 2 CV, I haven't noticed anything unusual. Perhaps you've seen this, but for your reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHPNPC1jOm8

I think the Nyborg is definitely vintage-voiced. It's a little more opaque and minutely fuzzier than the SEM, which may account for the square wave "problem" you ran into on the Leipzig-s (assuming it's similarly voiced).

As for the tone of the Pro 2, I think Dave Smith rightly characterized it as a "bold" sounding synth. It's up front and in your face. The low end is punchy and precise (I love the snappy envelopes), but the high end is just slightly subdued; it doesn't quite sizzle like the P08 (I have a pair of Tetras). I'm splitting hairs here, of course. We're not talking night and day difference. I think the Pro 2 would give you a fuller, more rounded tone in the bass compared to the P08. Others might disagree, of course.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 06, 2016, 02:37:38 PM
Yes, I went carefully through that channel, and it gave me a sufficient sense of the character of Ananlog Solutions' instruments.  Very nice, very refreshing.  But what struck me about the Nyborg's lack of portamento is that it would probably be popular as a sequencing synthesizer, and that's what one video after another proved.  There are precious few examples of it being used in conjunction with a keyboard.  The problem is, that's exclusively how I want to use it.  Hence, the need for portamento.  Regardless, I've been trying to imagine an instrument without it, and whether or not I could work with it.

I definitely wouldn't describe my ideal synthesizer quality as "in your face!"  I'm looking more for a sweet and dignified tone, but perhaps the Pro 2 can achieve both.  I don't know.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 06, 2016, 08:46:36 PM
Chysn, I'll admit that the Mother-32 sounds really nice in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebbd17Z2kx8
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 07, 2016, 04:16:24 AM
Chysn, I'll admit that the Mother-32 sounds really nice in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebbd17Z2kx8

Yeah, that's very good. But you never said it didn't sound nice, just that it lacks stuff you want, which there's nothing wrong with that.

Meanwhile, I found that synthesizers.com makes wood-side-and-top controllers (37- and 61-key versions) that are pricey but sharp, with some of the look of the 953, but with MIDI.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 07, 2016, 04:47:25 PM
Meanwhile, I found that synthesizers.com makes wood-side-and-top controllers (37- and 61-key versions) that are pricey but sharp, with some of the look of the 953, but with MIDI.

And Synthesizers.com makes double-manual controllers as well.  Now that's how you make an organist-turned-synthesist hyperventilate!

I may have had a Chysn moment.  I was running errands today, thinking, "How am I ever going to find the mono synth of my ideals?"  And then you came to mind, and I thought, "Maybe I should go modular."  I don't know, but the idea of an expandable three-oscillator, three-envelope, three-LFO analog mono synth with low pass and high pass filters, and no space or money wasted on other popular features that I don't need or want, sure seems to cry out, "Modular over here, please!"  But God save my little bank account from the modular infatuation!  It was an exciting thought, but I'd still rather stay with hardwired modules or semi-modular.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 07, 2016, 06:43:59 PM
the idea of an expandable three-oscillator, three-envelope, three-LFO analog mono synth with low pass and high pass filters...

Right, and don't forget independent audio signal paths for stereo recording in whatever configuration you want. And also, that's a filter for each oscillator in your stereo path.

Quote
But God save my little bank account from the modular infatuation!  It was an exciting thought, but I'd still rather stay with hardwired modules or semi-modular.

I'm married and I have four kids, and I'll never make a dime from music, facts which externally impose a great degree of fiscal discipline when it comes to equipment. I'm spending only my own "allowance," so to speak, so I don't fear the "modular rabbit hole" that much.

The thing that drew me in was trying it. The ability to route and then visually track modulation sources and destinations through a path of mixers and processors suddenly made twisting the Desktop Evolver's knobs to select sources and destinations seem tedious. By the end of the year, I expect that my only link to Dave Smith Instruments will be through Dave Smith Modular; with the Curtis Filter and Feedback modules, plus some non-DSM support modules, I'm hearing a lot of potential to reproduce what I like about the Evolver sound, and for only three times the price of an Evolver!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 09, 2016, 10:50:26 AM
http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/05/05/crowminius-synthesizer-700-minimoog-model-d-clone/

Interesting.  Meanwhile, what is Moog up to?  First the Matrixbrute, and now this?  Is the Minimoog model going to be ravaged by everyone and anyone?  And is that immense gap between the Sub 37 and the Voyager XL really going to continue indefinitely?  Surely they're cooking up something like another Voyager to fill it.

Maybe in 2017, who knows? But the Sub 37 was also selling quite well, so maybe they don't feel the need to fill that gap very soon. As they seem to have a penchant for anniversaries, maybe we'll see a Model D reissue when it marks its 50th birthday, i.e. in 2020. But going by their rates of the modular reissues, it probably won't sell below 5 grand.  ;)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 09, 2016, 10:58:00 AM
Maybe in 2017, who knows? But the Sub 37 was also selling quite well, so maybe they don't feel the need to fill that gap very soon. As they seem to have a penchant for anniversaries, maybe we'll see a Model D reissue when it marks its 50th birthday, i.e. in 2020. But going by their rates of the modular reissues, it probably won't sell below 5 grand.  ;)

Oh, you're saying that just to torment me, Paul, aren't you?  Well, I'll start saving up for the Model D re-issue right...now!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 09, 2016, 11:09:45 AM
Oh, you're saying that just to torment me, Paul, aren't you?  Well, I'll start saving up for the Model D re-issue right...now!

Nah, the underlying message was rather that you probably get where you want to be if you look somewhere else. Or would you really pay 5 grand for a Model D?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Bryan_D on May 09, 2016, 11:13:23 AM
Plus, from Analog Solutions' own advertising, the instrument's oscillators seem to be rather unstable and the keyboard-oscillator tracking rather poor.  Correct me if I'm wrong in any of this, because I'd be happy to reconsider my judgments. 

As for the Nyborg-12 tracking pitch from the Pro 2 CV, I haven't noticed anything unusual.


Sacred Sythesis,

Just wanted to update this remark. I've spent some more time with the Nyborg and have confirmed your suspicion that its tracking (at least from the Pro 2's CV outs) is a little loose, especially in the upper register. There appear to be trimmers on the front panel, presumably for tuning and scaling, but that process could be frustrating (I've not tried it). I like the slight instability, but it sounds like it wouldn't meet your requirements. However, I may try tracking it from MIDI to see if the performance is any different. If so, I'll update again.

I can say that the MIDI SEM I owned tracked flawlessly even into the upper, upper register. I was always impressed by that.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 09, 2016, 12:12:06 PM
Or would you really pay 5 grand for a Model D?

No, I wouldn't spend $5,000 on any single synthesizer, never mind a monophonic one.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 09, 2016, 12:19:02 PM
Sacred Sythesis,

Just wanted to update this remark. I've spent some more time with the Nyborg and have confirmed your suspicion that its tracking (at least from the Pro 2's CV outs) is a little loose, especially in the upper register. There appear to be trimmers on the front panel, presumably for tuning and scaling, but that process could be frustrating (I've not tried it). I like the slight instability, but it sounds like it wouldn't meet your requirements. However, I may try tracking it from MIDI to see if the performance is any different. If so, I'll update again.

I can say that the MIDI SEM I owned tracked flawlessly even into the upper, upper register. I was always impressed by that.

Thanks for that very useful information, Bryan.  From my own research, I suspect the Leipzig's tracking and oscillator stability are even worse.  I realize many like this quality, but I'm trying to avoid it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 13, 2016, 07:21:57 AM
I keep going back to Pro-2 demos hoping that I'll suddenly love it. And then to Prophet 6 demos hoping that I'll suddenly stop loving it. The Pro-2 has the CV but its sound doesn't move me. The Prophet 6 sounds... sublime... but it would strand me on a CV-less island. Right now, the Little Phatty is the best option because I love the sound, and it gives me a couple ADSR envelopes for the Mother-32.

DSI should consider that the Mother-32 has (probably single-handedly) changed the analog market. You can't buy uZeus power modules; you can't buy the Moog 60hp case. So many people are using the Mother-32 as a starting point for modular synthesis that the rest of the eurorack world can't keep up.

So the Prophet-1 product makes more sense than ever. A top-notch 44-key VCO mono, with Prophet 6 filters, CV ins and outs. I'm personally fine with a single LFO, because if there's CV in, I'm flush with LFOs. This seemed like the best thread in which to beseech for this instrument.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2016, 08:01:36 AM
Unless here:

http://forum.davesmithinstruments.com/index.php/topic,284.0.html
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 13, 2016, 08:23:34 AM
Unless here:

Thing is, I'm not really interested in the low-end market. At this point I'm reconciled with DSI's high-end positioning, and I want the VCOs, the wood cabinetry, the whole shootin' match. I would expect something like this to be in about the same price ballpark as the Pro-2.

I suspect that I'm looking for pretty much the same thing out of DSI that you are.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2016, 09:55:46 AM
Yes, we're pretty close.  Why don't you consider a Prophet-6 Module?  It's approximately in your price range, and you might like having "too much" synthesizer on hand. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 13, 2016, 10:58:37 AM
Yes, we're pretty close.  Why don't you consider a Prophet-6 Module?  It's approximately in your price range, and you might like having "too much" synthesizer on hand.

I don't have a controller worthy of a Prophet 6 module. Maybe that's what you meant by "too much synthesizer," but I can't imagine being happy with the Little Phatty's keyboard in that scenario.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2016, 11:00:37 AM
Well, there's an easy solution to the lack of a keyboard on the Prophet-6 Module.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 13, 2016, 11:09:04 AM
(http://www.keyboardmag.com/portals/2/Kawai_VPC1_web.jpg)

 ;D ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 13, 2016, 11:18:50 AM
Well, there's an easy solution to the lack of a keyboard on the Prophet-6 Module.

Funny, we seem to be trading conversational places. For me, the solution to the lack of a keyboard is to get a whole Prophet 6. I've measured it out, and it would fit beautifully on my table.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2016, 11:21:21 AM
Funny, we seem to be trading conversational places. For me, the solution to the lack of a keyboard is to get a whole Prophet 6. I've measured it out, and it would fit beautifully on my table.

No, that's just what I was suggesting.  It seems to me the Prophet-6 Keyboard is an all-round high quality piece of musical furniture.  It would also make a fine controller for your Mother-32.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on May 14, 2016, 07:59:07 AM
To the point of separating out the module from the keybed itself, I recently bought an Ensoniq TS-10 precisely for that very purpose (controller keyboard with poly aftertouch) - and, happily, it's wholly flat on top, perfect for desktop modules:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rScBRKlTdoE/TDPk03aSseI/AAAAAAABPR8/jqA8F_V5hDY/s1600/!B)TQkBQ!2k~$(KGrHqN,!isEv1%2B0C)7uBMM4NpW5jQ~~_12.JPG)

Also - the most alluring thing about its feel is the contactless keyboard, which requires very little downward force to engage. Imagine the long*-throw Fatar keybed from the Waldorf Wave / Kawai K5000 without the bubble contact weirdness....

I did not think that I would enjoy this as much as I do, having been used to positive-action keybeds (such as a tracker organ action, or my DX7), but it seems to fit the bill and it's forced me to revisit playing technique that, frankly, the Fatar and CME keybeds just could not accommodate (think Pratt-Read J-wire, as used on the OB-*, Arp Omni, etc., without the initial bit of pressure). And Ensoniqs are cheap these days.

* relative to the shorter synth-action keybeds, anyway

(Strangely, this post ended up in another thread - think the forum frameworks are having a "day")
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 18, 2016, 01:45:45 PM
Hmm:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BFjVKCekdm_/ (https://www.instagram.com/p/BFjVKCekdm_/)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BFjThBaEdjg/?taken-by=peff (https://www.instagram.com/p/BFjThBaEdjg/?taken-by=peff)

So, I've been told that there's an announcement coming up during Moogfest.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 18, 2016, 02:57:54 PM
So, I've been told that there's an announcement coming up during Moogfest.

Huh. The pricing will be interesting, and it's likely to get as close to excessive as Moog can swing. It would be nice if it was priced as a Voyager replacement, but that doesn't seem likely. But aside from the Voyager replacement, there are some other products I'd like to see from Moog:
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 18, 2016, 02:59:41 PM
Before this thread gets derailed, can we move to this other one?

http://forum.davesmithinstruments.com/index.php/topic,514.0.html
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 18, 2016, 03:20:51 PM
So, I've been told that there's an announcement coming up during Moogfest.

Huh. The pricing will be interesting, and it's likely to get as close to excessive as Moog can swing. It would be nice if it was priced as a Voyager replacement, but that doesn't seem likely.

Yeah, I'll consider everything above $999 as being too expensive.

But aside from the Voyager replacement, there are some other products I'd like to see from Moog:
  • A Sub37 with CV outs
  • A eurorack version of the CP-251
  • A 953-style MIDI controller, for a kick-butt-looking 3 x Mother-32 stack

I guess the most likely to happen is a Eurorack version of the CP-251. I can't see a market for the last one, and a Sub 37 with CV outs has been ruled out from the getgo.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 23, 2016, 06:50:52 PM
There was one module that fairly well met my demands, and that very little is said about - the Hypersynth Xenophone (http://www.hypersynth.com/xenophone.html).

Quickly:
- 3 analog oscillators and 2 subs
- 1 multimode filter
- filter keytracking
- 3 LFOs
- 3 DHSDSR envelope generators, including one for modulation
- onboard stereo digital effects
- duophonic/paraphonic mode

It seems like a superb module.  The only problems is that there are precious few YouTube demonstrations.  None of them are especially high-quality or thorough.  Regardless, this does seem like a powerful and flexible instrument worth considering.  I imagine two of them used in stereo would sound magnificent.  The price is about $1,050 at Perfect Circuit (https://www.perfectcircuitaudio.com/catalog/product/view/id/18225/s/xenophone-advanced-analog-mono-synth/category/160/).

My second preference is for the Oberheim SEM Pro, and my third is for the Vermona Mono Lancet.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 23, 2016, 09:03:37 PM
There are a few decent demos on of the Xenophone on Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/search?q=Hypersynth%20Xenophone

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on August 23, 2016, 09:05:23 PM
This would have been nice, if not too limited: http://www.dreadbox-fx.com/murmux-v2-limited-edition/ (http://www.dreadbox-fx.com/murmux-v2-limited-edition/)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 23, 2016, 09:08:49 PM
Only 50 units being produced?  Ah well....
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on August 23, 2016, 09:11:22 PM
Only 50 units being produced?  Ah well....

That's what I meant by "too limited."
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 23, 2016, 09:14:01 PM
The only thing I don't care for in the Xenophone is the use of encoders, rather than potentiometers.  I much prefer the visual and feel of a limited turning range.  But this is a rare synthesizer as well.  And I don't yet have a sense of its sound.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: blewis on August 24, 2016, 04:17:38 AM
Have you looked into a Voyager with slew rate mod? I wonder if that would modify the saw wave to your liking?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 24, 2016, 10:02:27 AM
At this point, I would prefer a Minimoog to a Voyager.  The Model D's second LFO was a huge improvement for my purposes.  But I'm not presently considering a Minimoog.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Fuseball on August 29, 2016, 06:25:37 AM
At the risk of throwing another possibility into the ring, have you seen this?...

https://ask.audio/articles/korg-arp-odyssey-desktop-synth-coming-soon

Gets around the mini-key debacle at least.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on August 29, 2016, 06:38:49 AM
At the risk of throwing another possibility into the ring, have you seen this?...

https://ask.audio/articles/korg-arp-odyssey-desktop-synth-coming-soon

Gets around the mini-key debacle at least.

My understanding was that the Odyssey's sales were disappointing, and they had to significantly reduce the price of the thing. A desktop version would be a good use of the boards they've already made. The price will certainly come in way less than that of the Boomstar 4075 (with an ARP-inspired filter).

The desktop market seems to be getting crowded. Who has desks that big? Lawyers, that's who. Otherwise, nobody.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 06:54:37 AM
Fuseball -

Wow!  I didn't know about this.  An Odyssey module would definitely interest me, especially now that I've fairly recovered from my deer/car/money dilemma.   I imagine it would cost significantly less than a new Model D!  Thanks for the information.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on August 29, 2016, 06:56:36 AM
I bet they'd be around $500 USD, making a pair of them pretty affordable.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on August 29, 2016, 07:09:30 AM
My understanding was that the Odyssey's sales were disappointing, and they had to significantly reduce the price of the thing.

Yeah, it wasn't really a success. My retailer of choice still has the last one he received gathering dust. Despite sounding great, I personally found the minikeys and the ribbon pads awkward. A rev. 4 with proper wheels would have been nicer.

A desktop version would be a good use of the boards they've already made. The price will certainly come in way less than that of the Boomstar 4075 (with an ARP-inspired filter).

It would certainly be cheaper than the Boomstar. But it's still bulky.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 07:24:19 AM
In light of the slim/mini keys issue, perhaps a module version would be more popular than the keys version.  Of course, that, too, would unfortunately be shrunken, compared with the original Odyssey.  There's just no escaping this size issue.  I've always liked roomy control panels, which allow for more precise tweaking, especially with the fine tuning of a second oscillator.  It's got to be just right for the hand and fingers.  I can't imagine what a pain those Roland Boutiques must be to precisely adjust.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on August 29, 2016, 07:28:48 AM
In light of the slim/mini keys issue, perhaps a module version would be more popular than the keys version.  Of course, that, too, would unfortunately be shrunken, compared with the original Odyssey.  There's just no escaping this size issue.  I've always liked roomy control panels, which allow for more precise tweaking, especially with the fine tuning of a second oscillator.  It's got to be just right for the hand and fingers.  I can't imagine what a pain those Roland Boutiques must be to precisely adjust.

The size of the shrunken Odyssey panel is not really an issue I think. It's still quite big. To imagine that it was even bigger on the original is quite something. If it wasn't for the keys, no one would think of the Korg Odyssey as "mini." Compared to the Roland Boutiques it almost appears as a soccer field.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 07:36:05 AM
Hah, hah!  A soccer field?  You've got to try a nice roomy panel some day, Paul.  The side of your hand rests on the surface, while your steadied fingers can Oh-so-precisely adjust a parameter.  I think this is even more necessary with sliders, versus knobs.  It's especially an issue with a non-programmable synthesizer, since tuning adjustments will be done spontaneously.

I find the DSI instruments to have crowded panels.  I've never liked their little knobs either.  I'd say my taste is something like the ARP Little Brother! ;D  I actually had one of these to supplement my Odyssey, many moons ago.  It's funny: compared to modern instruments, the Little Brother looks like my grandmother's waffle iron!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on August 29, 2016, 08:30:14 AM
Hah, hah!  A soccer field?  You've got to try a nice roomy panel some day, Paul.  The side of your hand rests on the surface, while your steadied fingers can Oh-so-precisely adjust a parameter.  I think this is even more necessary with sliders, versus knobs.  It's especially an issue with a non-programmable synthesizer, since tuning adjustments will be done spontaneously.

That was of course an exaggeration. I still do think that the Korg Odyssey panel leaves enough room. It's not that you'll need tweezers to adjust the sliders like on the boutiques.

I find the DSI instruments to have crowded panels.  I've never liked their little knobs either.

If the knobs were any bigger there'd be less space between the single parameters, which wouldn't be very practical, as you'd always accidently touch adjacent knobs. Plus: the panels might be crowded to some degree but also ask for less menu diving, which I find more appealing than the amount of menu use that seems to be required on the Behringer synth.

I'd say my taste is something like the ARP Little Brother! ;D  I actually had one of these to supplement my Odyssey, many moons ago.  It's funny: compared to modern instruments, the Little Brother looks like my grandmother's waffle iron!

Cute. It would also make for a great toaster housing.  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 08:48:39 AM
Right.  I wasn't thinking that DSI should enlarge their parameters only; I would prefer to see the entire panel enlarged, especially regarding the depth from keyboard to back panel.  I prefer large roomy instruments.  The Poly Evolver Keyboard is a nice size - although it, too, is crowded with little knobs.  The P6 seems to be a little more spacious, due to the smaller number of parameters.

By the way, I would be equally happy if Moog produced a module version of the Sub 37.  I really like the sound and features of that instrument, but the keyboard length ends it for me.  The same is true for the Odyssey, of course, but I'd be willing to make an exception for it.  But I'd much prefer a couple of Odyssey modules controlled from a PEK or P'08 Keyboard. 

The Vermona Mono Lancet has also been near the top of my mono list.  It does sound wonderfully rich and warm.  If only it had LFO controlled PWM available from the panel.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on August 29, 2016, 12:23:31 PM
With regard to panel size, that's one upside of the older OB-X(a), compared to the OB-6: the large indicator knobs (previously used only for the Oscillator Frequency and Filter Frequency + Resonance on the SEM) are a joy to work with, compared to the smaller knobs used for all other SEM controls, and the majority of the mid-80s blue-banner Oberheim products. The spacing visually counteracts (IMHO) the texture of the blue pinstripes, although I still prefer in many respects the look of the original OB-X.

I didn't find the Karp Odyssey reissue to be wrong-sized as regards the panel; 7/8 size is workable (equivalent to 42/48 scaling, which is well workable for something along the lines of a Jupiter-8 reissue. (Roland, are you listening?)

I'd buy one of the modules - and, if they add some sort of poly-chain functionality, hmm - that could be interesting.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 12:29:48 PM
I, too, could live with the smaller panel size - not the mini/slim keys, but the control panel. 

I do hope we hear more about this Odyssey version soon.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 12:44:41 PM
Here's a short Synthtopia piece on the Odyssey Desktop:

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016/08/29/korg-arp-odyssey-desktop-synthesizer/

Of course, there's an instrument of much greater interest in front of the synthesizers.  Hey, where's Dslsynth?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on August 29, 2016, 01:07:53 PM
Hey, where's Dslsynth?

Posted a favorite front panel question to Matrixsynth instead.

Oh and not an instrument but a user interface. I seriously doubt your wife wants to be called an instrument.

;)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 01:10:28 PM
Well I was just trying to maintain the synthesizer terminology.   ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on August 29, 2016, 01:14:09 PM
User friendly interfaces are important for most noise making devices.

;)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 29, 2016, 01:18:45 PM
Hmmm, I think "instrument" is a more personable description than "device."
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: dslsynth on August 29, 2016, 01:24:24 PM
You could say so but think about classics as that box with just two buttons labeled "Nurse" and "Nuke". User interface design is certainly an intricate art which is why generative methods such as the above mentioned artifact produce far more interesting results!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on August 29, 2016, 04:18:16 PM
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ligIpjOjhc0/VXcSZtZfKqI/AAAAAAAAI9c/N1UxsWPn43Q/s1600/LOC515.png)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: SpaceVoice on September 28, 2016, 12:15:16 PM
Any luck with finding a ready made solution ?
 I am leaning toward a custom modular.
 Has anyone considered the WMD/SSF Monolith?
 If I have to stay on a budget this might be an option, to begin monosynth creations.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on September 28, 2016, 12:39:25 PM
How about a Dreadbox System? - Certainly on the rather expensive side, but well below a TVS Pro or a Model D.
http://www.dreadbox-fx.com/g-system/ (http://www.dreadbox-fx.com/g-system/)

Would also work well behind an assigned keyboard controller, or on a 2nd tier above a keyboard.

Sounds quite pleasing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVrt9mg1q24 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVrt9mg1q24)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc5t4nI79MY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc5t4nI79MY)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfnYuobCiB4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfnYuobCiB4)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on September 28, 2016, 12:47:27 PM
Any luck with finding a ready made solution ?
 I am leaning toward a custom modular.
 Has anyone considered the WMD/SSF Monolith?
 If I have to stay on a budget this might be an option, to begin monosynth creations.

My quest taught me that I already have the instruments that best match my requirements and serve my musical needs.  So, I'm interested only in supplementing them.  Top on my list is the Korg ARP Odyssey Desktop, which I would control from either a PEK or a P'08.  I've thought of later getting a DSI Pro 2, combining it with two Odyssey Desktops, and making that my full-time mono synth.  It would certainly cover a wide range of analog and digital capabilities, not to mention have stereo depth.  It's an exciting combination to consider.  But for now, I'm considering only the Odyssey.  Who knows?  Maybe I ultimately won't like it as much as I expect.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on September 28, 2016, 01:10:47 PM
Top on my list is the Korg ARP Odyssey Desktop, which I would control from either a PEK or a P'08.  I've thought of later getting a DSI Pro 2, combining it with two Odyssey Desktops, and making that my full-time mono synth.  It would certainly cover a wide range of analog and digital capabilities, not to mention have stereo depth.  It's an exciting combination to consider.  But for now, I'm considering only the Odyssey.  Who knows?  Maybe I ultimately won't like it as much as I expect.

How are you planning to combine the two Odysseys with the Pro 2? - I mean given that the latter has a mono input.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on September 28, 2016, 01:53:02 PM
I mean by means of MIDI: Pro 2 MIDI Out to one Odyssey MIDI In, and Pro 2 MIDI Thru/Out 2 to the other Odyssey MIDI In.  It's how I'll do it with the P'08 and PEK as well.  Do you have bad news for me?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on September 28, 2016, 01:58:18 PM
I mean by means of MIDI: Pro 2 MIDI Out to one Odyssey MIDI In, and Pro 2 MIDI Thru/Out 2 to the other Odyssey MIDI In.  It's how I'll do it with the P'08 and PEK as well.  Do you have bad news for me?

I see. No, I first thought, you wanted to have both of their audio signals running through the Pro 2.

What version are you getting?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on September 28, 2016, 02:06:08 PM
Oh - processed through the Pro 2?  No.  As usual, I'm trying to create a three-legged monster.  I would get the Odyssey Rev III in black and orange.  That was my favorite years ago.  The white version is striking, but it has a toy-ish look to me.

Now wouldn't this combination make a fabulous instrument?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on September 28, 2016, 02:15:55 PM
Oh - processed through the Pro 2?  No.  As usual, I'm trying to create a three-legged monster.  I would get the Odyssey Rev III in black and orange.  That was my favorite years ago.  The white version is striking, but it has a toy-ish look to me.

Now wouldn't this combination make a fabulous instrument?

Argh, I would have picked the white one (reminds me of 1960s science fiction), but then it's all just toys to me anyway.  ;)

Adjusting both Odysseys to get close to roughly the same sound for the left and right side will probably be a challenge at times. That's the only thing that would bother me. But once it's done, it'll probably sound really nice.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on September 28, 2016, 02:22:25 PM
True, it will be a challenge at times.  But it's also multi-timbrality that interests me.  Plus, as you know, I don't use a wide variety of complex sounds, so it really wouldn't be that difficult.  Even a simple patch using one oscillator per Odyssey would sound beautiful in stereo.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on September 28, 2016, 06:13:35 PM
I am leaning toward a custom modular.
Has anyone considered the WMD/SSF Monolith?

I don't have any WMD modules, but they're well-regarded. For a while I was attracted to the Monolith sort of form factor--a eurorack case with an integrated keyboard--specifically, the Waldorf KB37. My reservations about this sort of thing are (1) I don't think there's quite enough space, and (2) with a modular, you'll be playing it with the keyboard way less often than you think you will.

A modular system is a good way to go about the quest for the perfect monosynth, as long as your perfect monosynth doesn't need patch memory.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on September 29, 2016, 03:05:09 AM
Do you have bad news for me?

There's only one bad news with regard to MIDI control: Although the module version is now capable of receiving pitch bend control via MIDI (revolutionary!!!), the rest of its MIDI implementation only covers note on and off messages. That means you won't even be able to control the modulation amount with an external mod wheel, which is especially cumbersome if you'd like to control two units simultaneously.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on September 30, 2016, 01:49:07 PM
Right, but I meant regarding the Pro 2.  I'm aware of the Odyssey's limitations.  I would simply set the depth from the slider and leave it alone.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: SpaceVoice on October 11, 2016, 12:53:39 PM
I am leaning toward a custom modular.
Has anyone considered the WMD/SSF Monolith?


I don't have any WMD modules, but they're well-regarded. For a while I was attracted to the Monolith sort of form factor--a eurorack case with an integrated keyboard--specifically, the Waldorf KB37. My reservations about this sort of thing are (1) I don't think there's quite enough space, and (2) with a modular, you'll be playing it with the keyboard way less often than you think you will.

A modular system is a good way to go about the quest for the perfect monosynth, as long as your perfect monosynth doesn't need patch memory.
Very true
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: SpaceVoice on October 11, 2016, 12:57:04 PM
Right, but I meant regarding the Pro 2.  I'm aware of the Odyssey's limitations.  I would simply set the depth from the slider and leave it alone.
  I have been watching more Pro2 videos lately ...I will have to check out the Arp desktop, I think I there is a demo of the module combined with the keyboard version.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on October 11, 2016, 01:09:26 PM
Yes, there is, but I didn't find that video helpful.  For all the wonderful musical four-oscillator bi-timbral stereo things that could have been done, it seemed to fall far short of the potential.  But I suppose the Knobcon environment was less than ideal for such a demo.  But surely some one will think of this combination.

I do think a Pro 2-Odyssey Desktop would make an exceptional pair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ZSaAjjpVs
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on October 16, 2016, 04:48:05 PM
Steven Morris's suggestion of the Doepfer formant filter (in another topic) gave me the idea of tackling your quest from a eurorack perspective. So I reviewed your requirements, and came up with a rough draft. This is a slightly bigger system than my system, but the rack into which this goes is readily available, with power included.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/351495

The Dixie II oscillators are clean and accurate, and can also handle LFO duties. Two pretty basic envelope generators are here, and a Maths, which can work as another ASDR, or two AR EGs, or extra LFOs, or glide, or handle the delay for vibrato, and many other things. There are some mixers, a S&H (which can also produce your noise), a pair of Curtis filters for handling a stereo signal path, a ring modulator, an SEM filter, and a low pass gate, because you'd probably love it. It's a jumping-off point, of course. In real life, the best approach is to add a module or two at a time.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on October 16, 2016, 05:34:35 PM
Interesting.  Did you come up with an approximate price for this behemoth?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on October 16, 2016, 06:07:15 PM
Interesting.  Did you come up with an approximate price for this behemoth?

Yeah, about $3300 for the modules. (Modular Grid shows a running total underneath the rack.) The price of the case and power for a 6U/84HP system is another $350-$500, but could be quite a bit less if you build one yourself.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on October 16, 2016, 06:21:19 PM
I'm too impatient with instruments.  I'd get frustrated slowly buying and putting all the bits together.  I'm impatient even with the route I've taken.  But it does look appealing alright.  I've many times considered going the modular route, for obvious reasons.  Thanks for all the information, Chysn.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Steven Morris on November 07, 2016, 02:32:14 AM
I'm too impatient with instruments.  I'd get frustrated slowly buying and putting all the bits together.  I'm impatient even with the route I've taken.  But it does look appealing alright.  I've many times considered going the modular route, for obvious reasons.  Thanks for all the information, Chysn.

If you have a store that stocks that kind of gear nearby it is possible to test out a whole system like that.

If anyone is interested, here's a link to a short example of a 'male choir' patch I made with three Dixie V2's going through an Intellijel uVCF, the Trautonium Formant Filter, and a short delay modulated to create a chorus effect... of course it's also going through an analog chorus pedal at the end of that chain as well! (lexicon reverb + spring reverb helps a lot to bring that kind of patch more to life):
https://www.instagram.com/p/BERw5NhQZDy/

At any rate, that is quite a cool system that Chysn has put together! I didn't know about that Erica Synths stereo mixer-- I'll have to look into that. Looks like one could also use that as a way to crossfade between two different sounds.

Lately, I've been thinking that I'd love to own a 9 (or even 12!) oscillator mono synth based on a Moog 3C that I could really evoke an ensemble effect with in a single pass of recording. With 12 oscillators + 4 sets of 2 filters (multimode + format), 4 BBD's, and all the necessary amps, LFO's, EG's, etc. I'm sure it'd cost a fortune, but it'd be my 'perfect mono synth' :P. Not to mention, once you have all of those modules you can get pretty heavy into additive synthesis and sound design stuff as well! Although I'm also toying with the idea of getting a P12 instead... but alas once I have the money for all of that I'm sure there will be different equipment to choose from!

Anyways, I hope you end up finding something that works for you~ it's hard to believe, but NAMM 2017 is coming up somewhat soon already! You never know, maybe there will be one more year of mono synths :)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on November 07, 2016, 04:51:39 AM
If anyone is interested, here's a link to a short example of a 'male choir' patch I made with three Dixie V2's going through an Intellijel uVCF, the Trautonium Formant Filter, and a short delay modulated to create a chorus effect... of course it's also going through an analog chorus pedal at the end of that chain as well! (lexicon reverb + spring reverb helps a lot to bring that kind of patch more to life):

That's nice. I'll probably get a Dixie II next week. I'd imagine that most of that patch is supported by the Formant Filter, which is simply way too big for my system.

How do you like the uVCF? I was researching it on Muff Wiggler and saw that you had some tracking issues a few years ago. For a while I was considering going down to a single VCO and using the uVCF and wave folder as an auxiliary oscillator; but the tracking seems just short of what I'd want.

Quote
Lately, I've been thinking that I'd love to own a 9 (or even 12!) oscillator mono synth based on a Moog 3C that I could really evoke an ensemble effect with in a single pass of recording.

You may have seen last week that Aion just rounded out their Moog Modular clone lineup with the 904C, 902, 911, and 923. You could now build pretty much an entire Moog modular system with Aion eurorack modules, and their prices aren't too obscene. Six months ago, I would have been really tempted to do this, but I'm way more interested in Buchla than Moog these days.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Steven Morris on November 07, 2016, 06:59:44 PM
Chysn,

Thanks for that info! I didn't realize that those Moog clone modules had come out or were even on the horizon-- I'll be checking them out for sure. They are a bit pricey, but it looks like they didn't cut any corners... the oscillator goes to 40k!! That's the kind of feature that I want in Eurorack modules. I also love that they chose to keep all of the notches around the pots-- this is something I'm constantly fighting with when I come up with patches. I'll write notes like "Filter Cutoff at 1:35"-- it's not the most accurate to say the least!

RE: Dixie II's for choir patches
I'm not sure that the Dixie II is even the best choice to be honest. I personally like it because they are extremely stable. That, however, means that I'm relying on random voltages to de-stable the oscillators to get them to sound more human like. They track really well though, which is good because it means that you don't have to keep retuning them when you switch registers (like going from Male to Female choir sounds and such).

As for the uVCF, I think that Intellijel is being generous when they say how well it tracks-- I had a Doepfer A-111-5 for a long time and the filter on that seemed to track just as well if not better in some cases. At that particular point in time, I had all of my equipment in a non-insulated room in a place with extreme weather (as in below freezing all the way to 95+ degrees with 90+% humidity). So in the winter months, I'd heat up the room with kerosine heaters and my equipment, so the temperature would swing from like 28F to 75F+. However, even now that I'm back in California, I still notice that I have to calibrate the filter quite often, which is not ideal. For some patches, I write down all of the parameters I've used. I guess it's not a big deal if it's a tiny bit.

At any rate, the Aion Filter/Noise, LPF, HPF, and Filter Coupler look amazing. While I've done a bit of research on the specs of the original Moog Filter Coupler, I guess I didn't realize the implications behind them (just seems like a waste of HP at first glance!). I suppose if cost wasn't an issue I'd go for those Aion filters, assuming they perform as advertised, over the uVCF.

As excited as I am about these Moog clones, it's not really something I can invest in right now-- maybe we can live vicariously through Sacred Synthesis though? I'm curious what his take is on these!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on November 07, 2016, 08:17:15 PM
Here I am!  I think the above patch was too complex.  Too many things going on, and the vibrato rate was far too slow.  I'd agree that the filter is of the essence in imitating a choir, but so, too, isn't the base waveform.  This is just a personal thing, but I prefer to use a waveform that emulates the sound, and then to set the filter accordingly.  The difference being that a standard lowpass filter in 2-pole mode does just fine.  Here's a sample of my choir patch on the Poly Evolver (In the first example, the patch enters at 1:18 and is used throughout.):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpWEOEIo0So
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIN0sthfksg

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: eXode on November 08, 2016, 02:31:36 AM
Sorry if this have been answered already, but the thread is quite long now:

Have you tried the Pro 2 on it's own? I know a lot of people swears by it for various reasons so I'm kind of curious if you'd actually need the other instruments. Of course I don't expect it to be the be all, end all of all synthesizers but if I were you I think I'd start with the Pro 2 first to see if the others are even "needed".

I don't know to what extend it has been discussed already but If I recall correctly the Pro 2 offers super saw and other super waveforms. I would say that the super saw has gotten a bad rap thanks to all those epic trance themes from the JP 8000, but when detuning is applied with afterthought it can give you very refined and beautiful tones, in my opinion. Might be worth investigating further. :)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on November 08, 2016, 07:39:53 AM
Please don't apologize for getting us back to the proper topic, which is monophonic synthesizers.  Thank you for doing so, Exode.  I was thinking about this late last night.

No, I haven't actually played a Pro 2.  I've only listened over and over to all the Pro 2 videos online and read many comments about it.  I can say this.  From reading several forums, it gets an unusual amount of positive and enthusiastic comments.  Many musicians really like the Pro 2.

If I were to get a Pro 2, it would be primarily as a mono synth.  Regarding my set up, two Poly Evolver Keyboards have my limited digital synthesis needs completely covered.  My Prophet '08s, together with the PEKs, have my polyphonic analog synthesis needs completely covered.  The Pro 2 has, in my opinion, the ideal voice architecture.  Nothing needs to be added to its feature (for my uses).  But a mono synth in my set up would have to meet two specific requirements: first, it would have to have a deep stereo field, and second, it would have to have a very strong analog character.  The Pro 2 doesn't excel at either of these requirements.

I do like the instrument.  In its own way, I think it sounds excellent.  But I would positively have to supplement it with a solidly analog module - a SEM, an Odyssey, or something else similar.  That's my only issue with the Pro 2 - it would have to be supplemented.

You make a good point about the supersaw.  And you're right in what you suggest: it does get under my skin; I hate the sound and its associations.  But perhaps tweaking and applying it in new ways could turn it into something sweet and melodious, so thanks for the suggestion. 

I'm always watching for new Pro 2 demonstrations, and perhaps one will convince me it's the way to go.  Otherwise, I don't see how I can try one firsthand unless I make a long trip to a music store, or order one to the house.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on November 08, 2016, 09:34:15 AM
I do like the instrument.  In its own way, I think it sounds excellent.  But I would positively have to supplement it with a solidly analog module - a SEM, an Odyssey, or something else similar.  That's my only issue with the Pro 2 - it would have to be supplemented.

Wow - you plucked that right out of the sky - my thoughts exactly. The world looks like three-plus-octave keyboards right now, though, by choice of synth voice.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on November 08, 2016, 09:46:13 AM
I do like the instrument.  In its own way, I think it sounds excellent.  But I would positively have to supplement it with a solidly analog module - a SEM, an Odyssey, or something else similar.  That's my only issue with the Pro 2 - it would have to be supplemented.

Wow - you plucked that right out of the sky - my thoughts exactly. The world looks like three-plus-octave keyboards right now, though, by choice of synth voice.

Are you controlling your new SEM with the Pro 2?  How would you assess the Pro 2's analog character, as compared with the SEM?  I realize this really isn't a fair comparison, but I'm still curious.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on November 08, 2016, 01:01:51 PM
Are you controlling your new SEM with the Pro 2?  How would you assess the Pro 2's analog character, as compared with the SEM?  I realize this really isn't a fair comparison, but I'm still curious.
Boy, would I like to find out! I've been traveling for work as of late, so it's on my list to patch the two together when I get back and to do some comparisons.

The SEM is fairly stable in terms of pitch, so it should be easy to make side-by-side comparisons without things getting out of hand.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: eXode on November 19, 2016, 01:20:15 AM
You make a good point about the supersaw.  And you're right in what you suggest: it does get under my skin; I hate the sound and its associations.  But perhaps tweaking and applying it in new ways could turn it into something sweet and melodious, so thanks for the suggestion.

This is a software synthesizer obviously, but the main feature in this video is a single oscillator with 12 sawtooths (like a super-super saw) that is detuned and spread in the stereo field. Of course reverb was applied liberally, but perhaps it conveys what might be done with super saws and isn't epic trance. ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UHoxKm3rMs&feature=youtu.be&t=109
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 01, 2017, 06:36:27 AM
Since my own quest led me right back to where I had first started - to the Prophet '08 - I'm hoping and expecting that the REV2 will be even an improvement on this find.  It remains to be seen how one instrument will sonically compare with the other, but the addition of effects, especially of reverb and delay, should move the REV2 into the first violin position.  In fact, if the REV2 were nothing more than a Prophet '08 with delay, I'd still go for it.  The inclusion of onboard effects means the elimination of whatever mess of boxes, wires, and the required outlets one has endured in order to add offboard effects.  This, to me, is a tremendous benefit and worth, in itself, the trouble replacing older instruments with newer.  So, it's possible that an eight-voice REV2 could make the ideal mono synth.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Jason on February 01, 2017, 07:40:24 AM
It remains to be seen how one instrument will sonically compare with the other,

It sounds like a number of people are wondering about this, but it seems to me that the exact same Curtis chips should sound the same in a different instrument... just as the patches sound the same on my '08 and Tetra.

Wouldn't it be great if the Rev2 was able to clean up the clicking/pop of many of the mono patches?? While I use a lot of mono sounds, I almost never use more than 1 voice stacked because of the increase of the artifact when played high on the keyboard. Reducing that click would really make the Rev2 a beautiful monophonic synthesizer.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 01, 2017, 08:07:01 AM
Right.  Nor do I ever use Stack Mode in mono.  But honestly, I don't have a problem any longer with that clicking.  It's still there, but it's mild enough.  But you're right - the REV2 may entirely fix that issue.  There are so many reasons for Prophet '08 fans to be excited about the new instrument.  For one, soon there will be an explosion of great new demonstrations of that familiar sound.  New music, nearly the same instrument.  It's as if the Prophet '08 has been revived, rather than retired.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Jason on February 01, 2017, 10:07:42 AM
Yes, it really is a beautiful thing. I bought my Prophet '08 less than a year and a half ago. At that point, I was feeling it was a little old... for a new synthesizer. Manufacturers frequently retire instruments after a much shorter time, and so we keyboard players are sometimes conditioned to want the most recent offerings. (Like many of you, I try to fight this illogical urge; I have no interest in updating my '57 Hammond, nor my guitars.) Still, I had never purchased such an old new instrument before, and yet it was the best option. When the Prophet 6, and later and OB-6, came out, the '08 was still the best option for me, and yet I felt a growing uneasiness as I wondered whether or not it would be retired. The more time I put into programming it, the more I didn't want there to be a completely new replacement that would take me back to square one with programming. (I know myself, and know that I would want the newest offering from DSI if they came out with a different successor to the '08.) What I really wanted was a second incarnation of the '08 with a few improved features, like an improved key-bed... and that is exactly what we got!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 12, 2017, 02:02:02 PM
Things have certainly evolved since this thread was started.  Today, one could buy a Minimoog Model D reissue and use it to MIDI control an ARP Odyssey Desktop.  This combination still wouldn't provide the ideal voice architecture I had first described, but in terms of classic analog tone and power...yikes!  It would make a magnificent combination.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 12, 2017, 04:57:15 PM
Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien, man.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 12, 2017, 06:56:42 PM
"The perfect is the enemy of the good."

- Voltaire

I see your point.  I haven't changed the original ideal of this thread - not in the least; I've simply more fully realized that only DSI offers the "perfect" voice architecture I described.  Buying a non-DSI instrument requires a loosening up of the standard in exchange for the merely "good," which I'd rather not.

Voice architecture is one ideal; sound quality is another.  So, it's hard to choose exactly which "perfect" is more important than the other.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 12, 2017, 08:26:53 PM
To be fair, it is a "quest" for a "perfect" monosynth. Be it an Arthurian search for the Holy Grail, or a quixotic tilt at windmills, quests don't always turn up what they're looking for. But if you have musical ideas that you need a monosynth to realize, you might be doing yourself a disservice at this point.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 12, 2017, 08:35:59 PM
A disservice by doing what - by compromising?  I've only compromised in my thoughts, so as to savor such musical treats as Minimoogs and Odysseys.  But I haven't acted.  The standard and the quest are the same today, even though I've flirted with lesser notions.  All of this will almost certainly end with a Rev2 having a non-DSI module or two affixed to it for monophonic parts.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 13, 2017, 01:30:08 AM
A disservice by doing what - by compromising?

By not having a monosynth, when you seem to want one.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on April 13, 2017, 05:21:42 AM
At this point, unless one has designs upon a Moog Voyager XL, the only remaining five-octave monosynth option is effectively a polysynth, or a controller keyboard paired up with a module or two; nearly everything else has a shorter keyboard scope (four or fewer octaves).

As for myself, I'm gonna build one of the latter (controller + module), in one housing–I already have the keybed (FATAR TP/8O waterfall keyboard); now I need to design a universal channel aftertouch strip (as prior art in this area leaves much to be desired, from a long-term reliability perspective).

LEMMA: The perfect monosynth needs to have good performance controllers.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2017, 07:33:43 AM
At this point, unless one has designs upon a Moog Voyager XL, the only remaining five-octave monosynth option is effectively a polysynth, or a controller keyboard paired up with a module or two; nearly everything else has a shorter keyboard scope (four or fewer octaves).

Yes, it's true.  There are approximately zero options for buying a mono synth with a long keyboard.  Three octaves is out of the question, which is the primary reason I haven't gone for a Moog Sub 37.  I have no interest in constantly hitting an octave shift button, nor could I, since I'm nearly always using both hands and feet while playing.  Three-and-a-half octaves are about as good as it gets today.  That's one of the many reasons I wish a full-sized ARP 2600 was available, with its four-octave keyboard.  Personally, I'm fine with four octaves in a mono synth; that's a decent length for most mono uses. 

Starting from the DSI options, I expect to begin with either a Prophet REV2 or a Prophet-6, and then add one or two modules to it over time.  I think that will make for an excellent combination instrument.  But my preference would have been to have it all in one instrument.

The other option of starting with a keyboard controller, and the whole idea of building up your own synthesizer using modules, is also very appealing.  That offers even more possibilities.  I would consider it if there were non USB-powered keyboard controllers with organ-style keyboards (not waterfall keys) that interested me.  But the fact is, I haven't researched keyboard controllers at all.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2017, 08:04:56 AM
Another possibility is to continue using a Prophet '08/Rev 2 as the official - if part-time - mono synth.  The P'08 has served me well in this capacity.  Using the two pairs of output jacks allows for panning at the mixer, so that a stereo mono synth is easily created.  No modules, only one additional pair of audio cables, no MIDI wires - nice and simple.  Plus, all the exceptional capabilities of the Prophet '08, including the ability to have two mono patches available on the keyboard at once by using the Split Mode.  I've used this to good effect, with a tightly tuned sawtooth lead patch on the lower end, and a slightly more loosely tuned and somewhat brighter sawtooth lead patch on the upper end.  It makes for effective dynamic changes when you need them but lack the opportunity to hit a button, parameter, or pedal - this going back and forth between the two patches.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on April 30, 2017, 08:29:18 PM
Now wouldn't this combination make a fabulous instrument?
Late to the conversation, but.... https://youtu.be/tx5RcOu9tjA
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on April 30, 2017, 09:23:23 PM
.... and in case you're wondering what this would look like... I imagine a custom built keyboard stand / cabinet for this new super-monophonic-instrument.  Because, I imagine, once wired up, it really would be treated like one instrument in a studio set-up.  That's how I'd do it anyway.   And since we're imagining, I through in a pair of Eventide H9 for the Arps (though, they should be on the same side of the Pro 2 as I would run them in series with the Arps as a left and right stereo pair (instead of 1 H9 per Odyssey)).


The toys are roughly to scale...

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 01, 2017, 04:16:46 AM
Bull's-eye! 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on May 01, 2017, 04:47:30 AM
Bull's-eye!
Sometimes you just need to visualize something....  :)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 01, 2017, 04:56:53 AM
Another desirable combination would be those two ARP Odyssey Desktops controlled by a Prophet-6 Keyboard.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on May 01, 2017, 05:10:36 AM
Now wouldn't this combination make a fabulous instrument?
Late to the conversation, but.... https://youtu.be/tx5RcOu9tjA

Hahahah! This (the Odyssey module, one of) is on my list.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on May 01, 2017, 05:15:15 AM
Another desirable combination would be those two ARP Odyssey Desktops controlled by a Prophet-6 Keyboard.
Two advantages I see to the Pro-2 are 1) CV in and out -- just in case you decide to get a few modular bits, and 2) those pressure sensitive slider ribbons are a great way to control the Arps or other gear.


For me, I'd consider a Pro-2 and an OB-6 module as a creative mono-synth pairing (keeping the H9s, but have the Pro-2 routed through them -- the OB6 has good effects on its own).


Interesting times to be a synth enthusiast.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on January 28, 2018, 02:18:57 PM
The Artisan Electronic Instruments Trentasette remains a real possibility.  AEI offers both keyboard and module versions with MIDI In/Out, and that means - aside from keyboard length - this combination checks nearly all the boxes.  The instruments look sharp, with lots of wood trim, and they sound quite good.  Plus, the prices are very reasonable ($1050 and $775).  But this is a genuine boutique company.  Instruments are made to order.


The Trentasette has an Baroque sound engine with a three-octave vel-sense keyboard:
 
•Monophonic synthesizer with 25 knobs and 15 buttons to get at that sound fast, and all savable for instant recall.
•Dual Analog Oscillators with PWM and Shape Modulation from Saw, through Blade and Triangle waveforms.
•Additional Digital PWM Oscillator/Noise Source
•Advanced CMOS Ring Modulator with 9 Wave Mangling Variations
•Dual Sub Oscillators: -1 or -2 down, Smooth or Square Wave
•4 Pole Analog Low Pass Filter with Resonance control into self-oscillation; playable over 5 octaves.
•Analog VCA
•4 rate modulatable LFOs with 8 waveforms and 4 modes of operation, including key-sync and one-shot
•4 DAHSDR (ADSR plus delay and hold) with Looping and 3 trigger modes.
•2  8-Step Modulation Sequencers. (special ADSR mode)
•MIDI Clock sync on ADSRs and LFOs
•7 Modifier Functions allow combinations of Modulators and/or Keyboard inputs to create all new modulations.
•21 Modulation sources routable to 18 Destinations for complex sound generation possibilities.
•60 Patch Storage and Recall with 10 perfomance Quick Access buttons.
•Analog Sound...Digital Stability; all Through-Hole parts
 
                 Assembled by Hand in the USA

Website:
https://www.artisanelectronicinstruments.com/

[Update:  I just learned from AEI that they would be willing to custom build a four-octave keyboard for the same instrument.]

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Jason on January 29, 2018, 12:20:48 PM
That's a pretty impressive option- one I hadn't seen before. Great look, sound and price.

So one Trentasette and one matching Ottava?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on January 29, 2018, 12:37:55 PM
I don't know if this is going to be, since I'm also considering the Prophet 12 and the Rev2; but yes, a four-octave Trentasette keyboard together with a Baroque/Ottavo module.  I'm seriously considering this as my ultimate mono synth.  It sounds like what I've been looking for over the last few years.  But I have to consider how this would be an improvement over a second Prophet '08/Rev2.  I'm thinking it may offer a better analog tone and at a reasonable price.  And I really like the idea of having a 100% dedicated monophonic instrument.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on January 29, 2018, 01:17:26 PM
The "Atomic" finish looks quite clean, similar to a Sub Phatty or a Subsequent 37: (https://static.wixstatic.com/media/10d2f9_bc6e1bd89a31486aa3cba54be75270c5~mv2_d_2272_1704_s_2.jpg/v1/fill/w_1958,h_1426,al_c,q_90,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/10d2f9_bc6e1bd89a31486aa3cba54be75270c5~mv2_d_2272_1704_s_2.webp)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on January 29, 2018, 02:12:57 PM
I believe that finish was the result of a request from a customer.  He does custom design some aspects of the instruments.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on January 29, 2018, 04:48:43 PM
Interesting. I remember you bringing up this company about 2 years ago. The Trentasette looks quite well equipped on the modulation side. Really a quite striking feature set for this type of synth/form factor. Not only the four LFOs, but also the four envelopes seem to allow for loads of flexibility. And at first sight I would have never guessed that this synth houses the option to route 21 mod sources to 18 destinations. It sounded quite good as well in the video I've seen.

Also cool that they would make you a 49 keys version, which I guess you can call Quarantanove then.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: DavidDever on January 30, 2018, 01:33:24 AM
Interesting. I remember you bringing up this company about 2 years ago. The Trentasette looks quite well equipped on the modulation side. Really a quite striking feature set for this type of synth/form factor. Not only the four LFOs, but also the four envelopes seem to allow for loads of flexibility. And at first sight I would have never guessed that this synth houses the option to route 21 mod sources to 18 destinations. It sounded quite good as well in the video I've seen.

Also cool that they would make you a 49 keys version, which I guess you can call Quarantanove then.

...with a polysynth in development as well, apparently.

I admit to having been turned off by the wood cabinet / black panel appearance, but it probably merits a second look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw13CzYcJVM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zMT7X9v5T4
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on January 30, 2018, 07:20:29 AM
It's nice. I mean, it looks weird, but the sound and feature set are attractive. Personally, I think a monosynth without CV is ridiculous; but if you don't need that, the Artisan seems pretty much spot-on. It reminds me very much of the Mopho, really.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on January 30, 2018, 07:27:23 AM
There are these as well:

https://www.artisanelectronicinstruments.com/neurorack
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on January 30, 2018, 08:29:38 AM
There are these as well:

https://www.artisanelectronicinstruments.com/neurorack

I'll keep my eye on those. There's basically no information in the world about them, so they probably don't quite exist yet.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on January 30, 2018, 08:50:43 AM
There are these as well:

https://www.artisanelectronicinstruments.com/neurorack

I'll keep my eye on those. There's basically no information in the world about them, so they probably don't quite exist yet.

A few of them are demonstrated in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-H1HQ8MzB0
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 28, 2019, 09:17:23 AM
I'm a bit in limbo these days, because I'm creeping along at updating my set up and don't have the full instrumental force that I like.  As it stands, I'm using a Poly Evolver Keyboard in place of a Prophet '08 as a part-time monophonic instrument.  It has taught me one surprising thing.  The PEK makes a superb polyphonic synthesizer, but for monophonic uses, I actually prefer the Prophet '08.  I would rather use a bi-tmbral analog instrument than an analog-digital hybrid.  As a matter purely of personal preference, the tones of the Evolver's digital oscillators strike me as lacking in dignity, as being even slightly comical - which is the last quality I want in my music.  And this has to do, not only with the Evolver's particular tones, but with digital tones in general (except those that emulate analog tones). 

Again, the digital oscillators make for superb and more complex polyphonic effects.  I like them for creating dreamy suspenseful atmospheres.  But when it comes to melodic passages, the pure sawtooth and pulse width analog tones, with their simple gravity, alone satisfy.  This realization comes as a happy surprise.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Soundquest on March 31, 2019, 10:56:31 AM
I'm a bit in limbo these days, because I'm creeping along at updating my set up and don't have the full instrumental force that I like.  As it stands, I'm using a Poly Evolver Keyboard in place of a Prophet '08 as a part-time monophonic instrument.  It has taught me one surprising thing.  The PEK makes a superb polyphonic synthesizer, but for monophonic uses, I actually prefer the Prophet '08.  I would rather use a bi-tmbral analog instrument than an analog-digital hybrid.  As a matter purely of personal preference, the tones of the Evolver's digital oscillators strike me as lacking in dignity, as being even slightly comical - which is the last quality I want in my music.  And this has to do, not only with the Evolver's particular tones, but with digital tones in general (except those that emulate analog tones). 

Again, the digital oscillators make for superb and more complex polyphonic effects.  I like them for creating dreamy suspenseful atmospheres.  But when it comes to melodic passages, the pure sawtooth and pulse width analog tones, with their simple gravity, alone satisfy.  This realization comes as a happy surprise.

I think the PEK digital oscillators do have a natural thinness to them.  I believe I read before that it has something to do with sample rate or bit amount.  Of course, I too, am so glad that they are there.  As I described before,  I often will make my own waveshapes in attempts to duplicate some real world instrument.  Usually I'll employee both digital oscillators to make it a fuller sound.  Even then, I find that once I'm done I tend to add a little saw or pulse to fatten it up.   
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 01, 2020, 05:04:16 PM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on August 01, 2020, 07:08:33 PM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 01, 2020, 07:45:18 PM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!

Now wait a minute.  That was my idea first!  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on August 01, 2020, 08:32:13 PM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!

Now wait a minute.  That was my idea first!  ;D

Haha I actually had this idea all the way back when I was looking for alternatives to the Oberheim Two Voice Pro. I got the idea from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth who used two ARP Avatars to do all their sequencing sounds for those soundtracks lol

Believe it or not I’m actually buying a full sized ARP Odyssey that comes with the ARP edition SQ1 sequencer, then selling the keyboard off and buying the two modules...but keeping the SQ1. Totally ridiculous but I just really want that ARP SQ1 haha
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on August 01, 2020, 09:07:19 PM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!

Now wait a minute.  That was my idea first!  ;D

Haha I actually had this idea all the way back when I was looking for alternatives to the Oberheim Two Voice Pro. I got the idea from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth who used two ARP Avatars to do all their sequencing sounds for those soundtracks lol

Believe it or not I’m actually buying a full sized ARP Odyssey that comes with the ARP edition SQ1 sequencer, then selling the keyboard off and buying the two modules...but keeping the SQ1. Totally ridiculous but I just really want that ARP SQ1 haha

I had a similar idea back then too, except I was going to use 2 SEM modules controlled by a Pro 2.

I ordered the last 2 SEMs Sweetwater had, but one of them was faulty so I had to send them both back.

It wasn’t to be.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on August 01, 2020, 11:22:09 PM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!

Now wait a minute.  That was my idea first!  ;D

Haha I actually had this idea all the way back when I was looking for alternatives to the Oberheim Two Voice Pro. I got the idea from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth who used two ARP Avatars to do all their sequencing sounds for those soundtracks lol

Believe it or not I’m actually buying a full sized ARP Odyssey that comes with the ARP edition SQ1 sequencer, then selling the keyboard off and buying the two modules...but keeping the SQ1. Totally ridiculous but I just really want that ARP SQ1 haha

I had a similar idea back then too, except I was going to use 2 SEM modules controlled by a Pro 2.

I ordered the last 2 SEMs Sweetwater had, but one of them was faulty so I had to send them both back.

It wasn’t to be.

Still tempted to track down a second hand Two Voice Pro because I honestly don’t think Tom is going to do anything any time soon. I think the name is going to just going to collect dust and then once Tom passes Dave might obtain the name and do a tribute synth in Tom’s memory.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on August 01, 2020, 11:25:08 PM
Also I think the ARP 2600 reissue is completely sold out now.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on August 02, 2020, 07:25:59 AM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!

Now wait a minute.  That was my idea first!  ;D

Haha I actually had this idea all the way back when I was looking for alternatives to the Oberheim Two Voice Pro. I got the idea from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth who used two ARP Avatars to do all their sequencing sounds for those soundtracks lol

Believe it or not I’m actually buying a full sized ARP Odyssey that comes with the ARP edition SQ1 sequencer, then selling the keyboard off and buying the two modules...but keeping the SQ1. Totally ridiculous but I just really want that ARP SQ1 haha

I had a similar idea back then too, except I was going to use 2 SEM modules controlled by a Pro 2.

I ordered the last 2 SEMs Sweetwater had, but one of them was faulty so I had to send them both back.

It wasn’t to be.

Still tempted to track down a second hand Two Voice Pro because I honestly don’t think Tom is going to do anything any time soon. I think the name is going to just going to collect dust and then once Tom passes Dave might obtain the name and do a tribute synth in Tom’s memory.
I looked for a TVP a couple of months ago when I had some “extra cash”... couldn’t find one.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on August 02, 2020, 10:30:01 AM
Since we started this thread years ago, the nearly perfect monophonic synthesizer - in my opinion - has appeared, and it is the Korg/ARP 2600.  What a masterpiece!  But who has such money to throw at an individual instrument?  Certainly, I don't.  I've considered an option, though, and that is two Korg/ARP Odyssey Modules panned for stereo and controlled by a P'08 or Rev2 keyboard.  This has its difficulties, since the LFO's obviously couldn't be synchronized, but it would still produce a remarkable sound.  Imagine a four-oscillator Odyssey!  I'm at least considereing it.

I'm going for two Odyssey desktop modules myself. JOIN US!!!

Now wait a minute.  That was my idea first!  ;D

Haha I actually had this idea all the way back when I was looking for alternatives to the Oberheim Two Voice Pro. I got the idea from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth who used two ARP Avatars to do all their sequencing sounds for those soundtracks lol

Believe it or not I’m actually buying a full sized ARP Odyssey that comes with the ARP edition SQ1 sequencer, then selling the keyboard off and buying the two modules...but keeping the SQ1. Totally ridiculous but I just really want that ARP SQ1 haha

I had a similar idea back then too, except I was going to use 2 SEM modules controlled by a Pro 2.

I ordered the last 2 SEMs Sweetwater had, but one of them was faulty so I had to send them both back.

It wasn’t to be.

Still tempted to track down a second hand Two Voice Pro because I honestly don’t think Tom is going to do anything any time soon. I think the name is going to just going to collect dust and then once Tom passes Dave might obtain the name and do a tribute synth in Tom’s memory.
I looked for a TVP a couple of months ago when I had some “extra cash”... couldn’t find one.

I was just going to put a WTB add on Facebook groups. They are rare though. I actually had Tom reach out to Perfect Circuit Audio and offer to personalize it for me....but it was black and the shipping actually would have bumped it up to 6 or 7 grand to get to Canada. I didn’t really want to spend more money on a synth that wasn’t 100% what I wanted in the first place. That being said, it was nice of Tom to reach out after the whole fiasco I went through.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 26, 2020, 10:38:01 AM
I could imagine a pair of Pro 3 Modules making a superb monophonic synthesizer+.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jok3r on August 26, 2020, 01:37:00 PM
I could imagine a pair of Pro 3 Modules making a superb monophonic synthesizer+.
Could you explain, why it would need to be a pair? Even one single Pro3 seems to be a superb monophonic synth to me... at the moment I'm thinking of buying one to complement my Rev2. I was looking at the Prophet 6 for years, but with all of CreativeSpirals VCM techniques I'm not sure it would get me elsewhere.

So I'm looking for a monophonic synth now. I wanted to buy the Matriarch, but then the Pro3 arrived and now I don't know what to do. I simply like everything I heard of the Matriarch and like the idea of patching things with cables instead of using mod matrices. On the other hand, I play live a lot and have to play between 40 and 60 songs an evening. I would use a mono more, if I could save patches for live use. In this category the Pro3 seems to stand out for me. And everything looks familiar to me, because it seems to be the usual DSI style of doing things.

There are other things I could hopefully do: as we all know, the Rev2 is lacking a global LFO. So if I don't need all LFOs on the Pro3 in my setup for a specific song, I could use one LFO per CV out, to be a global LFO for my Rev2 per CV/Pedal in. Has anybody tried that yet? Especially with these two synth?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 26, 2020, 02:44:56 PM
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on August 26, 2020, 10:43:05 PM
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

The Pro 3 does have two audio outs though? It not a typical mono synth path from my understanding.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jok3r on August 26, 2020, 11:44:49 PM
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 27, 2020, 06:46:25 AM
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?

I don't want to bore the forum to death by repeating all this yet again, but there are all sorts of benefits to having the two units.  Off the top of my head, I believe every DSI/Sequential instrument has had stereo outputs.  But I'm not talking about ping-pong type effects.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Shaw on August 27, 2020, 09:31:53 AM
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?

I don't want to bore the forum to death by repeating all this yet again, but there are all sorts of benefits to having the two units.  Off the top of my head, I believe every DSI/Sequential instrument has had stereo outputs.  But I'm not talking about ping-pong type effects.


This is what I enjoy most about The Prophet X and it’s stereo filters. You can easily get the effect of two units by offsetting the left and right cutoffs and modulating them independently of one another.


Of course when you really have two different units a lot more interesting things can be done.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 27, 2020, 02:58:47 PM
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?

I don't want to bore the forum to death by repeating all this yet again, but there are all sorts of benefits to having the two units.  Off the top of my head, I believe every DSI/Sequential instrument has had stereo outputs.  But I'm not talking about ping-pong type effects.


This is what I enjoy most about The Prophet X and it’s stereo filters. You can easily get the effect of two units by offsetting the left and right cutoffs and modulating them independently of one another.


Of course when you really have two different units a lot more interesting things can be done.

Yes.  And the immediacy of the programming of each unit leads to all sorts of subtle or extreme bi-timbral creativity.  It's much easier than having to go back and forth between layers.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LPF83 on August 27, 2020, 05:08:17 PM
Yes.  And the immediacy of the programming of each unit leads to all sorts of subtle or extreme bi-timbral creativity.  It's much easier than having to go back and forth between layers.

I absolutely agree there, I think the most magical musical moments come when I have each hand on separate keyboards.  Thought I might add, you don't have to have duplicate units of same synth to achieve that magic -- I do this regularly with P6 in one hand and OB6 in the other, while they have different characteristics and don't sound identical, I can make them sound very close to identical quickly, and the subtle differences that makes them not identical is sort of what gives them that "mega wide" appeal.  With even minimal effort (literally a few seconds of tweaking) you can get them sounding like it's the same synth being played, only with MASSIVE analogue-ness :)  (slight tuning changes on each voice).  Throw in the Rev2's ability to put similar but distinct layers left or right and wow...
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on August 27, 2020, 05:25:27 PM
Though I might add, you don't have to have duplicate units of same synth to achieve that magic -- I do this regularly with P6 in one hand and OB6 in the other, while they have different characteristics and don't sound identical, I can make them sound very close to identical quickly, and the subtle differences that makes them not identical is sort of what gives them that "mega wide" appeal. 

Yes, that's certainly true, and it's a natural approach to take - that of maximizing the potential for flexibility and variety.  It just isn't my approach or interest.  I use a much smaller palette of sounds than most synthesists, and that's deliberate.  I prefer to often use identical patches from two units, and perhaps only slightly detuned from each other.  In doing this, I want two exact mirror images, each doing no more than enhancing the other.  I never did this in the past, but now I'm quite impressed with the warmth and depth of the effect, even when using something as simple as a sawtooth solo patch.  I spend immense amounts of time refining seemingly simple sounds, but it's in order to bring out the sweetest musicality of the synthesizer, without getting sidetracked by the instrument's seductive complexity. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 11:23:19 AM
I have two synthesizer projects that need to be resolved.  First, I need to replace the Poly Evolver Keyboard and Prophet '08 Keyboard that I sold over the last couple of years.  This vacuum will presumably be filled by a 16-voice Rev2 keyboard-module pair.   Second, I need to create the mono synth I've been envisioning for several years now.  This latter is far more difficult to resolve than the former.  And I'd like to maintain my set up at three instruments.

I came so close last week to ordering a Korg ARP Odyssey Keyboard and Module pair.  I had actually filled out the online order form, except for my credit card information.  But I didn't feel entirely certain of the decision, so I did a little more eleventh-hour research.  I hate 3-octave keyboards...hate 'em.  But I've tried to adjust to the idea anyways, just in this one case, because I have always been crazy for the Odyssey.  As it turns out, the Korg Odyssey keybed is also unusually cheap in feel and construction.  So that was the end of my near purchase.

I'm trying to do something that is very simple, and it's turning out to be nearly impossible.  I'm trying to start with a high quality 4-5 octave keybed.  That's building block numero uno, my top priority.  I could possibly manage with 3 1/2 octaves, but not another note less.  Next, I need two identical units - either a keyboard and module pair, or else, two modules to be controlled by my Prophet '08 Keyboard.  MIDI is obviously essential to this equation, rather than CV.  And next, I'd like the ability to continue to build up this monophonic instrument into the future.

A P'08 or Rev2 would be an excellent controller for this system, since I expect to have two such keyboards - one for polyphonic uses, and the other partly for monophonic uses.  I've also considered the Prophet-6 as the base keyboard, and I think this would work well.  But then I would be inclined to buy the Module version as the other half.  This would amount to much more money than I've intended to spend, it wouldn't result in the sort of super mono synth I've envisioned, and it would be a waste of a 6-voice instrument.  I could begin the purchasing right now, but I'd have to give up on my Rev2 intentions and continue with my aging Prophet '08 system.  Also, I expect the P6 will be the next instrument Sequential retires, and that retirement may come before I can afford the second unit.  Regardless, at this point it's the closest I have to a resolution. 

I've considered the Pro 3, but...that darned 3-octave keyboard issue again.  I've also considered the Matrixbrute, but I'm not especially impressed with its sound or design.  I would have no use for the matrix, which takes up about 1/3 of the control panel.  Nor do I like its appearance. 

As for modules, I do like the Vermona Mono Lancet and the Perfourmer MK II.  The Boomstar 4072 MK II module is also of interest, as is the Korg Minilogue XD and Doepfer Dark Energy III.  I could even imagine getting into true modular on a small scale  ::).  The Moog Matriarch would be a good choice, if it was available in a module form.

All of this is fascinating to ponder, but my main difficulty is in finding the right keyboard to begin the whole project.  There are so many synthesizers now available, but none serves my mono synth needs.     
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: timboréale on February 25, 2021, 12:21:15 PM
Off the top of my head a few possible options present themselves:

1. Use your existing P'08 keyboard as the controller for the mono. You already have it, at least. ** edit, oh, I thought I'd read you'd sold the MODULE... whoops **
2. Buy a MIDI controller you like and get any of the modules you enjoy. There are MIDI controllers out there that use the same Fatar action as the Rev2.
3. If you're already considering the Matriarch, what's wrong with the nice 4 octave keyboard it has? It's quite playable, although a little on the "fast" side, but honestly you get used to that quickly and it's very organ-like (but with aftertouch and velocity).
4. What ruled out the Pro2, if you would consider the Pro3? We know you were pretty happy with the P12, and the Pro2 has those beautiful filters...
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jg666 on February 25, 2021, 12:40:53 PM
Does the Matriarch have an app yet so that you can see and set all the config options? I love the sound of this synth but I think it would annoy me too much that there’s no way of telling what all the settings are currently set to.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on February 25, 2021, 12:49:40 PM
Doesn't the Matriarch allow for panning 2 oscillators to the right and 2 oscillators to the left? - If so, you'd have the stereo configuration in one box.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Gerry Havinga on February 25, 2021, 12:54:37 PM
Modular ...... I can recommend this combination: Instruo Troika triple VCO and the Mutable Instruments Ripples filter. I think that might suit your taste. Obviously you will need a starter case. A NiftyCase perhaps + ADSR & VCA and possible an effects module (preferably stereo of course). Most of those modules are available second hand if you can wait and are patient. Eurorack is beyond awesome in getting a synth voice totally suited to your own taste (except for the keyboard of course),

I've not posted for a while, but slowly are getting back to it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 01:15:57 PM
Thanks for the ideas, Timboreale.  An important element in this system is that it has to have 100% stereo sound.  Hence, a Pro 2 or a Matriarch would need to have a module version to couple with the keyboard version.  And they simply don't exist.  Also, I don't want anything second-hand or out of production.  The system will be independent of any computers, so USB-provided power is out. 

I feel as if I've/we've been waiting forever for the final Rev2 update (and I understand it's not Sequential's fault), and that synthesizer is the hinge on which this system could turn.  Then I could use my remaining P'08 as the controller, and build up the modules slowly.  The waiting has really been irritating, so that I'm inclined to make a rash decision, just to finally have another instrument.  But I would love to have an immense monophonic creation, something truly unique and musically forceful.  Oh, the waiting and waiting....
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 01:18:58 PM
Gerry, if I choose to go the modular root, I'll be back here consulting your advice.  Thanks for the starter ideas.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: timboréale on February 25, 2021, 01:25:00 PM
The system will be independent of any computers, so USB-provided power is out. 
All normal MIDI controllers with DIN MIDI can be powered from the wall, even if they are USB powered (using a USB power supply) and do not need to be connected to a computer to function properly. This is the majority of the ones I'm aware of... even Arturia's have DIN midi (and CV!).

I feel as if I've/we've been waiting forever for the final Rev2 update (and I understand it's not Sequential's fault), and that synthesizer is the hinge on which this system could turn.  Then I could use my remaining P'08 as the controller, and build up the modules slowly.  The waiting has really been irritating, so that I'm inclined to make a rash decision, just to finally have another instrument.  But I would love to have an immense monophonic creation, something truly unique and musically forceful.  Oh, the waiting and waiting....
What about a pair of Mother 32's in a 6U 104 HP case, then? That would give two full stereo voices with plenty of room for additional modulators. The dual rows would be conducive to building up a stereo modular. Of course, you lose the idea of presets this way...
Or two Odyssey modules, if you love the Odyssey, and an Arturia controller (which has pitch, gate, and 2 mod CV outs)?
Or for the real deal, two Arp Minis... :)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 01:36:25 PM
What about a pair of Mother 32's in a 6U 104 HP case, then? That would give two full stereo voices with plenty of room for additional modulators. The dual rows would be conducive to building up a stereo modular. Of course, you lose the idea of presets this way...
Or two Odyssey modules, if you love the Odyssey, and an Arturia controller (which has pitch, gate, and 2 mod CV outs)?
Or for the real deal, two Arp Minis... :)

Yes, the Moog Mother 32 was a natural consideration, but it's far too limited a synthesizer.  I want just the fundamentals, but all the fundamentals, such as two four-part envelopes.  The Odyssey is a possibility, in spite of its ADSR-AR envelopes.  But they're getting hard to find.  Noisebug sells them, but they have a lousy return policy.  You don't get a refund, but only credit.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on February 25, 2021, 05:48:03 PM
At this point, I'm mostly convinced that the Pro 3 is the best monosynth there's ever been. I can't say why Sequential downsized the keyboard from the Pro 2. I mean, three oscillators, three LFOs, three filters... and three octaves? It seems a strange sacrifice just to keep a theme going.

As 3 1/2 octaves is your squealing point minimum, 3 octaves is mine, and not another note less. That's why the Mopho Keyboard had to go. So, I see where you're coming from.

I can say that the Pro 3's keybed is quality stuff. Not too light an action that you can't control it. Mechanically it's nice and quiet, without the constant clunking characteristic of cheap keybeds. The tops of the keys are sculpted to be ever so slightly convex, which is a nice feel.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 06:46:00 PM
I thought the same thing: Why on earth did they drop from 3 1/2 octaves to a flat 3?  Other than that, the Pro 3 seems like a nearly perfect mono synth with a robust analog tone. 

All the DSI/Sequential keybeds are adequate for my interests.  I have no complaints, and it's one of the reasons I really want to get my paws on a Rev2.

For now, I'm researching module after module.  So many, thankfully.  It's all a matter of the right combinations of keyboard and engine.  And it's kinda fun to think about.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on February 25, 2021, 07:12:57 PM
All the DSI/Sequential keybeds are adequate for my interests.  I have no complaints, and it's one of the reasons I really want to get my paws on a Rev2.

I came super-close to getting a Rev2, as the 8-voice costs essentially the same as a Pro 3.

For me, the wavetable oscillator and filter selection outweighed polyphony. I never thought I could love a digital oscillator as much as I love the Pro 3's. It's got real presence whether it's just doing a basic waveshape, or traveling through a starkly digital wavetable.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 07:21:09 PM
It sounds intriguing, and I've salivated my way through many-a-video.  Let me know if you bump into one with a longer keyboard!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 25, 2021, 08:49:42 PM
The Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller is a gorgeous-looking keyboard controller, and it's the perfect length.  I love the flat top - the perfect place for a module or effect.  One shortcoming, though: it lacks an expression pedal jack.  That's quite an omission.  Has anybody here tried one?

https://vintageking.com/extra-deluxe-mfg-the-sixty-one-with-module-01-midi-controller

https://www.extradeluxemfg.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y1J_K8MsKA
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jg666 on February 26, 2021, 12:50:56 AM
I'd have bought a Pro 3 the day it was released if I didn't already own the Pro 2. Even I (with my synth obsession) can't really justify owning both  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: creativespiral on February 26, 2021, 09:04:45 AM
I have two synthesizer projects that need to be resolved.  First, I need to replace the Poly Evolver Keyboard and Prophet '08 Keyboard that I sold over the last couple of years.  This vacuum will presumably be filled by a 16-voice Rev2 keyboard-module pair.   Second, I need to create the mono synth I've been envisioning for several years now.  This latter is far more difficult to resolve than the former.  And I'd like to maintain my set up at three instruments.


You mention the keybed requirements (which I totally understand)...  From a core sonic / sound design perspective, what is your objective by getting a mono synth?..  are you just planning on using it for fundamental bass and lead type of work?  Or looking to get into more into ambient drone type of stuff, modular sound design, or sequenced patterns?   

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: creativespiral on February 26, 2021, 11:51:21 PM
You mention the keybed requirements (which I totally understand)...  From a core sonic / sound design perspective, what is your objective by getting a mono synth?..  are you just planning on using it for fundamental bass and lead type of work?  Or looking to get into more into ambient drone type of stuff, modular sound design, or sequenced patterns?

Just read back in the thread further... didn't realize how far back this thread went!  I see you mentioned all of your required specs on page one.

My advice... don't get a mono synth until you've gotten the Prophet Rev2 that you mention you're planning on getting.  I think it fills all of your requirements:

1. Keybed is 61-key Fatar TP/9s... its a pleasure to play... one of the nicest synth action keybeds I've ever owned

2. DCO Analog Oscillators x2, plus noise, sub.  With voice modeling, you can precisely control the per voice analog tuning character and intonation scaling... and fine tune "oscillator beating / phasing" up and down the keybed...  The oscillators are naturally incredibly stable up and down the keybed, so you have that option for precision if you want it. 

3. Four LFOs... and while they don't directly have delay built in, you can multiplex them with the aux envelope (or two other envelopes) which have delay... so you can get delayed LFO action at the expense of an envelope.

4. Three DADSR envelopes

5. Built in stereo binaural capabilities by stacking identical sounds and hard panning them to Left/Right outputs.   And if you make slight adjustments to one layer it fattens up the sound to epic proportions.   You don't even need to buy an extra module later... it's all contained and your binaural stack patches will be saved together.

6. Does also have stereo (not poly) high pass and delay at end of chain.

I would hold off on a mono, based on the specs you listed at the beginning of this thread (if those are still valid)...  The Rev2 seems like it will be perfect for your requirements, and offers you the ability to play poly and mono, plus mono unison, and of course the stacks/splits. 

The only thing that I'm not sure you mentioned (I may have missed it when I scanned through the thread)... is if you have a specific filter topology / VCF that you're after.   
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 27, 2021, 02:41:03 PM
I have two synthesizer projects that need to be resolved.  First, I need to replace the Poly Evolver Keyboard and Prophet '08 Keyboard that I sold over the last couple of years.  This vacuum will presumably be filled by a 16-voice Rev2 keyboard-module pair.   Second, I need to create the mono synth I've been envisioning for several years now.  This latter is far more difficult to resolve than the former.  And I'd like to maintain my set up at three instruments.


You mention the keybed requirements (which I totally understand)...  From a core sonic / sound design perspective, what is your objective by getting a mono synth?..  are you just planning on using it for fundamental bass and lead type of work?  Or looking to get into more into ambient drone type of stuff, modular sound design, or sequenced patterns?

The mono synth would be used exclusively for melody playing.  My melodies tend to have a wide range, certainly beyond three octaves; plus, I like to play them at different octaves.  Because my hands and feet are almost always busy, I can't easily get to an octave switch, so a long keyboard is essential.  But creating a large mono synth also allows me to make an ongoing project, with the end result including whatever modules may be released in the next few years.  I'd love to have something of a large analog monster at the end of it, for producing elaborate patches with multiple oscillators.

The other possibility is to use a poly synth as a part-time mono synth.  That would obviously have its practical advantages.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on February 27, 2021, 02:48:24 PM
My advice... don't get a mono synth until you've gotten the Prophet Rev2 that you mention you're planning on getting.  I think it fills all of your requirements:

Yes, that's what I'm trying to do, but you can see how long I've been waiting for the Rev2 to reach full maturity in terms of OS updates.  And I would still treat it partially as a mono synth by adding monophonic modules to it.  I'm thinking almost in modular terms, but with hard wired modules.

I'm perfectly happy with the DSI/Sequential filters.  My one requirement is a 2-pole filter, as is happily the case with the P'08/Rev2.

Thanks for reading through this long and wearisome thread, and bothering to offer all your suggestions. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Quatschmacher on March 02, 2021, 04:57:44 AM
The Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller is a gorgeous-looking keyboard controller, and it's the perfect length.  I love the flat top - the perfect place for a module or effect.  One shortcoming, though: it lacks an expression pedal jack.  That's quite an omission.  Has anybody here tried one?

https://vintageking.com/extra-deluxe-mfg-the-sixty-one-with-module-01-midi-controller

https://www.extradeluxemfg.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y1J_K8MsKA

Would’ve been preferable for the pitch and mod wheels to be at the side rather than on top too.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: timboréale on March 02, 2021, 07:00:23 AM
Would’ve been preferable for the pitch and mod wheels to be at the side rather than on top too.

And at that price you might as well spend the tiny bit extra and get an 8-voice Rev2 engine with it, if you ask me. I can't see myself EVER being willing to spend that much for what is just a glorified Fatar action in a nice wooden enclosure.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 24, 2021, 08:12:34 PM
Doesn't the Matriarch allow for panning 2 oscillators to the right and 2 oscillators to the left? - If so, you'd have the stereo configuration in one box.

Stereo filters and delay, yes, but I haven't read of stereo filters.  That would certainly be a key feature for me.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: ddp on March 24, 2021, 08:51:24 PM
I haven't heard that either but I found this, "Matriarch has four audio oscillators (five if you include the modulation oscillator), the stereo filter section can also be used as two additional audio oscillators."https://www.moogmusic.com/products/matriarch (https://www.moogmusic.com/products/matriarch).
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 24, 2021, 09:00:20 PM
I don't fully understand it, but I believe it's being used here:

https://youtu.be/DFLNu_wSnjs?t=452
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 24, 2021, 09:25:47 PM
Would’ve been preferable for the pitch and mod wheels to be at the side rather than on top too.

And at that price you might as well spend the tiny bit extra and get an 8-voice Rev2 engine with it, if you ask me. I can't see myself EVER being willing to spend that much for what is just a glorified Fatar action in a nice wooden enclosure.

Whether this Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One is one of the best keyboards, I don't know, but it's certainly a good one.  The advantage it offers is the ability to start off - first and foremost - with an uncompromised full-sized five octave keyboard.  Then you can choose one or several of the many modules now available, including future ones, and end with a large mono/poly synth of your own design.  In spite of the price, it could be an ongoing synth project that could result in a totally unique and nearly custom-designed instrument with all sorts of stereo possibilities.  Although the Rev2 is probably the surest most conservative way of reaching the goal, this is another approach that is more unique and original. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 24, 2021, 09:36:54 PM
I haven't heard that either but I found this, "Matriarch has four audio oscillators (five if you include the modulation oscillator), the stereo filter section can also be used as two additional audio oscillators."https://www.moogmusic.com/products/matriarch (https://www.moogmusic.com/products/matriarch).

I would have preferred individual outputs for each oscillator, or at least paired.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jg666 on March 25, 2021, 03:29:07 AM
Ah the Matriarch :) I love the sound that comes out of that synth, everything I've heard gives me that tingle that not all synths are able to give me (sorry for the rambling but it's the only way I can think of describing sounds I like!).

The main problem for me is that I'm lazy and want to be able to save patches. The second problem for me is that the Pro2 has spoiled me because now I really miss not being able to see the envelopes depicted on screen on synths that don't have this feature. Before I got the Pro2, I never even considered how useful it would be to me.

I realise I'm not a 'typical' synth-head as the analogue vs digital argument doesn't apply to me as I don't really care how the sound is made - as long as I like it :)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 25, 2021, 06:23:13 AM
I realise I'm not a 'typical' synth-head as the analogue vs digital argument doesn't apply to me as I don't really care how the sound is made - as long as I like it :)

Actually, I think you are the typical synthesist, regarding the analog/digital oscillator argument.  The atypical is now the person who still thinks there is a difference in tonal character.

I was thinking that the contemporary analog revival had put the old argument to bed.  In light of the astronomical prices people are willing to pay in 2021, not only for a general analog sound engine, but specifically for analog oscillators, it doesn't seem necessary to make the case any longer for the difference.  People can deny it, laugh at it, and deride it; regardless, for some reason, even in this day and age when so many excellent digital synthesizers are available, experienced synthesists are willing to pay top dollar for a Korg ARP 2600 or a Sequential Prophet 5.  It isn't because these instruments have all the desirable modern feature, because they don't.  It isn't because their digital oscillators can be made to sound unstable like their forebears.  Nor can the fact be explained away as mere middle-aged nostalgia. 

To be clear, it's not about a "good" sound; not at all.  Digital instruments can sound wonderful in their warm evolving pads and unique timbres.  To my amazement, I found that my cherished solo sawtooth patch designed on a DSI Prophet 12 in stereo sounded sweeter than any I had ever before heard.  To my ears, the combination of those four digital oscillators sounded more delightfully mellifluous than the best solo sawtooth patches I had been able to draw out of my Minimoog Model D, Voyager Old School, and Prophet '08.  And it certainly wasn't about the filter, because few people seemed to care for the Prophet 12 filter; nor did I. 

I could have easily bought a Prophet 12 Module, and I still could buy one.  But that wouldn't satisfy my little sonic quest.  No, the end of it will entail some configuration of pure analog modules, because there is a difference between analog and digital sound.  And that's the only sound I'm after.  As Poe once wrote, "convinced myself, I have no desire to convince others."  I'm simply re-registering my opinion on this long elaborate thread about a personal pursuit. 

Analog oscillators sound great and digital oscillators sound great...but in noticeably and meaningfully different ways.  One doesn't have to be an analog purist to feel this way.  I'm a tremendous fan of the Evolvers, so I'm open to both, as well as to hybrids.  But when it comes to a certain sonic character - as in the case of the concerned monophonic synthesizer - I know which way to turn.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: timboréale on March 25, 2021, 09:15:54 AM
I'm curious, Sacred Synthesis, as to which types of analogue oscillators you prefer. Are there certain VCOs that strike you as the ideal, and others that do not? Are there any DCOs which could be acceptable? Does it matter if the VCO is digitally controlled or is that enough of a remove for you to not hear a difference? I'm interested in specifics as much as generalities here - WHICH implementations of analogue oscillators have 100% of the "ish" you like, which definitely do not, and which fall where in between?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on March 25, 2021, 09:53:10 AM
Timboreale, I couldn't give too specific an answer to your question.  On this issue, I'm going entirely by ear, and I can make only brand comparisons.  So....

I don't necessarily go for the Moog sound.  It's gorgeous in many ways, but I'm not looking for heavy bass sounds or screaming leads, nor do I care for the Moog sawtooth in the middle register.  I'm interested primarily in warm sweet melodic qualities.  I like best of all the ARP character.  Vermona, too, sounds nice, as does Analog Solutions (rather Moogy, I know), but I would like stable oscillators so that the beating is the same from one end of the keyboard to the other.  The Leipzig V3 has my interest for the present.  So, there's no shortage of sounds that I like.  The reason I'm considering something other than one of Dave's instruments is not because I'm unhappy with them (or with DCOs).  No, I'm entirely happy with the DSI/Sequential sound.  It's just right for my needs.  But I'd also like to try another sound and build up a large instrument with modules, something sonically unique.  Plus, I like the idea of having a synthesizer that is dedicated to monophonic uses and outfitted with the appropriate effects.

I do think the proper place to start is with a Prophet '08 or Rev2, or else, with the above Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One keyboard, and then add a couple or more modules.  I know you think the latter is a bit expensive, but a Korg ARP Odyssey FS, with its very cheap three-octave keyboard, goes for about $1,500.  The MFG with a Korg ARP Odyssey Module would be approximately the same cost, and it would offer a fine five-octave keyboard.  So, presently those are my two preferred directions. 

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: proteus-ix on March 31, 2021, 09:33:37 PM
I've also considered the Matrixbrute, but I'm not especially impressed with its sound or design.  I would have no use for the matrix, which takes up about 1/3 of the control panel.  Nor do I like its appearance.   

Have you played one in person?

I have, and it was an insanely fun 30 minutes in the synth shop.  I don't have a need for a mono with a fullsize keyboard like that, but if I did, I would get the MB in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 01, 2021, 04:40:38 PM
No, I haven't played one.  I'm doing my best to get a sense of the sound online.  As imperfect an approach as this is, I find it usually gives a fair approximation of an instrument.  I do like the size and capabilities, though.  But the hefty price would need to deliver a synthesizer that was spot-on for my needs.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on April 04, 2021, 06:55:28 PM
No, I haven't played one.  I'm doing my best to get a sense of the sound online.  As imperfect an approach as this is, I find it usually gives a fair approximation of an instrument.  I do like the size and capabilities, though.  But the hefty price would need to deliver a synthesizer that was spot-on for my needs.

MatrixBrute dropped in price once the PolyBrute came out.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 04, 2021, 07:18:57 PM
$2,000 is still a lot to pay for a monophonic instrument that takes up an immense amount of space, yet that ultimately is not a design of interest.  It's a great instrument, but it's just not for me.  I would find a couple of Odyssey modules controlled by a five-octave keyboard of much greater interest.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on April 04, 2021, 07:25:25 PM
$2,000 is still a lot to pay for a monophonic instrument that takes up an immense amount of space, yet that ultimately is not a design of interest.  It's a great instrument, but it's just not for me.  I would find a couple of Odyssey modules controlled by a five-octave keyboard of much greater interest.

Still cheaper and more versatile than an ARP 2600M, Moog Matriach (which is another suggestion), Oberheim Two Voice Pro etc.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 01:54:37 PM
Versatility means very little to me.  The only quality I'm interested in is high quality.  A monophonic synthesizer that offers a by-modern-standards limited range of sounds is perfectly fine by me, as long as that limited range is musically/sonically excellent. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 05, 2021, 07:09:56 PM
If there's one thing we can glean from this thread being active for five years, it's that you don't really need a monosynth. If we can glean two things, the other one is that you may not even want a monosynth.

Online research mode is a Möbius strip. I get into this every few years with cameras. The big difference with cameras is that all the compromises and tradeoffs are dictated by the laws of physics. So I go round and round on all these things for a while. But eventually, I pick one and get down to shooting. If I chose wrong, I can send it back.

Maybe what you should do next is buy something tangible to break the loop. You should buy a Pro 3 and play it for a while. There probably won't be a better monosynth by anybody for years. And if there is, if somebody makes a 49-key whatever, you're not really going to lose anything.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on April 05, 2021, 07:34:27 PM
I mean wouldn't a Moog Matriach check all the boxes here?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 07:37:40 PM
The funny thing, Chysn, is that I've got a Korg ARP Odyssey Module arriving this Thursday. 

The tortuous issue that has kept me returning to this thread for five years is that I don't want a large set up.  That means I have to choose instruments very carefully and prudently.  I can't afford to buy and sell them every six months or so like so many synthesists do, almost as an end in itself.  It's only once every five or six years that I add or subtract something, and in the past year-and-a-half I've sold two synthesizers.  So, something new has to fill the spot. 

The Poly Evolver Keyboard and Prophet '08 sufficiently serve all my musical needs, both monophonic and polyphonic.  But I've sold one of each now, and still have one of each remaining.  If I had any control over the matter, I would have kept those two instruments perpetually in production and fully maintained by DSI/Sequential.  But that certainly is not how this industry operates.  And since my remaining synthesizers are getting rather old, it's definitely time to replace them with new ones for the long musical haul.  So, I'm presently trying to upgrade my whole set up to just three keyboard instruments, plus modules, that altogether will provide for my needs.   

If the Rev2 had reached full maturity, I would have bought one long ago.  But it's been about three years since its release, and I'm still waiting.  So, my mind naturally wanders back to this mono synth project.

There are two ways to solve all this; with either three poly synths, with one that doubles as a mono synth, or else, with two poly synths and one great big mono synth.  I'm trying to figure out which choice is the better.   
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 07:43:57 PM
I mean wouldn't a Moog Matriach check all the boxes here?

I certainly would have tried a Matriarch if it had a module version.  But I much prefer a full five-octave keyboard.

Perhaps I'll take to the Odyssey and add a second unit, or perhaps I won't like it and will return it.  Maybe all I need is a bunch of Rev2s.  For now, I'm experimenting with the Odyssey.  What frustrates me is that I've composed complete pieces of music and then forgotten them, all because I'm lacking the third instrument necessary to arranging and recording them.   
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 08:35:05 PM
You should buy a Pro 3 and play it for a while. There probably won't be a better monosynth by anybody for years.

I would agree with this.  But unfortunately, the keyboard is too short and there is no module version to pair it with.  I've been consistent from the beginning of this thread that those are fundamentals.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 05, 2021, 08:42:42 PM
If the Rev2 had reached full maturity, I would have bought one long ago.  But it's been about three years since its release, and I'm still waiting.

What do you mean by "full maturity," and you're still waiting for what?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 08:47:22 PM
The final OS update, which hopefully will be out by summer.  I'll leave it to the fellas at Sequential to do mine before the instrument is shipped.  Then I expect to be totally onboard with the instrument.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 05, 2021, 08:49:42 PM
You should buy a Pro 3 and play it for a while. There probably won't be a better monosynth by anybody for years.

I would agree with this.  But unfortunately, the keyboard is too short and there is no module version to pair it with.  I've been consistent from the beginning of this thread that those are fundamentals.

To be fair, you haven't been that consistent. You considered the Sub 37 but thought it looked weird, and it doesn't have a module either. And how many keys does the Odyssey have? No, what I was hinting at was that you should ignore some of your requirements because they may not matter once you actually start playing an instrument.

But you've got the Odyssey coming, so that's a similar step in the right direction of actually trying something.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 08:56:44 PM
You should buy a Pro 3 and play it for a while. There probably won't be a better monosynth by anybody for years.

I would agree with this.  But unfortunately, the keyboard is too short and there is no module version to pair it with.  I've been consistent from the beginning of this thread that those are fundamentals.

To be fair, you haven't been that consistent.

I've considered many different instruments for a time, including those that didn't fit my requirements.  But I've always returned to those requirements.  The Odyssey doesn't entirely fulfill them either, but a pair in some ways would surpass them.  My primary reason, though, is that I've always loved the ARP sound.  And if it were controlled by a P'08/Rev2 Keyboard...bingo!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 05, 2021, 09:01:31 PM
You've spoken highly of the Odyssey forever, since the old DSI Forum days, and I seem to remember that you've had multiple variants. So that totally makes sense, assuming that the new Odysseys sound the same.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 05, 2021, 09:04:15 PM
Yes, when I was a teenager, I owned all three ARP Odyssey models.  I also had the Axxe and Pro Soloist (and I remember your comments on the latter!), and could only dream about owning a 2600 and a Quadra.  The Odysseys, though, have always stuck in my mind.  I've read primarily good things about the sound quality of the Korg reissues.  The main criticism has been that the keyboard version has a terribly cheap keybed.

At one point, I had considered a pair of Behringer 2600s controlled by a Rev2, as well as a Behringer Odyssey Keyboard controlling a Behringer 2600 Module.  Those were brief but happy daydreams.  But then I snapped out of it.  :(
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LPF83 on April 06, 2021, 02:43:07 PM
It sounds like I might be a bit late with this suggestion (and admittedly have only read bits and pieces of this thread), but if you want a low cost mono option that doesn't take much space, I could give the thumbs up to the Moog Slim Phatty.  It's the last of the Moogs that was actually Bob's design, to my ears it's more appealing than some of the newer offerings, and I only paid about 600 bucks for one in mint condition.  It shares a 4U rack that my audio interface and preamps sit in, underneath my monitor, so space is a non-issue.  Power switch is on the back (which in my rack case makes it hard to reach), but I bought a cord with footswitch to power it on and off.

That said, they seem to have gone up in price since then, but still worth the $700-800 they seem to go for.  I can see them fetching much more in the future

It is not a perfect synth by any means, but it's built like it was meant to last forever, it is an absolute monster for bass.  I don't think anyone would deny the quality, and it has a certain versatility that I don't hear in other Moogs.  Many have said the sound is similar to a Moog Source (vintage synth).

Bang for buck is off the charts and I doubt I will ever sell mine.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 13, 2021, 08:24:01 AM
Since last week, I've been living in ARP Odyssey land.  The KARP arrived on Thursday, and I've been putting it through the paces.  And it's been putting me through the paces.

I have to commend Korg for the instrument.  It is of impressive quality.  The metal body is solid as a rock, rather heavy, the sliders have a bit of wobble but are still stable and precise, the switches are firm, and the general appearance is pleasing to the eyes (I have the black and orange version). 

The tonal character of the instrument is clean, consistent, and leaning towards the thin side.  Although it has plenty of fullness in the lower registers and would make an excellent bass synthesizer, it is not boomy; the lower notes still sound clean and fit for fast playing.

It was an excellent idea to include the three different filters of the original revisions.  They're each quite different in character.  The first revision is most distinct from the other two in that, when the resonance is turned up high, the voice does not lose its bottom end, but remains full as when no resonance is used.  And the filter in general is lovely.  I would say it's the aspect I most like about the instrument.  A brass patch has a wonderful crispness to its quick envelope sweep of the cut off frequency - possibly the best I've ever heard.  Even turning up the filter 1's cut off frequency all the way sounds magnificently brisk and bright, in a Curtiss sort of way. 

The character of the oscillators is also pleasing, and they're reliably stable after only a few minutes of warming up.  You're given only sawtooth and pulse width, although you can design a playable sine wave from the self-oscillating filter.  The square wave sounds pure and satisfying. 

The Odyssey offers a very different designing and playing experience from a DSI/Sequential instrument, almost the opposite.  Since the instrument has no program memory, the synthesist is left in an almost helpless state.  But the challenge can be met with creativity and planning.  For example, the oscillator waveforms are set by switches that can be changed in a split second.  You can go from PWM to sawtooth almost as quickly as you could hit a program button.  The same is true for the three filters, which could be the difference between having a patch that used a lot of resonance and then one that seemingly used none.  And the ease of using the very visual panel means that, with one hand, you could go from a mellow flute patch to a caustic filter sample and hold effect in only seconds.  In many cases, it's just so easy to move from one sound to another, as long as you plan your sounds carefully with the changes in mind.  Of course, that can be limiting, too, so this sort of panel is not for everyone.

Pulse width modulation is an important patch for me; I use it constantly and in various ways - sometimes at a slow rate and moderate depth for bass sounds, sometimes at a moderate rate and extreme depth for solo patches.  But I nearly always use it with a vibrato.  So, the Odyssey's single LFO is an issue.  One solution is to borrow the first oscillator as a source of modulation, but I haven't yet found this satisfactory, never mind the problem of having only one audio oscillator left.  The best solution is the old remedy of assigning the ADSR generator to control the pulse width.  With a very slow attack, decay, and release, and no sustain, you can create an excellent substitute...until the envelope reaches the bottom of its sustain.  But for steady playing, it suffices.

That's a short list of the positives, and there are many more.  There are, of course, negatives: that single LFO is definitely a drawback, as well as the only two-stage (AR) VCA envelope, the lack of a master tuning control, and the lack of programmability.  And as is always the case when I play on old school analog synthesizer, I also find the tuning to be a problem; even the oscillator fine tuning is too coarse.  I find myself adjusting the beating rates by lightly tapping the slider with the top of my finger nail.  And even that moves the pitch too much.  But worst of all, when using both oscillators and playing in a legato style, there is an annoying "click" with each note strike, due to the two-note paraphony.  I've noticed this on all Odyssey videos of both the original and reissue instruments, and it's very bothersome.  I've listened carefully to this effect when playing the Odyssey with the other synthesizers, and it remains noticeable.  It doesn't disappear into a mix.  You can eliminate it with a detached type of playing, but that often doesn't suit the music; nor is it possible with long release times.  Plus, it's difficult not to accidentally trigger the second note as you smoothly play.  ARP and Korg should have offered a switch that would select either mono or duo triggering.  Here's a short example of the effect from Retrosound: https://youtu.be/9OwSNz7lLLo?t=97

As to the future of the Odyssey in my set up, I'm undecided.  I go back and forth about it.  A couple of days ago, I decided I would return it.  Then last night it sounded very sweet to my ears.  If I kept it, I would add a second Odyssey - whether another module or possibly even one of the last available keyboard versions.  The keyboard/module combination would look really sharp in the set up, and visual aesthetics are important to me.  But then the minuscule three-octave keyboard would be an issue.  Or else, I could control two modules with that five-octave MIDI keyboard posted above. 

These are exciting possibilities, and I'd love to immediately act on one of them while I'm still financially able, but one problem remains: in closely comparing the Odyssey's general sound with that of the Prophet '08, I've found that the two are very similar...very.  I've played the same patches on each instrument side-by-side - the ones I use most frequently - and I can't say that I prefer the Odyssey's renditions.  I like both equally.  And the fact that - off the top of my head - a P'08/Rev2 can do anything an Odyssey can do and so much more, means that the Odyssey is a hard sell.  Of course, I'd love to put two Odysseys together for the ultimate judgment, but that would make the returns a pain in the neck.  So, that's where I am right now - in musical limbo as usual.

I really do like the Odyssey.  Having a non-programmable instrument, as much as it's problematic, is also fun.  It makes you behave differently and do things you wouldn't normally do elsewhere.  And it's a sort of luxury to be able to glance across a panel - whether the instrument is on or off - and know precisely what sound is sitting there looking up at you.  It's a refreshing type of directness and simplicity, in the midst of a madly complex field.

The quest continues....
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 14, 2021, 07:05:26 PM
Hey, I'm proud of you for actually trying something out, though. Now that's a quest!  :)

I definitely enjoy synths without program memory. I think that "sweet spot" between enough parameters to make it interesting, and few enough to make sounds easy to dial in is historically well-established as exactly the number of parameters the Odyssey has.

I'm also a big fan of the AR envelope. It's the only kind of envelope I had in my Eurorack system and, to this day, I find myself forgetting that my envelopes now have sustain levels.

I know your plans are still up in the air. But if you even for a second think about getting an Odyssey keyboard with three octaves, you should immediately forget that idea and get a Pro 3 instead. If you're going to compromise on keyboard length, you might as well compromise with the best monosynth ever.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 14, 2021, 08:20:31 PM
You're proud of me?  Gee, thanks, dad!  :D

Yes, I'm at the intensely undecided stage.  I'm considering that nice five-octave keyboard above controlling two Odyssey modules.  That would be an impressive combination.  But then, the Rev2 is getting lost in all this.  Back and forth and back and forth, just like you and your cameras.

I appreciate you're enthusiasm for the Pro 3.  But I think I could go three-octaves only as a special favor to an Odyssey.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jg666 on April 14, 2021, 11:50:26 PM
I've got the Odyssey iPad app and have played around with it for some time... but for some reason my brain can't adapt to the different way the Odyssey works. I'm fine with 'normal synths' but when I look at the sliders on this, I just get myself in a mess and end up creating the same sound every time  ;D

I don't know if it's a case of me being thick or the fact that it's an app and if it was the real hardware in front of me I'd be OK.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 15, 2021, 06:27:27 AM
I know what you mean.  I don't know about the app effect, but the ARP Odyssey is definitely a quirky instrument with a funny design.  After twelve years of programming Prophet '08s and Poly Evolver Keyboards, it's a radical change for me, too.  But I like the uniqueness of it all.  It's like having a homely-looking dog that makes you love him all the the more because no one else could.

There's something satisfying in the fact that my monophonic synthesizer "quest" should end with an "odyssey"...or two.  But I'll certainly be interested in Korg's forthcoming ARP 2600 Mini.  I like the opened-ended aspect of this idea, that I can add or omit modules without much fuss.  That's why the keyboard controller should be a proper MIDI device, as opposed to one that uses CV type control.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 15, 2021, 09:10:53 AM
The Prophet '08 has an advantage over the Rev2 as a keyboard controller; namely, it has a MIDI Poly Chain Out jack which, when not used for poly chaining, doubles as a second MIDI Out.  So, the P'08 can control two individual modules that are not connected to each other.  Unfortunately, the Rev2 lacks this Poly Chain Out, which makes it less valuable as a MIDI controller, especially for my situation.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on April 18, 2021, 02:33:05 PM
The Prophet '08 has an advantage over the Rev2 as a keyboard controller; namely, it has a MIDI Poly Chain Out jack which, when not used for poly chaining, doubles as a second MIDI Out.  So, the P'08 can control two individual modules that are not connected to each other.  Unfortunately, the Rev2 lacks this Poly Chain Out, which makes it less valuable as a MIDI controller, especially for my situation.

Does that really offset the features that the Rev 2 adds? The effects, the wave shaping, the extra modulation slots, more polyphony? These seem pretty compelling.

It might be worth looking into whether the Rev 2 sends voltage on MIDI out pins. I know that the Prophet 8 didn't. But if the Rev 2 does, you can use a simple MIDI Thru box to split its output.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 18, 2021, 03:37:15 PM
There's also the possibility that two Odysseys can be controlled by one MIDI Out jack, since the two units can be interconnected by CV, Gate, and Trig jacks.  But I haven't done such experiments in a long time, so I'm winging it here.

Speaking of the Rev2, I'm still holding out for it.  This ARP Odyssey flirtation is still just a fling.  It's the best mono synth configuration I've been able to come up with these past few years, but it's still the P'08 and Rev2 that fulfill all my requirements.  It's just that I've been so exclusively DSI/Sequential-bound for quite a while, and I was hoping to add something different to my sound.  But I've had my appreciation for Dave's designs greatly increased these last few days.  And if it weren't for that short little keyboard, I'm sure I could be sold on a Pro 3 easily enough.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Jason on April 23, 2021, 09:53:29 AM
I enjoyed reading your comments about KARP. I think that click would bother me.

The Prophet '08 has an advantage over the Rev2 as a keyboard controller; namely, it has a MIDI Poly Chain Out jack which, when not used for poly chaining, doubles as a second MIDI Out.  So, the P'08 can control two individual modules that are not connected to each other.  Unfortunately, the Rev2 lacks this Poly Chain Out, which makes it less valuable as a MIDI controller, especially for my situation.

There are various MIDI boxes that could take care of this, such as:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MIDIthru4--midi-solutions-multivoltage-quadra-thru-1-in-4-out-midi-through-box

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 24, 2021, 01:43:03 PM
Thanks, Jason. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 24, 2021, 09:27:28 PM
This is a rather meek introduction to my new pair of Korg ARP Odysseys, but I wanted to record something as soon as possible.  I still have a MIDI keyboard controller to add, and a Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Chorus/Delay/Reverb Pedal should be arriving soon. 

This instrument - the long sought object of my quest - may still take a bit of tweaking, as I try to find the right combination of things.  But thus far, I'm thrilled with the two Odysseys, and having them freed from a three-octave keyboard to a five-octave one transforms the instrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2i9AevtC2I
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Ant of 12047 on April 24, 2021, 10:34:36 PM
This is a rather meek introduction to my new pair of Korg ARP Odysseys, but I wanted to record something as soon as possible.  I still have a MIDI keyboard controller to add, and a Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Chorus/Delay/Reverb Pedal should be arriving soon. 

This instrument - the long sought object of my quest - may still take a bit of tweaking, as I try to find the right combination of things.  But thus far, I'm thrilled with the two Odysseys, and having them freed from a three-octave keyboard to a five-octave one transforms the instrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2i9AevtC2I

A lovely piece of music, as we always expect from you, and a satisfying "conclusion" to the eternal quest so many of us are on together.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 25, 2021, 07:39:18 AM
Thanks, Ant. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 25, 2021, 05:22:45 PM
One more piece has fallen nicely into place.  The Zoom MS-70CDR effects pedal has stereo ins and outs.  The Odysseys have single output jacks.  So, both Odysseys enter and exit the pedal and are equally effected by delay or whatever, but otherwise maintain their independence.  So, I get the effects from the pedal plus bi-timbrality from the two instruments.  Perfect! 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 29, 2021, 10:58:44 PM
A short demonstration from the twins:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6doAENE1pH8
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on April 30, 2021, 04:07:38 AM
Congratulations, I didn't even know you were expecting twins!  ;)

I don't suppose this means you're not getting a 2600 as well?
If you do, be careful not to plunge down a rabbit hole!  ;D
Considering your good taste and creativity with modulations, it'd sure be interesting to hear what you could do with it...

And btw, nice demo, as always!
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on April 30, 2021, 05:59:43 AM
Thanks, Maxter.  I just got tired of waiting for the Rev2 update and wanted something new and interesting in the music room to stir the musical blood.  And I've always been an Odyssey fan.  But you're right, the 2600 was on the top of my synthesizer wish list, but the price put it beyond my reach.  Otherwise I would have gotten two.  I don't think I'll go for Korg's forthcoming Mini version, though.  The full-sized sliders already make precision programming difficult enough, especially with tuning.  I've never liked the popular mini stuff - keyboards or controls. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Soundquest on April 30, 2021, 10:13:09 AM
Love 'em both   No mistaking the Arp sound in the second video especially. 

 I find the value in having a couple manual tuning instruments- like with the Vermona MK2 and Pittsburgh modular.  There is something about those that just brings out a creative spirit differently, not to mention a very specific sound.  Makes me appreciate the early synth artists all the more too.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on April 30, 2021, 01:02:13 PM
Yeah, I got the B2600 (my apologies to all purists, I know I'm a heretic), and it's a tad fiddly occasionally with the "mini"-sliders with only 2,25 inches travel. But I found no other choice financially at the time really, if I'd ever want to experience a 2600. Didn't even know about the upcoming Korg mini version though. But woah, just had a look, those sliders are even tinier...  ??? And I'll never forget the MS20 mini... I liked it soundwise, but the knobs were so just ridiculously small and fiddly, and the mini-keys...  :-[ just couldn't live with it for very long. I'd really like to support them instead of... is it OK to use the B-word in here?

Been wanting an Odyssey as well for some time, but had to make a pick basically, and I'm pretty happy with the 2600 overall. But the versatility comes at a price, at least to me, and the Odyssey is like its opposite, more immediate and not too complex.

Sigh... I don't need another synth, I don't need another synth, I DON'T need another synth...
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jg666 on May 01, 2021, 01:55:31 AM
@Sacred Synthesis - some very nice sounding stuff there with your twins :)

I always seem to forget that I've got the Arturia V Collection 7 on my PC and that includes their version of the ARP 2600. I do struggle to get motivated to use them though because of a couple of reasons

1) I find having to use a mouse to control them very awkward
2) I have the little Arturia Keystep Pro that I use with these software synths, and whilst it's OK for limited use, I'd prefer not to have to use it.

I was wondering if an Arturia Keylab 49 mk2 might be better for me because it has more keys and they aren't the slim variety. It also has knobs and sliders for controlling the synth which would mean the mouse wouldn't be needed so much.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 01, 2021, 02:57:22 PM
I can't imagine having to design sounds using a bloody mouse.  Programming on the Odyssey is such an easy pleasure. so that I don't even like to use the word "program."  Words like "shape" or "mold" would be more fitting.  And I do find the slider to be preferable to the knob, since you never have to adjust the angle of your vision to locate the knob indicator. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: jg666 on May 01, 2021, 03:11:22 PM
Yes I’ve been thinking and playing around on the PC more today and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t enjoy having to use a mouse so probably won’t use it.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 01, 2021, 03:50:51 PM
Didn't even know about the upcoming Korg mini version though. But woah, just had a look, those sliders are even tinier.

I would say the Korg ARP 2600 Mini would work as a studio instrument, but it just wouldn't be as enjoyable to use as a Full Size.  After being warmed up and then carefully tuned, it would be manageable.  I think it will be worth a look.  The price will be about $1,800?

I might just go ARP crazy in the mono synth department.  A 2600 babysitting the twins would be really nice.  I'll be thrilled if Korg continues with the ARP reissues, especially to an ARP Omni 2.  I'm not sure what it is, but I really love the ARP instruments, the way they sound and look.  I suppose it could include a touch of nostalgia, but it's much more than only that.

This will be my music room in three years:  :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23iByV38BtM
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 01, 2021, 04:36:32 PM
Woah, $1800 ??? I couldn't afford it. Don't wanna advertise for B, but their 2600 is like $650, with bigger sliders. JUST big enough to not be all too fiddly, tuning in particular.

I just can't stand when it's TOO small, like the MS20 mini, almost impossible to finetune, had to like "tap" the knob without turning it, and even then hope it wouldn't make too big of a "jump". In that regard, sliders are also definitely better.

Had to take a look, thought I perhaps misunderstood, and that the full size version was $1800, but it was the mini.

Even if I could afford it, I prefer rack-mountable modules when possible, as I like to use these rack-stands, hung upside down on wall-shelves about 6-7 feet high:
https://www.thomann.de/se/adam_hall_strs12u_rackstaender.htm

I have to be economic space-wise as well, not just $-wise, and this really helps. So even if I could afford a FS-2600, I hardly have room unless I can rack-mount it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 01, 2021, 04:52:55 PM
I agree.  The standard or full size is small enough.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 07:42:46 AM
At this point, I would give serious consideration to the forthcoming Korg ARP 2600 Mini.  I dislike the shrunken size, but ARP synthesizers now have me so infatuated that I think I might forgo the Rev2 for a 2600, presuming the latter's build quality is respectable.  This is a huge shift for me, having been a total DSI/Sequential guy all these years.  But I've decided that ARP completely owns my mono synth department, and that I really like the idea of having a dedicated monophonic instrument.  In other words, I'm thrilled with my long sought-after pair of ARP Odesseys, so that my mind is now headed in a new direction.  This is the result of having to wait three years now for the Rev2 to reach full maturity.  All that while, I've been staring at my Prophet '08 Keyboard/Module pair and thinking how satisfied I am and always have been with it. 

Along came the Odyssey with no window, no memory, no onboard effects, no sequencer or arpeggiator, and no operating system updates to await, one after the other.  Goodness gracious, the simplicity is spectacular.

I do hope and expect that the Rev2 gets its final OS update this summer.  But now I'm also a. enthusiastic ARP guy.  I'm a two-timer.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 13, 2021, 08:23:11 AM
At this point, I would give serious consideration to the forthcoming Korg ARP 2600 Mini.  I dislike the shrunken size, but ARP synthesizers now have me so infatuated that I think I might forgo the Rev2 for a 2600, presuming the latter's build quality is respectable.  This is a huge shift for me, having been a total DSI/Sequential guy all these years.  But I've decided that ARP completely owns my mono synth department, and that I really like the idea of having a dedicated monophonic instrument.  In other words, I'm thrilled with my long sought-after pair of ARP Odesseys, so that my mind is now headed in a new direction.  This is the result of having to wait three years now for the Rev2 to reach full maturity.  All that while, I've been staring at my Prophet '08 Keyboard/Module pair and thinking how satisfied I am and always have been with it. 

Along came the Odyssey with no window, no memory, no onboard effects, no sequencer or arpeggiator, and no operating system updates to await, one after the other.  Goodness gracious, the simplicity is spectacular.

I do hope and expect that the Rev2 gets its final OS update this summer.  But now I'm also a. enthusiastic ARP guy.  I'm a two-timer.

I'm still tempted to get two Odyssey modules myself ad sequence them externally but I'm still intrigued with the Pro 3's versatility. I would have liked to have the ability to have each oscillator be run through each filter with it's own env so you could have multiple harmonic sequences going at once but it's still incredibly powerful the way it is.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 09:02:30 AM
An old school instrument like the Odyssey changes your synth behavior; it sends you in different directions.  With the absence of memory, you tend to work with fewer sounds, work harder at developing them, and then leave them on the panel for longer periods of time.  It doesn't suit everyone, especially those who love all the modern features, and most especially the ability to rapidly run through many patches.  Such synthesists would feel trapped with these prehistoric reissues.  But they sure suit some of us.  Honestly, I wish all my synthesizers were this immediate and ostensibly simple.  Plus, the ARP filter(s) is noticeably different from the Curtiss sound.  I would say that Dave's instruments are perfect for dense polyphonic textures - massive chords and so on.  I have no complaints about them at all, (well, except for the glide, which I find tempermental and difficult to musically apply).  There's no question about DSI/Sequential still being my favorite synthesizer company and instruments.  But the ARP sound is distinct, and its filter gives more meaning to shaping the envelopes.  A patch seems better defined as it moves through the envelope stages.  The end of it all is that I definitely prefer the ARP sound for a solo voice and melody playing.  Of course, I've never tried the Pro 3.

Decide carefully, LoboLives, because these are two very different synthesizer realms.  If vintage is not your place, then you'll probably find yourself feeling quite limited and frustrated.  The old and the new are that different.  But again, for some of us, this is such a breath of fresh air.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 13, 2021, 09:14:30 AM
An old school instrument like the Odyssey changes your synth behavior; it sends you in different directions.  With the absence of memory, you tend to work with fewer sounds, work harder at developing them, and then leave them on the panel for longer periods of time.  It doesn't suit everyone, especially those who love all the modern features, and most especially the ability to rapidly run through many patches.  Such synthesists would feel trapped with these prehistoric reissues.  But they sure suit some of us.  Honestly, I wish all my synthesizers were this immediate and ostensibly simple.  Plus, the ARP filter(s) is noticeably different from the Curtiss sound.  I would say that Dave's instruments are perfect for dense polyphonic textures - massive chords and so on.  I have no complaints about them at all, (well, except for the glide, which I find awkward and difficult to use).  But the ARP sound is distinct, and its filter gives more meaning to shaping the envelopes.  A patch seems better defined as it moves through the envelope stages.  The end of it all is that I definitely prefer the ARP sound for a solo voice and melody playing.  Of course, I've never tried the Pro 3.

Decide carefully, LoboLives, because these are two very different synthesizer realms.  If vintage is not your place, then you'll probably find yourself feeling quite limited and frustrated.  The old and the new are that different.  But again, for some of us, this is such a breath of fresh air.

Oh yeah, I have no problem with the lack of memory or vintage approach. I'd mostly use the ARPs for sequencing and maybe occasionally playing them via MIDI on a split with my Prophet X.

But I'm also very drawn to the Pro 3 in regards to it's versatility. Paraphonic capabilities, dual effects, the ability to run vocals or guitar into it, the wavetable oscillator, and an absolutely insane sequencer.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 09:26:23 AM
Then why don't you pair a Pro 3 with an Odyssey Module (and throw in that Korg SQ-1 you were talking about)?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 13, 2021, 09:35:58 AM
Then why don't you pair a Pro 3 with an Odyssey Module (and throw in that Korg SQ-1 you were talking about)?

It was also an idea to have the Pro 3 control two Odysseys via CV. In fact I think it's possible to play the Pro 3's engine on it's own separately while the sequencer controls the external modules.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 09:37:55 AM
Then you've solved your own problem.  But as I'm sure you're aware, brand new Odyssey Modules are getting hard to find.  I jumped and bought mine just recently for that reason.  Each time I looked at the same web sites, there were fewer available.  Musician's Friend still has a few.  I'd act soon if I were you.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 13, 2021, 09:48:58 AM
Then you've solved your own problem.  But as I'm sure you're aware, brand new Odyssey Modules are getting hard to find.  I jumped and bought mine just recently for that reason.  Each time I looked at the same web sites, there were fewer available.  Musician's Friend still has a few.  I'd act soon if I were you.

Sadly no shipping to Canada. Neither with B&H photo.

It might be best to get them first if possible. Can always sell them later if needed.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 10:02:36 AM
I forgot to mention one thing that may be of interest to you.  The envelopes are on the slow side.  You can't get a really crisp sharp attack, not a "pop" sort of immediacy.  It's not a problem for the patches I make, but it might be a problem for someone using the Odyssey with a sequencer and wanting a more percussive snap from the attack. 
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 13, 2021, 12:37:17 PM
I forgot to mention one thing that may be of interest to you.  The envelopes are on the slow side.  You can't get a really crisp sharp attack, not a "pop" sort of immediacy.  It's not a problem for the patches I make, but it might be a problem for someone using the Odyssey with a sequencer and wanting a more percussive snap from the attack.

I don't think so Allan Howarth used two ARP Avatars (Which were essentially Odyssey modules) with the ARP sequencer so it should be fine.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 13, 2021, 01:30:30 PM
I must say, though I don't own an original 2600 but a recreation, that I'm very pleased with it in just about every way. A little intimidating at first perhaps, but MAN the possibilities, really sparks creativity. Definitely THE mono-synth for me personally (or paraphonic).

Btw, if you have a keyboard controller that can send velocity by CV, something like a Keystep (mini-keys  >:( ) or Neutron where you can route velocity to a CV out, you can add expression by velocity as well (and/or aftertouch). Easy to tweak by attenuating the signal to your liking, just run it through a slot on the voltage processor of the 2600.

The envelopes on mine can be "pop"-fast if one wants (I don't), with a switch to set env times to 0,5x 1x or 2x. That's nice.

Only real gripe I have is that the "electronic switch" is hardwired internally, not syncable without modification. And I'm no fan of spring reverbs, just doesn't suit my sounds, so won't be using that one very much. Other than that, what a synth!

Still considering the Odyssey though, perhaps I always will until I actually get one.  ;) Unfortunately, it's hard to find the Module version where I live, and I don't know if it's rack mountable... does someone here know?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 03:10:50 PM
The Odyssey module is 19 1/2" wide.  The rackmount case I have is 1/2" too narrow.  Are there other case sizes?  And I've never seen rackmount ears for the module. 

Maxter, I forgot you have a 2600.  Is it the Behringer or Korg version?  Otherwise, I'm totally jealous.  Please send it to me.  >:(
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 13, 2021, 04:59:12 PM
The Odyssey module is 19 1/2" wide.  The rackmount case I have is 1/2" too narrow.  Are there other case sizes?  And I've never seen rackmount ears for the module. 

Maxter, I forgot you have a 2600.  Is it the Behringer or Korg version?  Otherwise, I'm totally jealous.  Please send it to me.  >:(

I perhaps could send it, if I wasn't SO fond of it already...  ;D  "Unfortunately" it's the Behringers "Gray Meanie" version, as B was the only viable option for me really, otherwise I'd rather support Korg instead. I like Korg, and have had a couple of their synths over the years. Didn't know their 2600 mini version was in the making either, when I got the B2600. I know there's plenty of fuzz about B doing a rip-off here, and I DO get it, but most forget that the 2600 was cloned several times before... I'm not "condoning" it, but in a way I also find it strange that there's no fuzz about earlier clones of the 2600, so I'm not really sure what the REAL issue is in that sense, to be honest. But not something I would actively defend in an argument either.

Too bad Korg didn't make it standard 19" rack-mountable, as that's quite a biggie for me personally. I want as much stuff as possible "racked away" hanging from my wall-shelves, as to save space. I also would've gotten the Rev2 module if it was easily rack-mountable, like the Prophet 08 I had before it. But for that reason I got the key version and had to get rid of an old beloved Ensoniq sampler instead (which I now have found a rack version of, thankfully). I just don't have a lot of space...

The B2600 sliders are juuuuuust big enough, had they been just a tad smaller I don't think I would've managed to put up with it. And the Korg minis look even smaller, unfortunately. So I'd be scared of a MS20-mini experience...

No standard rack-mountable Odyssey to be found, that's a bit of a shame... But looking at it from the bright side, it might help my restraining efforts at least...  :)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 05:16:08 PM
I'll leave a couple links below to articles on the subject.  The comments that follow are equally interesting.  Make your own judgment about it all, but as to the common claim that it's a lot of fuss over nothing, just note the way many people will dare to refer to him only as "B."  And that's all I need to say.

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2018/06/20/that-time-behringer-sued-dave-smith-instruments-20-gearslutz-users-for-a-quarter-of-a-million-dollars/

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2020/03/02/behringer-dismisses-critics-as-haters-launches-hate-attack-on-journalist/

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 06:02:58 PM
The B2600 sliders are juuuuuust big enough, had they been just a tad smaller I don't think I would've managed to put up with it. And the Korg minis look even smaller, unfortunately. So I'd be scared of a MS20-mini experience...

That's a concern, alright.  But Korg has claimed that they've added "improved smoother sliders."  Whether or not this can compensate for the 60% size, I don't know.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 13, 2021, 07:43:54 PM
I'll leave a couple links below to articles on the subject.  The comments that follow are equally interesting.  Make your own judgment about it all, but as to the common claim that it's a lot of fuss over nothing, just note the way many people will dare to refer to him only as "B."  And that's all I need to say.

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2018/06/20/that-time-behringer-sued-dave-smith-instruments-20-gearslutz-users-for-a-quarter-of-a-million-dollars/

https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2020/03/02/behringer-dismisses-critics-as-haters-launches-hate-attack-on-journalist/

Yes, I'm well aware of that appalling thing. And, as I stated earlier, I wouldn't even TRY to defend B. I have only mentioned said manufacturer as "B" for a reason (except when you explicitly asked if it was the "Behringer" or Korg version I have, my response included that word, to make it clear). I also tried to make it clear that I don't condone what this company is up to most of the time, and that I wouldnt't even try. "as to the common claim that it's a lot of fuss over nothing" I'd never claim that, though that may be common, I don't know.

My "criticism" (for lack of a better word, as it wasn't critique at all) wasn't about B in general, but about the case of the 2600 in particular, of which there have been a couple of other recreations previously. I haven't heard much fuzz about these other recreations, that's ALL I was saying. I'm NOT saying those who criticize the B2600 remake but not the others are hypocrites, I just stated what I find a bit peculiar (depending on what the actual issue is here, I'd expect the same criticisms towards ALL copies, consistently). I'm not "invested" in any company. I agree with the criticisms of B over all, but I try to be "pertinent" (if that's the right word) in each particular case, like if someone crosses a red light, that doesn't automatically make them the perpetrator of murder in another case. NOT trying to "whitewash" anything here though, if you read my earlier posts I think you'll understand that I'm certainly not proud of buying B.

As I also stated, I'd RATHER support Korg. Especially in this case, as Korg is one of the companies that has actually listened to the demands of their consumers and brought forth products (both reissues and new analog stuff) that people want. This cannot be said of every other manufacturer however, and some products are obsolete anyhow, that's one of the reasons I have to judge each individual case on its own terms. AGAIN, not trying to whitewash B or anything here.

The 2600 model of which I got one, were all gone within a day or two, which was expected, and me not getting one wouldn't have changed that. I'd like to consider myself an idealist, but I also have to be pragmatic. I wanted to at least try out a 2600 sometime in my life, and this was the only way (at that time) that it would ever be even a remote possibility, so I jumped the gun when I had the chance.

I understand what you're saying, and I'm NOT disagreeing in any way, but that salt could be better used elsewhere, on more important issues.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 09:13:13 PM
Maxter, don't worry; I have no interest in carrying on about this or making it into a personal crusade.  I only meant to pass on the information in case you weren't familiar with the whole story, without trying to give you a guilt trip over it. 

As for the clone aspect - it's true, there have been a number of 2600 clones already, and other types of clones appear all the time.  Jeepers, I'm always buying the generic products at the grocery store because they're cheaper.  They're more or less clones, too.  But I will put this in on behalf of Korg.  They went about it in a much more dignified way.  They brought David Friend into the project.  They praised Alan R. Pearlman's work to the skies, and even put the classic ARP logo on their reissues.  And they also included the original Odyssey owner's manual from the 1970's, which is the icing on the cake.  It was all above the board and lacked all abrasiveness.  It was done with class and decency.  For all that, I've come to respect Korg, and I'm hoping to buy more of their products in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKFLNOzBhHo&list=PL-CSFEgC2tTzntCpPLoanxTT_G4Wv6ZK8&index=3

There.  End of the soap opera.  Carry on.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 13, 2021, 11:25:34 PM
But as I'm sure you're aware, brand new Odyssey Modules are getting hard to find.  I jumped and bought mine just recently for that reason.  Each time I looked at the same web sites, there were fewer available.  Musician's Friend still has a few.  I'd act soon if I were you.

I was wrong.  Musician's Friend has the Odyssey Module on backorder.  So I must have bought the last two units that they had.  I believe the instrument has been discontinued by Korg, so "backorder" doesn't seem too promising.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 14, 2021, 05:39:09 AM
No worries. I think the topic is so beat to death everywhere else already, and I didn't mean to bring it up, but I somehow did unintentionally anyhow.

I should've excluded Korg when I said "all copies" earlier, I didn't mean to include them in that category, they absolutely have done this the right way with the case of ARP instruments. I certainly agree.

In some cases though, like if B succesfully clones Jupiter-8 and CS-80 and make them affordable, I could care less about the "moral" issues. Roland and Yamaha apparently aren't bringing them back anyhow, and the Deckards Dream is already somewhat a clone. I view each case separately. But what B did to DSI was just appalling, and I'm certainly NOT a B-fan, especially because of this.

I don't see why more brands don't go the clone-route themselves and bring back some old favourites, like Korg and Sequential have done already. There seems to have been quite a market demand for the stuff B have brought to the table, it's just a shame most other brands left that hole open for B to exploit...

Unfortunately, as the module seems sold out and discontinued, there aren't many alternatives if I should decide to get an Odyssey... Which is also an issue sometimes, availability. I probably won't buy the one with mini-keys either, as that's a real turn-off.

Maybe I should look for a module or two to complement the 2600, as to expand its functionality (like velocity and aftertouch), instead of getting an Odyssey. I don't need several mono synths, so will probably take that route.

I also hope to support Korg again in the future, and they really deserve cred for bringing on the whole affordable-retro-analog thing originally, before most other brands got onboard that train. They seem to listen to their customers as well.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 14, 2021, 06:49:43 AM
No worries. I think the topic is so beat to death everywhere else already, and I didn't mean to bring it up, but I somehow did unintentionally anyhow.

I should've excluded Korg when I said "all copies" earlier, I didn't mean to include them in that category, they absolutely have done this the right way with the case of ARP instruments. I certainly agree.

In some cases though, like if B succesfully clones Jupiter-8 and CS-80 and make them affordable, I could care less about the "moral" issues. Roland and Yamaha apparently aren't bringing them back anyhow, and the Deckards Dream is already somewhat a clone. I view each case separately. But what B did to DSI was just appalling, and I'm certainly NOT a B-fan, especially because of this.

I don't see why more brands don't go the clone-route themselves and bring back some old favourites, like Korg and Sequential have done already. There seems to have been quite a market demand for the stuff B have brought to the table, it's just a shame most other brands left that hole open for B to exploit...

Unfortunately, as the module seems sold out and discontinued, there aren't many alternatives if I should decide to get an Odyssey... Which is also an issue sometimes, availability. I probably won't buy the one with mini-keys either, as that's a real turn-off.

Maybe I should look for a module or two to complement the 2600, as to expand its functionality (like velocity and aftertouch), instead of getting an Odyssey. I don't need several mono synths, so will probably take that route.

I also hope to support Korg again in the future, and they really deserve cred for bringing on the whole affordable-retro-analog thing originally, before most other brands got onboard that train. They seem to listen to their customers as well.

There is a Korg ARP Odyssey Full Size edition REV1 for sale at Perfect Circuit Audio right now
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 14, 2021, 05:04:47 PM
There are also some Rev2 Odysseys FS with the Korg SQ-1 for $1,300 at Noisebug.  That's a fabulous deal.

https://www.noisebug.net/products/odyssey-fsq-rev-2?_pos=1&_sid=91377788a&_ss=r
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 15, 2021, 05:57:22 PM
Apparently, that "Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller" referred to on this thread is quite a popular item.  They'e sold out, anyways, but I've got one from the next batch reserved.  So, that will be my dedicated mono synth - two Korg ARP Odyssey Modules controlled by a five-octave keyboard and effected by a Zoom MS-70CDR Pedal.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Quatschmacher on May 16, 2021, 03:03:42 AM
Apparently, that "Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller" referred to on this thread is quite a popular item.  They'e sold out, anyways, but I've got one from the next batch reserved.  So, that will be my dedicated mono synth - two Korg ARP Odyssey Modules controlled by a five-octave keyboard and effected by a Zoom MS-70CDR Pedal.

They look pretty nice (though might’ve been nicer for the wheels to be at the side).
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 16, 2021, 08:55:58 AM
True, but the size fits perfectly above something like a Prophet '08/Rev2.  I would have preferred no controls at all, but an entirely flat top.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Strange Quark Star on May 17, 2021, 11:15:39 AM
Finally caught up with this saga. So happy to see this odyssey of Sacred Synthesis come to a close with two Odysseys! I really love the sounds you've so masterfully coaxed from them in your recent videos.

All I can add is that you should do yourself a favor and reconsider getting a gray 2B00 (or two), as I call them. Larger and cheaper than the still-awaited compact Korg variant, and with added functionality that you wouldn't want to miss. All with a quite surprising build quality — it may be the most pleasant synth to touch that I own (with the VC340 being a close second, strangely. Sliders all the way!)

Life's too short for politics, grudges against faceless corporations, and justifications for inconsequential purchases, and should rather be enjoyed instead.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: timboréale on May 17, 2021, 12:35:15 PM
Life's too short for politics, grudges against faceless corporations, and justifications for inconsequential purchases, and should rather be enjoyed instead.

I couldn't disagree more.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Strange Quark Star on May 17, 2021, 12:45:40 PM
Life's too short for politics, grudges against faceless corporations, and justifications for inconsequential purchases, and should rather be enjoyed instead.

I couldn't disagree more.

Maybe I should have added the modifier "in the realm of music equipment producers" to that statement. As in "save it for actual, real issues."
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 17, 2021, 01:20:21 PM
Life's too short for politics, grudges against faceless corporations, and justifications for inconsequential purchases, and should rather be enjoyed instead.

I couldn't disagree more.

Maybe I should have added the modifier "in the realm of music equipment producers" to that statement. As in "save it for actual, real issues."

That's a good clarification! I, for one, agree. We may all have our views and opinions on various topics, some of which are more important than others. In some cases, arguing may be a necessary, good and fruitful thing for the best, in other cases not so much, and in some even fruitless (ie will never change a thing, or even make things worse).

Like the arguments about a "remake", or a VST clone, etc, vs the "original"... "But it's not analog", "OK, it's analog, but not as 'warm' as my OG version", "But I don't have $10k to spend on a 40 yo synth, plus upcoming repairs", "Where and how would I even find one?". I wouldn't even want to know the time effectively spent (sorry, I mean wasted) on these things by the synth community.

No matter the opinions and arguments, in some cases such as this, it just won't change a thing. And may be nothing more than a waste of time and effort, better spent elsewhere.

Though this quote isn't spot on, I still think it somewhat mirrors what I mean, a saying I personally try to keep it in the back of my head:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

I may just have wasted more time right here though  ;)  I think I'll go watch Monty Pythons "Argument Clinic" now...  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 17, 2021, 01:38:26 PM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 17, 2021, 01:50:37 PM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.

Just WHAT would that change, effectively? (except me owning fewer instruments, which isn't that tempting...) Would B go out of business?

I think you missed the point I was trying to make with my last post. Not all have the same possibilities or circumstances either, which I tried to hint at as well. I have to assume it's easy to say "buy original" for those who can afford it, and several ones at that...

I'd have to sell my Rev2 in order to buy a Korg 2600. Or save up for a couple of years... at which point, they'll all be gone anyhow.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 17, 2021, 02:37:45 PM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.

To clarify, please let me emphasize: "serenity to accept the things I CANNOT change" The Gray B2600 sold out in 1-2 days, and would've done so REGARDLESS of my purchase. Whatever it is you want me to "make a change" about regarding this, I CAN NOT make that difference in the end... which leads me to my next emphasis: "wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE". Which was the point.

There ARE things I can do, change and effect. My point was that it's better to focuse on THOSE things, than those which I can NOT change.

The only effect me not buying the B2600 would have, is me not owning a 2600, that's it. I actually have the Boog as well, that I bought USED for $200, as an original Minimoog (or reissue) costs more than I would get for my whole setup. If you can afford the originals, good for you!

I hope you're not offended by me typing some words with caps-lock. I once got that reaction, someone thought I was angry or screaming or something... it's just my way of emphasizing words, not bad intentions.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 17, 2021, 04:50:49 PM
ANYWAYS...I have no  regrets.  I'm glad for making these very decisions; they've produced just the sort of sound I've sought for years, and by the means I far prefer.  If I haven't yet produced much in the way of Odyssey recordings, it's because the two modules are tied to my Prophet '08 Keyboard, which in turn now has an idle P'08 Module sitting beside it.  In other words, until I get the keyboard controller discussed back a few pages (and I have reserved one), my set up is totally mucked up.  Even the pedalboard is under the wrong instrument. 

I would be interested in any future ARP reissues that Korg offers, especially of monophonic instruments.  Not so much the Pro DGX, but certainly the Solus and the Axxe.  As for the 2600M, I'll just wait and see.  All things considered, I'm content to go the Korg route.

It's good to see you back on the forum SQS.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: chysn on May 17, 2021, 06:51:33 PM
I would be really interested in an Axxe reissue. Probably not enough to buy one, but I’d surely wish I could.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 17, 2021, 07:47:04 PM
Anything goes in these strange times.  If a reissued Roland RS-101 can be popular, why not the Axxe?  From modern to vintage, from programmable to non-programmable, from multi-oscillator to single oscillator.  It would be only more of the same.  There are already so many new instruments with all the features, so I'm all in for it.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: BobTheDog on May 20, 2021, 11:41:12 AM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.

This I agree with in many ways.

I would love for example a 2600, been building one for years that will never work and can’t afford the Korg one at the moment. So the B one was tempting, it was my choice if I wanted to reward that company or just do without. So I did without.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 20, 2021, 11:46:02 AM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.

This I agree with in many ways.

I would love for example a 2600, been building one for years that will never work and can’t afford the Korg one at the moment. So the B one was tempting, it was my choice if I wanted to reward that company or just do without. So I did without.

I still don't own a Gibson guitar because of this.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 20, 2021, 12:39:25 PM
I dread to wade into this issue, but it seems as if it's not going away.

It isn't a matter of whether or not you can stop a wrong with your little protests.  In most cases, you can't - this case included.  But that isn't the end of the issue, because it's also a matter of moral principle, of refusing to participate in, or benefit from, the wrong.  If I truly care about right and wrong, then, to the extent it's possible, I will not allow myself to benefit from the wrong.  In other words, I will deny myself some pleasure, so as not to gain that pleasure through the wrong.  It's not about effective or ineffective protests; it's about principle and integrity. 

Ultimately, the solution to the moral dilemma is self-denial, and people will be either willing or unwilling.

I think we've said all that we can say on this topic in a synthesizer forum.  Let everyone make their own decisions about buying Behringer equipment.  I've made my own decision, and I don't care to explain or defend it any further.  Nor am I interested in accusing others who differ.  Can we now resume the original topic of this thread?  Or else, let someone start a thread about Behringer and discuss it night and day to their heart's content.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 20, 2021, 01:58:56 PM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.

This I agree with in many ways.

I would love for example a 2600, been building one for years that will never work and can’t afford the Korg one at the moment. So the B one was tempting, it was my choice if I wanted to reward that company or just do without. So I did without.

Would you be interested in the Korg ARP 2600 Mini?  It might be about $2,000.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 20, 2021, 02:59:39 PM
I dread to wade into this issue, but it seems as if it's not going away.

It isn't a matter of whether or not you can stop a wrong with your little protests.  In most cases, you can't - this case included.  But that isn't the end of the issue, because it's also a matter of moral principle, of refusing to participate in, or benefit from, the wrong.  If I truly care about right and wrong, then, to the extent it's possible, I will not allow myself to benefit from the wrong.  In other words, I will deny myself some pleasure, so as not to gain that pleasure through the wrong.  It's not about effective or ineffective protests; it's about principle and integrity. 

Ultimately, the solution to the moral dilemma is self-denial, and people will be either willing or unwilling.

I think we've said all that we can say on this topic in a synthesizer forum.  Let everyone make their own decisions about buying Behringer equipment.  I've made my own decision, and I don't care to explain or defend it any further.  Nor am I interested in accusing others who differ.  Can we now resume the original topic of this thread?  Or else, let someone start a thread about Behringer and discuss it night and day to their heart's content.

Well put, I agree. I was so off-put when this first drifted that way because it's been "beat to death" everywhere else already, and I see no real point in "arguing" about it, as it won't change a thing. It's just that I pick up this judgmental attitude sometimes on the subject, that it's a ONLY a moral issue and nothing else, judged and ruled (by who?), case closed. Which I don't agree with, and I think it's an uncivil attitude in many cases. And some may still wear shirts made in a sweat-shop in China, for instance, while boasting about their morals on other subjects. Just hypothetically and retorically speaking.

You stated something I didn't really get though, likely because english is my second language, but anyway... if you want to explain/elaborate on it, so that I can understand what you mean or imply, please do!
"Ultimately, the solution to the moral dilemma is self-denial, and people will be either willing or unwilling."
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 20, 2021, 03:02:08 PM
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

You have the ability to do this with your wallet and your decision making.

You CAN change giving your money to one manufacturer and placing it elsewhere.

This I agree with in many ways.

I would love for example a 2600, been building one for years that will never work and can’t afford the Korg one at the moment. So the B one was tempting, it was my choice if I wanted to reward that company or just do without. So I did without.

What if you buy it second hand? You're not DIRECTLY supporting the company... just food for thought.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Paul Dither on May 20, 2021, 03:30:19 PM
Hey folks, I feel like I should interfere here as a moderator:  Could you please stay on the topic and move on from the B-word discussion?  Otherwise I will have to create a new thread on the subject.  Thank you.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Soundquest on May 21, 2021, 10:01:15 AM
Finally caught up with this saga. So happy to see this odyssey of Sacred Synthesis come to a close with two Odysseys! I really love the sounds you've so masterfully coaxed from them in your recent videos.

All I can add is that you should do yourself a favor and reconsider getting a gray 2B00 (or two), as I call them. Larger and cheaper than the still-awaited compact Korg variant, and with added functionality that you wouldn't want to miss. All with a quite surprising build quality — it may be the most pleasant synth to touch that I own (with the VC340 being a close second, strangely. Sliders all the way!)

Life's too short for politics, grudges against faceless corporations, and justifications for inconsequential purchases, and should rather be enjoyed instead.

Strange Quark Star.....haven't heard from you in quite a while.  Good to see you back!

RE: Monos synths  For what its worth...with 4 oscillators, I always thought the Pro 2 as a damn good mono synth, though I admit that rarely use it that way, opting for the paraphonic coolness of it.

Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Strange Quark Star on May 22, 2021, 07:22:29 AM
I apologize for poking the "B"-hive; let's move past this.

As much as I'd love Paul Dither's 2600th post (as it appears at time of writing) to be the last word here, let me squeeze this in as the latest instigator here:

I fully agree about the impropriety of some of the "B"-havior, to put it lightly, and more generally share Sacred's sentiment about morals in your purchases or otherwise support, regardless of whether they effect a change or not, as someone who's quite extreme in this regard myself with many issues.

It's just a bit sad that an otherwise quite excellent product is tarnished in this way for many who could have otherwise gotten a great deal of enjoyment from it.


Anyway, let's see when that small Korg will come out! Curious about the eventual price, especially since their MS-20 mini was such a bargain. If not for the aforementioned device, I would have almost certainly gotten one of these. Love the color and the form factor, and the speakers could be fun, too!

I really regret having missed out on the Odyssey modules (especially the white ones), which appear to be fully sold out at the moment. I didn't realize how affordable they were until it was too late. And re-reading this thread, I'm toying with the idea of having two near-identical synth voices hard panned left/right myself!


@Soundquest: thanks! Just had quick listen to your latest Wavescapes… I really missed out on some amazing things there, too! Especially what you managed to get out of the Perseverance recordings.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 24, 2021, 06:07:25 PM
I wasn't sure of this until I tried it, but now I can say that the CV, Gate, and Trigger outs and ins work much like MIDI.  I've got the master Odyssey Module controlling the slave Odyssey Module.  Of course, it isn't as thorough as MIDI, but it's good enough.  Now I will need only a single MIDI Out jack from a keyboard controller to control the whole system.  This is working out better than I had expected.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 24, 2021, 10:58:54 PM
This piece consists mostly of Poly Evolver, but there's an interesting Odyssey brass patch also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBuFEVQ3H-Q
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 26, 2021, 06:15:37 AM
I've been eyeing the Hydrasynth for quite some time, and recently realized that it would fit really well as a controller for a 2600... having pitch, gate, clock, mod1 and mod2 CV outs, means that you could send both velocity and aftertouch via CV to a 2600 (and/or other modulation sources), via the mod1 and mod2 outputs. The signals can also be attenuated, as they pass through the mod-matrix anyhow, so one would save the 2600s voltage processor slots to serve other purposes later. It's also possible to send several mod sources to the same output, as the mod-matrix has 32 slots... so several mod sources could be sharing a single mod output, ie if they're meant to modulate the same parameter anyhow, like filter cutoff. With 5 LFOs and 5 envelopes, some complex modulations are possible...

Just meant as a "tricks and tips" notion, as I find the 2600 to be a contender for the "Perfect Mono Synth".

This doesn't make me want the Hydra less than before... I really hope to acquire one used eventually, when I have saved up.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 07:23:18 AM
I'd agree with your description of the 2600 as possibly the "perfect mono synth."  Above all other instruments available today, I would prefer this vernerable old mono synth.  Of course, I've never played one, but I know the ARP character well and have long admired its control panel.  And this may concern me more than you, but I find that, in controlling a module with another synthesizer, either one instrument gets all the attention or the other.  I'm a tremendous fan of the Prophet '08 (and I'm glad I didn't sell it for a Rev2!), but since I've been using it to control my Odysseys, I haven't touched it except for the keyboard.  There's some sense in using a dedicated controller for a module, since you're not at least temporarily sacrificing a complete instrument to that module. 

I've got the controller above ordered, and I hope I won't be waiting forever to get it, because I really miss the Prophet '08.  I think it will blend beautifully with the Odysseys.  So, I would put in my two cents for MIDI keyboard controllers.  They allow you to make something musically complete and independent out of what is otherwise an impersonal fuse box.  A dedicated keyboard puts a bright toothy smile on it, and you'll surely hear your module say, "Ahhh, thank you."  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 26, 2021, 08:06:58 AM
I know it sounds odd but I actually think the Artuira MatrixBrute is almost like a modern ARP 2600.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 08:33:32 AM
I suppose a Matrixbrute could fill in for a 2600, but the ARP has its own voice.  That's what I find lacking in the current vast wilderness of synthesizers, with more appearing every couple of months - distinctiveness of voice.  It's an aspect every bit as important as the plethora of features.  I'll eat generic peanut butter, but I can't stomach generic synthesis.  That's one reason I'm concerned about Sequential mixing with Novation.  Sure, a collaboration would produce a feature-rich instrument, but would it sound like a Sequential or a Novation?  It just might sound like neither, nor anything else, but just another bland technical feat - impressive but ultimately impersonal.   

This is why I like the Evolver.  Nothing sounds like an Evolver.  Perhaps the much-vaunted Poly Evolver II, with enough improvements, would lose its character.  Personally, I would sacrifice modern enhancements to retain the old Evolver voice.  In other words, I'll take the Evolver just as it is, rather than have it "fixed."  I even wonder if this might have happened in the Prophet '08-Rev2 evolution.  Was a distinctive voice possibly diluted with the many improvements?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 26, 2021, 08:37:09 AM
I suppose one could fill in for the other, but the ARP has its own voice.  That's what I find lacking in the current vast wilderness of synthesizers, with more appearing every couple of months - distinctiveness of voice.  It's an aspect every bit as important as the plethora of features.  I'll eat generic peanut butter, but I can't stomach generic synthesis.

I think it honestly depends on programing to be honest. I've heard some absolutely beautiful stuff and absolute garbage come out of both.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 08:59:27 AM
I suppose one could fill in for the other, but the ARP has its own voice.  That's what I find lacking in the current vast wilderness of synthesizers, with more appearing every couple of months - distinctiveness of voice.  It's an aspect every bit as important as the plethora of features.  I'll eat generic peanut butter, but I can't stomach generic synthesis.

I think it honestly depends on programing to be honest. I've heard some absolutely beautiful stuff and absolute garbage come out of both.

But that's always the case.  It always comes down to the degree of talent.  The difference here, though, is not between good and bad sound design, composition, or performance, but with the distinctiveness of the instrument used.  I realize this may seem like hair-splitting to some synthesists, but something is lost when you have everything - a recognizable sonic personality is lacking.  That's all I'm trying to say.  I prefer a single memorable personality to multiple personality disorder - in music as well as in friends.  Variety is not always the spice of life.

At the beginning of this thread, I listed the technical features I considered necessary to my own musical needs.  But the one feature I overlooked was this distinctiveness of musical voice.  In the ARP voice I found it, and now I realize it was among the most important features of all.

Of course, you can also go too far with this distinctiveness.  For example, an ARP Pro Soloist or a Minikorg 700 would both be too recognizable, since we all know who made those instruments famous.  Most of the former's sounds scream "Tony Banks," and for that reason it would be difficult to strike out new with one.  That's just the inherent limitation of preset synthesizers.  Variable synthesizers are a different matter, though.  And something like an Odyssey or a 2600 is so variable that there is still plenty of room for a modern musician/composer to make his or her own way with so recognizable a character.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 26, 2021, 09:42:19 AM
I suppose one could fill in for the other, but the ARP has its own voice.  That's what I find lacking in the current vast wilderness of synthesizers, with more appearing every couple of months - distinctiveness of voice.  It's an aspect every bit as important as the plethora of features.  I'll eat generic peanut butter, but I can't stomach generic synthesis.

I think it honestly depends on programing to be honest. I've heard some absolutely beautiful stuff and absolute garbage come out of both.

But that's always the case.  It always comes down to the degree of talent.  The difference here, though, is not between good and bad sound design, composition, or performance, but with the distinctiveness of the instrument used.  I realize this may seem like hair-splitting to some synthesists, but something is lost when you have everything - a recognizable sonic personality is lacking.  That's all I'm trying to say.  I prefer a single memorable personality to multiple personality disorder - in music as well as in friends.  Variety is not always the spice of life.

At the beginning of this thread, I listed the technical features I considered necessary to my own musical needs.  But the one feature I overlooked was this distinctiveness of musical voice.  In the ARP voice I found it, and now I realize it was among the most important features of all.

Of course, you can also go too far with this distinctiveness.  For example, an ARP Pro Soloist or a Minikorg 700 would both be too recognizable, since we all know who made those instruments famous.  Most of the former's sounds scream "Tony Banks," and for that reason it would be difficult to strike out new with one.  That's just the inherent limitation of preset synthesizers.  Variable synthesizers are a different matter, though.  And something like a 2600 is so variable that there is still plenty of room for a modern musician/composer to make his or her own way with so recognizable a character.

Oh man, you are making it really hard not to follow tracking some ARP Odyssey modules.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 09:45:13 AM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Try Reverb.  And don't forget the Korg SQ-1.

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=ARP%20Odyssey
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 26, 2021, 09:56:49 AM
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Try Reverb.  And don't forget the Korg SQ-1.

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=ARP%20Odyssey

I'm actually not going to get the SQ-1 anymore because I found a huge flaw in it.....you can't transpose the sequence playing via keyboard. That's not very practical.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 10:13:54 AM
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Try Reverb.  And don't forget the Korg SQ-1.

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=ARP%20Odyssey

I'm actually not going to get the SQ-1 anymore because I found a huge flaw in it.....you can't transpose the sequence playing via keyboard. That's not very practical.

Then how do you transpose a sequence on it live?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 26, 2021, 10:23:23 AM
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Try Reverb.  And don't forget the Korg SQ-1.

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=ARP%20Odyssey

I'm actually not going to get the SQ-1 anymore because I found a huge flaw in it.....you can't transpose the sequence playing via keyboard. That's not very practical.

Then how do you transpose a sequence on it live?

LOL you don't. You simply just need to change the tuning of the oscillators of the external synth. LOL
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on May 26, 2021, 12:38:15 PM
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Try Reverb.  And don't forget the Korg SQ-1.

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=ARP%20Odyssey

I'm actually not going to get the SQ-1 anymore because I found a huge flaw in it.....you can't transpose the sequence playing via keyboard. That's not very practical.

Then how do you transpose a sequence on it live?

LOL you don't. You simply just need to change the tuning of the oscillators of the external synth. LOL

Exactly, it's hard to believe Korg haven't implemented this functionality in an update. It's just about useless imo, unless you want to get creative with transposing the MIDI via some program in between. Not a hobby of mine.

I was a bit surprised by Sacred Synthesis comment there, "don't forget the SQ-1", I didn't think you were the "sequencer-type"... and there must surely be better controllers for the 2600.

What I was saying about the Hydra was mostly what it could offer to the 2600, like velocity and aftertouch, to add musical expression. Expression is of course possible without the use of aftertouch or velocity, but they sure can make an instrument more expressive.

The added benefit of being able to route other modulations, and attenuate those pre-2600, was just mentioned for the added programability, in case one "runs out" of something on the 2600. Like a toolbox. A keyboard is also merely a tool to control the actual synth in the first place, aftertouch and velocity just adds another dimension of control... I don't think I would dub a synth "the perfect (mono) synth" if it lacked the possibility to be controlled by aftertouch and velocity. But it's possible with the 2600, though the options of a controller that can supply these CVs seem limited, and sometimes expensive. And the Hydra isn't THAT pricy, considering what you get, you'd simply pay a couple of hundred extra compared to the other CV options for velocity and AT, and as a bonus you'd get the Hydras own synthesis, as well as a poly-AT keyboard (great for P'08, Rev2, and other poly-AT compatible instruments), and a ribbon controller. But if someone knows a cheap alternative to get velocity and expression from MIDI to CV out, with attenuators, I'm interested, I haven't found anything as priceworthy as the Hydrasynth yet.

It doesn't have a sequencer, but at least it has an arpeggiator, and ie you could actually even transpose the patterns ;)

EDIT, I just checked some more, and the Hydrasynths 5 LFOs can be used as independent sequencers with up to 64 steps each, and transposable of course...

What I'm saying is, I'm looking to add velocity and AT by CV to the 2600, and the most priceworthy option I've found yet is the Hydrasynth, and it ticks an awful lot of other boxes as well. It could be my absolute favourite digital synth, both in concept, as well as having lovely character(s) and lots of functionality. I guess I'm basically just trying to sell myself a Hydra here ;) please talk me out of it!  ;D
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 12:55:02 PM

I was a bit surprised by Sacred Synthesis comment there, "don't forget the SQ-1", I didn't think you were the "sequencer-type"... and there must surely be better controllers for the 2600.

You're right about that.  I rarely use a sequencer, and only when doodling around as a modulation source.  But I knew that LoboLives once had his eyes on the SQ-1.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on May 26, 2021, 12:59:57 PM
I guess I'm basically just trying to sell myself a Hydra here ;) please talk me out of it!  ;D

There, there, Maxter.  We all suffer from the same vice.  I'm presently trying to persuade myself that the Korg 2600M will be just the right size.   ???

Now go and buy a Hydrasynth.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: LoboLives on May 27, 2021, 07:40:48 AM
I suppose one could fill in for the other, but the ARP has its own voice.  That's what I find lacking in the current vast wilderness of synthesizers, with more appearing every couple of months - distinctiveness of voice.  It's an aspect every bit as important as the plethora of features.  I'll eat generic peanut butter, but I can't stomach generic synthesis.

I think it honestly depends on programing to be honest. I've heard some absolutely beautiful stuff and absolute garbage come out of both.

But that's always the case.  It always comes down to the degree of talent.  The difference here, though, is not between good and bad sound design, composition, or performance, but with the distinctiveness of the instrument used.  I realize this may seem like hair-splitting to some synthesists, but something is lost when you have everything - a recognizable sonic personality is lacking.  That's all I'm trying to say.  I prefer a single memorable personality to multiple personality disorder - in music as well as in friends.  Variety is not always the spice of life.

At the beginning of this thread, I listed the technical features I considered necessary to my own musical needs.  But the one feature I overlooked was this distinctiveness of musical voice.  In the ARP voice I found it, and now I realize it was among the most important features of all.

Of course, you can also go too far with this distinctiveness.  For example, an ARP Pro Soloist or a Minikorg 700 would both be too recognizable, since we all know who made those instruments famous.  Most of the former's sounds scream "Tony Banks," and for that reason it would be difficult to strike out new with one.  That's just the inherent limitation of preset synthesizers.  Variable synthesizers are a different matter, though.  And something like an Odyssey or a 2600 is so variable that there is still plenty of room for a modern musician/composer to make his or her own way with so recognizable a character.

You know what's funny. I was listening to a few synth demos last night in a blind test and I was shocked to find that I was completely wrong in terms of guessing what instrument was which.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on June 21, 2021, 08:20:07 AM
For anyone interested, the Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller mentioned back on page 15 has been discontinued, and will be replaced with a newer model.  Exactly when, I'm not sure.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Quatschmacher on June 21, 2021, 08:26:48 AM
For anyone interested, the Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller mentioned back on page 15 has been discontinued, and will be replaced with a newer model.  Exactly when, I'm not sure.
Curious to see what changes they implement.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on June 21, 2021, 08:37:47 AM
I expect one improvement will be the addition of an expression pedal jack.  That was quite an oversight.  Also, the pitch wheel works only in fine steps, rather than smoothly.  You have to hear it to believe it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZryopmYMY
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: maxter on June 21, 2021, 12:42:33 PM
That's insane... how could they even release it that way? The stepping is worse than on old 80's synths using 7-bit pitch bend (unless some quantization is to blame here, which I doubt). How they even "achieved" something like that is beyond comprehension.

Personally, I think any/all new instruments or midi controllers should have not only 14-bit pitch-bend, but ALSO 14-bit mod wheel... WHY not? (I'll probably never get it)
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on June 21, 2021, 01:04:59 PM
I'm trying to imagine the sound of a filter sweep with that dreadful stepping.

I had put 10% down on this controller to reserve one from the new shipment.  It would have wonderfully completed my Odyssey mono synth, but now I'm not going any further.  And there's no information as to when the new model will be available.  Jeepers, I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel!

I've considered the Synthesizers.com keyboards, but I have no experience with them.  Anybody?

https://www.synthesizers.com/controllers.html
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on June 24, 2021, 02:26:53 PM
The new version of the above keyboard controller is expected to be out in November.  It should have 'two expression pedal inputs, one endless encoder, and some software tweaks.'  Presumably, the latter will fix the terrible pitch bend wheel stepping problem.  Before November, there may be some limited edition units in various colors.
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Quatschmacher on June 25, 2021, 04:38:33 AM
The new version of the above keyboard controller is expected to be out in November.  It should have 'two expression pedal inputs, one endless encoder, and some software tweaks.'  Presumably, the latter will fix the terrible pitch bend wheel stepping problem.  Before November, there may be some limited edition units in various colors.

Will it move pitch and mod wheels to the side? Have you seen images?
Title: Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
Post by: Sacred Synthesis on June 25, 2021, 03:50:55 PM
That's all I know.  When I find an image, I'll post it here.