Trying to decide the best digital synth.

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2017, 10:56:02 AM »
Is it because it looks just like a 1970's American kitchen appliance?  Leggo my Eggo! ;D

No it's not that. I don't know exactly. It's more the sound I dislike.

Ditto.  It's never struck me as outstanding enough to justify the cost.  That's why I've never taken it too seriously, even though I'm a big instrument guy.  I mean, every polyphonic digital synthesizer can make beautiful bell patches and ethereal pads.  But when it comes to the more standard generic sounds, the ones you're inclined to use on a daily basis, the 002 sounds to my ears like just another good flexible synthesizer.  The only digital/hybrid instrument that has ever struck me - really caught my ear and kept my attention - has been, pardon me again, the Poly Evolver.

I guess it depends on the sounds you use on a daily basis, I guess for different users these would be different.

This is the reason that the Serum plugin is so successful and loved even though I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

I think with the 002 they went for a "modern (digital)" sounding synth while maybe the 008 was the "older (analog)" sounding synth.

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2017, 11:20:14 AM »
Lobo Lives,  what's your take on programming the Solaris?  from what I recall from the videos I watched a few years ago- it looked like it might be bit of a menu diving machine.

Well this series of videos shows programming and more detailed looks at the screens

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcO8TUq-lgk

I would say it may seem like a lot of menu diving but it's actually from a knob per function/analog type approach. Once you realize where everything is and what each screen entails programming becomes easier.

I'm looking at this as someone that's programmed Kurzweil V.A.S.T. synths where there's a lot of parameters, modulations and loads of capabilities but only a single screen. The Solaris having many screens actually benefits it and keeps it from becoming what I call the "iceberg Effect". Small screen but a massive amount of capability and features hiding beneath the surface that you have to figure out how to find. The Solaris is all right there.

Another synth I was looking at was the Yamaha Montage but there's apparently a ton of menu diving and no sequencer...not that I need a sequencer for it but for something with that much capability a basic audio recorder built in is a bit silly. With it's FM and samples adding a sequencer could have made it a modern day Synclaiver.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 11:38:26 AM by LoboLives »

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2017, 11:30:56 AM »
Is it because it looks just like a 1970's American kitchen appliance?  Leggo my Eggo! ;D

No it's not that. I don't know exactly. It's more the sound I dislike.

Ditto.  It's never struck me as outstanding enough to justify the cost.  That's why I've never taken it too seriously, even though I'm a big instrument guy.  I mean, every polyphonic digital synthesizer can make beautiful bell patches and ethereal pads.  But when it comes to the more standard generic sounds, the ones you're inclined to use on a daily basis, the 002 sounds to my ears like just another good flexible synthesizer.  The only digital/hybrid instrument that has ever struck me - really caught my ear and kept my attention - has been, pardon me again, the Poly Evolver.

I guess it depends on the sounds you use on a daily basis, I guess for different users these would be different.

This is the reason that the Serum plugin is so successful and loved even though I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

I think with the 002 they went for a "modern (digital)" sounding synth while maybe the 008 was the "older (analog)" sounding synth.

I heard the 008 described as having a sound of a Rhodes Chroma. I wish it had the look of it as well lol

I just find that Modal is sort of taking DSI's ideas, including the layout somewhat and making them in a more expensive body and adding maybe a few features but the 008 soundwise hasn't stood out to me at all. For the price of the thing I expect another Andromeda.

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2017, 12:03:50 PM »
I just find that Modal is sort of taking DSI's ideas, including the layout somewhat and making them in a more expensive body and adding maybe a few features but the 008 soundwise hasn't stood out to me at all. For the price of the thing I expect another Andromeda.

The difference goes a bit deeper. The Modals are more expensive because the hardware that has been selected is more expensive, particularly the knobs which are among the best industrial design options you can order (from a manufacturer perspective). Beyond that, the 002 and 008 are mainly built on discrete circuits.

Sonically, they're as different from DSI's offerings as Moog's are from Oberheim's, which is mainly due to the filters and the fact that the single voices of a 002 follow a variable sample rate and come with individual DA converters that add the heterogeneity that is usually associated with analog voices. The latter non-DSP solution also adds to the overall price.

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2017, 12:13:04 PM »
I just find that Modal is sort of taking DSI's ideas, including the layout somewhat and making them in a more expensive body and adding maybe a few features but the 008 soundwise hasn't stood out to me at all. For the price of the thing I expect another Andromeda.

The difference goes a bit deeper. The Modals are more expensive because the hardware that has been selected is more expensive, particularly the knobs which are among the best industrial design options you can order (from a manufacturer perspective). Beyond that, the 002 and 008 are mainly built on discrete circuits.

Sonically, they're as different from DSI's offerings as Moog's are from Oberheim's, which is mainly due to the filters and the fact that the single voices of a 002 follow a variable sample rate and come with individual DA converters that add the heterogeneity that is usually associated with analog voices. The latter non-DSP solution also adds to the overall price.

Yeah I get all that I just...I don't know there's something about them that puts me off from them. Not sure what it is.

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2017, 12:19:56 PM »
Yeah I get all that I just...I don't know there's something about them that puts me off from them. Not sure what it is.

That's alright. And if you don't like the sound as you mentioned above, the 002 should be off the list anyway, since sound is basically criterion number one.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2017, 12:26:04 PM »
Lobolives, what about the old Blofeld?  I know it's in a far inferior class to the instruments you've so far considered, but still, if you can forgive the interface, it's got in own strengths.  And the keyboard is supposed to be of excellent quality.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 12:43:10 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2017, 12:42:30 PM »
Lobolives, what about the old Blofeld?  I know it's in a far inferior class to the instruments you've so far considered, but still, it's got in own strengths.  And the keyboard is supposed to be of excellent quality.

I haven't ruled it out totally but the menu diving seems to be a tad awkward but it is multitimbral except you have you access a lot of menus with a few dials to access/manipulate it.

Also I usually don't gripe about octave count but for a multitimbral synth...it really should be 5 if you are doing multilple splits over a keybed. That was one problem I had with the JDXa. Monotimbral, 4 octaves is fine...but for splits...nah.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2017, 12:45:31 PM »
Well, for its meager price, you could afford two modules for improved multi-timbrality, and control them by your favorite keyboard.  As an analog purist, I've always thought the Blofeld sounded excellent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXvQs4Nq06c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NE9bj4sI2M
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 12:49:18 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2017, 01:07:53 PM »
Well, for its meager price, you could afford two modules for improved multi-timbrality, and control them by your favorite keyboard.  As an analog purist, I've always thought the Blofeld sounded excellent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXvQs4Nq06c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NE9bj4sI2M

Yeah it always had a nice DX7 type tone to it on some patches and of course the wavetable scanning.

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2017, 01:14:53 PM »
Like I said there's a Two Voice Pro arriving in a few weeks at a store here. I'm going to try it out and if I do fall in love with it I may actually pull the trigger on it. I guess I'm being sentimental but it be nice to have a synth from each of the masters. I got the Prophet 6 (Dave), Moog Sub 37 (Bob), Tempest and Adrenalinn (Roger), so it be nice to have one from Tom because honestly it'll be the last thing he does and a piece of history. I sort of feel the same way about John Bowen. It's sort of a piece of history from a person with a passion as opposed to a mass manufactured instrument from a corporation. 

If I do decide to order the Two Voice, it'll give me enough time to play with it while I wait for the next NAMM...if DSI doesn't come up with anything that blows me away-be it multitimbrality or a new Poly Evolver-then I'll pull the trigger on the Solaris.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2017, 01:33:29 PM »
If DSI ever comes out with a new Poly Evolver, you and I will have to duke it out for the first unit!  But I don't believe it will ever happen.

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2017, 05:51:33 PM »
If DSI ever comes out with a new Poly Evolver, you and I will have to duke it out for the first unit!  But I don't believe it will ever happen.

Well Dave also said he would never do another VCO synth. He also said that if people want more polyphony to polychain with modules. He also said he has no interest in bringing out synths from the past. Well we now have two VCO synths (3 if you count the AS1) and a revamped Prophet 08 with expandable voice card. Never know.

megamarkd

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Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2017, 06:17:14 PM »
Lobolives, what about the old Blofeld?  I know it's in a far inferior class to the instruments you've so far considered, but still, it's got in own strengths.  And the keyboard is supposed to be of excellent quality.

I haven't ruled it out totally but the menu diving seems to be a tad awkward but it is multitimbral except you have you access a lot of menus with a few dials to access/manipulate it.

Also I usually don't gripe about octave count but for a multitimbral synth...it really should be 5 if you are doing multilple splits over a keybed. That was one problem I had with the JDXa. Monotimbral, 4 octaves is fine...but for splits...nah.

The keyboard version should have come with a billion dials like the XTk and the Q before it, but both of them cost upto 4x the price of the Blo-keys.  Blo-keys at least has enough space to put a knobox of your choice next to it's existing knobs and screen PGR style.  You could even place a Mircomonsta up there too with the money you don't spend on a Modal, but hey, then you don't have a Modal.....

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2017, 03:11:52 AM »
The Blofeld sounds great but it's built to a budget so you need to decide whether or not you can cope with the compromises that brings.

LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2017, 06:56:41 AM »
The Blofeld sounds great but it's built to a budget so you need to decide whether or not you can cope with the compromises that brings.

You know I always thought it was weird that the Blofeld had such a powerful engine but it was hindered by loads of menu diving, poor interface, four octave keyboard and other things. Plus the tiny writing on the body really annoying.


Gerry Havinga

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Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2017, 01:40:33 AM »
The Blofeld sounds great but it's built to a budget so you need to decide whether or not you can cope with the compromises that brings.

You know I always thought it was weird that the Blofeld had such a powerful engine but it was hindered by loads of menu diving, poor interface, four octave keyboard and other things. Plus the tiny writing on the body really annoying.
I kind of acquired my Blofeld "by accident" second hand, without initially really understanding what I got myself into. It baffled me at first, so I just used the pre-sets and started installing some third party patch sets (Don Solaris created some amazing sounds).

After I started using a Windows based editor, the Blofeld engine slowly started to make sense. Eventually I made my own parameter/patch sheet (see https://gezz.eu/tutorials/Waldorf_Blofeld_Parameters_Template.pdf. Now, as I have internalized the engine, it has started to become second nature to me and I feel much more free to develop my own patches.

I am very happy with the Blofeld and use it in combination with the Prophet Rev2 a lot. Used with external (Lexicon) effects it sounds very very good. In my experience they fit very nicely together and sit comfortable together in the mix.
DAW-less and going down the Eurorack rabbit hole.

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2017, 03:08:55 AM »
That's great to hear - I'm kind of interested in getting an analog or hybrid polysynth to go along with my Blofeld. Just have to decide which one now...

Razmo

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Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2017, 03:14:01 AM »
The Blofeld sounds great but it's built to a budget so you need to decide whether or not you can cope with the compromises that brings.

You know I always thought it was weird that the Blofeld had such a powerful engine but it was hindered by loads of menu diving, poor interface, four octave keyboard and other things. Plus the tiny writing on the body really annoying.

Some of the most expensive parts of any synth is in particular the interface... so the fewer knobs and buttons (and thus more menu diving) means that you get the synth a lot cheaper... and that is exactly what the Blofeld is... cheap... considering what it offers.

Waldorf has been using this matrix-style for many many years... it's not bad unless too many parameters are present... it's perfectly easy on say, a Pulse 1... the irritating thing on the Blofeld and Pulse 2 is those darn encoders... I wish they would stop using them... they always end up skipping values, behaving erratically... on top of that, the encoder caps should have had rubberized coating instead of these silvery and "slippery" ones.... in fact they should have been proper KNOBS instead with a fixed start and end if you ask me...

Besides... if you do not need keys, and a small module is possible, a small unit has gotten my attention lately... the MicroMonsta.... an 8 voice little "bug" that actually sound pretty well, and is pretty logically laid out... has lots of digital synthesis types in it... but maybe it's still a bit too niche... don't know... but it's dirt cheap.
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LoboLives

Re: Trying to decide the best digital synth.
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2017, 03:39:47 AM »
The Blofeld sounds great but it's built to a budget so you need to decide whether or not you can cope with the compromises that brings.

You know I always thought it was weird that the Blofeld had such a powerful engine but it was hindered by loads of menu diving, poor interface, four octave keyboard and other things. Plus the tiny writing on the body really annoying.

Some of the most expensive parts of any synth is in particular the interface... so the fewer knobs and buttons (and thus more menu diving) means that you get the synth a lot cheaper... and that is exactly what the Blofeld is... cheap... considering what it offers.

Waldorf has been using this matrix-style for many many years... it's not bad unless too many parameters are present... it's perfectly easy on say, a Pulse 1... the irritating thing on the Blofeld and Pulse 2 is those darn encoders... I wish they would stop using them... they always end up skipping values, behaving erratically... on top of that, the encoder caps should have had rubberized coating instead of these silvery and "slippery" ones.... in fact they should have been proper KNOBS instead with a fixed start and end if you ask me...

Besides... if you do not need keys, and a small module is possible, a small unit has gotten my attention lately... the MicroMonsta.... an 8 voice little "bug" that actually sound pretty well, and is pretty logically laid out... has lots of digital synthesis types in it... but maybe it's still a bit too niche... don't know... but it's dirt cheap.

Honestly I'd love for Waldorf to just bring out a new PPG WAVE type synth. Sort of like a Multitimbral Blofeld Engine with a Sledge layout, five octaves....and blue! LOL