Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..

LoboLives

Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« on: March 07, 2016, 04:34:36 AM »
Since a lot of companies are doing reissues or updates of older classic analog synths there's a synth that I'm shocked Korg didn't attempt or perhaps Dave himself collaborating with another Synth legend to bring a newer version of a forgotten classic back:

ARP Quadra.

You could split this synth in 4 different zones (hence the name)

(From Vintage Synth)

"Bass synth, Poly synth, Lead synth, and String synth. It is quite good at emulating each of these sounds and can function in any of its four modes at a time with the ability of layering the different sections! Sounds you create in any of the four sections are instantly recalled from memory by the push of a button! There are 16 program patches for storing your sounds. Other major features are the incredible phase shifter, tons of balanced audio outputs for each section, dual portamento controls and a superior arpeggiator


The Bass synth section is monophonic and can be programmed to occupy the lower two octaves of the Quadra's 5-octave 61-note keyboard. The bass sounds pretty good and has 16' and 8' presets each for Electric and String Bass sections.

The string section is based on the Omni II String synth. It sounds excellent and implements a phase-shift effect that is sort-of like a chorusing effect that thickens its already great string sound.

In Polyphonic synth mode there are more effects available such as sample-n-hold and the phase-shifter. String and Poly Synth sections have 8' and 4' Polyphonic Waveform Generators each along with a preset called Hollow Waveform.

In Lead synth mode the Quadra becomes a two voice screamer with aftertouch sensitivity in the upper octaves of the keyboard! It's duophonic (like the Odyssey). Get a bass sequence going, switch over to another section and play along! "

I first discovered the ARP Quadra when I got my LP of the Escape From New York soundtrack and noticed the gear list. In addition to the Prophet 5 a lot of the sounds came from the ARP Quadra. Allan Howarth said that it was used in the main riff of the opening titles (layered with a Prophet 5) as well as the arppegiated sequence underneath. Him and John Carpenter used it again on Halloween II and Christine.

I think the ARP Quadra seems to have been forgotten. I have no idea why. I'm not sure how well the Korg Oddessy was received and while I do appreciate their $500-600 mini key analog synth (which do give great sounds) I wonder why they haven't looked into creating a full sized analog synth.

Or

Since Dave collaborated with Roger Linn on the Tempest and now Tom Oberheim on the OB-6 is it possible he could collaborate with other Synth manufacturers? For example since Yamaha and Dave worked a deal where he can use the Sequential name again is it a possibility they could collaborate to bring us an updated version of the CS-80? A DS-80 If you will.

While a modern CS-80 would be mind blowing, I think an updated ARP Quadra is something that's a bit more versatile than another polysynth with no splits or layers and the idea of 4 splits, layers with multiple sequencers (With external sync since the original didn't have this), better Midi, better memory and 5 or more octaves (This has to be the case since there's so many splits) would justify having this as a welcomed addition to anyone's rig.

I know Dave isn't big on reissues but even if he took a similar approach and created his own version (A Pro 2 on bass, Morpho 4 on the poly section, etc etc) it would still be breathtaking.

Thoughts?

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2016, 01:23:22 PM »
I'm crazy for the ARP Quadra, too.  It's one of my all-time favorite instruments.  But I don't expect to ever see it return. 

If you look at the modern reissues - and Dave's instruments in particular - you'll notice one thing in common: they tend to be fairly compact in size.  Sure, there are the Poly Evolver Keyboard and the Prophet 12, so there are exceptions.  But Dave has said he likes his instruments to be as small as he can make them.  Hence, the miniscule knobs he uses on everything.

With the exception of Modal Electronics, the vast majority of modern synthesizers are fairly small in size.  This seems to be the trend in general.  On the other hand, the Quadra is an expansive instrument.  By modern standards, its panel is immense.  Plus, it really is a very limited synthesizer. 

Personally, I would love to see both the ARP 2600 and Quadra in full-sized reissues.  I don't expect to.  But there are so many excellent synthesizers available these days that do everything the ARPs could do - although I would argue, not with the same quality tone.  We'll probably have to be content with the Boomstar 4075.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 01:26:33 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

chysn

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Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 01:35:42 PM »
And but also, it's time for the reissues to stop. Korg? I'm looking at you. Just... stop now.
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LoboLives

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 04:32:14 PM »
And but also, it's time for the reissues to stop. Korg? I'm looking at you. Just... stop now.

That's why I also suggested something inspired by the Quadra but up to date. Much like the Prophet 6 was an updated Prophet 5.

LoboLives

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 04:46:41 PM »
I'm crazy for the ARP Quadra, too.  It's one of my all-time favorite instruments.  But I don't expect to ever see it return. 

If you look at the modern reissues - and Dave's instruments in particular - you'll notice one thing in common: they tend to be fairly compact in size.  Sure, there are the Poly Evolver Keyboard and the Prophet 12, so there are exceptions.  But Dave has said he likes his instruments to be as small as he can make them.  Hence, the miniscule knobs he uses on everything.

With the exception of Modal Electronics, the vast majority of modern synthesizers are fairly small in size.  This seems to be the trend in general.  On the other hand, the Quadra is an expansive instrument.  By modern standards, its panel is immense.  Plus, it really is a very limited synthesizer. 

Personally, I would love to see both the ARP 2600 and Quadra in full-sized reissues.  I don't expect to.  But there are so many excellent synthesizers available these days that do everything the ARPs could do - although I would argue, not with the same quality tone.  We'll probably have to be content with the Boomstar 4075.

Wasn't aware of Modal Electronics but I definitely have my eye on them now. It's not that I dislike Dave Smith instruments at all, on the contrary the Prophet 6 was the best $4K I spent. But much like the guitarist that I am in having different guitars for different sounds I'd like an alternative or another Poly Synth that has it's own look and sound and isn't another Prophet. I was contemplating the Roland JDXA as the idea of blending acoustic and synth tones fascinated me but I was underwhelmed at the first test of it and the front panel (like most Roland products) is next to impossible to read without squinting and the sound isn't worth the price tag.

The OB6 I was really disappointed with, not in terms of sound which is great but essentially it's just a Prophet 6 with an Oberheim sound. While I appreciate it I felt that they could have made it it's own identity. Why not add a transpose button on the sequencer like they had on the Prophet 10 sequencer where you could have the option of playing over top the sequence when off and transposing on the fly with one hand when clicked? Heck, why not include the amazing sequencer that was on the Two Voice? Why not have a different look than the Prophet (White) ? Why not go for 10 voices?

When you say Modern Synths that do what the ARP can do, what analog synth splits into four zones or could have multiple sequences?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 04:48:30 PM by LoboLives »

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 07:36:52 PM »
The Quadra had its quirks though. And most current synths give you the option to use them as a mono synth, a poly synth, and if they allow for two or more layers, different arpeggios or sequences at the same time. I always felt that if you heard one demo of the Quadra you've heard them all. It's basically like a string machine and an Odyssey squashed under one roof.

No, I think we had enough reissues thus far. It's time for the companies to move on. To be honest, after the last NAMM was over, I was more glad to see Korg doing the minilogue rather than a rumoured about 2600 reissue. Sure, the latter would have been great to some degree, but at the same time I think it's more important to get out of this time loop called retromania. And with the minilogue, Korg shows in what direction they could potentially move when it comes to full sized instruments.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 09:04:11 PM »
When you say Modern Synths that do what the ARP can do, what analog synth splits into four zones or could have multiple sequences?

That's true.  The Quadra really is four individual synthesizers in one.  But I was referring to sound and quality of tone.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 09:21:09 PM »
The Quadra had its quirks though. And most current synths give you the option to use them as a mono synth, a poly synth, and if they allow for two or more layers, different arpeggios or sequences at the same time. I always felt that if you heard one demo of the Quadra you've heard them all. It's basically like a string machine and an Odyssey squashed under one roof.

No, I think we had enough reissues thus far. It's time for the companies to move on. To be honest, after the last NAMM was over, I was more glad to see Korg doing the minilogue rather than a rumoured about 2600 reissue. Sure, the latter would have been great to some degree, but at the same time I think it's more important to get out of this time loop called retromania. And with the minilogue, Korg shows in what direction they could potentially move when it comes to full sized instruments.

I'm not for "retromania" either.  I simply want a great monophonic synthesizer.  Whether it's brand new or a re-issue, I don't care - as long as it's got the right features and is full-sized.  The ARP 2600 fits that description better than any synthesizer currently in production that I can think of.  As for the forthcoming Arturia Matrix Brute, first, it's not semi-modular, second, I'm not certain of the build quality, and third, the first run of that thing will probably be so loaded with bugs and various problems that I would wait at least a year before buying one.  So, show me, if you know of one, another three-oscillator semi-modular duophonic synthesizer with a four-octave keyboard.  I suppose the Oberheim Two-Voice comes close, but the keyboard is too small.  I'll be happy with any synthesizer that fits this description, whether it's brand new or a re-issue.  It really doesn't matter to me.

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 09:35:06 PM »
Ken MacBeth's Elements has 3 VCOs, sounds georgeous but is rather pricey. The keyboard won't be to your liking either. his Micromac is nice too - available as a desktop module. Then there's the Model 15 by The Club Of Knobs for - I think - about a third of Moog's reissue. No duophony in all cases though. But there's the MFB Dominion 1 that's duophonic. You won't like the keyboard either though, because it has 37 keys. An Analogue Solutions Vostok might be of interest too - even more patch points than the Dominion. No keyboard though, just a suitcase.

As for the built quality of the MatrixBrute: We can't know that for sure, but Arturia also changed their suppliers. The MiniBrute I had never had any issues and was certainly sturdier than most of Korg's stuff. Also: it's not that companies like Moog for example didn't have any quality issues in the past. And as far as 49 keys go on mono synths, the MartrixBrute might be your best bet in decades, since you usually get 37 keys and/or three and a half octaves. These days, you have to be happy if it's not mini or slim keys.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:41:48 PM by Paul Dither »

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 09:49:04 PM »
I'm aware of those instruments.  But the Macbeths are modules, or else they lack a traditional keyboard.  As for the Dominion 1 - that instrument actually did interest me, with its three oscillators and three-voice polyphony, but it can't be easily found in the US.  I don't want something too exotic, for the same reason I don't want vintage.

Regarding the Matrix Brute, I'm a little suspicious of the quality only because, personally, it looks cheap to me; plus, the price is surprisingly modest.  Oh, and I can't stand the look of the control panel, especially with that matrix almost in the center of it.  It's a very lop-sided looking synthesizer.  Even the Voyager looked better, in spite of the touch screen.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:59:33 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2016, 09:58:18 PM »
Yeah, I think only Perfect Circuit Audio trades the Dominion currently. But it's out of stock there.

As for the MatrixBrute: I've heard nothing bad from the people who've seen and played the prototypes in person yet - at NAMM or in Europe. I'd say if it's as good as the later MiniBrutes for its size then it's going to be absolutely fine. The design might not be to everybody's liking, but that's a completely different matter.

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2016, 09:59:33 PM »
At this point, I would like to quit the endless searching and settle down with w Minimoog or a 2600.  That's all I'm looking for - an iconic classic.  I guess my best bet at this time is the Vermona 14.

Did they announce a final price yet? I once heard something around 2,000, which would be much too expensive for what it is.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 10:03:42 PM »
I believe it will be just under $2,000.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 10:11:46 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 10:04:44 PM »
Hm, okay. That's still quite a bit for what it is, don't you think?

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2016, 10:12:47 PM »
Yeah, it's a bit high for sure, especially if you compare it to the Sub 37.  Gee, it's even within a hundred dollars of a Prophet '08 Keyboard!  I presume that's because it's a German import?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 10:17:24 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2016, 10:18:42 PM »
As far as I've heard it's not supposed to be much cheaper in Germany/Europe. That's why even Germans say this might not be a good pricing idea, because even they can get a Sub 37 or a Dominion 1 for less. But there hasn't been an announcement yet after NAMM, so it's still in the open. I'd say everything beyond $1,500 or 1,300 will be suicidal.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2016, 10:23:45 PM »
Yes, I'd agree.  $1,500 tops for a non-programmable instrument.


Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2016, 10:29:51 PM »
I think you'll get an OB-6 eventually anyway.  ;D

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2016, 10:30:30 PM »
You see, this is why I keep coming back to my PEKs and P08s.  I look at a dozen spec sheets for a dozen instruments and get all excited.  Then I look at the prices and glance back at my PEKS and P08s and think, "What am I doing?  Would I sell a Poly Evolver, only to replace it with a small monophonic?"  That's why I'd feel better about getting something like a Prophet 12.  At least it's a big chunk of synthesizer.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Since a lot of companies are doing reissues..
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2016, 10:36:21 PM »
I think you'll get an OB-6 eventually anyway.  ;D

Who knows?  It's still possible.  The demos should be appearing literally in a matter of days.  But again, the instrument will have to fulfill some heavy monophonic duties, which would definitely require an additional module.  I'm looking forward to seeing how Tom's SEM Plus turns out.  I like its architecture.