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One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #380 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.

DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #381 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.
Prophet '08 № 01369
Yamaha DX7 II FD E!, RX7, CP, CS | Roland Ⅾ-50 | Korg MS-20 mini, microKORG, Volca Beats | Moog Etherwave Plus | Casio VL-Tone

YT
SC

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #382 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.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 06:09:25 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #383 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
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

maxter

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #384 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.
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #385 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
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 08:10:19 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #386 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.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #387 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?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 08:53:18 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #388 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.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #389 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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 09:47:24 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #390 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.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #391 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
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 09:48:01 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #392 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.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #393 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?
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #394 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

maxter

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #395 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
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 12:51:34 PM by maxter »
The Way the Truth and the Life

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #396 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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 01:01:53 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #397 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.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 01:08:02 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #398 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.