One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #420 on: April 26, 2022, 07:36:40 PM »
From observing my own behavior, I find that programmability encourages experimentation.  That's all I'm saying.  I wander much farther from home on the Prophet '08 than on the Odysseys.  If I experiment with the Odysseys and arrive at some complex sound, I tend to leave the patch up for several sessions and focus on the other instruments.  With the P'08, I tend to cover much more ground - both traditional and experimental.  This is why I would ultimately have preferred to have gone with a Sequential mono synth with the usual keyboard-module pairing, but that option didn't and doesn't exist.  A Pro 3 with a five-octave keyboard in keyboard and module forms would have been my ultimate preference. 

All this is not to complain about the Odysseys.  I'm still glad I ended up with the present system.  I only need now to upgrade to a better and longer keyboard controller.  I do miss that fifth octave very much.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 08:30:41 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

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chysn

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #421 on: April 26, 2022, 08:04:24 PM »
I wander much farther from home on the Prophet '08 than on the Odysseys.  If I experiment with the Odysseys and arrive at some complex sound, I tend to leave the patch up for several sessions and focus on the other instruments.

That makes sense. Program locations can be breadcrumbs on a walk in the dark forest.

Maybe our difference of opinion here is related to recording. I rarely record anything, even if I think it's cool. I figure that I'll be able to make something just as cool again in the future, even if it's radically different.
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he/him/his

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #422 on: April 26, 2022, 08:24:33 PM »
Perhaps, Chysn.  I'm entirely composition and recording focused.  I want sounds that can be used as lines or parts of a piece of music.  Occasionally a sound effect qualifies for such a use, but it's rare.  My experimenting with sounds tends to be a sort of exercise to teach myself more about synthesis or a particular instrument.  It serves a practical purpose and isn't so much fooling around - although it is fun.  But 95% of the time, I'm striving for immediate musical uses.

Yet, this monophonic synthesizer quest has always been an intended experiment.  I have the two polyphonic synthesizers and I don't think too much about them.  But I've wanted for years to have some type of ongoing synthesizer project which would allow for the easy insertion of parts, resulting in something complex, musically powerful, and original.  The monophonic instrument seemed like the best choice, and so it has been.  Along the way, I've come quite close to going modular, and my thinking has been partly modular.  It's just that I've stayed with internally wired "modules," as one finds in desktop versions.  But I intend to keep the whole idea open to other modules.  Presently it's Odysseys, but who knows what I might add to the system in the future?  In spite of the complication, I would ideally prefer two full-sized 2600s, but the price makes that impossible.  So, Odysseys it is. 

Still, the mono synth project is an open-ended one, and I expect to add other items as they appear.  That's why I hope the re-issues continue.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 09:44:18 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #423 on: August 02, 2022, 02:57:12 PM »
There's one inherent shortcoming in my two-Odyssey system, one thing that gets to me: namely, it's not a single instrument.  This might seem like a silly scruple, but it annoys me.  There's a beauty and noble simplicity in the single instrument form, in a control panel that's directly connected to its own proper keyboard.  I just like the appearance and operation of that unity.  It's made me often consider buying a Korg Odyssey FS keyboard and using it with one of the modules.  That would be a happier arrangement, but it would shrink the keyboard from four octaves to three, which was the original reason I went with the module-MIDI controller configuration.  I don't know if I could get along with three octaves; i tend to need five at all times.

Otherwise, the Odyssey system still satisfies.  But of course, the 2600M is on my mind.  Hmmm.  I wonder how two would sound!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 02:59:31 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

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 #424 on: August 13, 2022, 01:58:18 PM »
Yes, I know this is only a Youtube video, but the sound of each instrument will have been equally affected.  I find that, in perhaps every patch, the Korg ARP Odyssey sounds superior to the Behringer 2600.  It has a deeper warmer tone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMkB8N4OjDE
« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 02:03:20 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

LPF83

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #425 on: August 13, 2022, 04:19:05 PM »
Not sure if it helps on the quest for the perfect monosynth but thought I would chime in my experience with two of them that I think will stand the test of time and be future classics (though may or may not be if specifically seeking the ARP sound).

One is the Toraiz AS-1... When I first got it, I created about 25 variations of synth bass, designed to be scrolled through quickly and fine-tuned as needed... they were designed to be raw materials for various other bass sounds that could be quickly dialed in... every time I scroll through them I am in awe and realize this is the proper successor to the Sequential Pro One.  Don't let the lack of knobs misguide, another controller can be used to get to things like full ADSR and access to all parameters.  Prior to acquiring this I felt the Prophet 6 was the best bass synth I had... it is supposedly the same as a one voice P6 and you can hear the heritage no doubt (I posted an A/B test on the differences on a specific patch here sometime back), but it is not the same to the trained ear.  Also FX like ringmod and distortion are different and make it a VERY special synth for bass.  I'm sure same is true for mono leads I just never use it for that.

The other is the Pro2.  Yes digital oscillators but ignore that...   the signal path is all important and while I think the Pro3 is nice I just never heard in the demos the same magic this particular synth has.  Yes there is the sequencer and all of that and its true the oscillators will not have quite the low end "umph" of the Toraiz, but whether for bass or everything else it not only holds it's own it has a very special, hard-to-replicate sound (and very complex design sculpting possibilties) that just awaken my spidey sense.  Having been involved with synths off and on since the mid 80s, I've sort of developed a radar for future classics... this is one of them and it will be worth a mint in the future.  Not even mentioning the paraphonic possibilties which are amazing if not off topic for this particular thread.

Not to mention they both say "Dave Smith" on them!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 04:21:37 PM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #426 on: September 06, 2022, 09:34:31 AM »
I'm having second thoughts about my ARP Odyssey system.  It does sound fabulous, but there's more to it than that.  First, I've realized that 1) my favorite polyphonic synthesizer is the Prophet '08, and 2) my favorite monophonic synthesizer is the Prophet '08.  The P'08 checks all the boxes that initiated this long and laborious thread.  I like more than I had thought the keyboard-panel unity of a single instrument, which keeps things tidy and organized.  I like the P'08's five-octave length.  I actually quite like its sound, including the all-important sawtooth solo patch.  I like having the bi-timbrality and split keyboard options, as well as the poly-mono options.  I miss its multiple LFO's and the ability to delay the vibrato.  And because I conceive of my set up as a little electronic orchestra and compose and arrange music accordingly, I really do need its programmability.   The P'08 list of virtues goes on, but enough. 

I do like the Odyssey very much, but it's not serving my needs as well as I had hoped it would.  I find myself frustrated with its limitations, and this has been reflected in the fact that I haven't posted a piece of music on YouTube for six months. 

I've preferred to limit my set up to only three keyboards, but having one of those three confined to monophony/duophony is quite awkward.  All of this was foreseeable, of course, but when the Odysseys unexpectedly went out of production, I decided to take a chance on them.

I might eventually sell the Odysseys and replace them with a second Prophet '08, but the thought is still depressing.  Oh, it would be wonderful to get a Rev2; but jeepers, the price of the instrument has gone up and up.  But I may be able to afford a used P'08.

If there's a lesson in this, it's that I should stick with DSI/Sequential.  For my interests, they're the best.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 06:48:15 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

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 #427 on: September 06, 2022, 09:51:58 AM »
I think in a lot of cases having a dedicated Mono synth is kind of a luxury if you are limited on space or funds.  I really like the mono's I have,  but my intention for their use is more for frosting than the cake itself. So I get what you are saying. 

My favorite poly changes by the week, but I really like the layout of the P12.  Best layout ever.  I remember when you were considering one of them a while back.  Maybe some are out there used for a good price?
Sequential/DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop,   Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

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jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #428 on: September 06, 2022, 10:07:21 AM »
I know what you mean about mono/duo synths.... I have the same feelings about my Moog Sub37. I hardly ever use it and when I do it's always to play around with the looping envelopes to get some great rhythmical sounds going that way. I use the Pro2 a hell of a lot more and that is far better in my opinion for creativity etc.
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #429 on: September 06, 2022, 10:07:51 AM »
Good points, Soundquest.  It's funny: I like the idea of a dedicated mono synth.  But you're right that it's a bit of a luxury.  I'd still like to get an ARP 2600M, or even two.   But the instrument in all its gloriously sophisticated monophony might once again sit unused. 

It's fun to take the time to program the Odysseys and to design all sorts of fascinating patches.  But I don't think of music as "fun."  I take it more seriously than that and don't care for the idea of fooling around like a kid with a toy.  My only interest is in producing and recording serious music.  Therefore, any instrument that appears in my modest set up must be fit for extensive use.  The Poly Evolver is a classic example.  It serves 1001 purposes at any time and does so magnificently.  Whereas the Prophet '08 is the all-round practical workhorse instrument.  I've listened to it more carefully lately, and it doesn't pale beside the Odyssey.   

Again, DSI/Sequential gear works best for me.  I shouldn't have wandered off the campus.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 06:51:38 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

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 #430 on: September 06, 2022, 10:11:38 AM »
Jg666 - yup, that sounds just like my own behavior.  The instrument looks great and sounds great, and it answers some sort of musical ideal or dream.  But in the end, it's served more as a decoration and a distraction.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2022, 06:52:46 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #431 on: September 06, 2022, 10:13:55 AM »
I can't remember if you've considered the Summit or not?
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #432 on: September 06, 2022, 10:20:01 AM »
The Summit was my choice, among all other instruments, if I were to replace my eight-voice Poly Evolver Keyboard.  The Summit sure is a beaut.  But my PEK is performing top-notch these days, so I've put the Summit idea aside.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2022, 10:28:36 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #433 on: September 06, 2022, 10:42:05 AM »
I've just been looking at the UK prices for the Rev2 and they're certainly quite a lot more than I paid back in 2017.

I too have to be very careful with money now because I retired aged 60 at the end of last year and my state pension doesn't start until I'm 67 so I have no income until then. Money was always going to be quite tight but for me it was preferable to continuing to work in a job I had grown to hate :)

Since I've retired though, everything has gone crazy and money will run out before I reach 67 but I've decided I don't care and will probably have to do some kind of equity release on the house if prices don't become more sensible again.

DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #434 on: September 06, 2022, 10:48:40 AM »
We're all feeling the financial squeeze.  Have you ever thought of making a little pocket money on Bandcamp or something similar?
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

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jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #435 on: September 06, 2022, 10:50:39 AM »
At the moment I'm still enjoying doing nothing and having far less stress in my life so I'm just playing the keyboards for relaxation and fun in the evenings and being in the garden during the day :)

I might have to look at doing something in the future though !
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #436 on: September 06, 2022, 10:57:01 AM »
That sounds like a happy and healthy routine.  You're right - don't spoil it.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #437 on: September 06, 2022, 11:56:20 PM »
Perhaps see what comes next for Sequential. I've said in another thread that I'd part with my money for a poly based roughly on the Pro3 :) That would be providing I liked what I heard from it of course!
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #438 on: September 07, 2022, 10:46:38 AM »
Sacred Synthesis, if you're on the fence with this I agree with jg666, perhaps just wait to see what the new instrument is.  I have a funny feeling it might be just what we've been hoping for years now- a new version of PEK.  This way you could solve your issue of replacing an aging PEK, selling the old one. 

  I admit that I approach the PEK less frequently now, wondering if at each powerup, something might eventually fail.  This is probably an unfair prejudice toward it, considering it's always worked fine, albeit a bad encoder that I replace along time ago.    In short, I save using it more for special occasions than an everyday instrument. 

Sequential/DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Evolver desktop,   Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #439 on: September 07, 2022, 04:43:55 PM »
Soundquest, we've been sweating it out over our Poly Evolvers for a few years now.  Last year I was especially concerned because there were a few minor problems with my instrument.  However, disconnecting and connecting again the ribbons inside solved the problems, so that my PEK is now like a brand new instrument.  I suppose it's simplistic to hope it'll last for many years, but I'm not presently panicking about it.  Maybe I should be, and maybe you're here to remind me that I should be!  It's just that, I would like to keep the PEK indefinitely; that's my preference over selling it for something else, for a Summit.

As for Sequential's next new instrument, it doesn't matter to me that much because I would never buy a synthesizer that had just been released.  I would always wait at least a year until the bugs had been found and fixed.  But a new Poly Evolver?  Hmmm, I've never heard the slightest hint of an inclination from Dave or his staff to produce a PEK Rev2.  Just the opposite.  But you're still hoping?  Oh, if only.  For that - if the price were reasonable - I probably would sell my old PEK and PER.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2022, 05:06:24 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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