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One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #220 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.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 07:19:26 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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chysn

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #221 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.
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #222 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.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 08:56:24 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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chysn

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #223 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.
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #224 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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 05:27:00 AM by DavidDever »
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard with Yorick Tech LFE, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Six-Trak, Prophet 2000

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #225 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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 07:47:14 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #226 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.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:13:49 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Shaw

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #227 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
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Shaw

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #228 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...

"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #229 on: May 01, 2017, 04:16:46 AM »
Bull's-eye! 
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Shaw

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #230 on: May 01, 2017, 04:47:30 AM »
Bull's-eye!
Sometimes you just need to visualize something....  :)
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #231 on: May 01, 2017, 04:56:53 AM »
Another desirable combination would be those two ARP Odyssey Desktops controlled by a Prophet-6 Keyboard.
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #232 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.
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard with Yorick Tech LFE, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Six-Trak, Prophet 2000

Shaw

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #233 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.
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #234 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.]

« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 02:43:41 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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Jason

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #235 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?

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #236 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.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 12:48:17 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #237 on: January 29, 2018, 01:17:26 PM »
The "Atomic" finish looks quite clean, similar to a Sub Phatty or a Subsequent 37:
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard with Yorick Tech LFE, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Six-Trak, Prophet 2000

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #238 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.
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #239 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.