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One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth

jok3r

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #260 on: August 26, 2020, 11:44:49 PM »
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?
Prophet Rev2, Novation Peak, Arturia DrumBrute Impact, Korg Kronos 2 88, Kurzweil PC 361, Yamaha S90ES

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #261 on: August 27, 2020, 06:46:25 AM »
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?

I don't want to bore the forum to death by repeating all this yet again, but there are all sorts of benefits to having the two units.  Off the top of my head, I believe every DSI/Sequential instrument has had stereo outputs.  But I'm not talking about ping-pong type effects.
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Shaw

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #262 on: August 27, 2020, 09:31:53 AM »
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?

I don't want to bore the forum to death by repeating all this yet again, but there are all sorts of benefits to having the two units.  Off the top of my head, I believe every DSI/Sequential instrument has had stereo outputs.  But I'm not talking about ping-pong type effects.


This is what I enjoy most about The Prophet X and it’s stereo filters. You can easily get the effect of two units by offsetting the left and right cutoffs and modulating them independently of one another.


Of course when you really have two different units a lot more interesting things can be done.
"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 #263 on: August 27, 2020, 02:58:47 PM »
Simply, I don't like or use a mono field in any of my recording, not even for the bass parts.  Every instrument is doubled so as to allow for stereo panning, whether the pairs of sounds are identical or different, as in the case of bi-timbral patches.  Think pipe organs and orchestras.  These sorts of immense complex ensembles are sonically spread over an amount of physical space; they are anything but mono.  So, that's my standard in sound.  Otherwise, synthesizers sound sterile, lifeless, and exceedingly electronic to me.  This is why I love DSI/Sequential's practice of offering a keyboard instrument and then a module form of the same. 

I don't have many instruments, but what I do have is always paired - keyboard master and module slave.

Oh sorry, I forgot about this stereo field thing. As LoboLives statet: the Pro3 has stereo outputs. So I think besides effects or modulation of the panorama the signal will be doubled to both channels. That suits the case of having the same sound on both sides pretty well... For the other case, in which you want to have different sounds: wouldn't it be more interesting to pair the Pro3 with another mono synth?

I don't want to bore the forum to death by repeating all this yet again, but there are all sorts of benefits to having the two units.  Off the top of my head, I believe every DSI/Sequential instrument has had stereo outputs.  But I'm not talking about ping-pong type effects.


This is what I enjoy most about The Prophet X and it’s stereo filters. You can easily get the effect of two units by offsetting the left and right cutoffs and modulating them independently of one another.


Of course when you really have two different units a lot more interesting things can be done.

Yes.  And the immediacy of the programming of each unit leads to all sorts of subtle or extreme bi-timbral creativity.  It's much easier than having to go back and forth between layers.
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LPF83

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #264 on: August 27, 2020, 05:08:17 PM »
Yes.  And the immediacy of the programming of each unit leads to all sorts of subtle or extreme bi-timbral creativity.  It's much easier than having to go back and forth between layers.

I absolutely agree there, I think the most magical musical moments come when I have each hand on separate keyboards.  Thought I might add, you don't have to have duplicate units of same synth to achieve that magic -- I do this regularly with P6 in one hand and OB6 in the other, while they have different characteristics and don't sound identical, I can make them sound very close to identical quickly, and the subtle differences that makes them not identical is sort of what gives them that "mega wide" appeal.  With even minimal effort (literally a few seconds of tweaking) you can get them sounding like it's the same synth being played, only with MASSIVE analogue-ness :)  (slight tuning changes on each voice).  Throw in the Rev2's ability to put similar but distinct layers left or right and wow...
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Moog SlimPhatty, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #265 on: August 27, 2020, 05:25:27 PM »
Though I might add, you don't have to have duplicate units of same synth to achieve that magic -- I do this regularly with P6 in one hand and OB6 in the other, while they have different characteristics and don't sound identical, I can make them sound very close to identical quickly, and the subtle differences that makes them not identical is sort of what gives them that "mega wide" appeal. 

Yes, that's certainly true, and it's a natural approach to take - that of maximizing the potential for flexibility and variety.  It just isn't my approach or interest.  I use a much smaller palette of sounds than most synthesists, and that's deliberate.  I prefer to often use identical patches from two units, and perhaps only slightly detuned from each other.  In doing this, I want two exact mirror images, each doing no more than enhancing the other.  I never did this in the past, but now I'm quite impressed with the warmth and depth of the effect, even when using something as simple as a sawtooth solo patch.  I spend immense amounts of time refining seemingly simple sounds, but it's in order to bring out the sweetest musicality of the synthesizer, without getting sidetracked by the instrument's seductive complexity. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 05:34:10 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #266 on: February 25, 2021, 11:23:19 AM »
I have two synthesizer projects that need to be resolved.  First, I need to replace the Poly Evolver Keyboard and Prophet '08 Keyboard that I sold over the last couple of years.  This vacuum will presumably be filled by a 16-voice Rev2 keyboard-module pair.   Second, I need to create the mono synth I've been envisioning for several years now.  This latter is far more difficult to resolve than the former.  And I'd like to maintain my set up at three instruments.

I came so close last week to ordering a Korg ARP Odyssey Keyboard and Module pair.  I had actually filled out the online order form, except for my credit card information.  But I didn't feel entirely certain of the decision, so I did a little more eleventh-hour research.  I hate 3-octave keyboards...hate 'em.  But I've tried to adjust to the idea anyways, just in this one case, because I have always been crazy for the Odyssey.  As it turns out, the Korg Odyssey keybed is also unusually cheap in feel and construction.  So that was the end of my near purchase.

I'm trying to do something that is very simple, and it's turning out to be nearly impossible.  I'm trying to start with a high quality 4-5 octave keybed.  That's building block numero uno, my top priority.  I could possibly manage with 3 1/2 octaves, but not another note less.  Next, I need two identical units - either a keyboard and module pair, or else, two modules to be controlled by my Prophet '08 Keyboard.  MIDI is obviously essential to this equation, rather than CV.  And next, I'd like the ability to continue to build up this monophonic instrument into the future.

A P'08 or Rev2 would be an excellent controller for this system, since I expect to have two such keyboards - one for polyphonic uses, and the other partly for monophonic uses.  I've also considered the Prophet-6 as the base keyboard, and I think this would work well.  But then I would be inclined to buy the Module version as the other half.  This would amount to much more money than I've intended to spend, it wouldn't result in the sort of super mono synth I've envisioned, and it would be a waste of a 6-voice instrument.  I could begin the purchasing right now, but I'd have to give up on my Rev2 intentions and continue with my aging Prophet '08 system.  Also, I expect the P6 will be the next instrument Sequential retires, and that retirement may come before I can afford the second unit.  Regardless, at this point it's the closest I have to a resolution. 

I've considered the Pro 3, but...that darned 3-octave keyboard issue again.  I've also considered the Matrixbrute, but I'm not especially impressed with its sound or design.  I would have no use for the matrix, which takes up about 1/3 of the control panel.  Nor do I like its appearance. 

As for modules, I do like the Vermona Mono Lancet and the Perfourmer MK II.  The Boomstar 4072 MK II module is also of interest, as is the Korg Minilogue XD and Doepfer Dark Energy III.  I could even imagine getting into true modular on a small scale  ::).  The Moog Matriarch would be a good choice, if it was available in a module form.

All of this is fascinating to ponder, but my main difficulty is in finding the right keyboard to begin the whole project.  There are so many synthesizers now available, but none serves my mono synth needs.     
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 11:41:02 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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timboréale

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #267 on: February 25, 2021, 12:21:15 PM »
Off the top of my head a few possible options present themselves:

1. Use your existing P'08 keyboard as the controller for the mono. You already have it, at least. ** edit, oh, I thought I'd read you'd sold the MODULE... whoops **
2. Buy a MIDI controller you like and get any of the modules you enjoy. There are MIDI controllers out there that use the same Fatar action as the Rev2.
3. If you're already considering the Matriarch, what's wrong with the nice 4 octave keyboard it has? It's quite playable, although a little on the "fast" side, but honestly you get used to that quickly and it's very organ-like (but with aftertouch and velocity).
4. What ruled out the Pro2, if you would consider the Pro3? We know you were pretty happy with the P12, and the Pro2 has those beautiful filters...
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...

jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #268 on: February 25, 2021, 12:40:53 PM »
Does the Matriarch have an app yet so that you can see and set all the config options? I love the sound of this synth but I think it would annoy me too much that there’s no way of telling what all the settings are currently set to.
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 #269 on: February 25, 2021, 12:49:40 PM »
Doesn't the Matriarch allow for panning 2 oscillators to the right and 2 oscillators to the left? - If so, you'd have the stereo configuration in one box.

Gerry Havinga

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #270 on: February 25, 2021, 12:54:37 PM »
Modular ...... I can recommend this combination: Instruo Troika triple VCO and the Mutable Instruments Ripples filter. I think that might suit your taste. Obviously you will need a starter case. A NiftyCase perhaps + ADSR & VCA and possible an effects module (preferably stereo of course). Most of those modules are available second hand if you can wait and are patient. Eurorack is beyond awesome in getting a synth voice totally suited to your own taste (except for the keyboard of course),

I've not posted for a while, but slowly are getting back to it.
DAW-less and going down the Eurorack rabbit hole.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #271 on: February 25, 2021, 01:15:57 PM »
Thanks for the ideas, Timboreale.  An important element in this system is that it has to have 100% stereo sound.  Hence, a Pro 2 or a Matriarch would need to have a module version to couple with the keyboard version.  And they simply don't exist.  Also, I don't want anything second-hand or out of production.  The system will be independent of any computers, so USB-provided power is out. 

I feel as if I've/we've been waiting forever for the final Rev2 update (and I understand it's not Sequential's fault), and that synthesizer is the hinge on which this system could turn.  Then I could use my remaining P'08 as the controller, and build up the modules slowly.  The waiting has really been irritating, so that I'm inclined to make a rash decision, just to finally have another instrument.  But I would love to have an immense monophonic creation, something truly unique and musically forceful.  Oh, the waiting and waiting....
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #272 on: February 25, 2021, 01:18:58 PM »
Gerry, if I choose to go the modular root, I'll be back here consulting your advice.  Thanks for the starter ideas.
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timboréale

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #273 on: February 25, 2021, 01:25:00 PM »
The system will be independent of any computers, so USB-provided power is out. 
All normal MIDI controllers with DIN MIDI can be powered from the wall, even if they are USB powered (using a USB power supply) and do not need to be connected to a computer to function properly. This is the majority of the ones I'm aware of... even Arturia's have DIN midi (and CV!).

I feel as if I've/we've been waiting forever for the final Rev2 update (and I understand it's not Sequential's fault), and that synthesizer is the hinge on which this system could turn.  Then I could use my remaining P'08 as the controller, and build up the modules slowly.  The waiting has really been irritating, so that I'm inclined to make a rash decision, just to finally have another instrument.  But I would love to have an immense monophonic creation, something truly unique and musically forceful.  Oh, the waiting and waiting....
What about a pair of Mother 32's in a 6U 104 HP case, then? That would give two full stereo voices with plenty of room for additional modulators. The dual rows would be conducive to building up a stereo modular. Of course, you lose the idea of presets this way...
Or two Odyssey modules, if you love the Odyssey, and an Arturia controller (which has pitch, gate, and 2 mod CV outs)?
Or for the real deal, two Arp Minis... :)
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #274 on: February 25, 2021, 01:36:25 PM »
What about a pair of Mother 32's in a 6U 104 HP case, then? That would give two full stereo voices with plenty of room for additional modulators. The dual rows would be conducive to building up a stereo modular. Of course, you lose the idea of presets this way...
Or two Odyssey modules, if you love the Odyssey, and an Arturia controller (which has pitch, gate, and 2 mod CV outs)?
Or for the real deal, two Arp Minis... :)

Yes, the Moog Mother 32 was a natural consideration, but it's far too limited a synthesizer.  I want just the fundamentals, but all the fundamentals, such as two four-part envelopes.  The Odyssey is a possibility, in spite of its ADSR-AR envelopes.  But they're getting hard to find.  Noisebug sells them, but they have a lousy return policy.  You don't get a refund, but only credit.
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chysn

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #275 on: February 25, 2021, 05:48:03 PM »
At this point, I'm mostly convinced that the Pro 3 is the best monosynth there's ever been. I can't say why Sequential downsized the keyboard from the Pro 2. I mean, three oscillators, three LFOs, three filters... and three octaves? It seems a strange sacrifice just to keep a theme going.

As 3 1/2 octaves is your squealing point minimum, 3 octaves is mine, and not another note less. That's why the Mopho Keyboard had to go. So, I see where you're coming from.

I can say that the Pro 3's keybed is quality stuff. Not too light an action that you can't control it. Mechanically it's nice and quiet, without the constant clunking characteristic of cheap keybeds. The tops of the keys are sculpted to be ever so slightly convex, which is a nice feel.
Pro 3 #1640
macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #276 on: February 25, 2021, 06:46:00 PM »
I thought the same thing: Why on earth did they drop from 3 1/2 octaves to a flat 3?  Other than that, the Pro 3 seems like a nearly perfect mono synth with a robust analog tone. 

All the DSI/Sequential keybeds are adequate for my interests.  I have no complaints, and it's one of the reasons I really want to get my paws on a Rev2.

For now, I'm researching module after module.  So many, thankfully.  It's all a matter of the right combinations of keyboard and engine.  And it's kinda fun to think about.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 06:48:09 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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chysn

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #277 on: February 25, 2021, 07:12:57 PM »
All the DSI/Sequential keybeds are adequate for my interests.  I have no complaints, and it's one of the reasons I really want to get my paws on a Rev2.

I came super-close to getting a Rev2, as the 8-voice costs essentially the same as a Pro 3.

For me, the wavetable oscillator and filter selection outweighed polyphony. I never thought I could love a digital oscillator as much as I love the Pro 3's. It's got real presence whether it's just doing a basic waveshape, or traveling through a starkly digital wavetable.
Pro 3 #1640
macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #278 on: February 25, 2021, 07:21:09 PM »
It sounds intriguing, and I've salivated my way through many-a-video.  Let me know if you bump into one with a longer keyboard!
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #279 on: February 25, 2021, 08:49:42 PM »
The Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One with Module 01 MIDI Controller is a gorgeous-looking keyboard controller, and it's the perfect length.  I love the flat top - the perfect place for a module or effect.  One shortcoming, though: it lacks an expression pedal jack.  That's quite an omission.  Has anybody here tried one?

https://vintageking.com/extra-deluxe-mfg-the-sixty-one-with-module-01-midi-controller

https://www.extradeluxemfg.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y1J_K8MsKA
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 09:06:24 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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