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One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth

jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #280 on: February 26, 2021, 12:50:56 AM »
I'd have bought a Pro 3 the day it was released if I didn't already own the Pro 2. Even I (with my synth obsession) can't really justify owning both  ;D
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 #281 on: February 26, 2021, 09:04:45 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.


You mention the keybed requirements (which I totally understand)...  From a core sonic / sound design perspective, what is your objective by getting a mono synth?..  are you just planning on using it for fundamental bass and lead type of work?  Or looking to get into more into ambient drone type of stuff, modular sound design, or sequenced patterns?   


Sequential Pro 3 and Rev 2, Deepmind, PolyBrute - Sound Sets, Patch Banks - Available on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/sounddesign/

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #282 on: February 26, 2021, 11:51:21 PM »
You mention the keybed requirements (which I totally understand)...  From a core sonic / sound design perspective, what is your objective by getting a mono synth?..  are you just planning on using it for fundamental bass and lead type of work?  Or looking to get into more into ambient drone type of stuff, modular sound design, or sequenced patterns?

Just read back in the thread further... didn't realize how far back this thread went!  I see you mentioned all of your required specs on page one.

My advice... don't get a mono synth until you've gotten the Prophet Rev2 that you mention you're planning on getting.  I think it fills all of your requirements:

1. Keybed is 61-key Fatar TP/9s... its a pleasure to play... one of the nicest synth action keybeds I've ever owned

2. DCO Analog Oscillators x2, plus noise, sub.  With voice modeling, you can precisely control the per voice analog tuning character and intonation scaling... and fine tune "oscillator beating / phasing" up and down the keybed...  The oscillators are naturally incredibly stable up and down the keybed, so you have that option for precision if you want it. 

3. Four LFOs... and while they don't directly have delay built in, you can multiplex them with the aux envelope (or two other envelopes) which have delay... so you can get delayed LFO action at the expense of an envelope.

4. Three DADSR envelopes

5. Built in stereo binaural capabilities by stacking identical sounds and hard panning them to Left/Right outputs.   And if you make slight adjustments to one layer it fattens up the sound to epic proportions.   You don't even need to buy an extra module later... it's all contained and your binaural stack patches will be saved together.

6. Does also have stereo (not poly) high pass and delay at end of chain.

I would hold off on a mono, based on the specs you listed at the beginning of this thread (if those are still valid)...  The Rev2 seems like it will be perfect for your requirements, and offers you the ability to play poly and mono, plus mono unison, and of course the stacks/splits. 

The only thing that I'm not sure you mentioned (I may have missed it when I scanned through the thread)... is if you have a specific filter topology / VCF that you're after.   
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 11:54:18 PM by creativespiral »

Sequential Pro 3 and Rev 2, Deepmind, PolyBrute - Sound Sets, Patch Banks - Available on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/sounddesign/

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #283 on: February 27, 2021, 02:41:03 PM »
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.


You mention the keybed requirements (which I totally understand)...  From a core sonic / sound design perspective, what is your objective by getting a mono synth?..  are you just planning on using it for fundamental bass and lead type of work?  Or looking to get into more into ambient drone type of stuff, modular sound design, or sequenced patterns?

The mono synth would be used exclusively for melody playing.  My melodies tend to have a wide range, certainly beyond three octaves; plus, I like to play them at different octaves.  Because my hands and feet are almost always busy, I can't easily get to an octave switch, so a long keyboard is essential.  But creating a large mono synth also allows me to make an ongoing project, with the end result including whatever modules may be released in the next few years.  I'd love to have something of a large analog monster at the end of it, for producing elaborate patches with multiple oscillators.

The other possibility is to use a poly synth as a part-time mono synth.  That would obviously have its practical advantages.
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #284 on: February 27, 2021, 02:48:24 PM »
My advice... don't get a mono synth until you've gotten the Prophet Rev2 that you mention you're planning on getting.  I think it fills all of your requirements:

Yes, that's what I'm trying to do, but you can see how long I've been waiting for the Rev2 to reach full maturity in terms of OS updates.  And I would still treat it partially as a mono synth by adding monophonic modules to it.  I'm thinking almost in modular terms, but with hard wired modules.

I'm perfectly happy with the DSI/Sequential filters.  My one requirement is a 2-pole filter, as is happily the case with the P'08/Rev2.

Thanks for reading through this long and wearisome thread, and bothering to offer all your suggestions. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 03:24:04 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #285 on: March 02, 2021, 04:57:44 AM »
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

Would’ve been preferable for the pitch and mod wheels to be at the side rather than on top too.

timboréale

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #286 on: March 02, 2021, 07:00:23 AM »
Would’ve been preferable for the pitch and mod wheels to be at the side rather than on top too.

And at that price you might as well spend the tiny bit extra and get an 8-voice Rev2 engine with it, if you ask me. I can't see myself EVER being willing to spend that much for what is just a glorified Fatar action in a nice wooden enclosure.
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #287 on: March 24, 2021, 08:12:34 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.

Stereo filters and delay, yes, but I haven't read of stereo filters.  That would certainly be a key feature for me.
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ddp

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #288 on: March 24, 2021, 08:51:24 PM »
I haven't heard that either but I found this, "Matriarch has four audio oscillators (five if you include the modulation oscillator), the stereo filter section can also be used as two additional audio oscillators."https://www.moogmusic.com/products/matriarch.
Buchla, Polyend, Minimoog reissue, Moog One, Prophet 10 & X, Tempest, formerly Prophet 6 and Rev2.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #289 on: March 24, 2021, 09:00:20 PM »
I don't fully understand it, but I believe it's being used here:

https://youtu.be/DFLNu_wSnjs?t=452
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #290 on: March 24, 2021, 09:25:47 PM »
Would’ve been preferable for the pitch and mod wheels to be at the side rather than on top too.

And at that price you might as well spend the tiny bit extra and get an 8-voice Rev2 engine with it, if you ask me. I can't see myself EVER being willing to spend that much for what is just a glorified Fatar action in a nice wooden enclosure.

Whether this Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One is one of the best keyboards, I don't know, but it's certainly a good one.  The advantage it offers is the ability to start off - first and foremost - with an uncompromised full-sized five octave keyboard.  Then you can choose one or several of the many modules now available, including future ones, and end with a large mono/poly synth of your own design.  In spite of the price, it could be an ongoing synth project that could result in a totally unique and nearly custom-designed instrument with all sorts of stereo possibilities.  Although the Rev2 is probably the surest most conservative way of reaching the goal, this is another approach that is more unique and original. 
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 09:32:25 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #291 on: March 24, 2021, 09:36:54 PM »
I haven't heard that either but I found this, "Matriarch has four audio oscillators (five if you include the modulation oscillator), the stereo filter section can also be used as two additional audio oscillators."https://www.moogmusic.com/products/matriarch.

I would have preferred individual outputs for each oscillator, or at least paired.
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jg666

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #292 on: March 25, 2021, 03:29:07 AM »
Ah the Matriarch :) I love the sound that comes out of that synth, everything I've heard gives me that tingle that not all synths are able to give me (sorry for the rambling but it's the only way I can think of describing sounds I like!).

The main problem for me is that I'm lazy and want to be able to save patches. The second problem for me is that the Pro2 has spoiled me because now I really miss not being able to see the envelopes depicted on screen on synths that don't have this feature. Before I got the Pro2, I never even considered how useful it would be to me.

I realise I'm not a 'typical' synth-head as the analogue vs digital argument doesn't apply to me as I don't really care how the sound is made - as long as I like it :)
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 #293 on: March 25, 2021, 06:23:13 AM »
I realise I'm not a 'typical' synth-head as the analogue vs digital argument doesn't apply to me as I don't really care how the sound is made - as long as I like it :)

Actually, I think you are the typical synthesist, regarding the analog/digital oscillator argument.  The atypical is now the person who still thinks there is a difference in tonal character.

I was thinking that the contemporary analog revival had put the old argument to bed.  In light of the astronomical prices people are willing to pay in 2021, not only for a general analog sound engine, but specifically for analog oscillators, it doesn't seem necessary to make the case any longer for the difference.  People can deny it, laugh at it, and deride it; regardless, for some reason, even in this day and age when so many excellent digital synthesizers are available, experienced synthesists are willing to pay top dollar for a Korg ARP 2600 or a Sequential Prophet 5.  It isn't because these instruments have all the desirable modern feature, because they don't.  It isn't because their digital oscillators can be made to sound unstable like their forebears.  Nor can the fact be explained away as mere middle-aged nostalgia. 

To be clear, it's not about a "good" sound; not at all.  Digital instruments can sound wonderful in their warm evolving pads and unique timbres.  To my amazement, I found that my cherished solo sawtooth patch designed on a DSI Prophet 12 in stereo sounded sweeter than any I had ever before heard.  To my ears, the combination of those four digital oscillators sounded more delightfully mellifluous than the best solo sawtooth patches I had been able to draw out of my Minimoog Model D, Voyager Old School, and Prophet '08.  And it certainly wasn't about the filter, because few people seemed to care for the Prophet 12 filter; nor did I. 

I could have easily bought a Prophet 12 Module, and I still could buy one.  But that wouldn't satisfy my little sonic quest.  No, the end of it will entail some configuration of pure analog modules, because there is a difference between analog and digital sound.  And that's the only sound I'm after.  As Poe once wrote, "convinced myself, I have no desire to convince others."  I'm simply re-registering my opinion on this long elaborate thread about a personal pursuit. 

Analog oscillators sound great and digital oscillators sound great...but in noticeably and meaningfully different ways.  One doesn't have to be an analog purist to feel this way.  I'm a tremendous fan of the Evolvers, so I'm open to both, as well as to hybrids.  But when it comes to a certain sonic character - as in the case of the concerned monophonic synthesizer - I know which way to turn.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 07:31:22 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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timboréale

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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #294 on: March 25, 2021, 09:15:54 AM »
I'm curious, Sacred Synthesis, as to which types of analogue oscillators you prefer. Are there certain VCOs that strike you as the ideal, and others that do not? Are there any DCOs which could be acceptable? Does it matter if the VCO is digitally controlled or is that enough of a remove for you to not hear a difference? I'm interested in specifics as much as generalities here - WHICH implementations of analogue oscillators have 100% of the "ish" you like, which definitely do not, and which fall where in between?
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #295 on: March 25, 2021, 09:53:10 AM »
Timboreale, I couldn't give too specific an answer to your question.  On this issue, I'm going entirely by ear, and I can make only brand comparisons.  So....

I don't necessarily go for the Moog sound.  It's gorgeous in many ways, but I'm not looking for heavy bass sounds or screaming leads, nor do I care for the Moog sawtooth in the middle register.  I'm interested primarily in warm sweet melodic qualities.  I like best of all the ARP character.  Vermona, too, sounds nice, as does Analog Solutions (rather Moogy, I know), but I would like stable oscillators so that the beating is the same from one end of the keyboard to the other.  The Leipzig V3 has my interest for the present.  So, there's no shortage of sounds that I like.  The reason I'm considering something other than one of Dave's instruments is not because I'm unhappy with them (or with DCOs).  No, I'm entirely happy with the DSI/Sequential sound.  It's just right for my needs.  But I'd also like to try another sound and build up a large instrument with modules, something sonically unique.  Plus, I like the idea of having a synthesizer that is dedicated to monophonic uses and outfitted with the appropriate effects.

I do think the proper place to start is with a Prophet '08 or Rev2, or else, with the above Extra Deluxe MFG The Sixty-One keyboard, and then add a couple or more modules.  I know you think the latter is a bit expensive, but a Korg ARP Odyssey FS, with its very cheap three-octave keyboard, goes for about $1,500.  The MFG with a Korg ARP Odyssey Module would be approximately the same cost, and it would offer a fine five-octave keyboard.  So, presently those are my two preferred directions. 

« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 10:12:07 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #296 on: March 31, 2021, 09:33:37 PM »
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.   

Have you played one in person?

I have, and it was an insanely fun 30 minutes in the synth shop.  I don't have a need for a mono with a fullsize keyboard like that, but if I did, I would get the MB in a heartbeat.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #297 on: April 01, 2021, 04:40:38 PM »
No, I haven't played one.  I'm doing my best to get a sense of the sound online.  As imperfect an approach as this is, I find it usually gives a fair approximation of an instrument.  I do like the size and capabilities, though.  But the hefty price would need to deliver a synthesizer that was spot-on for my needs.
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Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #298 on: April 04, 2021, 06:55:28 PM »
No, I haven't played one.  I'm doing my best to get a sense of the sound online.  As imperfect an approach as this is, I find it usually gives a fair approximation of an instrument.  I do like the size and capabilities, though.  But the hefty price would need to deliver a synthesizer that was spot-on for my needs.

MatrixBrute dropped in price once the PolyBrute came out.

Re: One Man's Quest for the Perfect Mono Synth
« Reply #299 on: April 04, 2021, 07:18:57 PM »
$2,000 is still a lot to pay for a monophonic instrument that takes up an immense amount of space, yet that ultimately is not a design of interest.  It's a great instrument, but it's just not for me.  I would find a couple of Odyssey modules controlled by a five-octave keyboard of much greater interest.
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