The Official Sequential/DSI Forum

Loads of DSI synths now out of production.

dslsynth

  • ***
  • 1036
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #80 on: October 18, 2015, 12:53:38 PM »
What would be the point in DCOs when they have their new, very stable VCOs now? They certainly would not be cheaper if they're also based on a discrete design.

From what I have understood: easier to control the tuning stability!
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #81 on: October 18, 2015, 02:48:59 PM »
I would agree that technology that allows expressive playing is a thing to be sought after, but this would be primarily for melody.  Let's not forget the importance also of immense majestic chordal playing.  The keyboard is not merely an on and off switch; it is an ostensibly simple mechanism that can artfully control an immense sound with a playing technique that conveys expression, diction, and clarity.  A pipe organist is performing with the true and literal "wall of sound," and there is tremendous skill and technique, for example, in playing repeated chords with clearness.  So, I'm all for the expressive melody, but I would also put in a word for the type of synthesizer that provides the immense sound of multiple oscillators and timbres for thick chordal playing.  This is the reason I'm always writing about keyboard-module pairing.  To my knowledge, there is no single keyboard synthesizer that can offer this sort of immense and complex sound.  Hence, a P6 Module suddenly makes the P6 Keyboard much more interesting.  But still, the P08 is number one for me, DCOs and all.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 03:15:01 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

dslsynth

  • ***
  • 1036
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #82 on: October 18, 2015, 03:33:41 PM »
I would agree that technology that allows expressive playing is a thing to be sought after, but this would be primarily for melody.

The point is exactly that the ways you use your instruments for are well covered in MIDI and have been so from day one. Whereas the new more expressive controllers require MIDI features that essentially only very few and now discontinued DSI products supports well. So all the buzz is about making it possible to use expressive controllers with modern day analog/hybrid synthesizers from companies like DSI.

I would be pleasantly surprised if DSI one day made such features in their instruments. Knowing the past I would not be too surprised if it never happens. But seeing that DSI made alternate tunings possible starting with Prophet-6 there is indeed a chance that better multi-timbral and/or expressive controllers support could happen one day.
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #83 on: October 18, 2015, 06:07:23 PM »
I get it.  My point is that this type of expressiveness often requires two hands - one to trigger the notes and the other to manipulate some control device.  I find this degree of expressiveness very appealing, but it leaves one without the ability to accompany the melody, unless an arpeggiator or sequencer is used.

In the case of the Linnstrument, playing the solo requires such attention to finger movements that it's hard to imagine the left hand being able to provide a very elaborate accompaniment, not to mention the difficulty of physically arranging overall the set up.  In other words, again, this more pertains to single line melody playing.  It would be fine if one was playing in an ensemble or was multi-tracking, but not if one was playing live and alone (ahem!).

My concern on the topic of moving on from DCOs is that the cost of producing a VCO instrument with the same capabilities of the Prophet '08 or greater would be exorbitant, making the keyboard-module combination unaffordable for most of us.  The other potentially less expensive option - exemplified by the Prophet 12 and Pro 2 - doesn't seem to meet with the same sonic results.  I realize this is debatable, but I don't think the P12 and P08 are sonically interchangeable; the character of each is too different.  Nor, after two years now, have I heard a single P12 recording that comes even close to the quality of sound I can get from my P08 pair.  I've considered selling all my Evolvers and replacing them with a P12 Keyboard-Module pair, but this still seems to me like a gamble I could terribly regret. 

The DCO instruments seem to have produced a good balance between decent analog sound quality, instrument complexity, and cost.  So, the idea of the current lines of 1) Sequential, being the simple but pricey old school analog instruments, and 2) DSI, being the sophisticated new technology hybrid instruments, seems as if it leaves out that wonderful balance found in the P08-derived DCO synthesizers.  As much as I love the Poly Evolvers, the Prophet '08 is even better for my uses.  The power of combining, say, one P08 Keyboard with two or three P08 Modules, puts the P08 above and beyond every instrument I know of. 

« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 07:51:52 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: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #84 on: October 19, 2015, 12:56:37 AM »
How do you like the Linnstrument? Haven't seen one yet, but I consider them remarkable devices.

I think it is a fantastic, although I think it will take quite some time to master.

It has pretty good separation between pressure and Y axis movement although there is still some crosstalk.


The Y axis can be set to work in two modes:

Normal: The range is spread other the key, so if you hit the key at the bottom you are at 0, if you hit it at the top you are at 127. This allows you to set it up so that the initial hit position defines the sound when it starts playing, so it is simple say to have the notes more muted, or change the amp decay based on position initially hit etc.

Relative: wherever you hit the key you are at the mid range (64), then any Y axis movement is relative to that.


The X axis has a few settings that enable quantisation, when quantise is on the Linnstrument will snap to the correct tuning of the note after you slide to it. The algorithm they use is very good, it doesnít get in the way of playing vibrato.

I have been trying to spend time playing it with quantisation off though, then  it acts like a fretless stringed instrument. Iím after the ability to slightly change the tuning of each note in a chord, something I do on the guitar in order to get the chords to round ďrightĒ (iím sure there is a musical term!), when quantisation is on this is not possible as it is looking for vibrato type playing or large changes in pitch and filters out small changes in pitch. Playing it with quantisation of is not easy at all and will require a lot of practise to get right. Iím thinking it will be worth it in the long run!



They have put work in on the pressure as well, you can get it set up so that itís not sending pressure when you initially hit the key, a problem that all other pad based controllers I have used suffer greatly from.


You can split the linnstrument into two and have each half work in different ways, for instance for instance you can turn one part into sliders if you want, or use it to control two instruments.


The lower row can be used for a few different things as well as nots, you can use it to restrike any over keys held down to retrigger chords, you can use it to control strumming of any notes held down, control the arp, use as a sustain pedal or to send pitchbend or any other CC.



One thing I have found difficult is using my thumbs, for me they just donít seem to fit the linnstrument, so currently chords with one hand are limited to four notes and to be honest three is usually a lot easier.


For me as a string player who has never got on with the classic piano keyboard layout the Linnstrument is a wonder, for a decent piano player it might well not be seen that way but I donít think they are the target audience.

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #85 on: October 19, 2015, 04:16:47 AM »
How do you like the Linnstrument? Haven't seen one yet, but I consider them remarkable devices.

I think it is a fantastic, although I think it will take quite some time to master.

(Ö)

For me as a string player who has never got on with the classic piano keyboard layout the Linnstrument is a wonder, for a decent piano player it might well not be seen that way but I donít think they are the target audience.

This sounds great! Thanks for the in-depth review. It seems to be even better than I imagined.

I recently picked up the electric guitar after many years of classical piano and am fascinated by the note layout (melodies almost play themselves) and the immense and very immediate, intimate control you have over each individual sound, even in chords. So this Linnstrument appears to be something I should look into more closely.

The fact that it's running open-source software on an Arduino platform makes it that much more intriguing; hard to imagine the possibilities this opens!
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
ó
YT
SC

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #86 on: December 03, 2015, 08:19:02 PM »
I'm new here, so take what I have to offer with a grain of salt...but the DSI-120 custom Curtis filter IC used in the Mopho / Tetra / Evolver is likely expensive to produce in quantity, and (I'm guessing) is likely to be phased out, with spares / reserves kept for the Prophet 12 / 12 Desktop & Tempest units that are higher $ units.

If you look at the Pro 2 and Prophet 6 / 6 Desktop, these use a discrete SSM 2040-inspired filter (the Pro 2 also has the discrete, SEM-style, fully variable filter), so I'd wager a guess that we'll see a Pro 2-style voice in a module (Eurorack or otherwise, mono and/or poly), and that the remarks regarding fewer Prophet 12 updates might correlate to a newer flagship synth with Prophet 12-style digital oscillators and better* filters.

No idea what any of this might mean for the Prophet 08 / 08 Desktop, to be honest.

* - I personally feel that the SSM filter sounds better than the Curtis one; your mileage may vary. As for the SEM... :)
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard with Yorick Tech LFE, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Six-Trak, Prophet 2000

Razmo

  • ***
  • 2168
  • I am shadow...
    • Kaleidoscopic Artworks
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #87 on: December 04, 2015, 02:42:58 AM »
I guess that DSI is not putting the P08 out quite yet... because it's not really a P6's job to replace it in my opinion... the two are a bit too different... P08 has two voices more, and one hell of a lot deeper engine than the P6.... only advantage to the P6 is it's discrete filters... the FX is not enough to make a real difference, cause you can allways add them externaly.

I've no doubt it will disappear within not that long (P08), but they better have a new alternative on the list before they do in my opinion.
If you need me, follow the shadows...

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #88 on: December 04, 2015, 05:51:10 AM »
Absolutely.  The Prophet 6 could in no way replace the Prophet '08.  DSI would have to be bonkers to think one could fill the place of the other.  From what I've been told, I'd guess the P'08 has another year.
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

Razmo

  • ***
  • 2168
  • I am shadow...
    • Kaleidoscopic Artworks
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #89 on: December 04, 2015, 07:52:02 AM »
I'd say that's probably a good estimate... it seems that DSI discontinue products, when they need space on the factory "conveyer belts" for new machines... so it'll probably happen sometime around a new product release... we'll just have to wait and see... personaly I'm not that frightened of the P08 leaving... I've go my P08, and I don't need more voices, so I guess the only thing you could advise, is that people who are speculating about getting a P08, probably should do it while they still can... we can see how rare the Poly Evolvers has become these days... the same will probably be the case with the P08.... it's a bit like with dead musicians... their work is always more interresting, when they're gone... it's a bit the same with gear sometimes...
If you need me, follow the shadows...

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #90 on: December 04, 2015, 08:52:04 AM »
I expect that, once the Prophet '08 has been discontinued and replaced with something fairly different, it will be hailed as a classic.  It certainly already is in my opinion.  And then we'll hear praise for the Curtiss filter sound.  I say this in light of the remarkable number of criticisms of the instrument in general, and of it's filter in particular, that I've come across online. 

Sure, the P'08 isn't perfect; it's relatively simple and lacks many common bells and whistles.  But there's beauty in that.  If there's one thing I dislike, it's having an instrument with many features I know I'll never use.  I prefer having an instrument whose every parameter I know I'll use.  Not a wasted knob or feature.

As far as the Prophet '08's unpopular filter goes, all I can say is that I like it - especially the 2-pole setting, which I would terribly regret losing.  This is one of the reasons I've hesitated in buying a Prophet 6.  I could have bought one by now, but I decided to wait and see what appears at NAMM - both from DSI and Moog.  I'll be very interested to see what comes of those Minimoog rumors.  Perhaps we'll one day see a Minimoog Model E!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 09:06:31 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: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #91 on: October 05, 2016, 06:41:27 AM »
I'd like to thank DSI for having made the Mophos while they did. I am sad that they are no longer being produced, and that DSI no longer offers a product that was so affordable. My first exposure to sequential circuits was playing a Prophet-10. Even though the Mopho is not quite the same as a Prophet-5, it still was a very good analog synthesizer, very much like the Oberheim Matrix, Things change, and it's not what people want anymore, but it was very affordable. I simply can't afford what DSI is offering now, but I have a small army of Mopho's I have acquired and will not depart with them until they die like my Oberheim Matrix-12.

Maybe DSI can make a true Matrix-6 reissue, I will definitely pay for it! DSI and Oberheim, I think were so great. Moog, well the Little Phatty was wonderful and special, but I am not at all impressed with their sub phatty at all, although Mother-32 is attractive at that price. I will keep the little phatty forever though, the holy grail to own a Moog, not since  my Micromoog was stolen. Well, I did wish to own that Prophet-10, it was only $1000 but it was huge and had overheated and melted, and I simply did not know to fix it.


Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #92 on: October 05, 2016, 06:58:45 AM »
I am sorry to double post, but I am not sure people were really aware what the Mopho could do. It can pull off a very good TB-303 bass line with the sequencer. It likes the Oberheim Matrix, only better. It did not sound like a Prophet-5 though, so maybe that is why they stopped making it.

I have not heard the Prophet-6 yet, so, I am hoping it sounds like a Prophet-5. But since DSI did collabaration recently with Oberheim, I mentioned the Matrix-6. which was not a sequential circuits product. But, if DSI will produce a smaller version of the Prophet-6, to replace the Mopho, and it is like a mini-Prophet-5. Well I am definitely going to get that! But, the Prophet-6, is far to expensive for me, and the Pro-2 and Prophet-12, are for specialists.

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #93 on: October 05, 2016, 07:29:43 AM »
You're not the only one who wishes DSI would continue to offer one or two small and modestly-priced modules.  I've owned the Mopho, Tetr4, and Evolver Desktop and found them to be exceptional by themselves and an easy way to expand other instruments.  I'd still like to get another Tetr4 and Evolver.  But I guess the market is master here, and things have drastically changed over the last seven or eight years.  DSI, being a small company, has to change with the times in order to survive.  Still, I would think they could offer just one small module.  I wish, anyway.
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #94 on: October 05, 2016, 09:53:46 AM »
I think one thing that changed with the resurgance of all things analog, in particular with regard to all the reissues that have been released over the past couple of years, is that lots of people are more attracted to those reappearing classics as opposed to new or different solutions. That and the fact that companies like Korg, who cover a lot of instruments for people that want to get into anything synth-related (here the popularity of small and portable knob per function units can't be underestimated), have many more production resources that enables them to produce and sell inexpensive gear to a degree that companies like DSI can't compete with. On the other side, there is definitely an audience for more experimental stuff, but those rather move towards Eurorack systems or apps (which are nicer to control these days via tablets).

In terms of product philosophies, i.e. between easy to grasp entry level instruments and already understood reissues, and fully blown experimental nerd gear, DSI sort of end up being in the middle of things combined with the necessity - driven by the above-mentioned competition - to focus a little bit stronger on what market segment they want to cover, which eventually ended up being the mid-price to higher priced market. At the same time, one should not forget that this is probably also a lesson that has been learned after the bankruptcy of Sequential Circuits.

Nevertheless, I do believe that DSI could release a more affordable desktop synth at any time, as long as it does something that is completely different from what the competition is offering. The closest they got there was with the Desktop Evolver. Of course they can't simply re-release that, as it has been done already, but I'd assume that any product that is built on a little bit of familiarity (like elements of subtractive synthesis, for example) and lots of crazy stuff that no one else has combined in that way yet, could be succesful. - Maybe not in terms of those numbers that huge companies would expect, but in a relatively satisfying way for a small company like DSI.

Having said that, I don't believe that it could be just an analog mono synth in desktop format - even if it offers far more modulation paths than provided by the instruments of the competition. There's also a bit of room for implementing some updated or new features. For example MPE capability, MIDI via Bluetooth, or Ableton's Link. All these enhancements would make especially a desktop unit highly attractive beyond the synth's specific architecture.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 10:04:31 AM by Paul Dither »

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #95 on: October 05, 2016, 10:26:48 AM »
The catch is that, as we know, Dave consistently issues different configurations of the same instrument.  It would be out of character for DSI to offer an individual module/desktop, and end it there.  You know it's going to be a series - a module or rack version, a single-voice keyboard version, and a multi-voice keyboard version.  I just can't imagine the company producing an individual module.  The best hope is that a future keyboard synthesizer will be sized down into a little inexpensive box. 

As much as the DSI staff has explained to us the reasons for retiring the smaller modules, I believe they've also heard a fair amount of unhappiness expressed by customers over the decision.  Whether or not they'll respond to it, and whether or they could afford to, who knows?  But I don't think it's a hopeless cause.
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

dslsynth

  • ***
  • 1036
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #96 on: October 05, 2016, 11:07:47 AM »
The fun thing is that DSI have no problem making eurorack modules that they say don't really sell very well whereas making a smaller voice count more affordable desktop module seems out of reach due to competition situation. I simply don't get that argument. People ask for it and it makes good sense. Just do it!

The trick to keep the product design effort down is to make a more or less standard front panel that can be used across multiple desktop modules. Also, make something special just like the Mopho did by adding more features to an existing design or combining multiple instrument features into one. Make a product that offers an interesting and uniquely sounding combination of features in a neat package that many people can see good use for. Its not all that complex.

OLED display and a Prophet-12 module style UI would be a good starting point. Also, don't make a monophonic voice. Make a two or four voice desktop module instead. The two voice will benefit from having external input on each voice so that the user can process stereo audio with it too. Use the best filters in current product design which basically means the P6/OB6 filters.

Maybe such a desktop module would be a direct competition for Pro 2 and possibly be more attractively priced too? But so what!? Serve some candy for your customers even if its going to be at a little less profit margin than your current products. There are not all that many complex voices out there in synthesizer land so there is a hole in the market that even at DSI prices would make an attractive offering.

Last but not least: combine analog and digital features in a single voice. Please both analog and digital oscillators. Four analog and four digital oscillators in each voice will give powerful paraphonic features. Please both analog and tuned filter feedback. Consider adding a little more feature candy to the modulation features and of cause a good Pro 2 style sequencer. Please no digital filter only machine in this format if you ask me!

Of cause there may be some product management consideration and competition with other products in the range. But hey, there are plenty of users out there who cannot afford the current DSI offerings. Make something tasty for them. Even at $800 to $1000 this could be very interesting products.

. o O ( same old rant )
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 11:12:39 AM by dslsynth »
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

dslsynth

  • ***
  • 1036
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #97 on: October 05, 2016, 11:18:38 AM »
That and the fact that companies like Korg [...]

Sonic talk silly chat joke of the week: Drop a cheap synthesizer product on the floor to see it break into multiple pieces. That's granular synthesis in hardware!

. o O ( ;) )
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #98 on: October 05, 2016, 12:03:16 PM »
The fun thing is that DSI have no problem making eurorack modules that they say don't really sell very well whereas making a smaller voice count more affordable desktop module seems out of reach due to competition situation. I simply don't get that argument. People ask for it and it makes good sense. Just do it!

My guess is that the eurorack modules cost next to nothing to produce, while the experiment allows Dave to see if there might be some substantial profits for DSI in the eurorack direction.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 12:13:35 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

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

dslsynth

  • ***
  • 1036
Re: Loads of DSI synths now out of production.
« Reply #99 on: October 05, 2016, 12:09:34 PM »
My guess is that the eurorack modules cost next to nothing to produce, while the experiment allows Dave to see if there might be some substantial profits for DSI in the eurorack direction.

Or just doing it for the fun of it when DSI have something unique to say? Makes much more sense! While making profit is essential for a company I certainly hope that its not the only driving force for designing new products.
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature