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So. The Poly D.

Posted By: scottasin

So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 06:26 AM

Not knowing price... It looks like a very useful synth. I like paraphonic fwiw, and thats what it looks like. The sequencer looks like the special sauce, and the effects are a nice bonus, although we don't see the drive in the demo. No presets? Probably not. Still, its sort of a poly minimoog. I don't demand full polyphony, there's still a lot of expression available with paraphonic. I'm intrigued to see the price.
Posted By: marino

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 08:32 AM

Things to like:
The keyboard, form factor, 4 oscs (or 3 plus an extra LFO, I guess), the big sound, the chorus and distortion. I hope they didn't get rid of the internal routing for filter feedback.

Personally, I don't care about paraphony or sequencer.

Things to not like:
The misleading name, and the need to use patch cables to apply velocity and aftertouch.

And - at this point, I would have loved patch memory and delay/reverb. I would gladily have paid more.
Speaking of which: The appeal of this instrument will depend in good part on the price.
Posted By: ChazKeys

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 10:16 AM

Yes the price is going to be interesting. In Europe the Model D is £249 (Bax Music) and the Odyssey is £380. The Deep Mind Six is a real bargain at £430. So I think they will pitch it between the Ody and the DM6 - say £399. I'm in if that's the case.

Some of omissions from the Model D :

A440 tone
Feedback (so you have to do the original trick with the headphone out)
Less patch points available

As for the Model D - I think it will continue to sell (Euro rack, semi modular, you can have a true duophonic Model D for less then £500).

Love to see a roadmap for the Behringer synth range for 2020. Here's the story so far:


Attached picture Screenshot 2019-11-25 at 10.12.26.png
Attached picture Screenshot 2019-11-25 at 10.12.35.png
Posted By: marino

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 12:35 PM

Originally Posted by ChazKeys
Some of omissions from the Model D :
Feedback (so you have to do the original trick with the headphone out)

Mmm, are you sure of this? It sound like a rather silly omission.
Posted By: ChazKeys

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 12:44 PM

Originally Posted by marino
Originally Posted by ChazKeys
Some of omissions from the Model D :
Feedback (so you have to do the original trick with the headphone out)

Mmm, are you sure of this? It sound like a rather silly omission.


Yes I'm wrong the External In is still there! If nothing is connected to the input on the back this will route the output from the synth back into the filter. No A440 though - maybe a combination of key presses?
Posted By: AnotherScott

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 01:17 PM

Originally Posted by marino
at this point, I would have loved patch memory

I'm not sure it is even possible to have patch memory on a true Minimoog design. Sequential Circuits did make an external programmer to add preset recall to (modified) Minimoogs, but it replaced the Mini's envelopes with its own, and could not control every parameter. If you altered the Minimoog design to be fully programmable, using differently designed envelope circuitry for example, it could conceivably no longer be as sonically faithful. If you're not that much of a purist, I guess you can hope for a larger poly version of an SE-02.
Posted By: Tusker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 02:11 PM

So my first reaction is that this is truly a tremor inducing instrument. Guitarists in your vicinity may be forgiven if they start to quake.

Secondly, it covers a lot of ground doesn't it? Leads and basses, brass stabs, even (with that lovely chorus) strings and pads. One surprise is the omission of a delay circuit, since Behringer was able to place one in the Neutron. (A delay with tap tempo is very useful on stage) Still, there are dedicated delay effects in the market place for that. Behringer has wrung a lot of timbral variety with a bare-bones simplicity which allows them to reduce their risk of defects. A practical decision imo.

Thirdly, I am nervous for my friends at Moog. They have been responsible for a lot of inspiring innovations over a couple of decades. In the last two years, big chunks of their market footprint have been invaded by Behringer and it's (generally good) copy-cat circuits. Many of us who would have picked up a Grandmother or Matriarch without thinking may now have to scratch our heads and choose. I wish Moog the best. Let's hope this brings out another round of profitable innovations from them. While I don't doubt Behringer's capacity for original analog ideas (as with the Neutron) I am not certain of their commitment to painstaking analog luthiership after the competitors have been driven out or have retreated up-market.

Poly D and Osmose propel us further into a golden age of synthesizer keyboards, in both the analog and digital lanes. It's a good time to be doing what we are doing. cheers
Posted By: Markyboard

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by Tusker


Thirdly, I am nervous for my friends at Moog. They have been responsible for a lot of inspiring innovations over a couple of decades. In the last two years, big chunks of their market footprint have been invaded by Behringer and it's (generally good) copy-cat circuits. Many of us who would have picked up a Grandmother or Matriarch without thinking may now have to scratch our heads and choose. I wish Moog the best.


“...without thinking...” is right. Other than being monos these are completely different synths. Other than Animoog Moog discontinued all synths that claimed to be a mini or equivalent.

Of course in reality these are all just different types of pianos.
keys2

(But I see your point wink )
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 04:50 PM

Originally Posted by Tusker
It's a good time to be doing what we are doing. cheers


Can't argue with that.


Posted By: Tusker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 05:47 PM

Nick at Sonicstate is weighing in ....
Posted By: Bill H.

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 06:04 PM

Price given towards the end of the video is $699 US. I was tremendously excited when I saw this posted late last night. Now that I've slept on it some of the design decisions are a bit of a head scratcher for me. Watching Nick struggle with getting voices tuned and envelopes to trigger correctly in paraphonic mode makes me wonder if this is feature we really need in 2019. I never wanted a paraphonic Minimoog, but always wished it came from the factory with oscillator sync. He's questioning the inclusion of a Juno chorus in lieu of delay and reverb, and so am I.

If I think about it as the Behringer Model D with an extra VCO and keyboard attached I feel better about it.
Posted By: Tusker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 07:11 PM

Originally Posted by Bill H.
Watching Nick struggle with getting voices tuned and envelopes to trigger correctly in paraphonic mode makes me wonder if this is feature we really need in 2019.


Yes Bill, the tuning really hurt to watch for me also. Been there. Don't want to do it again. This synth is not going help any of us with a dance band gig or even most pop/rock gigs right? You cannot switch sounds in a song. Even between songs you probably won't be able to (if the band is any good at keeping people on the dance-floor whistle ) right? For those gigs, it's hard to beat something like a REV 2 or a Deepmind, or a Peak.

So to me, that leaves jam bands, electronic ensembles (or solo acts)... people who have the stage space for an additional one patch instrument, albeit with a huge sound. Add a lunchbox modular and feed the CV's on the back and it's quite a nice component of a modular rig. This instrument would work well for one of my jam band gigs where sonic exploration is desired but the synth plays the same role in every song.

One thing that Nick didn't address (and Loopop also) in an otherwise excellent review, was to nail the question of whether four oscillators can actually drive the filter without using the headphone-out-to-audio-in trick (which has a different sonic character and diminishes the filter resonance). If Behringer merely raised the headroom on the mixer to accommodate the fourth oscillator, that would be desirable. You would still be capable of a range of classic sounds with the rasp and the resonance. The sound of the instrument in the Behringer demo seems to indicate this is what they did ( i.e. they didn't ditch the mixer for a "higher fidelity" non-overdriving mixer). It would be good to know for certain, because the pre-filter saturation is part of the original Model D's magic.
Posted By: paulkondig

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 07:14 PM

Neat idea, and cool looking synth. At least it has a keyboard.
Posted By: Shutoku

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 09:50 PM

Originally Posted by Bill H.
Price given towards the end of the video is $699 US. I was tremendously excited when I saw this posted late last night. Now that I've slept on it some of the design decisions are a bit of a head scratcher for me. Watching Nick struggle with getting voices tuned and envelopes to trigger correctly in paraphonic mode makes me wonder if this is feature we really need in 2019. I never wanted a paraphonic Minimoog, but always wished it came from the factory with oscillator sync. He's questioning the inclusion of a Juno chorus in lieu of delay and reverb, and so am I.

If I think about it as the Behringer Model D with an extra VCO and keyboard attached I feel better about it.


Regarding the chorus over delay, I think it would benefit no matter what with a delay, but I think the chorus is really only there so that when playing polyphonically with only one oscillator per voice, the chorus is needed to thicken the sound. Playing it monophonically I'm not sure how useful the chorus feature is.

That said, as a mono/poly owner who always pined for a minimoog, this seems like a pretty good idea! I've heard rumours Behringer is planning a mono/poly clone, so I'm tempted to sell my original mono/poly before there is a cheaper version, and get one of these......but then I stop and realize that honestly my reface CS actually covers most of what I use an analog synth for. Also in Canadian funds I strongly suspect the poly D (a name ruined for me because my wife watches Jersey shore) is going to be over $1000.
Posted By: AnotherScott

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 09:55 PM

Originally Posted by Tusker
This synth is not going help any of us with a dance band gig or even most pop/rock gigs right? You cannot switch sounds in a song. Even between songs you probably won't be able to (if the band is any good at keeping people on the dance-floor whistle ) right? For those gigs, it's hard to beat something like a REV 2 or a Deepmind, or a Peak.

So to me, that leaves jam bands, electronic ensembles (or solo acts)... people who have the stage space for an additional one patch instrument, albeit with a huge sound.

Or just for studio/recording use.
Posted By: ChazKeys

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 10:01 PM

I'm also struggling a bit with this concept. The new Moog Matriarch is 4osc paraphonic so it's seems to be a nod in that direction. The Juno chorus means you can produce Juno 106 type pads I suppose. However, if it's the same circuit from TC June-6 chorus pedal then it is not the same circuit as the original 106.

If it comes in at £699 then that's too much. Why didn't they just beef up the Model D to full size and turn it into a MiniMoog clone and sell it at the same price as the Odyssey. Or add presets and sell it for £499.

Hmm a bit foxed... like the guy says in the video "releasing too many synths".

Posted By: marino

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 11:11 PM

Originally Posted by Bill H.
I never wanted a paraphonic Minimoog, but always wished it came from the factory with oscillator sync. He's questioning the inclusion of a Juno chorus in lieu of delay and reverb, and so am I.

I'm totally with you, they included (good) multieffect on the Odissey, so why not on this one?! Or at least the Neutron delay.
About osc sync: Old Minis could be modified to produce sync. With four oscs, this could be even more desirable: Two oscillators in sync with an envelope or velocity changing the harmonic content by modulating the pitch of the syncronized osc, and two more oscillators left for detuning and stuff....

Originally Posted by Tusker
So to me, that leaves jam bands, electronic ensembles (or solo acts)... people who have the stage space for an additional one patch instrument, albeit with a huge sound. Add a lunchbox modular and feed the CV's on the back and it's quite a nice component of a modular rig. This instrument would work well for one of my jam band gigs where sonic exploration is desired but the synth plays the same role in every song.

You forgot the keyboard virtuoso from the prog era, able to change settings very quickly while playing, or in pauses: People like Patrick Moraz, Kerry Minnear, Vittorio Nocenzi... and for really complex reprogramming, you could always include a guitar or drum solo in the arrangement. grin


Posted By: analogika

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/25/19 11:25 PM

I was loving it, but when Nick turned up the emphasis at 17:35 and it lost most of the bottom end, I had a sad.
Posted By: GRollins

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 12:20 AM

Two first impressions based on the video review above:
1) Some of the pots seemed physically wobbly when he was pushing them from the side a bit.
2) I'm...I'm just not feelin' it. I have a Behringer Model D and love it. I was ready to be impressed, but I'm coming away with a little of the same feeling that I had after playing the Moog One. Nice, but I don't plan on asking Santa for one. Actually, I think if I was to somehow decide that I wanted to buy something from Behringer, I'd probably opt for a second Model D. Yes, I'm aware that the cumulative cost should be considered, but I got my first D for a little over $250 owing to a sale. I've seen reports recently of D's being sold for just under $200. Okay, so if I got, say, three Ds, starting from scratch, then that would be around $600 (assuming that I could still find them at that price or perhaps buy used). I've already got a sequencer. I've got a good delay that I think will also do chorus, although I only ever use it for delay. So then I poly-chain three Ds and run them via MIDI or perhaps CV from Euro stuff and I'm not far out of the running. If I use my Fatar critter that I built, I've got 76 keys, so I'm ahead there already, versus 37 keys.

Incidentally, my D stays in tune over more octaves than either of my Voyagers (one keyboard, one RME) and, yes, I've tuned both Voyagers. They were horrendously wonky when I got them. Now they track pretty well for, say, four octaves, maybe a little more. I haven't really made a study of it. But the D, out of the box, tracks pretty much the entire Fatar, with no tweaking.

I'll sleep on it. Maybe listen to some more demos. Maybe find one that I can physically touch and test drive it. But for now I'd probably go for another D or two if I felt the need to do all that.

Grey
Posted By: David Emm

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 12:34 AM

I like the form factor, but there have been so many variations, its now mostly a Lego thing: does it or does it not pile on enough LFOs, effects, colored LEDs, etc. to make the grade. I've owned a couple of Moogs; this version seems righteous to me, online sound limitations acknowledged. They were always part of a chain of things like noisy phasers. Effects really bring out the core voice. This angle on it seems poised to be hot-rodded like any other. Primary target: people who can't afford a Moog One, but still claw at the door like ladder-filter zombies for a decent taste of it.

As far as the market shape goes... when I first started dabbling, an old friend and I had a pile of mismatched high & low gear from several makers, including a gritty PAIA modular he built. Tell me if you think I'm wrong, but I suspect that quite a few people have a high end piece or two (Kronos, Nord), a couple of mid-range items like modules (Euro, tabletop or older 19" rackmounts) and then some scattered cheapo bits. This 'Mini' sits right between the second and third tiers, IMO. Objectively, the overall design is solid. (I'm unimpressed with paraphony as a bit of a parlor trick. Its mostly a string/organ/pad sort of thing that can be handled far better elsewhere.)

This applies to my software rig as well. I have some high end-ish things, several middle-type things and a few embarrassingy funny/ crappy items. As with hardware, I can still hit a key and unexpectedly hear the awful sound of C'thulu processing a big Italian meal. That's synthesis for you. love rolleyes
Posted By: Radagast

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 01:16 AM

It reminds me of a cross between a Minimoog and a Korg Mono/Poly. Still I think a Korg Minilogue is a better value.
Posted By: Bill H.

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 02:57 AM

Originally Posted by ChazKeys
Why didn't they just beef up the Model D to full size and turn it into a MiniMoog clone and sell it at the same price as the Odyssey.


Exactly my thoughts. After what Behringer did with the Odyssey, I feel a bit deflated. Just give me a D with a decent sized front panel that I can adjust without tweezers, a three octave full sized keyboard, and we're good. The Odyssey's Klark Teknik effects would have been icing on the cake.

If I get one (and I still may) it would be primarily for the same sorts of things I used a Minimoog for: the most badass lead synth ever. Set on top of a stack, it's got the look and hopefully it's got the sound. I just hope they get the filter overdrive problem figured out before production.
Posted By: AnotherScott

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 04:59 AM

If you're hoping to cover classic mini stuff, you may get bit by the 37 keys (the MM had 44). Four-voice makes 37 keys feel even tighter. (The MonoPoly had 44, too.) I'd have made it either 44 or 49. Then take advantage of the extra width to move the left panel controls (except wheels) up to the console, and have that piece detachable so you could also used it as a module.
Posted By: EricBarker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 08:48 AM

bOOOOg

...but in all seriousness, HOLY CRAP!
Posted By: mcgoo

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 04:14 PM

Originally Posted by EricBarker
...but in all seriousness, HOLY CRAP!


finally... a comment in this thread that doesn't make me go "Yikes, tough crowd!"
Posted By: ChazKeys

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 04:32 PM

Poly D listed on MusicStore in Germany for £598/$646 - more than I was hoping. That is £100 more than 2 Model Ds or 2 MS1s. When you look at the price of the MS1 and the Odyssey, which are full size clones i don't see a £250 price difference for 2 extra oscillators and paraphony. The Ody also has Klark Technic effects too which are very usable. Another comparison - this is the same price as a DeepMind 12.

Here some screen grabs

Attached picture Screenshot 2019-11-26 at 16.30.13.png
Attached picture Screenshot 2019-11-26 at 16.23.49.png
Posted By: Bill H.

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 04:43 PM

Originally Posted by mcgoo
Originally Posted by EricBarker
...but in all seriousness, HOLY CRAP!


finally... a comment in this thread that doesn't make me go "Yikes, tough crowd!"

I feel much better about it after watching this video:



So apparently in unison mode it behaves like a four osc mono synth, but dynamically allocates voices if you want to slip in a few chords here and there. For my purposes that may actually be useful.

Via USB you can address various utilities like pitch bend range and key priority (low, high, last) - which really helps make it practical these days.

I'm not happy about having to use patch cords for the synth to use key velocity and aftertouch, but at least you can do it.

As I said before this is not the way I would have souped up a Mini, but the design choices seem to be well thought out. Given the sexy wood case. $699 is reasonable. I imagine I'll pick one up when available.
Posted By: TechEverlasting

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 04:57 PM

I'm not sure if I'll want to spring for one of these or not. For the work I do the ability to save and load patches is essential, so I've already got a pair of Roland SE-02s which are awesome.

Nevertheless this is a really tempting toy and an amazing value of $699.00. I don't understand how anyone could look at this little miracle and come up with anything critical to say, I just hope Behringer keeps it up.
Posted By: ChazKeys

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 06:22 PM

Yes to that!
A bit or perspective ... you can buy 5 Poly Ds for the price of a Moog Model D reissue. And they both have wall warts!

Behringer have been spoiling us with their low prices and the Poly D might be viewed as a flagship product - it does look very good. The DeepMind 12 was £1000 when it was launched so I suppose the Poly D will come down in price. I wonder if they will ship in Europe before Christmas - wouldn't object if I found this under the tree!
Posted By: EricBarker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/26/19 07:54 PM

As other people have stated before, the wiring and cost of creating presets on an analog synth is NO SMALL FEAT, and would likely double the price of one of these. Yes, it's a big tossup, but it would force you to get REALLY GOOD at locking in tones very quickly. Since Behringer's goal is low cost, and the original mini didn't have presets, at those prices it's an obvious cut.
Posted By: marino

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/27/19 01:24 AM

Yes, I would have liked a multieffect, patch memory and all the other stuff we are all talking about.

At the same time, just imagine if this would have been the very first Behringer clone, a couple of years ago... a great-sounding Mini clone with *four* oscillators, keyboard, a sequencer, chorus, distortion, high pass filter, LFO etc. - for $699.....!!!

Feel better already? grin

Posted By: Al Coda

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/27/19 02:00 AM

Originally Posted by analogika
I was loving it, but when Nick turned up the emphasis at 17:35 and it lost most of the bottom end, I had a sad.


I´d say this is how MOOG ladder LP filters worked since ages.

I owned 3 Minimoog D, a Moog Source and a Moog Taurus 1,- and they all did more or less.
Still own 1 Minimoog D ...

Dunno how Memorymoog behaved though.

A.C.
Posted By: Al Coda

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/27/19 02:09 AM

Originally Posted by TechEverlasting
I'm not sure if I'll want to spring for one of these or not. For the work I do the ability to save and load patches is essential, so I've already got a pair of Roland SE-02s which are awesome.

Nevertheless this is a really tempting toy and an amazing value of $699.00. I don't understand how anyone could look at this little miracle and come up with anything critical to say, I just hope Behringer keeps it up.


There will come more sooner or later.
Street price isn´t most important IMO ...
I´m not interested in paraphonic synths and wait until they come up w/ real polysynths offering preset memory.
Then I´ll see if those will be stable and reliable ...

There are enough monophonic synths out there, w/ keyboards or MIDI/CV modules ...

A.C.
Posted By: jimkost2002

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/27/19 01:53 PM

I DO want to try one..... emphasis on “try”. After seeing the construction on the Boddy, I have high hopes. Didn’t care for the Boog, but I’m willing to give this a shot, although, as an old MiniMoog head, I felt disconcerted when, upon watching the SonicState vid, Nick lifted up that skinny azz panel and my thought bubble was “ I hope it doesn’t sound as thin as that panel”.
I’m just used to that thick Mini Chassis! LOL!
Posted By: Shutoku

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/29/19 01:40 AM

I find myself wanting it because it is full sized and looks and sounds like a minimoog which I've wanted for 40 years.

My conundrum is, I have a mono/poly which is fine for studio.
For live I have a reface CS, which is actually 8 voice polyphonic, has memory via iOS device, and honestly sounds pretty damned good, and once you get used to them the keys are fine for mono synth type playing.
Also the panel is so smartly streamlined that even without patch memory, it's very useable live.

So really....I just always wanted a minimoog. It's gonna be $1000 Canadian though, and since it's not on the "need" end of things, it would be a tough sell for the wife.
If it had patch memory, I'd risk the argument with the wife!
Posted By: MAJUSCULE

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/29/19 02:19 AM

Made me laugh.

Attached picture Para-D.jpg
Posted By: Jim Alfredson

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/30/19 09:49 AM

Dumb.
Posted By: Tusker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/30/19 04:04 PM

Originally Posted by marino
Originally Posted by Tusker
So to me, that leaves jam bands, electronic ensembles (or solo acts)... people who have the stage space for an additional one patch instrument, albeit with a huge sound. Add a lunchbox modular and feed the CV's on the back and it's quite a nice component of a modular rig. This instrument would work well for one of my jam band gigs where sonic exploration is desired but the synth plays the same role in every song.

You forgot the keyboard virtuoso from the prog era, able to change settings very quickly while playing, or in pauses: People like Patrick Moraz, Kerry Minnear, Vittorio Nocenzi... and for really complex reprogramming, you could always include a guitar or drum solo in the arrangement. grin


Absolutely, I didn't mention them and should have. laugh

It's just that in my neck of the woods, there is a demand for general noisemaking in jam bands, and not nearly as much in prog. I grew up with Emerson and am still completely in awe of his modular sound design on the fly. His genius didn't merely apply to the sound-design and orchestration, but also the choreography of sonic tricks without a complete patch memory system.

Here's to the trail blazers. cheers
Posted By: PianoMan51

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/30/19 04:53 PM

Of course Tony Banks had Peter Gabriel making up stories and ad-libbing songs to entertain the audience while Tony changed settings.
Posted By: AnotherScott

Re: So. The Poly D. - 11/30/19 05:03 PM

Tony didn't have to change many settings... his main synth back then was the Pro Soloist... presets! Emerson et al ameliorated the patch change problem by having multiple synths. A second Minimoog meant less patch changing on the one.
Posted By: MikeT156

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 12:00 AM

The new Poly D is an interesting instrument. The comment that the body of the panel was "thin" may have been in jest, but i could be that the use of Surface Mount components could be the reason that it is not a big WIDE Body Mini Moog. The Build Quality looks excellent. On the surface, the instrument sounds good, it does lack Sync, and of course, no Patch memory. All my KB's have patch memory, except my original Arp Odyssey Mark III. But then, I have the original manual I got with the synth when I bought it, and if I ever hook up my Studio Master Mixer to my PA again, I intend to play around with the Arp for kicks and giggles. There are a large number of programs in the manual to set up on the Arp, and I could amuse myself for a few days, playing around with it, its been a long time since I have turned my equipment on at all.


Mike T.
Posted By: EricBarker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 02:26 AM

Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Tony didn't have to change many settings... his main synth back then was the Pro Soloist... presets!

^ This! Tony was the Pro Soloist King. And it was an absolutely great decision at the time, IMO. The Pro Soloist sounds fantastic, and is a live-performance workhorse. From each preset, there's enough control to get a very good range of sounds, but at a fraction of the "dial in time". If behringer came out with a ProSoloist clone, I'd be there in a heartbeat. No idea how ARP 2600 performers got by. Joe Zowinul is probably my favorite keyboardist of all time, but I have NO IDEA how he navigated the 2600 in a live set, that thing is a BEAST. Obviously he had a couple, but still, he must have been FLYING on that thing to get it locked in. Mini and Odyssey are a lot more manageable, but still a pain. 2600 is nuts!
Posted By: mate stubb

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 02:47 AM

I dunno, it didn't seem that hard to me when I was rocking a modular live. You just know your synth well enough that you program as much in advance as possible, and learn to twist the knobs with precision to do the rest.

Regarding the comment about Emerson's modular - he had enough hardware that he had 3 basic patches going so no patch cables were changed during a show. He would turn up the particular voice he was using, and twist a couple of knobs maybe, but the majority of the control voltages came from a custom module which had presets.

Turn up a few mixer channels to bring in oscillators tuned to differing octaves, tweak the filter cutoff and resonance, maybe change an attack and decay or two, and you can drastically change the sound in the space of a few seconds. I used to be quite adept at it, but wouldn't want to have to do it now in my senior years...
Posted By: mcgoo

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 03:49 AM

For the Pink Floyd tribute band I'm in, I use my Multimoog for totally self indulgent reasons. There's something exciting about having to set things up quickly, on the fly and tweak as you go. Granted, it's not practical on everything, but I think a keyboardist who has never gigged with a synth that has no patch memory has missed out. Kinda like playing a Hammond sound with no drawbars.

I'm pretty jazzed about the Poly D. Will probably get one at some point.
Posted By: marino

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 06:49 AM

Originally Posted by Tusker
in my neck of the woods, there is a demand for general noisemaking in jam bands, and not nearly as much in prog.

Well, I didn't imply that a synth without patch memory could only be used in a prog context... just that it *is* possible, within certain limits, to tweak a Minimoog-style synth in real time. That's how I started, and as other have stated, it's a unique and immersive experience.
Posted By: Tusker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 08:07 AM

No such implication taken. smile

Agreed, It’s close to 100% sweet spot. I’m not playing Floyd, which would be a terrific fun gig. I am playing Zappa, and on some nights I screw up a tweak a bit and the Moog makes it ok.
Posted By: AnotherScott

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 03:32 PM

Originally Posted by mate stubb
Regarding the comment about Emerson's modular - he had enough hardware that he had 3 basic patches going so no patch cables were changed during a show. He would turn up the particular voice he was using, and twist a couple of knobs maybe, but the majority of the control voltages came from a custom module which had presets.

That's a good point. I don't remember seeing Emerson spend much time between songs adjusting synths. Between the two Minimoogs, and the modular which probably had enough modules to, itself, have multiple sounds "pre-patched" and able to be brought up at any time, he could easily have had 5 sounds ready to go without having to change a patch... and in those pre-CS80 days, 5 synth sounds could probably pretty much get him through the gig. By pre-patched, I mean, send some oscillators to a given filter and set of envelope and mixer input, while others go to others... and then your mixer module alone brings patches in and out as needed, which I think is the same as what you're saying. But I'm curious about your mention of a custom module which had presets... are you sure the modular had that? And in the scenario we're talking about, is it even needed?
Posted By: Tusker

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/01/19 03:51 PM

Originally Posted by AnotherScott
But I'm curious about your mention of a custom module which had presets... are you sure the modular had that? And in the scenario we're talking about, is it even needed?


Yes and yes. smile

There is a link above of Gene Stopp describing how Keith Emerson relied on the three approaches you mention.

1) presets,
2) a pre-fixed architecture and
3) live tweaking.

Clearly the link wan't visible enough, lol. laugh So here it is ....


link


"Ow! Twist my arm! Oh okay. Here goes: first, see the chapter in Mark Vail's "Vintage Synthesizers" book about this machine if you want physical details about what's where. Okay, the main console near the bottom has all the main sound-producing modules in it. First there are three VCO's, each made from a 921A Oscillator Driver/921B Oscillator Slave pair. Now traditionally there are two or three 921B's for each 921A, but in here it's different. Under the VCO's are two CV routing/Mixer console panels (model = Console Panel #3). VCO 1 and 2 are controlled by the CV routing on the leftmost one, and VCO 3 is by itself on the CV routing of the rightmost one. Each CV routing panel has four switches on it, for switch control of system-wide CV's to control the attached VCO's. On this system, CV1 is the keyboard, CV2 is the ribbon controller, CV3 the the output of the sample & hold, and CV4 is external (separate per panel on a 1/4" jack). The VCF a few modules over also has a CV routing panel, except on this one CV4-external is a voltaged-controlled reversible attenuator that is controlled by the programmer upstairs as well as the panel knob. All of these CV routing panels as well as the S-trigger routing panels are an important part of live sound changes - I'll get back to these later.

The Mixers in the two console panels under the VCO's are voltage-controlled by the programmer upstairs with Vac-Tecs. The sawtooth outputs of the VCO's go to one mixer, and the square outputs plus noise go to the other. Both mixer outputs go to the VCF (which is modded for multiple inputs). The output of the VCF goes to a VCA and envelope generator to provide the main lead sound output. The sine wave output of VCO 3 bypasses the VCF and goes to its own VCA and envelope generator. Another envelope generator goes to the VCF reversible attenuator mentioned above, and yet another envelope generator goes to the CV4 input on the console panel that controls VCO's 1 and 2. All envelope times are controlled by the programmer upstairs, with Vac-Tecs on the time constant pots, so you have to turn them all up or else the front panel will override the programmability.

The envelope generator that sweeps VCO's 1 and 2 is used for the "Hoedown" sound - some attack, all sustain, no release. The program for this sound must be selected - VCO 1 tuned to the root, VCO 2 tuned to the fifth, VCO 3 tuned to the root and not swept by the envelope because it's on a different console panel CV routing thing. This envelope, with a different patch, is also used in "Aquatarkus" live for the falling tone thing, with attack = zero, sustain = 0, and decay = long.

Keith had a certain technique to get his long climbing pitch sweeps. The trick is to start at the low end of the keyboard, turn portamento up all the way, and then "walk" up the keys slowly. You can't just hit a low key then a high one, because since this is exponential portamento the pitch will just zoom up. This way he controlled the slow climb rate. Also he played legato but lifted keys enough to cause S-trigger glitches which would fire off the envelopes randomly during the climb.

We can use "Aquatarkus" live (I think it's on side 3 of the vinyl version of "Welcome Back My Friends...") to demonstrate all this stuff. First, assume VCO's 1, 2, & 3 into the VCF into the VCA, no modulation, all EG times = 0, all sustains = max, VCO 3 sinewave VCA/EG off (via console panel S-trig switch). Then:

*Beginning of song, organ intro, synth lead with VCO's tuned root-fourth-fifth.

* Change preset to VCO unison w/filter sweep

* Guitar chord/feedback during synth silence for re-configuration - disconnect VCO's 1 and 2 from all CV's so they sit at a low droning fifth interval, sample & hold at low sample rate through heavy lag randomly changing the VCF cutoff for a background "WWOOOOWWW" effect, VCO 3 sine wave solo turned on to play over this. The sample & hold also slowly triggers the main sound envelope, which has a long release, so that the drone is sustained. This goes on for a while, sine wave theme is from Dick Hyman's "Minotour", I believe.

* Solo ends, short silence while VCO's 1 and 2 are re-connected to CV1, the sample & hold infulence on the VCF and S-triggers is shut off, and delayed vibrato is added from some modules in the expansion cabinet above the main one (921 VCO at low frequency, gate-delayed envelope generator and mod depth VCA) and the patch is changed to VCO's in unison with the filter wide open and envelope times zero.

* Modular and Minimoog played together, in the typical Emerson "stretch both arms out and play two keyboards across from each other at the same time" style. The Minimoog is on top of the Hammond L-100, across from the C3/Modular setup.

* Solo gets a little delayed while "Hoedown" envelope generator is kicked in on VCO 1 and 2 CV4, set for attack = 0 and long falling decay, and portamento is set to max for the "walk up the keyboard". The EG fires off once in a while during the climb.

* VCO 1 and 2 EG mod turned off, solo ends. You may notice that the vibrato gets left on all the way to the end of the song.

Okay now it may appear that I have devoted my entire waking life to the pursuit of figuring out old ELP solos, but that's not the case! Believe me! I just happen to remember all of this from about five years ago. Okay I'll go on.

Regarding the ribbon controller - flip on CV2 on all console panels and the ribbon controller takes over. Oh yeah don't forget to enable it on the S-trig panel as well or the thing won't make any noise. Anyway during the ribbon controller solo in "Tarkus" (side 2, after "Stones of Years", I forget the name of the part) there's some "ray gun" noises produced by the ribbon controller - the pitch starts high and falls rapidly like repeated envelope triggers with attack = 0, decay = tiny, and sustain = 0. Here's the real story:

On the Moog 956 Ribbon Controller there is plastic coating on the metal ribbon to insulate it to keep the holding capacitor charge from being discharged by your finger so the pitch doesn't droop. Well on Keith's ribbon there is a gouge take out of the insulation about 7/8 of the way up, so if you touch this part the pitch will fall as the cap gets discharged through your finger. If you're comfortably sitting in a nice cozy living room playing the Moog it will discharge slowly. If you're on stage under hot lights sweating like a pig it will discharge quite rapidly. Press the ribbon down to the current strip and then let it up but keep your finger on the ribbon, and this is the effect. Now I don't know it this insulation was scraped away intentionally or if the ribbon got run over by a road case one day....

There's a few other things, like the sequencers controlling another voice made out of modules above the main console, or more esoteric FM effects, that are more subject to speculation so I can't be specific about those patches. I could ask Keith about it but 1) he probably won't remember and 2) he probably doesn't WANT to remember. One does get sick of things after a while, after all, even big Moogs.

Alright enough typing for now. Hope this was interesting....

- Gene
gstopp@fibermux.com"



Posted By: Dr Mike Metlay

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/02/19 08:31 PM

Originally Posted by EricBarker
Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Tony didn't have to change many settings... his main synth back then was the Pro Soloist... presets!

^ This! Tony was the Pro Soloist King. And it was an absolutely great decision at the time, IMO. The Pro Soloist sounds fantastic, and is a live-performance workhorse. From each preset, there's enough control to get a very good range of sounds, but at a fraction of the "dial in time". If behringer came out with a ProSoloist clone, I'd be there in a heartbeat.

+1 on this. The Soloist, ProSoloist, and ProDGX were part of a small but vital class of synths in the early 1970s: small, portable analog monosynths with built-in presets, basic tweakability, and left-hand controls and keyboards designed for really expressive playing. Other examples include the Korg Sigma and Moog Multimoog and Minitmoog.

One other feature they all have in common is that the keyboards are not velocity-sensitive but do have pressure sensors (what Moog called the Force Bar). When playing an analog synth, I would much rather have this than velocity and no pressure, and I regard all synths with velocity and no pressure as non-starters. But then, I'm weird. grin
Posted By: uhoh7

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 12:29 AM

It is one gorgeous thing to my eyes.

I have the Deepmind 12 I got new for 515usd, I think. It is so awesome. Great build and fantastic variety of modulation. I bought it after looking all over for the best "first synth"---something good but based on fundamentals. I play with it every day, helped by a million tutorials on Y-tube. Very addicting....

For a lead synth I ordered the new gen-8 Stylophone--but don't have it yet. It's more in the "Neutron" category. Build the best 2019 analog without a worry to copy.

But I did just order a RD-8, also so Behringer hasn't lost me.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Behringer's biggest victim is plugin coders, not the current incarnations of the guys who made these back in the day. And of course they are grabbing a bigger piece of the whole pie.

But they have created a whole new line of standalone electronic instruments almost all of us can afford. A "Real Moog" will always be just that. Behringer in a way is making that point--I doubt we will ever see used prices fall for something like this, but SH-101, I think used prices have fallen.

I've heard so many great musicians rave about the 101, I think I might get one of them before a Poly D or D or Neutron.

It's springtime in analogworld.
Posted By: hazerkeys

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 04:19 PM

what does paraphonic really mean?? .. this new synth may meet my gig needs .. but still confused over the difference between para and poly (do know that paraphonic uses the one VCF , eg , etc .. so there is no re-triggering, etc) ... but if I play a 4 note chord in a paraphonic situation ... does that mean that each note of that chord is just one of the 4 ocsilators and thus will sound in accordance to however that osc is configured ???
Posted By: Randelph

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 05:31 PM

So, REAL synths are analog, but being able to call up a preset is a digital capability. How hard / expensive is it to implement preset capability, is that why many of these new synths from B are no presets boards?

As a keyboard player with little analog synth experience, its a no-brainer to have presets, of course everyone would want them. Was surprised to read in this thread that many prefer the no preset boards, but of course you could have presets and just not use them. For the rest of us, not having presets is a definite no-buy.
Posted By: J. Dead

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 05:55 PM

Imagine a simple volume pot. Turning it changes the resistance and modifies the signal. Now suppose you want to be able to save and recall a position. Now instead of just a simple pot directly affecting the signal, you need a voltage controlled amplifier to change the volume. The pot sweeps a control voltage, which feeds a A/D converter so that it can be sampled and stored into a memory location for later recall. That value is then put through a D/A converter to convert back to a voltage to control the VCA that replaced the original volume pot, and hopefully the new circuit sounds and responds the same as when it was just a pot.

By comparison, a digital synth is already basically just software. Changing a patch just means a lime of code to change the value of a bunch of variables.
Posted By: AnotherScott

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 06:06 PM

Originally Posted by Randelph
So, REAL synths are analog, but being able to call up a preset is a digital capability. How hard / expensive is it to implement preset capability
It's an interesting question. I think it depends on just how analog the analog board is. There are analog boards that have DCOs (digitally controlled oscillators, instead of voltage controlled oscillators), and there are analog boards that have digital envelopes, and creating presets for those things would be easy. But the more "analog" your components are, the less you can create digital preset recall for them. So you can design your analog moog-alike with digitally controlled oscillators and envelopes and give it presets, but a purist might say, well, then it's no longer a true Minimoog design, you're changing a lot of the internal circuitry. Maybe this is some of the difference between the Behringer D and the Roland SE-02.

The CS80 was analog with a handful of presets, but each preset was a miniature panel duplicating all the sliders... even the presets were defined by physical, analog controls. The Oberheim SEM modules had an available preset module, but it was limited in what it could control, and IIRC, didn't actually store "settings" for the attached analog components, but "offsets" for them. I've mentioned the Minimoog preset box that was made by Sequential Circuits, which sent out different voltages to the Mini's CV ins and replaced the Mini's envelopes with its own. (A voltage controlled filter can't directly respond to a digital preset command, but you could create a digital preset box that, in turn, could be programmed to send different voltages to the VCF.) So there have been creative ways to do it, but to answer your question, not easily, cheaply, or completely, depending on just how "analog" your synth design is to begin with.

I'm at the edge of my own knowledge on this one, so if I got something wrong here, I expect someone will chime in...
Posted By: Randelph

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 06:28 PM

So, it might, for example, add $100 to the price of these all analog synths with no presets, once R&D, components and extra assembly costs are also factored in. A compelling reason for B to stick to no preset design on some of their synths. And it makes sense that digital DCOs and VCFs could slightly change your interaction with a sound as you encounter the built-in limitation of digital with its staircase stepping of values.

Thanks for the overviews!
Posted By: GRollins

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 06:42 PM

Actually an ordinary JFET does a pretty good imitation of a resistor if you tickle it right. Bipolar transistors can be used in a pinch, but JFETs are a better match.

Note that I haven't got a schematic for, say, the Moog Voyager to see how they actually implemented their patch memory. I've been inside my Voyagers while tuning them, but didn't think to look at the rest of the circuit while I was in there. Tuning the things took up all the time I had available that day.

Grey
Posted By: mate stubb

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 07:20 PM

Presetifying an analogue synth requires lots of separate VCAs at the control points, not just simple resistors.
Posted By: davedoerfler

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 07:26 PM

Originally Posted by mate stubb
Presetifying

I like this word. wink
Posted By: SteveCoscia

Re: So. The Poly D. - 12/03/19 10:26 PM

Originally Posted by mate stubb
I dunno, it didn't seem that hard to me when I was rocking a modular live. You just know your synth well enough that you program as much in advance as possible, and learn to twist the knobs with precision to do the rest.
Back then, we did what we did because there wasn't any alternative... we were all in the same boat in terms of having to tweak knobs between songs. My band knew which songs required an extra few seconds of preparation. Making synth adjustments between songs was an intrinsic skill and just as important as the notes we played.

And then there were songs that required knob tweaking, with a spare hand, while we were playing. It was just part of the job.
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