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Suggestions for 1U rack analog like synthesizer


Alkeys

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Hey guys I'm looking at a Roland MKS-50 and a Novation A-Station. I need something with an analog sound and fast and snappy envelopes with PWM. No rompler. Do you know which one between the MKS-50 and the A-Station sounds better? I used to have a Nord Lead and I regret selling it as it really had a great sound. Kinda looking to replace that sound but in a 1U rack. Any suggestions or advice? Thanks
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The A-Station's going to do a lot more than the MKS-50, plus it has knobs. Don't get an MKS-50 unless you can find a PG300 to go with it. Also a worthwhile consideration: Oberheim Matrix 1000, which is an inexpensive 1U version of the matrix 6. There is free software out there for programming it. Side by side, I'd probably go for the A-station.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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A-Station, but it's analog modelling, not true analog, in case that matters at all.

 

The Novation has: Arpeggiator, Resonant filter (12db/24db switchable) compared to the MKS50's 24db non-resonant filter.

 

The Roland has a better display (2-digit display on the Novation), but the Novation smokes it for real-time control due to the plethora of knobs on it.

 

It's a no-brainer from where I stand. There's no way an MKS50 is going to give you ANYTHING remotely resembling the Nord Lead (mind you, neither is the Novation, really, but between the two, the Novation's miles ahead).

 

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Thanks for the advice.

 

When I say I'm after a Nord Lead type sound what I'm after is what I used the Nord Lead for-

a Minimoog type sound like 2 oscillators, 1 of them ever so slightly detuned so it phases, add a bit of PWM. -That's what I'm looking to accomplish.

 

I really would like to buy a Nord Lead keyboard again but I'm so paranoid about repairs. Seems like if you have a key that breaks or something, it's near impossible to find anyone that can fix them. So I'm taking that into consideration.

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A-Station, but it's analog modelling, not true analog, in case that matters at all.

 

FYI - the MKS-50 and Matrix 1000 use DCO's, though I guess you can technically still call them analog. The OB filter is way better than the MKS50, but EG's may not be snappy enough for you.

 

Either way - A-Station would be the way to go.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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A-Station, but it's analog modelling, not true analog, in case that matters at all.

 

FYI - the MKS-50 and Matrix 1000 use DCO's, though I guess you can technically still call them analog.

 

I didn't want to get into splitting hairs; given the phrasing of the original question I was guessing the OP wasn't clear on the difference... ;)

 

A quick visit to a site like VintageSynth.com can answer most questions about gear like this... :thu:

 

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I can think of one other single space analog synth. The MS6 Cheetah. Very similar to the OB M1000 but the MS6 is multitimbral. Also, you can program the MS6 from the front panel. Not possible on the M1000.

 

I have had a M1000 since late 80's. You can get real close to Moog sounds. But all those knobs on the bass station sure put it in the lead.

 

MPCX, RD-800, Vsynth, Matrix 12
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I have love and use the A-Station in one way or another on most every track I work on. There is nothing on the market in its price range that offers the same quality and sound.

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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OT, I'm just reminiscing.

 

You didn't mention it needing to be inexpensive.

If you can find a Marion Systems MSR-2 in good condition (or any condition for that matter), you might really like it.

It is hands down the most regretted rack piece I let go of about 8 years ago.

 

 

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Another vote for A-Station -- for your purposes.

 

While you're at it, look into BassStation, which is true analog.

 

I'm not going to take the time right now to hunt down all the version differences, but they're easy to find on the web.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another thought: for Minimoog type lead sounds how would a

Yamaha FS1R or a Access Virus Rack compare to the Novation A-Station? Any favorites out of the

 

Yamaha FS1R

Access Virus Rack

Novation A-Station

 

Again all I'm looking for is something that does good 2 oscillator lead sounds and has PWM.

 

Low noise and low aliasing

 

Again thanks for all the opinions and thoughts!!

Obviously the Studio Electronics ATC-1 would probably be the best choice for what I'm trying to do but I'm trying to keep my rack from getting too huge so I'm keeping it at 6 space and I only have room for a 1 space synth. Thank you for all thoughts and opinions-they really help!

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The FS1r is radical, but is FM not analog. I felt so sad to sell it, but it just wasn't viable in a live situation, as you can't create and store performance setups and doing so in real-time involves menu-hopping.

 

The NI FM7 to FM8 upgrade, which brings it from DX7 emulation to near-SY77 emulation, made it clear that NI will likely aim for FS1r emulation in the next release. So I gave it up.

 

As wonderful as it sounds, I don't think you would be happy with it for your stated purposes (though maybe as an exploratory instrument you would enjoy it).

 

And don't forget the BassStation which I mentioned earlier, as I didn't clarify that it isn't just for basses. Also for leads. But if you need polyphony for pads, the A-Station is a better bet. Do your research first on model variants so you know what you're getting and what it's worth. A good start is Vintage Synth Explorer.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Also, I'm not going to take the time to do the research on this, but check into Novation's full model history, because they did do a couple of minimoog filter emulations in at least one or two of their models. It might well tbe the closest thing to your needs in the required form factor of a 1u rack.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Is there a lot of aliasing in the A-Station? Never used Novation stuff before. I've been trying to listen to K-Station and A-Station demos online but everything has got tons of effects on it and is always trance oriented- I'll be using it for something completely opposite- more like 70s jazz fusion leads.
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By 70's jazz fusion leads, do you mean more along the lines of Jan Hammer? If so, the A-Station, whether or not aliasing is a problem (I only have recent direct experience with K-Station and BassStation), might be too clinical for your purposes.

 

In fact, if you can spare an extra rack unit in size, you might want to take that earlier suggestion of one of the two main mono-synths from Studio Electronics. You might even do OK with an earlier rev, which can be had fairly cheap on the used market.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Come to think of it, the Tetr4 is probably the sound you're going for, or maybe the Mopho, but neither is rack-mount. Both have a distortion circuit that can work well for guitar-like synth leads.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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