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Monophonic synth the ticket?


David Quillin

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Hello, I play in a guitar-rock oriented band, primarily using a Nord Electro 2 for organ and Rhodes sounds. I tried a DSI Prophet 08 synth for a while but couldn't make it fit in the band very well. The polyphonic sounds always had a bit of a "cheese" factor with the music we do. I'm sure a better player could have made it work in that setting, but I never could. I liked the aggressive mono lead sounds much better, but eventually sold it. I also was not a fan of the user interface. Since selling it though, I find I miss having a synth, and coupled with GAS, I'm now considering a Little Phatty. It seems to have the same great lead sounds and what appears to be a better user interface. With the band I would use it primarily for solos and occasionally pads, and at home for base lines and songwriting, and playing with the arpeggiator. My question is, am I just falling victim to the desire for a new toy, or have any of you had fun integrating a mono synth into rock music?
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I love integrating a Korg MS-20 monophonic analog synth into rock and experimental. It works really well, getting anything from biting leads to textural filter sweeps to odd bloops and noises to softer melodic lines. I love it, and it gets the most use of any keyboard in my studio.
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Lots of threads on various Monosynths out there.

 

YOu really have to get inside a monosynth and walk around for a bit.

 

My Triton was on the fritz and in repair for about 3 weeks. During that period, I practiced entirely on my MEK.

 

kind of like depravation experiment. :)

 

In a way - woodwinds, reeds, and brass are monophonic instruments (unless you are charlie parker). No harm in being a mono keyboardist for a week. ;)

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Much of the rock music I first got into was built around mono synth lead work. That is what drew me to it originally.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Hello, I play in a guitar-rock oriented band, primarily using a Nord Electro 2 for organ and Rhodes sounds. I tried a DSI Prophet 08 synth for a while but couldn't make it fit in the band very well. The polyphonic sounds always had a bit of a "cheese" factor with the music we do. I'm sure a better player could have made it work in that setting, but I never could. I liked the aggressive mono lead sounds much better, but eventually sold it. I also was not a fan of the user interface. Since selling it though, I find I miss having a synth, and coupled with GAS, I'm now considering a Little Phatty. It seems to have the same great lead sounds and what appears to be a better user interface. With the band I would use it primarily for solos and occasionally pads, and at home for base lines and songwriting, and playing with the arpeggiator. My question is, am I just falling victim to the desire for a new toy, or have any of you had fun integrating a mono synth into rock music?

 

Buy it and try it. Me, I have no issues with the P08, since with a little bit of knowledge (pressing one button) suddenly it is one big phat MF'ing mono synth. RTM.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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If you can download a softsynth and run it on your computer and play around with it I would think you could use it as a great tool to learn the basics of analog synthesis. Something like one of these free ones.

 

 

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Something like one of these free ones.

 

Better this version of MinimogueVA

http://home.no/gunnare/index.htm

 

24dB VCF,- the old one is 12dB !

There´s a oversampled version too, but not officially released.

Take care, the presets are still the ones w/ 12dB Filter in use.

To get the better Minimoog emulation sound, make your own presets using the 24dB filter.

 

ARPPE2600Va is a very old version and aliases.

A much better solution is Sonigen Modular (like NORD Modular).

http://sonigen.com/

 

A.C.

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With the band I would use it primarily for solos and occasionally pads, and at home for base lines and songwriting, and playing with the arpeggiator. My question is, am I just falling victim to the desire for a new toy, or have any of you had fun integrating a mono synth into rock music?

 

I think you will find a monophonic synth very limiting. You won't be able to play any pads with it.

 

Try some of the freebie VSTi's listed above and see what you think first.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Great input, thank you! But really, can't do pads with mono? Maybe I am using the term wrong -- I mean just holding a tone that only changes with the chords beneath the other instruments, to fill out the sound somewhat. On the Prophet there were a couple great mono sounds I could use that way, and having the filter sweep while I did was a nice effect...
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Great input, thank you! But really, can't do pads with mono? Maybe I am using the term wrong -- I mean just holding a tone that only changes with the chords beneath the other instruments, to fill out the sound somewhat. On the Prophet there were a couple great mono sounds I could use that way, and having the filter sweep while I did was a nice effect...

 

That's a drone. :)

 

You'll pick up the lingo soon enough.

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Something like one of these free ones.

 

Better this version of MinimogueVA

http://home.no/gunnare/index.htm

 

24dB VCF,- the old one is 12dB !

There´s a oversampled version too, but not officially released.

Take care, the presets are still the ones w/ 12dB Filter in use.

To get the better Minimoog emulation sound, make your own presets using the 24dB filter.

 

ARPPE2600Va is a very old version and aliases.

A much better solution is Sonigen Modular (like NORD Modular).

http://sonigen.com/

 

A.C.

 

That is where I downloaded my MinimogueVA. Thanks a lot for the tip on the Sonigen Modular. I will check one out. I'm planning on running Gunnar's commericial soft synths live, Memorymoon and Messiah.

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Hello, My question is, am I just falling victim to the desire for a new toy, or have any of you had fun integrating a mono synth into rock music?

 

On Sat I used my Yamaha CS-10 http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/cs10.php I bought new, for the first time in 25 years.

Did a few solos on it and had a bit of fun!! I don't think the audiences around here

have heard that sound live in the same amount of time! My bandmates enjoyed it also. Victim of desire....probably :blush: fun.........absolutely!!! :laugh:

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That is where I downloaded my MinimogueVA. Thanks a lot for the tip on the Sonigen Modular. I will check one out.

 

Well, the youtube vid showed the older version of MinimogueVA and is available from the old Glenn Steger site too,- so I thought it was a good idea to post the actual MinimougeVA site again.

 

Sonigen Modular sounds surprisingly good here for a freebie and it´s a cool learning tool for anyone doing the 1st steps w/ modular synthesis.

And it´s lite on CPU too.

 

I'm planning on running Gunnar's commericial soft synths live, Memorymoon and Messiah.

 

Maybe you´re aware I was programming advisor for Messiah when it was in developement, so I´m getting all the synths and test ´em.

A few days ago I got the latest versions and Messiah now has updated OSCs (which don´t offer the typical subtractive synthesis waveforms only),- it sounds really good and CPU consumption kept as low as it was always.

It´s a ideal synth for live usage and far more than a Prophet 5 emulation.

 

Nonetheless, we´ll see the oversampled versions of all the 3 commercial synths soon, which will be more improvement soundwise, - but also rise the CPU consumption a bit then.

 

A.C.

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Great input, thank you! But really, can't do pads with mono? Maybe I am using the term wrong -- I mean just holding a tone that only changes with the chords beneath the other instruments, to fill out the sound somewhat. On the Prophet there were a couple great mono sounds I could use that way, and having the filter sweep while I did was a nice effect...

 

That is indeed a drone, and filter sweeps are what I mentioned in the first response to this thread. You can play some stuff that is really textural, atmospheric, or kinda serves as "pads", although I associate pads with being polyphonic (right or wrong).

 

There's really a lot you can do with a monophonic analog synth, as as I mentioned, that gets more use than any other keyboard in my arsenal, and I have a good number of keyboards, ranging from other analog synths t pianos to a Proteus III to a Nord Electro 2 (that probably gets used the second most around here) and some digital keyboards and virtual keyboards that come with Pro Tools 10.

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I can easily draw attention away from the Guitars and Bass in my group with the Solaris doing leads and comps/pads, but I really punish the Bassist with my little old 3U SE-1.

It has 3 x Oscillators, the Snappy resistor trick and the Distortion switch, and Leads and Bass are unequaled with any Native synth, that's why I use more hardware than most of my Keyboards buddys.

They suffer in ticky-tacky BOOV_BOOV chicky bands. So they have ne need for powerful Analog sounds.

I got mine for 700 USD on ebay and the company has great support and upgrades.

I have tried to convice the owner to use the SE-1 design polyphonically, but it would require 8U worth of space, and these days they are trying to sell their Code synths, which are excellent, but I prefer the 3rd Oscillator as it is the punishing blow I need for the various Rock Gods I work with...

My Bassist has kept the same SVT rig and maintained it since the late '70s. We went toi GC to try and A/B test the new amps and cabs, and they are nothing like the old vintage amps. He has a '76 PBass too, and the combo drowned out the new 8 x 10 Ampeg cabs using a new " Fender " Bass.

But even still, he gives me the evil eye on occasion when the SE-1 holds onto a FIlter and sweeps it.

 

Well action speaks louder than words. Here's Solaris with the SE-1.

 

 

Magnus C350 and a TV Dinner Tray Stand

 

http://soundcloud.com/you/sets

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I find the Prophet 08 user interface pretty straightforward, but if you're new to synthesis, I can see how it would be a tad overwhelming. There are lot of knobs on that bad boy. For some, that's an advantage. Personally, I think the opposite is true when comparing it to the Little Phatty's interface. I don't mean to say the Little Phatty is difficult to use, because it's not, but I prefer a knob for any function I need to be at my fingertips. The less menu-diving involved in the sound creation, the happier I am.

 

Did you ever try unison mode on the Prophet? It engages all 8 voices at once and it makes the thing SCREAM. The Prophet can definitely be a mono beast. It's the best of both worlds really.

 

Overall, though, I think it's more the player that makes the sound more than the synth itself. The synth is just a tool. Really the best thing to do is find a local shop that carries a selection of synthesizers and try some out to see if something feels right to you, because they're all different.

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the best thing to do is find a local shop that carries a selection of synthesizers and try some out to see if something feels right to you, because they're all different.

 

That is easier said than done, depending on where you live.

 

Between two Guitar Centers, one Sam Ash store (over an hour drive), and a couple of "mom & pop" stores, there aren't many real synths to look at around here.

 

:taz:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Maybe you´re aware I was programming advisor for Messiah when it was in developement, so I´m getting all the synths and test ´em.

A few days ago I got the latest versions and Messiah now has updated OSCs (which don´t offer the typical subtractive synthesis waveforms only),- it sounds really good and CPU consumption kept as low as it was always.

It´s a ideal synth for live usage and far more than a Prophet 5 emulation.

 

Nonetheless, we´ll see the oversampled versions of all the 3 commercial synths soon, which will be more improvement soundwise, - but also rise the CPU consumption a bit then.

 

A.C.

 

I did not know any of that. Thanks for the information.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Monosynths instill good discipline in playing and arranging.

 

My feeling is that most songs benefit from using a number of monosynths and/or monosynth patches vs. overusing polysynths.

 

I always like my songs better when I reharmonize them, split up block chords and the like, and also replay them with monophonic limitations so that I am more conscious and careful of how long I hold a note.

 

Polyphonic synths and patches let you get away with holding a note too long, which can muddy things up in terms of articulation and phrasing.

 

Not to mention that a variety of monosynth patches adds more interest to an arrangement and helps to make each verse and chorus repetition distinct.

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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the best thing to do is find a local shop that carries a selection of synthesizers and try some out to see if something feels right to you, because they're all different.

 

That is easier said than done, depending on where you live.

 

Between two Guitar Centers, one Sam Ash store (over an hour drive), and a couple of "mom & pop" stores, there aren't many real synths to look at around here.

 

:taz:

 

That's a fair point. Where I live, there just happens to be a mom-and-pop operation that's renowned for it's keyboard selection. They have everything. I guess I take that for granted. I gotta imagine though that most Guitar Centers and such would at least would carry things like the Little Phatty and Prophet 08 right?

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I gotta imagine though that most Guitar Centers and such would at least would carry things like the Little Phatty and Prophet 08 right?

 

Sam Ash does stock the "Phatty" (but it takes over an hour to get there).

 

Sadly, I've never seen any Dave Smith products there or at either of the Guitar Centers nearby.

 

:facepalm:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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