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Studiologic Sledge 2.0


SynMike
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Ive had this for 10 days. I ended up buying it without trying it. The store had it on clearance for cheap, but packaged in the box ready to go. I decided to rely on the 30 day return policy. I wish it was the black one with reverse keys, but this is only one they had and they sat on it for a long time so a black model would have cost several hundred more as a special order.

 

Ive put in just a few hours with it. Life is busy. For the first hour of play I was pretty convinced it was going back. The factory patches sounded terrible. It is no wonder the dealer sat on this one forever and then dumped it. Then...

 

A couple of days ago I found a system setting that was making it sound sucky. If you have the pedal input set to control filter, but do not have a pedal connected, the filter cutoff is offset very high on factory presets. Even if you turned the cutoff knob all the way down you could not close the filter properly. When I turned that setting off, I found much better factory sounds overall.

 

Okay, this has some quirks for sure. No master patch volume so if you want to balance patches you have to use the mixer inputs to adjust each oscillator volume. If you create a split or layered patch, you can only edit the upper sound. The effects are just passable. Aftertouch can only control whatever you set the mod wheel to. The only source for mod wheel and aftertouch is an LFO. It will take some time to learn how to work around some of the oddities. The arpeggiator knob does not turn n the arpeggiator, but brings up a display where you can turn it on and off with the edit knob. Supposedly this new OS has faster EG times. But the attack time at minimum still seems to lack some snap. I expect to bump into more quirks or annoyances as I get to know it.

 

Quirks aside, I have decided to I keep it and Im starting to create sounds that I like.

 

When using only 2 oscillators it falls short of my Prophet-600 and JP-8 for typical analog stuff. But Im not looking for more of those basic polysynth sounds. Im appreciating it for 3 oscillator sounds and wavetable stuff. I still have to upgrade from 2.1 to 2.5 OS , then play with the sample import software. There may be some interesting FM sounds, too.

 

I arrived at this in a quest for a new synth with 5 octave keyboard. Prophet Rev 2 or Prophet 12 are also on my wanted list. Their vastly more capable modulation routings and punchier sound will fit alongside this just fine.

 

This is not what I would classify as a _great_ instrument; it has too many odd quirks and a pretty simple voice architecture. But at the low price its pretty darn good. The interface is a good part of the value. Its fun to use. I would not recommend this for everyone. But for someone like me who has a lot of synths already, this is a unique addition that gives me some new sounds.

 

Mike.

 

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Mike Kent

- Chairman of MIDI 2.0 Working Group

- Co-Author of USB Device Class Definition for MIDI Devices 1.0 and 2.0

- Member of MIDI Association Technical Standards Board

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I owned one for a while, but after a few months I got bored with it. Every patch I created had a certain bland "sameness" in its basic character. Maybe I didn't get deep enough into it, but there wasn't a whole lotta "deep" to get into. Just wasn't for me. Sold it.
Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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IIRC, all its knobs send MIDI CC, which would also make it a really nice soft synth controller.

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  • 1 year later...
I owned one for a while, but after a few months I got bored with it. Every patch I created had a certain bland "sameness" in its basic character. Maybe I didn't get deep enough into it, but there wasn't a whole lotta "deep" to get into. Just wasn't for me. Sold it.

 

I'm going to guess that you did not dig into it enough. My first encounter with the Sledge was pretty bad - the presets were horrible for my taste, and it showcased barely anything that this synth excels at. The worst part was that my first encounter was after I had bought it sight-unseen. Based on the presets alone I thought I had flushed a good bunch of $$$ down the cr@pper! It didn't take long before I realized I was mistaken and the presets only barely touched the surface.

 

It is a very capable VA and the knobs alone put it way above many contenders, because it really is so bloody easy to program almost anything. Grit, warmth, brittle, analog, FM ⦠it's all in there.

 

http://analoguesque.x10host.com/Studiologic-Sledge-II/

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