Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Wow. It is really hard to choose a modern poly (VA) synth with all of these choices.


Recommended Posts

I have a Jupiter X and while I love the sound, the interface is not very intuitive. The problem is there is so much shoved inside. If it was just a Jupiter 8 clone it would be easy to manage. But with all of those engines and thousands of patches, well, my MODX+ has a much simpler system for searching patches and creating a favorites list that is quick and efficient to use. I have absolutely no intention of selling my Jupiter X, but I do want another synth or two that is more immediate. My chosen price range is $1500-$2700. There are some quality choices in this range. So, I have been looking at ...

 

Hydrasynth Deluxe - A year ago I really did not like what I was hearing from this synth when browsing YouTube. But it seems that people are getting better at programming this beast, and being able to layer two sounds really helps. I think the interface is very intuitive, and the Deluxe may be the best deal in synths. This is probably the leader, for now.

 

Novation Summit - I always wanted a Peak but never felt it was a good value. When the Summit came out I was very interested, but wow, it took a long time to fix the issues and finally release revision 2. I'm sure the passing of the original developer had a lot to do with the slow pace of bug fixes. Now, it seems to be a prime instrument. I like what I hear from it. I've heard comments that it has a dark sound, but what I am hearing on YouTube does not seem dark at all. Right now this is a very close second in my choices.

 

Sequential - I always wanted a Prophet 5 in the 80's but never got around to it. When DSI started releasing polyphonics I think I bought four different models. None really felt like a Prophet to me and all ended up being sold. I'be been researching the Prophet 5/10 and the Rev 2. The Prophet 5/10 seems to finally have that sound but with no modern features. The Rev 2 has plenty of modern features, but relies on DCO's. I'm not going there again. The wild card is the Trigon-6. I've heard people say it sounds like the MemoryMoog. Others compare it to an Oberheim. No one that I have seen refers to it as a modern Prophet, but it does have my attention. Right now this is the Sequential synth that I would choose, though a Prophet 10 module is very tempting.

 

Arturia - The PolyBrute has a lot of dedicated users but I have to be honest. Just looking at it, it does not speak to me. Everything is packed so close to make room for that big matrix area. I'll just move on.

 

As for the others, Korg Prologue looks interesting but is already out of production. The poly Moogs and the new Oberheim is too expensive. Model Electronics, I worry about future support. 3rd Wave, interesting, expensive.

 

Any opinions? Anyone else going through this journey?

 

 

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites



One of the reasons I bought the Prophet 5 desktop was that fateful visit to Chuck Levin's.  All those nice analog polysynths in one room yet it was the P5 that kept calling me back.  That particular sound/sonic signature simply outweighed any concerns about mono vs. stereo output, how many LFOs, modulation routings, etc.... for me personally.   I do get though why others opt for a synth with a greater range of options for sound design.

 

The other synth that called me back yet was not analog was the Hydrasynth Deluxe.  The little sibling Hydrasynth Explorer represented less of a commitment in space and cost so I ended up getting the Explorer.  It has sound design capabilities up the yin yang, as my late grand uncle would say.   So it ain't no Prophet 5, but that's fine coz I got the real thing now, and it can do all kinds of sounds the P5 can't.

 

Despite the announcements of OB-X8, Trigon, etc. I'm very much GAS free when it comes to polysynths now.  I have other units that do good enough VA tones to my ear - MC-707, Opsix, the synths included with Push 3, etc..  Kind of like guitars - I thought i'd save money for one custom built do-it-all guitar, but instead I ended up with my little collection of guitars, each of which has its own sound and playing experience, and it turns out I like it that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The power of the Rev2 is the modulation matrix.  I don't mind DCOs.  DCOs require less maintenance.  I have vintage synths in the herd right now that are not really usable on the job. Sometimes if you change the pitch range on a vintage analog that is in tune it will go badly out of tune if the oscillators need recalibrated.   The Rev2 has the slop knob to mimic old VCO squirreliness.  Just a little bit is okay I guess but I'm not personally a fan of the slop knob.    I don't think DCO vs VCO is a big deal either way in a live in a crowded mix but that is just me. But I must admit ... shredding a Memorymoog with the 18 vintage oscillators in unison mode is glorious.... if it is well maintained and in decent calibration.   And an added plus is those 18 oscillators will heat your house in the winter.

 

You already own a Jupiter X.  That may be my favorite current VA but I grew up with Roland synth slider interfaces. 

  • Haha 1

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, RABid said:

Arturia - The PolyBrute has a lot of dedicated users but I have to be honest. Just looking at it, it does not speak to me. Everything is packed so close to make room for that big matrix area. I'll just move on.

 

I'd recommend giving the PolyBrute another look.  The layout has never felt crowded or crammed to me. The 1st time I sat down in front of it I spent 20-30 getting lost in sonic exploration.  I went thru only 2 actual patches because I spent so much time tweaking.  It's very inviting.  The ease of assigning anything anywhere is addictive. The PB Connection software is very cool and makes managing patches a breeze. There are excellent tutorials to help you get started.  3 years later I can still get lost in tweaking nirvana, but I can also reach for it and quickly dial up what's in my head. My two cents,  because you asked!

  • Like 2

Custom Music, Audio Post Production, Location Audio

www.gmma.biz

https://www.facebook.com/gmmamusic/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The polysynth that I would buy is the one I actually bought a while ago, the Waldorf Iridium Keyboard. I think it's one of the most complete instruments on the present market. The new, compact Core version is smaller and less expensive if you can do without the polyAT keyboard. I sold the Hydrasynth and the Q to get the keyboard version; the Core didn't exist at the time. I personally use the encoders 90% of the time, so I wouldn't miss all the pots that the keyboard version has.

 

However, if you are after the analog sound, just get an analog synth. The new 12-voice Polybrute sounds tempting, but it's not out yet. Also, consider that the Polybrute is *very* heavy. And presumably, the new version is going to go over your budget.

I would take a look at the Take 5. It sounds *very* good. It has a deep mod matrix, and the keyboard, though short, has a great feel. I have played the Trigon and loved it, but I don't think the price difference is worth it.

 

There are a few VAs on the market, but frankly, I'm not crazy about any of them. I have heard the KingKorg Neo and I was underwhelmed. The Iridium can do better VA in my opinion, plus a million other things.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've owned Hydrasynth, Novation Peak and most recently the Take 5. I’ve kept only the Hydrasynth because I realized I hate pots. You load a preset and then you have really no clue about the actual pot values. Seems like not a big issue but to me it is since I always want to dissect sounds and I’m a lot about programming. And even if you match values (which is a tedious process), on the Peak some of the envelope controls were shared between two of the envelopes, etc. I believe there was a similar situation with the Take 5 but can’t remember which one. If you’re mostly a preset player with only occasional touch-up, then I guess it won’t be an issue. 
 

Besides, polyphony of 5 is just too low for me. Having no FX is another deal breaker for me. I love modulating FX and having no FX on an expensive Prophet 5 is an odd decision to me. Also, I’m a heavy aftertouch user. Not necessarily poly but even with channel one, I prefer smooth control. The one in the Take 5 was not smooth. Not sure how that is in the Summit but I doubt it can be as good as the Hydra. 
 

However, as you correctly observed, it’s a bit harder to make the Hydra sound analog compared to the pure analog synths. But I’ve learnt all the tricks and it’s not a big deal to me anymore, the Hydra can sound very analog too. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I returned the NI S49 (see other thread on this fiasco) and replaced it with a Hydrasynth Deluxe. That takes care of the poly aftertouch. I still plan to get one more unit. Summit and PolyBrute are in the lead if I go the keyboard route. But I am also considering module versions of the Prophet 10, Trigon 6 or Rev 2 16 voice. I had not considered the Waldorf. Sweetwater carries the core but it is backordered. I’ll have to check it out.

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of all those I own the Summit and really like it.  It was a close thing between that and the Rev2, got a deal on the Summit to make it happen.   Also, because it's for a live rig, I liked the versatility of the Summit (wavetables, some fm to go with the subtractive sounds).   It's a bit more jack of all trades, master of none than the Prophet is one way to say it (IMO).   The Rev2 is more spot on to the "sound of my childhood" (to join the Oberheims) but the Summit can get reasonably close to that vibe I think.    It's known for having some of the best on-board fx if you think you might use them.   

You do already have the Hydrasynth though so that might be a factor in what you pick for a companion. 

Novation provides a really nice free librarian and that is a great feature when it comes to building banks, trying out patches etc.  Lots of free banks available too.   They have a wavetable editor as well but I haven't messed with that.

Someone already mentioned the new (possible) Polybrute, perhaps even if it's too expensive it would bump the existing one's price down (?)

My impression is that it would be hard to go too wrong with any of those based on demos I've heard :)  

Curveball--and I'm not recommending these as I don't know much about the company or how reliable these are--but I did watch a vid with one of these vs a Prophet 6 and was mightily impressed with the sound and some of the features.

https://www.gsmusic.com/synth-store/p/gs-e7-analog-polyphonic-synthesizer-black-blue

Not that vid, but Matt Johnson plays one:


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I finally just did it. After being so close on the Prophet 10 module I decided that mono and no effects was not the way I want to go. I went with the Trigon 6 module, an odd to the MemoryMoog I played in the 80's. But, with built in effects, better MIDI, and I will not have to open it up every Sunday and spend 3 hours adjusting tune, range and curve for 18 different oscillators. I think I am going to enjoy the Hydrasynth Deluxe/Trigon 6 combo. I'm done buying for a few years. 

  • Like 3
  • Cool 1

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats, the Trigon is one of the most desirable synths for me. I can afford it and I can’t find a fault with it but I’m at a point of my (amateur) music journey where I try to enforce myself not to buy expensive synths 😀 Let’s see how long I can stick to that plan…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/14/2024 at 2:43 PM, RABid said:

Jupiter X

MODX+

Hydrasynth Deluxe

Trigon-6

 

Any opinions?

Nice collection of sound sources.  Along with the other gear, should keep you busy for a very long time. 😁😎

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Jim Alfredson said:

The Trigon is great. 

The PolyBrute is the best analog poly of the last 20 years, imo.

Funny you bring this up.  I had kind of forgotten about the Polybrute since it's initial splash.  Off the bat, it didn't seem to have the fatness of the UDO Gemini or the Novation Summit.  But just last night I was watching some PB videos and was really surprised by the possibilities.  Maybe it just took some time for folks to really dig in and learn the beast.  Alas, I have no need for another board, but damn I sure can picture this in my rig.

I'm really digging what I'm hearing here:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(sigh) I'm such a mess. 🫢

 

I decided that if I get an Eventide H-90 that would solve the problem of the Prophet 10 not having effects and I talked myself into changing my order to the P10. Half an hour later I was sure that the Summit was the best option. After thinking that I would really like to try a MatrixBrute I made the final, final decision. I canceled the Trigon 6 and vowed not to buy anything else until I can make a road trip to Sweetwater and try all of the options.

 

On the positive side, my Hydrosynth Deluxe arrived today. After playing it for a while I was really happy with the poly-aftertouch. It has a much better pressure response curve than the DSI/Sequential keyboards, and I think better than my high end Roland keyboards. It is almost too easy to trigger the aftertouch. I'm sure I could dive into the system and change settings, but I sort of like having one and only one keyboard with a lighter touch for aftertouch. At $1499 for a 6 octave keyboard with a great interface and 16 voice with a dual model, this may be the best value out there.

  • Like 2

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Matrix Brute I always thought would be a killer synth centerpiece for someone into Eurorack stuff.

  • Like 2

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, RABid said:

I canceled the Trigon 6 and vowed not to buy anything else until I can make a road trip to Sweetwater and try all of the options.

 

Good call!  👏

 

It's the personal connection you are looking for. Can you speak through this instrument?

 

We will put up with a truckload of inconvenience for a spoonful of that magic.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, RABid said:

On the positive side, my Hydr[a]synth Deluxe arrived today...

It is almost too easy to trigger the aftertouch. I'm sure I could dive into the system and change settings...

Cancelling the other order provides more time to explore the Hydrasynth Deluxe in-depth.  There is quite a bit of synth power underneath the hood.  Enjoy.😎

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love synths, always have.

Two problems--my band doesn't play enough synth tunes live...creeping more into the 80s but it's still not a synth-heavy setlist to say the least.

Secondly, at home I love working "in the box" with no cabling or patch changes to worry about...but it makes it much harder to justify purchases of hardware when I'm only going to use it live!   I have zero desire to take "the box" out live either.

I set the Summit up and am going through the patches and trying to think how I can use it more.  Damn it does sound good!   Ultimately something like a Fantom makes more sense as it has a vocoder and can completely do the show if the Nord goes down.   Would the Nord ever "go down"?  Likely not, but weirder things have happened.  The Jupiter X definitely has some appeal but the Fantom has just about the same synth capabilities and of course a lot more....but as the talking heads say, stop making sense!  (I do have the Modx that can do a show with an ipad's help for organ, but am probably going to sell it, I just don't enjoy playing it that much.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Stokely said:

I love synths, always have.

You're not alone in having an affinity for synths.

 

At this point in time, a dedicated synth is just a fun noise-making piece of gear.

 

Modern technology in the form of your Nord Stage or MODX or any ROMpler can provide a reasonable facsimile of any sound required to play music. 

 

Nowadays, there's really no need for a dedicated synth onstage. Not even for playing cover tunes from the 1980s.😎

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, D. Gauss said:

 

I wonder how many decades that will have to pass before this item severely decrease in value, ie. when is the legacy of Bowie going to be sufficiently unknown to kill the hype of this unit.

 

Was thinking about this when Knopfler auctioned his guitars, "when generation x has died out these guitars are worthless" was my train of thoughts...

"You live every day. You only die once."

 

Where is Major Tom?

- - - - -

Band Rig: PC3, HX3 w. B4D, 61SLMkII

Other stuff: Prologue 16, KingKORG, Opsix, MPC Key 37, DM12D, Argon8m, EX5R, Toraiz AS-1, IK Uno, Toraiz SP-16, Erica LXR-02, QY-700, SQ64, Beatstep Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...