Jump to content

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

*UPDATE* played Fantom_S... Played a V-Synth! And S-90! And played w/ a Powerbook!


Recommended Posts

I had to make a new post just cause well.. I'm excited forgive me!


I went to the Mac store and toyed with a 17" Powerbook.. but I'm getting 15"..


THEN I went to the music store and first played a Yamaha EX5 which is 2 years old and was $2600 but is selling for $600


THEN I played a ROLAND V-SYNTH! AAHHHHHHHHH! Fucking sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!


THEN I played a Yamaha S90 - awesome too!


Here's my thoughts (newb perspective):


Yamaha EX5:

I felt soon enough it wasn't capable as I wanted a potential board to be. It had some nice sounds but I knew it could have more. I did like most of what I heard though.


Roland V-Synth:

*ORGASM* This thing is awesome! That.. "thing" you wave your hand over that modifies the sound.. whoah! And then the Timetrip pad.. the sounds were GREAT though I couldn't really find a standard/grand piano.. found a JD Piano, but that had eternal sustain - could have been the knob settings too.. I just had alot of fun with it...


Yamah S90:

I really liked alot of the sounds on this, especially the 88 weighted keys. From my perspective it seems the V-Synth is more capable and much more synth oriented than traditional instruments.


So which have I decided on? The EX5 is nixed. The S90 was nice, but I am really leaning towards the V-Synth. However, a store 30 minutes from here has a Fantom-S that I have to try out too.


Then, I think the battle comes down to V-Synth, S90 and Fantom-S.




I also, for my first time, quickly figured out the end piano from "Closer" by NIN :D Played that over and over and over... I also came up w/ something cool on my own, darkish, but niiiiiiiiice on that V-Synth - I can't remember what sound I had it on..


I see the V-Synth has 288 sounds, but the brochure claims over 300?


I'm just SO anxious and I haven't had this much fun since I got my elec. guitar 7 years ago!


Awaitin' your input!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 17
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Awwwww. First GAS attack. We should be proud. :D


This is why modules are great. If you get a V-Synth you can always add a standard ROMpler to it later to cover standard sounds. If you get the S-90 or Fantom S you can always add something like a Novation KSR or other rack mount/table top VA to it later. Get the keyboard you enjoy playing most. Touch, size and joystick/wheels of your choice make a difference. These factors don't come into play with a rack unit.


Have fun trying to choose.



This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't the V-Synth monotimbral? Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know enough about it. Also the polyphony is quite low and there's no sequencer. It's a performance board, right?


I would love to have one, they are cool as hell, but it's not really in the same category as the S90, as far as I understand it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



The negative reviews here http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00007EMC8/ref=cm_rev_all_1/103-5010512-2977400?v=glance&s=pc&vi=customer-reviews&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER


state that it costs $1300 to replace a titanium screen. Also, "Battery life is nonexistant. Under normal workload the Powerbook will last about an hour and a half" - "I don't know if my machine is defective, but I don't see where the screen is so beautifully clear. My text is rather fuzzy. I got better resolution on the IBM with a 16 mg video ram card, than this."


And then theres opposing, positive reviews. That $1300 for a replacement really irks me..


Now I'm considering PC.. BAH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My V-Synth is getting more and more use in my studio...it definitely leaves a signature impression on any sound, but it's done some things that would have taken me a whole deckful of plug ins to do. The only problem with it right now is that when I'm editing, I feel like the steering is a little sloshy. I think it comes from not exactly knowing what each parameter does in relation to all others. The sideband filters are what throw me the most.


But I love it. And I am 100% industrial music for video and film clients.


As far as TiBooks:

I have a Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100, a 17" TiBook, and the latest Dell Latitude in terms of Laptops. OSes and available software aside, I'd have to say that the TiBook with a MOTU 828mkII (or whatever your choice of Audio In) is really the most reliable solution.


But it shouldn't just depend on the laptop. What else are you using it for? If you can dedicate a computer for music (no games, webserver, Linux, etc), you will have less problems in the long run as a beginner in this field (please, no "I dual boot with NT and XP and it's rock solid" flames). If you DO need to multitask, I have found that in my experience, a Wintel laptop may be better for you.

"For instance" is not proof.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 voice polyphony is pretty good for one voice, but what I mean by monotimbral is that you can only play one voice at a time. For example, on the S90 you could have a 16 part sequence where all 16 parts are different...one piano, one bass, one guitar, etc. That is 16-part multi-timbral.


Monotimbral means you can only play one sound at a time, so you are unable to sequence several sounds together.


Of course, if the sound is all you care about, you can always just bounce your tracks to audio one at a time as you create them. It would be time consuming but things could be worse.


Also, I still could be wrong about this. I doubt it though, or else the V-Synth owner above would surely have corrected me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you really like the V-Synth don't worry too much about the polyphony. It is an instrument with a signature sound and you don't need it to play every part. Look at other things as fillter. There are lots of decent ROMpler modules for filler. My Novation KSR is only 16 voice, but when I stick it will a $499 Emu XL7 I add 128 more voice polyphony and I can easily do any song I want. When I do, the KSR still stands out. And if I want, I can use the KSR to record parts that the XL7 was playing during song construction.



This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The V-Synth is 16 part multitimbral. Even with only 24 voices (or less for complex patches), this is less a limitation than you'd think for the type of music that Phait has in mind. Not much call for cluster chords when your patch is a scream that morphs into a metallic pig vomiting into a supernova. Or something like that.


Realistically, when I've used the V-Synth for sounds that aren't just one-off effects, I've felt safe with 3 or 4 parts all the way through a sequence, but again, I'm not sequencing Six Wives or Giant Steps with it.

"For instance" is not proof.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think, to really understand polyphone and voices, could someone make a simple explanation or an analogy perhaps?


Because as far as I know, it seems like this:


Polyphony: number of sounds/samples the board can play at the same time - when - during actually playing it? Or when a song is completed and say drums 1, drums 2, bass 1, effects 1 and effects 2 (tracks) are playing?


A few written examples could help

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, the main problem in understanding this is that manufacturers use different terms for the same concept, and the same terms for different concepts.



Polyphony refers to how many separate notes can be sounding AT THE SAME TIME. An acoustic piano is 88 note polyphonic, meaning that if you could press all the keys of a Steinway at once, they would all sound out.


A MicroKorg, on the other hand, is 4 note polyphonic. If you are holding 4 notes down and hit a fifth, it will either not play or one of the four sustaining notes will be cut off. How that happens is sometimes editable, sometimes not, depending on the keyboard.


The advertised polyphony may not always be accurate if the synth in question uses it up creating complex sounds. A piano/string/cricket noise patch may reduce your 24 notes of polyphony to only 8 or less.


Multitimbral Mode

The number of multitimbral voices refers to the number of different "patches" or "instruments" a synthesizer can play simultaneously.


If a synth is 4 part multitimbral I could have the following setup:


Slot 1: Drums on channel 10

Slot 2: Bass sound on channel 2

Slot 3: String sound on channel 3

Slot 4: Kazoo sound on channel 1


I could then use a sequencer to play an arrangement using those 4 instruments and not have to commit anything to audio. In other words, I don't have to actually record anything yet. BUT, I still need to be aware of my POLYPHONY and allocate it so I don't run out of notes. There is a LOT more complexity to this, but I just don't have the time to think this through in a cogent fashion. It actually comes naturally once you start messing with it.


All manufacturers do things differently. Sometimes, you can set two (or more)slots to the same MIDI channel to create a layer. Sometimes, the multitimbral setup and the synths more complex "combi" sounds share formats.


The highest polyphony and multitimbrality (?? is that even a word?) will be found in "workstation" type keyboards: ones with either onboard sequencers or modules that are really designed for sequencing. [The exception to this are some of the newer Hammond B3 emulations, which are all-note polyphonic.]



Phait, my advice to you would be to not worry too much about polyphony or how many different sounds a keyboard will play back at once. If you do industrial music (as I do) most of your tweaking will come AFTER you've gotten this stuff into the audio domain.


Hope this helps. I know that this was a bit disjointed, but I think I covered the basics while leaving out the esoterica.

"For instance" is not proof.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to clear things up a bit, on most ROMplers polyphony refers to oscillators rather than the number of notes that can be held. Here is an example of a typical 64 note polyphony ROMpler in action.


Channel 1 - pad using 3 oscillators per note for triads.

Channel 2 - monophonic lead using 2 oscillators.

Channel 3 - monophonic bass using a single oscillator

Channel 4 - piano using 4 oscillators.

Channel 10 - drums using single oscillators and 10 different drum sounds.


Channel 1 uses 9 notes of polyphony for a single triad. If the pad sustains during a chord change this can double or even more.

Channel 2 uses 2 notes of polyphony.

Channel 3 uses 1 note of polyphony.

Channel 10 uses 10 notes of polyphony.


Total - 22 to 31 notes. Maybe more depending on the sustaining pad. If it uses 31, then you have 33 left for the piano part. Since the piano in the example uses 4 oscillators this gives you RND(33/4) or 8 notes that you have for piano before you may experience voice stealing. Of course this can vary depending on how many drums are being used and how your pad sustains.


I think Roland, E-mu, Korg and Yamaha all work this way. Most even have features in which you can set up performances and apply polyphony limits to each channel. In this way you could limit channel 1 (pad) so that it will only play 3 notes at a time and voice stealing would only occur within the channel. Also, when recording you can choose to record only one channel at a time and avoid some of the problems of limited polyphony.


Now, you may ask how a piano uses 4 oscillators per note. Consider that the patch may cross fade between samples of light and hard touch, have a sample of the hammer noise, and maybe even a sample of the release noise. My Roland XV has a patch that only takes one oscillator per note, and another patch that takes 8 oscillators per note using stereo samples.



This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to a store today and played the Roland Fantom-S!


It was 61 keys and the sounds were SUPERB! It even had some effects at the end like laughing, dog bark, streaming water, bubble... just so much, I had a blast with it!


I need to see if the store in town can get in a Yamaha Motif (7 preferably) - the ES is more than I want to spend. I also don't think theirs any Kurzweil dealers around here or not too far away :

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...