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Appreciating the ones you own


Magpel

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In the spirit of Coyote's recent offering of praise for his QS...

 

Every few months, I have an epiphanic re-appreciation of each one of my main synths, a little affirmation of its power and uniqueness. Just when I start to feel that Z1 is limited (weird word to use regaridng the Z1, BTW) because I don't always love the bare quality of its oscillators, I program something that makes me realize that that's not what the Z1 is about; the Z1 is about limitless programming possibilities and serendipitous interactions, and also about the odd possibilities provided by the physical models, though not all of them are good by any means.

 

Then, Evolver. As a guitarist with "organic" tastes in music, I never thought Evolver's 4x16 step sequencer would be a big charm to me. wrong. It's amazing. And the analog oscillators on Evolver just sound so good, rubbery, fluid but with a solid core. you really can't dial up an uninteresting sound on it.

 

And my favorite softsynth, the Pentagon 1--so easy to program, so surprisingly versatile, so essentially good in sound quality, and so LOVINGLY tended to and upgraded by the developer (try THAT on a Z1 some time...). Learning it has actually taught me a lot about my other synths. In that way, it's been a, watchamacallit, a heuristic synth for me.

 

And that alpha Juno 2 I was given. I really found it's sweet spot for me. I keep it in my living room and write songs on it, program burbling fart sounds for the amusement of my son and his friends.

 

Even the QS 8 and the Korg NS5r, the two I now use the least and disparage the most. they remain indispensible for the handful of patches that I can't live without, and now, inspired by Coyote's post, I'm going to crack tjhe lid on the QS again and see if I can forge an even deeper re-appreciation.

 

What I've come to realize is that these moments of re-appreciation have less to do with the instruments themselves than with some subtle advancement in my knoweldge and skill at synthesis.

 

you get the idea. Use this thread to appreciate the ones you have, not the ones you covet or the ones coming out.

 

Take a stand against GAS!

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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... going back in time, my Roland P-330 Piano Module. It had great electric piano sounds. I could work an entire job just with that module.

 

MY Kurzweil MicroPiano still gets some use and is my backup for jobs. Pound for pound .....

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Great topic!

Over the past 10 months, I have come to appreciate my Kurzweil K series synths. The longer I owned my rig, the more I found niche uses for each synth.

I like what I can do with no effort on my Yamaha FS1R--for those times when I'm too lazy or inept to create 'that certain sound' on the Kurzweil, I turn to the FS1R and usually can find something preset that sounds nice.

My PC2R/O seems to excel and the orchestral sounds, so that's pretty much where I use it. I love the sound of it, overall, though I wish Kurzweil would offer an expansion ROM that builds on what the first Orch Exp ROM started.

My fun machine is the K2600RS.. sometimes I just fool around by changing keymaps on some of the presets and I come up with something magical that wasn't obvious in the first place.

The longer I own the Kurzweils, the more capabilities I unlock through discovery. In this world of synths, there is no comprehensive owner's manual--you, the musician are the owner's manual that ever-expands with knowledge, new synthesis programs and tweaks to existing program presets.

Of course, with the K series, I not only find myself learning about synthesis, but I made myself learn the KDFX effects processor, the bus architecture and how each program patch uses the busses. What a revelation a day spent learning that was!

I used to use a separate impulse-based reverb but after giving the KDFX a few opportunities, I found too that I didn't need my external impulse effects processor anymore and I rarely even touch it these days. In the early days, I ran all my synths dry and mixed down dry, then added the reverb to the final. Those days are over and I'm finding flexibility and convenience by mastering the Kurzweil's processing.

I still have the 95% to learn, but the 5% I know now is already making great music. I would imagine that over the next 10 years I should have mastered and utilized significant portions of the K2600RS and learned how to pretty much optimize what I get out of it. But it's been fun learning all along.

Another thing that brings new life to old synths is an OS flash ROM upgrade. I upgraded two of my newest K's with new OS and objects/programs. For the K2600RS, the new and wonderful presets made it like getting a whole new synth. A good synth and good support from the manufacturer make for lasting enjoyment and musical creativity.

Best Regards,

 

Mark A. Weiss, P.E.

www.ampexperts.com

-

 

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I never had lots of gear, but the stuff I don't appreciate anymore is gone and the stuff I appreciate is still here. I especially want to give my appreciation to my trusty CS6x, one of the most underrated synths from the last years I think. It survived the Sahara desert and a fall from a stand. Not only is it sturdy, it sounds really cool, if you take the time to go through the horrible OS. I managed to get one of the best Rhodes emulations out of it. It doesn't have the greatest keybed, it doesn't have cool pianos (only on the plugin board), it's not analog or a VA, but I love it.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Even after 11 years, i'm amazed with stuff i can come out with from my JD990. At first, when I bought it, I was consumed with programming and making new sounds. Couple of banks i created during first six months, became the cornestone of my style/sound , to this day. It always gets used in a track. I dont have time to program it as i used to, but, just the other day i found an old bank i had on some forgotten archive cd, loaded it, and it was heaven, i fell in love with it all over again, hearing sounds that no other machine can make. I dare say, it's like an old friend.

 

other one that comes to mind is JX10(later MKS70). I have this one for 16 yrs. I doesnt get used that much or do anything totally new for me anymore, but what it does, it does fantastic. Actually this goes for TX802 too.

 

One that i have for a while, but i'm still discovering is FS1R. Deep.

 

:):D:cool:

http://www.babic.com - music for film/theatre, audio-post
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I'm going to talk about one aspect of my 8 year old Roland xp50.

 

Of late I have found that these synths can do really big sounds. It's something I thought I needed and analog synth or (gulp) VA to do. Turns out, it depends how you program the thing. I didn't realize that the relative pitch of waveforms was so important to sound. These days, I find that "rompler additive synthesis" can sound really big and sweet. Can it turn on a dime timbrally (sync sweep, pulse width modulation)? Well no, because the 4 parts all need to play their roles for the sound to retain it's integrity. Somehow, crossfades don't work as well as smooth parameter changes do. But these old romplers can provide a heck of a lot of sound, if programmed carefully. The ring modulator and booster in particular, are so cool.

 

Best,

 

Jerry

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Originally posted by Dan South:

It's scary to think how much music the average synth has left in it when it's tossed aside for a newer model.

Absolutely! I don't have time at the moment to post a one-by-one synth appreciation, but it will suffice to say that my "newest" synth (as for year of production) is the Yamaha AN1x! When powered on, its display says, "Copyright Yamaha 1994". :D:D

I use my 12 synths every day... Recent programming sessions include the TG77 and Matrix-12.

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Me, no. I like to ride the winds of change with the newest machines available.

Since I let go my beloved Yamaha SY-85 in 1996, I haven't fully linked with another machine like I did with her, except maybe the now defunct Roland JX-305 for sheer user-friendliness. Therefore every new synth that comes along I buy it for my store then I play with it a while, coming out disappointed everytime. I am now eagerly waiting for the new Kurz, they should deliver sometimes this month.

What I look for in a synth is not only sounds, not only feel, not only features, and not only realtime controls, but a hefty quota of all that, plus the gift of being able to delve into it without cracking open the manual.

Max Ventura, Italy.
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My core synths right now (get used on pretty much every project):

Andromeda

ES8

QS8

K2000

DM Pro

 

Second line (sees frequent use):

Wavestation

Prophet VS

Evolver

MKS80

MiniMoog

NanoBass

 

Bullpen (sees moderate use):

D550

EX5R

VZ10M

QSR

Ion

 

Taking up space (lucky to be turned on):

OB5

Quadrasynth

Proteus 2

SPD11

 

dB

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Instead of my Fantom, which I love, or the Motif ES which covers a lot of ground, or even my Nord Modular rack which is no much fun, I have to give props to my Emu XL-7. Why?

 

1. Great sounding filters.

2. Variety of sounds. I have 3 expansion ROMs loaded.

3. Easy to use sequencer with three types of sequencing; step, pattern or playing in the parts.

4. Pads for playing drum parts.

5. A bank of knobs makes it a decent controller and easy to program.

6. Though a bit large, it fits in the suitcase. I frequently take it with me when I travel.

7. 128 voice polyphony.

8. Price, price, price. When it came out I paid $1250 for the unit and it was well worth it. Now you can pick one up new for $499.

 

This may not be the best sounding unit in my set up, but it is one of the most useful. If I was starting over this would probably be the second piece I pick up, right after a good ROMpler. I just like this unit and I dont know anything that packs so many features and so much value into one little box. I have no desire to sell this box. Most of what it can do can be replaced by a computer and a cheap controller, but why? At this price I prefer to hook it to a computer.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Like Dave, almost, I have too much gear. As I keep saying I'm starting an album project, I intend to use everything I have to justify its ownership, when I get that proper midi interface.

 

Originally the Ensoniq TS-10 was my go-to synth, as it covered all the bases very well, and has wonderful effects. These days it's the Triton, as those synth waves and filters are just a succulent combination. It doesn't hurt a bit that it has a MOSS board installed.

 

But I will flit back and forth between all my synths because, as mildbill says, you simply can't find one that does it all. And many of them, like the JD-990, still sound as modern as anything out now. Roland really needs to reissue this thing, perhaps in a synth expansion for the V Synth. Hint... ;) The JP-8000 sounds decently analog, and the Ensoniq Fizmo gives me some nice PPG-ness.

 

However, despite my oath to never sell anything ever again, I think I'll swap my XV-3080 and Triton Pro for a Fantom X 7 and Korg Karma.

This keyboard solo has obviously been tampered with!
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Originally posted by Magpel:

Every few months, I have an epiphanic re-appreciation of each one of my main synths, a little affirmation of its power and uniqueness.

Those limitless programming possibilities can be a little hard to take. Imagine programming 4000 sounds for a particular synth. Now onto the next 4000. :rolleyes::confused:

 

~Peter Schouten

Pyramid Sound Productions

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After a FULL decade in the care of one of my producer buddies, this past Wednesday I repossessed my prized first keyboard that has made appearences on several Grammy-winning cuts.

 

Now back home with me, my Roland Juno-6 sits proudly in my studio ready to assualt the sonic choas of the current crop of synths. I spent hour twiddling with the single DCO and LFO making musique electronique (noise). WIth a few trusty filters, this single oscillator/three waveform workhorse has never really been out of primtime, just out of sight.

 

And like another aficiando here, my trusty P-330 is still a 'go to' tool for crispy electric pianos and smooth vibraphone patches. Nothing can come close to the vibes out of the P-330.

 

And I cannot forget my D-50, a keyboard that formed the basis of all my productions since it came out and still gets used in most every track I lay down and even in live performance, as recently as a few weeks ago.

 

Long live GOOD, reliable gear!

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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My Porta B Hammond and my two Rhodes (suitcase model and a 54). Despite the fact that they're my most beloved instruments I decide to sell them every two or three months (no room available, no way to carry them along to a live gig). Every time I decide to sell them, someone comes at my studio. And every time I'll give him double a price from the one I posted in the advertising newspaper (our e-bay)! An inner voice says to me not to sell, and the guy leaves dissapointed. Every time I'm happy about my beasts. I repeat this every two or three months! I'm a crazy enough, doctor?
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Great thread. I read a lot but don't contribute too much. I've been revamping my system. Selling old stuff and buying the new stuff that I read about. It doesn't have to be the hot toy of the moment but the most prized and best bang for the buck. My rig is currently:

 

Kawai K5000w

Ensoniq TS-12

Yamaha P80

Yamaha EX5r

Yamaha FS1r

Alesis SR16

Emu XL-7

Oberheim Drummer, Cyclone.

 

I've sold recently:

Ensoniq TS-10

Oberheim Strummer

Roland JV880

Roland SC33

Yamaha DX7IIFD

 

With the exception of the Oberheims which I may sell, I'm quite happy now with my gear. The EX5r and XL-7 are the newest purchases and those will take a while to learn how to use. I still haven't untapped the potential of the K5000w and the FS1r. The TS-12 was upgraded from the TS-10 and have yet to find an easier hardware sequencer and master controller.

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Hey, Humphh,

 

regarding the ex5r, I assume you're already familiar with this site , hosted by Ski, who is a contributer here?

 

Originally posted by humphh:

Great thread. I read a lot but don't contribute too much. I've been revamping my system. Selling old stuff and buying the new stuff that I read about. It doesn't have to be the hot toy of the moment but the most prized and best bang for the buck. My rig is currently:

 

Kawai K5000w

Ensoniq TS-12

Yamaha P80

Yamaha EX5r

Yamaha FS1r

Alesis SR16

Emu XL-7

Oberheim Drummer, Cyclone.

 

I've sold recently:

Ensoniq TS-10

Oberheim Strummer

Roland JV880

Roland SC33

Yamaha DX7IIFD

 

With the exception of the Oberheims which I may sell, I'm quite happy now with my gear. The EX5r and XL-7 are the newest purchases and those will take a while to learn how to use. I still haven't untapped the potential of the K5000w and the FS1r. The TS-12 was upgraded from the TS-10 and have yet to find an easier hardware sequencer and master controller.

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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clusterchord said:

Even after 11 years, i'm amazed with stuff i can come out with from my JD990.

I have to second and third this and fourth it if necessary.

 

I first had a JD-800, and when the JD-990 came out, I had major GAS because it seemed like a JD-800 with all the extra stuff I wanted...and after I got my JD-990, I realized just how true that was, and so much more.

 

There is just something about the sound character and quality of the JD-990 that is without compare as it regards its contemporaries or the Roland synths that were to follow it. It somehow gives all the sounds it makes a certain warm sheen that is present even when it is doing more digital timbres...and when it comes to strings, pads and atmospheres...ooh baby, it gets no better than this!

 

On paper, it doesnt seem that special compared to the JV machines that came after, but one listen to it, with those unique insert fx, S-7xx-class resonant multimode filters, and whatever the output stages are on that box, and you can just feel the magic that is in that box. I really dont know how to describe it.

 

I have other synths that best it in terms of features, and for what it is worth, it is that most dirty of words, a ROMpler...but when it comes down to the sound, it holds its own for endless rounds.

 

With the Vintage expansion inside, and a Strings card in the front slot, this ones a keeper! :thu: The Roland JD-990 -> Roland SDX-330 is my secret weapon. Oops...did I just say that? :eek:

Go tell someone you love that you love them.
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Isn't that what it all boils down to - sound??

 

We see soooo many folks busy chasing the "newest, greatest, highest-spec'ed stereo kitchen sink" of a synth, claiming 128 voices ain't enough polyphony or the waveform doesn't scope exactly like their ideal.... This is MUSIC. If it sounds good, it IS good.

 

Originally posted by aeon:

I have other synths that best it in terms of features, and for what it is worth, it is that most dirty of words, a ROMpler...but when it comes down to the sound, it holds its own for endless rounds.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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