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Need a "go to" polysynth *DSI PROBLEMS*
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Author Need a "go to" polysynth *DSI PROBLEMS*
estin
Looking to finally add a keyed polysynth and can't decide between a Prophet REV 2 8 voice or Nord Lead A1 (possibly still NL4 but leaning towards A1 for its sound and interface) It will be my mainstay sound design tool and I want a brash, bright and cutting top end with flexible modulation, good FX and lots of happy accidents for when I am stuck in my programming rut.

Feel like I can't go wrong between these two at this point.
chvad
the nord is also 4 part multitimbral and each part can be stacked and controlled at the same time from the panel. That offers a fairly deep level of complexity that isn't immediately evident on the surface.
estin
chvad wrote:
the nord is also 4 part multitimbral and each part can be stacked and controlled at the same time from the panel. That offers a fairly deep level of complexity that isn't immediately evident on the surface.


Yes, this is a huge selling point for me on the Nord (aside from the sound, playability, and form factor) 20 notes poly could disappear fast with a couple stack layers and medium to long release times.
orangehexagon
Sounds like you want the Prophet 12
estin
orangehexagon wrote:
Sounds like you want the Prophet 12


Seems like a nice synth but polyphony is too low and cost too high for my tastes. 20 voices is kinda my minimum so even the rev 2 is a compromise i'm not convinced on yet.
clusterchord
judging by your description id go with 16-voice REV2.


it has sizzley brassy brash sound and cuts thru. the JDXA i really didnt like, it sounds like plasticky rompler with some underwhelming analog tones stiched on top just to be able to claim its hybrid or (yikes) crossover nature. its resale value is dropping by the minute. not a good choice imo.


nord lead 4 is not bad for a VA. it has polyphony and four parts with midi clock syncable lfos and arpeggiators can do a lot especially in a fast BPM based music. but in sound design and modulation matrix its quite limited compared to REV2. a rare occurance in synth world, that a digital would be less flexible than analog. something to think about.


with that said, number of voices is not everything. id always get the one that i liked the sound the best. for example, Virus TI has crapload of voices, VSTi virtual analogs even more - yet they excite me as much as last year's weather forecast.


depending on the style of music it will be used for, Prophet 12 or its desktop is also an option. more flexible than any of the above. with tone floating btwn analog and digital worlds. aweseom for ambient and dark sound design. and quite cheap on the used market.

or combine two machines that fit into 2k range. that will always cover more range than any single unit.

my 2c
EPTC
orangehexagon wrote:
Sounds like you want the Prophet 12


Ha, yeah, and if sound is an additional consideration too, you might want to make that an OB6.
chvad
"nord lead 4 is not bad for a VA. it has polyphony and four parts with midi clock syncable lfos and arpeggiators can do a lot especially in a fast BPM based music. but in sound design and modulation matrix its quite limited compared to REV2. a rare occurance in synth world, that a digital would be less flexible than analog. something to think about. "

With the exception of the mod wheel on the Nord that can be routed to 30 some destinations and the impulse morphs that can route to 36 continuous parameters and 21switches. While not a matrix you can get some pretty elaborate sound sculpting out of it that's pretty unique to the synth.
GovernorSilver
estin wrote:
20 voices is kinda my minimum.


You can eliminate pretty much any analog synth from consideration then. Except a Polymoog (theoretically 71-voice poly), if you can find one - good luck with that! Mr. Green

Maybe a used Virus T1 or T2, to compete with the Nord for your consideration.
clusterchord
chvad wrote:
With the exception of the mod wheel on the Nord that can be routed to 30 some destinations and the impulse morphs that can route to 36 continuous parameters and 21switches. While not a matrix you can get some pretty elaborate sound sculpting out of it that's pretty unique to the synth.


i suppose so. that said, i'd exchange that for 4 lfos and 3 envelopes with myriad of destinations, in a heartbeat. much more flexible and versatile arrangement IMO.

not that i'm in love with the tone of REV2, but given OP's choices, and stated requirements, i think it will do best.
estin
GovernorSilver wrote:
estin wrote:
20 voices is kinda my minimum.


You can eliminate pretty much any analog synth from consideration then. Except a Polymoog (theoretically 71-voice poly), if you can find one - good luck with that! Mr. Green

Maybe a used Virus T1 or T2, to compete with the Nord for your consideration.


Yes, I like analog for mono's but prefer digital sounds for poly. Rev 2 is kind of the exception due to that brash cutting sound, the curtis filter (which I actually like) and the extensive modulation possibilities. But yes, 16 voices has me concerned, how people live with 6 is beyond me. MY ASS IS BLEEDING

I've owned a couple viruses before and while nice they are just a little dark sounding. Maybe that is something I could address via EQ in a Ti or Ti2 but don't want to always work around the core sound of something.
JohnLRice
Have you considered the new 16 voice Korg Prologue? Has a bright sound to me, at least in the online demos I've heard. $2,000 and not shipping quite yet.

http://www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/prologue/specifications.p hp

estin
JLR ^ seems nice but sound wise reminds me of the minilogue I had and didn't care for. Really like my Monologue though. SlayerBadger!
GovernorSilver
Funnily enough, when the Prologue was first announced, quite a number of folks stated the Rev2 with its 4 LFOs would be superior sound design machine to the Prologue's funky modulation architecture (1 LFO + EG).

The true extent of its sound design capabilities will remain unknown until the details about the SDK are released.

Main problem for OP though is it falls short of the 20-voice poly requirement.

I have another Korg that has 120-voice poly with EXB-RADIAS board that adds another 24 voices, but I can't sound design out of a wet paper bag.
pelican
jdxa, you can get them cheap now for $1000 and even synths 3 times as much barely compete
estin
^ yeah really great second hand prices I am seeing on these. I originally wanted to go new but $1K-1100 for a JD-XA and $1500 for NL4's in mint condition is temping. $800 off!!!!

I really like what I have heard of the JD-XA. the analog part does nothing for me but the digital side is magical sounding.
rod_zero
If you want tons of plyphony and a powerfull engine maybe llok for a Virus Ti second hand.

Waldorf blofeld is also cheap and it does have good polyphony, but it goes down if your patch is complex.
estin
^ thanks for the input sir, I have a blofeld module which I really like but practical polyphony is closer to 8-10 in my experience. Virus is also nice but just not the sound or interface I am going for currently.
digitalganesha
based upon your description - the NL4 is what will work best for you. The NL's are always excellent polysynth workhorses. Quick, convenient, bright, can cut through a mix, gets huge with the 4 parts active, rhythmic shit is easy to achieve, and can get complex easily with the various morph features.
estin
Thanks for the comments guys. I have decided to rule out the JD-XA at this point and modify the two other choices slightly. I think my desire for high polyphony and as many options as possible might be mentally boxing me in.

Choice 1 Prophet Rev 2 8 voice (8 voice I know I am GROWING)

Choice 2 Nord Lead A1 - possibly still NL4 but leaning away slightly in favor of the A1's sound and interface.
estin
Purchased the 8 voice Prophet rev 2 this afternoon. (15% off no less) also snagged an Eventide Space/Time Factor combo to put behind it. Should be plenty of sound here to explore. If/when I feel like stacking some voices i'll throw the Blofeld module on top of it all. love
calaveras
I hope you saved yourself a little on the side for some herbal inspiration. That sounds like a fun combo of toys.
estin
^ lol not for me, but i'll pour a small glass of bourbon for us both. hihi
estin
sadly it seems my brand new prophet rev 2 8 voice is sick. One of the 8 voices in constantly panned hard left even with an INIT patch and the voice spread confirmed set to zero. If I connect the synth in mono the note is almost inaudiale. Bummer waah


:edit:

just did an audio and video recording of this with the level meters on my DAW and not a single voice is balanced correctly. 7 out of the 8 are louder on the right side (at different amounts too) and the 8th voice then jumps hard left.

total bummer seriously, i just don't get it
jabs
latest firmware?
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