But with the Prophet X, Polyevolver, 002, Microwave 1, Andromeda and hopefully a Moog One I think I have too much haha. And the Digitone and Analog Keys if that counts. Fuck and a Deepmind 12. It's too much.
The Deepmind is probably overkill
Ha yeah probably. But it was so cheap I couldn’t resist (it’s the desktop). And it offers a tone that is very different from most of the others. And is my only DCO based synth other than the AK. It’s a great carrier for vocoding as well.
But I don’t want to stray too far off topic. Speaking of tone, the X is very different than the previous DSI offerings in this department. I guess mostly because of the filter. Dave Rossum did a great job, I love the way this filter sounds. Already I understand to some degree someone complaint that they didn’t find that they liked mixing subtractive synthesis with samples. I think if you’re just playing back samples and trying to throw on some analog waveforms it just doesn’t blend well. I think I will have to be more clever than that. I think the sine wave is the most innocuous obviously and really serves to thicken a sampled sound nicely when applied at low volumes. Another trick I noticed is it becomes more apparent in the higher registers. Using note to modulate oscillator levels with a negative value, you can tame that easily. Otherwise the oscillators could be viewed as audio rate modulators. And the samples could be viewed as complex waveforms for a subtractive type patch.
In terms of mangling the samples you really do have to use your ears (no waveform display). I don’t think you’ll be able to do very precise sample manipulation here. But it can get very bizarre and abstract very quickly. It’s going to take me a while to fully explore this side of it and realize what types of sounds you can feed into it for specific results. I haven’t had a lot of time but I can already tell you reversed pianos are fucking awesome. I do find piano and strings sounds are easily mixed with subtractive synth sounds but I guess that makes sense. The vocal stuff. Fuck. It’s crazy. Especially the atmospheres. The multisamples with a different sound per note are also really cool. Obviously you can stretch them or whatever it’s called to put one sound across all keys. I have to look at the manual, but I think for tonal stuff this means that if you choose a sample on an A# it is tuned to A# and you will have to adjust the pitch of the sample accordingly to play along with the other oscillators/sample. I have yet to check out the VS samples but I’m really stoked.
Looking to the future. 150gb already in use. Only 50gb left. Not a lot if you’re using deep sampled instruments I guess. But still it’s not bad. I’m curious if it will be able to load anything off an external HD as the Octatrack does. I’m also really excited to see user sample import. I wonder how easily it will work. This will hugely impact the way I use it. For example I like to create velocity layered samples of other synth patches. The thought being I could have access to those sounds on one machine. Would be nice particularly if I ever played out. I will often use Redmatica (now part of Mainstage) to do this with relative ease. It creates an EXS file that is also compatible with sample in Ableton. Would be great if the software could convert these sorts of file. Would be even better if it could convert files from other samplers like the NI stuff, though I suspect that will be tricky.
Over all, aside from the common one hit approach to sampling and simple keygroul samples (which this seems to do well), it really seems to nail the use of samples as fodder to create complex timbres very different from the source material. That’s something I’ve always looked for in a sampler, but never really explored past Ableton in any great depth. This seems to do it with relative ease. Granted it has its limitations, it seems to hit the sweet spot for someone like me who is very comfortable with subtractive synthesis, but doesn’t have a ton of experience with sampling, or more accurately, using samples in a remotely abstract and creative way.