Roland 512 vs WMD SSF spectrum

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Carl Licroy
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Roland 512 vs WMD SSF spectrum

Post by Carl Licroy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:53 am

I just bought instruo Harmonaig and I would like to buy 4 identical oscillators to create paraphonic chords.

I am hesitating between 2 roland 512 or 4 WMD SSF Spectrum. I really like the sound of roland 512. Very musical to my ears and seems good for acid like riffs. But what I read about tracking issues scares me a bit.

In the other side Spectrum has more to offer and seems to track very well. But from the demos I have seen I am not sure if I like its sound. Does someone use it for chords ? Is it a good osc for nice pads?

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pieter
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Post by pieter » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:06 am

Spectrum is a great, versatile, traditional oscillator, and the sound will be determined to a large degree by the filter you send it through. It has the two "special" waveforms that you may or may not like. I see them mostly as a bonus.

However, the elephant in the room here is that you want to do four-voice paraphonic with eurorack. It's not that it can't be done, but it is not the natural medium for it. You may be highly experienced in modular synthesis and have thought about this a great deal, but in case you haven't I strongly recommend you give this some serious thought. Eurorack shines in the monophonic regime, in my experience.

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Post by dysonant » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:25 am

My two cents after playing with the Roland modules at a synth meet, the interface is awful, I mean truly terrible. Those little sliders suck hard and the modules feel super cramped. I do not usually trash modules, but I will never buy any of those Roland modules.

That said, I own two WMD Spectrums and they are awesome together. They are absurdly stable with tracking, I have digital oscillators that track worse. The buttons for octave switching are a joy to use. For standard VCOs at that size, it is hard to beat them.

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Post by pinkflag16 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:29 am

I love my Spectrum (x2), but cannot compare to the Roland, as I've never used it. Have you looked at the new Doepfer Quad VCO? Seems like a good value for this application - half the price of 4 Spectrum VCOs. Haven't used it myself, though.

I made a paraphonic synth a while back using Yarns, the older Doepfer Quad VCO/VCLFO, and a cheap midi keyboard (along with a Quadra and VCA4p). Worked perfectly and easily. I don't agree with the idea that modular needs to be monophonic.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:43 am

Poly modulars aren't to hard to setup and can be interesting and fun. With my main eurorack setup I've decided to pretty much eliminate using filters completely and to just use modulated wave table VCOs (Synth Tech E330's) which makes doing poly less complex since I don't need 4 VCFs and 4 extra envelopes to create timbrel shifts (OK, I still have one Synth Tech E440 VCF and a MI Rings in the system, but that's it! :hihi: )

https://soundcloud.com/johnlrice/quad-e330-first-test

I used Synth Tech E330 VCOs because at the time I set this up they were available and relatively inexpensive. If I was going to recreate this today I'd consider the Synth Tech E370 quad VCO, or 4 MI Plaits or if I wanted to go analog there are lots of choices, maybe even 4 of the newly announced STG VCO?
http://stgsoundlabs.com/products/vco_eu.htm
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Post by uniquepersonno2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:44 pm

I have two 512's and do paraphonic stuff with them. They track great once I calibrated them. Sounds awesome too.

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Post by kwaidan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:13 pm

I built a four voice polyphonic system using a Troika and matching Tona. If I had to do it over again today, I probably would go with a four voice Doepfer system.

If you make a paraphonic system, it helps to have a quad envelope control each voice through a quad VCA. Send the mix to a single filter. That way, you can control when each voice opens and closes. If you mix all four voices together first, it sounds strange when each voice is keyed separately.

Both Doepfer and QuBit make affordable quad filters, so polyphony is easily obtainable. The Doepfer has one set of controls for all four voices, a definite plus!

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Post by DSC » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:45 pm

I love my TRISPECTRUM!!!! The main voice in my large portable. I like the ability to CV the octaves.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:52 pm

Food for thought:

The new Qu-bit Chord 2 has a polyphonic mode wherein each of its four voices has its own 1v/o input and you circumvent the module’s own pitch system. So, for US$300 and 14hp you get a quad wavetable oscillator.

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/qu-bit-el ... x-chord-v2

I wouldn’t go this route for a “primary oscillator” (lead instrument), but it seems like an attractive way to handle some secondary/backing/supporting voices, such as might comprise a pad or what have you. And while it might seem redundant to have both the Chord 2 and the Harmonaig, there are probably enough differences in implementation that having both might be a boon.

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Carl Licroy
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Post by Carl Licroy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:24 pm

Wow a lot of interesting informations and advices here. Thank you very much.
kwaidan wrote:
If you make a paraphonic system, it helps to have a quad envelope control each voice through a quad VCA. Send the mix to a single filter. That way, you can control when each voice opens and closes. If you mix all four voices together first, it sounds strange when each voice is keyed separately.

I have an intellijel quad vca and will send the mix to a vintage synthlab vcf 74.

With the hipass filter I hope I will be able to create nice chords like in classic techno and house tracks like this:

[video][/video]

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Post by Seaweed Sound » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:43 pm

If you're looking to create chords in a similar vein to that track then four analog modular oscillators may not be your best bet sonically, financially, and workflow/ease of use wise.

It's pretty easy to find out what digital synth Juan Atkins was using a lot in the mid 90's.

I'd look into a 90's rompler or maybe a wavetable synth or module (Flame 4vox, Qu-bit Chord v2) so can get those extra sparkly shimmering and breathy harmonics you won't get from traditional analog osc waves.

Also more polyphony than 4 notes will allow you to start adding in 9th's, 11th's, and other notes into your chords for more harmonic complexity.

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Post by tommygee » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:01 pm

Carl Licroy wrote:Wow a lot of interesting informations and advices here. Thank you very much.
kwaidan wrote:
If you make a paraphonic system, it helps to have a quad envelope control each voice through a quad VCA. Send the mix to a single filter. That way, you can control when each voice opens and closes. If you mix all four voices together first, it sounds strange when each voice is keyed separately.

I have an intellijel quad vca and will send the mix to a vintage synthlab vcf 74.

With the hipass filter I hope I will be able to create nice chords like in classic techno and house tracks like this:

[video][/video]
I used a JV1080 for pads like this in the 90s.

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Post by kwaidan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:18 pm

Seaweed Sound wrote:Also more polyphony than 4 notes will allow you to start adding in 9th's, 11th's, and other notes into your chords for more harmonic complexity.
You can omit the 5th to make a 9th chord. With an 11th chord, you can omit the 3rd and 5th. I don’t know if this will work with the Instruo module, but it is an option.

Originally, I had a 4vox but, finally, felt something was missing, so I sold it. The new Qu-bit chord does look interesting and may be a good option!

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Post by Carl Licroy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:30 pm

DSC wrote:I love my TRISPECTRUM!!!! The main voice in my large portable. I like the ability to CV the octaves.

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Do you have some chords sonic examples? :love:

Qu-bits chord is really nice but I bought harmonaig to be able to create my own sounds and choose between digital or analogic osc for my chords. If Qu-bit chord 2 had the sd card slot on the front I would definetly buy it.

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Post by cackland » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:36 pm

DSC wrote:I love my TRISPECTRUM!!!! The main voice in my large portable. I like the ability to CV the octaves.

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I would buy this if this was on the market ;)

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Carl Licroy
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Post by Carl Licroy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:42 pm

Seaweed Sound wrote:If you're looking to create chords in a similar vein to that track then four analog modular oscillators may not be your best bet sonically, financially, and workflow/ease of use wise.
Sure but using filters I can get close to it, with a warmer and modern feel if I use analog oscillators.

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Post by Dragonaut » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:40 pm

I had initially planned on a building a para/poly rack. Five thousand dollars later I'm really glad I didn't. Would be super cool but the range of sound I'm able to get out of a multi voice mono rack sure beats out having to choose a budget friendly set of modules based around one filter type. If I was going to build one though I'd get four Dixie II+ or better yet Rubicon II and four Frequensteiners. But that's like three or four grand and I don't even have any VCA's or modulation yet. One day...

Or maybe I'll just get a Moog One and call it a day on polyphonic.
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Post by DSC » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:40 pm

I thought I had some sound samples of it at the ready, but I forgot where I put them. :bang:

The one I am working on right now is pretty cool too. This will be utilizing four cem3340 VCO chips, four Yusynth wavefolders with matching components controlled by a durable joystick. Looking for creating harmonics in the folded wave outputs and then be able to mix them in a vector fashion!!!

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Post by ckwjr » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 pm

The Doepfer 111-4 really does it for me. I've been using the harmonization effect on the Hermod which is a bit like using the Harmonaig.

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