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Digitakt/Digitone + ?????
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Author Digitakt/Digitone + ?????
LameAim
Hi. I'm looking for a knobby subtractive polysynth to use with these two boxes and could use some suggestions. My music usually ends up more towards the electronic beats/lo-fi end of the spectrum (think Harmonic 313, older Brainfeeder stuff, etc) but I chase sounds all the way from Bonobo and Washed Out to stuff like El-P and Dalek.

Ableton Live is the base I build around and handles the basics, so I tend to favor hardware synths with character. Needs to have at least 4 voices, but preferably at least 8. Multi-timbrality would be cool, but not a requirement. Definitely more of a programmer than a player and MIDI automation is my friend. Patch memory is preferred (especially as complexity increases) but I'm also considering analog synths without it. Probably leaning towards analog. Budget is around $1k, but can stretch that a bit. Not afraid to buy used.

Current contenders are:

Modor NF-1 -- Had a NF-1m that I quite liked the sound of, but not the interface. Wondering if more knobs will help out with that.

Dreadbox Abyss -- Have enjoyed the Youtube demos I've seen. Definitely oozes character. MIDI control seems lacking, almost don't care.

Vermona Perfourmer MKII --- Pretty much same deal as the Abyss, but looks/sounds more versatile to me.

What else should I be looking at? Thanks for your help and time!
jdaddyaz
Does the size matter? What about a Deepmind? Analog, patch memory, midi, and 12 voices. There's even a desktop version that's knobby with faders. The menu diving isn't too bad either.
LameAim
jdaddyaz wrote:
Does the size matter? What about a Deepmind? Analog, patch memory, midi, and 12 voices. There's even a desktop version that's knobby with faders. The menu diving isn't too bad either.


Size does matter somewhat. Been looking mostly at desktop/rack units as it would be a challenge for me to add a keyboard at the moment.

Hadn't thought of the DeepMind. I'll dredge up some videos and see where that leads. Thanks!
tehyar
Hmm if I had just the digis to start (I have both) and wanted to add smallish nonkeyed synth for under 1k...

Personally I think I would go with both a Blofeld and Pulse 2. Could make a lot of great noise with this setup. And it would look really kewl with the matching two pair.

Shit I have all four, I’m gonna set this up today. hihi

Edit: if you reeally want a knobby poly analog with no keys, you could hack the keys off a minilogue xd. It’s been done.
anselmi
LameAim wrote:
Current contenders are:

Modor NF-1 -- Had a NF-1m that I quite liked the sound of, but not the interface. Wondering if more knobs will help out with that.


too much digital in your setup, add analog

Quote:
Dreadbox Abyss -- Have enjoyed the Youtube demos I've seen. Definitely oozes character. MIDI control seems lacking, almost don't care.


yes

Quote:
Vermona Perfourmer MKII --- Pretty much same deal as the Abyss, but looks/sounds more versatile to me.


actually it is, and I enjoyed it for some time, but the sound could be too much polite sometimes
If you don´t need the kind of mono/poly-ish polyvoice arpeggios then I think you´ll find the Abyss a more interesting synth sonicwise


Quote:
What else should I be looking at? Thanks for your help and time!

Sequential REV-2 desktop could be another great synth, all analog and very versatile. It´s miles ago from the Abyss but sounds a bit less organic

Peak and Minilogue XD will give you hybrid sounds that can complement your setup easily...both have extensive synthesis options
TheRosskonian
Although not analog, the Roland System 1/1m might work for you. 4 voices, should be able to find a used one at a good price. The Roland System 8 is also a great alternative, 8 voices, but is much larger physically speaking. On the much smaller side, most of the Roland Boutiques were also 4 voices. But none of those were analog.

The Minilogue XD might also be a good bet, take a look at the features of the original Minilogue as well, you should be able to find a used one for cheap.
rean1mator
How about the new Radikal Technologies Delta Cep A? Sounds amazing from what I can gather on youtube. Planning on picking one up sometime in the near future. They are now avail at retailers now too finally.
vinyljunkie001
jdaddyaz wrote:
Does the size matter? What about a Deepmind? Analog, patch memory, midi, and 12 voices. There's even a desktop version that's knobby with faders. The menu diving isn't too bad either.


I second that opinion. I have all 3 and the Deepmind is a good companion especially the modulation routing. If it's too big go with a DM6 or the desktop version.
robkramble
I love shopping with other people's money. razz

Here are my contenders - admittedly, probably cheaper than you're looking for, but I'll recommend them nonetheless:

1. Moog Minitaur
2. MS-20 Mini
3. An Access synth of some sort (Virus/Snow/etc.)

Edit: Just saw the detail about voice-counts. Ignore the first two recommendations (or don't!) and focus on the third.
Yellow
Ambika. Sparse ish dial wise - however UI feels quite fluent. There's not too many synths that cover all specified features. Does it really need to be a poly? woah
megabeast
Have you tried just sampling the monos in ableton? I always think monos sound better than polys.
It’s dead easy too. Just make 1 sample per note for a few octaves and then split the sound file.
Obvs lose real time control, but the sounds can be great.
orangehexagon
Any reason you wouldn't be considering an Analog Four mk1? That's one of the first things that come to mind when someone says "programmer" and "analog"

I admit it doesn't have a very distinct character, but it's all about the modulation and p-locking that gets you into interesting territory.

The new korgs are super cool too. That minilogue xd looks/sounds really fun.
gentle_attack
orangehexagon wrote:
Any reason you wouldn't be considering an Analog Four mk1? That's one of the first things that come to mind when someone says "programmer" and "analog"

I admit it doesn't have a very distinct character, but it's all about the modulation and p-locking that gets you into interesting territory.

They are so cheap now too
Red Electric Rainbow
If your not afraid to go digital you could look at the Nord Lead, or an Access Virus. The Leads are beasts and I’ve always heard good things about the Virus series. I’m pretty sure they meet your requirements from what you listed. And if space is an issue they are available in desktop formats.

Alternatively something from Elektron (Monomachine or the A4). Maybe not exactly what your looking for but still something to consider.

If you do need something analog I second the DM12 or 6. With your budget that would leave you with a little something extra too. You can probably pick up a Nord Lead 1 or 2 with the extra cash and see what works best.
Unborn Gore
I think the Modor would complement your set up well. Airy pads and strange wave forms to go with your FM beats would take ten years to get boring.
Vitonandotvf
How about the poly end / Medusa? That’s in your $ range
I see a lot of great YouTube vids and hear strong feedback about the deep mind! And the price is on point
Vitonandotvf
I see a lot of great YouTube vids and hear strong feedback about the deep mind! And the price is
acidbob
Davesmith Tetra or the ju06?
LameAim
First and foremost, thank you all for the suggestions made so far.

The Modor NF-1 is on the list because the sound of the NF-1m paired up with the Digitone pretty well. It can get weird. And has character. Just needed more knobs as the Digi pair pretty much maxes out my tolerance for menu-diving on my outboard synths.

Pricing on the Deepminds are great enough that I gotta add it to the short list. Having enough money for a smallish mono synth afterward is pretty enticing, too. But does it have the kind of character that I want? Will have to do some digging to find out.

The Rev 2 is also an appealing thought. I like that I could layer or split two patches as needed, and have an extra set of outs for tracking as well. I'd feel compelled to track down a 16 voice version, but the pricing of those is on the high side for me at the moment. Not a deal breaker, though. As Pusha T says, "thou shalt not covet what thou cannot budget."

I've owned the Virus TI and A4 in the past. Occasionally miss the Virus. It (and the Nord Lead) would be on my list if I was looking exclusively at multi-part workhorse synths.

A4, I don't miss so much. Felt fairly blah to me. I understand the MKII may be different, but I'm also trying to avoid another Elektron box. Really want/need to diversify.

What other poly-synths with knobs and character should I be looking at?
rosten
Novation peak looks like it would fit the bill?
mg05
Yamaha reface CS?
You would be still very mobile with Digitakt and Digitone.
Nutritional Zero
0-Coast plus a 4ms Pod full of modules.
mg05
Audiothingies Micromonsta?
calaveras
I'm gonna have to say something from Sequential/DSI as well.
Solid synths. They actually sync and arpeggiate well. Which I can't say for some of the contemporaries.
Also, the Analog 4 is crazy cheap used. I keep having to fight myself to not pick up a second. I see them for $600 all the time, sometimes cheaper.

It would be familiar for someone coming from the Digitone/tact. The whole CV sequenving thing on the A4 is really neat, but tricky.
I'm going to go play with mine now I think.
chiasticon
I was originally going to say Polysix because it's my favorite poly and it's just over your budget (if you look around/wait a bit). but seems like you don't have the space...

it's double your budget, but the OB6 is an absolutely incredible synth. it can do the Washed Out/synth wave style very well and is easy to work in to a mix. the Prophet 6 is a little cheaper, and many favor it over the OB6; there's definitely some overlap there.

the Perfourmer is also amazing. not just for poly mode but for cycling through the voices or even just treating it like four independent sounds. you can make excellent drum and effects sounds with them, for example. definitely a good cure for not wanting to menu-dive too.

also, not sure what status of the Abyss is. it's either out of production or on hold for a revision or just manufacturing delay... every one I've seen for sale recently sells pretty much instantly. so keep that in mind.

so...wait for an Abyss to pop up, but in the meantime, keep saving for an OB6? seriously, i just don't get it
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