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Quasi Polymorph in 2019 ?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Quasi Polymorph in 2019 ?
pulse3000
some really sick videos about this machine which I ever wanted to try but hard to see a one. at least around me.

does it have something very special that cannot be done nowadays, with sequencers like Cirklon etc ?
Man-In-A-Suitcase
It has a built-in Synth engine. It must be good if Klaus Schulze has 6 of them built into his rack along with 6 Quasimidi 309's. With the Polymorph you have to find it's sweet spots as the waveforms have a very limited octave range.
euromorcego
pulse3000 wrote:

does it have something very special that cannot be done nowadays, with sequencers like Cirklon etc ?

i never used a polymorph, so i am just here to provide some snarky comment: i think any synth has something very special that cannot be recreated with any other synth (maybe 99% but never exactly). The question is whether that something special is worth the trouble of buying and owning the synth. And in the case of the Polymorph my uninformed guess is: no, it isn't.

The only reason for owning one is that you already heard it and fell in love with it (it happens). Then the only solution is to get one.

If it is 'only' about the sequencer, better have a look at the Five12 Vector. It also has 8 encoders and is extremely flexible (and, in contrast to Cirklon actually available and quite a bit cheaper).
heckadecimal69
I played around with a friend's like 10 years ago and didn't care for the sound. Very plasticy and zippery in my memory. I'm sure it can be fun if you dig in, as with just about anything.

The Quasimidi was the first piece of gear I ever played with. A friend had one in ~'99 and I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew then I wanted to get into this stuff smile
lisa
I had one once and didn’t like the sound but it has a knobby interface and back then it was the coolest hardware sequencer I had tried. Don’t think the sequencer would stack up well to todays offerings though.
Jason Brock
Interesting that several people have commented on the sound. Back when it was first released I really wanted one because I thought the demo sounds were great. It stuck me as capable of making some dark industrial type synth sounds, like early Skinny Puppy stuff - digital with analog-ish filters (the sound engine is virtual analog combined with some ROM samples).

I never bought one, they were out of my price range back then. And now I have other synths that can cover that territory. I still think these demos are very good, but it's probably not worth the inflated prices now unless you really like the on-board sequencer.

Old demos from Zon Vern Pyles:
https://soundcloud.com/zon-vern-pyles/sets/the-unreleased-quasimidi
tehyar
Had one back in '01. Didn't really click with me. It sounded kind of "thin" I guess? But I did have an Andromeda sitting near it to cast a pretty huge shadow (also literally razz ).

For what you get out of it vs. what you could get today instead it's worth a third or half what peeps are asking on ebay. Those are seriously ridiculous prices. For example, I'd get a Blofeld and a Pyramid over it any day.
lisa
What do they cost these days? I paid the equivalent of 400€ 15 years ago, if my memory serves me correctly.
Scot Solida
Jason Brock wrote:


Old demos from Zon Vern Pyles:
https://soundcloud.com/zon-vern-pyles/sets/the-unreleased-quasimidi


That is some awesome stuff. I remember when Zon ‘discovered’ the Quasimidi Raven at a NAMM show or some such. He had one in a little corner room at Synthony in Phoenix, and took me in to give me a demonstration. It was pretty impressive in his hands, but I’d never have been able to afford one back then. I didn’t know (or had forgotten) that he did stuff for Quasimidi.

(Incidentally, Zon also showed me one of the very first Doepfer systems to reach US shores, very, very early on. Many years later, he was also responsible for introducing me to Synthesizers.com. That guy has always been ahead of the game!)
Jason Brock
Incidentally, I wonder if anyone with a Polymorph would be willing to share recordings of the raw sampled waveforms? I'd like to load them into my Nord Wave and see if any magic happens.

Scot Solida wrote:
I remember when Zon ‘discovered’ the Quasimidi Raven at a NAMM show or some such. He had one in a little corner room at Synthony in Phoenix, and took me in to give me a demonstration. It was pretty impressive in his hands


The Raven sounded good to me too, but without a knobby interface I was less interested.
revtor
It can be duplicated now a days, with a few separate pieces, but nothing has it all in one box like the polymorph. Closest I’d say would be the Spectralis. I’ve had both and would take spectralis overall, but the polymorph was more fun in the way that having a good groovebox can be... all in one headphones on jamming out.

4 synths each with a 4 track sequencer with over 50 targets (if my memory serves me. All tracks can be different lengths and clock divisions. Each synth has its own effects processor. It was basically endless.

Lots of fun. Not $1500 worth, but a really unique box for sure.
Steve
sutekina bipu-on
I would say the main mystique of Quasimidi gear is that they were the German Ensoniq. All their stuff was super innovative, pushing the limits of what the technology could do, and more often than not had a lot of quirks in both hardware and software. That's not really why i say that though; i have had most of the quasimidi's at one point or another, and every one of them sounded truly amazing.... they were all very raw, powerful sounding and made use of a lot of low sample rate waveforms so you'd get a huge and crunchy sound as well as a lot of unpredictable behavior. It's also as if every quasimidi i've had sounds like it was designed with the dirtiest possible techno in mind. All the waveforms, samples etc sound like they were processed through a s950.

The polymorth is cool because it brings that unrefined raw digital sound to an analog synth structure. It doesn't try to be a refined virtual analog so much as a totally insane and brutal sounding one. A VA that really aspired to be an analog wouldn't have vocal and string samples. It totally has the unrelenting character of the qm309, but instead of mostly being a drum machine, it's all synths.

I can bla bla about quasimidi or you can listen to some clips of them and think about how nice they'd sit in a mix with actual analogs.
Funky40
revtor wrote:
All tracks can be different lengths and clock divisions.

guess that was the magic point back then, right ?
beside the QMs own sound that i personally allways liked ( to parts at least)


maybe a octatrack used as a midi sequenzer could bring that polymorph vibe into your gear ?
The OT has different lenght AND clock divisions per track, IIRC ( damn, my OT is just in front of me, haha)
or directly sequenze your own samples in the OT.
......never hunted for that polymorph vibe with the OT. d'oh! but i should.......
euromorcego
Funky40 wrote:

maybe a octatrack used as a midi sequenzer could bring that polymorph vibe into your gear ?
The OT has different lenght AND clock divisions per track, IIRC ( damn, my OT is just in front of me, haha)

i have to (again) suggest the Five12 vector sequencer. Yes, it is eurorack, but can be conviently mounted in a small skiff (for example the 4ms pods) and then are no different to a desktop machine.

The Vector has two midi outs (without expander, expander adds another one, there is also usb host). The 8 encoders (just like the Polymorph) control note, step length, probability and all kinds of other shenanigans. Also it quite intuitive despite being very deep. And it can sequence midi CC.

All you need is a nice multitimbral synth and you are ready to go. I don't think the Polymorph offers anything that goes beyond that (unless you are really interested in that specific sound).
wiperactive
With this synth the reverse seemed to have happened to the usual poor demos of a good sounding synth... some of those well designed sequencer pattern demos and presets played to its strengths and allowed a slightly 'flakey' sound character to somehow shine. The later Spectralis by the same designer had a more solid sound.

Chased one of these for years and fully realised this on acquisition. There are some areas of charm with the Polymorph, but when I later landed a Waldorf Q Rack there was no hesitation in selling it on sound quality grounds. As an analogy the Q Rack was like using thick and vibrant oil paint, while the Polymorph was more like working with dark and runny water colours.

Having said that though I can see how those PM sonic quirks could appeal to some and fit right in.
rockmanrock
I think the Quasimidi synths all used those French DREAM chips? As used in the EVS1, Wersi MAX1 and an Orla drawbar module. Google says Terratec EWS64 too.

ftp://retronn.de/driver/Guillemot/MaxiSound64HomeStudio/dokumentation/ SAM9407_specs.pdf
nolongerhuman
Around 2004-2005 the Polymorph was a minor obsession of mine. I don't remember what got me started searching for one, at the time I was working on what was then my first album and I had very little idea what I was doing. It was the era of the VA synth, and essentially everyone was using a Virus and a Roland JV, Emu, or Alesis ROM based synth. Softsynths weren't even on my radar, they all (to me) sounded like crap.

I think what the Polymorph had was that it was different. They were never hugely available in the U.S., that alone partially drove me to want one, and the sound itself wasn't the same character of the other things that were.

I tracked one down for $1000 shipped, which for me at 24 years old was a relative butt ton of money. It was much like most of the synths that I obsess over for way too long and then finally get my hands on... it was alright. Not the dream machine I had convinced myself it was.

Sequencing on it was flexible especially for the time, the knobby interface was also relatively uncommon for that time, and the sound was distinctly German (at that point the way I recall, you could almost tell the origin of a synth by the style of presets) which worked well for the music I make, but ... despite trying to fit it into a half a dozen songs it always found itself totally outclassed by the Virus, the Nova, and several other things from the same era.

If I had to compare the sound to any one synth ... I'd say it was closest to the E-MU Audity. These days unless you are really dedicated to staying away from software, there are VST's that more than cover it. Way, way, more.

I sold mine after a year, fairly certain I bought a JP-8080 and was far happier with it.

Honestly though, I'd love to recreate my studio from 2004. So many knobs, so many cables, insanely large mixer, and... nothing ever just worked. Note pads with scribbled names of sounds used per track, drum machines everywhere, cables everywhere (literally everywhere) and racks and racks of samplers... actually, that sounds like a complete nightmare.
modulator_esp
As a result of this thread I've dug mine out of storage and had a play with it again after not using it for years

It is pretty fun but definitely seems to do its own thing

I really like that each sequence has 3 control lines that can have independent lengths, even the cirklon can't do that

One thing that has me perplexed, it lets you save individual sequences separately, but doesn't seem to have anyway of loading them back into a setup, has anyone who's ever owned one worked out how to do this?
Man-In-A-Suitcase
modulator_esp wrote:
One thing that has me perplexed, it lets you save individual sequences separately, but doesn't seem to have anyway of loading them back into a setup, has anyone who's ever owned one worked out how to do this?

Jeez, long time since i owned one of those 'darn' things hihi According to Gordon Reid he says "Once you have created a sequence to taste, you can save everything — voices and patterns — to one of 50 dedicated sequencer memories."

I was thinking it would just be matter of dailing one of the sequencer memories up!
modulator_esp
Man-In-A-Suitcase wrote:
modulator_esp wrote:
One thing that has me perplexed, it lets you save individual sequences separately, but doesn't seem to have anyway of loading them back into a setup, has anyone who's ever owned one worked out how to do this?


I was thinking it would just be matter of dailing one of the sequencer memories up!


Except there appears to be no way of doing this!

There are 64 setups that store 4 sounds and 4 sequences, a performance memory if you like, and 50 memories to store sequences, so they can be transferred between setups, but no way I can see to load a saved sequence back to a setup
Man-In-A-Suitcase
modulator_esp wrote:
Man-In-A-Suitcase wrote:
modulator_esp wrote:
One thing that has me perplexed, it lets you save individual sequences separately, but doesn't seem to have anyway of loading them back into a setup, has anyone who's ever owned one worked out how to do this?


I was thinking it would just be matter of dailing one of the sequencer memories up!


Except there appears to be no way of doing this!

There are 64 setups that store 4 sounds and 4 sequences, a performance memory if you like, and 50 memories to store sequences, so they can be transferred between setups, but no way I can see to load a saved sequence back to a setup


I had a look at the manual (i must admit when i had one it was a very convoluted if not confusing machine)

When you switch on the Polymorph it boots up into <Setup> mode. And you use the sound knob to go through the setups and use softkeys F1 and F2

https://encyclotronic.com/uploads/9593686a269048713418993ed36ca10f.pdf

Selecting setups is on page 11 etc. And saving it think is on page 48. But you probably already know this!


BTW i have heard some of your music on youtube, it's quite good imo.
Very dark, very spacey. I also see your on that dutchie forum the EMportal which is a bit crap tbh hihi Seems to be overrun by that gibbering Brueckner cnut, no wonder members are leaving it.
modulator_esp
I don’t think the load sequence function was ever implemented at least it doesn’t appear to be in whatever OS mine has
There’s a blank function next to the sound select that might be where it was supposed to go
Regardless of such peculiarities I’m having fun prepping some stuff for my next gig and have just found a way to get ratchetting SlayerBadger!
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