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Polysynth help
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Polysynth help
Flounderguts
Ok,

I'm working on a project where I have hit a snag. I would like to be able to have 12 to 20 voices coming off a single midi channel. Currently, my most vociferous synth is an Ambika, with 6 voices. Soundwise, it's fine, but I need more voices for this particular task.

I really really don't want to use the computer/ DAW, for various reasons.

I'm also not going to invest multiple thousands into a polysynth.

Here are the options so far, other than attempting to build and polychain 2 more Ambikas...

Deepmind 12 desktop - cool beans synth, but may do the trick
Waldorf Blofeld desktop - 25 voices, but I'm concerned about menu-diving
PreenFM - not sure about the sound...and also menu diving.

Any others I should consider? I'm happy to start another DIY...and I love DD, but not enough voices for this go-round.
Jason Brock
Cheap-ish VA desktops with lots of voices:

Nord Lead 2x rack - 20 voices
Novation Nova - 16 base, expandable to more
Roland SH-32 - 32 voices (16 if 2osc used in a patch)

I'd take any of those over the Blofeld just because of the hands-on control. I also have an Ambika and it's my favorite sounding poly by the way.
estin
I really like the blofeld and programming is easy with the matrix menu form. Practically though you are going to get maybe 10-12 voices from it with no effects. Effects aren't great either imo.
Toowoombaus
I just got a Blofeld and it’s pretty easy to get around on it’s a good design however I also downloaded a library and I think it’s called bigelsworth.

Just remembered you don’t want a DAW

I have a Virus C. Polyphony is 32 voices. I think it sounds better than the Waldorf it’s dirtier has a few good effects and lots of knobs. It’s very easy to use you can read a little bit about it here.
http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/virusc.php
GuyaGuy
Sequential Rev 2 fits the bill. 16 voices, knobby, not too expensive. There’s a bit of diving if you want to use the mod matrix or gated sequencer but even then it’s pretty shallow diving.
JankySwitch
JV-1080 - 64 voice, 16 part multitimbral.

Cheap, but entirely menu driven if you want to create your own sounds.
GuyaGuy
Oh there’s also the Studiologic Sledge if the Blofeld piques your interest. It’s the Blofeld engine with a knobby interface. I don’t have experience with if but it checks your boxes.
Gribs
GuyaGuy wrote:
Oh there’s also the Studiologic Sledge if the Blofeld piques your interest. It’s the Blofeld engine with a knobby interface. I don’t have experience with if but it checks your boxes.


The Sledge does not have the full Blofeld engine. For example, it does not have the PPG filter model and it does not have the playable comb filter (think Karplus-Strong string and tuned block synthesis). Both of those are essential to making the Q (which I have) and the Blofeld (which I owned and sold but keep thinking about rebuying) what they are, at least for me and how I use the Q. Also the Blofeld has three and not two LFOs, four not two envelopes, and a full modulation matrix with modifier parameters similar to the Q.

The Sledge is designed to be more like a knobby, playable VA synth and the Blofeld is more like a major sound design tool in a small (for the module) and ridiculously low price for what it does.
unclebastard
The PPG filter is a hidden feature on the Sledge, which you can access via a MIDI CC number- there is a thread here on MW about it. It is an extremely playable and easily tweakable knobby VA with a great keyboard, and I bought one to replace my Nova IIX when my partner insisted after the Nova's PSU fuse blew ( after 17 years ) that I get a replacement synth. They are very different beasts- I find the Sledge much easier to design sounds on.
Flounderguts
oooh...i forgot about all those rackmount synths from Roland and Arturia....! Time to browse Reverb...
pix
nord lead or virus b/c
Gribs
unclebastard wrote:
The PPG filter is a hidden feature on the Sledge, which you can access via a MIDI CC number- there is a thread here on MW about it. It is an extremely playable and easily tweakable knobby VA with a great keyboard, and I bought one to replace my Nova IIX when my partner insisted after the Nova's PSU fuse blew ( after 17 years ) that I get a replacement synth. They are very different beasts- I find the Sledge much easier to design sounds on.


Wow, I missed that completely when I downloaded and read through the manual. I usually do that when I am looking at synths, but I don’t usually look at the MIDI implementation chart.
RhythmDroid
I'm throwing a Korg Radias in the ring.

It's actually a very deeply programmable synth from the front panel, 4-part multi, has effects and EQ, 4 outs, waveshapers and pre-filter saturators, lots of simple sampled waveforms, and the virtual analog waveforms have some nice non-linearity to them. I've used one for over a decade for like close to 40 live shows and she's still kickin!
anselmi
E-Mu Proteus-2000 or something in this series
Virus B and C
Roland JV-1080/2080, XV-5050
Korg Trinity rack
acidbob
[quote="Jason Brock"]Cheap-ish VA desktops with lots of voices:

Nord Lead 2x rack - 20 voices (THIS) smile

But I also love the Blofeld
Koekepan
Don't laugh ...

Roland Gaia.

Yeah, it doesn't have wavetables, and at the very high end you can get a little aliasing, and it's not the most polished thing on earth, but it has a bunch of polyphony, decent effects, it's plenty knobular and its model is actually surprisingly flexible.

Much as I love the Blofeld, its polyphony isn't really up to what you want.

There's always the Integra 7, but that's three times the cost of the Gaia.

I think that the Gaia sounds better than a lot of folks remember. There's a certain reflexive VA-related horror that gives people the twitches, but it has plentiful sweet spots and its three independent virtual oscillators with sync possibilities between two of them give you a wide range of alternatives. Really, check it out.
commodorejohn
Koekepan wrote:
I think that the Gaia sounds better than a lot of folks remember. There's a certain reflexive VA-related horror that gives people the twitches,

Nah. It sounds like water that's been left in plastic bottle in a hot car tastes.

But hey, give it a try, maybe that's your thing. Just try it out before plunking down for one.
sutekina bipu-on
No, the Gaia is actually pretty good. I got one in a trade and sampled a lot of good sounds off it before moving it on. SH-32 is a great VA, Nord Lead / Rack are great VA's, and if you want something modern either go vst or v-synth.
acidbob
sutekina bipu-on wrote:
No, the Gaia is actually pretty good. I got one in a trade and sampled a lot of good sounds off it before moving it on. SH-32 is a great VA, Nord Lead / Rack are great VA's, and if you want something modern either go vst or v-synth.


SH-32 is pretty cool still after all these years, but it kind of has to fit to your style I would say
Koekepan
For the money, consider seeing if you can pick up a used KORG Kross, or even a Casio XW-P1 or XW-G1. The preset sounds may or may not be what you want, but Casio's hex layers can get quite tasty, and there's a huge range in both of them.

The Kross has a fully editable sound engine, but it's quite menu-divey. On the other hand, if you don't mind using a configuration app, KORG has one for that. Two digital oscillators, multiple LFOs, envelopes, two filters ... it's good.
Flounderguts
Leaning towards the jv 1080 or maybe a PreenFM2...there are lots of others, but $$$ are a factor right now...
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