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Recommend me a polysynth
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Recommend me a polysynth
JES
I've been playing a modular setup with a band, but it's getting too complicated. I want patch memory so I don't have to remember to adjust a bunch of knobs and patch cords between songs.

Non-negotiable:
Module only, no keyboard -- I play a Linnstrument
No computer, no iPad, no touchscreens (can't use trackpads or touchscreens live)
easy to work with on a dark stage

What I want (somewhat negotiable for an appealing full package):
Patch memory, DCOs for easy tuning
more than one filter would be great
one filter would ideally be 4-pole for basses (I'm more of a Roland/OTA/2240 guy than a Moog or Curtis guy).
Decent overdrive would be nice
some polyphony -- realistically I probably won't ever need more than 4-6 voices
multitimbral would be amazing (2 is fine)
at least two envelopes and two LFOs
easy editing, but doesn't have to be 1-knob per function
lots of modulation options, especially poly aftertouch and mod wheel assignments

I've been trying out my old Elektron Analog 4 mk1, and it might actually fit the bill, but I'm curious what else is out there as I'm not yet convinced on the sound. I liked the sound of a Novation Peak I tried, but it's got 1 filter and is monotimbral.

TIA.
nateflanigan
The DSI stuff, seems like it might fit the bill. The Pro2 is as close to a digital modular synth as I've been able to find. I don't LOVE the sound of it though, but I think it'd work great live. I have the Prophet 08 as well, it sounds better but does less, but still does quite a bit.
Sinamsis
You're describing most DSI synths. Some buried functions but for the most part knob per function, most are bitimbral, and have profound modulation options. If you want to save money get a P'08. But with some more cash, a Rev 2 might do. That would give you the digital effects, which include a digital HPF, and these can be mod destinations. 8 or 16 voices. They also respond to polyAT. Otherwise, Hydrasynth comes to mind. Not knob per function, but probably as knob per function as the A4. Not sure if it's multitimbral. Otherwise something like a Virus might not be a bad idea. It can do a TON, and incredibly versatile. I do think programming the modern Virus (TI) benefits from the computer editor as there are so many added features. Otherwise if multitimbral isn't a deal breaker, there's the Deepmind 12. But for a desktop module it aint light. The DSI desktops are pretty light in my experience.
tehyar
JES wrote:
I liked the sound of a Novation Peak I tried, but it's got 1 filter and is monotimbral.


So, maybe the Summit?
GuyaGuy
The Behringer Deepmind checks all of the boxes especially if you want a more Roland sound rather than the DSI sound. The only caveat is that they are monotimbral, but they’re cheap enough that you could get two for the price of more luxurious synths.

Otherwise the Hydra looks good if you’re good with digital but I don’t have experience with it.
mamsk
hydrasynth
tron23
Code is a nice fit here. Guinness ftw!
dubonaire
Sinamsis wrote:
You're describing most DSI synths. Some buried functions but for the most part knob per function, most are bitimbral, and have profound modulation options. If you want to save money get a P'08. But with some more cash, a Rev 2 might do.


Yep I'd recommend the Rev2 except that the OP wants a Roland type filter.

The Rev2 desktop weighs 3.4kg. Although the Rev2 has amazing menu-driven modulation options, there is a lot of control on the front panel. The filter has its own DASDR controllable on the panel. You'll hear a lot of demos showing the brassy fizzy Curtis sound but the Rev2 is vastly more competent than that, and you can make pretty much any sound you want. It sounds incredible in my opinion.

Not sure how important MPE is. MPE is not easy to implement in hardware and the Rev2 is only bitimbral.
anselmi
check this one

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=217239&highlight=
dubonaire
anselmi wrote:
check this one

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=217239&highlight=


Looks like it fits. It uses the SSI2144 filter which is a ladder filter design. Interestingly, on the prototype, MFB included Q compensation, a feature of this chip that can be used to amplify the signal at the passband where it normally attenuates, but it seems they left it off the final version.
DMR
dubonaire wrote:
anselmi wrote:
check this one

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=217239&highlight=


Looks like it fits. It uses the SSI2144 filter which is a ladder filter design. Interestingly, on the prototype, MFB included Q compensation, a feature of this chip that can be used to amplify the signal at the passband where it normally attenuates, but it seems they left it off the final version.


Are you sure it was left off? It's listed in the manual ( http://mfberlin.de/wp-content/uploads/synthproe.pdf ) as a setting:

Quote:
VCF2 Qcomp 00-31

With Qcomp you can adjust the bass loss with increasing resonance for VCF2.


Only VCF2 has Q-Comp, VCF1 is a multimode filter.
JES
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I took the Analog 4 mk1 to practice last night and I liked a lot of things about it. EXCEPT, the totally anemic low end through the PA. Yes, one can program around it but I'm fighting against the synth instead of working with it. I plug in my Atlantis and it's instant BOOM with virtually identical settings.

I may check out an A4 mk2.

Hydrasynth looks good, but doesn't yet exist in the wild. I actually prefer encoders and a screen with presets, so this is interesting to me. But for now wait and see. I guess it's the same with the MFB.

I will try a Rev2 if I can find one to try. I do have a Mopho keys -- are people saying the sound is markedly different from the Mopho?

Summit has keys, unless there's a module version I don't know about.

On MPE, all things being equal I'd rather have it, but they're not. There are very few hardware MPE synths. Poly aftertouch gets me most of the way there, and I can program the mod wheel stuff to make proper use of the Y axis on a non-MPE synth.

On MPE hardware, I tried the Motor MF-1m and the filter just didn't excite. I'm a 4-pole kind of guy. Great synth otherwise, but I need solid basses.

Anyway, keep the suggestions coming, and if someone has heard both the Prophet Rev 2 and the Mopho, I'd love to know if there's a big difference.
Sinamsis
The Mopho is a variation of the P ‘08. Changes between P ‘08 and Rev 2 include addition of sub osc (Mopho has this), waveshaping, built in effects that can be modulated (including HPF), and the filter was tweaked. The biggest thing that impacts the sound is the filter (which everyone complained about in the P ‘08) and I believe the change has been well received by most. So yes there is a sonic difference. How much is hard to say for me as the two were separated by several years.
DMR
Another synth, which I haven't played myself but seems to tick all your boxes, is the Futuresonus Parva: https://futureson.us/ though I think you'd have to purchase one used.
dubonaire
DMR wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
anselmi wrote:
check this one

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=217239&highlight=


Looks like it fits. It uses the SSI2144 filter which is a ladder filter design. Interestingly, on the prototype, MFB included Q compensation, a feature of this chip that can be used to amplify the signal at the passband where it normally attenuates, but it seems they left it off the final version.


Are you sure it was left off? It's listed in the manual ( http://mfberlin.de/wp-content/uploads/synthproe.pdf ) as a setting:

Quote:
VCF2 Qcomp 00-31

With Qcomp you can adjust the bass loss with increasing resonance for VCF2.


Only VCF2 has Q-Comp, VCF1 is a multimode filter.


Aah OK. It's been moved from a front panel control to a menu item. That makes sense.
dubonaire
Sinamsis wrote:
The Mopho is a variation of the P ‘08. Changes between P ‘08 and Rev 2 include addition of sub osc (Mopho has this), waveshaping, built in effects that can be modulated (including HPF), and the filter was tweaked. The biggest thing that impacts the sound is the filter (which everyone complained about in the P ‘08) and I believe the change has been well received by most. So yes there is a sonic difference. How much is hard to say for me as the two were separated by several years.


I could be wrong, but I think what has changed is the signal gain going into the filter. Previously it was driven quite high and it's been tamed. At least that's my understanding.

The filter does behave very differently to, say, a Roland filter. I think it's less accommodating. But once you get to play with it for a while you start to learn how to use it, and in the end it throws up some sonic goodness. There is a greater clarity than Roland filters that can really place the synth prominently in the mix. I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to explain it any further than that. But I really play the filter a lot when I'm jamming and I think that says a lot.
GuyaGuy
dubonaire wrote:
Sinamsis wrote:
The Mopho is a variation of the P ‘08. Changes between P ‘08 and Rev 2 include addition of sub osc (Mopho has this), waveshaping, built in effects that can be modulated (including HPF), and the filter was tweaked. The biggest thing that impacts the sound is the filter (which everyone complained about in the P ‘08) and I believe the change has been well received by most. So yes there is a sonic difference. How much is hard to say for me as the two were separated by several years.


I could be wrong, but I think what has changed is the signal gain going into the filter. Previously it was driven quite high and it's been tamed. At least that's my understanding.

The filter does behave very differently to, say, a Roland filter. I think it's less accommodating. But once you get to play with it for a while you start to learn how to use it, and in the end it throws up some sonic goodness. There is a greater clarity than Roland filters that can really place the synth prominently in the mix. I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to explain it any further than that. But I really play the filter a lot when I'm jamming and I think that says a lot.


Yeah there was a full feedback circuit in the MoPho which I wish had been included on the Rev2. But even with the differences the MoPho/Prophet 08 family all sounds relatively alike. It’s like the difference between a Sub37 and Subsequent 37. Or like night and later night, not night and day.
CosmicFlight
Maybe not the cheapest option but a 4 voices Omega or Code + 303 filter would be close from what you're looking for.
tehyar
I see you said being a module with no keys is non-negotiable. I'd forgotten that part when I suggest the Summit, sorry. smile

But thinking on it, are you truly dead against keys? What if the sound and options you were looking for were all there but it also had keys? Would you give up on a great synth because it had one physical feature you weren't interested in? Well, two if you count the size, heh. Is it that your stage setup can't spare the space?
JES
tehyar wrote:
I see you said being a module with no keys is non-negotiable. I'd forgotten that part when I suggest the Summit, sorry. smile

But thinking on it, are you truly dead against keys? What if the sound and options you were looking for were all there but it also had keys? Would you give up on a great synth because it had one physical feature you weren't interested in? Well, two if you count the size, heh. Is it that your stage setup can't spare the space?


Yes, I want to stay compact. And I don't play keyboard (if you don't count a semester of high school piano) so it's kind of a waste. But if it were otherwise perfect and not a monster instrument I might consider.

--

I stopped by the local synth shop yesterday on the way home from some meetings. I tried the Prophet V2 and it's a wonderfully built synth that sounds like my Mopho (and which I don't really love). They had an A4mk2 but I couldn't really tell if it had THAT much more bass than my mk1 through the headphones.

Another possibility--actually suggested by a person at the store--is a small mono synth setup (even just my Atlantis in a tiny case) through the external input of the A4 for bass duties controlled by its CV, and then the A4 can do everything else. I could still mess up sounds but not as badly.
tehyar
Yea not a pianist myself. I’m thinking it might be fun to park the Linn in front of a multi timbral keyboard and use the keys to do launching and transposing of latched arps or sequences while playing the Linn.
blakeq
What about something like the MicroMonsta? Not analog but ticks most other boxes.
neuroportal
Sorry - late to the party but check this out:

https://www.motas-synth.uk/


Saw it in person at the Leeds Modular Meet, UK.

Incredible amount of modulation options and filters and a really cleverly thought out UI.

Otherwise if I would go with a Sequential P6 or Oberheim equiv as they are lovely to work with.
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