Erm.. Romplers?

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baboo
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Erm.. Romplers?

Post by baboo » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:33 pm

I know this is silly, but I need a rompler for my setup or something else with more natural sounds (less synthy). I gig a little with a rock/blues/reggae group. It will be processed by my modular so no worries :goo: but analogue subtractive/virtual analogue/wavetable etc. Isn't going to blend well.

I've been looking at the following, more or less within my budget:
1. Mellotron micro- a little limited but I like how it sounds in nearly every demo I'm watching
2. Manikin Memotron- a little big and pricey but seems nice.
3. Yamaha MODX6. I'm not sure about this one. Seems powerful but does it deliver sound wise? How good are the expression controls? I'm worried it's gonna sound very "digital". Anyone tried it?
4. Something used like a Yamaha motif, or some KORG model that's sample based?

Anything else I'm missing? Please give your suggestions. It doesn't have to be a rompler honestly. I was also eyeing the Elektron digitone keys but I'm not sure how it fares at emulating natural instruments, pianos, organs, sax etc. ?

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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:49 pm

Roland JD-1080. Tons of sounds, great acoustic instruments, great synth sounds, easy to set up for performance and cheap.

If you don’t mind an giant beast, the TS-12 sounds fantastic and can be had for cheap.

I feel like the Korg stuff is really solid, but have only messed with it slightly.
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thispoison
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by thispoison » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:50 pm

JV-1080 is hard to beat if you want a classic rompler.

That said, the Mellotron Micro is a fascinating combo with modular. I don't gig with my M4000D or my modular, but in your shoes I'd add the Mellotron Micro.
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mhtones
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by mhtones » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:22 pm

I can also recommend the Roland JV. I still have my JV2080 which has 64 voice capability. Lots of "natural" sounds included. You can pickup a bunch of ROM cards for it and fit 8 into the 2080. I think 4 will fit in the 1080. There's been some chatter that some of the cards aren't holding up that well (in particular the vintage synth card), but sounds like you would be interested in other cards anyways.

Another option is the Kurzweil K2XXX series. I have a K2500RS that I really like. There's lots of CD-ROMs (yeah those old things) available for it that have beautiful acoustic instruments. The "S" in the "RS" stands for Sampler, which allows you to sample your own sounds too.

Those are the 2 that I've kept since the 90s.
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by seychmar » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:32 am

The EMU Proteus 2000 series is also worth mentioning. You can fit up to 4 sound ROMS in each and the synth architecture is fantastic. A great ROMpler that can also work as a serious synth.

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tioJim
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by tioJim » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:56 am

baboo wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:33 pm
3. Yamaha MODX6. I'm not sure about this one. Seems powerful but does it deliver sound wise? How good are the expression controls? I'm worried it's gonna sound very "digital". Anyone tried it?
The MODX is a lot more than a ROMpler. It has Yamaha's latest FM engine in it for starters, FM-X. They've just added a unique visual patch morphing function which allows you to pick various FM parameters across up to 8 patches and morph between them by dragging your finger over an onscreen colour grid.

It has pitch and mod wheels, 4 assignable sliders, 4 assignable knobs and a 'super knob' that can be used to configure combinations of these controls or 'macros' plus all that can be put under multiple lanes of automation (of 100s of parameters). No aftertouch though but it will respond to aftertouch. There's on/off buttons for motion control (automation) and the arpeggiator plus two AF buttons for turning off and on special fx, these can be momentary or latching.

It has 1000s of arpeggio patterns both musical and for control data, lots of drum kits and patterns too.

It has an advanced pattern/loop sequencer. Not linear/DAW like though.

It's ROMpler-ness is inherited from the massively successful Motif heritage. It's library of (about 8000 patches or something mental like that) sounds as good as it's contemporaries from Roland (Fantom series) and Korg (Kronos etc). It can sound harsh and digital it can sound warm and organic.

It can be used as a DAW remote and has loads of controller keyboard options.

I bought a MODX8 to compliment my more boutique/analogue stuff (vintage Roland and Moog, Sequential, Elektron etc) and it fits perfectly.

It's a powerhouse ROMpler, the most advanced FM synth on the market, and a sound designer's dream machine.

In short, it's an utter beast! My only critcism would be it's complexity.

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tioJim
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by tioJim » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:58 am

seychmar wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:32 am
The EMU Proteus 2000 series is also worth mentioning. You can fit up to 4 sound ROMS in each and the synth architecture is fantastic. A great ROMpler that can also work as a serious synth.
90s ROMplers are beginning to sound dated/tired imho, though they're not without their charms and they're cheap as chips, so I'd advise anyone considering them to have a good listen first.

It often won't matter if sitting in a mix or whatever but if somebody's expecting realism comparable to your average mega-Gb piano library they might be disappointed!

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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by Mind Flayer » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:22 pm

If you’re looking for something small and portable, with a little bit of tweakability but not a ton, consider the Roland MC-101. It has a lot of rompler ish presets. Pretty easy to use. No, you can’t do deep programming like you could on something like a JV-2080, but if you just want some bread and butter sounds it’s something to consider.

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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:32 pm

JV series is top notch.
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baboo
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by baboo » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:49 pm

Thanks everyone! tioJim, thanks for your post about the MODX8, it is very helpful. Like I mentioned, I'm not necessarily looking for a bread and butter ROMpler, all the features are very welcome.

I have to say that it's a tough decision for me. I'm torn between getting a Mellotron Micro and the Yamaha MODX6. They are similarly priced, the Mellotron has great sounds and is kind of "instant gratification" while the Yamaha is ultimately a more capable synth. I'll probably have to try one in store somewhere. Do you have any demos to recommend?

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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by blw » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:09 am

The Mellotron romplers are amazing. If they appeal to you, I suggest you dive in. I chose the Memotron for the full keyboard and studio use but am still considering a Mellotron Micro also for live use. It's keyboard set up is a little stupid with dead keys on each end and some overlap in the ranges as I recall. And that is a big issue, I think. The Memotron is a better instrument in that sense. But the Micro's patch selection is better on stage for sure, and of course it is portable. But back to my main point, both offer something unlike other sample-playback synths. Playing back a limited set of samples may seem silly to some, but it's a bit like playing a Rhodes. It does something specific that just works so well in the mix with other instruments.

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tioJim
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by tioJim » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:48 pm

baboo wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:49 pm
Thanks everyone! tioJim, thanks for your post about the MODX8, it is very helpful. Like I mentioned, I'm not necessarily looking for a bread and butter ROMpler, all the features are very welcome.
Richard Devine using one with his modular, and interview



Matt Johnson (Jamiroquai) using the smart morpher (on Montage, identical engine just different polyphony and control surface)



Nick Batt (SonicState) jam with Typhon (music starts at 5:00)


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Mind Flayer
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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by Mind Flayer » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:12 pm

I had a modx (the smallest version). I thought it sounded great, but man, I could never quite figure out the menu system and how to program stuff. For some reason it was incomprehensible to me. And I’m not a COMPLETE dolt when it comes to this kind of stuff, I have a Roland D-50 that I program without the external controller. If you spend enough time with it I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it, but it made my head hurt and I never did figure it out myself.

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Re: Erm.. Romplers?

Post by tioJim » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:54 am

Mind Flayer wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:12 pm
I had a modx (the smallest version). I thought it sounded great, but man, I could never quite figure out the menu system and how to program stuff. For some reason it was incomprehensible to me. And I’m not a COMPLETE dolt when it comes to this kind of stuff, I have a Roland D-50 that I program without the external controller. If you spend enough time with it I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it, but it made my head hurt and I never did figure it out myself.
You're not wrong, it's deep though you could argue some aspects of it just aren't intuitive. Apparently it does things in a very 'Yamaha way' so if you've owned Yamaha stuff in the past (Motif etc) it's supposedly more obvious.

Given each performance can have up to 16 parts and each part can have up to 8 elements (waveforms in other words, = either samples or FM operators) and anyone of those bits has oodles of parameters, it's not surprising things get out of hand!

Here's a quick walkthrough of what that looks like in practice


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