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MESSE 2014: MacBeth Elements (video)
  14-Mar-14
47 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
phraggle    Said...

November spawned a monster...

(Sorry, I'll get me coat)

14-Mar-14 11:48 AM


elkarl    Said...

100 points for a brilliant presentation!

14-Mar-14 11:54 AM


Champ    Said...

Ahhhh man I can't believe I missed this at the Alex4 booth. Really wan't to get my hands on one of these.

14-Mar-14 11:56 AM


Andy    Said...

Fantastic - looks a bit VCS3ish to me. Love his madness / enthusiasm and love the synth

14-Mar-14 12:01 PM


AnalogueBend    Said...

Loved the enthusiasm, loved the build....yet not really impressed. I am certain I am in the minority, yet just seems to me to be moving backwards.

14-Mar-14 12:40 PM


Meneer Vincent    Said...

Brilliant

14-Mar-14 03:38 PM


anonymous coward    Said...

another wow!

this is different from the mfb!

any info on pricing?

14-Mar-14 03:57 PM


Champ    Said...

The Elements Synthesizer is £3995.00GBP

The half sized rack version is £1795.00GBP

14-Mar-14 04:28 PM


Synth_Fan    Said...

This is friggin fantastic. Just too expensive !

14-Mar-14 04:45 PM


Funkdefino    Said...

MacBeth - Elements

GET IN MY BELLY!

14-Mar-14 07:42 PM


EMwhite    Said...

Too expensive compared to what?

Worth every quid in my opinion. : ) and finally somebody that knows what they are selling.

15-Mar-14 09:31 AM


avr    Said...

It has no memories,yet boasts about its capabilities.very much a case of the emperors new clothes.Some peoples synth fetishism is going a bit too far. Stylophone keyboard is a joke surely?

15-Mar-14 10:16 AM


AnalogueBend    Said...

"AVR" agree, yet sadly Nick is so far up Ken's arse and giggling like a little girl he forgot that this is purely an exercise in luxury, not if utility, sonics, or viability. I'm actually disappointed in Nick more than anything else.

15-Mar-14 01:11 PM


Dutnakke    Said...

Other than making sound efx for a 50's style sci-fi movie - what the heck can anyone use this for?

15-Mar-14 01:12 PM


Synthy    Said...

To analoguebend,

I've been involved with synths since the 70's and your comments are some of the most moronic I've read. "Disappointed with Nick?" Nick goes to Germany, provides us with great info, while you sit on your arse and give juvenile criticisms. Please post something you've ever done that has value, or STFU.

15-Mar-14 04:09 PM


Coz    Said...

I think Ken is the most passionate bloke in the world judging by this video! :)

I can definitely hear some Radiophonic Workshop in the sounds. If I find a spare 4K I'll buy one.

15-Mar-14 06:05 PM


William ShaverBfRsQ    Said...

I kinda agree with a previous commenter....it does seem to be moving backward with what appears to be a (likely very good) MiniMoog-ish clone.

Like the Sonic Talk recently (when discussing the new 'Arp') what really is the point-especially at that price range.

Euro rack modular kit seems to me where the real innovation is happening and at a price that is generally affordable.

15-Mar-14 06:21 PM


AnalogueBend    Said...

To "synths" whilst you've been "involved" with synths since the 70's which also denotes why you would be in love with this relic, I've been designing and coding synths since 1993. Certainly not as long as you have been "involved" with synths yet hopefully someday when I'm your age I will not become a little b i t c h that is more in love with an era than the actual capability of a said product regardless of when it was produced. Furthermore I could not attend Messe this year I was busy with your wife.

15-Mar-14 10:15 PM


Synthy    Said...

To analogue bend:

You are obviously a bitter, no talent troll.

I use soft synths from great companies like G Force, and I am not in love with an "era." I was taken aback by the vitriol of your comments about Nick "Giggling like a little girl, and having his head so far up Ken's arse." I thought who are these cowards that sit behind their computers making such really ass hole comments? Please tell us what great synths you've coded, that are so well thought out and sonically superior that we should all leave our hardware behind? My earlier post about your comments being juvenile, are proven true by your last comment, about not being able to attend the Musik Messe because you were" busy with my wife," proves what a disgusting troll coward you really are.

My wife passed a couple of years ago, and I'm so so glad she doesn't have to live in a world that offers air to keep scum like you alive.

I think Nick has provided a great, if not the best site regarding synthesizers on the net.

If you don't have anything to offer again, my advice still is to STFU.

15-Mar-14 10:48 PM


AnalogueBend    Said...

Right, how did I guess that you would claim your wife passed if I made an off-handed joke, because you're a parasitic imbecile that feels you must protect Nick from some perceived threat! And I am spot on, Nick has a hard on for Ken and hat is his prerogative yet you, you apparently have it for both of them you f•cknut!

And for the record I started my career at Akai moved onto Alesis (Andromeda/Ion) and I'm at Avid currently.

And of course you would use plugins from gforce. They reproduce relics.

16-Mar-14 12:02 AM


William Shaver    Said...

Gentlemen please--this is not the type of conversation that dignifies anyone. I personally didn't think that Nick was particularly pandering...though he was talking to Ken--would you tell Bob Moog to his face that the Sonic Six build quality and sound wasn't up to par? Nonetheless, it does strike me at first blush that this new machine is heavy on the looks and design with no obviously innovative features (kind of like B&O in the HiFi world). The damn thing is so bloody expensive that--like the Schmidt poly synth--it's more an art piece then a product.

16-Mar-14 12:17 AM


Synthy    Said...

Dear Analogue bend,

So YOU'RE the one behind such disposable crap, synths with rotten code like the Andromeda and Ion.

The Andromeda was a piece of surface mount garbage that couldn't be repaired by great synth techs. A truly disappointing try at an analogue synth disposable by the nature of it's poor design, and the rotten code you probably contributed to in it's buggy OS. You obviously have the touch of shit, because the bankrupt Alesis, had to be rescued by the giant Avid who made $$$ overcharging for Pro Tools, a company that DOUBLED for its loyal users the cost of the same plugins that musicians enjoyed in AU, and VST. Logic gives you all the functions of Pro Tools at a fraction of the price. It's disturbing to know that Avid hires deranged, jealous creeps like yourself. My point is, I'm sick of reading comments like yours on the net, that offer nothing but jealous poison. I don't personally know Nick or Ken, but it takes a lot of intelligence, and talent to make something THAT lasts like Sonic State.com and Macbeth Systems. My prediction: Anything that you contribute to will fail, because your logic is twisted, and guys like you who are too clever for their own good, always end up in a bunker taking their own life. Your buggy logic ALWAYS gets ported over to your rotten coding, and all of us are left to mop up after your mistakes. Again, lead, follow, or get out of the way, and STFU. You are a proven moron making comments on one's wife, when you don't know who your dealing with. Trust me, if you saw me in person, the first word to come out of your slack jaw, would be "Sir." We don't need your jealous, frustrated comments, on who has a hard on for who. If you truly code for Avid, I fear for their financial future, because everything else you've touched, has turned into disposable trash, with little resale value.

16-Mar-14 12:50 AM


AnalogueBend    Said...

Synthy you have some serious anger issues. I am sorry, I did not realise you love Nick. I thought it was purely physical yet now I understand.

16-Mar-14 12:55 AM


AnalogueBend    Said...

Mr Shaver, well said. I shall now return to my "bunker" and continue to code crap.

16-Mar-14 12:56 AM


Synthy    Said...

Mr. Shaver,

Thanks for your intelligent comments. I didn't think Nick was pandering either. I would love to see some true innovation in the analogue world. I was using an Oberheim OB-1 in 1977, a fully programmable, 2 VCO, 1 LFO, 1 low pass filter, 2 env generator synth, and things haven't really moved on too much in the hardware synth world. You're analogy to B&O was spot on.

16-Mar-14 01:18 AM


AnalogueBend    Said...

To Synthy:

If indeed you truly did lose your wife then it was a regrettable and uncharacteristic comment.

And if you own an Andromeda and have software issues, let me know. I worked on it well past its support life as a hobby and I can send you the latest OS and it is stable with some custom features.

16-Mar-14 01:39 AM


Synths    Said...

Analogue bend,

No I don't love Nick, but I love what he's contributed to my life, as I read his site quite often. Video reviews, and his Sonic Talk, etc. are entertaining and informative. I just despise people like you who stink up the atmosphere with crude comments. FYI, I use all of Waldorf plugs, and have owned every incarnation of Komplete now at number 9. As far as calling GForce's great soft synths "relics," your showing your immaturity and penchant for tunnel vision. Their products WORK and are based on classics. Classic products that last are usually LOGICALLY engineered, giving the musician that uses them, intuitive, creative flow. Instruments like the Mini Moog, and Les Paul guitar are still being used decades after their introduction, because they are designed for human beings to enjoy. The stuff you've been involved with like the Andromeda belong on the scrap heap of synth history. No musician I know would dare use an Andromeda live, because if it broke down, who would fix it? Since Alesis went bankrupt, they no longer support the Andromeda. Nice. And who would/could repair such disposable surface mount crap? My Minimoog can still be repaired by parts from Radio Shack. Please inform us on your analogue synth design, as you criticized Ken MacBeth for "moving backwards." Yes, go to your bunker, but spare us the buggy code, that has no longevity, and keeps it's hand in our wallets for the next "upgrade."

16-Mar-14 01:46 AM


AnalogueBend    Said...

Synthy,

I was offering you an olive branch, yet unfortunately you low brow approach to everything is now clear, rather than taking it you, you decided to choke yourself with it.

I was not aware that the Andromeda was the bane of your existence, how utterly petty and pathetic can you be?....then again please you have shown yourself to both clueless and curiously hateful thus who knows where your idiocy begins and your brand of logic rests.

You opened to salvos with your "STFU" and yet could not take it when it was returned in equal measure. That is also your brand of manhood...small is it?

Listen why don't you follow your own advice, it seems to suit you best. Just STFU, and leave such matters to adults which negates you from the onset you little bitch.

16-Mar-14 02:16 AM


Champ    Said...

Lets give the guy with no manners a little more attention... This unsane figure talks dirt about someone else passed wife and doesn't even apologise for it. No morals at all!

Nobody cares who you worked for buddy with that kind of attitude. ;)

16-Mar-14 04:58 AM


Dave T    Said...

Synthy is a liar and dude did apologize but that guy wouldn't let it go.

Synthy started the whole shit then couldn't take it when he got his ass kicked.

16-Mar-14 08:17 AM


Champ    Said...

Ah yes I see he apologised after he made a fool out of himself.

"And if you own an Andromeda and have software issues, let me know."

Let you know what? That people bought something that was far from finished? Far to late don't you think. Sell something when its finished not before. How can one even be proud of something like that. ;)

16-Mar-14 09:08 AM


Synthy    Said...

Analogue bend,

Your weak "apology" after bringing my late wife into the argument, was weak like everything else you do. Of course you're a big man behind the computer keyboard insulting people and their good works. I'd like to see you walk into a pub, and insult one's wife. That won't happen, because you're just another big mouth online coward that likes to snipe from a distance, where you feel safe. You bring up the size of one's manhood? My manhood is large enough to father Children that are decent and kind. I'm so glad they didn't turn out to be virtual gutter snipes like you. Then you also insulted me by suggesting that I would ever own an Andromeda with its half baked OS that you're still finishing in your parent's basement. How wonderful to put out products that are never really "done." Using musicians as guinea pigs to test designs with planned obsolescence isn't my idea of honesty. Companies like Moog Music are still designing products made on Bob Moog's thoughtful engineering. Are they producing "relics" too. THANK GOD you don't run the music technology business, Now get back to your bunker, forget your bad code nightmares, and STFU?

16-Mar-14 10:53 AM


AnalogueBend    Said...

Listen cocksucker fuck you and everything you stand for bend over for, come anytime to out London office and simply provide your name to reception and I will meet with you gladly and then proceed to beat your arse up and down the street motherfucker!

I did not make the decisions at Alesis yet I can tell that a little rat bitch like you cannot even fathom what it takes to design and build a synth. Go back to the cockroach infested hole you came from bitch.

Oh and just in case I was not clear, fuck you and your entire family vermin!

16-Mar-14 11:15 AM


Synthy    Said...

Please leave your London address. I will be there with my film crew, So the world can see what kind of troll shoots down other's good works from mum and dad's basement. For your info, I was a consultant to many major companies, starting with Moog in the early 70's. You need to be schooled by someone who knows what they're talking about, and that person is me. I've been on line for 15 years now, and your inane criticism of Nick and Ken really made me realize what assholes there are in this world. Again, your London address and I will be there. We can post the results of that so everyone can see what an internet bully looks like. One that stays home in the warmth and security of their parents house whirl others go off to Messe, and actually try to BUILD something that actually works. STFU still stands, moron.

16-Mar-14 11:57 AM


Synthy    Said...

Perhaps your CEO, Lou Hernandez, Jr., should know what type of Internet trolls he has working for him. The people I've met at the AES show from Avid, all seemed like fine people. How could they hire someone like you that leaves homophobic comments, insults to ones deceased spouse, and then threatens physical violence when he's exposed as a lying sociopath? Please your London address again? It would be great to eliminate trolls like yourself, and banish you forever from the music technology buisiness.

16-Mar-14 12:20 PM


Division6    Said...

I rarely ever post anything yet you are both behaving rather childishly (and that is being very generous) and the classless exchange speaks poorly of you both.

I think I know who "AB" is since I've seen your profile on the DSP site and rather disappointing that you would take it this far. As for "Synth" I haven't a clue as to who you are however it matters little as you've shown little worth knowing on here as well.

We should all be able to express our opinions here with it devolving into this cesspool. I think Nick was pandering slightly yet perhaps he really likes Ken and his products.

You are both nominally right and egregiously Wrong!

You both should take this moment to STFU.

16-Mar-14 01:03 PM


Nick B    Said...

Well said Division6, its all rather unseemly. On the pandering topic, I have nver used or played any Macbeth stuff, and I'm not sure I was pandering - generally in this situation, I let the presenter do their thing. Its not a mass production product, so is likely to be quirky, different etc. I actually had no idea it was going to be around £4k though - that is a wad of cash - though Kens oscillators do sound great.

16-Mar-14 04:01 PM


Division6    Said...

Hello Nick, I stand corrected. You certainly reserve the right to be enthusiastic at the very least. Ken's offerings do not appeal to me personally and not on the basis of price actually.

Thank you for the superb coverage, and tone.

Disappointed we did not see anything from Access.

Cheers.

16-Mar-14 04:51 PM


William Shaver    Said...

Nick: I've noted that a number of websites now require commenters to disclose their identity...such a change might reduce these types of exchanges in the future.

And regardless of how anyone perceives this or that video, we're all commenters 'cause we enjoy your work!

Cheers

16-Mar-14 07:47 PM


MeneerVincent    Said...

@ William Shaver: Totally agree! @ Nick, always like your reviews a lot, keep up the good work!

17-Mar-14 03:38 AM


Nick B    Said...

Hi William, that may be a good thing - figuring out how to move all our comments over to a third party system such as disquss or simmillar, requires a fair bit of coding to do. Generally these comments are very well behaved.

17-Mar-14 05:56 AM


lightman    Said...

About the moving backwards comment: The Elements and other analog synths that came out recently may contain stuff that has been around for decades but whether or not they sound old and 60s-sci-fi is entirely up to the person using it. Not all of us are stuck in the Jean Michel Jarre/Kraftwerk/Tangerine Dream trap, you know. :)

And the pandering thing... well, you have to be made of stone to withstand the charm and enthusiasm of a guy like Ken who obviously loves what he does. The world is full of slick businessmen dressed in suits who try to shove mediocre crap down our throats, that's why I find it reassuring to know that there are people left who accept no compromise to get their visions across.

17-Mar-14 06:35 AM


matt    Said...

I think I have a new man crush....

I think the criticism started with "It has no memories,yet boasts about its capabilities.very much a case of the emperors new clothes."

I'm not sure how one follows from the other... How not having memories = no cloths on the emperor.. I understand how digitally controlled analog signal paths might the most important thing to person A.. but that also limits what components you could put in there in particular ways.. and it seems to me.. somewhat myopic if you think this should.. like.. be the measure by which we should all judge such things.

I mean it's one thing to say it's not the thing for you.. another to say it's not a good thing.

I'm not sure how the price translates into American dollars but.. if price wasn't a big issue in what I put in my studio.. this synth would surely be on my short list.

17-Mar-14 10:41 PM


Dutnakke    Said...

"Not all of us are stuck in the Jean Michel Jarre/Kraftwerk/Tangerine Dream trap, you know. :)"

Well - I'm not either. My use for synths is more akin to the Corea/Hancock/Duke/Zawinul 'trap' - and I can't for the life of me imagine playing anything worthwhile on the weird contraption pretending to be the keyboard.

20-Mar-14 12:35 AM


lightman    Said...

Dutnakke, fair enough. Personally I like touch-sensitive foil/flat keys, then again, I'm not a trained keyboarder or pianist so I tend to watch these things from a knob twiddler perspective. Guess you either like it or hate it. Anyway, I hope that I will get the chance to try out the Elements synth in person, it would be right up my street if it would be less expensive. It's probably worth its 4000 quid price tag, I just can't justify spending that much on a synth. The missus would kill me! :D

20-Mar-14 03:10 PM


Synth_Fan    Said...

Synth_Fan

@Nick - would love to you probe a little more with your interviews why it is always the case that the most exciting stuff is virtually always non mass produced, and costing a fortune.

There's a extrordinary revolution of synths right now, but the most exciting ones are virtually all one-offs or hand made, making them out of reach to the majority of us. Ye ther still carry equal air-time/ exposure on sites like this.

In truth, there is probably not much more, hardware cost wise, between this synth and the minibrute. OK - lets say twice as much. the rest of the expense is in the manufacturing, hand build cost.

Could you explore Nick - or even discuss it on one of your great video discussion sessions; why the likes of Korg can't do a Schmidt, or this one.

I realise what I'm saying is a bit of a sweeping statement and doesn't always apply - but I do feel that the most intriguing synths (and controllers with the likes of polyphonic aftertouch) are all being developed in garages, and being hand built and sold in single digit numbers, totally out of the reach of the vast majority of musicians.

Why can't it be that Moog make this, or a Schmidt, or a Haken Continuum?

I feel there's a definite new trend emerging, and not being addressed to make th emost exciting technology available to the masses.

Is there any validity to my point here? Bottom line- why shouldn't this be made available for about the same price as a minibrute (I know its manufacturing by hand - but - why - why not a better business model for it) ??

21-Mar-14 05:19 AM


SynthNode+    Said...

I love the coverage of these rare and characterful synths. I probably won't ever own one but enjoy the enthusiasm of their creators. Please keep up the good work Nick.

21-Mar-14 06:06 AM


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