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Matrix 6R At a Glance
User rating: 4.5/5 | Read reviews (14)
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If you're into analogue synths you'll like this one.It's at its best as a programmer's machine but can function equally well as a preset one.Japanese sub-contracted manufacture probably not as good as the OB8 etc. but if you get a good one it should be OK.Software bugs out occasionally and microprocessor has its hands full with all the LFOs and ADSRs but reliability OK overall.Levers on mine are not worth a curse and aftertouch can only be reached by almost snapping the keys off.Would be nice to have ring-mod but hey!Will be eternally in the shadow of the Matrix 12 but offers a lot of that beast's facilities for a great deal less moolah. Sum-up:you'll get out of it what you put into it.
Blackstone Hamilton : Overall it's a pretty decent keyboard, but it ends up sounding a bit sterile since there are no sliders or knobs.
It has 2 DCOs , 3 Envelopes, 2 LFOs and 2 Amps per voice. The only interface to programming the synth engine is through a keypad and an 10 character LCD. In the olden days a synth user would literally patch a VCO into a filter with cords and then into an LFO etc. The Matrix 6 allowed for a similar kind of flexibility where the source of one component could be routed to another component. These routings form a matrix, hence the name.
There are a few default routings (such as DCO 1 pitch modified by LFO 1) and 10 user defined routings. A common user defined routing is Pedal 1 to ENV 1 Decay, but you could just as easily get pedal one to alter the width of the DCO 1 waveform or use one envelope to modify another envelope based on velocity.
There is also a component called the Tracking Generator and this can be used to make something non-linear. There! is also a form of FM synthesis. It is ends up sounding very different from the Yamaha DX idea of FM. This is less than straightforward to say the least. The synth engine has lots of possililities but would require a computer program to really tap.
The keyboard can be split into 2 zones with a sound in each. You have to preallot the number of voices that will be in each zone, 0 in zone 1 and 6 in zone 2, 2 in zone 1 and 4 in zone 2, 6 in zone 1 and 0 in zone 2, or 4 in zone and 2 in zone 2. The keyboard zones can be mutually exclusive or they can overlap, up to the full range of MIDI keys. This allows you to layer a sound, so it's odd that there is no voice allocation of 3 and 3.
The synth also features a real Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF). You can store your sound data to audio tape if you don't have a MIDI data filer. It supports patch changes through MIDI, of course, but you want to wait for the voice to finish because it will just cut off. It has an analog input for a pulse to synchronize the LFO (say with a drum) but not via MIDI (aargh!) If you are into toying with a synth just for the sake of it, this one offers some interesting choices.
Comments About the Sounds:
Super sounds which are really classy - and that's only the factory presets.You won't be getting full value from this synth unless you program it yourself though.The depth of control available to the programmer, especially via the modulation matrix, make it one for the experimentally minded. The fact that it uses DCOs can be worked around by various means so there's no excuse for complaints about lifeless digital pitch control.Filter is a killer with a full sound and goes down real low when you switch off the keyboard tracking.Lots of goodies such as triangle to saw modulation, tracking generator,linear FM osc.2 to filter,3 types of osc. sync etc.Fun,fun,fun!Not many analogue-type sounds that this synth can't have a good stab at emulating.I've even programmed up a decent mellotron strings on mine, complete with grunge and suspect pitch stability!It's your standard analog sound. If you like the Vintage Keys module, then that's what this sounds like, except it IS vintage. There were some attempts "back in the days" to syntesize some drums and Kraftwerk like snares, but they were pretty useless since you were using up the whole keyboard for just one or two sounds. Pianos are also in the horrible area.
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