Synth Site: Quasimidi: Polymorph: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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somnaut a professional user from NYC USA writes:
So many people were complaining about it on the Gas-Station because it's made by Quasimidi (what a terrible name for a company), and yet there were a couple of people really standing up for it. So of course I had to check here and see the reviews. Seeing so many people with differing opinions on the sound, and reading about the step sequencer, convinced me I should look into getting one, especially since they were about to vanish from the US entirely due to Quasimidi's demise.

I was pretty sure based on the online demos that I'd enjoy the sound, and it turns out, I do. A big plus for me is the ability to program in changes in effect parameters on the step sequencer (ace for really weird flanger stepping). To me, it sounds best doing mellow ambient loops, but then I've never been one for harshly overdriven 303 either.

And if you like throwing in random or semi-random blurps and wiggles in your sounds, this is absolutely the beast to have. It actually seems custom made for my music, I do a lot of this kind of thing, so I'm quite pleased with it.

The main thing about it is, it's incredibly FUN. You can burn hours just tweaking, and come across a hundred variations that are all viable in and of themselves. It may give you a bit of option anxiety, so get ready to use your editor's ears to find the creamiest tastiest of the lot.

Sure it's lame that there are only a few waves to choose from for the 2nd and 3rd oscillators, but I don't expect I'll be using them directly very much anyhow. I've been using them in oscillator sync mode to mess with the sound of the first "VA" oscillator. Even just using a single oscillator, the phrase sequencing and effects give the sounds plenty of depth and character. Remember that people still love the TB303, and that's a single oscillator, a monosynth, with a heck of a lot less flexibility. It's not what you got, it's what you do.

Some of the waves on osc 2 and 3 sound much too ROMPLER for my taste, it's kind of annoying, but I don't plan on using these waves. I think it's really OK to accept limitations of an instrument and dedicate yourself to pulling out the stuff it does well. Since it's not the only thing in my stable, I'm not too worried. It's a great piece, and a real kickstarter for creativity.

Plus if you're doing an old-skool ambient gig, you could just show up with one of these and a minidisc full of sounds recorded on the street or in the country, and you're all set... GO REALTIME ANALOG STYLE SEQUENCER!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-07-2000 at 08:19
Thomas Karlisch a part-time user from Gelsenkirchen (Germany) writes:
If you are into electronic music (i mean TD-like, not Techno), this is the thing to have. Is it difficult to program: i can´t say so. When i got my first (i have two by now), i sat down for an evening, looked into the manual, started twisting knobs and pushing buttons and it opened up on me. You should know a thing or two about analogue synthesizers and step-sequencers though. Using the morph-sequencer and the built-in effects(espacially the pan-delay) makes up wonderful animated sequences. I can´t recommend using an external keyboard for programming. Sure, some things are done faster that way, but you will lose a lot of the typical step-sequence character that way. In my opinion this is the greatest piece of gear i laid my hands on in the last 15 years. Honest!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Sep-13-2000 at 03:44
Mark Holloway a professional user from USA writes:
Get one while they are still available..

If you already own a Nord, Virus, or some other current VA synth, this thing will integrate perfectly into your studio. It can be harsh when yo want it to be harsh ... it can be smooth, warm, and lush when you want it to be.

In my opinion the presets are crap. They are very "Kraftwerk" sounding and make people think this is for New Age. A few tweak of the knobs and your blowing your head off with bass, leads, and everything in between. The on board sequencer allows you to do things only drempt about on a Nord or Virus!

They still have some left at for $999. This synth will work miracles in any Trance, House, or Ambient setup.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-17-2000 at 03:29
AdamT a part-time user from UK writes:
What looks like a Dance module or VA on the surface actually isn`t, it COULD be used for either but the PM has to be the worlds first module specifically designed for the Jarre / Tangerine dream market, THIS thing should have been called the Equinoxe (not GEM`s Workstation).

Simon says that he hasn`t finished exploring it after a year, and I can fully understand that and I feel that most people will totally miss the point thinking it is an alternative to a Nova, Virus or JP8080, it isn`t, it is a unique instrument which makes a Microwave XT, PPG or Transwave synth look orthodox.

As far as Analog emulation goes, it is more ESQ1 than OB-Xa, it has the ESQ grittiness to it but thankfully hasn`t the shut in sound of this early Ensoniq, there is no problem with damaging subwoofers or frying tweeters with the PM. The filters are unique again, 'different' rather than the usual VA fare and the sampled waveforms are diverse and rather more Jarre/TD oriented than dance.

The OS gets in the way until mastered, the FX are multitimbral but have no reverb, I AM GLAD of this as reverb algorithms are usually inferior even to a budget Zoom box in Va`s and everyone has an outboard reverb unit.

The PM doesn`t come with rack ears (Downer) but I think that rather than a cost cutting excersize and was a deliberate omission because as soon as you rack it up, programming it goes out of the window and this thing is all about programming, the rear panel sockets aren`t set in at all so you would need an extra 1u of space for the plugs (:-( . bad design. Hardware wise, the casework is battleship grade, the buttons clicky and positive but the knobs, cheap and wobbly but smooth, the readout is clear and bright. errr and the soddin` thing runs off a line lump PSU (I HATE these things!).

I haven`t mentioned the morphing sequencer because I haven`t explored it yet but looks like a mre complex digital alternative to a Moog 960 sort of arrangement.

Sooooooo summary :-

If you want something totally different and have a VA, real Analogs, a Microwave and an S&S box, this could fill the post, don`t expect to master it in a day and don`t write it off as a Nova alternative that`s not as warm or smooth.

This is VERY German, it is Unique and seriously weird. I love it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-27-2000 at 07:53
Simon Greenwood a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Had one of these beasts for a year now and still haven't explored all of it. At it's heart, four three oscillator (well, one raw oscillator and two sound sources) polysynths with eight (or is it 16?) 16 note sequencers for each preset, arranged into setups. Simple enough? How about having three assignable control parameters per note on the sequencer, and the ability to control parameters on one sequence with another... Soundwise, it's very pentrative and percussive. The filters are very clicky and not very resonant in the traditional way - no squelchy funk basses here. It's defiantly digital, even when it's trying to do analogue sounds, and is happier with bells, screaming leads and string pads than it is with low end stuff. Its OS can also be a little quixotic - I've saved setups only to have them completely changed when I next come back to them on more than one occasion, which is incredibly annoying. Having said that it's an incredibly rich instrument, but probably more suited to the TD rolling sequencer workouts that comprise many of its demos than straight techno.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-29-1999 at 09:08
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