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Anything Analog:  Buying a big poly- which one???


18-Oct-01 (Giant Midget)
18-Oct-01 (reactor303)
18-Oct-01 (Analog Phreek)
18-Oct-01 (Kelly64)
18-Oct-01 (Giant Midget)
18-Oct-01 (ANTILIFE)
18-Oct-01 (CoolColJ)
18-Oct-01 (CoolColJ)
18-Oct-01 (Giant Midget)
18-Oct-01 (CoolColJ)
19-Oct-01 (Peake@work)
19-Oct-01 (alive)
19-Oct-01 (JB)
19-Oct-01 (soundwave106)
19-Oct-01 (Rt.Hon.Beerma§ter™)
19-Oct-01 (Giant Midget)
19-Oct-01 (CoolColJ)
19-Oct-01 (CoolColJ)
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Giant Midget.... Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  07:31PM )

- Finally got the money to get a nice analog polysynth and have a few really choice ones to choose from so I'm not sure.

I've narrowed it down to a few- I want to buy on a local level from people I know so:

Memorymoog+, it's one of the late models has the autotune and has been worked over extensively.

P5- I think it's a rev2, not completely bulletproofed but in great shape.

A6

Whichever one I get's going to go in my studio which is pretty controlled as far as temperature goes and there it will stay. I don't need too much MIDI control/FX because I like to play lines and then chop them up in Pro Tools.

I wouldn't mind an ObieXa or a Jupiter but I don't know anyone local who has one and I don't trust UPS with something as fragile and temperamental as one of these especially since I'm not a tech. Right now I'm leaning toward the MM+ because of the sound the 3rd Osc and the sheer bruteness of the thing but...

Any advice and experiences would be appreciated!

Giant Midget

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reactor303.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  07:52PM )

- i would definately get the andromeda unless you have a specific reason for wanting the other ones, if price is not a factor i say andromeda all the way

reactor303

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Analog Phreek.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  08:04PM )

- A6. way more versitle, and jsut as warm as the old ones.. tons of tricks, deep deep programming.. get an a6 and a alpha juno.. set for life.

Analog Phreek

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Kelly64.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  08:17PM )

- I geuss A6 is the way to go, but I cant help but wonder if I would pick up a Prophet if I could - Love that sound :)

- Kelly

Kelly64

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  08:50PM )

- The sound is the most important thing to me which is why the classics would be cool. I'm the kind of person who sold a rack of digital f/x for a bunch of analog stompboxes because they sound better IMO :)

Giant Midget

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ANTILIFE.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  09:07PM )

- Go for what you want. If you want a Prophet 5 go for that. I'm extremely satisfied with mine and it is one of the best analogs out there for functionality, sound quality, programming options and being REAL analog. Not some ASIC chip analog.

If you are going to studio keep it, the MemoryMoog might be the way to go. There aren't alot of them out there and, other than reliability, they are probably the ultimate non-modular Moog. (Even if I don't particularly care for the MemoryMoog.)

Personally, I'd think long and hard before buying the A6, because not everyone is 100% satisfied with that machine. Make sure you hear it first!

Just my two cents.

ANTILIFE

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  09:54PM )

- I fail to see how a Curtis Chip analog synth like the P5 is, is anymore real analog than a Asic chip one like the Andromeda is? :)

Well if you desire midi control out of the box, and a ribbon controller then the A6 is the one. Otherwise you should try them out. They all sound different, but the A6 has the widest sound palette, and thus it is also the hardest to get grips with. It does take a lot of knowledge to get it sounding its best.

I know people who thought the MM sounded like crap, and likewise I think the P5 doesn't sound all that great, but then again I'm a Roland whore :)

What about the Omega8 and Sunsyn?

Colin

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  09:58PM )

- BTW, with the A6 the presets seriously put the synth in a bad light. 90% of em distort the onboard mixers into gritty land - not unlike a MemoryMoog I guess. Worth mentioning should you audition one, and also turn off the background tuning.

CoolColJ

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  10:20PM )

- Midi control isn't the highest priority. I would like something with keys but if the Omega8 was cheaper it would be killer. I like the MM and the P5 sound a lot, not a huge Roland fan(my Juno pretty much takes care of my Roland cravings).

I haven't played an A6 so maybe I haven't had a chance to fall in love with it or diss it. No problems programming it I think but I think the basic sound of the synth is a bit more important than it's versatility, unless of course the A6 sounds as good as the others in addition to being more versatile. Or is it a bit overhyped? Dunno.

Of what I have played, so far my favorite is the Memorymoog but I haven't ruled anything out, I know it has a terrible rep for reliability so that's a factor as well.

Giant Midget

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (18-Oct-01  10:34PM )

- Programming the A6 is not like your average analog :0 Every audio path has the potential to make your sound nice or bad, especially the oscillator and post filter mixers :) Don't expect to get in the drivers seat and be a good driver within a week :)

I own an Andromeda - see my Andromeda Impressions and mp3 thread, lots of audio files there. I personally think it sounds good, and it can certainly do sounds the others would have trouble doing, especially the drums, vocally and modular type sounds. Having 2 filters, of which one is a Multimode is certainly very handy. The other 2 have just a LPF, which is pretty limiting in my view.

A6 is very expressive as well, route your controllers to what you want. Its kinda half house between a full modular and a simple poly like a Jupiter8 with its array of step sequencers, ring mods, FM and sample and hold.

Soundwise its definitely Moog with a dash of Oberheim, you can overdrive the VCOs and Filters to get other tonalities, a bit of Roland. It can sound vintage or cold, as you desire, its all in the programming and routing. You do have to do a lot of stuff, the older synths would do on their own, like drift and grunge a lot :)

Ask a few people here who do own at least 2 of those synths on your list.

Colin

CoolColJ

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Peake@work.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  02:22AM )

- Antilife wrote:

"- Go for what you want. If you want a Prophet 5 go for that. I'm extremely satisfied with mine and it is one of the best analogs out there for functionality, sound quality, programming options and being REAL analog. Not some ASIC chip analog."

The SSM P5s (rev 1 and 2) are excellent synths. But an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is an ASIC is an ASIC.. The SSM and later Curtis oscillator and filter chips (for that matter even the Roland and Korg oscillator and filter chips) are the same sort of chip technology as the oscillator and filter chips in the A6. The A6 just does it on a much larger scale. They're the same sort of thing and one is not more real than another. They certainly all sound different, and that of course is the basis for wanting any one of them.

"If you are going to studio keep it, the MemoryMoog might be the way to go. There aren't alot of them out there and, other than reliability, they are probably the ultimate non-modular Moog. (Even if I don't particularly care for the MemoryMoog.)"

The Minimoog is the closest thing to the Modular in terms of parts used and similarity of design. The MM is a great synth but the Curtis oscillator ASICs alone make it sound pretty different than the Mini or Modular.

I own a Modular Moog and have heard the Mini and the Memory for comparison. I believe that The Real MC would agree with this opinion, and point out that the MM is still hella beefy but in a slightly different tonality.

"Personally, I'd think long and hard before buying the A6, because not everyone is 100% satisfied with that machine. Make sure you hear it first!"

Better yet see if you can borrow one for a while. It's not a "detune two saws and fall in love" sort of machine; there are many things that can be done with it and the raw building blocks may not imply that in an initial impression. A new instrument will over time begin to display it's tonal and practical strengths and weaknesses and how it benefits certain kinds of music and what sort of sounds it excels at or not; the A6 is just coming into it's own in terms of revealing it's strengths etc. It will continue to do so and to find it's niches. The P5, Memorymoog, CS80 have already established a basis to approach them with, etc. The Minimoog is known as a rock lead synth and a bassline synth, for instance. Colin's MP3s of the A6 should give you an idea of what it might be able to offer you and your music. He's posted a lot of the programs on the A6 list at code404.

By all means check out the SunSyn and Omega 8. They're excellent-sounding machines. And out of your vintage choices, I'd take a P5 rev 2 for it's sheer "yowl". The MM is beefier, and has more modulation, but that's my preference. I just don't like those Curtis chips. Listen to records by Japan to hear more P5. Larry Fast played Memorymoog on Peter Gabriel's records; Shock the Monkey has Memorymoog brass.

Peake@work

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alive.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  06:38AM )

- a6.old analog poly's are more easy to die than mono's.

alive

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JB.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  09:25AM )

- I have owned a MemoryMoog+ in the past (got it cheap and bought it on reputation/lust-factor) and was very disappointed, however other people love the machine.

I'd personally play it safe and go for the A6 BUT the others, if kept well, shouldn't lose money if you decide to re-sell.

If I was to go for a classic analogue I'd probably look for an Xpander but that would be gear-lust taking control all over again, I also really miss my MIDI Jupiter-8.

Like those before me have mentioned, the A8 will out-spec the Prophet 5 and MemoryMoog, especially when it comes to MIDI (recording knob movements, editors, assignable controllers etc) not to mention that the keyboard will be new (how much longer will the Prophet and Moogs keyboards be reliable without having to spend money on servicing them?).

Classics are always a slight gamble.

JB

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soundwave106.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  09:47AM )

- If you're going for *sound*, the A6 is not the top choice in the lineup. The top choice would be a Rev 2 Prophet 5 (with the SSM filters) IMHO. SSMs of any sort are very creamy sounding.

However... of all the polys, Prophet 5s are *THE* most tempermental. Except maybe for Memorymoogs. :) That's the serious question: you say you aren't a tech, and you are fearful of shipping synths like Jupiters and Obies. Both of which are far more reliable than Prophets and Memorymoogs.

For the A6: A) While huge, it isn't as huge as those older analogs (though, really, I think the A6 is bigger sounding than a Rev3 Prophet 5. Really.) B) It's a programmer's synth. There are tons of options, and it can be daunting. Plus, the "module bulb" concept is not traditional. The A6 is the most rewarding analog poly for sound designers, however.

soundwave106

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Rt.Hon.Beerma§ter™.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  12:28PM )

- A6 is on the top of my rack ( once ocupied by my MM - with its auto tune problems ! )

A6 offers more versatility than any of my other big polys but does take so much longer to get around ( and in times of panic when minutes count I do find myself grabbing one of my older toys )

If like Col - you can put the time in to really get stuck into the depths of the A6 then you'll have it made

The first bank ROM presets Suck BIG TIME

Mr Peake . . . is there any way of erasing the first ROM preset bank burning the User Presets to the ROM bank ?

Rt.Hon.Beerma§ter™

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  01:40PM )

- Well, another factor would be that for $600-700 more than a new A6 I could have *both* the MM+ and the P5. As far as maintaining a classic synth I have some friends that are really good techs. I just wouldn't want to kick out a bunch of $$$ on a synth and then have to pay more to fix it up because of those UPS monkeys- again.

I like Larry Fast's work a lot- got to meet Larry too when he went on tour with Tony Levin- really down to earth.

I really don't have too much time to spend diving into a synth because I'd rather spend it making music.

Giant Midget

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  01:44PM )

- Beer - just copy the user presets to the Rom Preset1 - burns em into the Flash.

How does the A6 sound vs the MemoryMoog in terms of overall sound? Filters?

I know the A6 is heck of a lot quieter than most of the Curtis chip synths! Just listen to a Rev4 mks80 on headphones....hiss city

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  01:47PM )

- Giant Midget - it all boils down to what sounds you want and expect from the synth I guess.

CoolColJ

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Elfarran.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  01:51PM )

- Unless your Memorymoog has been gone over by Rudy @ Lintronics, and IF you plan to gig, then your only choice is the Andromeda, otherwise, you will need a spare synth and a synth tech to accompany you wherever you may roam...

Elfarran

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morten.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  01:55PM )

- Jean Michel Jarre use alot MemoryMoog on The last concert in Greece. A want A Andromeda and if i can find it Elka Synthex.

morten

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syd.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  02:05PM )

- I use a Memorymoog Plus which actually stays in tune okay. I had a newer ROM which does midi filtering and mapping (not as robust as a Linntronics upgrade, but the Memorymoog still remains a +).

Sound:
With a good shielded cable, it is actually fairly quiet. The noise source is very lame, almost unusable. The 3 oscillator sound is very robust. Yes, they are CEM 3340s; however, the filter is what shapes the sound anyways. The Memorymoog filter seems to be a variation on the Moog ladder filter...more similar to a Mini than a modular filter. I believe that the A6 filter is based on the filter from the moog modular. The resonance is very nice, subtle. The sound is very different than the A6. I don't know how well an Andromeda could mimic a 3 oscillator patch. The truth is that you really have to play one to see if its up your alley. It makes very nice organ, string, and pad sounds. The bass is very robust. Often, I use it in monophonic mode (18 oscillator monosynth...juicy) for basslines.

syd

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nubilee.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  03:09PM )

- JB I'll second your Xpander suggestion.

I love them too, they're great!

Believe it or not if it comes down to A6 or the Memorymoog, I'd say get the A6, for midi's-sake, and reliabillity issues with the MM.

nubilee

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  03:35PM )

- Damn- I wish I could spend some time with an A6 like I have with the P5 and the MM+.. Not just Mp3s...

I could buy the Memorymoog and the Prophet both for not a whole lot more than a new A6. It's frustrating especially since the Prophet is just sitting in a studio closet and has been for like five years. I love the sound of them both too maybe I should get both eventually.

*Hits head against wall to fend off gear lust. Doesn't work*

Giant Midget

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noise.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  03:52PM )

- Hmm. Well, if you have a chance to buy a great condition MM+ and P5 for good money now, perhaps you should go for it.

Yes, I am an A6 owner. Yes, I *love* the A6. No, I have no regrets about buying it. No, I've never heard the MM+ or P5. So how do I qualify that statement?

Well, simply put, the A6 is still in production. There will be more in the future. There aren't going to be any more MM+s or P5s. There will only be less. If you really want either of those, and they are readily available at a good price, you might want to pick one up now, rather than kick yourself later.

For me, well, I don't trust vintage gear all that much. That severely narrows the field of polysynths with keyboards and lots of knobby bits. :) So when a good deal came my way, I jumped on it.

Of course, perhaps the analog trend will buckle tomorrow, and you'll find both for $200 in the classifieds. But then, the A6 will be cheaper too...

noise

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Kelly64.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  04:05PM )

- Yeah, I want a Wavestation before they all Vanish :)

- Kelly

Kelly64

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  08:06PM )

- Good points Noise. Yeah do that GM

CoolColJ

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  08:24PM )

- Is a good point, I doubt that either will drop in value drastically but as always value is what you can do with a synth not what people are willing to pay for it.

How would you say the A6 differs sonically from the two like in overall tonality and waft? CCJ, I listened to your MP3s, great sounds but it's really hard to get a definite impression from MP3.

Damn, I wish I could get my paws on an A6 or an Omega8 to try them out it's just that the P5 and the MM are so great sounding and fun to play with I kind of feel like, why look elsewhere.

Giant Midget

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  10:23PM )

- A6 to me has this watery chorusy smoothy sound, and yet can also sound metallic and harsh at the same time. It certainly has its own sound with a Moog characteristic mixed in. The reason why you find it hard to get a definite impression is because the A6 is so tonally varied.

I can't comment on the A6 vs the others because I don't have the extensive hands on., but I will say that with the MM and P5 what you hear is what you get because they only have one filter and one audio path from VCO to the output. Not so with the A6. It has 2 filters with totally different personalities. The Moog filter is mellow, the SEM multimode more abrasive. Use them together and you get another set of tonalities, and you can even use them side by side. Add in adjustable filter feedback and you get extra tones ranging from overdrive to squelchier resonance, depending on how the filters are setup.

How hard you hit the Oscillator mixer or the Post-Filter mixer also gets you another set of tones. The Main outs sound murkier than the voice outs as well.

With analog you really need to play them in person. That special mind, ear and hand communication that happens is what determines wether you like the synth or not. Analog has soul after all :)

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  10:46PM )

- Perhaps there is an A6 owner that lives nearby?

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (19-Oct-01  10:53PM )

- BTW GM - I've had a ton more mp3s a few weeks back - and I mean a lot :)

Did you happen to hear these BTW?

Colin

CoolColJ

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Peake@work.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (20-Oct-01  01:17AM )

- "Damn, I wish I could get my paws on an A6 or an Omega8 to try them out it's just that the P5 and the MM are so great sounding and fun to play with I kind of feel like, why look elsewhere."

I think you've answered your own question.

Get the P5 and MM. If you don't, you'll always wonder. If you don't end up liking either or both of them, you will have had quality hands-on time with them and have expanded your knowledge of what works for you and what doesn't for future reference. If they're the answer to your dreams, enjoy :-) There will be more A6s shipping down the line so you'll have a chance at one if you hear things from it which you like.

-Mike (still wanting an OB Four-Voice but not for what they currently cost).

Peake@work

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bulldogge.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (20-Oct-01  02:15PM )

- I think Peake and others have the right idea here. If you've allways wanted an MM or P5 getting an Andromeda won't eliminate that want. You'll allways be wondering "if I had only gotten that MM...". I'd allways wanted an Xpander. I waited and waited till a nice one came up and I bought it. While I'm interested in an A6 and might trade the Xpander for one (or sell the Xp to raise money for one), had I not gotten my Xpander I'd have allways wondered "if only...", and the A6, Sunsyn or whatever else I'd gotten would allways fail to measure up to what was in my mind.

So, if you've wanted a MemoryMoog and a Prophet 5 and have the opportunity to get those, I'd say get them. There will be more Andromedas, and the others should hold their prices decently. So go for your dream first, and after it's become a reality you can consider whether they are the ultimate synths for you. If you don't, then you'll allways imagine how good they would have been.

bulldogge

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (21-Oct-01  03:39PM )

- Thanks for the advice guys- the 'one thing' both those synths do is exactly what I like.

If I end up making some more money somehow I'll probably end up with an A6 down the line especially if I start gigging more often.

Cheers! -Sam

Giant Midget

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Analog Phreek.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (21-Oct-01  11:53PM )

- Let me help even more.. Consider the a6 an analog workstation that has tons of modulation capability, moog osc sound, ober multi mode filter and moog filter, with filter feed back can get a little acid sound, but it can do voice pad like you could never do on a an analog before, bass, leads, osc syncs, blah blah.. it sound like a ton of synth, then it sounds like its self.. can be used as 16 mono synths, and its easy to set up multi timbers and use it like a workstation with a pair of stereo outputs.

It give you the most band for the buck, new os allows knob movements to be recorded via midi, and the ribbon controller rules.. And its fun to play, they keycaord its self nice semi wieght action (way better than old analogs).

I lvoe the way its layed out, a bit confusing at first because it has so many damn knobs and buttons. but to use as a basic analog to get soudns, its cake, once you figure out the the filters and how they work etc. Having two is so nice, so easy to make it sound dark evil and strange or weird. If you want to modulate stuff this is where it gets kind of confusing, you have to look at the screen a lot cause some of its in menus..

If you want to learn a synth, and love a synth inside and out, this thing will keep you learning months into owning it.

The biggest plus is the users who own this thing support the hell out of it, i downloaded tons of patches and got a memory card, and now i have amazing sounds. The presets are ok, but when you get some of colings patches and some of the stuff over on code404's site, WOW this synth come alive like no other. IT wins over the VAs cause its real, its fat, and has bass, but it has teh support that vas do..

It a no brainer. Old stuff breaks and goes out of tune to much.

Analog Phreek

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ANTILIFE.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  07:24AM )

- CoolColJ Says:

I fail to see how a Curtis Chip analog synth like the P5 is, is anymore real analog than a Asic chip one like the Andromeda is? :)

There are a number of reasons why the Prophet 5, and many other synths, will have a superior sound than the A6's ASIC design.

Primarily is the idea that independent chips for independent voices--VCO, VCF and VCA, with independent audio paths for each voice lends to a richer sounding synthesizer.

Part of the reason, in my opinion, why the earlier SSM chips and CEM chips sounded better than the more advanced "integrated", complete VCO, VCF and VCA on a single chip design.

It makes me suspiscious when ALL of the voices of a synth are on a single chip that the tone will be dead.

I think that HOW an analog signal is routed internally has a lot to do with the resulting tone of the synth. Take the CS80 for example--probably 25% of the sound rests in the miles of spaghetti cabling and point to point wiring in the belly of the beast.

Just my opinion. Frankly, I've always regarded the Andromeda with more than a fair share of skepticism. I don't want a single synth to "replace" a truckload of vintage boards; I want a truckload of vintage boards!

Besides, recreating the past is boring to me. If you're going to design new analog synths I want to see something with character, something unique that has never been done before. The Andromeda just strikes me as a Matrix 12 for the millenium.

Been there, done that.

Sorry to slag on your favorite synth, but I'm very skeptical of it.

ANTILIFE

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soundwave106.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  11:09AM )

- Just so you know, the A6 is actually 16 chips (8 VCO chips and 8 VCF/VCA chips if I remember right). I also fail to see the actual *chip* methodology as being a reason for calling one real analog, and calling one "ASIC analog". The Curtis and SSM chips are really ASICs in their time.

I will agree that the Rev2 and back Prophet 5s, and the Memorymoog, and others, sound "creamier" and "larger" than the A6 does. Component tolerances have tightened and manufacturing methods are more precise. It makes a difference, one that you can't help but notice in your critical ear modes. For Giant Midget, he should get his dream synths first, if that's what he really wants.

However...

A) I maintain that the A6 sounds larger than the Prophet 5 rev 3. Once the Prophet 5 went Curtis, it lost signifigant appeal to me.

B) On stage, no one gives a rats ass between real analogs of any age, or virtuals, except for musician purists. They only care if it sounds good, it's up for the musician to find what he or she thinks sounds good so he or she can convey this to the audience.

soundwave106

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  12:20PM )

- the truth is on stage most people don't even give a fuck if you seriously fuck up...=O

3001

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nubilee.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  12:34PM )

- Sunsyn looks cool!

nubilee

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  12:38PM )

- Just don't autotune the Andromeda too much and it sounds like the old boys :)

CoolColJ

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Peake@work.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  12:56PM )

- "Primarily is the idea that independent chips for independent voices--VCO, VCF and VCA, with independent audio paths for each voice lends to a richer sounding synthesizer."

Okay. The A6 has independent oscillator and filter chips. And how would they not have independent audio paths? Analog signal must travel along independent audio paths whether it's inside a chip or betwen chips.

"Part of the reason, in my opinion, why the earlier SSM chips and CEM chips sounded better than the more advanced "integrated", complete VCO, VCF and VCA on a single chip design."

The SSM chips were great. The Curtis chips suffer from a great deal of harmonic distortion and the VCA (3360) is noisy. The later Curtis designs were in some ways an improvement in audio quality (the 3350 filter over the 3320) but I've never liked any of the later chips, which were not so different in a technical fashion than the earlier ones. They may have skimped on the designs in order to fit everything into a particular-sized chip however. I have no info on that. Those size issues are not important anymore, BTW.

"It makes me suspiscious when ALL of the voices of a synth are on a single chip that the tone will be dead."

Andromeda has separate VCO and VCF chips.

"I think that HOW an analog signal is routed internally has a lot to do with the resulting tone of the synth. Take the CS80 for example--probably 25% of the sound rests in the miles of spaghetti cabling and point to point wiring in the belly of the beast."

Actually, some of the practitioners of point-to-point wiring used that technique in order to reduce the effective distance between parts. Doesn't having a ton of wiring increase signal loss? (Love the CS80 regardless.)

"Just my opinion."

Your opinion is based upon a certain amount of conjecture.

"Frankly, I've always regarded the Andromeda with more than a fair share of skepticism."

It's another choice, that's all. If you like it, get it. If not, enjoy what you have.

"I don't want a single synth to "replace" a truckload of vintage boards; I want a truckload of vintage boards!"

It was never intended to replace a truckload of vintage boards. It would have several of the most popular filters on it if it had been intended to be a "body snatcher". It was designed to be the most powerful analog polysynth yet made. The filters are related; the OB SEM filter was created to complement the Minimoog filter. People are able to use it's features and flexibility to achieve some of the character of other synths, and that's an added bonus. "Besides, recreating the past is boring to me. If you're going to design new analog synths I want to see something with character, something unique that has never been done before. The Andromeda just strikes me as a Matrix 12 for the millenium."

There is receating the past, and there's refining it and providing it with a slew of modern features and capabilities based upon what we've learned in the last 30 years of analog history. Some people like that, some don't. Fair enough. I hold it in higher regard than any fully-curtis chip based synth.

"Been there, done that."

Have you actually used an A6? That's not a challenge; I just want to know. You may outright hate it and that's fine. As I said when it was released, it's not for everyone. (Nothing is for everyone, beyond basic human need etc.) "Sorry to slag on your favorite synth, but I'm very skeptical of it."

Skeptisism is good. Hands-on experience is better. Slag away so long as it's based upon facts and direct experience.

By the way, the Memorymoog doesn't use ASICs for it's filters, so it doesn't

Peake@work

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  02:14PM )

- I think it's going to be the Memorymoog+ like I originally thought because of the discrete filters, the 3rd osc- or 18 in unison- the resulting sound of it which I like a lot and the fact that it's been worked over and bulletproofed.

Since it's going to be used for studio work not stage sound is the priority.

I'll probably get the P5 in a few months- it's not going anywhere so no rush. Unless that is that I throw on 8:30 and hear what Zawinul did with his- !

This thread has been really good- a nice objective look at the A6 without overhyping it or flame wars. IMHO the little bit extra sound that the classics have is what I want for the moment but maybe in the future...

Giant Midget

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noise.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  02:19PM )

- Peake@work sez: "Doesn't having a ton of wiring increase signal loss?"

I don't think a ton of wiring increases signal loss, unless you're talking about dozens of meters, or *really* crappy cables. However, it would probably induce a fair amount of cross-talk, esp. if the cables aren't well shielded.

So, er, what was that you were saying about the Memorymoog filters? You got cut off at the end there...

noise

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Peake@work.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (22-Oct-01  02:45PM )

- "I don't think a ton of wiring increases signal loss, unless you're talking about dozens of meters, or *really* crappy cables. However, it would probably induce a fair amount of cross-talk, esp. if the cables aren't well shielded."

Ah, okay. I seemed to remember having heard (a bad combination of conjecture on my part!) that resistance and capacitance etc. build up and that lots of wiring is not a good idea. The CS80 is well-shielded IIRC so it should not be a problem, and again, it certainly doesn't effect it's sound :-)

The MM filters are not ASICs and discrete can sound larger. This can be risky when playing chords :-)

.......

Peake@work

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noise.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (23-Oct-01  01:52PM )

- Peake@work sez: "Ah, okay. I seemed to remember having heard (a bad combination of conjecture on my part!) that resistance and capacitance etc. build up and that lots of wiring is not a good idea."

I went back and re-read the original comment. The only common use of point-to-point wiring that I'm aware of is in guitar amps, where you have possibly hundreds of volts coursing through the circuit. Perhaps higher voltage lends to greater signal loss in wires? That doesn't seem very logical, though...

Another though... more wires increases the possibility for RF interference. But again, shielding helps. (I once had a 20' telephone wire which picked up my neighbors CB conversations.)

But personally, I think that the age (breakdown) and quality of the tubes, caps, and resistors in guitar amps is really what makes or breaks the tone-- much more so than the wiring.

But I'm conjecturing all over the place now! :D

noise

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Peake@work.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (23-Oct-01  02:50PM )

- Some classic recording and audio gear had point-to-point wiring, and if I remember correctly, some of the new audiophile gear does as well (Cary tube amps). They say that the shorter runs of wire and the lack of using PCBs improves the sound. Then again, audiophile companies say lots of things :-)

.................

Peake@work

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wiredogwiredog.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (29-Oct-01  10:08PM )

- Triton, Motif, possibly a Fantom... those would be the logical, sensible pick.

wiredogwiredog

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (30-Oct-01  03:28AM )

- A rompler workstation? With a QS8, an ARP Axxe, a Juno, Rhodes, Clav and an Emulator III for outboard and Absynth and Samplecell for Protools I've pretty much got all the workstation bases covered. No, what I've been looking for is a analog poly monster. See the rest of the thread.

Giant Midget

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Calyx93.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (31-Oct-01  10:49AM )

- It all depends on the overall character of sound that you like. Here are the three I'd pick if true analog is the order of the day:

1) SCI Prophet 5 - If you don't mind the polyphony restriction, it's a damn good machine for a healthy range of sounds. Incredibly fast envelopes. For reliability, go for a rev.3 model. Beautiful to behold. (all that wood!)

2)Roland Jupiter 6 or 8 - I consider these machines my "Swiss Army Knife" synths Highly reliable/dependable, wonderfully versatile and really easy to find. MIDI included on the JP-6!

3)Oberheim OB-8 - OB-Xa owners will probable shoot me down for this, but the OB-8 sounds almost exactly like its earlier kin, is reliable, and, thanks to Page 2's added widgets and functions, is more flexible!

There are my opinions. I chose these for flexibility and reliability. If you have the money, an Alesis Andromeda 6 or Oberheim Matrix-12/Xpander would really be nice. I just can't afford them myself :)

Hope this helps!

Calyx93

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lunaluna.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (31-Oct-01  07:48PM )

- I'd save for the Andy. actually, if it were legal to sell organs, I'd sell a kidney for one. LOL

get the andy. it is just too awsome to put into words.

lunaluna

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nubilee.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (31-Oct-01  08:51PM )

- Nah lemme scream "Xpander, Q, and Sunsyn" a little more..

nubilee

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  12:10AM )

- Just got the prophet :) Biig smile :)

Giant Midget

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  04:07AM )

- post some mp3s :)

CoolColJ

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  05:35AM )

- Like music mp3s with the Prophet or just Prophet sounds?

Songs might be a little long in coming at least with the Prophet.

I thought you didn't like the P5 anyway?

Giant Midget

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  06:03AM )

- Just P5 sounds - Just to add to my collection of synth mps :)

CoolColJ

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  01:02PM )

- hmmm pick up a vx600 too:) vx600 ROCK i just got mine, fucking amazingly warm, and no colin it sounds nothing like your mp3s =), 1000000000000000000000x better!=D A LOT warmer than the andromeda^_-...and pretty damn eeasy to program..no knobs but oh well:) it leads to more playing less fiddling=)

3001

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Peake.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  01:23PM )

- Pish-tosh my good man. Few synths have ever disappointed me more than the VX600. Actually, it might be the lowest of the lot... Just my opinion and worth as much but pish-tosh...

Peake

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  01:30PM )

- ?!?!? vx600 rox! i don't know how you could say that! the strings are fucking amazing!, it does a great bassline too! brass is great too!, but u gotta admit peake regardless if you don't like it it's fatter+warmer than the andromeda^_-

3001

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  03:48PM )

- Ha a Juno106 has more bottom end than any of those Akai analogs, and the Andromeda kills the Juno 106 for bass. That does not compute :)

They sound good in their own way, but there a heck a lot better analogs on the market. Jupiter 6 is just but one

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  03:54PM )

- Hey 3001, as long as you enjoy enough to keep and write some cool sh*t then its good. Still got your 808? I thought you should have bought a DRM-1 syncussion, that thing rocks for getting "new" analog drum tones. I'm temptd to get one myself :)

CoolColJ

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ANTILIFE.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  05:51PM )

- The Syncussion ROCKS.

I love mine... it is so hardcore and extreme.

ANTILIFE

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ANTILIFE.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  05:56PM )

- Oh, I forgot to add:

"Syncussion--the 808 killer"

Hehehehhehe

ANTILIFE

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bulldogge.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  06:26PM )

- Not to hit on a point, or anyone in particular, but:

"u gotta admit peake regardless if you don't like it it's fatter+warmer than the andromeda^_- "

Both warmth and "fatness" are totally subjective qualities, so, no, Peake does not have to admit anything. He could feel exactly the opposite and his opinion would be totally valid, as yours is. Both are subjective opinions and thus are both of equal value.

It's just that I've seen this attitude in several threads by many people, and thought that a post on the difference between opinion and fact might be usefull. Fact: the Andromeda has two oscilators and two sub-oscilators. Opinion: the Andromeda sounds fat/thin.

bulldogge

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Peake.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  07:12PM )

- Yeah, an opinion is not an admission. 3001 doesn't like the softer tones which the Moog-style oscillators offer, which tend to be less present around 200Hz through about 5KHz. The VX600 is very DCO-sounding to my ears, and stable and "thin" as I'd call a synth which doesn't have much oscillator movement. It does indeed do good strings ala' the MKS70, but I prefer analog string sounds. I also dislike the VX600's envelopes, which are very non-analog sounding. The do not pluck like the classic Moog synths. I had an opportunity to pick up a VX600 a year ago for $165.00 and after going over it a bit and programming some sounds, I passed in disgust. I'd far rather have a Chroma or similar for string sounds, and pretty much anything excepting an Oddyssey for bass. (Oddysey envelopes don't have the right plucky shape either.) Nah, no admission is possible because you're wrong wrong wrong ;;-) I like warm and murky, not bright and stable.

Peake

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Giant Midget.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  10:09PM )

- Opinions again Peake, my Axxe is half an Odyssey and I use it for bass all the time. A Mr. Herbie Hancock used an Odyssey too for bass. Funky.

BTW CCJ I don't have a ton of time right now to make a lot of P5 mp3s so for now I guess you'll have to wait unless Antilife wants to share some sounds.

Giant Midget

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (07-Nov-01  10:40PM )

- No problem man :)

CoolColJ

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Peake.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  03:02AM )

- Yep, just my opinions, which don't change anything one bit. Just saying what's right for me (which only applies to me). Not actually saying that anyone is wrong (except jokingly).

Peake

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  04:35PM )

- wow the one you saw was stable? the vx600 are notorious for going out of pitch, it drifts all the bloody time!...heheh:) the thing rox...:)...colin you've never even heard a vx600 so why are you even saying "those akai synths" because it uses different osc chips....until you use one you really can't say it doesn't sound as fat.


actually the reason why i didn't like the andromeda peake is because it was too harsh, i like soft sounds actually...the oscs were too abrassive and buzzy it was irritating:o\...

3001

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  04:37PM )

- that's what filters are for :)

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  04:38PM )

- But your right the A6 does ahve aggressive VCOs, then again so doe sthe Minimoog etc, its a Moog trait. I've A/B the Androemda VCOs to a Moog Prodigy and they sound almost the same.

CoolColJ

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  05:17PM )

- the minimoog i've used didn't soudn anything like the oscs on the andromeda, but it was one of the first hundred so maybe that had something to do with it?

3001

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The Real MC.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  05:49PM )

- That's a good bet.

1) the Minimoog VCO waveshapes are fairly curved compared to a laboratory-pristine ramp or square wave.

2) the VCF on the first batch of Minimoogs had matched transistors in all the pairs in the ladder filter. Later Minimoogs and derivatives match only the top and bottom pair. This does affect the sound.

I have Minimoog #1053 and it's a bit on the soft growling side yet it still cuts through a mix.

Also remember that the Andromeda has sensitive pre-filter mixers, they'll get harsh if they're overdriven above 30. Below that and you'll get a softer timbre. A lot of the presets that shipped with the Andy had mix levels that were cranked.

The Real MC

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  09:26PM )

- Hey 3001 - seeing as you like the EDP Wasp so much, I'm surprised you never picked up a OScar synth. Its got 2 of teh wasp filters in it I believe. There is one for sale here with midi, and I'm rather tempted myself :)

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  09:56PM )

- forget it, envelopes are slow ass -

CoolColJ

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  10:01PM )

- how much is it?! who cares about slow envelopes it takes skills to work around shit like thaT! i always wanted an oscar just the price range made it not very practical for me to buy...it's on my gear wish list, right by the clear lucite buchla music easle...heheh

3001

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  10:21PM )

- Well I'm trying to find out - the guy is out at the moment,but one sold for $500US in a shop not so long ago. Some people ask for outrageous amounts only because they didn't make that many of them.

Its pretty raucious sounding I must say.

I remeber as a young lad in 1994, with $350US saved up, taking a bus ride to a guy who was selling a 2 week old oscar with midi. Had manual, box and everything. I was trying to figure out wether to buy an OBXa or the Oscar for the same money. Anyway my Juno 106 tuned ears didn't like the tone :) There I was in this rock musos house, trying to crank the resonance up, and he was flinching and turning it back down. Back then this thing sounded pretty gutteral and raw. Not the kind of warmth I wanted. I didn't buy it, I wished I did, those things are pretty rare, but thew filter setup is pretty darn cool. Some have a filter input I believe.

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  10:57PM )

- BTW that's not the only thing he's selling.

Analogue synthesisers and studio collectables for sale, all in pristine condition with manuals, items include Korg MS20, OSC Oscar with midi, Future Retro 777 TB303 clone, Yamaha TX816, Korg Mini700S with CV/Gate mod, Kawai 110F, Oberheim SEM module, Roland System modular, Jomox Airbase 99 rack TR909 clone, MXR Phase 100, Alpha Juno 1 and more

hope its a System 700 modular :)

CoolColJ

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3001.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (08-Nov-01  11:58PM )

- 500 is ridiculously cheap!!!!, might as well get it and sell it on ebay and make $1000 heheh...:) unless you're so rich money doesn't matter

3001

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (09-Nov-01  06:44AM )

- gack he sold the whole lot already :(

CoolColJ

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miraz.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (09-Nov-01  08:22PM )

- The ones I have are the CS-80 Really big!),Prophet 5 Rev.2, Jupiter 6 and Moog liberation (that somehow fits in this lot) Polymoog Synthesizer is on the way. I used to have the P5 Rev.3 with P remote and Digital sequencer (the one with micro cass.) I still have them. The P5.3 though got ripped off with my old Polymoog 13 years ago. Since the P gear is not compatible with the p5.2 Im thinking of selling them. anyone interested?

miraz

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (10-Nov-01  08:07PM )

- 3001 - also I forgot to say, on the A6 the filters go to 22khtz (12db) and 44.khtz (24db) . On just about every synth other than a modular, the filters will be at around 12khtz (minimoog) or around 16ktz (Junos, Jupiters etc) - so off course the A6 will be brighter, and most synths won't allow you to bypass the filters so your hearing the filters all the time.

Here is one way to emulate this on the A6 if filtering with the Moog filter run the filters in series, set the 12db LPF at 12khtz, so now when you push the filter envelope up, it will sound like the other analog synths your used to :)

CoolColJ

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CoolColJ.... Re:Buying a big poly- which one??? (10-Nov-01  08:13PM )

- Or stick an offset only modulation onto teh filter of say -40.

CoolColJ

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