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Synths, synths, synths, let us talk about all the synthesizers

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:41 (six years ago) link

They're great instruments.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:41 (six years ago) link

SYNTH FACT OF THE DAY: Despite performing what is called "photosynthesis", plants are in fact NOT synthesizers.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:43 (six years ago) link

do you a favorite synthesizer?

Are you an old school analog synth fetishist?

^ enlightening post (sarahell), Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:58 (six years ago) link

Fave synth, that's a hard question. I like synths where every function has a knob you can twist, so let's go with that. The Yamaha CS-80 is my dream machine, though. The recent Dave Smith synths like Prophet 12 are good contenders for My Fave Synth as well.

Analog synths do sound great (I own a Microbrute) but some of the analog-fetishism (or rather digital hatred) can seem ridiculous for some. After all, it's the player that makes an instrument sound good, not the other way around.

Speaking of analog and fav synths, if I owned this synth I would be happy for the rest of my life:


DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:05 (six years ago) link

I am interested in what envelopes and VCAs sound like, usually the first thing I do when I check out a synth is how "snappy" the envelopes can get, how nicely the VCAs and filters respond to it, the percussive qualities. Buchlas sound like "pk" then "pup" then "plup". ARP 2600s sounds like "clk" then "cluck". Rolands and new DSIs do not have any percussive qualities that are as useful as those synths.

Goblin Farrell (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:19 (six years ago) link

I love the sound of FM synth + analog filters these days and have been tooling around with a couple of Mutable Instruments objects that are very interesting. Switchable tuning! turn a knob and it's real, it's Pythagorean, pretty cool stuff.

Goblin Farrell (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:22 (six years ago) link

FM synthesis definitely needs a comeback

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:28 (six years ago) link

My first encounter with FM synth (outside of pre-pubescent .cmf programming, and I didn't really get what was happening) (ditto a DX7 in high school) was with a Nord Wave, where it was suddenly like oh! I don't need to artificially create an overtone series? I really love the pairing of FM oscillators and analog filters, the Mutable stuff has been super fun. A friend of mine has a... Wave, PPG? what is it. Something like that. The big one. I played around with it but again the envelopes were mushy, it was all tone and no snap.

Goblin Farrell (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:38 (six years ago) link

A studio I worked in had a CS-80 and it's not all that. When it came time for futuristic polysynth it was always the Jupiter 8-- which at this point has an equally ridiculous price tag

Goblin Farrell (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:40 (six years ago) link

I know the CS-80 is mostly associated with Vangelis sounds although it is capable of more and may be not that great after all... but just look at that design! It seems like no other synth that came before and after the CS series has the same looks/design influences. As far as reliability goes.. at least it's not the PolyMoog.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:47 (six years ago) link

Actually, now that I think about it, the Polymoog DOES share some design similarities with the CS-80

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:51 (six years ago) link

The CS-80 is surprisingly difficult to get into "dialling in" a sound, its interface isn't as intuitive later synths. Also tbrr I need MIDI or CV/gate connectivity, have the computer play the line while I work with the sound, and I don't know if that's a possibility for CS-80s (or if any owner would go for it if it was)

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:52 (six years ago) link

I don't have much use for MIDI to be honest, sitting at a computer and programming notes, I am unable to work like that (and I tried). It just doesn't give me the same kind of joy that touching a keyboard while twisting knobs does. But it's helpful when I need to synchronize several synthesizers.

You can also buy a MIDI kit for your CS-80 at a bargain price of 470 £!

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:02 (six years ago) link

Hmm, I get you. My process is this: typically I dial in a sound, record the take simultaneously as MIDI info and as audio, then save the patch (if applicable). When the song develops and suddenly I realize the synth is too glassy or too dark or whatever, or just wrong, I just feed the already-recorded MIDI info back into the synth and fix the patch in realtime. Not so fastidious, just an easy way to make changes.

A side note to this is that I've gotten so enamoured of my ARP 2600 that I rarely use any analog poly synths, I typically track each voice monophonically using MIDI-to-CV. The signal-to-noise on the ARP is so ridiculously low that you can track 10+ tracks of it and still have silence (provided you keep the spring muted). I love my ARP. I bought it with the money from a soul-destroying film gig several years ago, best decision ever-- though I'm told the Cwejman 2600alike is just as good/better (and cheaper and easier to service)

flamboyant goon tie included, Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:39 (six years ago) link

I usually dial in a sound, play along to the track and slightly change the settings until it fits in well, record (often with a metronome) and hope for a good take or two. Sounds risky and not as professional as your method, but personally I don't like having all these "safety nets" while working on creative stuff. Having this slight tenseness helps me concentrate and evaluate certain synth sounds, mixes and parts more. Like, every part you record could be the last one of your life.

The ARP 2600 is awesome and I wish I could own one. In fact, I wish I could own every classic monosynth. I'm more of a poly guy anyway, although in our multi-tracking DAW age monophonic synthesizers work just as well for me.

Speaking of awesome monosynths, Soviet synthesizers are rarely talked about:




DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 13:12 (six years ago) link

i was digital only for a few years but i'm getting into using analog synths more and more. it's baby steps, but i've been using a Microbrute (running straight audio) and i just got the Korg Volca Keys (controlled via MIDI).

i know a lot of dudes who are more into messing around with old gear and than they are into making records and i never want to be that, so i'm just getting hardware when i'm having a specific sound that i'm not satisfied with the digital version of.

speaking of, i really do think they both have their place...soft synths can sometimes cut through a mix much more easily.

haven't messed around with FM synthesis yet but i really want to, probably going to get NI FM8 to learn on.

festival culture (Jordan), Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:01 (six years ago) link

"Always appreciate all kinds of synths and syntheses." - Synthfucius

Speaking of digital synths and new purchases - I'm about to get a Yamaha AN1x for 250 €. Way underrated VA synth in my opinion. And even if I don't need its sounds I can use it as a MIDI controller with velocity and aftertouch and whatnot.

Jordan, I agree with you re: creating music vs. farting around, but making bloopy shit can be fun and even cathartic sometimes.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:08 (six years ago) link

Anyone get a Microbrute? Looks pretty sweet, especially for the price.

I use a Prodigy that someone in our practice space owns, and I love it, but the newer Moog stuff is $$.

I also just bought Korg Gadget for my iPad mini, which is pretty neat. I cannot find a software synth that comes close to sounding as good as the Prodigy, though.

schwantz, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:41 (six years ago) link

Whoops just saw your post Jordan. What do you think of the Microbrute? Can you get big, squelchy sounds out of it?

schwantz, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:42 (six years ago) link

i loooove it, and yes. mostly i've been using it for thick saw basslines and square-ish leads, and lfo chaos. it's very intuitive imo.

festival culture (Jordan), Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:44 (six years ago) link

Awesome. I think I'm gonna get one. I wish it had another octave, and full-size keys, but other than that it looks sweet.

schwantz, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:45 (six years ago) link

Unfortunately my main keyboard (Nord Electro) does not have pitch/mod wheels.

schwantz, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:46 (six years ago) link

Also, I got to play a Jupiter 8 on our latest record, and DAMN that is fun to play.

schwantz, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:48 (six years ago) link

Does anybody want to recommended sites or tutorials for gaining a practical understanding of synthesis? All I do is play with free VST synths at this point and I get the basics but I want to have a better handle on it.

L'Haim, to life (St3ve Go1db3rg), Thursday, 30 January 2014 18:11 (six years ago) link

Also own a Microbrute - it's brilliant. The minikeys aren't as shitty as on the MicroKorg, allowing you play quite smoothly. And it can do anything from exquisite to big and squelchy.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 18:13 (six years ago) link

St3ve, check out the Synth Secrets series, should teach you a bit (start from the bottom): http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 18:13 (six years ago) link

Oh yeah, I had started in on those Synth Secrets articles but gotten sidetracked, thanks for reminding me.

L'Haim, to life (St3ve Go1db3rg), Thursday, 30 January 2014 18:39 (six years ago) link

i've had the most luck looking on youtube for either the VST i'm working with or general synthesis tutorials.

festival culture (Jordan), Thursday, 30 January 2014 18:55 (six years ago) link

what are your favorite synths for bass sounds? that's the #1 thing I'm lacking right now. I've got an Oberheim Matrix 6 (I finally got it fixed!) which makes some really lovely & mellow sounds, and I also recently bought an MS-20 Mini but haven't done anything too ambitious with it yet.

charitable remainder unitrust (crüt), Thursday, 30 January 2014 19:01 (six years ago) link

the Matrix isn't very good for heavy tweaking on the fly though

charitable remainder unitrust (crüt), Thursday, 30 January 2014 19:02 (six years ago) link

read that as heavy twerking on the fly

bilbo bobbins (how's life), Thursday, 30 January 2014 19:03 (six years ago) link

uhm, I think your MS-20 mini should be able to produce some great bass sounds, although I personally don't like the KORG Sound, it's just too.. "crispy" and "defined" for my taste.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:04 (six years ago) link

The MS-20 is a fabulous bass synth, probably the best currently-available combo going, in that regard? I always forget about it! So great.

tony...ahar...ding (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:40 (six years ago) link

yay for fixed matrix!

my fave bass machines are juno 60 & pro one

i'm in a snit with vintage machines at the moment though since my really fucking expensive prophet 5 hasn't worked at all since i got midi installed

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:41 (six years ago) link

Vintage synths can be so uncompromising, that's why I like them

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:02 (six years ago) link

Well, until they stop working of course.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:02 (six years ago) link

ha. it wouldn't hurt so much if it didn't sound so incredible when it's working

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:12 (six years ago) link

Speaking of vintage synths, I just realized how much 70's and 80's library music has this sci-fi synth soundscape thing going on:


DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:41 (six years ago) link

So many broken synthesizers. ;_;

emil.y, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:45 (six years ago) link

Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Synths

DDD, Friday, 31 January 2014 10:18 (six years ago) link

Actually I'm wondering: Has anyone here played a Synclavier?

DDD, Friday, 31 January 2014 10:20 (six years ago) link

no, but if i did i would make it say jammin on the one

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Friday, 31 January 2014 10:55 (six years ago) link

I am fascinated/curious about what makes people say this or that synth is good for particular applications, or how to to understand the different character of different synths besides the dry technical details about oscillators and such. e.g. electricsound says he likes the Juno 60 for bass sounds but for whatever reason I associate Juno 60s more with string pads and like mini Moogs or Korg SH101s with bass sounds? Maybe those are just more obvious cliches?

L'Haim, to life (St3ve Go1db3rg), Friday, 31 January 2014 15:27 (six years ago) link

Yeah, it's interesting since I always thought synths to be sonic all-rounders, even with their various configurations and designs. But maybe some people like the sonic capabilites of, let's say, an ARP Odyssey more than the capabilites of a Minimoog in terms of bass/lead/pad?/... sounds.

DDD, Friday, 31 January 2014 15:37 (six years ago) link

personally when i say the 60 is good for bass it is because it has nice snappy envelopes and very tight but not wooly low end. it can do string pads well too though, it it a p amazing machine tbh. i appreciate it even more now after five years than i did in my initial rushes of excitement when i first got it

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Friday, 31 January 2014 22:22 (six years ago) link

also i have never played a minimoog or sh101

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Friday, 31 January 2014 22:25 (six years ago) link

i need to step up my pad game

festival culture (Jordan), Friday, 31 January 2014 22:42 (six years ago) link

One day I'll type out my synth adventures but not today. I own a lot of synths. Maybe I will type it. Here we go.

Juno-106 - great entry level synth. Start here and end here if you plan to own house or children. Only issue is that the oscillators like to burn out, and replacing them involves ordering chips and soldering.

Juno-Alpha - teeny tiny, the B is velocity sensitive, super light, super durable, mine got the shit kicked out of it and it still works. There is a cool fifth- and sixth-stage on the envelopes, it's like an ADADSR, so you can make stuttery sounds. It is a pain to program. I bought a PG-300 (the programmer) from a guy who was looking at me like I was a sucker and then I sold it to somebody and understood what a sucker looks like. This takes a little effort to program properly but it's easier than a DX-7. It's good if you're somebody who needs to travel light.

Juno-60 - I think it's this one that has the miracle arpeggiator. Any time I want to do something arpeggiated I borrow one of these guys. I have never owned one but I use them a tonne. It receives clock in so you can send it pulses from Logic using beat mapper to live drum takes and have the arpeggiation stay in time. It also has CV-out so you can double it up with an ARP or a Minimoog. The "ensemble" function is famous and it sounds good, I never felt comfortable using it because any time I turn it on it's like "oh, that sound". This is a great synth and I'd own one except that I own a Jupiter 8.

Jupiter-8 - a weird synth. It's hella expensive, I bought it with a film score budget for a sci-fi movie. It is heavy (a two-person lift, really) and runs hot. The envelopes are too mushy to be really useful for percussion but they are good for bass and pads. I was working on a film where the director hated synthesizers, and he came by the house and kept asking for any noodles to be removed, he just wanted lame-ass indie piano/ukelele plunky-plunks. The Jupiter was the one exception, he loved the Jupiter. It does sound otherworldly, like The Best Synth Ever! But its arpeggiator sucks, it can't be controlled without MIDIfying it (and the kits are poorly reviewed so I haven't done it), it's not particularly routable, and it's too heavy and expensive to really be useful in any home studio. Mine is out on semi-permanent loan to a friend's studio until I get my own space for it, which will probably never happen. I don't know what to do with it, it's kind of like having a convertible in the garage.

Nords - they sound bad. There is something in that frequency spectrum that drives me crazy. Their pianos and organs sound "realistic" without sounding good, and they never sound good in a band. Nord synths are slightly better but still bad-sounding. All that said, I travel with and play a Nord Wave because it's light, it samples, the FM synths sound good, it's got built-in delay and reverb. You have to wrestle hard with these synths to make them sound good but the lightness, durability and usability makes it work it.

Nord Modular - especially these ones. Capable of sounding unbearably good. This is a DSP-run synth where you built a virtual modular on your PC and upload it into the hardware. Like, you drag and drop your modules on to an environment and connect them with patch cords. Super steep learning curve and, like other Nords, sounds terrible 99% of the time, but it worth it for that 1%. I am a thief, not a programmer, I download other people's architectures and tweak them. I have a Memorymoog clone on mine that is so precise in its emulation that it's uncanny. My Nord Modular is my DX-7 and my drum machine, what a great synth. Any time I need to do a shitty film score real quick I turn it on and the score is done.

ARP 2600 - my favourite synth ever, and the only one I use on recordings that I want to be proud of. It never sounds bad. The envelopes are enormously flexible, the CV modulation is amazing, you can build anything and get absolutely lost in creating self-generating patches. Sometimes if I have a houseguest I make a seagull + seashore patch and put it in their room. The spring is noisy but is fun to route sound through it and then back into other things. I am sending mine in to a synth spa in Savannah to get the ring modulator repaired and the connections tricked out. There is no HPF so you have to figure that out if you want to make hi-hats. There is no MIDI, but I use a lightpipe-to-CV converter; the added control of the Silent Way plug-ins is miraculous. I wish I was at home playing with this synth right now. Todd Terje says that the Cwejman S1 is just as good, better in other ways, and less expensive and that he's been using that these days instead of his ARP.

Mutable Instruments - I have a Shruthi and an Ambika. They are both totally awesome but I haven't found a use for either of them just yet.

I have a modular, too. I've lost a week of my life into creating beautiful, useless music with it, but haven't cracked it yet, made it feel like an instrument. I'll type about it another time.

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 1 February 2014 00:26 (six years ago) link

the 106 is weird, i can't stand the results i get from playing one, but other people seem to be able to coax really nice things out of it

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Saturday, 1 February 2014 00:33 (six years ago) link

Social distancing means I've finally started to learn my way around VCV Rack. Please enjoy some noises:


may the force leave us alone (zchyrs), Sunday, 15 March 2020 23:17 (seven months ago) link

Cherry Audio made their virtual rack thing free:

DJI, Tuesday, 17 March 2020 21:16 (seven months ago) link

Moog made their Minimoog iPad app free and Korg's Kaossilator app for iOS and Android

The Moog one sounds fantastic, was easily worth the $15-20 it normally costs

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 07:49 (seven months ago) link

Thanks for the heads-up on that Cherry Audio, I'm excited to try something VCV Rack-esque that looks like it fully functions as a VST.

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 22 March 2020 19:16 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...


50-oscillator ambient drone synth from Russia now available to pre-order.

ShariVari, Monday, 6 April 2020 07:56 (six months ago) link

That sounds cool! I dig the touchpad design. the tiny knobs look like they could be a pain but it's neat that they fit all those controls on such a relatively small box.

may the force leave us alone (zchyrs), Monday, 6 April 2020 15:42 (six months ago) link

LOL @ 2 ppl playing it at once

may the force leave us alone (zchyrs), Monday, 6 April 2020 15:43 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Finally got a Korg NTS-1. This little guy rules. It has an "open" setting in the envelope generator which means drones for days

may the force leave us alone (zchyrs), Monday, 20 April 2020 21:45 (six months ago) link

Speaking of which, hey drone demons, any fun tricks for creating drones out of audio apart from Paulstretch or infinite reverb? I don't generally venture into these waters but I have a use case.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 21 April 2020 14:48 (six months ago) link

check the gleetchlab x program i linked in the VST thread, i've been droning by layering tiny samples (bordering on "granular" i guess), looping them, and running them through some of the software's portfolio of wild effects and processors. it's a compiled max/msp patch so there are interface quirks but it is fun as hell.


idk what the demo limitations are cause i bought it after about 5 minutes of playing with it

adam, Tuesday, 21 April 2020 15:18 (six months ago) link

i know you are not an ableton guy but you could achieve drony results in a similar manner with the granulator ii m4l device modulated with a ton of lfo devices to give the drone a little movement

adam, Tuesday, 21 April 2020 15:19 (six months ago) link

Thanks! I've got some vsts I can use for LFOs, and maybe I'll try Hysteresis for some granular fx. Maybe just adding a bunch of different layers with different pitches and effects to add movement.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 21 April 2020 16:15 (six months ago) link

I don't really know where to put this but I love the droney/ambient clips this guy is posting to twitter/youtube from his homemade softsynth:

It takes visual input for both synth waveform and score data, kind of like Daphne Oram's "Oramics" system, except you no longer need to rig up an overhead projector with thousands of pounds worth of homewired electronics into something the size of your entire living room, you can have it on your laptop.

...I mean, I haven't got any particularly good noises out of it yet myself, but I have faith in ilx:
github for source and Mac/Win installers

a passing spacecadet, Wednesday, 22 April 2020 18:42 (six months ago) link



adam, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 12:56 (five months ago) link

this is off topic but being sold by the same dude, the item description is WELL WORTH YOUR TIME https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pyradyne-Owned-by-DR-FRED-BELL-DevaStar-Orb-Patrick-Flanagan-Marcel-Vogel/233557492440

adam, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 12:59 (five months ago) link

i think it was Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith who was doing a (late junction?) session for the bbc and put polysynthi down as a required for the session because they had one and she'd never seen one.

oh, it's there in the pictures

koogs, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 13:18 (five months ago) link

that is very cool, i wonder if there's a way to hear that session. kas and greg fox is an interesting combo

adam, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 13:39 (five months ago) link

the same google search turned up a mixcloud link but i couldn't load it (but then my 3g connection has been poor all week)

https://www.mixcloud.com/latejunctionsessions/kaitlyn-aurelia-smith-and-greg-fox-in-session/ (might be dead)

(i thought the late junction sessions were always available because they are paid for by the bbc. the above does look like an official account, perhaps they do it via mixcloud and not sounds)

koogs, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 13:45 (five months ago) link

(nope, standard 30 days, and that expired on Sun, 21 August 2016 (at 12:48:00 GMT))

koogs, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 13:52 (five months ago) link

alas. i appreciate your efforts. coming up empty on slsk too.

the polysynthi came up on my saved ebay search for "synton fenix," the first time anything has ever triggered that one ha ha.

adam, Tuesday, 28 April 2020 14:26 (five months ago) link


DJI, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 22:05 (five months ago) link

i am a satisfied owner of the wavestate as of a couple weeks ago. wave sequencing made me feel stupid for a while but i'm slowly coming to grips with it. being able to hold down one key to play an entire song lightens the relative load on my digitakt and other synths

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 6 May 2020 18:26 (five months ago) link

the polysynthi came up on my saved ebay search for "synton fenix," the first time anything has ever triggered that one ha ha.

adam you should sign up here!!!!!


2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Friday, 8 May 2020 15:06 (five months ago) link

The new Logic update seems great, I never used it because I couldn't even read EXS24 or half the older pre-Retina instruments but I'm downloading it again tomorrow.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 06:34 (five months ago) link

that fenix clone is amazing. someone is selling a real one on the Horribly Named Synth Site for 10k and has a lot of nonsense in the listing about only selling to synthesists "known to him," what a dork.

is logic good? i've never used it. i am just about done with ableton after it crashed three times in a row yesterday trying to load the arturia cs-80 so i could play happy birthday to my father in law with a vangelis patch. i have the 8-track version of bitwig and it seems pretty nice.

(i also use renoise but it's a different "workflow" as they say for sure)

adam, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 16:07 (five months ago) link

I would use Logic if I was on mac.

I say this every single time, but after I finish this current album I'm working on, I'm going to give Bitwig and Studio One a real shot to see if I click with them and get off Cubase.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 16:16 (five months ago) link

The Arturia plugins are crazy buggy resource hogs. Other than those (which I still use since they sound great), Live has been solid for me. Not sure if AU/AAX/VST/VST3 makes a difference.

DJI, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 16:17 (five months ago) link

Love the game of Russian roulette that happens when I accidentally load the wrong plugin. "Is this one of the ones that instantly crashes my DAW?"

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 16:20 (five months ago) link

four weeks pass...

have a look at bitwig, Jordan - has good VST sandboxing thing, only the plug-in crashes rather than the DAW too.

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Friday, 12 June 2020 10:52 (four months ago) link

I've been avoiding my chaotic studio space and mucking about at home with a small army of volcæ - kick, modular and drum have been joined by bass, FM and sample via a 'producer pack' bundle (+ mixer and a case) I got a good deal on. surprised by the bass being my fave of the new ones! FM has some good sounds and some lame, the controls they've surfaced on it are good, wouldn't really want to do a patch from scratch though. sample is very greedy on the old MIDI channels and I've not used it a heap.

to get around the classic "it's just one bar loops!" volca criticism I've got them all under the control of a pyramid, which is a bit like if you made the MIDI sequencing parts of Ableton into their own hardware instrument. I've enjoyed putting some time into it properly, a great way to stay off the computer.

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Friday, 12 June 2020 12:01 (four months ago) link

Cool! I keep thinking of doing something like that, but then Ableton is so flexible and powerful. Once I have a space to do it, I may try something like that with my Circuit (albeit with way less tracks).

DJI, Friday, 12 June 2020 15:28 (four months ago) link

Thanks haitch, I'm just wrapping up an album project so now is the time to try something new.

There's one track on the record that is primarily Volca FM & Keys and I'm really happy with the sound. Still love the FM although I keep coming back to like two patches ('Plucky' and one of the bass patches), lol. Keys I usually have to combine with a digital synth to add some attack and sheen, but the blend is soooo much better than either could do on their own.

I still don't do any real hardware workflows, just program midi with purposefully lame/neutral softsynth sounds and then do a couple 'live' takes sending it out and twisting knobs.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 12 June 2020 17:36 (four months ago) link

i impulsively bought an electribe sampler from a sketchy guy on craigslist (his price was $100+ cheaper than on reverb, he showed me a photo of his storage space filled with boxed music gear, and tried to sell me a moog out of his car when he dropped it off). i don't know what i'm doing yet but it seems pretty intuitive. i don't really know what i want to make with it yet either. i don't have a spare SD card so i can't save my samples/patterns yet, but that's probably a good thing at this point. i spent my lunch break today sampling orchestral strings and then pitching them up and down and layering them to sound gross and seasick. pretty fun.

na (NA), Wednesday, 17 June 2020 20:01 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I finally have a place at to play in my house! Here’s a little jam with my Circuit controlling some external synths:


DJI, Sunday, 12 July 2020 02:49 (three months ago) link


DJI, Sunday, 12 July 2020 02:52 (three months ago) link


clouds, Sunday, 12 July 2020 17:10 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

want 2 put in a good word for the moog subsequent 37. recently got one and it was instantly the most fun synth i've ever touched

today ordered the new hotness from a new synth company called ASM, v excited to learn to program it: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/asm-hydrasynth

davey, Sunday, 2 August 2020 01:47 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

How are you getting on with the Hydrasynth, Davey?

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Thursday, 27 August 2020 11:39 (one month ago) link

Happy 909 Day!


DJI, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 23:36 (one month ago) link

The Wizard!

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 10 September 2020 01:20 (one month ago) link

shoot, xps, sorry i missed this earlier sharivari. i didn’t end up ordering the hydrasynth after all. actually i thought i had, but didn’t quite complete the transaction on ebay. then i took a look at my credit card statements, and while i’m not in debt, i couldn’t justify the purchase :/

i DID finally restore my DSI Prophet ‘08, though. it took a few operations. on the second to last, i tried to fix the two dead keys it had and, after much painstaking effort, when i pieced it all together found that something like half the keys were dead! i had to laugh. no idea where i went wrong. anyway, i got a new keybed for it and it everything works, finally. it’s a beautiful machine

davey, Thursday, 10 September 2020 12:34 (one month ago) link

I made a little jungle-ish jam using a Circuit, Streichfett, Minilogue, Bass Station 2 synths and MD500, RE20 and BigSky pedals.


DJI, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:53 (one month ago) link

Arturia Polybrute

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 18:21 (one month ago) link

I've been making some dreadful noises with a Lyra-8. great stuff.

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 00:10 (one month ago) link

Is it easy to get started? It seems like it would be

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 02:33 (one month ago) link

The Lyra-8 is the best

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 23 September 2020 02:40 (one month ago) link

Tom I think so - I just tuned all the voices around the same pitch and started from there, good way to see how changing something effected everything else. once you grasp that you can just tune some intervals up by ear and make your own scales or whatever.

my sister's not quite 2-year-old was obsessed with it when they came to visit last week, and was delighted by endless delay feedback when I let her have a play! (her older brother was not impressed, what a normie)

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 09:07 (one month ago) link

I'm tempted by the Lyra-FX Eurorack module for when i expand my case.

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 09:32 (one month ago) link

i think i've said i really regret selling my lyra-8. the pulsar drum thing looks bananas, i like that guy's russian business hippie vibes

adam, Wednesday, 23 September 2020 14:39 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...


DJI, Friday, 9 October 2020 16:58 (two weeks ago) link

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