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

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:41 (five years ago) Permalink

They're great instruments.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:41 (five years ago) Permalink

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

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:43 (five years ago) Permalink

do you a favorite synthesizer?

Are you an old school analog synth fetishist?

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

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

FM synthesis definitely needs a comeback

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:28 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

"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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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

schwantz, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:46 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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

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

read that as heavy twerking on the fly

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

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:02 (five years ago) Permalink

Well, until they stop working of course.

DDD, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:02 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

So many broken synthesizers. ;_;

emil.y, Thursday, 30 January 2014 22:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Synths

DDD, Friday, 31 January 2014 10:18 (five years ago) Permalink

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

DDD, Friday, 31 January 2014 10:20 (five years ago) Permalink

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

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Friday, 31 January 2014 10:55 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

also i have never played a minimoog or sh101

föllakzoidberg (electricsound), Friday, 31 January 2014 22:25 (five years ago) Permalink

i need to step up my pad game

festival culture (Jordan), Friday, 31 January 2014 22:42 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

It looks quite similar to the 0-Coast in terms of functionality.

I don't really use the Volcas for much - apart from the FM, which is terrific. The new Drum one looks quite sophisticated compared to the Beats and Kick, though.

ShariVari, Friday, 18 January 2019 09:35 (three months ago) Permalink

I dusted off my Volca Keys for the first time in ages recently (actually it was the last thing I recorded for an album), it was very satisfying to get some use out of it. One of my favorite tricks is to mix it with a digital synth, the combination of grit and sheen can be really nice.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 18 January 2019 09:56 (three months ago) Permalink

The new Drum one looks quite sophisticated compared to the Beats and Kick, though.

don't sleep on the kick, it bangs

Steve Reich, 'Ass-Clapping Music' (haitch), Sunday, 20 January 2019 23:30 (three months ago) Permalink

This seems ludicrous for £140:


It's Behringer so it'll probably last 18 months before going up in smoke but probably still worth it.

ShariVari, Monday, 28 January 2019 12:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Any suggestions for lesser-known, inexpensive (~$200) synths/toys/noise makers that don't take up too much space? I know about the Volcas, Critter & Guitari, etc.

Looking for a birthday present for myself. :)

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 3 February 2019 19:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Otherwise I'm thinking about the Volca FM, since I don't have a great FM synth (aside from Dexed, which I never really got the hang of).

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 3 February 2019 19:43 (two months ago) Permalink

The Landscape Stereo Field seems to have gone up in price recently but looks kind of interesting.

The Elettrorama WSG is about $200 and might be fun.

The Volca FM sounds great though.

ShariVari, Sunday, 3 February 2019 19:50 (two months ago) Permalink

If you can spend a little more or find one used, the Novation Circuit rules.

DJI, Sunday, 3 February 2019 19:54 (two months ago) Permalink

I got a Streichfett string synthesizer for Christmas. It's a load of fun, and makes these great artificial-sounding string sounds, but can also be tweaked to make a bunch of other sounds. I made a whole track with it. Once it's released I'll link it here.

DJI, Sunday, 3 February 2019 19:57 (two months ago) Permalink

Could always go for a Stylophone or an Otamatone. The Otamatone Deluxe has a line out so you can run it through pedals and other synths.

EZ Snappin, Sunday, 3 February 2019 20:01 (two months ago) Permalink

Not as tiny but as far as budget fm is concerned I’d take the reface DX over the volca.

dan selzer, Sunday, 3 February 2019 22:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Is the streichfett a take on the Solina type sound?

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 3 February 2019 23:27 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah. This is a good review:

DJI, Sunday, 3 February 2019 23:37 (two months ago) Permalink


DJI, Sunday, 3 February 2019 23:37 (two months ago) Permalink

Not as tiny but as far as budget fm is concerned I’d take the reface DX over the volca.

Dan, does it make a difference if I'm not a keyboard player, and would only use it via midi (mostly for arpeggios, grist for processing, etc)?

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 4 February 2019 00:29 (two months ago) Permalink

Anyway I might just get some Crank Sturgeon contact mics & toys instead:

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 4 February 2019 00:30 (two months ago) Permalink

No. It’s easier to tweak the sounds on the reface than the Volca which is worth considering.

dan selzer, Monday, 4 February 2019 00:35 (two months ago) Permalink

Anyway I might just get some Crank Sturgeon contact mics & toys instead

I want to get that multi-plunk gamelan thing and strap it to my bargain-bin cajon

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 15:40 (two months ago) Permalink

That's what I ordered, super excited tbh

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 6 February 2019 15:44 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I reaaally want one of these cassette synthesizers, it's just a bit too pricey for me. So cool. And Marantz-PMD222 modded into a tape echo.


change display name (Jordan), Monday, 25 February 2019 15:16 (one month ago) Permalink

i been having a little volca renaissance lately, never really found much use for the keys but FM through a few effects can do some good stuff

adam, Monday, 25 February 2019 16:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Not a synth but I have a Soma ETHER on the way to me from Russia:


EZ Snappin, Monday, 25 February 2019 16:53 (one month ago) Permalink

That's some Quatermass type sound there.

just another country (snoball), Monday, 25 February 2019 19:40 (one month ago) Permalink


VCV rack 1.0 and 2.0 should be coming fairly shortly - with full DAW / VST integration for $99.

ShariVari, Monday, 11 March 2019 08:42 (one month ago) Permalink

volca modular is a fun ole time. I keep it in my bag at work and break it out for jams at boring times!

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Tuesday, 12 March 2019 01:22 (one month ago) Permalink

I was messing around with VCV rack at a friend's studio (he's using it to test the firmware for an actual module he's releasing, and make presets), it's pretty wild. I'll definitely go in for a plugin version, for easy sampling.

Hopefully virtual modular isn't as much of a non-finishing-tracks time sink as real modular. Unless your music is based on recording modular-only jams, I really think the key is to just use it as sample fodder and chop out the good bits.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 12 March 2019 17:18 (one month ago) Permalink

I received the ETHER today. This is the sound of my apartment:


EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 16:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Pretty cool! I suppose it would be fun to chop that up and make it into a drum kit.

DJI, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 16:59 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I think it’s gonna be great for sampling purposes. And a fun listen on walks around town.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 17:14 (one month ago) Permalink

I recently got a new iPad, and have been playing with Beatmaker pro. It's pretty sweet, but a little tough to grok immediately. I made a little jam by recording some stuff from my Nord and adding some other stuff from Beatmaker - plan to post it when it's finished.

DJI, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 17:24 (one month ago) Permalink

I want to play around with the Samplr app, but what I learned from my last dive into iPad apps is that it was just too much of a pain to integrate into my DAW workflow, so I stopped doing it quickly.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 17:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah apparently there are some iPad apps that will export to Ableton .als files. That would be sweet. Otherwise it’s going to be annoying. I can render out stems to my Dropbox with Beatmaker, though, which isn’t too bad.

DJI, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:02 (one month ago) Permalink

I just got a Rackbrute and Plaits to pair with a Mother 32 and it is lots of fun.

ShariVari, Friday, 22 March 2019 14:14 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

thinking of selling some stuff off, and was simultaneously feeling a bit uninspired by the toy selection, so acquired a minibrute 2s last week.

still feeling my way with it a bit (work's been p. intense lately) but it's really hitting the spot for me, really good balance of immediacy and complexity, even without cross-patching it with eurorack stuff or another semi-modular it's got so many ways to quickly alter the sound. the sequencer rules - being able to switch the velocity and pressure lanes to be an auxillary LFO, or random source, or envelope, or various free voltages... so good. absolutely savage sync for your cars 'let's go' impressions or whatever, too.

feels very solid too if anyone is still worried about arturia QA issues. lots to get lost in if you're not a keys player and like an alternate interface.

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 08:38 (one week ago) Permalink

i recently sold my drumbrute but yeah the arturia sequencers are really nice, definitely the best part of the machine as i felt the voices were kind of anemic.

adam, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 14:40 (one week ago) Permalink

The Microfreak looks fun. It has a bunch of the Braids oscillator code and an unusual Buchla-style touchpad.

ShariVari, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 16:03 (one week ago) Permalink

I just got a Rackbrute and Plaits to pair with a Mother 32 and it is lots of fun.

― ShariVari, Friday, 22 March 2019 15:14 (two weeks ago)

This escalated quickly tbh.


ShariVari, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:36 (one week ago) Permalink

is that a mutable instruments blinds on the bottom row? i just bought one

my monome teletype should be delivered today about which i am fuckin psyched

adam, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:40 (one week ago) Permalink

It’s Veils on the left and Tides on the right. Èmilie from Mutable is such an inspiration. I saw her called the Bob Moog of the 21st century the other day and it’s hard to disagree. There is so much thought and invention in all their stuff.

ShariVari, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:46 (one week ago) Permalink

yeah she's amazing. just the manuals on the mutable site make for good bored office reading.

my next few purchases are going to be some mannequins modules (https://www.whimsicalraps.com/) which are sort of mysterious in aspect but seem really interesting in practice.

i had been going a cheaper DIY route of buying simple kits, building them, and trying to have fun with them. eventually i realized that while making interesting sounds from first principles is a noble goal i don't really have the time or skill. maybe when my daughter is older i can really go full Synth Dad and DIY up some cool stuff.

adam, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 18:34 (one week ago) Permalink

If everybody's gone modular this might not be of interest, but noted synthesizer guy Jexus recently came out of hiding and posted all of his patches for download. So if you have any of the synths listed in the downloads section on this page you might want to check it out: http://syntezatory.net.pl/wcog_synth_patches.htm

(they're really, really poorly labeled and basically completely unorganized but some sound very good!)

Dan I., Wednesday, 10 April 2019 18:46 (one week ago) Permalink


is this the coolest-looking synth ever

na (NA), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 19:04 (one week ago) Permalink

of course not, but look how cool it looks

na (NA), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 19:06 (one week ago) Permalink

that is very cool

if we're posting attractive synths from reverb then https://reverb.com/item/18493509-jomox-resonator-neuronium-rns-n6

adam, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 19:42 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm just waiting out this whole modular thing until VCV Rack 2.0 comes out

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 20:08 (one week ago) Permalink

daaaaaaaaaamn that jomox

2 Markov Chainz (haitch), Wednesday, 17 April 2019 00:57 (five days ago) Permalink

really wasn't interested in the microfreak...cheesy promo vid, questionable name and design etc, but these videos have me more intrigued.


dan selzer, Monday, 22 April 2019 01:59 (fourteen hours ago) Permalink

That's a very comprehensive video. Certainly sells the Microfreak a lot better than the other demos I've seen. I'm not interested in the keyboard mechanism, but if they made a desktop module version I'd be more likely to pick one up. However although there are a lot of the oscillator engines, each one feels kind of limited in what it can do and how much it's sound can be varied. The Microfreak has some of the code from the Braids module, but the module would be part of a larger modular system. When it's more isolated like it is in the Microfreak, the limitations of each engine become more apparent. I like the filter though, it's nice to hear a filter that seems to have been designed to be usable when the synth is used in a track rather than make the most obnoxious screaming sound possible. I guess the nearest synth, both in size and price, is the Modal SKULPT, but that seems more firmly routed in being a VA synth rather than multi-engine like the Microfreak. I suppose one way of comparing them would be that the SKULPT has deeper programming but the Microfreak has a broader range.

just another country (snoball), Monday, 22 April 2019 10:14 (six hours ago) Permalink

A friend of mine finally released the modules that he's been working on for the last few years. I'm not a modular person but having been able to play around with them and see them develop, they're pretty unique and cool imo:


change display name (Jordan), Monday, 22 April 2019 14:32 (two hours ago) Permalink

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