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Synths and Similar - an electronic music gear thread


Rowan Morrison
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The NAMM show is looking like a good 'un this year. I'm keeping an eye on Elektron, who are set to unveil yet another new machine (rumour is it's a digital drum machine of some sort). I'm also thinking about getting an OP-Z. @BedroomBusinessman, how are you finding yours?

 

That AKAI Force thing (basically Ableton in a box) looks great as well, though its price tag of £1,450-ish is pretty extreme.

 

EDIT: The Elektron thing is an entry-level, sample-based 6 track drum machine called Model: Samples. Presumably just the first machine in a new line. Details here: https://www.elektron.se/products/modelsamples/

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9 hours ago, Eighthours said:

The NAMM show is looking like a good 'un this year. I'm keeping an eye on Elektron, who are set to unveil yet another new machine (rumour is it's a digital drum machine of some sort). I'm also thinking about getting an OP-Z. @BedroomBusinessman, how are you finding yours?

 

That AKAI Force thing (basically Ableton in a box) looks great as well, though its price tag of £1,450-ish is pretty extreme.

 

EDIT: The Elektron thing is an entry-level, sample-based 6 track drum machine called Model: Samples. Presumably just the first machine in a new line. Details here: https://www.elektron.se/products/modelsamples/

Loving the OP-Z, it’s the perfect combination of portability and sequencing for me. For context before this I was using (for hardware) the Digitakt & Digitone combo, I love Elektron’s sequencing workflow, particularly the conditional stuff. OP-Z has elements of this as well as allowing effects to be sequenced. Plenty of opportunities for expansion with the ability to upload samples and the expansion port in the back. Happy to answer any questions about it, one of my mates is using it as the brain in a setup with a SH101, TR808 and the Retrokits RK005 also I’ve got some insight into using it with external gear.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I picked up a PO-33 KO (the sampling one) a couple of days ago on a whim, and I have to say I'm really impressed by it. Yeah, it doesn't have a whole lot of sampling time or.polyphony, but as a drum loop sketchpad it's magnificent. The built in FX make interesting loops very, very easy.

 

Now I'm considering which other ones I need to buy...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I adore my Neutron, it's probably the best value bit of kit I've ever bought. Plus it has LOADS of lights, so looks great in the dark which is obviously just as important as how it sounds.

 

Try patching S+H to the multiplier then into both oscillators to randomise the waveforms as you play, that's one of my favourites.

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I think it's the ideal starting point. It's a great sounding mono on its own even without patching anything.

 

In slightly less good synth news, I bought a second hand Dreadbox/Polyend Medusa but when it arrived the grid wasn't working, must have taken a smack in shipping, so now it's having to go back to Polyend :( I just want my new synth!

 

 

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Finally got this thing working after faffing with firmwares to enable it to use the editor. What a faff!

That said, it seems to work like a charm. I know these (faux!) chips are the same ones in the SH101 amongst others and it certainly gives a nice sound. 

 

*edit*

annoying that you have to patch the synth around the overdrive. It takes 3 patch slots (OSC Mix - ATT1 in), (ATT1 - VCF In), (VCF Out 1 - VCA In). And then you can't use LFO (although it can be patched out - but not to the filter - unless you can get some combiner jack...does that even work? It is audio data or control voltage?).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just backed the Nanoloop hardware handheld

Not 100% happy with how it uses AAA batteries rather than a rechargeable battery pack like everything else these days, but it looks like a slick bit of kit with a retro 80s style, thanks to the LED displays. Might not be everyone's cup of tea but you can get some good minimal grooves out of it.

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On 01/03/2019 at 00:41, Dimahoo said:

*edit*

annoying that you have to patch the synth around the overdrive. It takes 3 patch slots (OSC Mix - ATT1 in), (ATT1 - VCF In), (VCF Out 1 - VCA In). And then you can't use LFO (although it can be patched out - but not to the filter - unless you can get some combiner jack...does that even work? It is audio data or control voltage?).

 

Sorry, only just noticed this. I assume you're trying to take the overdrive completely out of the signal path?

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Yeah. To get the pure sound. Not a major disaster at the moment but the overdrive sounds like its had a LP filter applied. I'd just rather apply my own overdrive although it does arguably add a slight charm to the sound.

 

Not tried the old 3rd OSC trick yet either (some synths allow you to wack up the resonance, the tune it using the filter - and then when you apply key track it (should) space as per usual musical intervals. The Monologue can do it.

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I tend to just use the "Tone" control to adjust the overdrive section depending on what sort of sound I'm making and view it as an integral part of the Neutron's sound, but I get why you'd want to do that.

 

Do you need to use the ATT, is the signal too hot without?

 

You could try the MULT to combine the LFO and oscillators into the filter although tbh I'm not entirely sure what the outcome will be :lol: the joy of modular!

 

You can definitely use the LFO as a 3rd oscillator although it's a bit rough:

 

 

*Edit* now that I've actually thought about it, presumably combining the LFO and oscillators will end in a wobbly pitched mess

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Haha! It seems to be massively dividing opinions, a lot of people were disappointed by missing features when it launched, but the firmware updates have rectified a lot of that. I was absolutely sold after watching a few demos, it's unlike anything else I own, mainly down to the grid.

 

When I saw one for a couple of hundred quid off second hand I had to have it. Thanks to it getting damaged in transit, I've ended up with a brand new one. Can't wait to get a proper play with it, my time has been very restricted so far.

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Oooooh Blunted. Such a pain.

I really want an Analog Poly. This actually ticks a lot of the boxes the of the Korg XD (and a few more). 3 Digital OSC's, but 3 analog OSCS that you can play as a chord.

 

You appear to be able to record changes - just like the Korg but the options afforded with scale playing as well...and 6 OSCs, and effects, etc.

 

 

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Well, one thing to be aware of is that it's not strictly polyphonic, it's somewhere between paraphonic and polyphonic. Each oscillator has its own amp but they run through a common filter. 

 

The step sequencer means you can create some fairly complex patches with relative ease though, the synth part that plays throughout my latest weekly music (https://streak.club/p/34845/medusa-by-exit-chamber) is a single Medusa patch, with the sequencer modulating the analog oscillator octaves to make it sounds like additional notes are being played.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 13/04/2019 at 18:14, Blunted said:

This is one of those times I wish I was more ITB: https://www.pluginboutique.com/product/2-Effects/17-Reverb/2855-Eventide-Blackhole-Reverb

 

Less than £25 until the 15th!

 

That's an awesome price. I got it for £50 way back when. I really should use it on proper tracks rather than just spacing out with it!

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