to spend : modcan, animoo, macbeth, cs-30, sh-5, a6...
Scories
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#1
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
choosing a complex analog synth

I'm still looking for a very flexible genuinly vintage sounding synth that could be so inspiring and musical that I could start to reduce my setup as much as possible. I generally prefer raw vintage tones and morphing/shifting sounds that sounds like concrete music.

Here's a few options :

Serge Animoo
Pros : I really like the idea of an optimal architecture that seems to be geater than the sum of its part and that forces you to think differently.
Cons : From what I heard, I fear that it might be hard to escape from piercing sounds and noodlings that are not necessarily musical.

Modcan
Pros : Amazing sound, quality and musicality.
Cons : Costy, maybe a tad digital-sounding. Hard to choose a nice setup when you are a newbie.

Macbeth X-series modular
Pro : The online demos are among the best sounding I've heard; vintage sounding, very warm and raw.
Con : Might not be as flexible as a serge/modcan for a 4k setup.

Yamaha CS-15/30
Pros : Cheap and surprisingly flexible synths.
Cons : Hard to escape the tame sound.

Roland Sh-5
Pros : Cool vintage synth with dual filtering, ring mod and good routing options.
Cons : Needs maintenance, not as flexible as the other 4k options.

Alesis Andromeda A6
Pros : Multitimbral, polyphonic, dual filtering, saved patches...
Cons : Maybe not THE best tone around. Lazy envelopes apparently.


The smaller, the better. I think I'd like to get an optimal self-contained open architecture like an Animoo that could be warm as a MacBeth, musical as a Modcan and 'alive' as a 2500. I am very tempted by the Animoo, but don't want to do dentist drill music.

Any recommendation?
#2
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #2
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clusterchord's Avatar
 

yes.


go euro.

combine whatever crazy serge/buchla/westcoast inspired modulation modules from crapload of manufacturers (malekko, make noize, livewire, tiptop etc) add some sweet vintage tone clones for important basic blocks like vcos, vcfs and vcas from macbeth x (moogy), am synths (arp, ems, roland) and oakley (arp).

you can do a LOT in euro with 4k. in flexibility, evolving/complex drones, noodling/noise as well as musical, warm vintagey tones. all in one, and you get to choose what/how much..



if you require (analog) polyphony, married with ultimate flexibility, then only Andromeda, or perhaps Oberheim Xpander, are players in this game.
#3
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #3
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Agreed. My last pickup was a CS-15, which is actually quite destructive. I got it because I wanted to push past the modulation capacity of what I already had. BUT what it really confirmed for me was that modular is the only way to go, to just keeping going into the stratosphere with modulation.
#4
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #4
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Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
yes.


go euro.

combine whatever crazy serge/buchla/westcoast inspired modulation modules from crapload of manufacturers (malekko, make noize, livewire, tiptop etc) add some sweet vintage tone clones for important basic blocks like vcos, vcfs and vcas from macbeth x (moogy), am synths (arp, ems, roland) and oakley (arp).

you can do a LOT in euro with 4k. in flexibility, evolving/complex drones, noodling/noise as well as musical, warm vintagey tones. all in one, and you get to choose what/how much..



if you require (analog) polyphony, married with ultimate flexibility, then only Andromeda, or perhaps Oberheim Xpander, are players in this game.
Hello Clusterchord! Do you think going euro offers you better sound quality than Modcan? I've done quite a bit of research and to me Modcan simply sounds the best per one company. Cwejman comes close in euro. Maybe I'm not looking at the big picture. If you take the basic components... osc, filters, eg's, vca's, and lfo's and made a basic system contaning only these do you think you'd get better sound quality out of Modcan or out of a variety of euro's?

To the op I figured this discussion still pertains to your question. It's all good to know from someone with hands on experience!
#5
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
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clusterchord's Avatar
 

well truth be told, i'm the wrong person to ask. i never tried modcan, nor ive listened to demos much actually.

however, fwiw im quite familiar with what is usually regarded as reference to high-end (vintage) analog sound, as i use them on daily basis, and within euro world, i can say i first heard some of that character in HD videos of macbeth products, and demos am synth, some oakley stuff and bubblesound. its relatively recent development in euro world. i actually dont like cwejman, i mean its precise and high end-ish in its clinical precision, but there is no organic warmth, no sweet saturation that i want from analogs. same with malekko wiard and some others.. i actually had a huge 60+ module Malekko Wiard euro modular in my studio, and altough extremely flexible, character wise it represents exactly what i don't like in many "modern analog" products, and have escaped into vintage units so many times before. ymmv.

i will however vote with my wallet... im about to order some stuff from am synth. with macbeth, tho i really really want it, my problem is, i already have that sound in more machines than one. but we'll see, depends on the synth GAS budget. what has logic have to do with GAS anyway..


i think core made with higher end euro modules (everything to do with audio path and sound generation), plus buncha modern ones for modulations n craziness would be a great combo.
#6
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #6
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STS, most diverse, purest sound, and best build quality. If you go with the Animoo it will serve for decades, if it decides to get along with you...
#7
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #7
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I went Modcan/Oakley + Euro . The thing that surprised me was how good the Oakley oscillators sound , and how utterly freaking amazing the Modcan filters are . If I went back and did it again , I'd get a 10U rack stuffed with Modcan filters/phaser + delays , a small 3 osc based Oakley or Mos Lab system and a euro rack for the more esoteric modules . And a dotcom system for the basic modules .
Mixing and matching is the way to go , too many modules from one manufacturer and things begin to sound not so wonderful , imo . Modcan is great if u want clean and powerful . No good for vintage tones though . Mos Lab or Oakley for that stuff .
Scories
Thread Starter
#8
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
  #8
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Thread Starter
Thanks for the replies, keep'em comming!

Modcan - Seems quite hard to get a smal package of pannels for a max of features, despite their dual/quad stuff. Bigger systems seems to be stellar in terms of evolving drones with tasty mids & overtones. I whish they could have their own version of the Animoo.

Andromeda - Does it compares to a real modualr, soundwise and in terms of sound design?

And I'm wondering, if I should keep or keep my XT to raise money for a modular... Maybe not the smartest idea. Dunno.
#9
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
  #9
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Waldorf/Andromeda/Serge user here. If you want vintage sounding gear, from something manufactured within the last 20 years, the MacBeth system is definitely up there. Modcan doesn't really sound all that "vintage", and it's best to think of it as a cross between Moog/Macbeth on one side, and Buchla/Serge on the other. You kind of get the best of both worlds in the Modcan system. Ultimately I went with Serge because I preferred its sound over the other modular flavors out there.

The Andromeda can definitely sound vintage, and it is very capable of many flexible modulation routings that one would otherwise expect to see on a modular system.

Don't sell your XT. There isn't a modular out there which will recreate its unique character.
#10
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
combine whatever crazy serge/buchla/westcoast inspired modulation modules from crapload of manufacturers (malekko, make noize, livewire, tiptop etc) add some sweet vintage tone clones for important basic blocks like vcos, vcfs and vcas from macbeth x (moogy), am synths (arp, ems, roland) and oakley (arp).
I've found, from demoing various Euro setups and from speaking with their owners, that this works a lot better on paper than it does in practice. The ranges of the outputs of various manufacturers can vary, and sometimes attenuators have to be used in order for various modules to be happy with one another. In general, I've heard that people have the best results when they stick with 2 or 3 manufacturers throughout their systems.

That said, this presents a problem for the OP of this thread, because how is he going to figure out which euro modules to start with if he can't even figure out if he wants a Serge, a MacBeth, or an Andromeda? It seems like a lot of people who start out with a Euro system will flounder around a lot, buying and selling various modules until they end up selling the whole setup for a more focused format like Serge or Modcan, but then after that, they'll start another, more focused, Euro system once they've figured out exactly what it is that they want to do with their modular system.

With all that in mind, despite having a Serge setup, I'm still occasionally tempted by all of the quirky little modules in Euro land, particularly offerings by the likes of The Harvestman and TipTop Audio. Lots of innovative work coming out of those two companies.
#11
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
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Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
I've found, from demoing various Euro setups and from speaking with their owners, that this works a lot better on paper than it does in practice. The ranges of the outputs of various manufacturers can vary, and sometimes attenuators have to be used in order for various modules to be happy with one another. In general, I've heard that people have the best results when they stick with 2 or 3 manufacturers throughout their systems.
This just makes sense. When I see euroracks with many different companies it just looks like a cluterf*ck of stuff. Finding three companies that work well together sounds like a plan. I've decided to go with Modcan first because i feel like you can't go wrong. They just seem to be quality and sound great to my ears. And should be getting mine at my front door in a couple months. BUT if and when I do start building a eurorack system this is the plan I will follow.

To the op, go to youtube and watch a lot of videos. And also if you go to the Modcan website you can click on their modular descriptions and listen to demos of the VCO's , filters, eg's, etc. Good luck!
#12
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
  #12
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I think the new pittsburgh stuff sounds surprisengly good, and is quite cheap.
#13
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
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BTByrd's Avatar
 

You can make a dense Modcan / Oakley / MOTM in 10 U.

Dual Oakley Slim VCOs, Modcan DVO or VDO, a quad VCA (Modcan or Oakley), Modcan Quad EG and LFO, a filter or two, and some utility modules will give you a really super-duper capable 2-voice modular in 10 19" rack spaces. Bigger is always better in modularland, but you don't have to have a big system to get big results.
#14
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
  #14
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scories View Post
Serge Animoo
Pros : I really like the idea of an optimal architecture that seems to be geater than the sum of its part and that forces you to think differently.
Cons : From what I heard, I fear that it might be hard to escape from piercing sounds and noodlings that are not necessarily musical.
I own a Serge Animal, and I'd say your con here is unfounded. It's easy to make musical sounds with it.
Scories
Thread Starter
#15
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
  #15
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
Waldorf/Andromeda/Serge user here. If you want vintage sounding gear, from something manufactured within the last 20 years, the MacBeth system is definitely up there. Modcan doesn't really sound all that "vintage", and it's best to think of it as a cross between Moog/Macbeth on one side, and Buchla/Serge on the other. You kind of get the best of both worlds in the Modcan system. Ultimately I went with Serge because I preferred its sound over the other modular flavors out there.

The Andromeda can definitely sound vintage, and it is very capable of many flexible modulation routings that one would otherwise expect to see on a modular system.

Don't sell your XT. There isn't a modular out there which will recreate its unique character.

Helpful answer, thanks Mr Gagarine!

I am very tempted by the Animal/moo for being a self-contained module made for experimental music that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Then I could add some Modcan filters and odd modules.

About the XT, well, I have to admit that I bought a few years ago as some kind of a digital-era vcs3. I have made a lot of great patches out of it and I'll probably miss them... but it has not really been a good synth for what I wanted it to be. Well, I could just be patient and raise the money and keep all my lovely synths.

About the Andromeda, as odd as it might sounds, I think that I'll stick with my jx-3p for polyphonic synth. I just dig its sound and I could eventually upgrade it with the KIWI kit.

As I'm thinking about it, what I'm really looking for is a machine that could help me to compose music that evokes Pierre Henry (Apocalypse de jean), Luc Ferrari (the early works) or even Stockhausen (Kontakte). ..and Deathprod/K├Âner/Autechre/Boards of Canada too!!
Scories
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#16
2nd February 2012
Old 2nd February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitradix View Post
I own a Serge Animal, and I'd say your con here is unfounded. It's easy to make musical sounds with it.
Glad to hear this!
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