What's your favorite analog synthesizers?
Daisuk
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#1
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
  #1
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Daisuk's Avatar
What's your favorite analog synthesizers?

Yo! I've been drooling over Elektron's Analog 4 since it was announced, but haven't bought it yet, as I think it sounds a bit too "thin", I was hoping some of the videos put out by users after its released would prove it to be thicker and fatter sounding, but it still seems a bit "thin" to me.

So! What are your favorite analog synthesizers? Preferably in the same price range. I've been wanting a Minimoog Voyager, but that thing is just far too expensive over here. I've been looking at the Vermona PERfourMER MKII, which sounds really sweet, and also the Ambika from Mutable Instruments, which also sounds swell. Has anyone here tried to build an Ambika? Was it difficult?

Anyhow, are there other options I should consider when looking for a analog synth? I basically want something to complement the hard and cold sounding Monomachine I have. Would prefer a synth module that I could play through a midi keyboard, although it's not a necessity.

Any recommendations, guys?
#2
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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golden beers's Avatar
i don't think there's anything on the market that does quite what the elektron does.

if you're after 'a fat synth' really the best bang for buck is still the PRO1. over budget though.

don't let 'vintage' or lack of midi put you off. it's very simple to connect these older machines to midi using a midi to CV converter. so you should look into the usual vintage suspects SH101 SH09 SH2 PRO1 etc

also check out the future retro offerings
#3
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
  #3
Gear nut
 

I thought the Analog 4 sounded very good. If you're into acid music, did you consider the Acidlab Bombass ? Kinda based on 303 circuits but can sound un-303ish too. Can make lots of weird noises or be used for leads. I mostly use mine for acid lines or melodies.
#4
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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cramseur's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisuk View Post
I've been looking at the Vermona PERfourMER MKII, which sounds really sweet, and also the Ambika from Mutable Instruments, which also sounds swell. Has anyone here tried to build an Ambika? Was it difficult?
There are 15 threads (including this one) which mention the Ambika. Search them to see who has one, and what their comments are.

They may not check in here, because the title gives no indication that info is wanted about the Ambika (on it's face).

Oh, and I agree about the Pro One. Feature wise (Osc Sync, Arpeggiator, Sequencer), it is still a bargain among fat, analog monosynths.
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#5
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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marino's Avatar
It's not very clear if you're looking for a mono or a poly. There are quite a few analog monosynths, modern or vintage, for a price similar to the analog 4: Dominion X, Lancet, Slim Phatty, Dark Energy, Leipzig, plus Pro One, Source, the other "little" Moogs, etc.
If you want poly and real analog, it's a bit more difficult. MKS70, EX8000 (hybrid), PEK (good luck finding one), the various Junos... I'd include a few VAs in the picture at that point. Q, AN1x, Minimax, Viruses... I think others will add a whole lot to the list.
The best thing you could do is to research and listen to as many demos as possible, then when you've restricted your range, try to play some of them in person if possible.
Daisuk
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#6
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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Daisuk's Avatar
Wow, cool, got lots of things to check out now - thanks heaps for your replies!
#7
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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alexp's Avatar
 

My top 5 favourite analogue synths are..

Korg MS20
My eurorack modular
Pearl Syncussion
Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
Arp Odyssey
.


alexP
#8
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
  #8
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Fresh Pants's Avatar
 

Ambika is a great choice for a non-traditional poly, but only the filters are analog. The oscillators are pure awesome digital. Very cool and full of some great sounds, but not Analog as your subject line suggests.
#9
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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Sonic Hooligan
 
Llitsor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisuk View Post
Ambika from Mutable Instruments, which also sounds swell. Has anyone here tried to build an Ambika? Was it difficult?
Incase you were not aware, this is a hybrid synth, rather than a full on analogue synth. Essentially, the oscillators and LFO's etc are digital. The filters and VCA are analogue.
I've built a few synths, and although I've not built this particular one yet, I think it's safe to say that building it requires a fair amount of prior electronics experience.
#10
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #10
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Looping Loddar's Avatar
 

my top 12 analog synthesizers:

MFB Dominion X SED - because of power and flexibility and SED filter
Roland JX3P - i like the sequencer and the crispy mid range sounds
Vermona PERfourMER - as a mono it's great and gives best sync sounds ever
Moog Minimoog - i like the sound more than the Moog Voyager
Future Retro XS - good mono and very good for drums and acid style sounds
Waldorf Pulse - when analog brutality counts for you this is your synth
Prophet 600 - here i like the pad sounds very much
Moog Minitaur - cost effective and a very lovely and magic low end
Doepfer System - together with good filters it causes addiction
Roland JP4 - the basses and sequencer sounds are so sweet here
Oberheim Xpander - opens the door to complex sounds
Doepfer Dark Energy - good round sounds and good for a lot of analog fun

My number one: MFB Dominion X
#11
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Septik's Avatar
Can't go wrong with an Arp Odyssey in that price range. MS20 is a great monosynth too, but that's in the voyager price range (though I'd much rather have an MS20.)

Oberheim Xpander would be my first choice in the $2500ish range. Matrix 6R/1000 are probably the best bang for the buck in the analog world, in my opinion. Very highly programable, great raw sound, extremely diverse, and can cover a lot of ground that most of the other analog polys don't.
#12
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #12
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orpheus_'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur View Post
Oh, and I agree about the Pro One. Feature wise (Osc Sync, Arpeggiator, Sequencer), it is still a bargain among fat, analog monosynths.
The Sequential Pro One is an awesome monosynth. Very sharp but fat. I sold mine though because I didn't use it, and now I regret it.

My main go-to analog synth is a Juno-106, because it's so much fun to use and sounds amazing.

I sold my Alesis Ion which I regret as well. It's a virtual analog but sounds amazing, about $500 s/h and everyone forgets this VA, but I actually think it's the best sounding by quite a long way. It can sound like a very convincing Moog, Oberheim, or others. It almost pulls off a CS-80.

I use my alpha Juno-1 but I don't particularly rate it. It's great for cheesy pop sounds, but quite thin, and ultimately useful.

In repair at the moment is my Yamaha Electone E-75, which has most of the same circuitry and voice cards of the Yamaha CS-80. I got it for $600. IT'S AWESOME, people have modded them to add most of the CS-80 knobs, which I plan to do.

I just sold my Oberheim Matrix 6, which sounded good with a great matrix, but too hard to program to me.

The Ensoniq ESQ-1 is wavetable but with a warm and fat analog filter and very easy to program and sounds horribly distorted and crazy in the most amazing way.

Old synths is a great way to learn electronics equipment maintenance, too :D
#13
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #13
A Tetra would be fun with a Monomachine - 4 voices you can sequence with the MIDI parts. Plus the Tetra has 4 sequencers as well, so you can meta sequence!
#14
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #14
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clusterchord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looping Loddar View Post
my top 12 analog synthesizers:

MFB Dominion X SED - because of power and flexibility and SED filter
Doepfer Dark Energy - good round sounds and good for a lot of analog fun
....
My number one: MFB Dominion X
you own the SED version of Dominion X ??

can you make some demos??,,,

we only ever heard those few posted by MFB,,,,i think many here are intrigued by the SED version, and would love to hear more,,, including me ...

thanks.


to the OP: favorite analogs in the 1000 euro range? mostly monophonics, not much can be had among good polyphonic. someone mentioned Odyssey,, but these went out of that budget range awhile ago.


Oberheim SEM (original)
Roland System 100 Model 101
Roland SH-2
Roland SH-101
Moog Source
Moog Prodigy
Prophet 600
Korg Polysix
Roland MKS70
Waldorf MicroWAVE (a digital+analog hybrid)
#15
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Calling Moderator:
This is the second time someone is spamming on GS. Hope you get them!
#16
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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FilmNMusicman's Avatar
 

After lusting after older more vintage I started to sell it off, basically too much work to maintain 25 year old gear.

For me anything new with Dave Smith attached to it is a good buy.

I love the Prophet 08
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#17
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #17
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Well.. that said I haven't heard an analog synth made past 1986 that's I've ever liked..
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#18
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Arp 2600
#19
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #19
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Do not buy new analogs, unless they are clones or are high quality discrete designs. These new analogs are great, but their differentiation from digital gear and softsynths are minimal. Analog is not always analog if you know what I mean. Just because something is labeled analog does not mean it sounds analog. Old ARP, Moog, Oberheim are the way to go for real overt analog sound. Though a portion of the "analogness" is lost when recording digitally, some are left intact, and you can tell when hearing them.
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#20
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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^^^
OMG
#21
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
^^^
OMG
^^^
LOL You go girl!
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#22
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
^^^
LOL You go girl!
No you didn't !
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#23
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #23
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Pfsss
#24
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Do not buy new analogs, unless they are clones or are high quality discrete designs. These new analogs are great, but their differentiation from digital gear and softsynths are minimal. Analog is not always analog if you know what I mean. Just because something is labeled analog does not mean it sounds analog. Old ARP, Moog, Oberheim are the way to go for real overt analog sound. Though a portion of the "analogness" is lost when recording digitally, some are left intact, and you can tell when hearing them.
I have bought a few new analogs recently, and I really like them.
I've had plenty of vintage analogs too, and they don't sound "Better", just different.
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#25
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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shponglefan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Do not buy new analogs, unless they are clones or are high quality discrete designs. These new analogs are great, but their differentiation from digital gear and softsynths are minimal. Analog is not always analog if you know what I mean. Just because something is labeled analog does not mean it sounds analog. Old ARP, Moog, Oberheim are the way to go for real overt analog sound. Though a portion of the "analogness" is lost when recording digitally, some are left intact, and you can tell when hearing them.
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#26
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrightSide View Post
I have bought a few new analogs recently, and I really like them.
I've had plenty of vintage analogs too, and they don't sound "Better", just different.
Depends on your taste, but what I am saying is that if you want to sound "analog" good or bad, newer chip based synths like DSI and even new Moog stuff just aren't that different sonically from some of the better softsynths. Not that that is bad, but to me, for the music I do, I actually try to sound as analog as possible, just because it is a rarity.

There are great softsynths out there as well as newer analogs, but if you want to actually sound unmistakeably analog and not just "good" when recording digitally, vintage stuff or discrete clones are the way to go. So many companies like Arturia and Elektron are capitalizing on the word "analog" as if analog somehow means good.

I know that is interpreted as "new analogs suck", but that is not what I am saying at all.
#27
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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laikenf's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
So many companies like Arturia and Elektron are capitalizing on the word "analog" as if analog somehow means good.
You nailed that one for sure . And I agree that newer analogs CANNOT sound like their vintage elders (especially synths built during the 70's), but it's not necessarily a bad thing right?
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#28
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #28
Gear maniac
 
orpheus_'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Do not buy new analogs, unless they are clones or are high quality discrete designs. These new analogs are great, but their differentiation from digital gear and softsynths are minimal. Analog is not always analog if you know what I mean. Just because something is labeled analog does not mean it sounds analog. Old ARP, Moog, Oberheim are the way to go for real overt analog sound. Though a portion of the "analogness" is lost when recording digitally, some are left intact, and you can tell when hearing them.
I don't know, I tend to agree. The new analogs just don't sound like they have electricity pumping through them. Hey, it's just an opinion. You can love new analogs if you like. I don't really - compared to modern soft synths i don't feel they sound much different. Vintage all the way for me +1

Actually I think the Phatty, Analog 4 and all new modulars I've heard all sound awesome. I don't think the DSI Tetra, Minibrute, Andromeda or Voyager sound all that analog. No I'm not trolling, I really don't... Go listen to an Arp 2600 or Minimoog D on the beginning and end of the notes. They sound like an electrical circuit is opening and voltage rushing in.

All valid opinions... Even if they're not popular.
#29
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orpheus_ View Post
I don't know, I tend to agree. The new analogs just don't sound like they have electricity pumping through them. Hey, it's just an opinion. You can love new analogs if you like. I don't really - compared to modern soft synths i don't feel they sound much different. Vintage all the way for me +1

Actually I think the Phatty, Analog 4 and all new modulars I've heard all sound awesome. I don't think the DSI Tetra, Minibrute, Andromeda or Voyager sound all that analog. No I'm not trolling, I really don't... Go listen to an Arp 2600 or Minimoog D on the beginning and end of the notes. They sound like an electrical circuit is opening and voltage rushing in.

All valid opinions... Even if they're not popular.
That's what i am saying, I play the minimoog through an space echo, everyone knows that is not a computer, nothing sounds like that except pure sizzling current. Organic is the word. Chip based audio is great for processing, which is why the moogerfoogers are so amazing, but for sound sources and filters tried and true discrete designs are the best. Sound and character always beat stability, specs and transparency.

The minimoog's pink noise slightly modulating pitch is the most analog sound I have ever heard. Also the way the oscillators interact with each other cannot be emulated with any newer designs, just because of the limitations of obsolescence.
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#30
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
  #30
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Septik's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by orpheus_ View Post
I don't know, I tend to agree. The new analogs just don't sound like they have electricity pumping through them. Hey, it's just an opinion. You can love new analogs if you like. I don't really - compared to modern soft synths i don't feel they sound much different. Vintage all the way for me +1

Actually I think the Phatty, Analog 4 and all new modulars I've heard all sound awesome. I don't think the DSI Tetra, Minibrute, Andromeda or Voyager sound all that analog. No I'm not trolling, I really don't... Go listen to an Arp 2600 or Minimoog D on the beginning and end of the notes. They sound like an electrical circuit is opening and voltage rushing in.

All valid opinions... Even if they're not popular.
I think a large part of what you're hearing is the difference between DCOs and VCOs. Sounds to me like you dislike all of the modern "DCO Analogs." They have their place, are generally much more programmable than vintage analogs, but will never have that voltage rush of a VCO synth. I personally don't think that a Mono Evolver is bad for the price.. They can be had at around 700 used, and you can crank sounds out of that thing that you could never dream of cranking out of beastly vintage VCO synths (even an arp 2600 - I should know, I have both and have spent lots of time with both) but the same also goes visa versa. It all comes down to which sounds are more useful. I frankly use my evolver more than I use my 2600 because it is more applicable to my music, and it goes to crazy aggressive places that the 2600 could never go to. But the little bits that I do use my 2600 for are sheer 2600 - Even giant modular systems in the same price range will never sound like a 2600. But is that worth the 7k+ to you? Who knows.. I don't hate on newer analogs, but don't expect them to be able to recreate VCO sound with DCOs.

And I don't know about you, but I think Trent Reznor makes a DX7 sound pretty "alive," and Jexus has made sounds on an MS2000 that make me cry. Programming sounds, how you record sound, and what you do with the recorded sound has a lot to do with the liveliness of that sound. In the case of recording and production at least.. I wouldn't say you could ever make a DCO sound that alive if you are playing it live without processing..
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