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What analog synths DON'T have a thick/growly sound?
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Hallu
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15th March 2013
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What analog synths DON'T have a thick/growly sound?

I know a lot of synths out there can do great variations on a deep 24/db filter sound. Moog really created a 'standard' in sound. But what I'm looking for is a synth that has a 60s sci fi feel to the sound - thin, blippy and bubbly.

The best example of what I mean obviously is the EMS Synthi/VCS3. But since that is only becoming rarer/pricier I doubt I'll ever own one unless a stronger company starts making them again.

The early ARP synths are another example. The mk1 Odyssey and early 2600s have that metallic zap I like.

Early Korgs (700/770/MaxiKorg) also do this well, but have no performance controls or patch-ability.

The Minibrute can do this if the filter isn't pushed in the mixer.


So...apart from modulars (which can clearly do this with the right parts) and VA synths (I don't knock them entirely, but I haven't heard one ever nail the sound I'm thinking of) what other synths can do this sort of sound???
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The Doepfer Dark Energy II, maybe???
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Interesting question. Depends on what you mean by thick growly sound or sounds. That could mean anything in the world of synth.
But I know with all my analogs these can be done. If the oscillators aren't the thickest, use a sub like on my Alpha Juno. Put on some delay and verb and your there.
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Op check out the Yamaha CS5 CS10 CS15, maybe what you're after
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Hallu
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To be more clear I guess I mean the 'anti Moog' sound - 12/db filter with a thin osc is a rough estimation. I guess the Yamaha CS synths fit in there as well.

This thread is a roundabout way of me considering getting rid of a SH-2 and find what I should replace it with. I love the SH2, but it rarely gels with what I'm looking for and it doesn't make sense to hold onto what doesn't work... Which is funny because I GASed over it (and still do). I bought the SH2 thinking I'd do heavy dance tracks but I quickly realized I want to make songs with a 60s sci fi feel and the Roland keeps cutting too deep.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
To be more clear I guess I mean the 'anti Moog' sound - 12/db filter with a thin osc is a rough estimation. I guess the Yamaha CS synths fit in there as well.
Some synths that come to mind:
  • Korg MonoPoly. Thin on low end, though thick in the low mids. Has a strong analogue character.
  • Korg MS-20 with applied HPF.
  • And if you're looking for complex sounds, CS-30. Simply best bang for the buck and stellar possibilities! You got HPF to thin out the sounds a bit. Though i should mention, CS-30 can get thick sounds as well, not in the Moog class, but thicker than MonoPoly, somewhere in the MS-20 range.
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The Church of Yamaha beckons, it seems ...

Do the CS filters oscillate at all?
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i never thought the alpha juno was very rough, or the andromeda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
Do the CS filters oscillate at all?
Self-osc not that much, though CS-30 comes with a sine wave VCO, if you need them bubbles.

One of the distinguishing features of the Yamaha CS-series is the filters. The CS filters are not spectaular sounding 4-pole ones with self-oscillating resonance, like the Prophets, Moogs and Oberheims of this world. They are 12 db/oct, non-self-oscillating, and their strengs lie in their delicacy. Given a harmonically complex signal, the CS filters are able to play the harmonics of the original signal. It is hard to explain in plain words, but it sounds great!

Read more, plus audios: http://212.242.106.33/~etcetera/publ...0/cs30page.htm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Some synths that come to mind:
  • Korg MonoPoly. Thin on low end, though thick in the low mids. Has a strong analogue character.
  • Korg MS-20 with applied HPF.
  • And if you're looking for complex sounds, CS-30. Simply best bang for the buck and stellar possibilities! You got HPF to thin out the sounds a bit. Though i should mention, CS-30 can get thick sounds as well, not in the Moog class, but thicker than MonoPoly, somewhere in the MS-20 range.
Though you can beef the Mono/Poly up with careful waveform selection and oscillator mixing it's 4 weedy oscs will then be able to compete with a standard 2 osc roland or moog monosynth. m/p bass sits nice in a mix.

But yeah, it does thin and blippy well.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Self-osc not that much, though CS-30 comes with a sine wave VCO, if you need them bubbles.

One of the distinguishing features of the Yamaha CS-series is the filters. The CS filters are not spectaular sounding 4-pole ones with self-oscillating resonance, like the Prophets, Moogs and Oberheims of this world. They are 12 db/oct, non-self-oscillating, and their strengs lie in their delicacy. Given a harmonically complex signal, the CS filters are able to play the harmonics of the original signal. It is hard to explain in plain words, but it sounds great!

Read more, plus audios: YAMAHA CS-30 SYNTHESIZER
One thing that I need from whatever replaces my SH2 is to do a sound with negative filter env and a oscillating filter to create a slow bloop sound. Apparently the cs-15 can have the filter oscillate with an ext. in feedback loop.

CS-15 it is. Bye bye Roland, I hardly knew ye.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Though you can beef the Mono/Poly up with careful waveform selection and oscillator mixing it's 4 weedy oscs will then be able to compete with a standard 2 osc roland or moog monosynth. m/p bass sits nice in a mix.
One thing i've noticed about MonoPoly (at least after being recapped) is that it is totally noiseless. Saw and square can therefore be played as low as 20% while triangle is set to 100% to somehow fill in the sound and compensate for weak lows. (Still miles away from SH-2s low end. )

Quote:
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CS-15 it is. Bye bye Roland, I hardly knew ye.
No!

Go with CS-30. Look the features it gives you then try to purchase that anywhere else - at that price!

CS-15 is a musician / player's synth. CS-30 is mad scientist's synth for crazy SciFi sounds!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
One thing i've noticed about MonoPoly (at least after being recapped) is that it is totally noiseless. Saw and square can therefore be played as low as 20% while triangle is set to 100% to somehow fill in the sound and compensate for weak lows. (Still miles away from SH-2s low end. )



No!!!!!!!

Go with CS-30. Look the features it gives you then try to purchase that anywhere else - at that price!!!
The 30 looks like a killer, but I'm wanting something somewhat decent in portability. That's what drew me to the sh2, and what's drawing me to the 15. If I were going to commit to a mono of that size, I'd save for a SH-5 and have the king

Plus the few hundred I save from the SH2 sale will go towards my string synth purchase. I'm on a budget, this is a win win for me.

The 30 is tempting though...
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Yeah i'm aware my setup needs a low end king, the plugiator minimoog emulation is sufficing at the moment, one day i hope to own a Moog Source

Is the JP4's low end any good? I know it's related to the SH series and is next on my GAS list.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
The 30 looks like a killer, but I'm wanting something somewhat decent in portability. That's what drew me to the sh2, and what's drawing me to the 15.
Ok in that case don't forget the CS-15 mods:

Yamaha CS-15 modifications
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One step ahead of you, already got the parts for them in my cart on Mouser

I originally got an SH-2 based on your review of it in a bass synth thread; you never gave the disclaimer it could be TOO much bass . The 15 seems to be where my head is right now... All gear is temporary, though. Right???

I plan on rolling a jazz cigarette and giving the SH2 a proper send off by endlessly playing Roy G Biv until I find a buyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
One step ahead of you, already got the parts for them in my cart on Mouser
Almost!

There are two more mods which weren't mentioned...

But will be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
I originally got an SH-2 based on your review of it in a bass synth thread; you never gave the disclaimer it could be TOO much bass
Yes. Definitely too much in the bass area.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
I know a lot of synths out there can do great variations on a deep 24/db filter sound. Moog really created a 'standard' in sound. But what I'm looking for is a synth that has a 60s sci fi feel to the sound - thin, blippy and bubbly.

The best example of what I mean obviously is the EMS Synthi/VCS3. But since that is only becoming rarer/pricier I doubt I'll ever own one unless a stronger company starts making them again.

The early ARP synths are another example. The mk1 Odyssey and early 2600s have that metallic zap I like.

Early Korgs (700/770/MaxiKorg) also do this well, but have no performance controls or patch-ability.

The Minibrute can do this if the filter isn't pushed in the mixer.
well you named a few quite different sonic groups here.

for the EMS thing, which is bubbly and organic and scifi, but not at all thin-

System100 Model101 is the best. it has a similar diode ladder filter to EMS, and excells at fx/bubbliness/sweeps, but its also incredibly fizzy and organic. like all late60s and early 70s stuff. very different sound to SH2, tho it can also do fantastic sequence and bass lines, in its own character. it has some growl too. that its semi modular doesnt hurt either. even better, but costly is to combine it with a model102 expander.

http://www.babic.com/SYN/100/System100-diode-ladder.rar
http://www.babic.com/SYN/100/System100-filter-fm.rar

for the Korg thing, obviously Korg MS20 - it fits your description of thin oscillators, but interesting edgy filters , and quite flexible semi modular setup, way more than system100. has ring modulator which is instrumental in old scifi. however, its basic osc and filter character does not sound as 60s/70s as system100 can. its somehow more postapocalyptic, even technoid at times i know, i know..hard to put these things in words..



if you need more flexibility and capacity for complex and/or leftfield stuff. another option is to make a small euro system , get a few filters,, a EMS type filter among other things.. a few triangle core vcos , ring mod etc.. a lot can be done even in a single 3U system. you can go as anti-moog as you want. even tho it wont replace any peitcualr vintage piece, you can go slightly towards vintage saturated sound with some discrete VCAs etc,, or go as pure as you wish.




all together for the kind of thing you described, i would (and am) go model101, and expand it with a small 3U euro... add another vco of different character (like bubblesound triangle core for example), some cv and audio mixers, a "vintage" ringmod by Oakley , and some crazy cv mod like Wogglebug. best of both worlds - a vintage for core sound i.e. vco/vcf/vca, and modern stuff do mangling.
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on a bit cheaper end, SH-101 has that nasal mono roland tone, the random LFO can make some pretty sci-fi sounds, pair it with a space echo for instant dr.who vibes
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bass station

106 chips

monotron!
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Doepfer Dark Energy II.
If I remember correctly it has the A-121 Multimode VCF, which is 12dB/8ve.
Cheap, MIDI implemented and semi modular. It sounds great as well.
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Like a few others I'd say:

CS-5 (simple, cheap, sounds good)
CS-15 (step up from the 5, getting pricey)
MS-20 (it's current, no real worry of age and repair)
Monopoly (a little thin, but the FX section can get pretty weird)

I have a lot of vintage synths, and compared to my entire Roland X0X line, those listed eat a lot less room in the mix.

This may sound weird, but Roland's remind me of an elastic band for some reason... I don't know why but the filters remind me of them... Strange
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Ok in that case don't forget the CS-15 mods:

Yamaha CS-15 modifications
Might want to change where you share it, they want you to sign up and install a suspicious program (the pdf download is an .exe)?

Edit: No problem finding it elsewhere.
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sci 6 trak sounds nothing like a moog!
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My MKS 70 wasn't particularly fat or growly.. so that range of synths (MKS70, JX8/10) might be what you're looking for. The mks was very expressive though, having velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. Sometimes it kindof felt like a poor man's CS80.
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Prophet 08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallu View Post
I know a lot of synths out there can do great variations on a deep 24/db filter sound. Moog really created a 'standard' in sound. But what I'm looking for is a synth that has a 60s sci fi feel to the sound - thin, blippy and bubbly.

Yamaha An1x, Polivoks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
CS-15 is a musician / player's synth. CS-30 is mad scientist's synth for crazy SciFi sounds!
Definitely! I have both and I couldn't agree more.

CS monos are clearly not thick, growly Moog sounding. But the OP was also looking to do 60s sci-fi sounds, and I don't think the CS-15 will deliver. The Odyssey is much, much better at that.
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No mention of the Roland SH5? This thing has one of the best sci-fi sounds that you describe you are looking for.
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Quote:
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Apparently the cs-15 can have the filter oscillate with an ext. in feedback loop.
Running the headphone output into the external input results in a nice, crunchy distorted sound. With the external input level cranked all the way it starts to howl. But I wouldn't really call it self oscillating.
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