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anyone else underwhelmed with modern poly synths? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 21st December 2016
  #241
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76 View Post
To me the 002 (which i also have) is more 80's vintage - while the perfourmer is more 70's vintage.
After listenting to some 1970s synth videos, I think the P4mers sound could be described as a mixture of 70s Roland and modern Cwejman?

Anyways, I was able to test out the Modal 008 a few hours ago. I really love the 002, but the 008 should be the main subject of this thread. It's the most underwhelming synth I've ever come across, it sounds as bad as it does in the youtube videos. Their decision to invert the sawtooth on VCO-2 was a bad move, as you always get a strange, very irritating, "heavy" sounding mixture between both sawtooth and pulse harmonics as soon as you use two sawtooths (which I do 85% of the time on analog synths). Therefore, you also don't get that wonderful sound of slightly detuned VCOs beating against each other. It just sounds "wrong", harsh, irritating, non-musical, whenever it should sound warm and fat. Turning down VCO levels doesn't help. The filter is nothing special and not nearly as good as the one on the 002 or OB-6.

Quality of the build is top notch, it feels a lot better than the OB-6 and Prophet 12 which the store also had on stock, but that's of very little use when the synth engine is crap.
I would not buy this for 500 bucks, I am serious.
Old 21st December 2016
  #242
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drockfresh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTBatmaN View Post
Anyways, I was able to test out the Modal 008 a few hours ago. I really love the 002, but the 008 should be the main subject of this thread. It's the most underwhelming synth I've ever come across, it sounds as bad as it does in the youtube videos.

I would not buy this for 500 bucks, I am serious.
Hahahahhaha
Old 22nd December 2016
  #243
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTBatmaN View Post
I would not buy this for 500 bucks, I am serious.
While I liked your post, I think your last remark there is just a ton harsh. But I agree with you. I got some flack myself when I posted in the 008 thread that I thought their synth wasn't really delivering what I thought was a $5000 sound. I know it's a discreet boutique synth, a Jaguar not a Mustang, and you get what you pay for. But really, I keep thinking that I can get just about the same quality of sound from a Prophet~6, OB-6, Deepmind-12, a JD-XA or even a Sledge. And what I would buy for that price would be a Solaris.

I don't decry anyone buying one, and I have to take their word for it that it's pure magic in a black chassis. Would love to hear some music made with one.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #244
Gear Addict
 
_ADSR_'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
Would love to hear some music made with one.
Bass patch here blew my doors off.

https://soundcloud.com/synth-guru/incantation

Make yourself some popcorn and then give this one a listen.

https://soundcloud.com/paultp12/hope
Old 22nd December 2016
  #245
373097
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
I would respectfully submit that this is incorrect with two synths in particular: the Behringer Deepmind-12 and Roland JD-XA.
I would also add the DSI Prophet 12 to this list, it offers a huge sound pallet and is a very capable synth. I bought one (desktop version) without ever hearing it in person, and have no regrets.

This review helped me make the decision. It does a good job of explaining the synth's capabilities:
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 | Sound On Sound

This demo is one that I really liked and help me make the decision:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wvzRCFI4kg

I will also be purchasing a DeepMind 12 desktop if/when it is released, without ever hearing it in person... and I'm pretty sure there will be no regrets.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #246
Kja
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It's funny to me because everyone ragged on the jdxa and made the price bottom out, then they figure out it sounds better than the boutique stuff.. Lol
Old 22nd December 2016
  #247
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Soothing Sound's Avatar
It's time for some vintage goodness:

Old 22nd December 2016
  #248
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ADSR_ View Post
Bass patch here blew my doors off.

https://soundcloud.com/synth-guru/incantation

Make yourself some popcorn and then give this one a listen.

https://soundcloud.com/paultp12/hope
Hmm... Synth Guru's Incantation was fascinating, though I have to say the audio rate modulation made the track a little difficult to listen to. Hope was more my speed, but I did have to scroll through it, not having any popcorn handy.

I think this is a better indication of how different the 008 is.



I have to go to bed, but I have to say that finding examples which really show off what the 008 can do is proving hard. I guess it's the polyphonic version of the modular, an expensive synth that people buy to admire, and then not know quite what to do with it.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #249
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Bach666's Avatar
 

I dig the 008 sound from what I've heard online. It'd be the first synth I'd go for if I were scoring a futuristic sci-fi/horror flick set in space, or something.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #250
373097
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bach666 View Post
I dig the 008 sound from what I've heard online. It'd be the first synth I'd go for if I were scoring a futuristic sci-fi/horror flick set in space, or something.
Blade Runner 2049!
Old 22nd December 2016
  #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
I think this is a better indication of how different the 008 is.
Strymon Big Sky.
Invalidates 100% of synth demos.
Makes a heavenly beautiful pad out of a sampled sound of a vomiting pig...
Old 22nd December 2016
  #252
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eXode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayersweb View Post
I would also add the DSI Prophet 12 to this list, it offers a huge sound pallet and is a very capable synth. I bought one (desktop version) without ever hearing it in person, and have no regrets.

This review helped me make the decision. It does a good job of explaining the synth's capabilities:
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 | Sound On Sound

This demo is one that I really liked and help me make the decision:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wvzRCFI4kg

I will also be purchasing a DeepMind 12 desktop if/when it is released, without ever hearing it in person... and I'm pretty sure there will be no regrets.
This is another cool Prophet 12 demo in the "analogue" vein. Very 80's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az3_p_0z6vU
Old 22nd December 2016
  #253
i think the 008 is excellent. sounds very high-end and precise and clean. we're lucky we're in an age now where these machines are viable. a few years back you had to go 'vintage' to have anything analogue.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #254
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Strymon Big Sky.
Invalidates 100% of synth demos.
Makes a heavenly beautiful pad out of a sampled sound of a vomiting pig...
Hmm... if this is true, the demos of the Deepmind-12 and JD-XA poo all over an awful lot of synthesizers. As a guy who loves everything and a huge fan of Dave Smith, I have to say that those two synths could replace literally everything synthesizerie.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
Hmm... if this is true, the demos of the Deepmind-12 and JD-XA poo all over an awful lot of synthesizers. As a guy who loves everything and a huge fan of Dave Smith, I have to say that those two synths could replace literally everything synthesizerie.
In the description of that video:
"Some delay from Korg SDD-3000 (analog setting) and the Strymon Big Sky shimmering away!!"

Of course i am not saying that 008 is like a vomiting pig, just that any synth demo with the Big Sky on it, becomes a Big Sky demo.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #256
Deleted User
Guest
I always want to know what a synth sounds like minus effects.
And on a Blofeld this is not a problem, unless you want a tin can reverb.
So, at least for me, I edit all patches minus effects in programming.
It is when they are finished that I add them. but they are external,
so they can easily be stomped on or off.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Strymon Big Sky.
Invalidates 100% of synth demos.
Makes a heavenly beautiful pad out of a sampled sound of a vomiting pig...
Old 22nd December 2016
  #257
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post

1) slap Big Sky on everything
2) sound like everyone else
Old 22nd December 2016
  #258
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bach666 View Post
I dig the 008 sound from what I've heard online. It'd be the first synth I'd go for if I were scoring a futuristic sci-fi/horror flick set in space, or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTBatmaN View Post
After listenting to some 1970s synth videos, I think the P4mers sound could be described as a mixture of 70s Roland and modern Cwejman?

Anyways, I was able to test out the Modal 008 a few hours ago. I really love the 002, but the 008 should be the main subject of this thread. It's the most underwhelming synth I've ever come across, it sounds as bad as it does in the youtube videos. Their decision to invert the sawtooth on VCO-2 was a bad move, as you always get a strange, very irritating, "heavy" sounding mixture between both sawtooth and pulse harmonics as soon as you use two sawtooths (which I do 85% of the time on analog synths). Therefore, you also don't get that wonderful sound of slightly detuned VCOs beating against each other. It just sounds "wrong", harsh, irritating, non-musical, whenever it should sound warm and fat. Turning down VCO levels doesn't help. The filter is nothing special and not nearly as good as the one on the 002 or OB-6.

Quality of the build is top notch, it feels a lot better than the OB-6 and Prophet 12 which the store also had on stock, but that's of very little use when the synth engine is crap.
I would not buy this for 500 bucks, I am serious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
i think the 008 is excellent. sounds very high-end and precise and clean. we're lucky we're in an age now where these machines are viable. a few years back you had to go 'vintage' to have anything analogue.
This sequence of posts sums it all up. I'm in the "don't like it club" though I've heard it make some great monophonic sounds. $500? I might pay $1000. Though, many love it. I think it boils down to this. Comparing vintage to modern isn't really relevant. Every instrument should just be judged on their own merits, regardless of the era it was made in.

It also makes me think of this. When vintage was modern, I was working at Rondo Music in Union NU for damn close to minimum wage... plus commissions. Oh yeah, to get commissions you had to pass a test. A test that they don't tell you about when they hire you. A test that you then find that only one person on staff has ever passed. I remember it had questions like what was a fretboard made of on a long discontinued acoustic guitar that we did not have in stock. WTF? Anyway, my point is I was broke. So now that I'm flush, I still find that those analogs are somewhat out of my range as a hobbiest. I could get one but it seems extreme at my skill level. So, I'm super happy for things like the Prophet 6 which I got for $1650. To me it sounds great and has a lot of functionality that makes it more desirable to me than the 5. I know it's not for everyone, but I'm sure glad it exists for me.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #259
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Bach666's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
This sequence of posts sums it all up. I'm in the "don't like it club" though I've heard it make some great monophonic sounds. $500? I might pay $1000. Though, many love it. I think it boils down to this. Comparing vintage to modern isn't really relevant. Every instrument should just be judged on their own merits, regardless of the era it was made in.

It also makes me think of this. When vintage was modern, I was working at Rondo Music in Union NU for damn close to minimum wage... plus commissions. Oh yeah, to get commissions you had to pass a test. A test that they don't tell you about when they hire you. A test that you then find that only one person on staff has ever passed. I remember it had questions like what was a fretboard made of on a long discontinued acoustic guitar that we did not have in stock. WTF? Anyway, my point is I was broke. So now that I'm flush, I still find that those analogs are somewhat out of my range as a hobbiest. I could get one but it seems extreme at my skill level. So, I'm super happy for things like the Prophet 6 which I got for $1650. To me it sounds great and has a lot of functionality that makes it more desirable to me than the 5. I know it's not for everyone, but I'm sure glad it exists for me.
I agree. My main problem with this thread is the overgeneralization its premise is based upon. A relatively rational person would see the ignorance in it. A title like "anyone else underwhelmed with poly synths that aren't the OB-8?" would be more appropriate for this thread imo.

Also, the false narrative that people who find this thread flawed are "over-defensive about their modern poly synths being attacked" is distracting and unfounded. I mean are the Studio Electronics Omega 8 and Jomox Sunsyn considered modern poly synths or not? I'm still confused about everything.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #260
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
Hmm... Synth Guru's Incantation was fascinating, though I have to say the audio rate modulation made the track a little difficult to listen to. Hope was more my speed, but I did have to scroll through it, not having any popcorn handy.

I think this is a better indication of how different the 008 is.


I have to go to bed, but I have to say that finding examples which really show off what the 008 can do is proving hard. I guess it's the polyphonic version of the modular, an expensive synth that people buy to admire, and then not know quite what to do with it.
Here's a really good 008 track by Vacoloco.

https://soundcloud.com/vacoloco/sunday-evening
Old 23rd December 2016
  #261
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Jeeroj's Avatar
 

Phew, anyone fancy a pint?
Old 23rd December 2016
  #262
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See one thing I _do_ think is potentially pernicious in the "oh I love vintage monosynths" propaganda is that it easily persuades youngsters to join in with the Kool Kids (well, in this case, Kool Grandpas, more like....) and radically overspend on stuff long before they've actually developed enough of their own ears to determine whether $300 or $3000 is necessary to spend to achieve happiness.

It's great marketing, and I saw it hoodwink many in the age of audiophile stereo for millions of bucks.

I guess if it makes everyone happy, sure, but so does tossing tons of plastic bottles into the ocean to drown the baby penguins in, too.

Think of the penguins! is my main point......
Old 23rd December 2016
  #263
I see many inspiring poly synths being made today. In the right hands they are magical.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #264
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Mefistophelees's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioSoundzz View Post
I see many inspiring poly synths being made today. In the right hands they are magical.
This.

Anyone can learn to program a synth. But if you keep doing it over and over again, you learn to appreciate the nuances and interactions between components.

If you explore you also learn just how capable modern synths are. You can often get very different sounds out of them than you might expect. Even the most modern synths can sound vintage when pushed.

There'll still be a difference but it's pretty subtle. I'm personally not willing to pay 2-3 X as much (+ maintenance) for a subtle difference.

Subtle? Yes, A few years back I read a thread where someone posted a big filter sweep from a Prophet 5, and wondered why we couldn't have synths like that today (this was long before the Prophet 6 appeared).

I had a Prophet'08 and wondered how close I could get. I didn't think I could do it but it turned out I could get pretty close, not exact, but it sounded good. Since then I've been rather sceptical of claims that vintage synths have some missing magic.

It really doesn't help that in blind tests no one can tell a vintage synth from a 5 year old VST!



However, as I said before the muse is a curious thing. It is quite obvious that some people do not think the difference is subtle. If it's a vintage synth that gives you the buzz, then maybe that's what you should get.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #265
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Guru View Post
Here's a really good 008 track by Vacoloco.

https://soundcloud.com/vacoloco/sunday-evening
Actually, that came up next as Soundcloud usually has a related list of tracks it pulls up after the first one - or the author's playlist - ends. It is a lovely piece, though I'm still not sure I'm hearing $5000 worth of synth. Well, or two, the arpeggio is a 002.

I shouldn't be so picky. After all, I'm the guy who loves everything, and in a 008 programming video, some amazing textures leap out here and there. But as a guy who's not swimming in cash, I've learned that you can do a lot with a little. I've managed to make grab bag mics work wonders on a drumkit. When I get that mic locker going, half the mics or more are going to be budget guys.

My first serious synth was a rompler, and it took a little effort to make it sound like an analog synth. Not hard work, the raw waves on most romplers provide some great material to craft some nice patches. So when I worked my way up to VAs, softies and analogs, I had honed my skills to the point that rolling patches was almost easy peasy. Honest to God pulse width mod and hard sync!

I don't doubt the Modal guys are using some prime components that make their synths worth the dosh. You guys n gals who can afford it, you are blessed. We have to make due with what we got, but it sounds like we aren't doing too shabby.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #266
Gear Maniac
 

man, you guys whine a lot. if you want a "classic" new poly, buy a two voice. it's made to the same specs and it sounds amazing, it was the original poly synth and like the minimoog, probably still hasn't been bettered. why does the op and most of the other posters here overcomplicate things? it's very simple, go buy one, or four if you want an 8 voice.

you are very lucky that we're living in a time where these things are in fact available at all.

i think the real question is not about poly synths, but the ideal expectation of a poly synth the op and many of you have. the two voice is a very simple design. it doesn't offer what you think you want. patch memories, autotuning routines, etc. yet that is precisely what makes it sound so good. now many of you appear to want it all. but quite obviously you cannot have it. what offers convenience in digital control sacrifices the very qualities of analog sound that you prize.

for example, comparing the ob-6 to the ob8 as this thread has done is just fatuous. the ob-6 has a sem-like filter and discrete oscillators based on the sem design. it is not meant to be an ob-8 clone. does it have the oberheim sound? sure, in spades. but it is a different flavor, and it has vastly more sonic possibilities. can you do a giant notch filter sweep or svf filter sweep on an ob8? obviously not.

but even the sems do not sound like the ob8 or the ob x for that matter. they are smooth and glistening rather than gritty. the vca is less overloaded. sems are less glitchy, because there is no microprocessor. the discrete oscillators are rawer and less refined. and so on.

so again, the question is about your ideal synth. it appears to be a fictional composite of all the great poly synths. but for obvious reasons that synth has not and will not ever exist.

"modern" polys have upsides and downsides. there are better and worse ones. i think anyone with ears can hear that the modal synths leave a lot to be desired. on the other hand, i highly doubt that anyone short of a synth nerd can hear much of a difference between an ob 6 and an ob 8, or a prophet 6 and 5. especially in a mix.

we all gel with instruments very personally and differently. but the level of entitlement in this thread is off the charts. it smacks of a mind that thinks it should be able to buy everything.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #267
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Just plowed through this thread. Though i'm a novice with synths, i think the last year has been amazing. DM12, KorgMlogues, S8, OB6... Buy all of em new, or a OB8? Sure, if you Must have vintage, go for it. But, i have been down the vintage vs modern route with other instruments. Truth be told, vintage wins in front of a mic. But, ATM, i'd rather go new.

Dave Smith is one brave cat. He does all this sh!t that we all take for granted, all while having a drink w his peers. Prophets, Wstations, Softies, Mophos; MIDI... And we still procrastinate. S8 and DM12, a laptop and a nice mic. Records to be made. I ramble but, if gear is so important in music, i have a lot of money to spend
Old 23rd December 2016
  #268
373097
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXode View Post
This is another cool Prophet 12 demo in the "analogue" vein. Very 80's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az3_p_0z6vU
Have not heard this one... thanks for posting!
Old 23rd December 2016
  #269
373097
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
It is a lovely piece, though I'm still not sure I'm hearing $5000 worth of synth. Well, or two, the arpeggio is a 002.
I thought the same thing... something like a Virus TI could probably sound very close and as good. I know very little about the Modal synths... just commenting on the demo.
Old 23rd December 2016
  #270
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
1) slap Big Sky on everything
2) sound like everyone else
My alternative to this

1: I don't have big sky or any shimmer verb
2: I sound like me

Tadaaaa
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