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Mutable Instruments Ambika - still a contender?
Old 30th January 2017
  #1
Mutable Instruments Ambika - still a contender?

Hi folks

I'm on the look out for a new poly and noticed that brand new Ambika's can now be picked up pre-built for a very reasonable price (£500). My question is - how does it stand up against the options that have appeared since it came out? On paper it still sounds like an incredibly flexible piece of kit and the demo's sound great. I already have a Tetra, Matrix 1000, Dx7 and AN1x so figure this would offer something different.
Thoughts?
Old 30th January 2017
  #2
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rids's Avatar
 

It would a great complimentary piece for your setup. It's hybrid nature and flexible modulation will definitely give you something you don't have currently. And yes it's definitely a contender. The only question is which filter do you want. There's a handful. If you want some Rolandy round sweetness, go for the SMR4.
Old 30th January 2017
  #3
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cr73645's Avatar
I have one and I simply love it. It's an amazing machine and certainly a strong contender, even with all the new synthesizers on market.

One of the features that makes it an incredible add on is the extremely flexible voice allocation, where you can use it like a six voice polysynth or 6 individual monosynths and anything in between, each with its own MIDI channel or keyboard zone.

Sound wise, I'd say that it is probably the best hybrid in the market.
Old 30th January 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
What would even be the new alternatives for it? Prophet 12? It has digital wavetablish oscillators and analog filters. Any other? Audiothingies Micromonsta is a new cool device, but sonically far from Ambika, at least from the dirtier side of it. Somehow, they sound a bit similar when having cleaner sounds but I would consider them as alternatives for each other.

For me, a strong advantage of Ambika is the cross-mod options between the oscillators. Do you know other synths that would offer sync, foldback distortion, ringmod, xor and bit reduction or a similar set of functions?
Old 30th January 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by eighteenisnine View Post
What would even be the new alternatives for it? Prophet 12? It has digital wavetablish oscillators and analog filters. Any other? Audiothingies Micromonsta is a new cool device, but sonically far from Ambika, at least from the dirtier side of it. Somehow, they sound a bit similar when having cleaner sounds but I would consider them as alternatives for each other.

For me, a strong advantage of Ambika is the cross-mod options between the oscillators. Do you know other synths that would offer sync, foldback distortion, ringmod, xor and bit reduction or a similar set of functions?
Blofeld can go crazy with that sort of stuff, but of course that's all digital.
Old 30th January 2017
  #6
Yep - thinking of the SMR4 filter option if I go for it, figure this is the one that will offer a different sound to what I already have. The Polivoks filter initially seemed like an interesting possibility but from the demos I've heard it seems a bit too wild in practice.

I guess one concern is that they're no longer supported by Mutable Instruments - correct?
Old 30th January 2017
  #7
Okay - my mistake, TubeOhm are still handling them.
Old 30th January 2017
  #8
Gear Maniac
Maybe (and this a question) this is a more interesting alternative to a Deepmind 12?
Old 30th January 2017
  #9
Well that's what I'm thinking. TBH, the more I hear of the Deepmind - the less I'm moved by it. Probably a personal thing though. Ambika seems to have more raw character and greater flexibility...
Old 30th January 2017
  #10
I think it sounds great! I had a Shruthi-XT, but sold it feeling like it would make a much better poly, than a mono. It has the most useful selection of waveforms, and the waveshape modulation options are well thought out. I just didn't like the look of the interface which the XT had down so well. I was kind of hoping somebody would do an Ambika-XT ar some point.
Old 30th January 2017
  #11
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lineofcontrol's Avatar
 

For me I passed on the Ambika because of the interface. I need one knob per function these days...
Old 30th January 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seenky View Post
Hi folks

I'm on the look out for a new poly and noticed that brand new Ambika's can now be picked up pre-built for a very reasonable price (£500).
Where are you seeing that kind of price? Ive been thinking about getting another ambika w 6 ladder cards and that's definitely cheaper than I could build it for.

I built a 2 x 4p, 2 x smr4, 2 x ladder ambika a few years back but let it go during a cross country move. I remember being a bit frustrated with the interface and control voltage resolution (long release envelopes and slow lfos can be a bit glitchy), but it's such a unique and great sounding instrument. Now I read thatsomebody has made a firmware with oscillators that are less prone to aliasing or thinness, which would make it even better
Old 30th January 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
Ambika was slight too gritty/hairy, for me. It also aliased in the high registers.
I read that they have a new firmware which is supposed to help with aliasing.
Otherwise, it is a good synth.
Old 30th January 2017
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Life View Post
Blofeld can go crazy with that sort of stuff, but of course that's all digital.
Well, I already own Blofeld . Any other polysynth capable of doing this crazy cross mod stuff?
Old 30th January 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by prontold View Post
Where are you seeing that kind of price? Ive been thinking about getting another ambika w 6 ladder cards and that's definitely cheaper than I could build it for.

I built a 2 x 4p, 2 x smr4, 2 x ladder ambika a few years back but let it go during a cross country move. I remember being a bit frustrated with the interface and control voltage resolution (long release envelopes and slow lfos can be a bit glitchy), but it's such a unique and great sounding instrument. Now I read thatsomebody has made a firmware with oscillators that are less prone to aliasing or thinness, which would make it even better
It's a UK seller who's building them to order - limited stock though.
Old 30th January 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by seenky View Post
It's a UK seller who's building them to order - limited stock though.
Know if they'd ship to the US?
Old 1st February 2017
  #17
Yup, it's a pretty good price. The guy might ship to the states but I know that he doesn't have any of the ladder cards.
Old 1st February 2017
  #18
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I had one, I even made a topic about how much I liked it ... but something didn't sit right with me after a bit. I was definitely in a honeymoon phase when I was excited about it. It just has an "anemic" tone. It has actual analog filters, sure, but the gain staging for them is just really weak. It might as well not be analog. The Blofeld honestly has more punch to it.

If you're expecting a hybrid that has a tone to 80s gear, I would move on. And the wavetables aren't that well implemented... The Shruthi, with SMR filters, seems to sound better comparatively. A number of people on Muffwigglers threads seem to agree
Old 2nd February 2017
  #19
Interesting to hear some negatives. TBH, I'm not so sure anymore - having given the demos a few more spins it sometimes sounds fantastic but can also sound a bit meh and, dare I say it, plug in-ey. The potential aliasing thing bothers me a bit as well, although that seems to have been addressed by an update. I actually have a pal who's just ordered one from the same guy so he can act as the canary in the mineshaft (as it were).

Maybe it's also worth sticking it out to see what's just around the corner. So many new bits of kit appearing at the moment and I'm intrigued to see how the big rival companies response to the Deepmind 12...

Cheers for the advice guys.
Old 2nd February 2017
  #20
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If you want wavetable, Waldorf is the only real option
Old 2nd February 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seenky View Post
It's a UK seller who's building them to order - limited stock though.
Someone different than TubeOhm? Who is German.
Old 2nd February 2017
  #22
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zobbo's Avatar
If any of you are looking at the seller on Ebay based in Newcastle Under Lyme I can recommend him. Very nice chap and I love my Ambika.
Old 3rd February 2017
  #23
R7P
Gear Maniac
 
R7P's Avatar
 

Here's a link to the updated firmware with less aliasing.

https://github.com/bjoeri/ambika
Old 3rd February 2017
  #24
Gear Maniac
For me, aliasing is not a problem but part of the overall sound. If you want analog sounding machine, you already seem to have Tetra and M1000 so in my sense you do not even need one more analog. For me, the beauty lies in the gritty but at the same time warm sounds, and aliasing plays part of it. You can find some random noodling from me from the link below. Ambika (+ effects) only:

FAWM.ORG | Kepler 438b and Gliese 422b
Old 3rd February 2017
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by zobbo View Post
If any of you are looking at the seller on Ebay based in Newcastle Under Lyme I can recommend him. Very nice chap and I love my Ambika.
That's the guy - good to hear from a happy customer!
Old 6th December 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
Talk to me about the per-voice sequencer. Sounds like you could really get some crazy movement going with that.
Old 27th February 2018
  #27
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Hey man do you know if he’s still selling them can you put me in touch please?
Quote:
Originally Posted by seenky View Post
Yup, it's a pretty good price. The guy might ship to the states but I know that he doesn't have any of the ladder cards.
Old 4th March 2018
  #28
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rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eighteenisnine View Post
For me, a strong advantage of Ambika is the cross-mod options between the oscillators. Do you know other synths that would offer sync, foldback distortion, ringmod, xor and bit reduction or a similar set of functions?
No doubt the Ambika is impressive. For some reason, I don't think people really realize what they're missing out on. I was getting more into the Ambika lately after playing the DSI Pro 2 extensively (well because I own one) and the Ambika impresses with sound and features both. Like you say, it does some special things, but most of it sounds really really good.

Most people around here talk about the readily available synths, but fail to see the wonders of this box. If the Ambika were at Guitar Center, it would sell like hot cakes.
Old 8th March 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
midicontrol's Avatar
 

It is at Guitar Center. I bought mine two days ago. The hype is not over.
Dark war against analog trend has only begun.
Old 9th March 2018
  #30
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zobbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by midicontrol View Post
It is at Guitar Center. I bought mine two days ago. The hype is not over.
Dark war against analog trend has only begun.
They’re selling ambikas at guitar center?
Topic:
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