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Does anybody else have an obsolete synth fetish? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 13th January 2018
  #1
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EDGEK8D's Avatar
Does anybody else have an obsolete synth fetish?

Do any of you also shop around for an OG Nord Lead 1? How about a minty JP8K? Don’t get me started on finding a Novation KS5 with the aftertouch still working. Lately Korg Radias demoes make me excited.

So what maligned 90’s and 00’s digital synths do you covet or keep in spite of their poor reputation?

I’m being a little negative, Nord Leads and the JP8K aren’t maligned at all, but they don’t exactly make a ton of sense with whats available today via software. Why do I want these sometimes? Maybe it’s because I wasn’t living the synth life when they were the cat’s meow? I missed out. I think my Blofeld is the cause of some of this digital/VA arrousal. I love that thing. It never gets boring.
Old 13th January 2018
  #2
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drockfresh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Do any of you also shop around for an OG Nord Lead 1? How about a minty JP8K? Don’t get me started on finding a Novation KS5 with the aftertouch still working. Lately Korg Radias demoes make me excited.

So what maligned 90’s and 00’s digital synths do you covet or keep in spite of their poor reputation?

I’m being a little negative, Nord Leads and the JP8K aren’t maligned at all, but they don’t exactly make a ton of sense with whats available today via software. Why do I want these sometimes? Maybe it’s because I wasn’t living the synth life when they were the cat’s meow? I missed out. I think my Blofeld is the cause of some of this digital/VA arrousal. I love that thing. It never gets boring.
All the synths discussed on this thread and to be discussed on this thread just tripled in value

Just don’t change title to “I have joined the cult of the Korg Radias!”
Old 13th January 2018
  #3
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I used to now I just want reissues cheap!
Old 13th January 2018
  #4
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I just got a Nord Modular G1...I bought a Toshiba Satellite 210CS earlier in the year (a Windows 95 Machine with 48MB RAM) to run the Nord Modular G1 editor and a serial port midi interface.

TOSHIBA SATELLITE 210CT BROCHURE Pdf Download.

Does that count? I also very much want a Nord Lead 1 to compare it with, eventually. I own an An1x, but I also want an MS2000 for its naive nasty VA modelling. I’m also desperately wanting to buy a Roland JX305, because it has lots of ROM waves and an actually very deep engine with FXM/Booster/Ring Mod, and everyone else hates it which always piques my interest in a synth!



Really I want to hear synths from a time before band-limiting and super realistic VA algorithms took hold, give me digital grit and grunge!
Old 14th January 2018
  #5
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Do any of you also shop around for an OG Nord Lead 1? How about a minty JP8K? Don’t get me started on finding a Novation KS5 with the aftertouch still working. Lately Korg Radias demoes make me excited.

So what maligned 90’s and 00’s digital synths do you covet or keep in spite of their poor reputation?

I’m being a little negative, Nord Leads and the JP8K aren’t maligned at all, but they don’t exactly make a ton of sense with whats available today via software. Why do I want these sometimes? Maybe it’s because I wasn’t living the synth life when they were the cat’s meow? I missed out. I think my Blofeld is the cause of some of this digital/VA arrousal. I love that thing. It never gets boring.
What, like Largo?
Old 14th January 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Don’t get me started on finding a Novation KS5 with the aftertouch still working.
Had a KS4 (aftertouch still working). It broke so I got a KS rack to save space. Maybe my favourite synth - the interface, the distortion, the resonance... Love it.

Nothing wrong with loving the machines for their own sake, even if it's not entirely rational in other ways
Old 14th January 2018
  #7
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abruzzi's Avatar
 

Practically my entire studio is 90s and 2000s digital things from a whole line of Yamaha FM, to Kurzweils, to Wavestations, to Ensoniq romplers, to samplers. In fact, I just bought (hasn’t arrived yet) an Alesis Fusion just because I was curious about some of its sound engines. I really don’t see any instrument as obsolete. Certain types of sounds become fashionable then become unfashionable, and much of the 90s synths are in that position. Fortunately, I have never in my life been accused of being fashionable, so these things are perfect for me.
Old 14th January 2018
  #8
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gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I just got a Nord Modular G1...I bought a Toshiba Satellite 210CS earlier in the year (a Windows 95 Machine with 48MB RAM) to run the Nord Modular G1 editor and a serial port midi interface.

[
The nord editor runs fine on every win. version .
Anyway , congrats , It's one of the finest digital synths ever .

Last edited by gentleclockdivid; 14th January 2018 at 02:19 AM..
Old 14th January 2018
  #9
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zerocrossing's Avatar
I want to be into one, but my space is too limited and I always seem to drift towards analog. Usually some time with Omnisphere or ArcSyn suffices.
Old 14th January 2018
  #10
I've just bought an an1x, don't have it yet since a friend picked it up for me but looking forward to it.. also want a nordlead 1 or 2 and maybe a virus a/b :D grab those first gen VAs now before they get unaffordable like 80's analogs are now :P
Old 14th January 2018
  #11
Same here. My studio was built around such machines. There was a period where I actively sought synths nobody liked. My little island of Misfit Toys has gotten some distinguished company in recent times though. But trust me I'm in no danger of becoming a synth snob
Old 14th January 2018
  #12
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A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
I have some of those obsolete synths, they still sound good to me. Sure, you can do pretty much the same with software, and lose the interface and the DACs. To each its own.
Old 14th January 2018
  #13
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robotunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I’m also desperately wanting to buy a Roland JX305, because it has lots of ROM waves and an actually very deep engine with FXM/Booster/Ring Mod, and everyone else hates it which always piques my interest in a synth!
(a) FXM/Booster/Ring Mod don't add as much as you think they would. (b) Samples are compressed all to fcuk and are lifeless, not grungy. (c) Shiddy keyboard. Aftertouch is on or off, nothing in between. The 305 is not Kawai K1 cool. It just sucks.

MC505 has the same engine and are '90s gold. Had the 305 and 505 at the same time. The MC505 is like a perky one-speed bicycle: You get out of it what you put into it. The 305 is just two flat tires. It ain't going nowhere no matter how hard you work. This is just my experience, of course. YMMV.

Both and the MC307 are stripped-down, sample-compressed, groove-approved versions of the JV1080. Fortunately, the 505 doesn't sound as hi-fi as the 1080:

Old 14th January 2018
  #14
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Yoozer's Avatar
Fun that you call this "obsolete", we all know what happened to the previous round of "obsolete".

A new synth coming out doesn't make an older one sound worse, except when you're in need of a certain something (realistic pianos - put an M1 against a Kronos and in that regard, the M1 is obsolete).

Heck, try a TX81Z and the sounds are just still "good". Not good if they're not what you need, but still "good".

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I’m also desperately wanting to buy a Roland JX305, because it has lots of ROM waves and an actually very deep engine with FXM/Booster/Ring Mod, and everyone else hates it which always piques my interest in a synth!
Soundwise there's no difference between that and a JV1080 with Techno expansion (not one of the rare ones) except for the patterns. Editing a 1080 is just a lot easier, and 1080s are less prone to defects.

The Nord Modular is really, really good, and the second VA I actually miss. You can do so many creative things with it, and it really made me re-think synthesis.
Old 14th January 2018
  #15
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Old 14th January 2018
  #16
Im getting into old digitals. I used to be into old analogs but their value went so high they became casualties to bills and living life. Old digitals right now are pretty cheap and its a neat feeling to buy a $2500 dollar synth for a few hundred bucks. Do they offer anything over the computer? Probably not, but what I like about them is simply the tons of free patches you can get for them. Getting a synth with several thousand sounds is always cool.
Old 14th January 2018
  #17
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Korg Prophecy - I like it. Nuff said
Old 14th January 2018
  #18
Gear Addict
 

I laugh when I hear people say an instrument is dated. Yeah, the piano and violin are soooo 1400s, lol. I think sounds don't become dated, only the music you make can be.

These things are so cheap. This past month I've picked up a Roland U110(meh) a Proteus(usable) a D110 (not bad at all) at $40 each and bought a Kurzweil K2000rs for $200 today. What a Beast!!! I think I'm good for digital for now but a deal on a TG77, EX5r or wave station would be tempting.
Old 14th January 2018
  #19
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Old 14th January 2018
  #20
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
I laugh when I hear people say an instrument is dated. Yeah, the piano and violin are soooo 1400s, lol. I think sounds don't become dated, only the music you make can be.

These things are so cheap. This past month I've picked up a Roland U110(meh) a Proteus(usable) a D110 (not bad at all) at $40 each and bought a Kurzweil K2000rs for $200 today. What a Beast!!! I think I'm good for digital for now but a deal on a TG77, EX5r or wave station would be tempting.
Violins didn’t exist until the 1500s. Pianos didn’t exist until around 1700.

But that’s not the worst flaw in your argument. What we don’t know about (well, what you and I don’t know about) the early pianos and violins was how much they sucked. Maybe the first piano was crap and they had to work on it and develop it over time, just like synthesizers have been worked on and developed over time. So, we had the the Trautonium in the 20s, but we didn’t really have good quality commercial analog synths until the 70s. It took time for the technology to develop to a point where people could afford a good one. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say it took 50 years to go from early primitive analogs to what we now consider modern day style analog synths. 50 years! So think about digital synths. They’re much newer but it also took them some time to get to a threshold where the cost and quality were good enough for popular consumption.

So, I’m not telling anyone a AN1X or Nord are “primitive” synths, but it wasn’t like their designers were excited about the aliasing. They continued developing that technology to get those artifacts out of the design. Just because it’s fashionable to go all retro (yeah, I like it too) doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a step towards something with less artifacts.

So, digital synths are progressively getting better, regardless of whether we like them more or not.
Old 14th January 2018
  #21
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shreddoggie's Avatar
Actually the first pianos and violinski didn't suck muchly. The fiddles were around as a folk instrument (powdered wigs preferred the more sophisto viols) and they actually had a radness similar to the sought after radness of ancient analog synths (transparent and nuanced), that is preserved in the performance practices involving gut strings and no sound post - check a cat named Sigiswald Kuijken if yer interested. When they added metal strings and a soundpost it got LOUDER and also less sweet - go figure... same story repeats all through music history.

Story is similar with the pianner: cat named Cristofori invented this keyboard that could go soft/loud and called it the pianoforte - go figure again. Bros went ape. Before this you had no velocity to VCA - organs and harpsichords. This thingie developed along (you guessed it) the lines of louder with a sacrifice in nuance and transparency. Go figure. Then came amplifiers... Best cat on these boxes for my $$$ is named Malcolm Bilson - also worth checking.

Point being: all steps along the path are interesting. I go for variety in my ensembles. I have $5k classics and bought a $100 'classic' just today and I played them simultaneously (1 hand on each with my silver cape on), and it sounded pretty nifty. I think i agree with everyone - does that mean I win?
Old 14th January 2018
  #22
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EDGEK8D's Avatar
Didn’t mean to trigger anyone. When I say “obsolete”, I meant the prevailing consesnus, not my own opinion.

Good discussion. Part of me just likes the look of many of the older digital synths, and I agree with a poster that some of the attempts to limit or get rid of aliasing has taken away a certain aspect of the sound of a good VA. I mean, we can all LPF a recording to get rid of it, if we want to.
Old 14th January 2018
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Violins didn’t exist until the 1500s. Pianos didn’t exist until around 1700.

But that’s not the worst flaw in your argument. What we don’t know about (well, what you and I don’t know about) the early pianos and violins was how much they sucked. Maybe the first piano was crap and they had to work on it and develop it over time, just like synthesizers have been worked on and developed over time. So, we had the the Trautonium in the 20s, but we didn’t really have good quality commercial analog synths until the 70s. It took time for the technology to develop to a point where people could afford a good one. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say it took 50 years to go from early primitive analogs to what we now consider modern day style analog synths. 50 years! So think about digital synths. They’re much newer but it also took them some time to get to a threshold where the cost and quality were good enough for popular consumption.

So, I’m not telling anyone a AN1X or Nord are “primitive” synths, but it wasn’t like their designers were excited about the aliasing. They continued developing that technology to get those artifacts out of the design. Just because it’s fashionable to go all retro (yeah, I like it too) doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a step towards something with less artifacts.

So, digital synths are progressively getting better, regardless of whether we like them more or not.
Whatevz, man. Point being... they aren't dated and remain viable instruments.
Old 14th January 2018
  #24
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tux99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
So, I’m not telling anyone a AN1X or Nord are “primitive” synths, but it wasn’t like their designers were excited about the aliasing. They continued developing that technology to get those artifacts out of the design.
Actually they didn't. There is no successor to the AN1x and Yamaha abandoned their VA technology (the Reface CS has a much more limited simplified version of it so it can't be considered a successor or an improvement).
Old 14th January 2018
  #25
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A quick glance around my studio would make you think my obsession with obsolete is not exclusive to synthesizers.
Old 14th January 2018
  #26
Gear Addict
 
A.I. Batule Chee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I just got a Nord Modular G1...I bought a Toshiba Satellite 210CS earlier in the year (a Windows 95 Machine with 48MB RAM) to run the Nord Modular G1 editor and a serial port midi interface.

TOSHIBA SATELLITE 210CT BROCHURE Pdf Download.

Does that count? I also very much want a Nord Lead 1 to compare it with, eventually. I own an An1x, but I also want an MS2000 for its naive nasty VA modelling. I’m also desperately wanting to buy a Roland JX305, because it has lots of ROM waves and an actually very deep engine with FXM/Booster/Ring Mod, and everyone else hates it which always piques my interest in a synth!



Really I want to hear synths from a time before band-limiting and super realistic VA algorithms took hold, give me digital grit and grunge!
Blue synths are ALWAYS cool, no matter what.
Old 14th January 2018
  #27
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Whatevz, man. Point being... they aren't dated and remain viable instruments.
And people still drive Duesenbergs. My point is we shouldn’t conflate fashionable with the current state of technology. I’m just saying that there’s room for both. My personal reasons for avoiding many old digital synths are that they tend to either have crap interfaces (DX, CZ), have sounds that are easily replicated in software, are still crazy expensive (CMI, Synclavier) or all of the above. I really like the sound of those classics, but not enough to give up valuable space. I know this will get me a lot of jibes, but I even spent the money I had earmarked for a NF-1m on software.
Old 14th January 2018
  #28
Christ on a crutch here we go with the software vs hardware bullish!t again....

Why does everything need to be compared to software ad nausea forever? Can't this thread actually be about the OP's topic? It was an entertaining read until the GREAT SOFTWARE COMPARISON angle got thrown down like a gauntlet.
Old 14th January 2018
  #29
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 View Post
Actually they didn't. There is no successor to the AN1x and Yamaha abandoned their VA technology (the Reface CS has a much more limited simplified version of it so it can't be considered a successor or an improvement).
I don’t know a lot about the Reface CS, but I thought the sound was a bit better despite the simple feature set. Not the progress a lot of us wanted to see, but progress none the less. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yamaha puts that new tech into a more full featured synth at some point. Maybe not. They do seem to be happy giving up that segment of the market to Korg and Roland.

Regardless, if we say for argument sake that Yamaha has abandoned VA, it’s not like there are not hundreds of others that have taken the baton and kept running.
Old 14th January 2018
  #30
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shreddoggie View Post
Actually the first pianos and violinski didn't suck muchly. The fiddles were around as a folk instrument (powdered wigs preferred the more sophisto viols) and they actually had a radness similar to the sought after radness of ancient analog synths (transparent and nuanced), that is preserved in the performance practices involving gut strings and no sound post - check a cat named Sigiswald Kuijken if yer interested. When they added metal strings and a soundpost it got LOUDER and also less sweet - go figure... same story repeats all through music history.

Story is similar with the pianner: cat named Cristofori invented this keyboard that could go soft/loud and called it the pianoforte - go figure again. Bros went ape. Before this you had no velocity to VCA - organs and harpsichords. This thingie developed along (you guessed it) the lines of louder with a sacrifice in nuance and transparency. Go figure. Then came amplifiers... Best cat on these boxes for my $$$ is named Malcolm Bilson - also worth checking.

Point being: all steps along the path are interesting. I go for variety in my ensembles. I have $5k classics and bought a $100 'classic' just today and I played them simultaneously (1 hand on each with my silver cape on), and it sounded pretty nifty. I think i agree with everyone - does that mean I win?
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