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Warm (organic?) digital synths
Old 9th February 2019
  #31
Deleted efd8500
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I've owned a fair share of digital

I've noticed these being warmer sounding

All of the previously mentioned 90's Roland JD, some JV, definitely Korg 01W and not forgetting Yamaha EX/SY

More recently I've noticed :
Nord A1
Roland S8/FA
Motif XF (warmer than my Montage)

And cold for me = any Waldorf I've had, less recent DSI (Mopho, Evolver) Korg MS2000 Roland SH32


That's my spin and both warm and cold is needed
Old 9th February 2019
  #32
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"Just stick a guitar pedal on it"
Old 9th February 2019
  #33
Gear Maniac
If you avoid kicking the FM or RCM into high gear, the SY/TG 77 are quite capable of warm voicings.

I've also managed some warm, very analog sounding voices out of my Alesis Fusion.
Old 9th February 2019
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimket View Post
“Warm” and “organic” as descriptors for (purely) digital synths does my head in, lol. Just makes no sense whatsoever. To me.

But I’m sorta curious what others perceive here. So I’ll keep an eye on this thread. Might learn something!
To me "warm" and "organic" are different things. "Warm" is a matter of tonal balance, with lots of low-mids and not too prominent highs. "Organic" is a matter of fine-grain texture, a quality that most acoustic instruments have that's lacking in many electronic instruments.

By far the most organic sounding synth I've ever owned is the Yamaha VL-1m, built around physical models of wind instruments. Physical modeling is in general a synthesis technique that lends itself to creating that semi-chaotic textural quality, and granular synthesis can get there as well.
Old 10th February 2019
  #35
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimwolf View Post
To me "warm" and "organic" are different things. "Warm" is a matter of tonal balance, with lots of low-mids and not too prominent highs. "Organic" is a matter of fine-grain texture, a quality that most acoustic instruments have that's lacking in many electronic instruments.

By far the most organic sounding synth I've ever owned is the Yamaha VL-1m, built around physical models of wind instruments. Physical modeling is in general a synthesis technique that lends itself to creating that semi-chaotic textural quality, and granular synthesis can get there as well.
Okay, that is an interesting take. Good stuff.
Old 10th February 2019
  #36
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Praxisaxis's Avatar
 

For me, "warm" does not simply mean a rolled off high end. It actually means some degree distortion (often saturation), which in fact tends to square the top of a round waveform, which physically creates higher harmonics. So warmth actually comes with a very high end. This is what is sometimes missing in digital synth sounds created during the era when digital fidelity helped to reduce distortion.
Old 10th February 2019
  #37
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
The Virus line of synths are often tending to smooth, warm but maybe not so organic.
I’ve not owned it but I’ve heard some demos of the Yamaha AN-1x that are pretty organic and warm. I havn’t seen it mentioned in the thread yet. You who have owned it, what do you think?
Old 10th February 2019
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Honestly, the Waldorf Microwave XT and II (which I own) is THE coldest synth I have ever owned in my history of owning synths.
I was thinking similar as I read the beginning of this thread... warm and microwaveII/XT dont go together to my ears. I feel the same about the Kawai K5000.
Old 10th February 2019
  #39
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24dB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
Both the D-50 and JD-800 qualify as warm to me.
D-50 for sure, in fact one of the best warm patches ever is #36 Soundtrack
Old 10th February 2019
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
agree with Xander on 01W it is one of the if not the warmest rompler i ever heard. i'm not that fond of its waveshaping, so i am debating btwn picking 01R/W, or 03R/W instead just to have that tone as they are 2-3 times as cheap.
I have both racks... the tone of the 03R/w is legitimate. The big difference is the waveshaping, so a cheap 03 may make you happy. I've hosted a website for the 03R/w since the mid 90s. The site hasn't changed much since then!

Sayer's Korg 03R/W Site
Old 10th February 2019
  #41
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bjoerngiesler's Avatar
Very positively surprised by the OP-1 in this respect (and many others).
Old 10th February 2019
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasseru View Post
i dont get the Q is not warm statement. Maybe you can make cold sounds with it due to wavetables and other tricks - but generally its a cloud of thick lower mids with no top end. even when its harsh its tonal colour is so yellow (they got the paint right on that one, didnt they) - that to me is not a cold sound.

but i'm just talking sonics atm as its the easiest thing for me to class 'warm' as.


i have recently been using my kawai k5000r - now that is a cold synth


oh ps. are the JV-880s any good? still really cheap
I had a Q rack when they were first released... I found it to be a bit dull sounding (not in a bad way), not particularly warm. The Micro Q sounds a bit harsh to me in the upper frequencies.

K5000 is a chilling cold synth... had the K5000R when first released... that one is long sold. Recently bought a K5000S.

I find both the JD-990 and JV-1080 to be fairly warm sounding.

Then there are synths like the AN1x which can sound very warm or cold depending on the patch.
Old 10th February 2019
  #43
Gear Maniac
 
Noisebuddy's Avatar
compared to my Blofeld the MicroQ got the power and warmth i sometimes miss (the Blofeld can be digital harsh)

I'm just curious, there was the Phoenix-edition .... any differences soundwise to the MQ?
Old 10th February 2019
  #44
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Jpro600k's Avatar
 

Large fluctuations over time, simple mixing, time-consuming invisible big swell, discreet randomness, discreet loudness, less material, melody, less note, ambiguity, blurred color, blinking rather than flashing, fireplace Flame, watch pendulum, swinging flowers and leaves of trees, cloud changes and movement,Ripple, babbling

I think that it will be warm if you make sounds while imagining such things.
What changes at a fast speed is far away from warmth.

As for the length of the reverberation and the delay, if the room size has an influence on human's feeling, it seems necessary to take into account.
Distance and emotion and sense between sound and oneself are likely to be related.
I think that the point at which movement and distance are born is due to slow fluctuation is an important point.
If the distance is long, blending will become stronger and become obscure.

Familiar things are lovely.
Old 10th February 2019
  #45
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rasseru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimwolf View Post
To me "warm" and "organic" are different things. "Warm" is a matter of tonal balance, with lots of low-mids and not too prominent highs.
Yeah that's the warm I'm talking about with the Q.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mindseye9 View Post
I had a Q rack when they were first released... I found it to be a bit dull sounding (not in a bad way), not particularly warm.
That's also a great description, and one of the reasons I didn't get along with it when I got mine. I would just end up with mud when I wanted definition. I'm glad I didn't sell her though, I really appreciate that nature now


Maybe it's like Saturn - warm to look at but actually -178 Celsius

Maybe some warmth has to do with the emotive response from it as well, which I don't think the Q excels at. Its more space & digital
Old 10th February 2019
  #46
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisebuddy View Post
compared to my Blofeld the MicroQ got the power and warmth i sometimes miss (the Blofeld can be digital harsh)

I'm just curious, there was the Phoenix-edition .... any differences soundwise to the MQ?
Same Micro-Q on the inside, just Phoenix graphics on the outside.

I always wondered if anyone ever bought software-cobbled the Micro-Q Lite back in the day. I noticed that Waldorf now lets you upgrade them to the full Micro-Q for free.
Old 10th February 2019
  #47
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I should probably add my 01w demo here:

Old 10th February 2019
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
I always wondered if anyone ever bought software-cobbled the Micro-Q Lite back in the day. I noticed that Waldorf now lets you upgrade them to the full Micro-Q for free.
I totally forgot about the lite version... seems like a strange marketing direction. Apparently, all you need to do is load the latest OS to do the upgrade.
Old 10th February 2019
  #49
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindseye9 View Post
I totally forgot about the lite version... seems like a strange marketing direction. Apparently, all you need to do is load the latest OS to do the upgrade.
Kind of like a hardware version of shareware, I guess.

Waldorf GmbH (technically not the same as the original Waldorf) also did this with the Blofeld sample load option. All the hardware for it is there waiting to be unlocked by a software upgrade/license. Waldorf never mentioned it in the original Blofeld press releases and only when people noticed the extra RAM on teardowns did Wal release the sample option upgrade.

Seems weird though to put more hardware there than you need but I guess there was an economy of scale advantage when they first designed the Blo. It also prevents splitting your userbase between two different versions of a hardware platform and making the differences be software only.

edit: There's another weird Micro-Q variant I forgot about... the Nano SynCard for CME controller keyboards! It was patch compatibile with the Micro-Q (and had 1000 preset patches) but I don't think you could fully edit with CME interface. Weirdly, it only had max 24 voice polyphony (stock Micro-Q had 25) but you could install two cards and run the equivalent of two Micro-Qs in parallel.

edit2: found it!

Waldorf Nano SynCard

Last edited by Rob Ocelot; 10th February 2019 at 07:13 PM..
Old 10th February 2019
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
FlyingMusician's Avatar
I had a Blofeld and it sounded great. I just couldn't stand the matrix interface so it had to go.

The VirusB is a very warm and lush digital synth however, nothing in my studio can touch it for what it does, including my Jupiter 8 and JD-990
Old 10th February 2019
  #51
Gear Head
My Casio HT-3000 with filter mod sounds warm as bowl of soup on a sunny day in autumn. Not sure if it qualifies as a real synth though. Also the filter is analog, so it's cheating I guess.

The Yamaha PSR-36 can sound warm, but again, more a weird home keyboard than a real synth.

The Yamaha FVX-1 module can sound soft and warm. 8 operator FM in 4 layers makes rich and powerful pads, when combined with some light modulation and detuning.
Old 11th February 2019
  #52
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Yamaha EX5/EX5r - hi fi digital warmth. It's got to be the converters. I haven't really heard any better/warmer, despite its age.
Old 11th February 2019
  #53
Deleted cec0d5b
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
it never gets out of that dark syrupy world. It’s like a 1992 goth love letter written in deoxygenated blood.
Hands down the best descriptive sentence I’ve read on here... ever.
Old 11th February 2019
  #54
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Kawai K4 has a warm crunch to it. Ensoniq digitals have a pleasing sound to me as well. Not warm like an analog but very pleasing, not cold in any way
Old 11th February 2019
  #55
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polybonk's Avatar
Totally agree on the Waldorf XT. I hear it as warm or cold depending on patch. Just got one in a few days ago!

You might want to try Solaris.

Vsynth GT is probably the warmest digital synth I have ever heard tho!!!!

All Vsynth apart from drums:
Cyan Blue | Touched Music

Shameless plug I know but its all for charity.
Old 11th February 2019
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
Kind of like a hardware version of shareware, I guess.

Waldorf GmbH (technically not the same as the original Waldorf) also did this with the Blofeld sample load option. All the hardware for it is there waiting to be unlocked by a software upgrade/license. Waldorf never mentioned it in the original Blofeld press releases and only when people noticed the extra RAM on teardowns did Wal release the sample option upgrade.

Seems weird though to put more hardware there than you need but I guess there was an economy of scale advantage when they first designed the Blo. It also prevents splitting your userbase between two different versions of a hardware platform and making the differences be software only.

edit: There's another weird Micro-Q variant I forgot about... the Nano SynCard for CME controller keyboards! It was patch compatibile with the Micro-Q (and had 1000 preset patches) but I don't think you could fully edit with CME interface. Weirdly, it only had max 24 voice polyphony (stock Micro-Q had 25) but you could install two cards and run the equivalent of two Micro-Qs in parallel.

edit2: found it!

Waldorf Nano SynCard
I bought the Blofeld and later expanded it with with the sampling option. Its amazing they have been available for sale for over 10 years.

Never heard of the Nano SynCard. That is a curious one. It appears to be mono-timbral. Here is another advertised for sale with a little more info:

WALDORF Nano IN BOX | SYNTHIMUSEUM | Reverb

Last edited by mindseye9; 11th February 2019 at 03:52 PM.. Reason: typos.... :)
Old 11th February 2019
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMusician View Post
I had a Blofeld and it sounded great. I just couldn't stand the matrix interface so it had to go.

The VirusB is a very warm and lush digital synth however, nothing in my studio can touch it for what it does, including my Jupiter 8 and JD-990
I found the Virus b to have a special sound character, loved it. Sold it when the TI was announced. Waited more than a year for the TI pre-order to be fulfilled. When it finally arrived, there was something missing in the sound character, it did not sound as warm as I remembered the b sounding. Still have the TI, but have often wondered if I should get another b.
Old 11th February 2019
  #58
Quote:
Originally Posted by felis View Post
Yamaha EX5/EX5r - hi fi digital warmth. It's got to be the converters. I haven't really heard any better/warmer, despite its age.
Have the EX5R and yes, it can sound quite warm/smooth. Had it since 98 when it was released. Such a huge variety of sounds can be made with the different synthesis types. Still gets regular use in my projects.
Old 11th February 2019
  #59
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sovietpop's Avatar
-The Nord Modular G1. Even without any FX there is something special about that synth. Gritty, warm and kinda organic sounding.

-Ensoniq Sq80 (hybrid) is incredibly warm and organic sounding. Factory preset are awful of course, you really need to program your own patch.

-Mutable Ambika (hybrid) This one is incredible, the most underrated synth ever IMO. I dont know why, maybe its the filters ( have the smr4) but there is something about those Digital OSCs. Sometime i think im playing an old VCO poly. I like it better than by OB6 .. yep .
Old 11th February 2019
  #60
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
I’ve not owned it but I’ve heard some demos of the Yamaha AN-1x that are pretty organic and warm. I havn’t seen it mentioned in the thread yet. You who have owned it, what do you think?
i have one and it was the first thing that popped in my head when i saw this thread.
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