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1U rack synth Gems
Old 26th April 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 

1U rack synth Gems

For those of us who haven't got a lot of space or money lets put together an updated list of 1U synth gems. What are the gems you have found in 1U format.

For Me:

Oberheim Matrix 1000 - easy way to get classic Oberheim sound in your mix.

Some nice patch possibilities from Retrosound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arjkqK_bC3w


Yamaha FS1R - yes I know the VST Yamaha FM Emulations are pretty great these days but it had formants too and its own character to be fair.

A nice example of some sound capabilities on its own:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAqMe_rSLWk

Syntecno TeeBee - Not just a 303 clone, but a ms20 filter, audio input, midi merge and 4 separate midi cv gates conversions. A true studio hub.

Hard to find a really good video of it on its own but this shows how it integrates well into Ableton:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUUdV01RytY

E-mu Morpheus (Ultra Proteus) - an amazing digital synth for pads, sci fi effects thanks to its z plane filters. if you like Kurzweil k2000, Kawaii K5000, Ensoniq fizmo or the Waldorf microwave chances are you will like this.

Lush sound scape examples of what's possible with the morpheus rooms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2T3HpT8pFo&t=2922s

And the zplane filters in conjunction with the ultra proteus roms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMHH0VmPIrk

DSI Poly Evolver rack - accesible flexible beast in rack format cannot believe that this 4 voice massive digital analog wavetable hybrid keyboard can be stuffed into 1u rack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKAlLvn0WFQ

Kenton plugstation - The ability to host a wide variety of Yamahas synthesis implementations such as FM, VL, and AN together in a single rack unit. Incredible but also very rare.

Here are some examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm_NA13lM8A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzbpUQHuzWc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kODZAsvyk-o

Jomox airbase 99 (Jaz base 03) - all the real analog drums you need to make great club music in a 1u rack. More 909 than 808 but still great.

The 99 and 03 sound example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTKYQ_fZ9ew

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BeQ1XRoJnQ

Marion Systems MSR-2 - similar in sound to the matrix 1000 but with better specs and more voices, more flexibility. Hard to find.

thoroughly awesome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=780lecoJTQg
Old 26th April 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
adamstan's Avatar
 

Bohm Dynamic 12/24 or its rebadged version - ORLA DSE-12/DSE-24.

16 part multitimbral, 12/24 voice 4op FM module (based on OPN chips) with triple-BBD analog chorus. Thanks to this, apart from typical 4op sounds, it's capable of some absolutely magnificent string sounds.




Old 26th April 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Not a classic, but the Peavey Spectrum synth sounds better than it should...
Old 26th April 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Those Bohm and orla machines have a pretty nice sound, quite hard to find I am guessing?

- to be honest most of the stuff on my list is moving towards 700-1000 USD and the Marion and FS1R are easily over a grand.
Old 26th April 2019
  #5
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lovekrafty's Avatar
 

I think the cheetah MS6 falls into this category
Old 26th April 2019
  #6
Nice! I’d been going through a lot of them as well when space was tight. Agree on the still-owned Oberheim Matrix 1000, Yamaha FS1R, and even the already-sold DSI Poly Evolver rack and Marion Systems MSR-2 (actually ProSynth in my case). I would add the following:
  • Roland Fantom XR or XV-5050 (sample-based)
  • Ensoniq MR Rack (sample-based)
  • E-mu Proteus 2000 series with various expansion boards (sample-based, Z-plane filters)
  • Yamaha TX81z (for the 4-op-FM lovers)
  • Access Virus Rack XL (same as Virus C)
  • Roland D-110 (synth), R-8m (drum module), S-330 (12-bit sampler)
  • Yamaha VL70-m (virtual acoustic), although that’s cheating since it’s half-rack only
Old 26th April 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
  • Doepfer MS-404
  • Roland MKS-50
Old 26th April 2019
  #8
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usedtohaveajuno's Avatar
TX-81Z is my one-unit weapon of joy!
Old 26th April 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

- +1 to the TX81Z. Add an analog chorus and an Eventide H3000 and you have a non-stop source of inspiration
- Korg TR-Rack: one of the very best sounding rack ROMplers
- FS1R owner also.
Old 26th April 2019
  #10
Gear Nut
Nord Modular G2 Engine
Old 26th April 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Derp's Avatar
Freebass FB-383. Since the analog revival, I've been seeing these things getting cheaper and cheaper. It's nothing fancy but hey...

Old 26th April 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Ensoniq MR Rack
Roland JV-880
Roland S-760
Old 26th April 2019
  #13
Roland U-220, if Liam Howlett of the Prodigy has one in his rack, so should you!

*note: i used to own one and only used the strings & choirs from it, then chucked it for a WS A/D instead.
Old 26th April 2019
  #14
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
WS A/D
Which reminds me of another good one: Korg Wavestation SR. Programming it from the front panel sucks, but the presets cover so many bases and sound glorious.
Old 26th April 2019
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Which reminds me of another good one: Korg Wavestation SR. Programming it from the front panel sucks, but the presets cover so many bases and sound glorious.
i had one of those too, out it went as well, trying to program it from the front panel drove you mad.
iWavestation for iPad is what i use now.
Old 26th April 2019
  #16
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John01W's Avatar
Roland MKS-50 ....gotta love the plethora of awesome programmers available for it as well!
Eventide Eclipse....have two of these, LOVE this unit. Can you believe it's been in production for 17 YEARS now!?

Last edited by John01W; 27th April 2019 at 04:36 AM.. Reason: You mean FX too? Well then;)
Old 26th April 2019
  #17
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flat's Avatar
Korg TR Rack ... Great bang for buck little 1u slice of Korgi goodness. ...and I prefer its sound to the Triton.

Novation A Station. One of the best 'hands on' front facia 1u synths
Old 26th April 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
Roland VariOS
Old 26th April 2019
  #19
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Signifier's Avatar
Eventide Eclipse....
Old 27th April 2019
  #20
All the emu proteus 2000, xl-1 etc range can be had for cheap these days and have a very powerful sound engine. Bit fiddly but sound nice.

Interesting that the a-station has a good interface. I used to have a bass station rack which had awful small knobs. Today I have the bs-2 which is in a completely different league in terms of how pleasant it is to tweak. So much sturdier and more flexible too. Obviously not a rack unit though...
Old 27th April 2019
  #21
Gear Head
 

Casio VZ8m
Old 27th April 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
SMS MARS (Synthestic Music Systems) was one that always intrigued me.

A knobby modular monosynth in 1U rack. Only downside were the patch points were on the back (you could add a BOB/Break Out Box to have them on the front panel but then you are getting away from the 1U form factor). Sounded good in the demos I've heard.
Old 27th April 2019
  #23
there are some i like based on sound, but overall, unless there is a programmer of sorts, or an ipad editor, i tend to stay away these days. no time to fumble with miniscule display and menus. representing various sonic groups:

  • Yamaha FS1R - love it. best fm machine for softer pads and textures. need to buy it again dammit.
  • Roland MKS50 - one of my fav DCO machines. just lovely, and still cheap.
  • Yamaha TG500 - classic rompler. lovely sound of early 90s rave and techno etc. got a Sector101 waveblade card for it, so i can load any sample/mutlisample i want. not as elegant to do as with a sampler, but still doable and interesting to run your own into its synthesis engine and multimode filters.
  • Lexicon PCM81 with Dual FX card - i can program simpler presets, but would love an editor of sorts. this machine was made for synths, ambient guitars etc.
  • Eventide Eclipse - closest to Orville in 1U. perhaps one of the most powerful 1U multieffects. it has a nice iPad controller now.
Old 27th April 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Hey guys thanks for contributing.

Would be helpful to post links to youtube clips showing the character of the units for reference; might help people understand where you are coming from on your endorsement.

The Eclipse is an a FX unit not a synth, but its a great unit that is basically used in sound design so lets roll with it.
Old 27th April 2019
  #25
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kawai k1r

Last edited by whatever17; 28th April 2019 at 07:28 AM..
Old 27th April 2019
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by supersuper View Post
Hey guys thanks for contributing.

Would be helpful to post links to youtube clips showing the character of the units for reference; might help people understand where you are coming from on your endorsement.

The Eclipse is an a FX unit not a synth, but its a great unit that is basically used in sound design so lets roll with it.

a few usual suspects:


Lexicon PCM80/81:




Yamaha TG500 (SY85):




Eventide Eclipse:




Roland MKS-50:

Old 27th April 2019
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
kawai k1r ( but i don't know if you'd like it )
if it's anything like the k4r, it's more like a dirty rock than a gem ... the k4r is most lo-fi sounding synth I've owned. Waveforms and filters are pretty awful. This does make for a characteristic sound, though, so it's not completely without merit. Can't say I miss mine, however... (the k4r, which is 2u)
Old 27th April 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermal View Post
All the emu proteus 2000, xl-1 etc range can be had for cheap these days and have a very powerful sound engine. Bit fiddly but sound nice.

Interesting that the a-station has a good interface. I used to have a bass station rack which had awful small knobs. Today I have the bs-2 which is in a completely different league in terms of how pleasant it is to tweak. So much sturdier and more flexible too. Obviously not a rack unit though...

Proteus 2000 worth $100? Someone locally is unloaded a bunch of cheap 90s rack units..
Old 27th April 2019
  #29
Deleted 0adea27
Guest
I have to add Emu's Audity 2000 in here as well. Although patch editing is a bit cumbersome.

The inQuisitor
Old 27th April 2019
  #30
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
Roland U-220, if Liam Howlett of the Prodigy has one in his rack, so should you!

*note: i used to own one and only used the strings & choirs from it, then chucked it for a WS A/D instead.
That’s so weird. I had a U-220 as well (though I used it for a lot of things) and I also replaced it with a Wavestation A/D. I don’t even like Prodigy!
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