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Poly synth Recommendations? (to go with moog Mother-32 & Grendel Drone Commander) Desktop Synthesizers
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
Poly synth Recommendations? (to go with moog Mother-32 & Grendel Drone Commander)

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forums but have been lurking for a while and have learned so much here. I was hoping some of you might be able to help me out with some ideas for a hardware poly for me. I have some ideas in mind but I want to hear all of your recommendations and do not want to color your recs with my preliminary thoughts.

I currently have a moog mother-32 and a Grendel Drone Commander v1 which I love (along with bass guitar, patchulator 800 and numerous pedals, ipad synths, and VSTs on a macbook). I am looking for a poly that would compliment the Mother and Grendel. I mostly make ambient type music these days and I am thinking that the poly would be used primarily for pads, chords, soundscapes, etc. But, I would also like something that I can experiment with. Not looking for any type of classic sounds or too much preset reliance as I find a lot of inspiration from tinkering and developing sounds on my own.

Now for the requirements: No keyboard or modular (must be a desktop model; semi-modular like the mother is fine though), 1 knob per function; none or minimal menu diving; something intuitive without a huge learning curve; ability to experiment and come up with new and interesting/crazy sounds.

Would be nice: not required but ability to save presets would be a plus; clock-in to have the Grendel clock out go into it.

I'd ideally like to keep the price under around $700, however, I am open to ALL recommendations. If you had a budget rec and then a money no object rec that would be great! At some point soon I would also like to add a hardware sequencer to sequence the poly and the mother, but that is a whole other can of worms.

Thanks all and looking forward to your recommendations!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
bump
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Mutable Ambika probably ticks most of those boxes. No dedicated clock in but there's always midi.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
maybe look into the minilogue XD module that is upcoming.
Seems to tick all your boxes. Clock + CV in. desktop. ~knob per function. great ambient sounds. open for experimentation (SDK available to write your own digital oscillator!)
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
drxcm's Avatar
 

Over budget, but System-8, seriously!
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Here for the gear
Thank you for these recommendations!!
@ bkbirge - I am not at all familiar with the Ambika. Will have to start doing some research on that one. Thank you for the recommendation.
@ bluegreengold - Minilogue XD is on my list as one to demo once it is out. I wasn't thrilled with the sound of the original minilogue when it first came out, but I only had a few minutes to play around with it in a crowded store.
@ drxcm - System-8 is sweet but huge and I really need to keep it to a desktop version
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baying Ridges View Post
@ bluegreengold - Minilogue XD is on my list as one to demo once it is out. I wasn't thrilled with the sound of the original minilogue when it first came out, but I only had a few minutes to play around with it in a crowded store.
The keyboard XD is out now, so you can check that out. Module will be the same just no keys. I think it is a big step up over the original minilogue with the addition of the digital multi osc, and the improved sequencer and effects. Module should be out in June.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Another few for you to research...
Modor NF-1
Futuresonus Parva
Roland boutique series
Old 4 days ago
  #9
Here for the gear
Thank you all for your recommendations and I will be researching each of them. I am especially excited to look into ones that I had not heard of previously like the Parva, NF-1 and Ambika. So far my list of poly's to demo/research are:

All of the ones mentioned on this thread +
Deepmind 12
Peak
Blofield
Dreadbox Abyss and Medusa
Prophet Rev2

Hoping I will click with one of them and purchase within the next month or so.

Thanks again all!
Old 4 days ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baying Ridges View Post
Thank you all for your recommendations and I will be researching each of them. I am especially excited to look into ones that I had not heard of previously like the Parva, NF-1 and Ambika. So far my list of poly's to demo/research are:

All of the ones mentioned on this thread +
Deepmind 12
Peak
Blofield
Dreadbox Abyss and Medusa
Prophet Rev2

Hoping I will click with one of them and purchase within the next month or so.

Thanks again all!
I think you’ll have a hard time finding any of the above synths for your budget, except for the Deepmind and Blofeld, and the Blofeld doesn’t cover your interface needs, so I’d probably say go for the Deepmind 12 desktop. The Parva sounds terrible to me. The NF-1 sounds great, but I don’t think you’ll find one for your budget and the NF-1m doesn’t conform to your interface needs. I think the Ambika is similar in that respect. I’m not a fan of the sound of it, but many like it.

I think at your budget that you’ve got a hard task. Great sound, module and knobby are pretty rare in the $700 range. Maybe an old Nord Lead 2x? I think if you could bump your budget and save up for a Peak or REV2, you’d be better off. If you can’t, just go for the Deepmind 12. There are a few things that I didn’t like about it, but overall it’s a good synth and a great value.
Old 4 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baying Ridges View Post
Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forums but have been lurking for a while and have learned so much here. I was hoping some of you might be able to help me out with some ideas for a hardware poly for me. I have some ideas in mind but I want to hear all of your recommendations and do not want to color your recs with my preliminary thoughts.

I currently have a moog mother-32 and a Grendel Drone Commander v1 which I love (along with bass guitar, patchulator 800 and numerous pedals, ipad synths, and VSTs on a macbook). I am looking for a poly that would compliment the Mother and Grendel. I mostly make ambient type music these days and I am thinking that the poly would be used primarily for pads, chords, soundscapes, etc. But, I would also like something that I can experiment with. Not looking for any type of classic sounds or too much preset reliance as I find a lot of inspiration from tinkering and developing sounds on my own.

Now for the requirements: No keyboard or modular (must be a desktop model; semi-modular like the mother is fine though), 1 knob per function; none or minimal menu diving; something intuitive without a huge learning curve; ability to experiment and come up with new and interesting/crazy sounds.

Would be nice: not required but ability to save presets would be a plus; clock-in to have the Grendel clock out go into it.

I'd ideally like to keep the price under around $700, however, I am open to ALL recommendations. If you had a budget rec and then a money no object rec that would be great! At some point soon I would also like to add a hardware sequencer to sequence the poly and the mother, but that is a whole other can of worms.

Thanks all and looking forward to your recommendations!
Honestly it sounds like the Medusa would satisfy all of your requests, AND it would also serve as a sequencer, which you'd other have to buy separately.

Especially with the latest firmware update.

Also perfect for ambient and soundscapes.

Price-wise a secondhand model would be in your price range, but if you consider you plan to buy an additional sequencer eventually, even buying one new would be less expensive in the long run.







Old 4 days ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

There are always compromises to make but the best for your budget with knobs and no keyboard is the DM 12d at this moment I think.
Little bit of menudiving but not that much, overall it's a very intuitive synth.
Old 4 days ago
  #13
Here for the gear
@ zerocrossing - Yes, it seems like with my restriction it will be a difficult, but hopefully fun, search. Definitely have the Peak and REV2 on the list. While they are a bit out of my price range for now I am willing to wait a couple of months if I find that one of these really clicks with me. I will also check out the Nord Lead to see if I can find an older one near me.
@ marcgood - thank you for posting the vids, I will be watching them this afternoon! I really want to find a Medusa to play one in person. You would think that living in NYC that would be easy, but I am having a hard time finding a store with one in stock. Based on what I have seen and read, it does seem like it would meet my needs, and I can justify the price by telling myself I am killing two birds (poly and sequencer) with one stone. Not sure if my wife would agree though haha! But, I am going to somehow find one to demo and see how I feel about it.
@ willem1958 - agreed. Especially with my price constraints I know there will be compromises to be made. The Deepmind 12D does appear to tick most of the boxes I need while keeping the cost down to something I can afford now. Overall I am going to play as many as I can and go with what speaks to me the most. If it's the DM 12, great. If it turns out one of the ones a little over $1K is the one, I will save a little more and wait till I have the funds.
Old 4 days ago
  #14
Ambika sounds fantastic. much better than its price would suggest. but it is menu based.

other than that Dreadbox Abyss. knob per function but no memory. too small polyphony and a single osc per voice. not my cup of tea, but its there so..


budget constraint pretty much puts all the vintage options out of reach, even the cheaper ones with DCO technology. well, you might be able to find a Roland MKS50 with the PG300 programmer for that cash. its a great sound, but very 80s rolandy lasery synth pop sort of thing. not for everything.


another over the budget suggestion i'd seriously consider: Novation Peak. very versatile. a hybrid sound with analog filters and drive. a desktop. knob per function for all important stuff. but if you want and need more its under the hood. i like that sort of compromise.
Old 3 days ago
  #15
Gear Nut
 

If you gonna save a little more maybe you can find a second hand Peak, it's a very good choice.
Very very sweet sounding oscillators.
Also the deepmind is a great choice for pads/ambient music and pricewise nothing beats it.
But why don't you go to a shop and try out the peak and the deepmind just to tweak a few knobs and make some sounds?
It's the best way to find out what suits you most.
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