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Synths that DELIVER! .. your most productive machines!
Old 3 days ago
  #121
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiF View Post
Whenever I am using my Roland System-1, I get the sound that I need in minutes if not seconds and it makes it "on the record".
I've been seeing System 1 boards on craigslist these days for less than $250 USD. Such a great value IMO, even just as a small MIDI controller.
Old 3 days ago
  #122
Lives for gear
 
syntonica's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I have no idea on the spasm front.

It was a really decent keyboard for me at the time. It had a really good pattern sequencer and also DAW-like piano roll editing.

You could hook a line in through the speakers for a guitarist friend, and then go to town.

I spent a lot of time between the age of 14 and 17 sequencing other people’s music as midi files, and dabbling in the quite-deep synth architecture, it really helped me with learning to compose and arrange.

Later on, Technics took many parts of that home keyboard UI, bolted on some more pages and added a unique synthesis engine, becoming the WSA-1.

I have one of those now. It gives me a bit of that 90’s Technic’s nostalgia whilst being a lot more interesting sonically and more my cup of tea nowadays.
I'm changing my name to "Spasm Front" and going pro.

I have the WSA1R and seriously wish it had the sequencer on board. From what I've seen of it, it's simple to use and gets the job done. Then this wee beastie would probably be getting much more play as it has an amazing sound, an indescribable crunchiness, that's unlike anything else I've heard. Maybe I should just sample the **** out of it. I'm trying to get rid of everything that's languishing to make room for a new Kurz PC4 since I had to send my piano away. No room for it anymore...
Old 3 days ago
  #123
Lives for gear
 
digital 1010's Avatar
My Maschine mk3. Its my drum machine, sketch pad, I use it in the studio or on my MacBook when away to sketch ideas. Loaded with Goldbaby and Wave alchemy packs I literally have every beat/noise/blip I could ever want or need.

Spending time to learn how to use it fully from the controller makes a huge difference too.
Old 3 days ago
  #124
RiF
Lives for gear
 
RiF's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by space skeleton View Post
I've been seeing System 1 boards on craigslist these days for less than $250 USD. Such a great value IMO, even just as a small MIDI controller.
Yes, the System-1 is one of the best MIDI controllers for soft synths, because it has a lot of knobs and the layout is pretty standard so that it fits most subtractive synths.
If only the keybed was better... Besides no velocity sensitivity and too short action, my low C died just recently :-(.
Old 3 days ago
  #125
Lives for gear
 
johannburkard's Avatar
HW: Arturia Microfreak
SW: Kairatune, Synth1

(I pretty much only have ****ty free synths)
Old 3 days ago
  #126
Gear Addict
 
CathodeRay's Avatar
I'd have to say my Kurzweil PC361 & Korg Minilogue XD i could live happy with just those two if i had too.
Old 3 days ago
  #127
Gear Nut
 

My bread and butter synths:

System-8
Jupiter-6
Deepmind12

Everything else are the frosting on top.
Old 3 days ago
  #128
Gear Head
 

The Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox is my selection. I actually own two of them. Overall, they sound great and, due to their semi-modular design, offer a lot of possibilities for sound creation.

I also find the Waldorf Blofeld and Roland AIRA System-1m very useful instruments in my studio.
Old 2 days ago
  #129
Gear Head
 
DJSpaceP's Avatar
 

Warning: long-winded roundabout post about my current setup.

I like to maintain a focused rig for live performances. At one point I was using the MPC Live (plus a Keystep) as an attempt to get everything down to one device. But as capable is the MPC Live is, I found myself having to do almost everything with "intent", meaning I had to go in knowing what I was going to create before I started. I put together sets and did shows with the MPC, but the whole "DAW in a box" thing was paradoxically limiting in a live setting, if that makes any sense.

During this time period, I ended up getting a Circuit Mono Station with a 50% off voucher, and started REALLY enjoying its immediacy and sounds. In particular, the "knob per function" layout and the sequencer combo let me really get some fun ideas out and quickly, but with elements of happy accidents too. And then I started getting into per-step patch-flipping.

So I found my self pulling the Mono Station along on live shows and depending on it more and more for that certain something. I decided I wanted more of that, in whatever form I could find it, and ended up zeroing in on the Elektron Digitone. Not an analog synth of course, but in almost every respect, it gave me "more" of what I was looking for in terms of a creative sequencing synthesizer.

Then, I started doing shows with JUST the Digitone and Circuit Mono Station, and they sounded more lively and more "me". I started getting compliments on my sound and music that had been more rare when I was doing MPC Live sets, but even more importantly for personal reasons, I was now REALLY enjoying creating and performing live sets because there was something more purely musical to my ears and my process about synthesizing everything in real-time.

A few cycles of that, and I was ready to bring samples back into the mix with a fresh perspective. Problem was, I was now spoiled by the Elektron and Circuit Mono Station workflows. I also didn't want to have anything to do with loops anymore. If you've predicted where this is going ... yes, I ended up adding a Digitakt to my setup.

TL;DR - My most productive, core machines are the Digitakt, Digitone and Circuit Mono Station, with an Arturia Keystep in the mix. Taken together, I can do everything that I personally need to do, and in a creative joyful way that makes me happy every time I turn on my rig.

Side note: oddly enough, in my sets, the Digitakt, Digitone and Circuit Mono Station all sometimes share drum/percussion duties and sometimes share melodic/tonal content duties. They are all appropriate for the tasks, depending on what sound qualities I'm looking for in the moment. The mix-and-match potential of which device is doing what at any one time is really special with these three boxes.
Attached Thumbnails
Synths that DELIVER!  .. your most productive machines!-setup_071919_small.jpg  
Old 2 days ago
  #130
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJSpaceP View Post
Warning: long-winded roundabout post about my current setup.

I like to maintain a focused rig for live performances. At one point I was using the MPC Live (plus a Keystep) as an attempt to get everything down to one device. But as capable is the MPC Live is, I found myself having to do almost everything with "intent", meaning I had to go in knowing what I was going to create before I started. I put together sets and did shows with the MPC, but the whole "DAW in a box" thing was paradoxically limiting in a live setting, if that makes any sense.

During this time period, I ended up getting a Circuit Mono Station with a 50% off voucher, and started REALLY enjoying its immediacy and sounds. In particular, the "knob per function" layout and the sequencer combo let me really get some fun ideas out and quickly, but with elements of happy accidents too. And then I started getting into per-step patch-flipping.

So I found my self pulling the Mono Station along on live shows and depending on it more and more for that certain something. I decided I wanted more of that, in whatever form I could find it, and ended up zeroing in on the Elektron Digitone. Not an analog synth of course, but in almost every respect, it gave me "more" of what I was looking for in terms of a creative sequencing synthesizer.

Then, I started doing shows with JUST the Digitone and Circuit Mono Station, and they sounded more lively and more "me". I started getting compliments on my sound and music that had been more rare when I was doing MPC Live sets, but even more importantly for personal reasons, I was now REALLY enjoying creating and performing live sets because there was something more purely musical to my ears and my process about synthesizing everything in real-time.

A few cycles of that, and I was ready to bring samples back into the mix with a fresh perspective. Problem was, I was now spoiled by the Elektron and Circuit Mono Station workflows. I also didn't want to have anything to do with loops anymore. If you've predicted where this is going ... yes, I ended up adding a Digitakt to my setup.

TL;DR - My most productive, core machines are the Digitakt, Digitone and Circuit Mono Station, with an Arturia Keystep in the mix. Taken together, I can do everything that I personally need to do, and in a creative joyful way that makes me happy every time I turn on my rig.

Side note: oddly enough, in my sets, the Digitakt, Digitone and Circuit Mono Station all sometimes share drum/percussion duties and sometimes share melodic/tonal content duties. They are all appropriate for the tasks, depending on what sound qualities I'm looking for in the moment. The mix-and-match potential of which device is doing what at any one time is really special with these three boxes.
Though the pieces of gear I'm landing on are different than yours, much different even, I understand and identify with much of this post.
Old 2 days ago
  #131
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weedlekin View Post
Minimoog Reissue
Kurz PC361 with Kore-64
King Korg
Boss DR-880

All my current stuff has those four on it, although not every piece has drums, so the DR-880 is sometimes used to generate click tracks.
Man, I’m feeling that setup.
How’s the 880 drum sounds?
Old 2 days ago
  #132
Gear Maniac
 
AtomicMidi's Avatar
 

Really cool answers guys! (really dig your approach DJSpaceP)

Didn't think the thread would be answered at all!!

There seems to be some consensus about more modern synths having ironed out the workflow and offering a lot of power in a compact package (Deepmind, System 1, Circuit), standing proud against Nord modular and other Nords, and some "true industry standard" gear like Virus and DSI.


My own personal favourite to get the creativity going is my trusty EMU ultra permanently hooked up to youtube and fed out through lexicon 300 and multiband comp

Curious about Deepmind, and Circuit (circuit especially has gotten a lot of mentions from my circle of musos)

Oh and system 1 sounded really good when I tried it, shame about the clickity-clack keybed..



Ed
Old 2 days ago
  #133
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogDigits View Post
Heh, just had this crazy vision of you flying with this case to a distant jam-session...

...and TSA opening up... vaht eez thees!



<Keep you hands where I can see them>

Looks like a bomb to them I'm sure.
Old 2 days ago
  #134
Lives for gear
Ensoniq SQ-80

I keep getting new synths, it keeps pushing them to the storage room.
Old 2 days ago
  #135
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJSpaceP View Post
Warning: long-winded roundabout post about my current setup.

I like to maintain a focused rig for live performances. At one point I was using the MPC Live (plus a Keystep) as an attempt to get everything down to one device. But as capable is the MPC Live is, I found myself having to do almost everything with "intent", meaning I had to go in knowing what I was going to create before I started. I put together sets and did shows with the MPC, but the whole "DAW in a box" thing was paradoxically limiting in a live setting, if that makes any sense.

During this time period, I ended up getting a Circuit Mono Station with a 50% off voucher, and started REALLY enjoying its immediacy and sounds. In particular, the "knob per function" layout and the sequencer combo let me really get some fun ideas out and quickly, but with elements of happy accidents too. And then I started getting into per-step patch-flipping.

So I found my self pulling the Mono Station along on live shows and depending on it more and more for that certain something. I decided I wanted more of that, in whatever form I could find it, and ended up zeroing in on the Elektron Digitone. Not an analog synth of course, but in almost every respect, it gave me "more" of what I was looking for in terms of a creative sequencing synthesizer.

Then, I started doing shows with JUST the Digitone and Circuit Mono Station, and they sounded more lively and more "me". I started getting compliments on my sound and music that had been more rare when I was doing MPC Live sets, but even more importantly for personal reasons, I was now REALLY enjoying creating and performing live sets because there was something more purely musical to my ears and my process about synthesizing everything in real-time.

A few cycles of that, and I was ready to bring samples back into the mix with a fresh perspective. Problem was, I was now spoiled by the Elektron and Circuit Mono Station workflows. I also didn't want to have anything to do with loops anymore. If you've predicted where this is going ... yes, I ended up adding a Digitakt to my setup.

TL;DR - My most productive, core machines are the Digitakt, Digitone and Circuit Mono Station, with an Arturia Keystep in the mix. Taken together, I can do everything that I personally need to do, and in a creative joyful way that makes me happy every time I turn on my rig.

Side note: oddly enough, in my sets, the Digitakt, Digitone and Circuit Mono Station all sometimes share drum/percussion duties and sometimes share melodic/tonal content duties. They are all appropriate for the tasks, depending on what sound qualities I'm looking for in the moment. The mix-and-match potential of which device is doing what at any one time is really special with these three boxes.
How do you use a Digitakt for live Percussion/Drums? It has ONE output?!

I guess you bring your computer to shows?
Old 2 days ago
  #136
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
Virus TI and MOOG VOYAGER.
This combo makes 100% of my productions! First two synths I go to!!
Old 2 days ago
  #137
Gear Addict
 
7Wave's Avatar
It depends on the type of music I'm doing. For industrial and other EDM I've always used the Waldorf Q and Virus B a lot, though lately I've been using software more often (Massive, Blue, Predator).

For orchestral and film score type music, I use the Kurzweil PC3X and K2600XS a lot. Honorable mention goes to the Kronos. Here again I've also been using software more than usual lately (mostly Komplete/Kontakt and NNXT in Reason).

Since I acquired them in the past 6 months, I've also been using the System 8, Peak, and Prologue a lot, though they're not a regular part of my workflow yet.
Old 2 days ago
  #138
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
Man, I’m feeling that setup.
How’s the 880 drum sounds?
I also use the DR-880. Nothing special but nothing bad either, it's very good for what it is: a sample-based drum machine with drum kits and bass sounds, some half-usable effects but no real synthesis.
But it has tons of sounds to choose from and lots of nice options for patterns, songs, fills etc.

Not the most exciting piece of kit, but very useful as a general workhorse. Of course I use it on tracks where I want some realistic acoustic drums and percussions, or mix some acoustic sounds with drums synthesized by my other synths. The bass sounds are useful for sketching out ideas, but I almost never use them on finished tracks.

I find that I usually don't even bother anymore with recording patterns and songs (programming is not very intuitive), I mostly select the sounds I like and record them playing the pads live (maybe with a bit of quantization afterwards to make up for my sloppy playing ).
The pads are smallish but quite playable, have a nice velocity response and there's lots of them, you have immediate access to 20 different sounds which is a lot more than the average pad-based drum machine (for example, the ubiquitous Alesis SR16-18 only has 12 pads).
Old 1 day ago
  #139
Gear Head
 
DJSpaceP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
How do you use a Digitakt for live Percussion/Drums? It has ONE output?!

I guess you bring your computer to shows?
I don’t bring a computer to shows. I’m not certain what you’re getting at.
Old 1 day ago
  #140
Reface DX and Sub37

These have been my workhorses lately:


Yamaha Reface DX - what a powerful little toy..
Moog Sub37 - nice compliment to DX
EHX MicroPOG - Not a synth but i love adding this in subtle amounts to help instruments sit better in the mix, sounds terrible on vocals though..

Last edited by Thevegasnerve; 21 hours ago at 04:37 PM.. Reason: started adding pedals, dohh.
Old 1 day ago
  #141
Lives for gear
 
the donal's Avatar
My Prophet '08 is the mainstay of my synth creations. I can get a lot out of it and just love it.

Over time, I can see the Behri Model D also being a key part. Got other stuff on the go at the mo- less synthy (guitars- but there is a P'08 pad in there!)
Old 1 day ago
  #142
Gear Addict
 
Vectorman's Avatar
 

Virus TI, of course...broadly useful and often sounds great with no additional external effects (even though I'll admit I've been going to Massive X for the kinds of sounds I usually get from it for the last several weeks, but that's the "new toy" factor at work I suppose).

Behringer Neutron...Seems like every time I fire it up thinking "maybe I'll dial in something that would be useful on this song," I end up dialing in more than one "something" that works out really well.

Omnisphere 2...Another really diverse synth that serves so many purposes, whether it's the multi-sampled poly analogs (when I want something that sounds like some huge '80s stack with a JP8 layered with an OB8 and a Juno or whatever, it does that nicely) or any manner of peculiar, stylized little "events" that add texture and atmosphere. One of my favorite things is running sampled VCO's through the new state variable filter for all kinds of fizzy, swirly stuff.
Old 1 day ago
  #143
Gear Addict
 

Had too many synths to remember, mostly analog, inc most of the 'big' modern ones (Prophet 6, JDXA, Rev 2 etc)

but for me it has to be the OB-6 . The most inspirational machine I've had and works in every track, also it's far more flexible than most people think based on the on-paper spec thanks to the gorgeous filter, lively VCOs (comparatively vs most other modern stuff) and inviting workflow 1:1 interface no menu diving etc.

I didn't find the Prophet 6 that productive personally, it always felt better on paper but never really felt vital vs any other synth I had. It also had none of the mojo that the OB-6 has so therefore didn't inspire to write new songs from it, felt more like a decent enough sound making machine but not so much a synthesizer/instrument as the OB-6 which is almost perfect for what I need a synth for!

Rev 2 was total 'meh' outside of the spec. Hated the filter, and the oscs were tiring to listen too. Sounded harsh mostly.

JD-XA was fun but imbalanced, and on the analog side didn't sound anywhere near as classy as the OB-6.

so... OB-6
Old 1 day ago
  #144
Lives for gear
 
daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBDA1176 View Post
Had too many synths to remember, mostly analog, inc most of the 'big' modern ones (Prophet 6, JDXA, Rev 2 etc)

but for me it has to be the OB-6 . The most inspirational machine I've had and works in every track, also it's far more flexible than most people think based on the on-paper spec thanks to the gorgeous filter, lively VCOs (comparatively vs most other modern stuff) and inviting workflow 1:1 interface no menu diving etc.

I didn't find the Prophet 6 that productive personally, it always felt better on paper but never really felt vital vs any other synth I had. It also had none of the mojo that the OB-6 has so therefore didn't inspire to write new songs from it, felt more like a decent enough sound making machine but not so much a synthesizer/instrument as the OB-6 which is almost perfect for what I need a synth for!

Rev 2 was total 'meh' outside of the spec. Hated the filter, and the oscs were tiring to listen too. Sounded harsh mostly.

JD-XA was fun but imbalanced, and on the analog side didn't sound anywhere near as classy as the OB-6.

so... OB-6
Funny, I went the opposite direction, though I still feel that the OB-6 is an excellent choice.

I found the Prophet-6 to be the Right Stuff™ when it came to Poly-Mod, darkness and no-effects, having come from an OB-6 desktop and a Prophet-600 Gligli. It's like a skateboard with tricked-out wheels: if you can't get it to work, it's the rider, not the board.
Old 23 hours ago
  #145
Lives for gear
 
marino's Avatar
In various degrees over the years:

- Kurzweil K series. Good for, um, everything.
- DSI Evolver (MEK + PER). Still my main solo voice.
- Korg Wavestation. Every kind of evolving textures and exotic/evocative sound.
- Oberheim Matrix-12. Need to say more?
- Yamaha TG77. Madness to program, but great ever-changing sounds with lots of shifting upper harmonics.
- Rhodes Chroma. It's alive!
- Studio Electronics SE-1. My source of Moogism for many years.
- Waldorf Q. Not an easy beast to tame... it wants to bring you in its own territory. But what it does, it does wonderfully.
- Behringer Model D.... my *new* source of Moogism.
Old 22 hours ago
  #146
Lives for gear
 

I'm a simple guy for hardware.
-Moog Sirin
-Moog Subphatty
-Behringer Model D

Classic subtractive synth sounds.

I also very much enjoy my Boss SY300. Not so much the oscs or anything, but that its FFT architecture means you can do so much expressive with the timbre on the fly with your instrument.

As much as I'm tempted to get into modular, I think I'm way too fickle. I go after something different each time with my modularesque virtual synths. Never gets me a good idea of what I'd want to put together.
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