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Polysnyth with the widest tonal palette
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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prophetpupil's Avatar
 

Polysnyth with the widest tonal palette

Which released or soon to be released hardware polysynth has the widest tonal palette?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 

Digital , analogue ?

I'd say your avatar picture is good candidate , novation summit , waldorf kyra perhaps ( no wavetable scanning ) , john bowen solaris (pricey ) etc..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prophetpupil View Post
Which released or soon to be released hardware polysynth has the widest tonal palette?
Candidates should have LP, HP and BP filters ideally. Filters is where the variety comes from. I love the Nord Lead 4. Seven different filter types gets a lot of sounds.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by prophetpupil View Post
Which released or soon to be released hardware polysynth has the widest tonal palette?
It depends on what you mean by "wide": able to sound like other synths? Or broadly characterful?

START HERE (all currently available):

- Waldorf Blofeld (Studiologic Sledge) forgoes some front-panel architectural flexibility for guaranteed polyphony; the 20 implementation was purportedly to include the Hartman Neuron sample set but _seems_ to be missing in action (or just generally limited in availability).

- Moog One lacks a digital section, but has enough waveshaping and modulations flexibility to mimic some digital textures that were, themselves, intended to mimic analog; the effects section is one of the best in the business.

- Sequential Prophet X has analogue filters, sample playback, and flexible voice allocation (stereo hybrid, mono hybrid, "paraphonic" a/k/a filtered ROMpler mode) using an embedded PC.

- John Bowen Solaris is a controller-bound open DSP solution, though somewhat limited in terms of availability.

MAYBE:

- Waldorf Quantum _might_ fit the bill, but I haven't had enough time with it to form an opinion, relative to the Blofeld engine.

- Alesis Andromeda A6 (discontinued, now "vintage") might also be a contender in the analogue-only space, but it's not nearly as flexible or broad in character IMHO as the One.

- Korg Minilogue XD (and with latest software, Prologue) has some flexibility due to its hybrid, open-architecture multi-engine approach, but there are quite a few limitations to the architecture that might be non-starters for some (e.g., filter types).

ROMPLER / MODELER PLATFORMS (might have FM, modeled analogue, sample playback):

- Korg Kronos family

- Yamaha Montage / MODX

PARAPHONIC MONOs:

- DSI Pro-2 (recently discontinued, but meets nearly all of the requirements)
- Arturia MicroFreak (i.e., Mutable Plaits with a filter section)

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: software-based solutions, specifically Spectrasonics' Omnisphere (with external synth controller) or Camel Audio (now Apple)'s Alchemy.

And Kyma.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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daviddever's Avatar
As a caveat, the only downside to a wide tonal palette might be overlap with other synths, or lack of a distinctive or unique one-good-thing that the device might excel at, at the expense of other capabilities.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Mefistophelees's Avatar
The Hydrasynth looks like a good contender, it has all sorts of capabilities for sound generation and manipulation.

Romplers tend to have an enormous sound pallet because they're based on samples. These days they include all sorts of other synthesis techniques as well.

Another (rather expensive) option is to build a poly modular. Sound capabilities will be unlimited.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Old 2 days ago
  #8
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MoTech's Avatar
 

A6 Andromeda for analog domain definitely among the most capable synths ever designed in a single box.

- LP, HP & BP filtering with 12db & 24db modes, full control over pre- and post mix of each filter and sub
- FM
- wave lock and semi lock possibility (a very helpful way to handle that FM atonal crazyness palette in regard of other "normal instruments" in the mix, also for those detuned analog OSC and sub voicings and mixing those with FM wierd tones means endless sound palette possibilities)
- 3 fully modable & routable and loopable envelopes makes it possible for stupid amouns of "evolving" sounds
- unique post-mixable clean OSCs that lets you decide how clean you want the sound in the "other way round" way no other synth (maybe other than wall-sized modular) does in my knowledge
- 16 independent voices (32 OSCs) of analog poly power with unison function adds lot of power on top of everything

The only problem IMO is that Andy is so utterly widely programmable that it is too intimidating for most users without a deeper knowledge of synthesis. So it is a demanding synth with no "nice zones" of settings like more popular synths, the seting parameters of each parameter are vast but this makes it good choice to search those "beyond horizon" ie beyond classic sounds and create something completely new if thats your way.

Last edited by MoTech; 2 days ago at 07:46 PM..
Old 21 hours ago
  #9
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string6theory's Avatar
+1 for the Moog One and Sequential Prophet-X. Both are true chameleon synths with incredibly wide sonic ranges for all manner of sound design.

+2 for Omnisphere as a great ITB chameleon synth.

+3 for Prophet-X + Omnisphere, likely one of the best (synergistic) chameleon synth pairings available.
Old 21 hours ago
  #10
Hands down the widest tonal palette.
Ever.....



Samplers!
Old 21 hours ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddever View Post
It depends on what you mean by "wide": able to sound like other synths? Or broadly characterful?

.
Yes, I mean a sampler has the WIDEST palette...
Old 18 hours ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Hands down the widest tonal palette.
Ever.....



Samplers!
The thread made me fall asleep but your post made me smile And I agree fully.
Old 15 hours ago
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Silly question, not one of us can possibly REALLY know the answer to this without making millions of sounds on each contender, lots of combinations per synth.

I'd rather aim for a synth that sounds awesome on the base tone and has enough features to make a wide range of sounds, you'll often only know this after owning said synth and using it in music. On paper you can easily say "synth X should do more than synth Y because it has 10 mod slots and 100 digital oscs + 64 analog oscs + 10 filters"... BUT some synths like that are so bad tonally, trying to cover such a range than a large portion of the possible sounds end up nigh on unusable (harsh, nasal, hollow, uninspiring, flat, generic etc).

Even without that you can't answer this question for the #1 best synth only general groups of synths like typically a deep digital synth should offer more variations but, again, does it mean they are any good? Variations on insipid crap don't count as 'range of sounds' in my world.
Old 14 hours ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EBDA1176 View Post
Silly question, not one of us can possibly REALLY know the answer to this without making millions of sounds on each contender, lots of combinations per synth.

I'd rather aim for a synth that sounds awesome on the base tone and has enough features to make a wide range of sounds, you'll often only know this after owning said synth and using it in music. On paper you can easily say "synth X should do more than synth Y because it has 10 mod slots and 100 digital oscs + 64 analog oscs + 10 filters"... BUT some synths like that are so bad tonally, trying to cover such a range than a large portion of the possible sounds end up nigh on unusable (harsh, nasal, hollow, uninspiring, flat, generic etc).

Even without that you can't answer this question for the #1 best synth only general groups of synths like typically a deep digital synth should offer more variations but, again, does it mean they are any good? Variations on insipid crap don't count as 'range of sounds' in my world.
Well, when I was a teenager in a music store I bought an Emax II and sampled every synth in the store. Good first move. Your turn..


Old 14 hours ago
  #15
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Quantum, probably.
Old 12 hours ago
  #16
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Coorec's Avatar
Sampler, VA, Wavetable, Resonator, 6op-FM, AM, RM ... 6 analog filter types and like 10 digital ones... yea, i think Quantum wins the versatility contest.

2nd place for Korg Kronos maybe. Followed by Kurzweil and Roland synths/workstations.
Old 12 hours ago
  #17
Roland Integra-7
Old 3 hours ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prophetpupil View Post
Which released or soon to be released hardware polysynth has the widest tonal palette?
Waldorf Quantum.
Old 2 hours ago
  #19
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Westlaker's Avatar
Juno 60 for sure.
Old 22 minutes ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Sampler is going to win widest tonal palette, but a better question IMO would be “most flexible tonal palette”, based on how many real-time control axes a sound has (ie, pitch, volume, Fc, resonance, filter balance, etc). Samples are pretty fixed aside from filtering unless you have things like FM (which tends to like simple waves more than complex waveforms) or transwaves. Wavetables, FM, RM, waveshaping, wavemixing, additive synthesis, filter morphing, and so on are all good examples of ways to add real-time timbral variation.

I think the Quantum and the Moog One both rank pretty highly; the Quantum has more flexible oscillators and the One has more capable filters. The Solaris and Schmidt are also super flexible. Things get even more complicated when you look at ROMpler workstations with variable architectures, starting with the Kuzweil K2000 family and continuing with recent flagships from Korg, Yamaha, and Roland.

Ultimately the question that really matters is “which polysynth does the best job of allowing you to create the sounds that you want to hear?”
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