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It’s been a while, but time for a new episode of studio Tetris!
Old 18th September 2020
  #1
It’s been a while, but time for a new episode of studio Tetris!

OK, I’m pretty much 100% sold on the PolyBrute, but of course, because of Covid I’m out of my studio until August of next year, so space remains tight. I could wait, of course, but I like to keep things fresh and it’s actually been a while since I got rid of something. Modules will stay because they’re a great use of space, so one of my two keyboards gotta go.

I know, these threads are ridiculous. Still, they can be like a Rorschach test and a way to organize thoughts.

The two on the chopping block are the...

Pro 2

Dominion 1.

Space wise, the Dominion is the better choice, but is it the better choice? It’s my only knobby analog mono, my other being an ATC-X. I love both of them, but the ATC-X doesn’t have a great interface and I control it with software most of the time. The Dominion also has the third oscillator, an incredibly flexible multi mode filter and it just sounds tough as nails.

The Pro 2 has more overall range, but I also have a Prophet 12 desktop. I like to have as little overlap as possible. If I could wave a magic wand, I’d put the Pro 2 filters on the 12, but obviously that’s not going to happen. The 2 is my only hybrid mono, but I’m not sure that’s much of an argument.

My other synths are...

REV2 16
Prophet 6
ATC-X
002r
Prophet 12
Peak
Analog Four

And a Analog RYTM, but that’s another story. All controlled by a GEM S2, (not used for it’s ROMpler engine) and a Roli Rise 49.

After writing all that... I feel like the Pro 2 is the obvious choice... but is it? It might make logistical sense to loose the Prophet 6, but the tone seems very different than the PolyBrute, and the feature set is vastly different, but the 6 stays anyway because it’s small-ish and it would be nice to have two VCO polys.
Old 18th September 2020
  #2
Old 18th September 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 
horseface's Avatar
Old man answer: Spend your money on better monitoring and room treatment instead.
Old 18th September 2020
  #4
Gear Head
 
Ominous ProtocoL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
After writing all that... I feel like the Pro 2 is the obvious choice... but is it? It might make logistical sense to loose the Prophet 6, but the tone seems very different than the PolyBrute, and the feature set is vastly different, but the 6 stays anyway because it’s small-ish and it would be nice to have two VCO polys.
You know, I have the Pro 2 and I don't really love it. It is actually boxed up right now as I was getting ready to put it up for sale. I keep going back to the thought of maybe I am not "getting it" yet.

Every now and again something I like comes out of it but I feel like I am always fighting it. I am in a similar boat as you. I am also tight on space, so the Pro 2 had to go in the box once the Virus keyboard came. I really like the Virus so the Pro 2 will stay in the box until I get more space or decide to sell it. It is a tough call. I have not heard or played the dominion 1 so I cannot really comment between the two.
Old 18th September 2020
  #5
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syntonica's Avatar
You have a crapload of Sequential/DSI. While that's usually a very good thing indeed, you might have to sacrifice one of them for Teh Greater Good. Maybe a Synthdome match to find the weakest link? Four synths enter, three synths leave.

Otherwise, I'm not sure why you have both the Pro 2 and the Dominion 1. Aren't they the same keyboard, just a different badge? Like the Dodge Sprinter and the Mercedes Sprinter?

The only thing I don't like in your current lineup is the A4, but it's definitely different enough from everything else that I suppose if you really really like it, it can stay.
Old 18th September 2020 | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ominous ProtocoL View Post
You know, I have the Pro 2 and I don't really love it. It is actually boxed up right now as I was getting ready to put it up for sale. I keep going back to the thought of maybe I am not "getting it" yet.

Every now and again something I like comes out of it but I feel like I am always fighting it. I am in a similar boat as you. I am also tight on space, so the Pro 2 had to go in the box once the Virus keyboard came. I really like the Virus so the Pro 2 will stay in the box until I get more space or decide to sell it. It is a tough call. I have not heard or played the dominion 1 so I cannot really comment between the two.
The Pro 2 mostly fills a space for weird drones and arps that couldn’t be done in a Virus. Doing weird things like mapping bit rate and distortion to the mod sequencer tracks.

It’s funny, I’m not a huge preset guy, but for this exercise, I’ve been going though them, and some of the “bread n’ butter” is totally lame. You’d be better off with Repro or bx_oberhausen for those types of sounds, or getting a Behringer Pro 1 or Boomstar SEM. Even the Trancy superwave stuff just sounds a bit mediocre on it.

...but, if you’re looking for a background sound for a hobo from another dimension who asks you for a light before he destroys you, the Pro 2 can’t be beat.
Old 18th September 2020 | Show parent
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by syntonica View Post
You have a crapload of Sequential/DSI. While that's usually a very good thing indeed, you might have to sacrifice one of them for Teh Greater Good. Maybe a Synthdome match to find the weakest link? Four synths enter, three synths leave.

Otherwise, I'm not sure why you have both the Pro 2 and the Dominion 1. Aren't they the same keyboard, just a different badge? Like the Dodge Sprinter and the Mercedes Sprinter?

The only thing I don't like in your current lineup is the A4, but it's definitely different enough from everything else that I suppose if you really really like it, it can stay.
If they were just different developers’ versions of similar synths, this would probably be easier, but in practice, they are very different synths. The Pro 2 is about 4 DSP based oscillators with morphing wave forms. They have no inherent “fatness,” but have a very wide range and beef can be added via some tricks further down the line. (Effects, distortion, 2 VCFs, etc) They’re like tofu with a wide range of sauce options and cooking types. I don’t think anyone would ever listen to a raw Pro 2 waveform and think “yeah, that’s it!” You can get there, but it needs a bit of coaxing.

The Dominion is a 3 VCO mono (with 3 voice paraphonic abilties) and the oscillators have plenty of character and vibe to them before they ever hit the filter. That filter sounds very good to me as well, lots of character and a very large range of possibilities. It’s very capable in the modulation department, at least for an analog VCO mono. Not as capable as the Pro 2, not by a long shot, but better than anything else on the market... except maybe the MatrixBrute. It definitely doesn’t have the interface of the MatrixBrute, though. Modulations are are hard wired and the whole interface is a bit awkward. The Pro 2 is a dream to program in comparison. Sound wise, it has a very raw vibe to it, but it can get pretty sweet and funky too. A kind of sound that’s difficult to get with a software synth.
Old 18th September 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseface View Post
Old man answer: Spend your money on better monitoring and room treatment instead.
It’s going to be very expensive to get my room treated in such a way that I can morph between two room types. I‘m going to need a hall big enough to put a Tilt-a-Whirl in.

(I’ve also given my studio to my wife so she has a place to work until her office opens back up, which isn’t until next August.)
Old 18th September 2020 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Head
 
Ominous ProtocoL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
The Pro 2 mostly fills a space for weird drones and arps that couldn’t be done in a Virus. Doing weird things like mapping bit rate and distortion to the mod sequencer tracks.

It’s funny, I’m not a huge preset guy, but for this exercise, I’ve been going though them, and some of the “bread n’ butter” is totally lame. You’d be better off with Repro or bx_oberhausen for those types of sounds, or getting a Behringer Pro 1 or Boomstar SEM. Even the Trancy superwave stuff just sounds a bit mediocre on it.

...but, if you’re looking for a background sound for a hobo from another dimension who asks you for a light before he destroys you, the Pro 2 can’t be beat.
That is a fair point. My go to for the weird stuff has always been the Blofeld so perhaps I need to approach the Pro 2 differently. I admittedly have not gone too deep into the sequencer. I would generally get put off by some of its quirks before getting that far.

Totally agree on most of the presets. Some of them are like, what?! really?!
Old 18th September 2020
  #10
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
Chop the Pro. Dom-1 just sounds too good.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Chop the Pro. Dom-1 just sounds too good.
That’s where I’m leaning. Not just good, but so different than anything else.
Old 19th September 2020
  #12
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
Yep! Must be the bestest sounding monophonic synth of our times.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Yep! Must be the bestest sounding monophonic synth of our times.
And a lot harder to replace if I later want a replacement. Yeah, I’m convinced. It does make the “Tetris” game a bit harder, though. The Dominion is really deep and very square shaped. I’ve got more space in the other axis... I’ll need to get another laptop stand.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
And a lot harder to replace if I later want a replacement. Yeah, I’m convinced. It does make the “Tetris” game a bit harder, though. The Dominion is really deep and very square shaped. I’ve got more space in the other axis... I’ll need to get another laptop stand.
The trick with the square pieces is to rotate them appropriately.
Old 19th September 2020
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

I'd say just keep the ones you do use the most, space is an issue but time is an issue as well, maybe you use/like all of them equally, for me one poly and two analogs are enough, some softwares synths and samplers are super cool too and I am ok with them.
I also have space issue because every "two months(?)" I want a new gear, you know, with all those synths, pedals, guitars, amps an so on.
Old 19th September 2020
  #16
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syntonica's Avatar
You really should think about expanding into the 4th dimension. Like the rest of us already do.
Old 19th September 2020
  #17
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synthguy's Avatar
Well, what I, eye, AYE would do, because I'm so brilliant and hand out wisdom like candy is
  • Sell the REV 2, Pro 2 and Analog Four
  • Buy the PolyBrute and a KingKORG, or maybe something quirky like a Radias or Roland JD-XA
  • Party like it's Christmas
The reason I'd sell the REV 2 is I'm betting I could get a lot of those textures with the Prophet~12. Analog Four seems redundant as carp with a Prophet~6 and PolyBrute or one of your other synths, but especially the PB. The Pro 2 is just a Pro 12 with better filters. I wouldn't be surprised if the PB makes the Dominion 1 seem a bit redundant after a while too.

The reason I'd get a KingKORG, Radias or JD-XA is those are just darn cool flexible synths, particularly the KK and JD. If you have a bunch of softies, it has less appeal but that real tube warmer is pretty nice. The JD really doesn't have anything similar, outside of the new Fantom which may well smoke it a little.

Of course , what I, eye, AYE would do is
  • Sell the Dominion 1, ATC-X, Pro 2, Analog Four and REV 2 unless it really hit a sweet spot somewhere
  • Buy a Fantom 7, PolyBrute, Pro 3, Arturia Origin, Radias and JD-XA, as well as a great vocal mic and some stellar monitors
But then, I have a basement all to myself.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Yep! Must be the bestest sounding monophonic synth of our times.
Vermona '14 for me.

zero: I think you (you, specifically) would regret not having the Pro 2.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by krylenko View Post
The trick with the square pieces is to rotate them appropriately.
Yeah, I’m thinking it doesn’t need to be on its bottom. I can use a stand to put it on a steep angle and have a synth in front of it. It’s not like I need it’s keyboard.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hal_9k View Post
I'd say just keep the ones you do use the most, space is an issue but time is an issue as well, maybe you use/like all of them equally, for me one poly and two analogs are enough, some softwares synths and samplers are super cool too and I am ok with them.
I also have space issue because every "two months(?)" I want a new gear, you know, with all those synths, pedals, guitars, amps an so on.
I sort of use all my synths. Not at the same time, but I’ll go though periods where each one of them might be in heavy rotation. I like how a synth that I may not have touched in a month feels somehow new when I return to it, so that’s not really an issue for me. If I really find myself ignoring an instrument, I usually just sell it without much fanfare.
Old 19th September 2020
  #21
you do have a damn lot o' sequential circuits. I dont know that Ive heard yer music, but I definitely want to know more about this polybrute- humble full review request from you or anyone that ends up with one of these...
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
abruzzi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by krylenko View Post
The trick with the square pieces is to rotate them appropriately.
rotating a square piece doesn't help, that only works with rectangles.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westlaker View Post
Vermona '14 for me.

zero: I think you (you, specifically) would regret not having the Pro 2.
It’s why this is such a quandary. While I really am taken with the sound of the new Arturia, I am also very much loving all my current instruments. People often give me sh!t for synth churn, but the truth is, I haven’t had a lot of synth churn in the last few years. More like minor synth tweaks like replacing two Tetras with a REV2. The Pro 2 has stayed because it has some unique properties. I really just think of it as a second Prophet 12 that’s stronger for bass and lead duties, but it also does lovely paraphonic pads as well.

I know I will regret selling off either the Pro 2 or the Dominion 1. I’ve got plenty of time to ruminate over it, and there is a chance that I might be able to keep both if I can find a way to configure some sort of stand for the Pro 2 that can be kept under my side desk. I’m also considering getting a better side desk, one that matches my main desk. So, while space is the main consideration, I’m also thinking in terms of general ergonomics and sonic variety.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
rotating a square piece doesn't help, that only works with rectangles.
Was wondering whether I needed to end that post with /s
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #25
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realtrance's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
It’s why this is such a quandary. While I really am taken with the sound of the new Arturia, I am also very much loving all my current instruments. People often give me sh!t for synth churn, but the truth is, I haven’t had a lot of synth churn in the last few years. More like minor synth tweaks like replacing two Tetras with a REV2. The Pro 2 has stayed because it has some unique properties. I really just think of it as a second Prophet 12 that’s stronger for bass and lead duties, but it also does lovely paraphonic pads as well.

I know I will regret selling off either the Pro 2 or the Dominion 1. I’ve got plenty of time to ruminate over it, and there is a chance that I might be able to keep both if I can find a way to configure some sort of stand for the Pro 2 that can be kept under my side desk. I’m also considering getting a better side desk, one that matches my main desk. So, while space is the main consideration, I’m also thinking in terms of general ergonomics and sonic variety.
Move to Idaho and buy the Polybrute which you will then be able to fit into your amazingly spacious new place easily, and the money you save on rent and improvements in basic breathing opportunities will amply compensate for the disruption.
Old 19th September 2020
  #26
Gear Addict
 
happyham's Avatar
 

Get rid of the Pro 2 and dominion 1, and get the motus 6 and the polybrute if you want. If possible, compensate for loss of dave smith mono vibe with the behringer bro 1.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #27
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abruzzi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by krylenko View Post
Was wondering whether I needed to end that post with /s
my response war sarcastic too.
Old 19th September 2020
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Arglebargle's Avatar
Sell the one that’s easiest to replace. Or box it up, and stick it in the attic for a year.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
my response war sarcastic too.
Funny, when I said square, I didn’t mean cube, which leaves for the ability to put it at an angle which saves desk space by using another dimension.
Old 19th September 2020 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
ModularOverkill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Yep! Must be the bestest sounding monophonic synth of our times.
Ermmmm...I like the Vermona '14 more.
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