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The Worst Synth You Ever Played Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 16th May 2009
  #1
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Derp's Avatar
The Worst Synth You Ever Played

Just thought this could be an interesting discussion. What's the absolute worst synth you've ever had the displeasure of playing and what was it about it that made you hate it so much?
Old 16th May 2009
  #2
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Dreamstation - the subtractive softsynth that is bundled with Sonar since the first version.

It sounds really bad. Incredibly thin and clips as soon as you push it, and it has one of the worst interfaces with the tiniest knobs ever.

See for yourselves:

Old 16th May 2009
  #3
Well I don't go out of my way to play bad synths.
Early on in my musical dabblings I owned a DX11 which was pretty awful.
I've fiddled with a few virtual analogs in the showroom and haven't liked much of what I've heard.
Old 16th May 2009
  #4
recent hardware: it gotta be SH-201. lot has been said bout this topic already upon its release, so i wont go there again..

many same-y, plasticky emulation genre softsynths i forgot the name of .. only thing it changes is the skin. aside from notable exceptions like creamware, timewarp, zebra etc. - i'd love a Zebra2 in a desktop knobby package like CW did for prodyssey, profit and mini.. it fills a gap btwn my analogue and digital boards, perfectly.
Old 16th May 2009
  #5
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

Is there a really bad synth? I think this question has to do with the price and what exactly someone wants from a synth...Many soft synths are really bad IMO, but, most of them are free or cost almost nothing and there are thousands of them...My big dissapointment with "hardware" synths was with a Nord Lead 3. It had about 1700 euros at the time it was out and its sound was "cheapish" to my ears.
Old 16th May 2009
  #6
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Space Station's Avatar
Roland Juno G, crappy sounding, noisy, terrible quality keyboard..the keyboard is a joke actually.
Old 16th May 2009
  #7
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rachel's Avatar
Roland D-110. Worst software menus ever. The sound wasn't too bad but not very expressive.

The other synth I actually dislike a lot is the Korg Poly-800. It's just cheesy.


rachel
Old 16th May 2009
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Akai AX60 just couldn't get a worthwhile sound apart from Organ which you can obviously do on any synth.
Old 16th May 2009
  #9
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jude's Avatar
 

roland system 100










actually im only saying this cos im kicking myself that i sold it for $400aus
Old 16th May 2009
  #10
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all of the new synths we had at my guitar center when i worked there in 05....

romplers (triton, phantom, motif) and some korg, alesis, and novation virtual analogs.

i hate them all...

we did get a couple used items now and again that were great (like a pair of tg77s), but that did not happen very often. U_U

i didn't like the nord lead 2 i bought in 01, or the pulse i bought with it.

i keep on thinking i like viruses, but after i have one of them for a while, i realize i never use it, then i sell it, and then i think about buying one again.

the only soft synth that i really like (other than the soft samplers i use) is sculpture, so i guess i dislike most soft synths.

so....

it's really hard for me to say that there is one "worst synth ever", i hate a lot of them.
Old 16th May 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward View Post
Akai AX60 just couldn't get a worthwhile sound apart from Organ which you can obviously do on any synth.
i think you didn't want subtractive synth sounds. it can do many different analog subtractive synthesizer sounds very well. what did you expect from the specs?
Old 16th May 2009
  #12
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revstate View Post
all of the new synths we had at my guitar center when i worked there in 05....

romplers (triton, phantom, motif) and some korg, alesis, and novation virtual analogs.

i hate them all...

we did get a couple used items now and again that were great (like a pair of tg77s), but that did not happen very often. U_U

i didn't like the nord lead 2 i bought in 01, or the pulse i bought with it.

i keep on thinking i like viruses, but after i have one of them for a while, i realize i never use it, then i sell it, and then i think about buying one again.

the only soft synth that i really like (other than the soft samplers i use) is sculpture, so i guess i dislike most soft synths.

so....

it's really hard for me to say that there is one "worst synth ever", i hate a lot of them.
What an easy guy..
You probably:

1) Play guitar or other instruments than synths (so you generally don't like synths),

2) You mostly like FM synthesis and workstations and you are mostly a performer than a sound sculptor..
Old 16th May 2009
  #13
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Ry-Fi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
recent hardware: it gotta be SH-201.
Absolute worst synth you've every played? Jeez, have you played many synths? I think SH-201 bashing is grossly unfounded. It's no worse than any other ~$500 VA, but the hate this thing gets... man!

Sure, for the money I'd rather have an Ion (oh wait, I do!), but is the SH really the dunce of the mid-priced VA's it's made out to be?....


And my own answer: None; I've never experienced "displeasure" while playing a synth - every synth can be good for something, and I can't fathom experiencing displeasing feelings while playing an electronic instrument and creating music.

(Well, maybe if I HAD to answer, I'd say some glitchy amateur early softsynth VST's made with SynthEdit - Ugh, the nasty shrill digititis!)
Old 16th May 2009
  #14
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raffor's Avatar
 

It all depends. I do not really think there is a worse synth in that perspective. You can use every instrument to make music.

However, I did not much like the Akai AX-60 when I had one. Very rough sounding. Others will disagree and probably will do great music with one.
Old 16th May 2009
  #15
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
The SH201 for me.
Although I never gave more than 10 minute a time, but have played it 20-30 times.
The feel is so cheap & it is kind of a slap in the face, design wise of the older Rolands like the SH101. That was my first synth so I may be prejudiced.
Old 16th May 2009
  #16
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MonoBrow's Avatar
 

Tg33.We had it for a few days and it was so thin,boring,lifeless....we gave it back with /bold faces.
Old 16th May 2009
  #17
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revstate View Post
i hate workstations and most fm synths so f.u.
You "hate" those synths? Why? Why did they do to you?

I mean.... I could understand disliking some types of synths... but hating?
Old 16th May 2009
  #18
dfegadKorg Prophecy
what made me hate it was:

1) i was ordered to swap my PRO1 for it by my studio business partner.

2) it had a crap sound.

3) the fact that clueless twats who hired my studio always went straight for it to scroll the presets. ignoring the wasp, gnat special, jupiter8, pro5, ms20 and system100. and then wanting me so sample the doors opening sound from alien4. from video. and the noise level was the same as the signal level!!! ahhhh!! but back to the prophecy:

4) the worst thing about it was the painfully slow processing it did. turn a knob... wait for it... oh the sound changed... turn another knob... wait for it... oh the sound changed etc. and it looks like **** too

another synth i hated was the novation bass-station, thank **** i never got one. my friend did. i told him to get an sh101 (i think cheaper than the novation at the time?). what a thin sound.. ewwwwww
Old 16th May 2009
  #19
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relis's Avatar
 

SH101. Not a single good word I could say about this synth. Except it's cheap. But not so much cheap. So...
Old 16th May 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectral Climax View Post
What an easy guy..
You probably:

1) Play guitar or other instruments than synths (so you generally don't like synths),

2) You mostly like FM synthesis and workstations and you are mostly a performer than a sound sculptor..
this pisses me off so much i think i need to say more....

look at my avatar, that is my wife and our moog voyager.

i spend more time making patches than making songs (hell, it is a passion of mine to not use presets), so once again, you are wrong.

also, did you not read this part?

Quote:
Originally Posted by me, revstate!
romplers (triton, phantom, motif) and some korg, alesis, and novation virtual analogs.

i hate them all...
last time i checked, rompler is pretty much synonymous with workstation.

i love synths... much more so than you. i just love real analog ones (not virtuals, software emulations or rompler/workstations).

you misread me so badly it almost hurts.

here is my humble, but very analog, current outboard gear list:

moog music minimoog voyager - semi modular analog mono synth
korg polysix - vco analog poly synthesizer
akai vx600 - vco analog matrix poly synth
akai ax73 - vco analog poly synth
akai ax60 - vco analog poly synth
speck xtramix - 40 x 8 x 2 analog line mixer
universal audion UA710 - analog tube/solidstate mic pre
yamaha e1005 - analog bbd delay
korg sd_200 signal delay - analog bbd delay
moog vx351- voyager cv expander
moogerfooger cp251- control processor
moogerfooger mf102 - analog ring modulator
moogerfooger mf103 - analog 12 stage phaser unit
moogerfooger mf105 - analog multiple resonant filter array (MuRF)

oh, and a 40s vintage winter piano

previous outboard synths:

digital:
access virus kb
ensoniq asr-x pro(technically a sampler, but it did have a rom section)
clavia nord lead 2 rack
korg triton classic
access virus b

analog:
roland mks-30
roland alpha juno 1
waldorf pulse
oberheim matrix 1000
roland sh09
rhodes/fender chroma polaris 2
roland hs-60
roland juno 106
roland mks-70
roland mks-50
sci - pro~one
korg mono/poly
paia 9700 modular
roland alpha juno 2
vermona drm1mkII (drum synth)
jomox xbase 09 (drum synth)
future retro xs
dave smith evolver (hybrid, but more on the analog side for what i used it for)

guitars owned: 0 (as in none, ever... probably never)

i tell you, those lists just scream "guitar guy with a rompler", don't you think? maybe you should quit your current occupation, and work for a psychic hotline, because you're deductive reasoning, and intuition are truly amazing!

couldn't you have at least clicked the link in my signature before attacking me?
Old 16th May 2009
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
You "hate" those synths? Why? Why did they do to you?

I mean.... I could understand disliking some types of synths... but hating?
try working in the "keyboard department" for a large retail chain for 10 to 12 hrs a day, 6 days a week, and being constantly bombarded with terrible sounding patches, played by even worse players.

then you would understand ^_^
Old 16th May 2009
  #22
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revstate View Post
try working in the "keyboard department" for a large retail chain for 10 to 12 hrs a day, 6 days a week, and being constantly bombarded with terrible sounding patches, played by even worse players.

then you would understand ^_^
I see.

There's a lot to like about many digital synths: Wavestations, FS1R, Nords, Waldorfs, but of course there's always a line where enough is enough.

I always say to my wife, I love pizza, but I would never work in a pizza place.
Old 16th May 2009
  #23
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

Hey, Revstate i didn't want to judge you in a bad way...It was mostly a joke..

I just thought that you were exaggerating a bit. You don't have to own classic analog synths to make good sounds. As for FM and workstation, i was referred to the TG77 that you have mentioned..

P.S. I had No intention to hurt you!
Old 16th May 2009
  #24
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metatron13's Avatar
 

FLUXPOD is right on!!! The TG-33 is the worst synth I have ever used!!! I still own a Akai AX-60 and it is nowhere near as bad as the Yamaha TG-33! In fact I owned a TG-33 for years trying to program and like it - only to end up layering things over the top to make it sound good - I finally realized it sounded better turned off!!! I also Love Yammys - I still use a TX-802 and a SY-77 but the TG-33 is the only synth that I have never regretted selling!!!
Old 16th May 2009
  #25
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by relis View Post
SH101. Not a single good word I could say about this synth. Except it's cheap. But not so much cheap. So...
REALLY???!!!
Old 16th May 2009
  #26
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The Architecture's Avatar
Id have to say the worst synth I have ever used, hmm, this might get me in hot water if I say it, the Alpha Juno. Granted I didnt spend much time with it, but I found my AX60 do beat the living crap out of the Alpha Juno, in the sound department. I can get smooth sounds out of the AX-60, you just have to know the sweet points of the synth. and I just dont need that many synths to make good music. The more I have, the less I spend tweaking them like I should. My dot com just sits there not on because for one, its out of tune and needs to be recalibrated, and I just havent had the time to really get crazy with it.

But for the most part, After the A6, im hard pressed to buy anymore poly synths. The thing does them all so well. Right now the AX-60 is out of service becuase I got my SQ-80 in my midi setup at the moment.
Old 16th May 2009
  #27
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Eigenwert's Avatar
About every hardware synth still can be useful in some way. There was even a usable band pass saw lead in the MC-303. With an editor software the TG-33 can produce surprising results (but no realtime tweakin)

I´d vote Rave-O-Lution 309 because the two I played somehow did not like the user to enter the step edit mode tutt The sound was very weak, too.

The second place goes out to the MC-303 because it distorts the sounds playing on the first step of the pattern when the internal sequencer is used. The degree of distortion depends on the number of sequencer tracks used (more tracks -> more distortion). That makes it unusable as "groove box" for me.
Old 16th May 2009
  #28
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alexp's Avatar
The minimoog... Only one note at a time? WTF is that???























Im kidding.


alexP
Old 16th May 2009
  #29
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The following are ok-not terrible but nowhere near good let alone great.

Worst vintage synth - OSCar. Somewhat thick but lacking in many ways that contradict the hype ("it's like a minimoog")-bereft of warmth, life or punch, after learning to program on one in the mid-80s. When i couldn't get good sounds out of it I wanted to ensure the issue wasn't me and my nascent programming skills. Thus I put it head-to-head with some vintage classics after tweaking them and then knew that the issue was the character of the sound.


CZ-101 aka "chee-zee 101". Without a doubt you can get some decent sounds out of it, but it's ponderous and tedious to program and does have a plastic, sterile character to it overall. Sure it's a bargain and gives some good value but what the hell i'd rather start with something better to begin with even if there's some appeal in coaxing something out of this.


Korg Mono/Poly - 4 oscillators is misleading. Character something like an OSCar - somewhat thick but lacks warmth, character or punch.
Old 16th May 2009
  #30
Gear Head
 

The worst syntheziser that I ever played was the Paia 2700 series synthesizer. I built it, and it was a piece of junk, even though I constructed it correctly.

Oddly, this "worst synthesizer of all time" also had the most positive influence on my life of any other. It played a part in my going on to become an electronics engineer by profession and has led to a long stable, and by some standards, successful career.

Keith
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