The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Synths for sale     Latest  Trending
Cool low profile pad machine
Old 26th June 2009
  #1
thx1138 
Guest
Cool low profile pad machine

Hey Guys!
My main synth right now is the Poly Evolver. Pads are surely not its strength so I'm looking for a synth to complement it. Preferably low profile, cheap and current.

I know there's a lot of great software that'll do the job just fine, but I need something hands-on.

Thanks!
Old 26th June 2009
  #2
alpha juno?
I decided to hang on to mine, since I think it's worth more than current prices... ok, so it's not modern...
Old 26th June 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
shadowfac's Avatar
 

Not exactly "current" or "hands on", but: Ensoniq ESQ-1.

Something more current, but beautifully digital sounding: Nord Lead 3... not cheap though

Actually, first-generation VA's are very capable and not too expensive: JP8080, Virus A, Novation Nova, etc.

Old Korg romplers are also great pad-makers... not too hands-on, though.
Old 26th June 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
micro-x can be had for like $350 or so and has lots of nice pads.
Old 26th June 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
chrisrnps's Avatar
 

Do you mean "low profile" as in "physically doesn't take up a lot of space"? "Not trendy or flashy"? "Doesn't eat up a lot of space in the mix"?

How about a used Matrix 1000 -> chorus or phaser -> delay or verb?

Oh, wait, "current". Well, it has current running through it.

Why does "current" matter?
Old 26th June 2009
  #6
Deleted 46dc28f 
Guest
Despite its bugs and shoddy build quality-Blofeld desktop.
Old 27th June 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
aaeronn's Avatar
 

Not current, but it's hard to beat a Roland JD800 or JD990 w/ the vintage synth card for pads.
Old 27th June 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
digital 1010's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaeronn View Post
not current, but it's hard to beat a roland jd800 or jd990 w/ the vintage synth card for pads.
+1111111111111111111111111111111111
Old 27th June 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
aaeronn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaeronn View Post
Not current, but it's hard to beat a Roland JD800 or JD990 w/ the vintage synth card for pads.
I forgot to mention that both of these machines are extremely easy to navigate and program, and current prices are very reasonable. You really can't go wrong with either one.
Old 27th June 2009
  #10
thx1138 
Guest
Thank you very much guys!
I'll consider the older machines mentioned. The Roland JD series was always something I loved the sound of. The main reason I want to go with something current is warranty. I don't really want to blow money on something used that could break down on me.

Blofeld seems like it's the choice then!? Any other suggestions.

And yes low profile in the sense of not taking up a lot of space.
Old 27th June 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
aaeronn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thx1138 View Post
Thank you very much guys!
I'll consider the older machines mentioned. The Roland JD series was always something I loved the sound of. The main reason I want to go with something current is warranty. I don't really want to blow money on something used that could break down on me.

Blofeld seems like it's the choice then!? Any other suggestions.

And yes low profile in the sense of not taking up a lot of space.
As far as fear of breaking down, I have to say that both the jd990 and jd800 have been rock solid reliable. I've owned the 800 since 1994 when I bought the floor demo from my local music shop. It's been moved from the US east coast to west coast, and among the multitude of rental spaces I've lived in without a problem. I've opened it up several times to replace sliders and keys I've worn out over the last 15 years from programming and playing the thing, and it always comes right back when I power it on - and I'm not a DIY kinda guy. The 990 I bought as a backup 2 years ago for the 800, but it has more sonic flexibility than the 800 - I no longer keep it packed away as a backup - I use both simultaneously. The 800 is pretty compact for a 61 key board - there's no wasted space. The 990 is a 2U rack module. Should either one die completely, I would buy them again in a heartbeat.
Old 27th June 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
aeonlux's Avatar
 

  • sounds good
  • cheap
  • current

pick two.

The Roland JD-990, esp. with Vintage board, is a great suggestion.


cheers,
Ian
Old 27th June 2009
  #13
Deleted 46dc28f 
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by thx1138 View Post
Thank you very much guys!
I'll consider the older machines mentioned. The Roland JD series was always something I loved the sound of. The main reason I want to go with something current is warranty. I don't really want to blow money on something used that could break down on me.

Blofeld seems like it's the choice then!? Any other suggestions.

And yes low profile in the sense of not taking up a lot of space.
Just wanted to add that the build quality issues I experienced with the Blofeld were flaking paint and poorly spec'd headphone amp(noisy). Other than that, what a great sounding versatile pad machine. As for low profile, it's tiny.
Old 28th June 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
nikseven's Avatar
 

cosign on the matrix 1000. not "hands on" by any stretch, but among it's thousand patches it has some really beautiful pads. definitely low profile at one rack space!
Old 29th June 2009
  #15
thx1138 
Guest
Damn, you're not making this easy for me.
What do you think about the Alesis Micron?

I thought this was pretty good but I heard it's not easy to program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeonlux
  • sounds good
  • cheap
  • current

pick two.
heh
Old 29th June 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
shaft9000's Avatar
 

i've had 2 microns because they are portable, sound decent and were readily available.
they're great 'band' synths because they sound as good as the Ion and is a bit like a baby Nord Lead, but with a wider palette.
as pad synths they can definitely bring the chill, but warm...errr, well there's better solutions (see below, w/ exception of k5000r).
also helps to have at least a 5 octave keyboard for some things, particularly splits.
i sold them both because they are no fun to program, the presets are setup in dull controller schemes, and apart from the dual-filter models there are other digital synths that do much more interesting sounds for me...once you have a number of digitals and real analog to choose from, then the micron sound becomes rather blah, imho.

a matrix1000 w/ a decent fx processor is delicious analog on the cheap

JD990, MKS30 or if in range MKS7O will certainly do

kawai k5000r for shimmering ice. it's complicated to edit.
kurzweil k2000r another great ROMpler alternative to Roland
Old 29th June 2009
  #17
For pads, Roland JX8P rules!
Old 29th June 2009
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Franz Schiller's Avatar
Novation K Station or K series in general... KS4 KS5/
Old 4th July 2009
  #19
Oli
Lives for gear
 
Oli's Avatar
 

Hi,

Just thought I'd chip in. Hope it's not too late.

I have a K5000R. Decent synth. Really helps to have a good understanding of the time/frequency domain relationships with this. Not hands on to program, but has decent controls for live expression. The rack is lacking the knobs found on the key version, but just do a controller map, of course. K5000S (key version) has the knobs, and is a very nicely build board. However, the sounds probably aren't as easy to work in a range of styles, or easy to fit in a mix, as some alternatives. Also, you would probably get better sound, easier programming, and pay less, with additive soft synths (I know its not what you asked for, but if you spend the money, you may end up thinking about this).

I haven't heard a lot of pads from the Blofeld, but I have heard them do a whole lot more. Sampling option is probably fun too. I think the Waldford filter models are quite good (I actually prefer these to the Pulse analogue filter). I think one gets a lot, in a nice little hardware unit. I guess bugs probably won't be there forever. Waldorf have been OK about updates previously. Has had some build quality issues (I think quite a bit more than the JDs) but you can buy new with warrantee.

I think if you were to go for something like a Matrix 1000, maybe consider the Matrix 6R instead. You get two outputs, and some editability on the front panel. From memory I think there may be some stereo capability, as well as splits. I also think it is quite a capabile module. You probably know that they are not very responsive to much real time tweaking.

Korg Wavestation SR may be worth considering. These have been absolutely dirt cheap recently (I guess the legacy collection is influencing prices here). You would need a controller setup, of course. Again, not very hands on programming with these.

I think uWaveXT's are very hands on, and good for pads, but I think often more expensive than Blofelds, and I think not as versatile.

By the way, I'm curious about what people would recommend for effects? I have been thinking of getting or making some analogue effects. I haven't used analogue effects much, and not for many years. My digital effects are showing their age now (Digitech Studio Quad V2, Ensoniq DP/2).

Cheers,

Oli

edit - I also have an MKS-50, which I use for some string pads. Can sound very thick, and pretty warm. Can be a bit too thick. Not characteristically a lot of movement in the pads, other than what is programmed in. If you are going for VA, I think a JP o AN1x type would probably suit better than a Lead. I've also seen some XV series go for good prices, used. I haven't used one, but they seem pretty decent.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump