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help me pick a poly synth!
Old 14th November 2009
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
jupiter-6 would be awesome, but the stereo part is one of the things i really want

im not sure if the super jupiter is stereo or not, but either way i'd have to get the controller for it which would be a little more than i want to spend

if i can get a prophet 08 rack for less than $1k i'd suck up the encoders problem and get me some deoxit
I just got JP6. It's an awesome synth! Dished Prophet'08 out of the window...

I hit TC Electronic analog chorus between mixer and JP. There you go, a great stereo sounds with BIG and smooth/musical unison. Highly recommended. Just get the europa mod in it, it's great for daw based music production and adds lots of features.
Old 14th November 2009
  #32
time to go through the recommendations!

  • akai ax-80 - 6 voices, 6 vcos, noise, good alternative
  • alesis andromeda - pricey
  • dsi prophet 8 - very tempting but i wouldn't pay more than $1k for it
  • dsi tetra and bcr2000 - only 4 voices and im not crazy about the bcr2000
  • oberheim matrix-1000 - no controller
  • oberheim xpander - pricey
  • roland jupiter-6 - pricey and no stereo although not a huge deal
  • roland mks-30 (jx-3p) and pg-200 - 6 voices and 2 dcos but no independent noise
  • roland mks-50 (alpha juno) and pg-300 - 6 voices and 3 dcos
  • roland mks-70 (jx-10) and pg-800 - 12 voices and 2 dcos but no independent noise
  • roland mks-80 (refined jupiter 8) and mpg-80 - perfect but controller is way too expensive
  • sequencial circuits prophet 600 - 6 voices and 2 vcos but no noise or stereo although not a huge deal
  • virus, waldorf q, ensoniq esq-1, ensoniq sq-8 and novatation nova - trying to stay away from digital

prophet 08 is still probably the only one that's got all the features i want and more, but i'd like to know if there was anything similar but with audio in. im not crazy about the idea of getting old analog vintage synthesizers mainly because of maintenance costs.

and could anyone tell me more about the mks-30, mks-50 and mks-70? i know the 50 and 70 have analog chorus which is a cool feature (the 70 also has delay which is even cooler). do they have audio ins though?
Old 14th November 2009
  #33
Gear Addict
 

I think only some of the modern stuff on your list has audio inputs. Definitely none of the MKS stuff.

I have owned the keyboard versions of the MKS-30, 50, and 70.

My opinion is that by far the MKS-30 (JX-3p) sounds the best. It has those ballsy Roland IR-3109 based filters in it. It sounds (to my ears) very much like the Juno 60.. but with a little more top and a just a pinch more aggressive. The range is bigger and it has lots of great features. Definitely a REALLY cheap option! Dual Oscillator. Cross mod. Two Env. Sync. Multi-wave LFO. Great little machine!

The MKS-50 would be second for me. Fact is the MKS-70 (JX8p/10) is one synth I have just HATED! It is probably the only synth I have every owned that I hated. I just don't like it's sound. Weak, soft, and fluffy like powdered donuts. The MKS-50 is better, but single OSC. and less flexible than the MKS-70 and MKS-30. It's got a nice sound, but can't do bass worth a damn... partly because of it's envelopes. They are slow.. but you get the added benefit of extra stages beyond your basic ADSR.

All these MKS machines have a PG controller to go with it.


I highly suggest not ruling out the MKS-80. You must not forget that you can easily just get a midi controller (like the Kenton Control Freak or Beheringer BCR2000) to control ALL of the parameters. The benefit of this is that you can ALSO use it for your other gear.

The MKS-80 and JP-6 squash ALL the other gear on your list (except maybe the Xpander!).

You mention that you are worried about reliability of older machines... but with the JP-6 and all MKS machines this is simply NOTHING to be worried about. In fact, the Roland stuff from this period is a name to feel comfort about! Except for one occasions (the Juno-106's common 80017a problem) they are all extremely reliable.

Extra little bit... I also own the Akai AX-80. It is a very good sounding machine! After going through a LONG string of machines I finally came to my JP-6 and AX-80. The AX-80 just had features I wanted to keep! The nice brassy CEM Filter, an static high bass, Multi-wave Mod, 2 OSC., Sync, Cross mod, 2 ENV., It's a very good full synth that can tackle anything my JP-6 can't. Env. not as snappy as I would like, but other than that it out performs the MKS-50 and MKS-70 (JX-8p/10) ANY day of the week. I would say it is about equal to the MKS-30 (JX-3p) but definitely very different tones in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
time to go through the recommendations!

  • akai ax-80 - 6 voices, 6 vcos, noise, good alternative
  • alesis andromeda - pricey
  • dsi prophet 8 - very tempting but i wouldn't pay more than $1k for it
  • dsi tetra and bcr2000 - only 4 voices and im not crazy about the bcr2000
  • oberheim matrix-1000 - no controller
  • oberheim xpander - pricey
  • roland jupiter-6 - pricey and no stereo although not a huge deal
  • roland mks-30 (jx-3p) and pg-200 - 6 voices and 2 dcos but no independent noise
  • roland mks-50 (alpha juno) and pg-300 - 6 voices and 3 dcos
  • roland mks-70 (jx-10) and pg-800 - 12 voices and 2 dcos but no independent noise
  • roland mks-80 (refined jupiter 8) and mpg-80 - perfect but controller is way too expensive
  • sequencial circuits prophet 600 - 6 voices and 2 vcos but no noise or stereo although not a huge deal
  • virus, waldorf q, ensoniq esq-1, ensoniq sq-8 and novatation nova - trying to stay away from digital

prophet 08 is still probably the only one that's got all the features i want and more, but i'd like to know if there was anything similar but with audio in. im not crazy about the idea of getting old analog vintage synthesizers mainly because of maintenance costs.

and could anyone tell me more about the mks-30, mks-50 and mks-70? i know the 50 and 70 have analog chorus which is a cool feature (the 70 also has delay which is even cooler). do they have audio ins though?
Old 15th November 2009
  #34
Oli
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Hi,

Just wanted to add a couple of points re the Oberheim Matrix 1000. If considering this one, also have a look at the Matrix 6R. It's basically the same machine. The 6R has stereo outs, though I have no idea what panning effects are available (never owned one). Both the 1000 and 6R are a bit notorious for having poor response to live MIDI tweaking. I think you can set them up to have a couple of parameters on faster control, though.

A friend had a 1000, and did some really good things with it. I think these are still good value for money. They won't quite fill the roll of a VCO beasty though.
Old 15th November 2009
  #35
considering you want a "replacement for sylenth" and similar vsti, but still real analog.. therefore not a virus ti (which would be my number one recommendation if digitals were considered), then id say, of all metnioned so far, you should definetely save up and spring for a Jupiter 6.




none of the other DCOs mentioned, for starters dont have its impact and girth, but more importantly, for the type of sound im guessing you would like, they don't have enough character and bite in their filters (cept mks30). JP6 has it in spades - its focused, fast and cutting. in my book, it completely trumps the likes of P8, AX, MKS30, JX3P etc..

not literally, but in some ways it may be the real analog closest to some qualities of cutting VAs. only much more organic and with all else that comes with real analog circuits etc etc.. same with MKS80 Rev4, which is a variant on the JP6 theme. i did manage to make a few typical virus sounds on Andromeda, even supersaw/hypersay variety.. and it does that very well, whilst sounding huge. i know its out of the budget, but thought its worth mentioning anyway.

finally, JP8 and 6 are some of best built vintage analogs. much more stable and easier to upkeep/fix than sequentials/oberheims etc. bottom line, the sound you get is so worth any small intervention or fix you might encounter in the future. id rather have that than a synth thats brand new, never fails, and leaves me cold and uninspired.


<cue: peglegjoe857 with his uuuhhs ooohs of joy etc >
Old 15th November 2009
  #36
Gear Addict
 

uuuuhhhh ooooohhhh!

I am ever so predictable, aren't I!

Yeah.. my JP-6 is my baby... what can I say. I have had the joy of owning and playing many synths/keyboards in my last 10 years of synth obsessive pandering, gear repair, and band hopping... but yes.. the JP-6 is one to keep!


I still want an Xpander, an Odyssey (or 2600 even better!), a VCS3, a synton syrinx, and an Ondes Martenot.

But for now, my JP-6 is my little monster.. and with my collection of vintage samplers, processors, analog outboard, 16-track reel-to-reel... and then-some... I sure reek some sonic damage!


As a punctuation... **** COMPUTERS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
considering you want a "replacement for sylenth" and similar vsti, but still real analog.. therefore not a virus ti (which would be my number one recommendation if digitals were considered), then id say, of all metnioned so far, you should definetely save up and spring for a Jupiter 6.




none of the other DCOs mentioned, for starters dont have its impact and girth, but more importantly, for the type of sound im guessing you would like, they don't have enough character and bite in their filters (cept mks30). JP6 has it in spades - its focused, fast and cutting. in my book, it completely trumps the likes of P8, AX, MKS30, JX3P etc..

not literally, but in some ways it may be the real analog closest to some qualities of cutting VAs. only much more organic and with all else that comes with real analog circuits etc etc.. same with MKS80 Rev4, which is a variant on the JP6 theme. i did manage to make a few typical virus sounds on Andromeda, even supersaw/hypersay variety.. and it does that very well, whilst sounding huge. i know its out of the budget, but thought its worth mentioning anyway.

finally, JP8 and 6 are some of best built vintage analogs. much more stable and easier to upkeep/fix than sequentials/oberheims etc. bottom line, the sound you get is so worth any small intervention or fix you might encounter in the future. id rather have that than a synth thats brand new, never fails, and leaves me cold and uninspired.


<cue: peglegjoe857 with his uuuhhs ooohs of joy etc >
Old 15th November 2009
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by peglegjoe857 View Post
As a punctuation... **** COMPUTERS.
man i used to think i could just do everything with computers and digital synths..
Old 15th November 2009
  #38
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danielb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by peglegjoe857 View Post
\ Fact is the MKS-70 (JX8p/10) is one synth I have just HATED! It is probably the only synth I have every owned that I hated. I just don't like it's sound. Weak, soft, and fluffy like powdered donuts.
I'd like to balance this statement by saying that I think the JX-8P sounds gorgeous.

It is both powerful and silky smooth at the same time.

It also sounds demonstrably different to a VSTi softsynth VA, unlike, say, a Virus. Once they're in the mix, I can't tell my Virus apart from the VSTis.

D.
Old 16th November 2009
  #39
Gear Maniac
 
Jarkko's Avatar
 

You might still want to consider Ion... Yeah, not a real analog, but sounds great. There is even a specific drift setting if you want some vintage problems .
Old 16th November 2009
  #40
well if i went digital i'd get something access, nord or waldorf

i've got a korg r3 right now and it really sounds like crap next to my moog lp and most of my software synths

but im getting rid of it soon hopefully
Old 16th November 2009
  #41
Lives for gear
 

The Polars seem to be going for good prices on ebay lately. Check this one out

Mint Access Virus TI Polar - eBay (item 130343804896 end time Nov-15-09 20:36:36 PST)
Old 16th November 2009
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
I'd like to balance this statement by saying that I think the JX-8P sounds gorgeous.

It is both powerful and silky smooth at the same time.
D.
indeed i love my MKS70. its just about total opposite in character, and can do things neither JP-6 or JP-8 can do in the same manner, due to a completely different filter design - the IR3R05 is kinda missing the boat for classic punchy analog sounds, but excells in soft, etheral and voxy soundscapes (mm feeling poetic today..).

for example, dark organic pads and liquid bells:
http://www.babic.com/SYN/MKS70-DblPad-Spectrum.mp3
or, cellos/violas and soft hi strings:
http://www.babic.com/SYN/MKS70-Exodus.mp3
http://www.babic.com/SYN/MKS70-CelloOrchestra.mp3

sure its seriously helped by on-board chorus units, but i dont care, as long as end result works in a track. somehow dco plus chorus is a match made in heaven. whenever i placed a chorus or flange on jupiter 8, its sounded a bit like overkill - too much animation can also be a bad thing. excl Synthex that i never played, of all DCO machines out there, MKS70 is my absolute favorite.
Old 16th November 2009
  #43
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

I've been very happy with my Prophet 8 (keyboard version), not sure if the encoders are any different on the table top model, but I haven't had any problems with mine.

It seems to have all the feature the OP wants and it sounds great - awesome stereo separation and the thing will do an 8 voice unison.

The editor is cheap and works well, there's a very cool randomizer which will create a plethora of strange and useful sci-fi and horror film genre effects
Old 19th November 2009
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I've been very happy with my Prophet 8 (keyboard version), not sure if the encoders are any different on the table top model, but I haven't had any problems with mine.

It seems to have all the feature the OP wants and it sounds great - awesome stereo separation and the thing will do an 8 voice unison.

The editor is cheap and works well, there's a very cool randomizer which will create a plethora of strange and useful sci-fi and horror film genre effects
i'll be happy with one.. if i can get it for under $1k
Old 7th January 2010
  #45
bump, any more recommendations?

i'm following a jupiter 6 on ebay atm and hoping for the price not to get too high
Old 7th January 2010
  #46
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rushton's Avatar
 

my vote goes to the jupiter 6 or if you want to spend abit less a juno 106. i just got a juno 106 (should arrive tomorrow) so ill let u know how it all goes compared to my nord/voyager.
also take into consideration what kind of music you want to do. im into indie electro/french house/nu disco and i demoed a virus and blofeld and they really didnt cut it for me, im definately more into the vintage analog polys for pads and so on. i never use my lead for pads either not really into the sound of them, i use it mainly for lead lines.
Old 7th January 2010
  #47
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
encoders are unreliable?
Nah. Hype. Most people bitching about it 'heard' they are (on here) or just don't like endless encoders full stop.

I've had two DSI synths, never had a problem with encoders.
Old 7th January 2010
  #48
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diametro View Post
Personally, I think stereo is overrated ... but that's a concept I'm still working through ...
Haha. I can relate to this! I've been so into monophony lately one of my friends has started calling me "Mono Jack" or "Mono Man" !!

As for synth recommendations, I'm going to avoid recommending any "collector's synths" like Jupiters, Prophets and Oberheims out of personal protest against eBay hype. Instead, I'm going to focus on what I feel are still bargains out there (though perhaps not for much longer). These are both already on your list, so I'll just second the...

1) Roland JX-3P (preferably with PG-200) - A lovely synth (though perhaps not so lovely to look at -- matter of taste, really). Limited feature-wise, but with a great sound. More "old school" feel to it than say the later JX series synths or the later Junos.

2) Roland Alpha Juno 2 (again, preferably with PG-300) - Another diamond in the rough. Excellent for punchy synthpop bass and SEQ... and it can produce a very convincing Solina string sound (Just programmed one yesterday - I was ecstatic with the results).

Both of the above have rack mount equivalents in the MKS-30 and MKS-50 if you've already got a controller you like.

Play either of these (or, even better, BOTH) through some choice FX units like the EH Deluxe Memory Man, or the EH Small Stone Phaser, or Boss Space Echo RE-20 (digitally modeled Roland Space Echo which sounds fantastic IMO) ... and you'll be so busy making music you'll no longer be lusting after those over-priced collector's synths.

And who knows? From the music you'll make, you might just earn enough $$$ to treat yourself to a Jupiter-8 later on down the road!
Old 7th January 2010
  #49
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

By the way, on my MySpace page you'll find a track called "The Last Landscape" where I have used several of the synths mentioned in this thread, namely:
1) JP-8000 strings/orchestra
2) Juno-2 all the leads and sound FX
3) AN1x sample and hold stabs towards the end.

The track is a bit on the long side, and very orchestral (a la JM Jarre) but it will give you an idea of what can be accomplished with low budget synths. If you're in a hurry, or if you find this style of music tedious, I recommend listening to just the last three minutes or so:

Maison Vague on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos
Old 7th January 2010
  #50
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The Elf's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
bump, any more recommendations?
I'd say you've had the best of breed already mentioned.

For gutsy, sharp powerful sounds, great for bass and lead, I'd go for the MKS-80. Sits in mixes easily. Ignore the exaggerated claims for Rev 4/5 differences - they sound near-identical.
For etheral pads, drones and sweet strings I'd go for the MKS-70. It also does a great line in sync leads.
If you want a bit of everything, with cream and sugar on it, go for the Xpander. This synth really does sound effortlessly HUGE. Can require a bit more work if you want to hide it in a mix.

I wouldn't part with any of them for the reasons above, but I'd still love to pick up a JP-8 some day.

The MKS-70 is the bargain of the bunch IMO. The DCOs have a bit of a plasticky 'twang' to them when the filter opens wide, but nothing too nasty. The JX-8P is half an MKS-70 with a slightly noisier chorus. The JX-10 is an MKS-70 with a duff MIDI implementation, but fine as long as you have no ambitions to utilise sys-ex.

I wouldn't get hung up about stereo - most old synths achieve this by chorus processors and you can do that quite happily outside of the synth; hearing an Xpander through a Roland Dimension D is an amazing experience!
Old 7th January 2010
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
alesis andromeda (way too expensive for now)
Way too cheap.

32 VCOs, 48 LFOs, 48 ENVs....



Try to build one and see the amount you'll come up with. heh


Seriously, Andromeda is a bargain.

IMO every member of this board should have Andromeda as a starting point, then build setup from there.
Old 7th January 2010
  #52
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Way too cheap.

32 VCOs, 48 LFOs, 48 ENVs....



Try to build one and see the amount you'll come up with. heh


Seriously, Andromeda is a bargain.

IMO every member of this board should have Andromeda as a starting point, then build setup from there.
**** do they really have that many? id almost say that is overkill but personally i dont believe in such a thing heh
Old 7th January 2010
  #53
If you take 4 notes as enough, you can layer 4 patches for some seriously thick and unique analog sounds. This sets Andromeda out of any competition. With careful programming, results can be stellar.
Old 7th January 2010
  #54
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Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread.

Was there a budget involved?
Old 7th January 2010
  #55
Gear Nut
 

2 OSC's per voice and 16 voices, that's 32 oscs's buried in that chassis somewhere! I would love a desktop version of the A6. I was 16 when I first saw the Andy and thought it looked quite cool. But now I think it looks a bit garish but I'd still love to have one!

I'll pay double for a keyboard that looks like a Nord Lead 3 and has the guts of an Andy.
Old 7th January 2010
  #56
Deleted 8456dd3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Elf View Post
hearing an Xpander through a Roland Dimension D is an amazing experience!
It sure is..
Old 7th January 2010
  #57
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Odey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
bump, any more recommendations?

i'm following a jupiter 6 on ebay atm and hoping for the price not to get too high
Prophet 5
Old 7th January 2010
  #58
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murphythecat87's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Way too cheap.

32 VCOs, 48 LFOs, 48 ENVs....



Try to build one and see the amount you'll come up with. heh


Seriously, Andromeda is a bargain.

IMO every member of this board should have Andromeda as a starting point, then build setup from there.
This is EXACLTY what I did!
Old 7th January 2010
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetty View Post
Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread.

Was there a budget involved?
under 2k

i might just chicken out and go for a use prophet 08
Old 7th January 2010
  #60
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Jetty's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
under 2k

i might just chicken out and go for a use prophet 08
I had a new go at the 08 the other day and some presets were quite impressive, actually. Yes, it's got a wimpy feeling but if you get past that, I'm sure this is a good machine.

If you want a JP6 ever at a "reasonable" price, grab one now. The prophet 600 is still a good buy (although you could go for a 08 instead).

If you live near a Craiglist, just wait until the right deal comes around. I'm certain you could score an OB-8 or something for 2k.
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