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Instruments that continually surprise you? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 19th December 2010
  #1
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danielb's Avatar
Instruments that continually surprise you?

Hi all,

Which instruments do you find continually surprising and inspiring? The more you play with it, the more fresh and inspiring sounds it produces, so that you feel like you'll never get to the bottom of it and hear everything it can produce?

I'll give you my answer if we get a discussion going in this thread . . .
Old 19th December 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

my cheapo lapsteel guitar.
Old 19th December 2010
  #3
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flat's Avatar
Waldorf Q.

Hands down the deepest synth i've used. (Z1 coming close 2nd)

I know when I switch it on, im in for another exploritory roller coaster ride of a mission into the unchartered depths of sound design! heh
Old 19th December 2010
  #4
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waldorf MW XT
Nord lead 2X (it's just so musical and fits in everywhere and can make some surprising sounds for a VA)
kawai K4r
the harvestman hertz donut
elektron monomachine - so simple on the surface but so many tricks and sounds lurk in those simple machines
reaktor
alchemy
Old 19th December 2010
  #5
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

My modular and my Nord Lead 3.
Old 19th December 2010
  #6
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

massive for sure
Old 19th December 2010
  #7
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BTByrd's Avatar
Modular and Nord G2. And the combination when woven together by audio and MIDI/CV. With the Eclipse for effects.

Tasty.
Old 19th December 2010
  #8
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target_destroyed's Avatar
 

Monomachine
Machinedrum
FR XS
Old 19th December 2010
  #9
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upfineclouds's Avatar
 

Apart from the synths mentioned before, it sounds like this thread is about my Yamaha DX7 too. It's the most important synth for me (including all the higher end Yamaha FM line).

When I want to explore completely new sounds, the DX7 is the first instrument I go to as it never sounds boring to me and always has some sonic spice to offer that hasn't been heard before.

Then I can add some external effects only to overload my brain's "surprise processing unit". heh
Old 19th December 2010
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Nord Modular / Nord Modualr G2

It was my first Synthesizer, bought the NM in the year 1999, sine then it suprises me every month.
Old 19th December 2010
  #11
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142414's Avatar
 

I'm gonna have to go with my Moog Voyager. So many people view a lot of these mono synths narrowly- that they will make bass and lead sounds. However, the subtle nuances and very organic nature of the instrument provide so much beyond. The countless combinations between the oscillators and filter morphing with the complex modulation matrix give me a constant feed of new sounds. Combining these things with my analog effects and CV expander inspires entirely new tracks on the fly. The Voyager gives me that element of "surprise" you speak of.

Thanks!

-Chris
Old 19th December 2010
  #12
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Any acoustic instruments, even toy instruments.
Old 19th December 2010
  #13
my brain
Old 19th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

My Polaris. Really can't believe how rich, alive, textured, magical it sounds. One of those very rare electronic instruments rivalling acoustic instruments IMO.
Old 19th December 2010
  #15
obs
Gear Head
 

V-synth and Reaktor.
Old 19th December 2010
  #16
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danielb's Avatar
I can certainly understand why someone would mention the Voyager. Analogue monosynths can be very deep. I spent a couple of weeks recently playing with my MFB Microzwerg, and I still feel that there's plenty to discover there.

As for the DX7, I have neen playing with Yamaha FM synths since about 1985, and they still sometimes surprise me, so I can understand that too.

However, my most versatile and unendingly interesting instrument is the Korg Radias. To call this monster a VA is to miss the point entirely. It can make analogue-sounding sounds, but that is only a small percentage of what it can do. Personally I prefer to use analogue synths to make analogue sounds, and take the Radias to extremes that no analogue synth can approach. There is very little it cannot do, from FM to bleepy-bloopy "modular" sequences. It can be metallic and harsh, or soft and twinkly. It can be vicious , or staid, or whatever.

It is also sadly underrated. I have read on this forum that it is thin and plasticky and nasal and can only do trance. Whoever thinks that this is true, frankly, needs to spend a few days with one, and think again.
Old 19th December 2010
  #17
Gear Nut
 

The human voice.
Old 19th December 2010
  #18
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filipv's Avatar
Thor
Old 19th December 2010
  #19
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mirror symmetry's Avatar
 

The Fender Stratocaster.

I will be buried with one!
Old 20th December 2010
  #20
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Xero's Avatar
in analog synth world it'd have to be my prophet 5 and jupiter 8 with the mks-80 coming third

also my accordion and my bass guitar but that's not synthy
Old 20th December 2010
  #21
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blinky909's Avatar
for the money, the Matrix 6 really allows some deep programming. just when i think i've heard about all she can do, i fiddle with this or that and get schooled.

i'm also impressed with the JD-800. it seems to be hiding many secrets that are fun to discover.
Old 20th December 2010
  #22
Gear Guru
Akai AX-80
Old 20th December 2010
  #23
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mowmow's Avatar
Drum and bass
Old 20th December 2010
  #24
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielb View Post
It is also sadly underrated. I have read on this forum that it is thin and plasticky and nasal and can only do trance. Whoever thinks that this is true, frankly, needs to spend a few days with one, and think again.
why is it that every synth labeled as thin and nasal winds up being amazing? programmer error? Or just had too many faulty lemons out there? Jen SX1000 comes to mind as well... Akai AX-60 too.. basically when I see some one say nasal.. I just think "oh, so it's a really musical pretty synth that you don't like, I'll make a note of that".

I really really liked the RADIUS. Used to play it at the music store I worked at for a bit.... too "clean sheen korg" for my tastes but easily the best korg I've heard since the DW-8000.
Old 20th December 2010
  #25
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alexp's Avatar
My ESQ1. Or my modular.



alexP
Old 20th December 2010
  #26
Gear Guru
Man... I wish I could jive more with the ESQ-1. It sounds sooo good and diverse..
Old 20th December 2010
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Vectorman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
My Polaris. Really can't believe how rich, alive, textured, magical it sounds. One of those very rare electronic instruments rivalling acoustic instruments IMO.
I've enjoyed working with mine as well, though I wonder how much of its potential I'm missing out on, since mine doesn't have the output upgrade mod.

In the software realm, I find myself more and more taken with the Waldorf PPG 3.V. I do think the work Waldorf put into getting the digital "dirt" more authentic in this iteration has paid off; it has genuine sonic personality. With all the completely new wavetables, there are all sorts of textures coming out of it that still sound PPG-like but couldn't have been produced by a 2.2 or 2.3. The voice architecture has many limitations compared to a lot of other synths I have, but the sound of it is so distinctive and interesting that every time I call it up to record a part, it seems I end up tweaking away and saving at least two or three new patches that have resulted from playing around with it.
Old 20th December 2010
  #28
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My 909 paired up with a sampler.
Old 20th December 2010
  #29
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JRock's Avatar
 

My MPC 1000 with JJ. I've had it for about 6 months and I still kinda feel like I'm only scratching the surface. The more I learn, the easier it gets to do crazy stuff that I was dreading and thinking it would take a lot of work and time, or I just can't do without a computer.
The better I get to know it, the more awesome and indispensable it becomes. I Love my Synths, and they are the Muscle and the heart of my setup; but this little black box is the brains of it all. If I can't figger' out how to get something done on my synths, chances are the answer lies in this machinestike

Fer instance...


No Computer
Old 20th December 2010
  #30
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReasonableLogic View Post
The human voice.
This was my first thought as well. Though sadly, the processing on them as of late have made them much less interesting.
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