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Analog Polyphonic Synth Recommendations. Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
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Analog Polyphonic Synth Recommendations.

Hi there, newbie here I've been reading through the threads and cant quite find what i'm looking for. Basically i've been after a polysynth for some time, I want good bass and pad sounds, an arpeggiator and lots of knobs for on the fly editing, non of this scrolling through lcd screens rubbish. My budgets about £500 ($800) Vintage or Modern i dont mind, as long as its analog. I've looked at the DSI Tetra, sounds great but there's no where near enough knobs, I've also looked at the Korg Polysix & MonoPoly, they also sound great but they dont have enough bass and there arpeggiator's are a little basic. I've been messing with analog gear for years so i know what i'm getting into, now i can afford one i want to get it right, Any suggestions?

Kind Regards
Spaced Out (Or Ben, which ever, lol)
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
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Juno 60
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace Clef View Post
Juno 60
Just had a look at it, nice but no arp, and its a tad 80's cheese for me, i want some warmth. Thanks all the same
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaced_Out View Post
Just had a look at it, nice but no arp, and its a tad 80's cheese for me, i want some warmth. Thanks all the same
Juno 60 has arp, a very nice one !
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
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Since when does the Juno 60 not have an arp?
IMHO, it still is an excellent suggestion - any cheese is in the ear of the beholder...

Otherwise, you could look into the DSI Prophet 08 (PE), or if you desire vintage a Sequential Prophet 600?
With a slightly larger budget, maybe a nice Roland Jupiter 6 (with Europa added, if I may suggest).
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaced_Out View Post
Just had a look at it, nice but no arp, and its a tad 80's cheese for me, i want some warmth. Thanks all the same
Definitely has an Arp.. and definitely not eighties cheese. Awesome sounding synth but a bit limited. Good first synth though.

Save up for a prohet 5.. truely awesome synth.
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
Gear Guru
Roland Juno 6/60 .. .hands down.
One of the best arps, killer bass, great pads...

Analog polysynths were mostly made in 80's. So the presets tend to sound from the time. With all the sliders you'll be able to fix that real quick.

If it still seems limited/cheesy 80's... you might find that analog just isn't for you.. but lets not assume that just yet.
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel View Post
Roland Juno 6/60 .. .hands down.
One of the best arps, killer bass, great pads...

Analog polysynths were mostly made in 80's. So the presets tend to sound from the time. With all the sliders you'll be able to fix that real quick.

If it still seems limited/cheesy 80's... you might find that analog just isn't for you.. but lets not assume that just yet.
Ok, my bad It does have an arp, just couldnt find any video's showing it. Well yeah most polysynths were built in the 80's but the juno has a very recognisable sound, i want something more versatile and intresting, one of my dream synths is a EMS Synthi, but thats mono, what i want right now is something i can make; dreamy sweeping pads, cone crunching bass and magic arp sequences
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey View Post
Save up for a prohet 5.. truely awesome synth.
Indeed, preferably in its Rev. 2 guise.
However, no arpeggiator, leading me to suggest the P600 instead...
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
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Given your budget and what you're looking for, I do think Juno 60 and Polysix are your best bets (but prices are still inching up, so move fast or even these will be out of range). They both meet your criteria, with different strengths. In general, if you're really looking first and foremost for punchy sounds, round bass, fast envelopes, and an endlessly fun arpeggiator, go with the Juno 60. If you're looking a bit more for pads/strings, 70s vibe, and deep bass, go with the Polysix (in unison mode it just destroys!).
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaced_Out View Post
Ok, my bad It does have an arp, just couldnt find any video's showing it. Well yeah most polysynths were built in the 80's but the juno has a very recognisable sound, i want something more versatile and intresting, one of my dream synths is a EMS Synthi, but thats mono, what i want right now is something i can make; dreamy sweeping pads, cone crunching bass and magic arp sequences
Dude.. You are describing a juno 60 right there.. Try one out if you can..

Otherwise start with a mono for great bass/lead and FX sounds. There is so much charachter in a good analogue mono synth that you may not miss the polyphony due to the nice harmonics and resonance you get from the VCO's.

Synthi's are expensive and a bit rare but you could look at a moog source, SCI pro one, Roland SH-09 or modern day mono equivalents like the MFB stuff or a moog slim phatty or little phatty or a future retro XS.

For modern day cheapish polyphonic synth look at the Prophet 08.

The andromeda would be a good synth for what you want but it goes for £2000 upwards since they stopped making them.
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanz View Post
Indeed, preferably in its Rev. 2 guise.
However, no arpeggiator, leading me to suggest the P600 instead...
I'm using a REV3 and it sounds great. Haven't heard a rev 2 and i have heard they are better but I have no complaints with the REV3.

The prophet 600 is a good suggestion! I haven't been able to find one that easily though...
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
Given your budget and what you're looking for, I do think Juno 60 and Polysix are your best bets (but prices are still inching up, so move fast or even these will be out of range). They both meet your criteria, with different strengths. In general, if you're really looking first and foremost for punchy sounds, round bass, fast envelopes, and an endlessly fun arpeggiator, go with the Juno 60. If you're looking a bit more for pads/strings, 70s vibe, and deep bass, go with the Polysix (in unison mode it just destroys!).
The six in unison is just awsome, i almost got thrown out of a shop because i was playing with it so long! I've just been looking at the prophet 08, my god, its got that nice ssm chip warmth but with so much more! Ok so i may have to save a little longer but i think it might be worth it
Old 27th December 2010
  #14
Gear Guru
I say ney to the Prophet 08. Besides that it's too $$$ for you at the moment. Juno or Polysix are great synths to start with... and you WILL by more synths... either one of those will be close to your heart as years go by ... no matter how many more synths you get.

both are great "first loves" is what I'm saying..

and trust.. you can make the Juno sound very unique... ext effects is the key.
Old 27th December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel View Post
I say ney to the Prophet 08. Besides that it's too $$$ for you at the moment. Juno or Polysix are great synths to start with... and you WILL by more synths... either one of those will be close to your heart as years go by ... no matter how many more synths you get.

both are great "first loves" is what I'm saying..

and trust.. you can make the Juno sound very unique... ext effects is the key.
I have a few favours i can pull on the money side of things, dont worry, i look like Rick Wakemen, i'm not gonna go breaking any legs for my new synth Anyhoo, why ney to the 08? I'd really like to know
Old 27th December 2010
  #16
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Just don't like the sound... at all. matter of taste I guess...

edit: I'll let someone else chime in on this... I'm not alone on this..
Old 28th December 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel View Post
Just don't like the sound... at all. matter of taste I guess...
Fair play, lol
Old 28th December 2010
  #18
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If you don't like the Juno 60 sound my recommendation may be worthless as I'm with everyone else in saying that the juno is your best bet but perhaps the tetr4 if you don't mind a lack of an interface. You can't really expect much in your price range to be honest. If you want more depth you would have to step out of analog into something like virus b/c or blofeld range.

If you can save up some more money, the poly evolver is great and I think you would love it with the delay and sequencer plus unique hybrid analog/digital voice section.

You need to play these synths though, most synth videos online come across as 80s cheese to me too.
Old 28th December 2010
  #19
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The Prophet 08 will fit all of your requirements except price. If you're willing to spend more, it's a great synth.

On the positive side, the P08 has velocity sensitivity, aftertouch, tons of modulation options, audio modulation, an extra DADSR envelope, switchable 2 or 4 pole filter, oscillator sync, sequencer, layers, and splits. I frequently find the things listed above to be useful in adding complexity, character and musicality to programs.

On the negative side, the P08 filter can sound thin and harsh at times. The P08 filter is deserving of criticism, but keep in mind that it only displays its weaknesses under some conditions. I don't see the point of damning a complex musical instrument because of a single technical feature.

Sure, the filter is, at times, the heart and soul of a synth. But the filter is not always the dominant feature in a program. And there are many situations where the P08 filter sounds great. It comes down to programming skill and expectations. If you're trying to get the P08 to do something that it sucks at, then it's going to sound sucky. But if you stay away from the sucky zone, you'll be surprised at how good it sounds.


This type of trade off is not unique to the P08. Every instrument has its problems. Even the objects of slutty fetish worship (I won't name names) can suck at times. It's up to you to decide what's important (cost, reliability, sonic character, expressiveness, size) and pick a musical instrument that does the best job of allowing you to express yourself.
Old 28th December 2010
  #20
Gear Guru
My Akai AX-60 is generally thought of as harsh or weak.

Blows the analog DI stuff out of the water IMO.. but that's just me..
Old 28th December 2010
  #21
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Headphones's Avatar
I don't think you're really going to have much to choose from that fits your criteria. Either you're going to have to save up a little more, or go with a digital synth, or better yet, a USB controller synth and plenty of VSTs with the money you'll have left.

If you've got more to spend, then you might be able to have more we can suggest, but sometimes a tight budget means you can only dream of something better, because you don't have the funds for what you REALLY want...
Old 28th December 2010
  #22
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Yo , the perfect Analog poly in that price range is a myth like excalibur . Jupiter 6's will run 2X and again the price you said your willing to pay . Learn to love the Juno (or polysix) . Sure the 1 osc is limiting but they have sweet arps and 100% control from the front panel . I have both a Juno 106 and Juno 6 with Kenton midi built in . Juno 6 is so fun to play with and because it's so "limiting" I can dial in some surprisingly awesome sounds very quickly . That helps keep the vibe in a good session up and going . If you can shake down a relative for the cash or work/save a little longer then grab the ring and go for a jupe6 or p5 v3.3 . Sounds like your happy with a p8's sound and performance so that seems the obvious front runner for you .
Old 28th December 2010
  #23
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I would wait till after the namm show.DSI may have a new synth that adds
more versatility to the PO8.Maybe a P08II with multi filters,more voices,ah yes and more expensive.
You could also buy a Mopho keyboard and tetra for a 5 voice synth on the cheaper side.
I'd go with something new.Anything Vintage can be quirky to deal with though ill agree sound wise the older synths tend to sound better!
A nord lead2 may work also though a va.
I use a nord 2 live with a roland D-50/pc88.
Studio is minimoog d,Virus,and P08 rack and some other goodies......
What i notice most is the older analog synths sound darker and warmer and more alive.Sold my prophet5 and mks 80 a good 10 years ago but they sounded deeper and more creamy!!Good Luck and check the you tube demos.they are worth listening to.


Dan P
Old 28th December 2010
  #24
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If not the new DSI synth, then try a Chroma Polaris :

YouTube - Fender Chroma Polaris - showing some presets
Old 28th December 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If not the new DSI synth, then try a Chroma Polaris :

YouTube - Fender Chroma Polaris - showing some presets
+1

Chroma Polaris is a true gem! Unfortunately, membrane buttons are dying, no exceptions just a matter of time.
Old 28th December 2010
  #26
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Thanks peep's, well i can just about afford an 08 module, got a Yamaha CS1x i can use as a controller, although i do love the 90's arp sounds its not great for what i want, anyhoo...Right now its between the 08 and a Polysix, your thoughts..?
Old 28th December 2010
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odey View Post
I'm using a REV3 and it sounds great. Haven't heard a rev 2 and i have heard they are better but I have no complaints with the REV3.

The prophet 600 is a good suggestion! I haven't been able to find one that easily though...
I'd suggest avoiding the P600 at any price : Very buggy midi, even with the last versions.

Then the sound is defintly not on par with a PV. So you might want to wait for the PV.

As for the Juno60 it has a good sound. You can bundle it with one of those old Csq Roland Sequencers too. Great fun. ( I still have one coupled with the Juno )

Then as you mentioned the MS-20 ( So I suppose it was the Vsti edition as the orginal is mono) you might want to take a listen to Xils-Lab PolyKB II audio demos. True vintage flavour, but I'm probably a bit biased here

The Korg MonoPoly and MS-20 are indeed good too. Youcan mary MS-20 and Polysix lines in the Legacy Cell unit. So you can mix non arpeggiated and arpegiatted lines. Or two different arpeggios form the Polysix.

You can hear some audio examples of the above on our site btw ( Legacy Cell page) to get a feel of what you can do.

fwiw,

LtZ
Old 28th December 2010
  #28
obs
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaced_Out View Post
Thanks peep's, well i can just about afford an 08 module, got a Yamaha CS1x i can use as a controller, although i do love the 90's arp sounds its not great for what i want, anyhoo...Right now its between the 08 and a Polysix, your thoughts..?
I just noticed someone (not me) is flogging a prophet '08 for 800quid on ebay. Thought you might want to know.

Prophet 08 on eBay (end time 04-Jan-11 12:48:18 GMT)
Old 29th December 2010
  #29
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Look at one of these sizers: Prophet~600, Roland Juno 60/106, Akai AX-60, Ensoniq ESQ-1. My advice is to save some money and buy a Prophet~08. The P08 is a really great sizer and if you buy it used then buy the Pot-edition.

Kind regards
Demokid
Old 29th December 2010
  #30
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I vote for the Prophet 08!
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