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SCI Six Trak???
Old 21st December 2012
  #31
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Aliferis View Post
I would also strongly suggest that all Six Trak owners use some kind of hardware (BCR-2000, etc) or software setup for direct parameter editing versus the slow, anti-creativity experience of the number pad and single encoder provided through the front panel. It's really a night-and-day difference which made me feel like I had acquired a brand new synth.
well that and you can record those knob movements then.. very cool!
Old 20th March 2013
  #32
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel View Post
well that and you can record those knob movements then.. very cool!
For those of you who want an inexpensive Sixtrak midi controller but don't want to hassle with the DIY part... I have my old BCR2000 Sixtrak setup on ebay now. I recently got my hands on a Kiwi Patch Editor which controls all of my synths, so I am letting it go.

SCI Sixtrak Midi Controller BCR2000
Old 21st March 2013
  #33
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

So can you stack those Six tracks WITHIN the Six track, not in my computer, with different modulations?
Old 21st March 2013
  #34
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Yes. Each voice in a stack is selected from one of the 100 patches - each of those with thier own parameter settings.

It is like very early analog work station with 6 complete synths inside. You have a 6 track sequencer and you can write a complete track using up to 6 different mono synth patches - or 2 mono patches, and play one patch with 4 note polyphon, or use two patches using 3 note etc etc. But whatever, each patch has its own LFO, filter ADSR settings etc etc.

The new DSI thing, what is it 4 mopho? or whatever is an update on this idea - shame its not got 6 though.
Old 21st March 2013
  #35
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The Six~Trak has a very nice tone, it's my second synth and the oldest in my posession. The buttons are a bit finicky after a lot of use so I need to clean them regularly and the keyboard is quite noisy, but a reliable synth apart from that.

The sound I always describe as electric and woolly and dark, you know you are hearing VCO's but they don't have that ripping steep power as the more idolized VCO synths have.

It excels in harpy sounds, broken bells, FX sounds, pads, brass. It sounds a lot like the Prophet-600 in my ears. It's quite unique otherwise there are no synths that sound like it unless they use the exact same voice chips.

There is an AKAI, from the top of my mind the AX-60 and/or AX-73 that has exactly the same synth-on-a-chip architecture, is a little bit more simple in terms of features BUT it has snappy envelopes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KennaOkoye View Post
So can you stack those Six tracks WITHIN the Six track, not in my computer, with different modulations?
I remember that I could use CC's for at least the first few tracks over MIDI in multi, but I think the sequencer is just a note on/off affair. You can however record chords by simply selecting two or more channels at once, so it's not only six mono's.
Old 21st March 2013
  #36
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

No i mean like. When you playing a bass line... can each of the voices that make up that bassline have different modulations... like one voice tuned up, the other tuned down, different filter settings...etc
Old 21st March 2013
  #37
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Yes - but these are programmed at the patch level.
So lets say I want a stack bass of three patches. I would have to program and save three patches say

No1 - Simple sawtooth bass
No 2 same as above but at an an actave below with a bit of LFO pitch mod
No 3 same as above but including a pulse modulated component and pitched an octave above No 1

You go into stack mode, drag those three patches over and they are each played by the same note and sound exactly as they were programed - so I have three pitches on that note, each with independent modulation.

Now - I think - if you put it in the right MIDI mode, because each patch can also be on an idependant channel it can have its own cc messages, so I can alter the pitch or filter of one, without altering the other because it is a truly - and the first - multi timbral synth.
Old 21st March 2013
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennaOkoye View Post
No i mean like. When you playing a bass line... can each of the voices that make up that bassline have different modulations... like one voice tuned up, the other tuned down, different filter settings...etc
No you need to copy the voices and change them individually. The last 20 spots in my preset banks I keep for stacks and detuned doubling. 100 presets is pretty generous for a somewhat limited synth so that's no problem in my book.
Old 21st March 2013
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennaOkoye View Post
No i mean like. When you playing a bass line... can each of the voices that make up that bassline have different modulations... like one voice tuned up, the other tuned down, different filter settings...etc
I'm not quite sure, but let me put in a vote for the Six-Trak. It is a highly underrated synth. I've had mine since 1996 and it is all over my work with Analog Birds and Asa Milbankx.

For reference, we also own a Kawai SX240 (which has split layers that can use separate LFOs), Moog Prodigy, Moog Opus III, and a Moog Slim Phatty, and we have used Minimoog Model D, Yamaha AN1X, and many other synths in the past.

In spite of all the other synths we have access to, the Six-Trak has been a 'go-to' synthesizer for us for a long time now. The unison mode, where all six oscillators are combined, is very fat indeed, and it makes a great third oscillator for my Phatty.

While the programming interface is limited, it is at least intuitive, and the ability to use MIDI CC for every parameter is phenomenal. Lately, I've been using it with Lemur on the iPad as a controller.

I'd still recommend modern Analog synths (such as the DSI synths), but if you can get a functioning Six-Trak for a decent price, it integrates incredibly well into a DAW setup, and it will expand your palette of sounds - and most importantly, it is a unique synth, even compared to the Akai AX with the same CEM chips.
Old 21st March 2013
  #40
A fellow Six-Trak enthusiast! I believe the Six-Trak is technically DCO, since it uses the CEM chips. I might be mistaken, though. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TransistorRhythm View Post
The Six~Trak has a very nice tone, it's my second synth and the oldest in my posession. The buttons are a bit finicky after a lot of use so I need to clean them regularly and the keyboard is quite noisy, but a reliable synth apart from that.

The sound I always describe as electric and woolly and dark, you know you are hearing VCO's but they don't have that ripping steep power as the more idolized VCO synths have.

It excels in harpy sounds, broken bells, FX sounds, pads, brass. It sounds a lot like the Prophet-600 in my ears. It's quite unique otherwise there are no synths that sound like it unless they use the exact same voice chips.

There is an AKAI, from the top of my mind the AX-60 and/or AX-73 that has exactly the same synth-on-a-chip architecture, is a little bit more simple in terms of features BUT it has snappy envelopes.



I remember that I could use CC's for at least the first few tracks over MIDI in multi, but I think the sequencer is just a note on/off affair. You can however record chords by simply selecting two or more channels at once, so it's not only six mono's.
Old 21st March 2013
  #41
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

We need to tone down the enthusiasm here... The prices on these things have doubled in the last 5 years.

Quick, someone complain about the fact that all parameters have to be controlled by a single knob! (And don't mention the ability to edit patches via midi cc)
Old 21st March 2013
  #42
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(p.s You can get Curtis IC VCO's)
Old 21st March 2013
  #43
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

hmm.... So why do I own a prophet 600? I like this idea a lot better. an it seems like i can do more with a Six Trak. I use my Prophet for single note stuff like this. I know Dr. Luke did this on his prohpet 5, I liked that sound so i got a P600. which does it to the exact sound and feel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4nI0_DKMv8


Im still conufused... why is there a fine tune feature then?
Old 21st March 2013
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
We need to tone down the enthusiasm here... The prices on these things have doubled in the last 5 years.

Quick, someone complain about the fact that all parameters have to be controlled by a single knob! (And don't mention the ability to edit patches via midi cc)
Yeah, this was my caveat; the Tetra, Evolver, etc. have the Sequential sound, are a better deal for the money, they include modern features, and they don't come with the hassles of vintage gear.

Dark Energy is another one, although I believe the Curtis chips have been replaced in the new model.

Vintage often isn't worth it anymore, with the absurdly ridiculous prices and the recent proliferation of great new analog gear from all corners - large corporations, boutique manufacturers - at reasonable prices, with warranties included.

The advantage of vintage gear remains the fact that hard-to-find synthesizers (for instance) impart a unique sound... but there are also many of boutique manufacturers today creating insanely great synths for tiny niches of this already-niche market. We have re-issues of classic synths, brand-new analog designs, hybrid synths (Prophet 13, Evolver)... Basically everything you could hope for, available for purchase in 2013.

That said, the Six-Trak is a seriously underrated synth, and if you can find a sensible deal on one that is in decent working order, you should definitely consider it.

I'd say $400 or $500 is worth it for a Six-Trak; $1000+ is ridiculous. Once you get into that price range, the DSI synths are a much better choice.
Old 21st March 2013
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by groundbass View Post
(p.s You can get Curtis IC VCO's)
Is the Six-Trak employing VCOs, though? I've always thought it was DCOs.
Old 21st March 2013
  #46
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audslu's Avatar
 

I think it always sounds dull/dark, it has it's own sound. Thick sound for 1 osc and even more with unison/stack. Long release times in mine stutters at the tail of the sound, probably needs re-cap, and with that in mind maybe you can get better attack times with differrent caps for the envelops idk. I m torn between selling or re-caping.
Old 21st March 2013
  #47
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@ vlindax - I dunno I just googled curtis chips, and found a list of what they made and what synths use them....

Oh, and I would prefer a P600. I never utilise the multitimbral stuff much. I love unison mode best of all for creamy authentic sounding prog solo's. But I always think - if it sounds this good with one OSC...

having said that the prices of P600's start to make you think about a newer DSI instrument as mentioned...

....and its so cute though the little sixtrak!
Old 21st March 2013
  #48
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

I do not think for what your getting its worth over 500 lol. if it was two osc, Maybe a 1k, but it doesnt have cross mod...

From the vids, and examples it sounds different than p600
Old 22nd March 2013
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlindax View Post
A fellow Six-Trak enthusiast! I believe the Six-Trak is technically DCO, since it uses the CEM chips. I might be mistaken, though. Anyone?
Nope it's a VCO

I think some synths are really nice for a low price and then boom everybody picks them up from the praise of people that basically say "djee sounds really nice for a cheap synth".

I paid I think around 400 euro for it in guilders a long while ago simply because I was new to buying synths and I reckoned it was better than an Alpha Juno that costed me 350 (that was the going price then) so it was worth more. Kind of painful to find out they were going for 250 at that time! But it stayed and it grew on me.

Still miss the Alpha Juno though. But I know where that synth is probably so maybe out of nostalgia I'll buy that one back. For 150

I don't think I would buy this synthesizer for the money some people are paying for it nowadays, like 400 euro, no way. Only once I was that fool
Old 22nd March 2013
  #50
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dougt's Avatar
 

Yes it uses the CEM3394 chips which contain a VCO. For $400-500 you're actually getting 6 analog synths in one box... Pretty awesome if you ask me...
Old 22nd March 2013
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennaOkoye View Post
From the vids, and examples it sounds different than p600
Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. With two oscillators and a poly-mod section it's a more versatile synth for sure. But just use one oscillator and only use poly mod for env->pitch or OSC->filter freq and it really comes close.
Old 23rd March 2013
  #52
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

wait so Six Trak, has ENV->Pitch? lol. your tempting me.
Old 23rd March 2013
  #53
Gear Guru
just wish the resolution on the parameters weren't so weak..
Old 23rd March 2013
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennaOkoye View Post
wait so Six Trak, has ENV->Pitch? lol. your tempting me.
It has three dedicated envelopes. Pitch, filter, volume.
Old 11th July 2013
  #55
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BOBT's Avatar
 

Six-Trak midi CC

Regarding the CC midi control parameter please see my youtube video : SIX-TRAK Sequential Circuits 6 OSC MONSTER - YouTube

Cool synth I sold it to buy a Slim Phatty and I don't regret it but I missed it.
Old 11th July 2013
  #56
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jaxman12's Avatar
Hmmmm, all this hype about a six trak. I was heavily involved in electronic music at the time when these boards came out. I had one of the first Multi-Trak boards. The six trak and multi-trak were never considered a very serious synth. It was multi-timbral which was the latest-greatest technology to hit the scene. I cannot over emphasize the impact that multi timbral technology had at that time, but the quality of the sounds were lacking. I used my Multi-trak for about 6 months to a year and sold it. The multi timbral part was great but the sounds were just sub standard imo. If you are looking for something vintage to play with and it doesn't have to be a professional quality synth, then go for it. For almost the same price though, you could get a good deal on a used access virus and be light years ahead of the six trak or multi trak. I have really never been one to have stars in my eyes over vintage equipment. It has always been about the quality of the sounds and the versatility of the equipment. However, you can get most of your investment back if you don't like it. Selling gear on ebay will cost you around 15% in fees. An Ebay fee when the item sells and another fee to paypal for handling the payments.

Here is a link to Vintage synth explorer for some additional info

Sequential Circuits Six-Trak | Vintage Synth Explorer
Old 11th July 2013
  #57
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

It all comes down to taste. All instruments have sonic limitations... To me, limitations are not necessarily a bad thing (and sometimes an asset) as long as the sounds a synth does make fits your music and taste. Personally I like synths that are easy to use and can range from buttery smooth to gritty, noisy, sizzly, nastiness while still having some analog warmth. The last thing I want a synth to sound like is another instrument. Sixtrak is not an all arounder, but it is definitely great at what it does!
Old 11th July 2013
  #58
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I sold Sequential products when the 6-Track and others were released. They were made so cheaply that I am surprised ANY of them have survived this long. Plus,analog technology was not advanced enough to keep them stable and reliable. To each their own...
Old 11th July 2013
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbaby View Post
I sold Sequential products when the 6-Track and others were released. They were made so cheaply that I am surprised ANY of them have survived this long. Plus,analog technology was not advanced enough to keep them stable and reliable. To each their own...
The keyboard is not very good (though not the worst from SCI...) and the buttoncaps tend to go brittle over time but apart from that it seems to be a very reliable synth.

But I can imagine that if this would be your only synth in 1984 it just failed in bringing a lot of popular sounds to the table because it has only one oscillator, no chorus and no sub.

For me it is that quirky synth that does a surprising amount of different and unique sounds but I started liking it more when I surrounded it with synths with tighter envelopes and more oscillators.
Old 11th August 2016
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Aliferis View Post
The only real benefit the Six Trak has over a Prophet 600 is six-part multi-timbral operation. All of those six voices are single oscillator though.

I would also strongly suggest that all Six Trak owners use some kind of hardware (BCR-2000, etc) or software setup for direct parameter editing versus the slow, anti-creativity experience of the number pad and single encoder provided through the front panel. It's really a night-and-day difference which made me feel like I had acquired a brand new synth.
Hi Alex - ive recently picked up a sixtrak.. i am loving it despite its limitations.. just having an issue finding a drum machine to control the arp.. do you have any recommendations? my rx5 wont do it
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