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SCI Six Trak???
Old 3rd October 2012
  #1
SCI Six Trak???

Saw one locally, and was very interested in the ability to have cc control over each voice/paramater. I currently have a juno6 that I'm not totally in love with.

Don't know much about the SCI sound. I'm trying to find something to compliment my vermona mono lancet.

Anyone messed with one of these?
Old 4th October 2012
  #2
I love the SCI Six Track, would love to have one. The only thing that strayed me away from ownership was it's inability to turn OMNI "Off" or transmit MIDI data over only one MIDI channel. So using it in a MIDI set-up resulted in notes playing on every channel. I suppose with the correct MIDI time piece this can be filtered. As I recall the Six Track sounds very similar to my Prophet 600 which was upgraded to default to separate MIDI channels with a ROM upgrade. Very analog sounding and totally worth owning if your preferred method of writing/producing is not based on using multiple channels and prefer to print direct to audio in your DAW.
Old 4th October 2012
  #3
The midi info can't transferred over separate channels?

Surely, there's some way of fixing that.

Saw this on a youtube video:
he answered but it looks like it was deleted for some reason.. it is pretty easy though.. put? it in OMNI mode by holding track record and pressing select 4. once in that mode, the six trak's first voice will listen on MIDI channel 3, the second on MIDI channel 4, the third on MIDI channel 5, etc. you can then program and sequence each voice on its own MIDI channel, as seen in this video. so cool. i sold my six trak after getting a prophet 600 because they sound almost identical, but i miss it.
Old 4th October 2012
  #4
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I have had one for a couple of years now, to be honest it is annoying, charming, meaty and cute at the same time. It is a great compliment to a single OSC Roland like a Juno 6 / 60 / Alpha just because American synths have a different sound, and it is a VCO. However if you cant get to like a Juno 6, I cant imagine it being a huge leap forward.

For starters its a one knob and parameter number synth - though you can use an external conroller but some of the digital control is coarsley stepped - only 15 values for some controls. The enevelopes are quite slow compared to Roland synths, so you will never get a good snappy bass out of it.

So whats to like? Unison mode produces a gorgeous creamy solo sound that has a genuine progressive rock / german progtronica sound to them. Easily some of the sweetest solo sounds this side of a mini-moog. Stack mode lets you stack up to six totally different patches, so basses can sound really good, not snappy - but full bodied - and sequenced, they have moody Berlin sound.
If you latch the arppergiator you can play over it using a different voice - never gets old.

It needs FX, it has no onboard chorus, but comes alive through anything. Funny little thing, sometimes it sounds as someone wrote 'like a Bontempi through a filter', other times the most classy thing you've ever heard. Sometimes the lack of the second OSC makes you pine for a P600, other times its just the cheesy thin sound you want!

I think it fits more 'musical' styles, 80's, funk and boogie, prog rock, German electronica rather than Techno or Trance - but thats just my 2c.
Old 4th October 2012
  #5
I was wanting to use it more as an evolving pad type of thing, or maybe throw the voices into a multi-mode. get different adsr/lfo/filt going.
Old 4th October 2012
  #6
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It lacks the second Oscillator so I'm not sure its good for evolving pads - its a bit thin for that kind of thing - not significantly better than a Juno anyhow. In multi mode each voice is in mono, and if you want to control it, the stepping of the controls might be an issue. Lets say I get a nice solo sound, I can assign cut- off to the control knob, but its not quite smooth enough for real time control. Nearly - if you were soloing with a band not an issue, if you were using it for minimal electronics you'd hear it.

On the other hand thats the compromise paid for having essentially Six analog mono synths in one box.
Old 4th October 2012
  #7
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MJS7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundbass View Post
...to be honest it is annoying, charming, meaty and cute at the same time.
Sounds like my last girlfriend!

I had a Sixtrak before as well. I say grab it if it's a decent price. Groundbass described it perfectly. You can get some creamy sounds out of the thing but also weird spacey sounds.

Editing and saving patches is pretty easy, and it sounds rather raw but funky. The MIDI implementation is very basic and mine had tuning issues but overall a decent synth.

Casing is built like a tank as well!
Old 4th October 2012
  #8
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MJS7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundbass View Post
...I'm not sure its good for evolving pads -
I think it depends. I got some amazing swirly, evolving pads out of it.

I don't know synthesis well so I don't know how I got there, but it is possible. Totally heart-wrenching sound... then I went to record it and the tuning went all to hell for some reason, and it wouldn't stay in tune no matter what even after the auto-tune function. I tried recreating the pad later on a Juno but couldn't get anything close.
Old 4th October 2012
  #9
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First ever multi-timbral synth.. So Midi Mode 4 let's you do some cool things like running 6 different monophonic instruments at once.
Or you can stack 6 different instruments into one mega monophonic lead.

(the person who said you can't take it out of omni needs to RTFM.. )

It is however a rather 'simple' sounding synth..

I had one for a few years, but eventually sold it and don't miss it.. (A P5 made having it mostly redundant )
Old 4th October 2012
  #10
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jbuonacc's Avatar
thanks to the three envelopes and cross modulation, i'd say it's quite a bit more versatile than the Juno as far as sound possibilities. the Unison and Multi modes make it even more so. it's certainly capable of some interesting stuff, though not the greatest for certain things (sharp basses, percussion, etc). i had one 12+ years ago, but never spent enough time with it overall before selling it. possibly the most unique sounding synth i've owned, definitely has it's own character. i'd almost describe it as a "gloomy/sad" sort of sound. horrible keybed and usual boring SCI construction.

the Six-Trak is one synth that i'd love to see emulated well in software (possibly with optional improvements).
Old 4th October 2012
  #11
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One of the things that would have made the sixtrak much better would be if the stack mode had variable polyphony - i.e 2 patches - 3 note poly, 3 patches, 2 note poly, this would mitigate against only having one oscillator, actually it would be better.
I think this is how the Multitrak works - essentially the same synth - but with a metronome and quantize for the sequencer amongst other things.

You can have fun attempting writing whole tracks just on the sixtrak without those! Actually when you do sit down and try this, you realise that it is in fact the first, - primitive - and all analog - workstation!
Old 4th October 2012
  #12
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I have a SCI Multi-track....Truthfully its the most organic sounding synth in my modest collection!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE patch 30 which is basically Prophet Strings. I sold my Juno WAY before I'd ever sell this GEM

It's not an everyday synth, but when you need the sweet analog meat this is the recipe!

I wouldn't pay more than say $450 for a SixTrak, it's not as full featured at a Multi
Old 4th October 2012
  #13
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xanax's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by groundbass View Post
I think it fits more 'musical' styles, 80's, funk and boogie, prog rock, German electronica rather than Techno or Trance - but thats just my 2c.
that would explain why Chromeo have said it's there favorite synth in their vast analog synth collection
Old 4th October 2012
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futureman84 View Post
(the person who said you can't take it out of omni needs to RTFM.. )
RTFM = "Read The F*cking Manual". Thanks for the sarcasm. I stand corrected, but your comment about OMNI had already been addressed, making your post rather redundant.

The manual is still unclear on whether or not each of those MIDI channels can be disabled, which if not, would still result forcing you to use all the MIDI channels in a MIDI setup, which is almost like having OMNI ON anyhow. Also curious whether or not the Sixtrack can be defaulted to one MIDI channel while in UNISON mode, this would be fantastic.

If anyone that actually owns a Sixtrack can clear this up, I'll consider buying one!!!
Old 4th October 2012
  #15
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MJS7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Popbott View Post
RTFM = "Read The F*cking Manual". Thanks for the sarcasm. I stand corrected, but your comment about OMNI had already been addressed, making your post rather redundant.

The manual is still unclear on whether or not each of those MIDI channels can be disabled, which if not, would still result forcing you to use all the MIDI channels in a MIDI setup, which is almost like having OMNI ON anyhow. Also curious whether or not the Sixtrack can be defaulted to one MIDI channel while in UNISON mode, this would be fantastic.

If anyone that actually owns a Sixtrack can clear this up, I'll consider buying one!!!
Don't have the manual, but As I recall, it can definitely play in unison mode on one MIDI channel if that's what you mean. For the other function, I never tried it in multi-timbral mode so I can't remember how the MIDI was set up, but I remember it being pretty flexible for its time.
Old 4th October 2012
  #16
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Alex Aliferis's Avatar
 

The Six Trak is the first synth I ever owned (at age 14) and I still have it today. Sam Ash in NYC was blowing them out and I got it paired with an MSQ-100 sequencer. (BTW- Ash was also blowing out the Roland SH-101 around the same time, all colors, + grips.)

Having a single OSC per voice is somewhat limiting, but there are ways around that today, with tools such as MIDI processing in Max, so as to turn it effectively into a 3 voice, 2 OSC per voice synth.

I also enjoy using it in stack or unison mode and sampling the result, for the purpose of creating massive pads and basses.
Old 4th October 2012
  #17
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
I've owned and sold a SixTrak. One of the better MIDI controlled analogs though it does have some frustrating aspects to it's UI. Most of that is easily circumvented using a MIDI control box like a Kenton Control Freak or a Behringer slider/knob box.

I've always been curious about the other SCI SixTrak descendants like the Max, Multitrak,and Split-8 but I've never seen any of them.

At a time when I have more 6 voice analogs than I know what to do with (Polysix, Juno-60, Chroma Polaris, AX-60, JX-3p) I probably don't need another. :-)
Old 5th October 2012
  #18
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I'm pretty sure the SixTrak is the same as the Multi, so I have to say it's one of the most expressive synths of the 80's, great control over the performance aspects, velocity sensitive.

I'd really like an efffing sustain jack though!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 9th October 2012
  #19
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The SCI Six Trak doesn't seem to have a battery drain issue as well.
Old 9th October 2012
  #20
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmNMusicman View Post
I'm pretty sure the SixTrak is the same as the Multi, so I have to say it's one of the most expressive synths of the 80's, great control over the performance aspects, velocity sensitive.
i don't remember the Six-Trak being velocity sensitive, or expressive.

there's a number of differences between the Six-Trak and Multi-Trak.
Old 12th October 2012
  #21
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So how do you do Cross modulation on a SixTrak???
Old 12th October 2012
  #22
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You can do a limited amount of F.M, using the triangle wave component of the oscillator...there is one parameter - 'amount'.
Old 13th October 2012
  #23
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dougt's Avatar
 

It has osc-filter modulation but not what is typically considered "cross-mod" (osc-osc) since there's only 1 osc per voice...
Old 13th October 2012
  #24
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we just bought another one of these and im about to prepare it for sale.
on paper, theyre a pretty simple synth with single oscillator architecture, but they do sound really nice, plus the ability to play them multitimbrally or stack 6 sounds makes them unique for a vintage synth in this price range. if you self-oscillate the filter (set the resonance to max), you can get cool FM effects. definitely a cool little synth at a reasonable price - id recommend the sixtrak to those who are on a budget and dont need features found in a more complex synth (more than 1 oscillator, oscillator sync, ring modulation, etc etc).
mini
Old 14th October 2012
  #25
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I'm still not sure if it's TRULY different from the Multitrak component wise. All and all a good synth with a vintage look. Organic sounding, still a slow envelope makes you always miss making good percussive sounds.

I wouldn't pay more than maybe $400-475 on the used market. It's not that rare, I see them all the time or feebay and CL. Multitrak is the very rare sibling.
Old 21st December 2012
  #26
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

Curious, can the Six Trak do an oscillation sync, with voices stacked up on top of each other, can use tune each osc seperately???? someone posted it doesnt do that, but look what I found, check out the first patch http://cyborgstudio.com/sixtrak.html
Old 21st December 2012
  #27
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Alex Aliferis's Avatar
 

The Six Trak features two stack memories which allow the user to save two different monophonic layers composed of six patches each. The patches do not interact in anyway beyond all being triggered together, but you can do cool things like use patches set to different turnings so as to create one-finger chords, or stack various patches which are mostly similar except some have long portamento times, different modulation speeds, etc.

Due to there being eleven different ROM versions, there can be various features in specific Six Traks that are not covered in the basic manual. Most of these deal with MIDI functionality which was enhanced over time but some are realtime performance features such as the ability to lock the arpeggiator on one Osc while playing over it using the other five voices, etc.
Old 21st December 2012
  #28
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
it's certainly capable of some interesting stuff, though not the greatest for certain things (sharp basses, percussion, etc).
very true.. for sharp bass and percussion.. I sold the Six Trak for an AX-60 and never looked back.

Great synth for a rock band,.. not so much techno.

BTW - I find that I like the sound of the Split 8 more as well.
Old 21st December 2012
  #29
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Aliferis View Post
The Six Trak features two stack memories which allow the user to save two different monophonic layers composed of six patches each. The patches do not interact in anyway beyond all being triggered together, but you can do cool things like use patches set to different turnings so as to create one-finger chords, or stack various patches which are mostly similar except some have long portamento times, different modulation speeds, etc.

Due to there being eleven different ROM versions, there can be various features in specific Six Traks that are not covered in the basic manual. Most of these deal with MIDI functionality which was enhanced over time but some are realtime performance features such as the ability to lock the arpeggiator on one Osc while playing over it using the other five voices, etc.
Ahh, so they can be tuned differently. Is having this and a P600 over kill?
Old 21st December 2012
  #30
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Alex Aliferis's Avatar
 

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.
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