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My Impressions of the Integra 7 after a few weeks Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 30th July 2014
  #1
My Impressions of the Integra 7 after a few weeks

When the Integra 7 first came out I was extremely excited to purchase one. Then I heard they were not going to make a windows VST editor (after they DID release a Mac one.) Well, I really hate Apple and this news caused me to become very pissed at Roland and so I forgot about the Integra and swore it off...for a while. I tried again and again to think of a way to incorporate it - trying the iPad editor and such, but nothing would feel right. In my setup the Integra MUST be in a rack I cannot reach, so a VST editor is crucial. It's crucial regardless for a machine that complex. About a month ago "out of the blue" a REALLY nice Windows VST editor surfaced from Roland. I immediately bought the Integra after testing the editor a bit inside Cubase.

Anyway, the only way I can describe this unit is ABSOLUTELY INSANE. I have a lot of analog synths and only ever owned one rompler before, a Motif 6 in 2007/2008. The Integra absolutely destroys it in ever possible way, as it should. I mainly bought the Integra so I could run additional tracks outside of the DAW to complement my analog synths but I am seeing that this will not be the case. The Integra is going to take a very prominent role in my future productions.

I was expecting to use it mostly for the Supernatural Synth sounds but it's the Supernatural Acoustic and older XV library that have me absolutely stunned. The sounds are absolutely amazing. Now I see all the love for the XV-5080. It's well deserved. For adding VERY real sounding bits to mostly electronic compositions the SNA sounds are really really nice. Breath noises, pick and string noises, it's all there and very very controllable. Adding a bit of guitar stabs or some sax to a hook will sound as real as possible without actually being real.

The FX section is limited BUT it has a really, really nice reverb sound that brings the Supernatural instruments to life in a really great way. The sounds dry also sound amazing and the presets are not drenched in tons of effects like some romplers. Korg and Yamaha, every preset has like 80% wet reverb and delay. Not here and it still sounds amazing. The sounds sit SO WELL in a mix and require little EQ or FX. They sound way better than any plugin I have used, and I can run 16 tracks without touching my CPU. I would say that the Synth recreations could probably be bettered by Diva or something like that, but like I said no CPU load. The supernatural synth patches are up and down in quality, but some are indeed very very good.

I have not messed with the SuperNatural drums yet and probably won't much. I use EZ drummer with lots of expansion packs for realistic drums and percussion.

I give this a 10 out of 10. My only wish would be Wordclock input (like the XV had 13 years ago) and AES 8 channel output...that would make it a true professional piece. As it stand now, luckily my sound card has SRC, so i am running one stereo stem via SPDIF and 3 more analog stereo stems.
Old 30th July 2014
  #2
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Cool I've been eyeing the I7 for awhile now. I need to take a few months off from purchases after a nutty July, but I think the integra might be next on my list. I'm glad to hear how much you're liking it, it's the only rompler I am considering and they seem to be reasonably priced on the used market.
Old 30th July 2014
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
Cool I've been eyeing the I7 for awhile now. I need to take a few months off from purchases after a nutty July, but I think the integra might be next on my list. I'm glad to hear how much you're liking it, it's the only rompler I am considering and they seem to be reasonably priced on the used market.
I got it for $1640 new at Zzounds with a 4 pay. With the new editors (Mac and PC version 2) it's a no brainer. You can get it on eBay for like 1399 if you look hard. You will NOT regret it. Also, the OS feels nice and solid. It does exactly what it's supposed to do and so does the editor.
Old 30th July 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
I got it for $1640 new at Zzounds with a 4 pay. With the new editors (Mac and PC version 2) it's a no brainer. You can get it on eBay for like 1399 if you look hard.
I'm such a sucker for the Zzounds Pay as you Play... I might go that route again for the I7, a really nice rompler is about the only thing I'm missing in my setup. I have a Fantom X8 but man most of the sounds in that thing are straight out of 1999.

The only other thing I was considering is selling the Fantom X8 and buying a Roland Fa-08, which has a lot of the I7 sounds plus the roland ivory feel keys and a nice hands on setup.. ahhh great now i feel like I'll have to go FA-08 over I7... but doesn't the I7 have more sounds and sound design capability? I need to do my homework on this one..
Old 30th July 2014
  #5
Registered User
As the owner of a Jupiter-50, which has the Supernatural Acoustic and Synthesizer sounds, and prior owner of an XV5050, which has all of the 5080 sounds, there is no doubt that the Integra-7 is the ultimate rompler (although the Supernatural Synth is a VA).

A great feature of the Integra-7 is that it runs permanently in 16-part multi mode, so you always have access to 16 sounds at any given time, via 16 different MIDI channels. And all of the parts include full effects.

Many composers could create countless hours of exceptional music with the Integra alone. I wouldn't mind having one myself someday.
Old 30th July 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
I'm such a sucker for the Zzounds Pay as you Play... I might go that route again for the I7, a really nice rompler is about the only thing I'm missing in my setup. I have a Fantom X8 but man most of the sounds in that thing are straight out of 1999.

The only other thing I was considering is selling the Fantom X8 and buying a Roland Fa-08, which has a lot of the I7 sounds plus the roland ivory feel keys and a nice hands on setup.. ahhh great now i feel like I'll have to go FA-08 over I7... but doesn't the I7 have more sounds and sound design capability? I need to do my homework on this one..
From what I've gather in various impressions/reviews is that the FA series are missing a lot of the premium Super Acoustic sounds.
Old 30th July 2014
  #7
Don't judge anything on this, no effort involved...but i LITERALLY stacked 4 tracks in under 4 minutes with no effects or EQ and got this little loop. It already sounds mixed with no effort. It sounds real to me, organic and not like a typical **** rompler. These are SuperNatural Acoustic tones. I'll make more later. (If i was really going to use this i would have edited the piano arp velocity for more realistic vibe and randomized some notes a few ticks.)
Attached Files

integra 7.mp3 (384.4 KB, 15079 views)

Old 30th July 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
I'm such a sucker for the Zzounds Pay as you Play... I might go that route again for the I7, a really nice rompler is about the only thing I'm missing in my setup. I have a Fantom X8 but man most of the sounds in that thing are straight out of 1999.

The only other thing I was considering is selling the Fantom X8 and buying a Roland Fa-08, which has a lot of the I7 sounds plus the roland ivory feel keys and a nice hands on setup.. ahhh great now i feel like I'll have to go FA-08 over I7... but doesn't the I7 have more sounds and sound design capability? I need to do my homework on this one..
Have you seen an FA in person? When I was waiting for my integra 7 I was so anxious that I went to Sam Ash to see if they had one. They did not but they had an FA-06. Compared to the Integra, it was a total piece of ****. sorry.
Old 30th July 2014
  #9
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The i7 has got to be one of the better romplers, wish I could afford one!
Old 30th July 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
Have you seen an FA in person? When I was waiting for my integra 7 I was so anxious that I went to Sam Ash to see if they had one. They did not but they had an FA-06. Compared to the Integra, it was a total piece of ****. sorry.
Haha no I haven't, that's good to know though... my Fantom X8 is built like a tank so maybe it would be better just to go with the I7 after all and keep the X8 as my master keyboard.

Nice little piano / string thing you posted, the piano is a little too up-front / plucky for my tastes but I can see the potential. I7 looks like a great buy for sure, I'm done with the analog train and need a good rompler, you may have convinced me to buy this in the next few months.
Old 30th July 2014
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
Haha no I haven't, that's good to know though... my Fantom X8 is built like a tank so maybe it would be better just to go with the I7 after all and keep the X8 as my master keyboard.

Nice little piano / string thing you posted, the piano is a little too up-front / plucky for my tastes but I can see the potential. I7 looks like a great buy for sure, I'm done with the analog train and need a good rompler, you may have convinced me to buy this in the next few months.
yea like i said literally a 4 minute little ditty i made while rushing to get ready for work. I could have fleshed that out real nice with another 20 minutes and made the proper adjustments for a more realistic sound.


yea man, the FA in person, i am sorry but it's mad cheap feeling. nothing like a fantom. it's also too small and "dinky." It also doesn't have or support the old XV-5080 patches which i find amazing.
Old 30th July 2014
  #12
It is weird that they didn't do a PC editor at first. Perhaps they had some kind of a deal with Mac for a year or something.

It sounds great. I just played with one for a bit in a store but thought it was really cool and incredibly loaded with sounds. Almost too many. Still, the multitimbrality makes it incredibly useful.

Kind of a luxury item, for me. Glad you're enjoying it. Maybe pick one up second hand when the Integra8 comes out.
Old 30th July 2014
  #13
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I recently got a XV5080, they run around $500 on the eBay as opposed to paying approx $1200 to $1500 for a Integra 7. It is fabulous!!! It doesn't have USB connectivity but it is otherwise great. The SRX-04 string expansion board is superb as are some of the others. I also have a XV5050 but will probably sell it now that I have a XV5080 (Also, the USB port on the XV5050 does not have drivers for my current Mac OS X)
Old 30th July 2014
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by David994A View Post
I recently got a XV5080, they run around $500 on the eBay as opposed to paying approx $1200 to $1500 for a Integra 7. It is fabulous!!! It doesn't have USB connectivity but it is otherwise great. The SRX-04 string expansion board is superb as are some of the others. I also have a XV5050 but will probably sell it now that I have a XV5080 (Also, the USB port on the XV5050 does not have drivers for my current Mac OS X)
The XV-5080 is a great looking unit and I was highly considering it over the Integra. There are a lot of reason why the Integra is better though BUT still the XV is way cheaper and is still amazing for what you get, so that's not to say it isn't amazing. The XV sounds in the Integra and the expansion boards sound amazing. The XV has one thing over the Integra - can also load the JD-990 boards (although it doesn't take full advantage of their sample rate or even all the patches as opposed to the JD-990) It also has Wordclock input which is huge. What were they thinking with the Integra! Luckily my soundcard has SRC. I'm not gonna slave my whole system to a Rolland clock.
Old 30th July 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
Don't judge anything on this, no effort involved...but i LITERALLY stacked 4 tracks in under 4 minutes with no effects or EQ and got this little loop. It already sounds mixed with no effort. It sounds real to me, organic and not like a typical **** rompler. These are SuperNatural Acoustic tones. I'll make more later. (If i was really going to use this i would have edited the piano arp velocity for more realistic vibe and randomized some notes a few ticks.)

That piano sounds like ice picks falling on a metal sheet. :/


Strings are passable, though. In a mix.
Old 30th July 2014
  #16
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorminer View Post
From what I've gather in various impressions/reviews is that the FA series are missing a lot of the premium Super Acoustic sounds.
Yes, they are.

If you poke around here - or maybe at The Keyboard Corner - you can probably find a list of what's missing. As I recall, for example, the Supernatural guitars are not included in the FA.
Old 30th July 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
That piano sounds like ice picks falling on a metal sheet. :/


Strings are passable, though. In a mix.
I think it's funny how you like something as crappy as a Blofeld and then come into every Integra 7 thread and lean on it. Have you ever actually played one?
Old 30th July 2014
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by plikestechno View Post
I think it's funny how you like something as crappy as a Blofeld and then come into every Integra 7 thread and lean on it. Have you ever actually played one?
after my 5 disclaimers.....
Old 30th July 2014
  #19
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Blofeld is far from crappy (well, reverb is quite mediocre but synthesis-wise it's a beast).

And I don't need to play one to judge what OP has posted as definitely not a realistic piano sound. It reminds me of M1's overcompressed spiky "house" piano sound. Sure, it is not as lo-fi, but it is waaaaay too "spiky".
Old 30th July 2014
  #20
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There's a million ROMplers out there and you just seem to come and junk on the Integra every time. Anti-Roland? Does your brother work for Yamaha? LOL

There's nothing in the ROMpler world that touches the Integra period right now. Not even close as far as number of sounds or flexibility of the sounds is concerned.

As Mike has said, the Supernatural Acoustics and what you can do with them are what surprise me the most.

It's literally been the missing link in my studio. I think I'm done now other than modular (always more modular).

As far as Blofeld goes, I used to have some of the Waldorf hardware but have Largo which is basically a Blofeld and PPG Wavegenerator (after selling off my Microwave 1 and 2s) and thats good enough for me. The hardware Blofeld performance and sound was quite poor when I tried one a few years ago. An old Q rack and my Microwave 2 sounded much better.
Old 30th July 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
That piano sounds like ice picks falling on a metal sheet. :/


Strings are passable, though. In a mix.
Oh Evil Dragon, you just don't like the Roland sound. Yeah the piano needs work. But Roland has a type of sound you just don't like. I understand I feel the same way about most KORG gear. Of course I base this off of what I like to use live.

The only board that has ever been a good compromise for me is KURZ. But I still think that Roland sounds better as a synth, even over the KURZ's VA section.
Old 30th July 2014
  #22
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Yep, I've grown up and have always used Roland pianos from JD990 through some stage pianos and now the Integra 7 so its clearly what my ear likes compared to Kurzweil and Yamaha.
Old 30th July 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ View Post
Oh Evil Dragon, you just don't like the Roland sound. Yeah the piano needs work. But Roland has a type of sound you just don't like. I understand I feel the same way about most KORG gear. Of course I base this off of what I like to use live.
<owns JD-990 and MKS-70>


But yes, I never liked Roland's pianos. Or old Korg pianos.
Old 30th July 2014
  #24
To me, the Korg rompler sound is by far the worst. I owned an N364 and triton and they were horrible. Now, I never played a Kronos (I already own a PC) but if the XV is from the same time period as Triton, Roland is clearly superior.

One thing I WASN'T expecting is how dry the Integra's sounds are, and how good they sound dry. I am used to Romplers that just use to man effects on all the presets, eveything has delay and flange and tons of reverb. Not here. There are effects but they compliment the presets perfectly and aren't overdone.

Also, if you do not like "s*****" piano, pick one of the other 300 piano sounds the Integra has. Simple A piano would probably never make it into my tracks anyway honestly. I have M1 piano and the piano above sounds absolutely nothing like it raw. Again, not defending that piano - the first preset i picked - who cares.
Old 30th July 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
<owns JD-990 and MKS-70>


But yes, I never liked Roland's pianos. Or old Korg pianos.
Old 30th July 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon
That piano sounds like ice picks falling on a metal sheet. :/
Which is perfect for Dimmu Borgir style symphonic metal. I'm considering buying an Integra especially for its cheesy rompler appeal. It's got its places.

The only problem I can see with a rompler as vast as the I7 is the amount of time one needs to familiarise themselves with all the samples and where they are located. Without that it's hard to get the full picture of what the synth can do when mixing and matching different samples when programming new sounds.
Old 30th July 2014
  #27
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Originally Posted by ViewportEight View Post
Which is perfect for Dimmu Borgir style symphonic metal.
True! And they used a Korg X5D for a lot of their keyboard sounds on several albums as far as I know.
Old 30th July 2014
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViewportEight View Post
Which is perfect for Dimmu Borgir style symphonic metal. I'm considering buying an Integra especially for its cheesy rompler appeal. It's got its places.

The only problem I can see with a rompler as vast as the I7 is the amount of time one needs to familiarise themselves with all the samples and where they are located. Without that it's hard to get the full picture of what the synth can do when mixing and matching different samples when programming new sounds.
The sounds are grouped in various ways and there is also a nice tone finder in the editor - there is also the ability to save favorites. It's not just 6000 random presets. It's grouped nicely and easy to navigate. Still, the sheer amount of presets can be overwhelming.

Great, I posted one example of a randomly picked piano preset with zero tweaking - the Integra will be known for that piano on Gearslutz for 5 years.
Old 30th July 2014
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
Now, I never played a Kronos (I already own a PC)
Hehe, no doubt, man.

I am curious about the onboard Integra sounds. I have seen the free D-50 collection you can download for it, but it only contains 11 patches. Are there any other D-50 or identifiable classic synth patches/emulations built-in, or is it all through the Axial library?
Old 30th July 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOutsider View Post
Hehe, no doubt, man.

I am curious about the onboard Integra sounds. I have seen the free D-50 collection you can download for it, but it only contains 11 patches. Are there any other D-50 or identifiable classic synth patches/emulations built-in, or is it all through the Axial library?
The whole Axial bit is a little confusing. First, the only TRUE packs (of tones - presets) are the Vintage Legends (or Vintage Legends Pure), Euro Attack and NYC remix. All of the other packs (Juno, Jupiter, etc) are just SMALLER packs based on tones of the Vintage Legends, which already contains all of those tones.

They axial tones are super easy to load so, not a big deal at all that they are not built in.

The smaller packs also contain studio sets, which are just 2 or more blended tones. To me, those are useless.

As far as D-50 emulation - i don't see how they could be too close seeing that this synth does not have the D-50 architecture. If you want a modern D-50 with digital output, grab a Roland VariOS and the VC-1 card.


It's funny though, the Va part (SumerNatural Synth) was what I thought I would use most - but I haven't even began exploring that yet. The XV cards and the SuperNatural Acoustic have had my attention so far.
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