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Sick & tired of synth shortcomings !!
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Sick & tired of synth shortcomings !!

And this goes to all constructors.

I mean, come on. We buy a synth based on how it sounds mostly.
And we pay good money for that.

Let's take synth "A" for example, which costs about 1000$
And you get all the fancy printed material, and manuals, printed cardboard etc.

And you couldn't include a dust cover?? I mean, of course it's the cost. Because if the cost would be 1020$ I would not afford to buy a mono synth. Some might say "dude they sell it for 40 later and make more money". Let's see. Nope. Not available. Most companies don't even make any. Even for their 3000$ synths!!! Isn't dust one of electronic devices greatest weaknesses? As if that's not enough, their complex shape is nothing but easy to get yourself a generic cover and apply. If you find one...

And you couldn't install a MIDI thru? So you made a synth 1$ cheaper, now I have to get a MIDI interface and pay extra money to connect all these together, because, hey, guess what. Only one out of five synths have a MIDI thru. So what if a synth would cost 1021$?
And don't tell me to connect it via USB. Because of many many reasons. Apart from ****ty drivers and running out of USB ports, you need USB hubs, you have usb cable length limitation, daisy-chain inability, some synths don't work connected on usb hubs, etc, etc.

And you couldn't install balanced output(s)? Seriously, why not? The list of synths with balanced outputs is smaller than instructions on a matchbox. You get expensive synths, you get expensive A/Ds to record them, and you have to deal with such issues. It gets worse. Some companies have 3.5mm TS mono output...

And this is the power supply it comes with? BzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZzzZZZzzzzzz.... A new external "Z" oscillator, just for you! And just when you forgot about it, oups, out again. Sorry you lost the sound you were making for 40 minutes but the crappy connector is out. Music and general studio equipment should always have to notch power supply. Always!

Anyway, I am sure the list can go on. I am frustrated by those shortcomings and I wanted to share them with you.
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Dust covers are an interesting one, but I guess it has to do with reducing the number of SKUs as far as possible and not keeping stock of yet another thing.

Don't get generic covers; find companies that can make them to order. You're likely to get nicer and more uniform ones as well.

MIDI thru also means you have to write the software for it, and lots of people do have MIDI interfaces to take care of exactly that. Sorry, daisy chaining is for a dying breed, and you should have a MIDI patchbay anyway.

Wall-warts are not always bad; they take interference out of the synth itself and put it in a separate box. But yeah, that's often lowest bidder stuff.
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
7 Hz's Avatar
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Well.. don't cry about stuff that doesn't exist when you are considering a purchase.......that applies to anything. If a dust cover is a deal breaker for you..then your choice. Never buy the red Ferrari if the Yellow one is what you like.

I have noticed a few people concerned almost to the point of obsession with how a synth looks, or if it has scratches or visible flaws. None of that **** matters in my opinion as long as it works properly. On his tombstone it read...."he had great looking synths" and nobody cared...In fact they all didn't care in perfect harmony.

If it doesn't have a dust cover...make one ( if you need it)...If it doesn't have a midi thru,, qualify that feature in advance and don't buy it if that doesn't work for you. There are ways around that also if your mind has some elasticity.

Never complain about the problems being external.. Always be willing to circumvent them. When you complain like that.. you have conceded. Go with plan B....If plan B fails....go with plan C....etc.... bitching isn't a solution...it's a plaintiff wail.
Old 16th October 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Elektron's dust covers aren't cheap, but they do make them. May they NOT be an example for other manufacturers.
Old 16th October 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttler View Post
And you couldn't install a MIDI thru? So you made a synth 1$ cheaper, now I have to get a MIDI interface and pay extra money to connect all these together, because, hey, guess what. Only one out of five synths have a MIDI thru. So what if a synth would cost 1021$?
And don't tell me to connect it via USB. Because of many many reasons. Apart from ****ty drivers and running out of USB ports, you need USB hubs, you have usb cable length limitation, daisy-chain inability, some synths don't work connected on usb hubs, etc, etc.
Can't say I'm feeling you on the dust cover issue, but no MIDI thru is also a huge downer for me as well. I hate having to pass up on synths without a thru just because I already have one at the end of my chain and wouldn't be able to insert it anywhere without a thru box.
Old 16th October 2013
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

These are not things that prevent me from selecting a synth or buying one. Nor they are top on my list for selecting a synthesizer. And I do have a MIDI interface. Two actually. Of course, if it sounds nice and fits my music it gets the job done.

But if you read a review and see the pros and cons in a synth, the cons are stuff like "it does not have an arpeggiator" or "lack of effects" or something completely useless.
Old 16th October 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Just saying I hope companies would also consider these things
Old 16th October 2013
  #9
So....




...what is this thread about?
Old 16th October 2013
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Subosc's Avatar
 

maybe you should settle on softsynths?

because they:
1. dont need dust covers
2. dont need midi thrus
3. dont need balanced outs
4. dont need power supplys

all problems solved

just kidding
Old 16th October 2013
  #11
Deleted b598644
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
So....




...what is this thread about?
luxury problems
Old 16th October 2013
  #12
Balanced outputs are only needed if you actually have noise you need to remove, ie. you're running long cables around a venue with high voltage lighting etc.

If you're just using short, high quality cables like every bedroom musician and therefore have a very high SNR already, balanced cables will actually raise the noise floor.
Old 16th October 2013
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I think the dust cover thing is a really good point. At least a soft cover.
Old 16th October 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b598644 View Post
luxury problems

hey does your car come with a repair kit, or a spare tire?
Old 16th October 2013
  #15
Deleted b598644
Guest
yes, but not even with a dust cover unfortunately
Old 16th October 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Alex Aliferis's Avatar
 

Many of these issues arise from the pressure to increase profit margin as much as possible while still beating your competitor's price on their similar product. In other words, these are the things most synth buyers don't think about when deciding on a purchase and thus will be the first to go.
Old 16th October 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
MIDI thru also means you have to write the software for it, and lots of people do have MIDI interfaces to take care of exactly that. Sorry, daisy chaining is for a dying breed, and you should have a MIDI patchbay anyway.
MIDI thru can be done entirely in hardware with a dollar's worth of parts (if that), no additional software needed.

While we're griping about what doesn't come with our $1,000 synth, why don't they pack in some audio and MIDI cables? Even a cheap DVD player comes with them (albeit crappy ones).

Heck, a lot of gear doesn't even come with a printed manual anymore. Just a CD, or a sheet of paper that says to go to their website to download a PDF.

Of course, we all know the answer is all about the almighty dollar, PROFIT, and bonuses for the company's executives. I guess we should be thankful they still include a power cord. Watch that be the next thing they start leaving out, forcing you to buy one for each new piece of gear.
Old 16th October 2013
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpatz View Post
I guess we should be thankful they still include a power cord. Watch that be the next thing they start leaving out, forcing you to buy one for each new piece of gear.
Old 16th October 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Alex Aliferis's Avatar
 

Many keyboards in the home market do not include a power adaptor, as that it allows them to appear cheaper upon the consumer's first glance when comparison shopping.

Once they've decided which keyboard they want, they're told about the "optional" accessories they can purchase, which include a power supply for around $20.
Old 16th October 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Guns N Dope's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveItAll View Post
Elektron's dust covers aren't cheap, but they do make them. May they NOT be an example for other manufacturers.
Even as somewhat of an Elektron fanboy I gotta call BS on their little $60 plastic shell. I got a hard case that can actually travel and hold cables and the power supply for less than they want for that little topper. I don't even want to start on the bag they sell. Ridiculous.
Old 16th October 2013
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttler View Post
And you couldn't install a MIDI thru? So you made a synth 1$ cheaper, now I have to get a MIDI interface and pay extra money to connect all these together, because, hey, guess what. Only one out of five synths have a MIDI thru. So what if a synth would cost 1021$?
And don't tell me to connect it via USB. Because of many many reasons. Apart from ****ty drivers and running out of USB ports, you need USB hubs, you have usb cable length limitation, daisy-chain inability, some synths don't work connected on usb hubs, etc, etc.
Manufacturers only seem to put MIDI thru sockets on synths that don't need them.

For example, you can get a Roland workstation or budget Sound Canvas module with MIDI thru, yet they are instruments designed to play complete arrangements, so MIDI thru is unlikely to be needed.

If though, you take something like a JP-8000, an instrument that is likely to be used in conjunction with many other synths (it can only handle two parts at a time), then there is no MIDI thru in sight!

Roland are not the only company that do this. I'd love to hear some rationale from manufacturers on why they omit MIDI thru sockets where they are most needed.

Yes, it is an issue that can be worked around, but to me it causes what feels like unnecessary inconvenience. It usually means a MIDI thru box, yet another external psu to power it, and more cables.

I think a Yamaha DX7 is the only synth i've got where I need MIDI thru and it actually has it. Yay!
Old 16th October 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
 
silent5's Avatar
 

Ikea offers a large selection of cheap synth dust covers in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns.

Towels - Bathroom Textiles - IKEA
Old 16th October 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
xanax's Avatar






Old 16th October 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
AnalogGuy's Avatar
Well, I don't know if this is a real fact or not, but I always thought since the early days of my musician hobby that midi bus with in/out/thru connections is STANDARD. This was supposed to be the standard and included in every midi keyboard or synth.

There's really no proper reason to exclude thru connector since it doesn't make that much of difference in costs.

Dust cover would be nice too, but so far extremely few companies offered such even as optional accessory... even decades ago. I use towels too!
Old 16th October 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
dionysiananarchy's Avatar
i sold my novation xiosynth cause all it had was 1 midi out, weird cause it had decent synth sounds,

but no midi thru is ****ing bull****, the best is when u get a piece not realizing it has no midi thru, i had to change things up with my set up for the nord drum, now the analog 4 must control the Pittsburgh modular, i had the octatrack controlling it before, the a4 provided 4 great modulation and triggers to the Pittsburgh, now
its cut in half. cause it now has to trigger the sounds, ****ing nord,

i hate how synths have bugs hat are never fixed, my studio electronics omega, the arp basically crashed it, i looked it up online,, they where like, yep it does, sorrrry brooo, where u expecting basic features to work on a multi-thousand dollar synth? don't be an idiot.,,, also, no saving in multi-mode, that was buggy too,

elektron adds a wtf decision to every synth they do,,,,, the a4? 2 outputs,,,, really? ....
the monomachine, an effect takes a voice,,,, on a 6 voice synth? also the va synth and sid sound exactly the same,, just different parameters change it,,,,,

then there was the whole 2.5 megs of memory,,,, in 12 bit,,,, but saved in 16 bit,,,, so u get the extra space of 16, then a pointless lowering of quality,,,,, why not make it a choice? ,,,, not to mention the stupid ****ing pattern and banks saved apart thing,,,, also, no voice allocation,,,, then ,,, if u go in poly mode, it kills the midi tracks,,,,,

but at least they have a midi thru,,,,,
Old 16th October 2013
  #26
Gear Addict
 

I agree with the OP. Luxury problems or not - we play synths, it is luxury so why not talk about the problems it introduces to our lives.

Dust cover and MIDI thru - my first cheap consumer Casio keyboard came with both. Why can't a new professional £1000 synth? Because that Casio was a real musical instrument meant to be played and cherished for years, unlike the synth which is designed to be a USB peripheral for the computer most of the time?

Also, what about cocky names of those peripherals? I really don't like the direction synths have taken in the recent years. All the interesting types of synthesis are becoming extinct, the analogue subtractive becomes less and less playable, 25-keys, small keys or no keys at all is becoming a standard. I hope something will change soon.
Old 16th October 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 

1, Go to a fabric seconds store.
2, buy the funniest patterns possible for pennies in the sizes you need for all synthsand trim to order.
3, MIDI thru requires NO software, it's purely the opto coupling to the extra jack that costs space and time.
4, Balanced XLR comes on many pro instruments. But don't expect it on anything that interfaces via 1/8" jack because those are designed to be consumer not pro-sumer or professional.
5, Furthermore, a Korg MS 10 or SCI Pro One have unbalanced outs that will drive +4 if you want. Many old synths are low +4 or high -10 really.
6, Wall Wart Power supply design is the epitome of crappy cost saving. I agree that they are terrible. I have added internal power and balanced IEC jacks to lots of my synths to improve this.

::: Moog Rogue Power Upgrade ::: | xbs111.wordpress.com

::: Korg MS-10 Power Upgrade ::: | xbs111.wordpress.com

::: Fully Upgraded and Updated Roland Jupiter 6 Europa ::: | xbs111.wordpress.com

Perhaps you can buy one nice power distro like guitarists use and plug everything into it.
Old 16th October 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
marino's Avatar
I can live with a lot of shortcomings on my instruments (that doesn't mean that I like them, of course)... the one that keeps me furious, however, is the external power supply, wall wart or not. I have given up on some instrument because they didn't have internal PSU. I *have* bought a DSI MEK, but quite reluctantly, and just because I really like it a lot.

I'd like to publicly applaud Manfred from MFB for designing the Dominion 1 monosynth with internal power supply. It's not seen very often on instruments from small manufacturers. This, in addition to its sound and features, make it quite desirable to me.

External PSUs are, first of all, the sign of amateurish gear. Then, of course, they're veary easy to break and/or forget on gigs. Moving gear is a pain - I don't need more hassle than it already is.
Old 16th October 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
I call these "first world" problems. Ask a Balinese person and tell them your woes and then talk about how much this horrid synth cost and they'll tell you that the cost of that non-dust covered wall wart synth is about 2 years or more TOTAL wage. And then theyll make you one for $2. As i said - First World problems
Bwahahaa.....shouldn't you be tending your organic vegan farm instead of being on GS?

hahahaaaaa
Old 16th October 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttler View Post
Anyway, I am sure the list can go on. I am frustrated by those shortcomings and I wanted to share them with you.
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