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200 vs 200e
Old 26th November 2016
Here for the gear

200 vs 200e

Hi Suzanne
I've seen in recent live performance that, although you know own a 200e system, you've switched back to the original 248 Marf.
Which I can understand because although it can't store presets, the 200 system feels to me more intuitive and more improvisers friendly than the 200e system.
How would you say 200e and 200 compare?
Old 29th November 2016
Suzanne Ciani
Sevwave's Avatar

Well, that's a big question....certainly the MARF was more powerful than the current 250e DARF...but I wasn't able to get mine repaired and so now I have a Roman Filippov clone...which is not entirely like the original MARF. The good thing is that one can do instant octave transpositions, say, with the range switches. With the 250e, one can not get to a particular range without cycling through all the ranges...not good for performance. I like the lateral design of the MARF as opposed to the circular design of the 250e because it is much easier to "see" and to know where the external position is, A, B, C, or D. The DARF has only 1 internal "computer," while the MARF had 2. I was using two DARF's to help with this limitation, but the problem was that the range switches could not be tuned...they were not linear. Themost I could get were two octaves in the middle ranges. Tuning was like chasing a moving target because there was no "O" volt to reckon from. The clone has a memory of sorts, either switch position or switch positions and slider positions. The latter is not very functional. Also, there are other dire issues with Roman's MARF: although it can be tuned, when it is externally driven, say, to synchronize it with a sequencer, the pule outputs don't work....this is a real shame, because one of the great advantages of the original MARF was the ability to "play" the triggers in performance. Also, the originl MARF allowed quantizing of external voltages...great for tuning a sequencer, for example. The clone MARF doesn't quantize usefully.
Other comparisons: I miss also the 205 matrix mixer, which was awesome for performance routing....the routing now is done with a 210e and it is programmable, but not performable...and it has "cross talk" and some distortion...which I am getting used to, a bit...if I increase the volume in the audio section, the control voltages are affected!!!!
The 251e sequences is nice and compact....good for a portable performing system, but, again, not really performable. It is not feasible to change the pulse programming, for instance, in a live situation.
I love the 222e/223e "MultiDimensional Kinesthethetic Input Port..that is a keeper.
I've replaced the 291e filter with a 291 clone, but neither comes close to the 200 filter, I think.
It's too bad that the new oscillators have only 1 CV order to add in another, for say a sequencer and a keyboard, one has to use the noisy 210e router.
The 284 Envelope Generator ha a wonderful feature: one could voltage control the time of the attack and decay in either, for instance, you could take a slow attack and decay shape and speed it up. The 281e doesn't allow that... you can increase, but not shrink.
Performing with the 200e in some ways is easier because there are memory positions, but one has to be careful about using too many memory slots because any tuning issue you might face....and they are constant...requires you to tune each individual memory separately. Also, the 200e memory management is very has to dump the whole array into a back up card and cannot selectively store or retrieve just one position on the card.
Old 29th November 2016
Here for the gear

Thanks so much for your very detailed answer Suzanne. I'm a big fan of the MARF clone as well. You'll be happy to know that Roman has just released an update to the firmware that fixes the bug you mention about the pulses out when ext clocked.

BTW, if you want to hear what I do with my system, here's a video. You're a big influence! I try to mix Buchla performing and singing a bit.

Thanks again for your reply.

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