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Old 25th October 2013
  #15
Well, some examples of what I've been playing with and where they excel/fall short:

Novation X-station (really great as a MIDI controller, built in synth sounds good when there are effects on, can sound flat otherwise since it's digital, does good pads and ambient sounds)

Roland MC-909 (very versatile, I'm a big fan of the rhythm and drum sounds on this, lots of front panel control, JV engine can be limited in range, very good at old school sounds but that's about it)

Mutable Instruments Ambika (my main squeeze these last few months, great polyphony, great filters, has mod matrix, but it does have limitations which are apparent with some sounds)

Roland JD-990 (very new in my arsenal, classic 80s/90s sounding, very warm and fat, but I have to set up a control surface with this rack unit before I can really have fun, not as inspiring to use right off the bat)

Virus Rack XL (basically a Virus C, great and multipurpose, can take some of the digital edge off with effects/filters, options kind of overwhelm me with this synth, also need to set up a better control surface with this one)

This has been my synthesizer experience more or less with gear in my own workflow. I like the Evolver from the sound demos I am hearing, and at least with the desktop version the workflow seems to be atypical (which to me means inspiring, a different way of doing the same thing). Like you said, DSI has a reputation for sounding a bit brassy. I'd have to investigate first hand. A friend of mine has been hinting to me that it might make more sense to get the Tempest over the Evolver since it can be played as a 6 voice polysynth with some of the same sound characteristics.

I guess I don't want to constrain people's recommendations by saying I only want a "warm fat analog". I'm more or less looking for a premium synthesizer that offers a great organic sound (read: not flat, digital sounding), an intuitive way of approaching synthesis (good front panel controls/interesting workflow/great sequencer/etc), a great feeling keyboards, and comes from a manufacturer with a great reputation for making quality sounding instruments.

Also looking at other gear recommendations as well. I seem to be getting hung up on the premium synth aspect because I'll end up using that synth to control my other rackmount gear.