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current synths need updating...need recommendations for upgrading
Old 9th August 2005
  #1
Gear Addict
 

current synths need updating...need recommendations for upgrading

current synths need updating.....my JV 2080 w/expansion boards are starting to sound a little long in the tooth.....as far as softsynths, I have the Native instruments, Absynth/FM 7/Pro 53 collection, as well as the Logic Pro 7 included synths (Sculpture, ES2, etc...)....it just seems like I have really worn these out.....

I need a fresh set of sounds to replace or compliment what I already have......I basically write and compose key part for everything from film scores to rock/metal tunes, with the exception of dance/electronica.....

is there such a thing as "one synth does all" like a Motif or a Triton for my purposes????
Old 9th August 2005
  #2
Gear Head
 

Are you tired of them or are they no longer working in your arrangements? Funny how you can get tired of certain synths, but once you love a guitar or a microphone, it's usually for the long haul.

ROMplers have never had much appeal to me. With the advent of hard-disk streaming soft-samplers, nothing on a Triton or a Motif ever sounds real enough.

Soft-synths are nice, but creating patches from scratch is one of those things that is definitely not so much fun while mousing around. I mostly find myself adjusting attacks, releases, and filter parameters on long-used patches to fit the song. This is the boredom you're talking about? Maybe the investment in a big-time premium hardware synth would quench your thirst. I haven't run into anyone yet who's tired of their Minimoog Voyager. If you're bored with subtractive or FM synthesis, maybe another module-based one is in order?

Also! They recently made the Hartmann Neuron (sp?) a softsynth with a hardware controller dongle. The price was much more reasonble than the original, and you get all that groovy space-age sound creation ability.
Old 9th August 2005
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Bird
Are you tired of them or are they no longer working in your arrangements? Funny how you can get tired of certain synths, but once you love a guitar or a microphone, it's usually for the long haul.

ROMplers have never had much appeal to me. With the advent of hard-disk streaming soft-samplers, nothing on a Triton or a Motif ever sounds real enough.

Soft-synths are nice, but creating patches from scratch is one of those things that is definitely not so much fun while mousing around. I mostly find myself adjusting attacks, releases, and filter parameters on long-used patches to fit the song. This is the boredom you're talking about? Maybe the investment in a big-time premium hardware synth would quench your thirst. I haven't run into anyone yet who's tired of their Minimoog Voyager. If you're bored with subtractive or FM synthesis, maybe another module-based one is in order?

Also! They recently made the Hartmann Neuron (sp?) a softsynth with a hardware controller dongle. The price was much more reasonble than the original, and you get all that groovy space-age sound creation ability.
I feel like I have a million sounds at my disposal at the moment, ....the other day I was playing the Arturia softsynth moog emulation and it was truly inspiring....I was actually thrilled that there seemed like limited sounds and presets to play with.... easier to focus more on the actual writing......

I guess I was more looking for suggestions on streamlining my rig, to give myself less options....like I said, the JV2080 has served me well....I liked having all the basic sounds at my disposal....but it's sounding so "90s" now.....

Now I have endless synth possibilities and I spend hours sifting thru patch after patch.....it seems like I've been through all of them hundreds of times, to ME, they don't have the sparkle they once had....

maybe I should just get a mini moog voyager and just write with that, see what happens..you never know it might be interesting.....
Old 9th August 2005
  #4
I'd wait til the access virus Ti is released ...
but then the virus c is awesome, if you want a rompler maybe a motif ES will fit your needs
Old 9th August 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
lawrence_o's Avatar
Agreed, Virus C, Nord Lead 3 maybe, Waldorf stuff, Novation Supernova still rocks, the softsynth Vanguard is pretty cool for 70 euro or so...


Good luck.
Regards
Lawrence
Old 9th August 2005
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Could try building a computer with Gigastudio. Although not all that useful for synth stuff(It has some synth libraries out I guess, but I haven't heard them), it is the uber-rompler. Also you can keep adding sounds to it as you need them. It's expensive though if you don't plan to really use the hell out of it.
Old 9th August 2005
  #7
Gear Nut
 
jkshort's Avatar
 

I just recently went through this problem too. I would look at my plugin list of synths and it was just huge. I have removed about 80% of the softsynths I had and have narrowed it down to a few keepers and I now get way more done. I am mostly into programming and don't use alot of your more typical sounds (I'm doing music of an electronic nature) so by focussing on a few synths I'm getting more and more into programming the hell out of a few things than scrolling through preset after preset
(which I find very unispiring).

I have in the past swapped hardware synths with freinds and told them to go to town making new patches (while I do this on thier synths). This lets you play with something new for a while (which is inspiring) and when you get your old beast back it should have a bunch of new sounds in it. Make sure you back up your old patches 1st.

You should also search the net for user groups and owners sites as there are alot of user made patches floating around which can be a good way to freshen things up a bit. (would work a treat for the fm7 as it will load dx7 patches and there are litterally 1000's out there)

As for curent soft synth here's a few I use pretty frequently.

Imposcar (oscar impersonation-not exact but pretty damn good!), mellotron (gmedia's mellotron sim-never played with the original but it seems to grab it's own place in the mix as it sounds so different from most synths) , cube (additive from virsyn), reaktor (lots of insane user patches out there and I often find it usefull for processing other synths..or guitars...or...)


Jeff
Old 9th August 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Don't overlook a fun, cheap option like the Korg MS2000. The rack version will run you less than $500 and is tons of fun.

later,
m
Old 9th August 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Stoneface's Avatar
 

The Motif and the Fantom are must haves in my opinion. The Motif lacks in upgrades but sounds wonderful. The Fantom is upgradeable to 1GB of sounds and sounds great as well. If you are really a fan of the 2080, then you've got to give the Fantom a test drive.
Old 9th August 2005
  #10
Gear Nut
 

what kind of sounds do you need? if subtractive synthesis will do it for you, i suggest you try out something analog. you will probably be surprised by how different the workflow is, even compared to hardware digital. i find on analog boards i'm always "trimming the fat", making things smaller so they fit, where on digital, if a patch sounds small, it gets lost, and if you try and fatten it up, it gets ugly (obviously not EVERY patch, just a trend i've noticed). Alesis andromeda, studio electronics omega, dave smith poly evolver, jomox sunsyn... they'll all give you something you can't experience on digital, might be worth looking into.

best of luck

p.s. the voyager mentioned above is amazing, but, not the type of board that would be useful for more than just 1 or 2 tracks in a mix, where the others i mentioned could probably take care of half your mix or more.
Old 10th August 2005
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkshort
mellotron (gmedia's mellotron sim-never played with the original but it seems to grab it's own place in the mix as it sounds so different from most synths)
The 'tron just frickin' kills. At, what, $50, you can't go wrong. The only un-lame example of using recognizable synth "patches". Them choir sounds. Hell. I can't understand why Mellotron HASN'T become overused and totally lame in the past few years (unless I'm missing it) due to the killer GMedia stuff.
Old 10th August 2005
  #12
Lives for gear
 
audiothings's Avatar
 

"ROMplers have never had much appeal to me"

what he said!!

nevertheless, i tried the new version of the fantom and was very surprised. the piano and drum sounds can give any software deal a good fright. and those pads can be really cool for drum programming...

that said, the only hardware synth i want to buy is the nord modular g4.

.02,
self.
Old 10th August 2005
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Based on what you listed, i'd buy something analogue in order to balance your spectrum of sound out. I'm not saying it has to be old and touchy, maybe a studio electronics, or an evolver or something...but that's just me
Old 10th August 2005
  #14
Gear Nut
 
ekimeno's Avatar
 

Might be worth looking into the Nord G2 if you're into programming. Works great with Macs too - I'm currently using the 37-note keyboard G2 and find its brilliant for any type of music. You can try the soft-synth-type demo of it here:

http://www.clavia.com/g2/demo/index.htm
Old 10th August 2005
  #15
Gear Head
 

hell, why not look for the Korg Legacy kit, im really impressed with this, especialy the legacy cell is a turn on for tweakers.

or the "new" Korg oasis, bound to be the all in one synth.

I think the rest has been said, SE brings bad ass synths, Ive been using the ATC-1 for long time and doubt there could be anything wrong with an Omega or SE-1x

Acces Virus too, I've been rocking a Virus B and havent even fellt the need to look for a C or a TI.

As for the JV series, they're old and quite familiar by now, but I found that recording sequences from them and dumping them into a sampler creates new abilities without having the "recognizable" problem. Even slicing and beatmunging them phrases creates a whole new array of composing which can turn a track around in pre production. Its great cuz I dont know what's going to happen hehehe
Old 10th August 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
Gigastudio 3.1 - theres still nothing that can touch it. Gigapulse sounds amazing.
Old 10th August 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Just recently sold off a couple keys I wasn't using and bought (for the first time ever) a new synth. The Poly Evolver keyboard. If you like programming, the knobs are all there. The ability to use the 4 on-board sequencers as modulation sources really opens up a sound. Very easy to create pads full of subtle (or not) movement. Doesn't hurt that 2 of the 4 oscillators have the prophet VS waves available. Real analog oscillators and filters are always a nice bonus.
Old 11th August 2005
  #18
Gear Addict
 

I kind of stumbled across this at audiohead.net......interview with Trent Reznor on the making of "With Teeth"....

this, along with some great replies here, have put into focus what I am struggling with....


Modular Analog Over The Digital Revolution
In 2002, Reznor became enamored with virtual and analog-modeled synths, but he rarely touches them now — with the exception of some Native Instruments (NI) apps. “I’ve gotten a lot more into real modular analog and just the kind of garage-y imperfection and the unpredictability of it and the inability to ever save a patch,” explains Reznor.

“These accidents happen where I’m not sure why some things sound the way they do,” he says. “And that has really inspired us to pretty much become the main focus of this album. Monophonic analog synths are the main instruments much more than the guitars this time, much more than the layered things. We tried to make a garage-y type album with a mix of software and analog stuff that still has some kind of freshness to it and has a spirit of what rock should be about, in my opinion.”

Ross adds, “It became more of that spirit of performance thing. It’s got to reflect a personality, rather than a quantized performance. Despite the technological revolution that’s been going on over the past few years, it’s not like we’re sitting around saying, ‘Wow... much better records are being made.’”


Reznor agrees and then comments, “I’ve always kind of envied real bands with real people playing real things and I’ve tried to get that. But I’ve realized that I can stumble onto things working by myself and I’m not afraid to do that anymore. Yet that doesn’t mean that everything has to be assembled in a kind of cut and paste factory. I think a lot of composition software — whether it be Pro Tools, Logic or any sequencer — it can make you work a certain way that I think can sometimes suck the life out of tracks. And you can turn the radio on and find a million examples of that.”

I find it interesting that a guy who has probably owned every virtual and modeled synth know to man has fallen in love the basic mono analog synth to the point where he likes not being able recall patches, and the unpredictablily of it all......

In my case, I've put together a lot of stuff that is technically good and nice to listen to with my Logic/virtual instrument arsenal, but what I'm missing is the "spirit of the performance" factor that Trent is talking about.....
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