Polysynths

Polysynths! What are your favorites? Do you even like them? What are some weird gems from the 80s/90s?

Let’s discuss!

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dx7
y
es i love them

i really liked the nord lead 2 aside from envelopes seemed odd and filter as well.

i suppose string synths don’t count but i love those too.

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I used to own a Roland Juno 106 that I really liked. Used it mostly in band settings to add textures and nice pads. It had a multiplexer chip problem that caused the sub to go in and out on different key settings. I sold it to finance Ableton Live and a Push II. Simply because the synth wasn’t a creativity trigger at the moment, and Ableton really changed everything for me!

Now I would really appreciate a nice poly synth to accompany my modular and the sample/daw nest that is Ableton Live. A Juno 60 would be awesome. I missed an arpeggiator on the 106! I love Daniel Lopatin use of the 60! I will always have wet dreams of a Prophet tho. I’m sure there is a lot of opinions on the different models, but I think either would be a nice addition to my setup :slight_smile:

As a huge Bon Iver fan I’m also really interested in the Korg M1, for that cheesy 80’s vibe. Would love to pick one up just to see what would come out of it!

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I have a DSI Mopho X4 that I like pretty well. Only four voices, which is pretty limiting (especially for longer release times due to voice stealing) but lots of modulation options and pretty intuitive to program/use. I might opt for a Prophet 6/Rev2/12 or OB-6 if I had more money to spend.

I used to have a Sequential SixTrak and a Roland Alpha Juno 2. I liked both of them, but both had some vintage reliability quirks and I ended up selling them. Nowadays, I am pretty happy to have something that just turns on and works every time!

A bandmate has a Roland JX-3P which I use sometimes and like quite a lot. Like the 106, it lacks an arp, but it has a simple step sequencer and chorus. A JX-3P with the Kiwitechnics upgrade is sort of a dream synth of mine, and not unaffordable by polysynth standards, and you get an arpeggiator among many other upgrades.

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Another vote for dx7. Love the sound from this. Never used a real one though. Dexed plugin is as close as I’ll ever come to that.

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I love my Korg polysix and Yamaha Sk30

Both very nice and lush for pads

The Sk30 has monosynth and an organ too and i bagged it for £75 last year :slight_smile:

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I use a Vermona Perfourmer MKII as my go to synth for both Poly and Mono. Also used the Mopho x4 and the DSI Tetra, both very cool, although I like the Perfourmer MKII better for a few tricks it has (the FM modulation is really beautiful, and the overall sound is great and quite versatile) even if it’s more “rough around the edges” than the Mopho and Tetra. Also, the Vermona has a “one knob per function” layout that I trully adore, and to me it’s a huge inspiration boost.

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I love polysynths.

I’m lucky enough to be borrowing a Prophet 5 on a long term basis. It really is a beautiful and inspiring synth. The way the oscillators and voices interact in their imperfection is just beautiful. Sometimes the envelopes can be a bit unpredictable which I’ve learnt accept as part of its character. It’s so easy to make music on this thing!

I also have a Prophet 600 which is also great but kind of sloppy sounding. I do really like the way it sounds despite that. Will probably do the gli gli upgrade at some point.

I picked up a DSI Tetra when I was living somewhere smaller to try and get that Prophet sound in a smaller footprint. It didn’t sound like that at all but had it’s own clean charm. The UI was kinda miserable though, even with a midi knob controller. Sold it on.

Would love to play an old oberheim…

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The UI on the Tetra is a litteral nightmare AND the separate software is super sketchy. It’s really not the ideal synth for inspiration, although the sounds, if (as you say) a bit clean, can be very powerful.

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My roommate has a 60 and lets me use it - no complaints here! The interface is glorious and it is really fun to play with, plus the “hold” button is perfect for my ambient/drone noodlings. Spending a lot of time with it has really rekindled my love of polysynths.

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I’ll see how this year goes, but I’m leaning towards picking up a REV2. Enough depth to scratch my itch for sound design, but also good for more straightforward sounds. In my dreams I want a P6, but the REV2 is more in the range of what I’m willing to spend and I would get a lot of mileage out of using splits and layers.

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There are so many things moderately wrong with it, but I absolutely love my Waldorf Blofeld (keys), which somehow survived being shoved underneath multiple planes wrapped in a quilt intact!

The interface is like driving a car down the highway which six knobs, the audio engine sometimes is a bit glitchy, and the limited CPU resources mean it can very easily decide to change into a really fun monosynth. but I love the sound of the thing quite a lot. In terms of raw possibility, it is a modular in a box. It is relatively in expensive. It gives me all the FM, PWM, weird modulation, complex envelopes, comb filter, wavetable goodness that I would normally want. (Samples that come with it are pretty disappointing though, and I’ve been two lazy to change them for something else.)

In particular, I love routing the pitch/mod wheels to control depth of some weird modulation, such that my favorite patch that I ever programmed was something like a sinewave that went into some weird burbly FM whenever I decided that was needed. Oh, and combining that with the arpeggiator? Nice!

Though the editing is quite idiosyncratic, Jexus’s demo should convey a lot of what I love about it.

I have no need or desire for any other Polysynth… (Well, except the Reface DX, but that’s a different story.)

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While I have become accustomed to monosynths, growing up playing piano meant that I have always felt like being able to play more than one note at a time is normal.

If you are willing to DIY, I can recommend the Ambika. A fairly easy build, quite a few filter choices, and it sounds great. The wavetable oscillators mean it is very versatile.

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If I were interested in a polysynth module, it’d almost certainly be an Ambika. I like my Shruthi-1 a lot.

Yeah, that’s the most likely upgrade I see for myself. DSI seems to have taken some of the bonus aspects of the X4 and added them to the 8/16 voice Prophet, such as adding suboscillators (which make a HUGE difference to sounds on the X4).

The little Yamaha reface CS is excellent, if toylike.

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juno-6 has been my go to synth since i first lucked into one in 2003. i love everything about them. i finally added a prophet-6 a couple years ago for all the times the juno isn’t the right vibe, and i love it as well. total swiss army knife, cuts through a mix when you want it to.

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Juno 60 was my first synth purchased while I was up at UW-Madison for $300 in 1997. I sold it to help with the down payment on our house this past summer and I’ll never forgive myself ha.

I think a lot about how nice a Blofeld would be, especially paired with my Octatrack. Very reasonable in price too :slight_smile:

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E-mu Morpheus

with Morphing z-plane Filters
and Special Function Generator
among others

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dx7, nord modular g1, microwave xt are the only ones i´ve been using-keeping for more than 17 years. right now i´ve tons of fun with the op1 :dolphin:

not a synth by itself, but i´m curious about that tiny reface cp (can´t afford a real rhodes or wurly). any users from that little keyboard here?

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Arturia V Collection is (for the most part) how I satisfy my polysynth desires without building a synth cave.

But the Percussa SSP is in the works, so we’ll see…

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