Polysynths


#41

My favorite Polysynth is the Perfourmer MK2. Even though it is not that poly.

It sounds beautiful and feels right at home in both a midi- and a modular-setup.


#42

concerning the DX series you 'll better go for a Yamaha DX11
or the rack version, Yamaha TX81Z

however, the Yamaha TG77 or the Yamaha FS1R provides much more complex FM algorithms and synthesis possibilities.


#43

I recently had a go at programming a DX7. I’d used one quite a bit before but could never get my head around how the FM thing worked, coming from subtractive synths. But as I’ve now been into modular for a while now, the DX really didn’t seem so bad. Even without a manual it was quite easy to navigate and get some interesting sounds out of it.

I think that’s been one of the best things about getting into modular for me - it really makes me see other synth architectures in a much more practical, understandable manner.


#44

Yes, I used to have a Nord G2 which I got a lot out of, but would get so much more now…


#45

The Arturia version of the DX7 is quite nice.


#46

I imagine a DX7 paired with a 60 Knobs would be good fun.


#47

Another vote here for the blofeld. I recently got a desktop (for just a shade over £200) and absolutely love it. As others have said it’s a stereotypical digital synth, with loads of slightly frustrating menu-diving and a tendency to gravitate towards austere / crystalline sounds (or at worst cheesy 90s fodder) but it’s insanely deep and capable of a much broader range than I’d expected: spend a bit of time digging into it and it comes up with some seriously powerful and wacky stuff.

I was primarily looking for something to pair with a Digitakt, a little modular and an analog monosynth as a compact but flexible live setup, and it fits that niche perfectly: currently got it doing everything from pads to weird crunchy textures to percussion. Struggling to think of any other synth which offers as much versatility in as little space, or for as little cost!


#48

I recently got the Juno-60 back over the sea from its storage home, and it’s so lovely having it here again and wobbling away (and controlling the arpeg with an SQ-1 from time to time). I have a DX-7 knocking around, but it’s not come out of the cupboard for a few years as it’s just so physically huge (and I’ve never tried programming it, but maybe I’ll look into that one day).

The Nord Wave I borrowed for a month or two was wonderful epic fun, but it’s moved on to record the synth parts for a friend’s début album, so that’s fair enough. I like the split keys options on the (also borrowed) JP-8000, so really need to get some more time on that as well, but it sounds nice.

What else? Well, the MicroKorg is always going to be a favourite workhorse, even though it’s on sabbatical at the moment for space reasons (maybe it could sit on top of the Juno?). I also really should try out the Analog 4’s poly settings, especially with something like the Keystep, come to think of it.

But overall, it’s always the Juno-60, held arpeggiations grooving away, that will be the most fulfilling, I think.


#49

So, I just installed the 8 voice expansion to the Rev2, and it took about 5 minutes and was dead simple. You remove 16 screws, flip the top cover back (it’s connected via a wide ribbon cable like the old internal hard drives used to use), pull out two screws on the beautifully laid out main circuit board, install two riser bolts, firmly press the new board into 4 sockets, and replace everything in reverse order.

The insides of that device are so clean, simple, and beautiful. I’m very impressed.

(For those wondering if this is on topic, it’s a reply to a previously requested piece of feedback in this thread regarding a then-topical post - if you’d like me to put this reply elsewhere I’m happy to oblige.)


#50

casio HT-3000 ftw! (also 20 chars)


#51

My sole recent poly purchase was a yamaha reface dx, which was occasionally on sale for a shockingly small amount of money. I’m kind of in love with it: sometimes because it is battery-powered and I can play with it on the sofa, and sometimes because it is dope-simple to explore rather complex ideas. So, all-in-all, a good way to spend a couple hundred bucks!


#52

Thank you for the update. If it’s so easy I’ll get the 8, unless I can get a great deal on the 16.


#53

I have a Reface YC (the organ one), which is also on topic as it has maximal polyphony, and that thing is awesome both because it’s a great drone machine and because the built-in speakers and straightforward interface means that my one year old son can hammer at the keys, push random sliders and make 70’s horror movies music right on the floor of the living room :slight_smile:


#54

I have an ensonic Mirage- and a collection of floppies for it. Dont think I have tried switching it on the the last 10 years. Any one had one of these? I know there were a few fan pages around the net. And some way to convert them to card readers. Its a bit too enormous but am too fond of the idea of it to get rid of it.


#55

@Zedkah

I have a rack version Mirage with a Gotek USB card reader and it’s amazing

The whole ensoniq library is enclosed and this is what prompted me to get the library and the reader

Long live Derrick May!!


#56

I’m a big DX7 fan. Aside from the historical context and sleek brown membrane aesthetic, it is the slow methodical process of programming it that appeals. I have 10 or so patches that I have refined over the years which I use a lot. It was such a popular synth that there a bunch of great books and articles about it to draw ideas from. I’ve also got a TX816 which combines with the DX7 to form a Voltron like mega synth. I feel I have only scratched the surface of what that setup can do. The one thing about the DX7 that annoys me is paging through the envelope settings. They are kind of the most important patch parameters and they are the most fiddly to edit. I’ve recently got a Yamaha CX5m computer editor which should solve that annoyance.

My other favourite poly is my Kurzweil K2000. Even without samples, the synth engine covers loads of ground. I’ve hooked up it to an ancient Mac via scsi so I can edit the samples on a proper screen.


#57

Try the Dexed plugin first and see if you like the sounds. If you’ve already got a controller you like, you may be happy with the plugin.


#58

My two are the EMU PK-6 (Proteus 2000 in keyboard form) and JV-1080.

The PK-6 is fun to play and it my only full sized keyboard, but I don’t find myself recording it much.

The JV-1080 had sat at the bottom of my rack for a while, but since getting a Digitakt it’s found a new life in my set-up. BSP -> 6u of Eurorack and master clock to Digitakt. Digitakt -> JV-1080. There is a lot of sound to sequence and play live. Saying that, my sound card has 4 inputs, so it’s mono for the JV-1080 and Eurorack for now. I really need to save up for a mixer now.


#59

I’ve had an Akai AX-60 and a S-612 sampler for a while. Bought the synth very cheap in bad condition and restored it. I sadly never got the weird DIN cable to get them together (the S-612 can be used as a second (polyphonic) oscillator), I wish I had because both had a beautiful, somewhat broken and haunting character, and had extremely simple interfaces. I loved the AX’s crazy resonance and filter FM, and the grungy feeling of the 612. My only gripe with the AX was the absence of velocity and the inability to offset the pulsewidth control. Sold them to finance modular — I’m pretty sure they’ll return one day. I believe the AX-60 is ridiculously underpriced for what it does, and came in at one of the best times of vintage synths; it had patch storage, autotune yet it used true VCOs, and had one knob per function interface. It came in exactly at the transition from good, easy to use analog interfaces that used VCOs that did not have autotune, to the cryptic keypad entry interfaces that used DCOs.


#60

Big fan of polys, currently own:

Juno 106
Korg Poly61
Novation Peak
Roland D-05
Roland JV-2080
Korg Volca FM