Thread: Synthesizer Gear Porn ;-)

  1. #1076
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Wanting to experiment with modular synthesis? Got a few bucks? Access to a 3D printer?

    Good news for you then

    https://www.musicradar.com/news/just...d-a-3d-printer
    That is AMAZING, and it even sounds pretty cool.
    I liked how the sequenced bit had a bit of homage to TD as well as a hint of 80's video games.
    Kudos to the creator.

    We know the 3D printer can be used negatively to create things like weapons, so it's nice to see it used in a positive, musical way.

    Thanks for the heads up John.
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  2. #1077
    There are already companies doing some pretty cool stuff in the music tech area, like 3DWaves who print fairly excellent desktop stands for a variety of synths. I also imagine things like rack ears, replacement knobs and parts, might be feasible too.

    Mostly for me, I hate the burning plastic smell!! Although I do hear they have improved substantially in this area.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  3. #1078
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    There are already companies doing some pretty cool stuff in the music tech area, like 3DWaves who print fairly excellent desktop stands for a variety of synths. I also imagine things like rack ears, replacement knobs and parts, might be feasible too.

    Mostly for me, I hate the burning plastic smell!! Although I do hear they have improved substantially in this area.
    Late last year, I decided to fire up my Studer Revox A77 MKIII 2 track reel to reel for fun. About 5 minutes in, I noticed smoke coming out of it...not good.
    Due to the age, I waffled on whether to have it fixed, or put it on ebay for parts. It's super clean and had the heads replaced, plus I've become quite attached to it and figure it would be a nice legacy item to leave for our adult children.

    I found a gentleman locally who has a passion for repairing vintage reel to reels and does it in his spare time.
    We took the 3hr drive one day to drop it off, and while at his home, he was thrilled to show us his pride and joy, a 3D printer.
    Long story short, he works with an engineer friend of his who does the blueprints, and they recreate hard to or impossible to find parts for tape decks and cassette decks.
    After the engineer does the blueprints, he puts them into the 3D printer and they produce replacement gears, etc.
    He brought out a bag of parts he'd done with the printer and it was amazing.
    (I might add it was a high end printer).
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  4. #1079
    That's just excellent stuff!! I'd love to have a 3D printer at some point, although I'm pretty sure I'd never actually get THAT good at generating cool stuff
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  5. #1080
    This "semi" modular effects unit definitely intrigues.

    https://finegear.net/

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  6. #1081
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    The Farfisa an early synth? Only if you use the added functionalities in de software-version.
    The Combo Deluxe/Duo had a basic EG you wouldn't see in other organs. Let alone its octave divider architecture is more like a string synth, or the knee level filter, note repeat, etc. I love the Arturia rendition. Using it quite a bit.
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  7. #1082
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNefariousHED View Post
    The Combo Deluxe/Duo had a basic EG you wouldn't see in other organs. Let alone its octave divider architecture is more like a string synth, or the knee level filter, note repeat, etc. I love the Arturia rendition. Using it quite a bit.
    I've only played with the basic model, that is in the Arturia rendition, without the extra possibilities.

  8. #1083
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    There are already companies doing some pretty cool stuff in the music tech area, like 3DWaves who print fairly excellent desktop stands for a variety of synths. I also imagine things like rack ears, replacement knobs and parts, might be feasible too.

    Mostly for me, I hate the burning plastic smell!! Although I do hear they have improved substantially in this area.
    Yeppers! I discovered them on Reverb.com a few years ago and have quite a few of their stands. Great products! They are great people and really easy to work with. Even better was when they did some custom work for me: two special little stands for my Minirig portable speakers.

  9. #1084
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    Yeppers! I discovered them on Reverb.com a few years ago and have quite a few of their stands. Great products! They are great people and really easy to work with. Even better was when they did some custom work for me: two special little stands for my Minirig portable speakers.
    So they DO do custom jobs? Nice...I might just have a small project for them
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  10. #1085
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    So they DO do custom jobs? Nice...I might just have a small project for them
    Yup. I had stumbled onto a 3-D “recipe” for the stands so I emailed him. He immediately said yes and the charge was very reasonable. Plus I still got the cool stickers and the kooky little toy that they usually send along with their regular offerings. Oh, and pretty much any color too!

  11. #1086
    Excellent
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  12. #1087
    Check out this amazing action. Pretty sure this will be THE bar for expressive keybed hardware for at least the foreseeable future. Can't wait to get my eager paws on this sucker.

    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  13. #1088
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Check out this amazing action. Pretty sure this will be THE bar for expressive keybed hardware for at least the foreseeable future. Can't wait to get my eager paws on this sucker.

    Wow, that looks amazingly expressive. What sort of cost, John?

  14. #1089
    Looks like the price is $1799...which is IMHO a steal. The EaganMatrix synth engine alone is worth a grand.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  15. #1090
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Looks like the price is $1799...which is IMHO a steal. The EaganMatrix synth engine alone is worth a grand.
    Agreed!

    So you are one of the few folks here that has hands on experience with alternate controllers...what do you like best so far? And how does this possibly beat your fav??

    Speaking of which, what are your latest thoughts on the LinnStrument (now that you have had it for awhile)?

  16. #1091
    Nice question!! So here are the ones I've had experience with:

    Haken Continuum - the gold standard thus far. Stretched neoprene fabric surface with color "bars" to show keys. Surface is like nothing I've ever used; it can work for melodic work but also essentially functions as a percussive surface or even a touché device. And the EaganMatrix is an amazing engine. The biggest con is that it is NOT a keybed; it can take a lot of time/effort to learn how to use the surface effectively and certain things are almost impossible to do, such as play a minor 2nd together. It's also easily the MOST expensive of the options.

    Haken Continuumini - kind of a cool hybrid. It has the same light touch response and the same engine as the full Continuum but it isn't a neoprene surface, rather a flat panel mounted on springs that you can push and glide however you wish. It's also vastly more affordable than the full size Continuum. Which means for under a grand you can get a really amazing alternate controller AND access to the amazing EaganMatrix (which can then be controlled via MIDI or another controller). Main con is that the surface isn't as expressive as the full size Continuum and by design is mostly for either mono or duophonic performance (the engine can respond to either 8 or 16 note polyphony but you can't play more than a couple of notes on the 'mini). That might seem like a limitation but frankly, even on the full size Continuum I rarely find myself playing more than a couple of notes at a time.

    Bonus note on both of the above...technically, the Hakens are MPE+ which adds some cool bonus things. Like the attack velocity...it doesn't have to be a single static value anymore but can be gradual which makes a HUGE difference with certain types of sounds (for example, the difference between slowly bowing a cello or plucking the string).

    Linnstrument - I like the Linnstrument, but I think someone with a background in guitar would perhaps find it even more appealing because the grid layout is essentially setup like a fretboard. It's not too expensive, and it's also the only instrument that is fully self-contained; you do NOT need to use it with a computer at all. Everything can be programmed directly via the grid and the interface is actually really well designed. The cons for me were the learning curve for playing (as I have little/no guitar training), and the rubber surface sometimes fights back when trying to glide which was a minor nuisance.

    I briefly owned a Roli Seaboard but returned it in less than a couple of days...it certainly looks super sleek and sexy but the rubber surface was frustrating compared to the neoprene of the Continuum. And I actually found it easier to play the Linnstrument than the Seaboard, even with the molded look of a traditional keyboard. I could see these being popular with users who aren't actually trained pianists but want a keyboard-like device that responds to a wide variety of nuances.

    The ASM Hydrasynth is also worth noting as one of the only synths on the market that has a traditional keybed but also can do MPE. That means polyphonic aftertouch, plus a ribbon. For those who always wondered what it might be like to play an actual Yamaha CS-80 but couldn't afford one...the Hydrasynth is a killer deal. I also think the engine is fantastic, capable of a zillion sounds and has some tricks that no other synth can do, plus the interface is easily one of the most intuitive I've seen thus far.

    As for the Expressive-E Osmose...for me, it's the holy grail. It's a more traditional keybed which will feel more immediately familiar to my hands, but with all the expressive nuances of a Continuum with MPE+. I mean...wiggling the key to get a touch of vibrato or softly attacking the keys to get a legitimate crescendo (not just a volume swell). I also own the Expressive-E Touché which is more of a supplemental controller but man...it is an excellent build, doesn't feel cheap or fragile at all despite the sensitivity. And again...not only does it have the EaganMatrix but with a new set of presets designed specifically to compliment the Osmose's capabilities. So I have very high hopes for the Osmose.

    There are others I've seen but never messed with: Keith McMillan's KBoard Pro, Sensel Morph and the Joue sets, to name a few. And I've not explored too many of the software synths that are designed for (or simply support) MPE.

    For me, MPE was a bit of a game changer. Adding nuances like vibrato or swells to individual notes, bends of any stretch and without that sense of linear "glide" you get from a wheel or portamento...I mean, the possibilities are incredible both for trying to emulate acoustic instruments but also to create new synth sounds and textures that can be played like no other electronic instrument.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  17. #1092
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Nice question!! So here are the ones I've had experience with:

    Haken Continuum - the gold standard thus far. Stretched neoprene fabric surface with color "bars" to show keys. Surface is like nothing I've ever used; it can work for melodic work but also essentially functions as a percussive surface or even a touché device. And the EaganMatrix is an amazing engine. The biggest con is that it is NOT a keybed; it can take a lot of time/effort to learn how to use the surface effectively and certain things are almost impossible to do, such as play a minor 2nd together. It's also easily the MOST expensive of the options.

    Haken Continuumini - kind of a cool hybrid. It has the same light touch response and the same engine as the full Continuum but it isn't a neoprene surface, rather a flat panel mounted on springs that you can push and glide however you wish. It's also vastly more affordable than the full size Continuum. Which means for under a grand you can get a really amazing alternate controller AND access to the amazing EaganMatrix (which can then be controlled via MIDI or another controller). Main con is that the surface isn't as expressive as the full size Continuum and by design is mostly for either mono or duophonic performance (the engine can respond to either 8 or 16 note polyphony but you can't play more than a couple of notes on the 'mini). That might seem like a limitation but frankly, even on the full size Continuum I rarely find myself playing more than a couple of notes at a time.

    Bonus note on both of the above...technically, the Hakens are MPE+ which adds some cool bonus things. Like the attack velocity...it doesn't have to be a single static value anymore but can be gradual which makes a HUGE difference with certain types of sounds (for example, the difference between slowly bowing a cello or plucking the string).

    Linnstrument - I like the Linnstrument, but I think someone with a background in guitar would perhaps find it even more appealing because the grid layout is essentially setup like a fretboard. It's not too expensive, and it's also the only instrument that is fully self-contained; you do NOT need to use it with a computer at all. Everything can be programmed directly via the grid and the interface is actually really well designed. The cons for me were the learning curve for playing (as I have little/no guitar training), and the rubber surface sometimes fights back when trying to glide which was a minor nuisance.

    I briefly owned a Roli Seaboard but returned it in less than a couple of days...it certainly looks super sleek and sexy but the rubber surface was frustrating compared to the neoprene of the Continuum. And I actually found it easier to play the Linnstrument than the Seaboard, even with the molded look of a traditional keyboard. I could see these being popular with users who aren't actually trained pianists but want a keyboard-like device that responds to a wide variety of nuances.

    The ASM Hydrasynth is also worth noting as one of the only synths on the market that has a traditional keybed but also can do MPE. That means polyphonic aftertouch, plus a ribbon. For those who always wondered what it might be like to play an actual Yamaha CS-80 but couldn't afford one...the Hydrasynth is a killer deal. I also think the engine is fantastic, capable of a zillion sounds and has some tricks that no other synth can do, plus the interface is easily one of the most intuitive I've seen thus far.

    As for the Expressive-E Osmose...for me, it's the holy grail. It's a more traditional keybed which will feel more immediately familiar to my hands, but with all the expressive nuances of a Continuum with MPE+. I mean...wiggling the key to get a touch of vibrato or softly attacking the keys to get a legitimate crescendo (not just a volume swell). I also own the Expressive-E Touché which is more of a supplemental controller but man...it is an excellent build, doesn't feel cheap or fragile at all despite the sensitivity. And again...not only does it have the EaganMatrix but with a new set of presets designed specifically to compliment the Osmose's capabilities. So I have very high hopes for the Osmose.

    There are others I've seen but never messed with: Keith McMillan's KBoard Pro, Sensel Morph and the Joue sets, to name a few. And I've not explored too many of the software synths that are designed for (or simply support) MPE.

    For me, MPE was a bit of a game changer. Adding nuances like vibrato or swells to individual notes, bends of any stretch and without that sense of linear "glide" you get from a wheel or portamento...I mean, the possibilities are incredible both for trying to emulate acoustic instruments but also to create new synth sounds and textures that can be played like no other electronic instrument.
    What a perfect post to enjoy and benefit from on Thanksgiving...I am very thankful for this amazingly complete review of all the devices. As you know, I am interested by the Linn. As a very poor guitarist, I am intrigued with its setup, Oddly, it would not only deliver cool control possibilities for me and kick start creativity due to its non-keyboard layout. But as well, it would better teach me the important layout of the fretboard which I sorely need. The ability to eschew a computer is also huge for me.

    I will continue digesting the info on the other devices and continue discussing them. But I was really interested in your lack of enthusiasm for the Roli. It’s appearance in “La La Land” sure blew me away. But...that WAS Hollywood after all (despite his actual playing...no stunt double).

  18. #1093
    The Roli absolutely looks sleek and sexy compared to most of the others (even the Continuum has a certain boxy quality). For a time I was hoping the Osmose would forego traditional black/white keys in favor of something darker, maybe even like a walnut or expresso theme for the keybed.

    It's hard to describe unless you've actually experienced the surfaces for yourself: the rubber texture of the Roli, at least for my fingers, discouraged smooth gliding. It actually started to hurt my fingertips, like the skin was constantly being pulled. IF one wants to try one of these I'd suggest buying from a retailer like Amazon where you can easily return it with minimal hassles.

    Something else to mention: all of these devices that are designed to have very fluid pitch control require a very different style of playing. You might notice that even in La La Land, his hand shape and fingering doesn't quite look "typical." MPE devices require a lot more care with things like finger position, even how much/little you move once on the key. For example, on a piano if I want to stretch and hit an interval 3 or 4 keys above the octave, my thumb might roll a bit on the lower held key. On a piano this is a non-event but on an MPE device this can suddenly cause the lower held key to drift sharp in pitch. Or if the Y axis controls something like filter cutoff (Y axis being where you touch a key, be it closer to the lower (front) or upper (back) of the key itself...if you play a chord where your fingers naturally land on very different positions on that axis it can have unexpected results (for example, a Db chord where the black keys might be near the front but the white keys might be close to midway or back).

    None of these are fatal flaws, and most of these MPE controllers include ways to adjust curves and sensitivity to accommodate your particular playing style: just as an example, you can set the Continuum to quantize the initial pitch when you touch the fretboard but then track relative to that position. So, when you first play a note it will be on pitch but you can still then glide to another note or even wiggle your finger for vibrato. Best of both worlds

    I can see this sort of tech not being for everyone; for me personally it's amazing stuff and well worth the learning curve.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  19. #1094
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Due to guitar investments (the Strandberg) I had to let the Prophet 12 go. It was getting too little attention anyway, mostly serving as master keyboard. As I like the Arturia Collection, I went for the 61 key Arturia Keylab Mk-2, as replacement master keyboard. The keys feels even better than on the P12 and the integration with the Arturia plugins is really nice!
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  20. #1095
    Arturia does quality work with their keyboards. I have a Keystep and even with the smaller keys, it has an excellent feel with really nice (channel) aftertouch
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  21. #1096
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Arturia does quality work with their keyboards. I have a Keystep and even with the smaller keys, it has an excellent feel with really nice (channel) aftertouch
    I love the Keystep as well. It serves mainly as an input-keyboard for the computer (Cubase), because it is small and I can put it in the place of the normal computer-keyboard.

  22. #1097
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    I bought the Keylab MKII with 81 keys, primarily because of the amazing piano action keyboard. I think it's the same keybed that the Kronos uses.
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  23. #1098
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    I bought the Keylab MKII with 81 keys, primarily because of the amazing piano action keyboard. I think it's the same keybed that the Kronos uses.
    Would be nice, but I already have a M-Audio Keystation Pro 88, so that covers for the piano action. Alas it cant be looking at my computer-screen, which makes it not that great as an input for Cubase.

    P1000898.jpg

  24. #1099
    ^^^ Oooo, nice studio shot
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  25. #1100
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    ^^^ Oooo, nice studio shot
    The desk is a bit messy. On the desk is the Keystep.

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