Disappointment in hardware synths

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
goldenanalog
KVRAF
1892 posts since 7 Dec, 2005 from somewhere between analog and digital

Post Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:32 pm

JoeCat: thanks for helping to make this thread interesting! Thoughtful responses! - OK:
Strictly speaking (and by definition), I'd argue it was a novelty - it was new and unique.
In simplest terms: SOB was/is a classical album; where a symphonic orchestra was replaced by a monophonic Moog synthesizer and an excrutiating/exquisite recording process - using an 8-track tape recorder. Yes: you could argue that the instrument and process used were 'novel' - but SOB was a classical album by design - that was the fundamental goal of the project.

The accolades/awards it's received by both the public and the music industry (Billboard 200/RIAA/Grammy) support this fact.

In greater context: SOB help to provide the 'proof of concept' needed to fuel investment into the R&D required to realize technical advancements in both synthesis and mt recording - we are where we are now partly due to the success of SOB.

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JoeCat
KVRian
1402 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:53 pm

goldenanalog wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:32 pm
JoeCat: thanks for helping to make this thread interesting! Thoughtful responses! - OK:
Strictly speaking (and by definition), I'd argue it was a novelty - it was new and unique.
In simplest terms: SOB was/is a classical album; where a symphonic orchestra was replaced by a monophonic Moog synthesizer and an excrutiating/exquisite recording process - using an 8-track tape recorder. Yes: you could argue that the instrument and process used were 'novel' - but SOB was a classical album by design - that was the fundamental goal of the project.

The accolades/awards it's received by both the public and the music industry (Billboard 200/RIAA/Grammy) support this fact.

In greater context: SOB help to provide the 'proof of concept' needed to fuel investment into the R&D required to realize technical advancements in both synthesis and mt recording - we are where we are now partly due to the success of SOB.
In that sense I'm in total agreement - so more than a novelty in terms of technology. It did not change the course of classical music, which is what I believe people thought would happen at the time. The greatest technological advancement that affected classical music during the latter half of the century (IMHO) was the CD. A lot of great recordings (and re-issues)came out of that era, and there was renewed interest in the classical form. I remember shopper at Tower Records in NYC and on a weekend you had to fight for space in the classical CD section. Will probably never see that again :(

puffin
KVRer
15 posts since 17 Jan, 2020

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:55 am

I'm looking at these devices, too. I have the plan to not save patches and indeed record every take and not delete files on my hard drive, but there's a feeling that I might give up at some point, due to stress and "quick fix attitude".

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Pictus
KVRist
336 posts since 21 Aug, 2017 from Brasil

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:37 pm

Special Neutron demo! :lol:
https://youtu.be/Azgh5ZaGg9Y

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Hooj
KVRist
426 posts since 23 Aug, 2012 from Way Out West

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:23 pm

I've never been disappointed in any of my hardware synths.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9469 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:10 pm

You must have very low standards. I've been disappointed by far more than have impressed me.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3829 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:53 pm

Why do you buy them then in the first place?
Disappointment is related to expectations not on level of standards!
And if you don’t test them before you buy, that points more to a low standard in a different area...

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toonertik
KVRAF
2113 posts since 15 Feb, 2017 from a worn out vinyl groove

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:23 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:53 pm
Why do you buy them then in the first place?
Disappointment is related to expectations not on level of standards!
And if you don’t test them before you buy, that points more to a low standard in a different area...
:tu:
:lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm more than delighted by ever changing moods oops... eurorack instrument.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9469 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:52 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:53 pm
Why do you buy them then in the first place?
Disappointment is related to expectations not on level of standards!
And if you don’t test them before you buy, that points more to a low standard in a different area...
Well, in 1982 it was all I could afford. Later, it was all that was available, although I didn't realise that they weren't as good as I'd thought until I started working with softsynths in the early 2000's. Honestly, looking back none of them were a patch on the softsynths I use today and the best hardware synths I've ever owned are some of those I own today, like the Ultranova.

In 1989 I didn't have the opportunity to try a demo version or listen to audio examples of the Korg M1 on YouTube, I got to play with one in a store for an hour or so and after that it was a matter of spending the money and hoping it would work out. With earlier purchases - like ARP Axxe, Korg Delta, MonoPoly, SH-101, DX-9, etc. - I'd never set eyes on any of them until I bought them. It was either that or go without.

But even with recent purchases, you try 'em out in a shop after you've read a few on line reviews and/or watched some YouTube videos but after you've had 'em at home for a couple of months, you realise that you've got all you're ever going to get out of it. That's disappointing and it happened with the JP08 and Minilogue. The JP08 was a particular disappointment because the Jupiter 8 was used by so many of the bands I loved in the 80s. It turns out it's a very ordinary two osc polysynth without a lot of features and there are much better freeware softsynths around. But you have to give it a go, don't you?
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3829 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:09 am

Yeah, I get that. The potential for disappointment after a while is also higher in the relation to price you pay. On the other hand, it won’t last too long if you sell it again...
My disappointment was just a Seaboard Block which broke way too early...

billybong
Banned
95 posts since 18 Dec, 2019

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:10 am

CS1x wasn't up to the hype. Was affordable fun though.

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foosnark
KVRAF
5066 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:54 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:53 pm
And if you don’t test them before you buy, that points more to a low standard in a different area...
It sounds like good advice, but you have to actually have a decent synth shop in your area for it to work. It costs me less to buy something, then return or resell it, than it does for me to take a weekend trip to Chicago to try things in a store.

Also there is no better way to try gear than in the context of the rest of your setup, working the way you usually do -- especially with Eurorack modules. Ten minutes in a store can convince you that a synth sucks or that it sounds great, but three weeks might teach you that you really don't want to work with it on a regular basis or it just doesn't fit with what you want to do.

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Hooj
KVRist
426 posts since 23 Aug, 2012 from Way Out West

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:42 am

BONES wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:10 pm
I've been disappointed by far more than have impressed me.
Sorry to hear that.... tbh, I almost always know what I want before I audition hardware. That said, If you'd like to discuss plugin disappointment, then that's something I can relate to.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9469 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:48 pm

I'm not sure what you mean? I simply don't see how you can know how something you don't own will fit in with your set-up until you get it home and plug it in with everything else. The Minilogue was a bit like that - it sounded great in the shop but when I got it home and played it alongside my Ultranova, it didn't really cut the mustard. It was never a problem for me in the 80s and 90s, because I had a great relationship with a music shop and they would let me take stuff home for a week to see how it went, but those days are long gone. And when you buy stuff on line, you are pretty much flying blind and relying on what other people think (which is mostly a really terrible idea).
billybong wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:10 am
CS1x wasn't up to the hype. Was affordable fun though.
Now that was one that way outstripped my expectations. It was so good that I sold it for a CS2x and ended up buying another one a couple years later because I missed it so much. What didn't you like about it?
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

billybong
Banned
95 posts since 18 Dec, 2019

Re: Disappointment in hardware synths

Post Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:13 pm

^ It was my first proper synth. I bought it as I needed a Jack-of-all-trades synth at the time i.e. synth and drums. What happened was that at the same time I got it VST SW started becoming more widespread so I immediately stopped using the CS for drums, for example.

Then the more I worked with it I found the multi-timbre part a let down in terms of the flexibility and ease of use (you can blame me here for not clicking with its editing system if you want) so in the end would just use one Performance at a time and bounce to audio. Considering that the AN1x and Nord Lead 1 would have ultimately fitted my needs more if I'd saved up and both sound a ton better than the CS, overall I was disappointed.

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