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Razmo's Gear Rant Thread...

Posted: 02/05/2013 - 15:39
by Razmo
:duh: Razmo's Gear rambling thread :duh:

Yep... can as well keep it all in one post... the studio changes all the time, even if I try not to, so why bother :)
So instead of making a new thread every time about something "morphing" in the studio, I thought to make this thread and bringing it back from the dead when something new "stirrs in the grave".

First of... I've had way too much gear throughout the years, and I've lost countless sums on selling stuff and buying new and used gear, but hey! some Guys spend it all on cars, others on drugs or women.... I spend them on gear..... and women (not the dirty way, mind you! ... only those who knows how to trick them from me the old fashioned way you know :lol: )

Through the years I've had so many "Things" I cannot remember which on the fly anymore... but I'll try, just to show you Guys and gals, how serious my GAS (Gear Aquisition Syndrome, for those not knowing) is and has been... I'll name only synths as these are my soft spot':

KORG 707
KORG Polysix
KORG Wavestation SR
KORG Poly-800
KORG EX-8000
KORG DW-8000
KORG Monotron
Roland MKS-30
Roland MKS-50
Roland TR-808
Roland JD-990
Roland S-760
Roland D-110
Roland D-550
E-MU E5000 Ultra
E-MU E6400 Ultra
E-MU Proteus-2000
E-MU XTreme Lead
E-MU Morpheus
E-MU ESI-2000
Yamaha FB-01
Yamaha DX7II
Yamaha TX802
Yamaha TX7
Yamaha EX5R
Yamaha EX5
Yamaha TX81Z
Yamaha FS1R
Yamaha TG33
Yamaha TG77
Yamaha VL70m
Yamaha SY35
Yamaha A3000
Novation Super Bass Station
Novation Supernova
Alesis Micron
Vermona M.A.R.S.
Vermona DRM1 MK3
Vermona Kick Lancet
Casio VZ-1
Waldorf Micro Q
Waldorf Micro Q Omega
Waldorf Microwave rev.1
Waldorf Microwave rev.2
Waldorf Pulse
Waldorf Blofeld
Waldorf Microwave 2 Rack
Waldorf Microwave XT
Waldorf Blofeld
Oberheim Matrix-1000
Crumar bit99
Moog SlimPhatty
Moog Minitaur
Muteable Instruments Shruthi-1
MIDI Box SID sammichSID
DSI Evolver Desktop
DSI Evolver Keyboard
DSI Tetra
DSI Poly Evolver Rack
DSI Mopho
Doepfer MS-404
Doepfer Dark Energy
Jomox XBase 888
Jomox MBase 11
Jomox MBrane 11
Electron SID Station
Electron Machinedrum
Access Virus b
Clavia Micro Modular
Control Synthesis Deep Base 9
Creamware Minimax
Ensoniq ESQ-1
Ensoniq ESQ-m
Quasimidi Rave-o-lution 309

So I guess you can understand my ramblings now :? I've probably had more that I cannot remember, but I'll add to the list as they pop up I guess.

God I get sick by even looking at the list and thinking about the money wasted... :?

Nonetheless, I've just bought a Poly Evolver Rack... always wanted to swap my desktop version with a 4-voice polyphonic version, but they are rarely seen sold anymore... though one popped up used the other day, and I was lucky to get it. I also recently bought a used KORG ESX-1 SD because it's simply the best drummachine for me, as analog drummachine always tend to be too limited for me.... I've bought this machine three times now... it's beginning to be embarrasing really.

In the future I'm getting a Waldorf Pulse 2... and maybe even a Moog Sub Phatty...

I Wonder when I'll start to make some remixes with all of this ... many of you out there probably think the same. :oops:

Today my system is comprised of:

KORG ESX-1 (sample drummachine)
Yamaha EX5 (workstation with sampling, Virtual Accoustic, FDSP and VA synthesis)
Yamaha FS1R (FM and formant shaping synthesis)
Roland MKS-50 (analog polysynth)
Roland MKS-30 (analog polysynth)
Vermona M.A.R.S. (analog monosynth)
E-MU E5000 Ultra (sampler)
Waldorf Pulse (analog monosynth)
Waldorf Microwave (hybrid digital/analog Wavetable polysynth)
Waldorf Blofeld (digital VA/Wavetable/sample synthesis
DSI Poly Evolver (hybrid digital/analog polysynth)
DSI Tetra (analog polysynth)
Muteable Instruments Shruthi-1 (hybrid digital/analog multi synthesis)
Moog Minitaur (analog monosynth)
Moog SlimPhatty (analog monosynth)
Oberheim Matrix-1000 (analog polysynth)
HardSID - HardSID 4U (not used as an instrument, just as a playback device for SID tunes)

So as you can probably see, I collect mostly gear with some sort of analog part in it, and one thing I've set as a requirement these days are, that the machines MUST have MIDI control of every sound parameter so that editors can be made for them on the computer... I like the sound best of these analogs compared to digital gear... I do collect a few digital ones though, but only if they can do something really unique in sound that analogs won't ever get near... like physical modelling, FM and advanced formant synthesis and the like.

This was the first of a series of uncontrolled synth ramblings from me... hope you weren't too bored. :lol:

If you have a Little GAS'er in you, feel free to talk about it here... always nice to hear from other infected with this dreaded and costly disease :D

A Little Picture of the new beast:


Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 02/05/2013 - 21:55
by Commie_User
That's an impressive list Razmo. Has it been just the synths at your place or have you recorded acoustic sounds as well?

I Googled many of them and liked what I heard. The Shruthi impressed me on Youtube, but then I'm biased towards the chipsounds. But other synths just sounded so similar that I did wonder why manufacturers needed to make so many.

I'm not much of a synth-head myself though, past a few special boxes like the Commie, Nes, or Roland JD-800 for example. To expand I'm usually more than happy with VSTi and romplers, but here's my list of directly playable synth hardware to see how we compare:

In no particular order, the Roland JD-800,
Yamaha Electone BK-4BR,
Hammond Romance 123J2,
Yamaha DJX 2,
Yamaha P80,
Nintendo Entertainment System running MIDINES,
Nintendo Game Boy running Camera in sequencer mode,
Casios CSM-10P and CSM-1,
Commodore 64 and 64c systems running SFX Sound Expander FM module, MSSIAH, Music Maker, Synthcart and many others,
Amiga 500 and 1200 systems running Sonix, Music Mouse, Instant Music, Deluxe Music and many others,
Sony Playstation 2 running Guitar Hero World Tour (step sequencer and 'studio' mode), its MIDI drum module, MUSIC and others,
Atari ST machines running Edit Track and others,
Casio PT30,
Creative Labs Soundblaster Live and other soundboards,
Technics SX-KN930,
Yamaha DD12 drum pads and keyboard box,
Alesis DM5 MIDI drum set,
Yamaha EZ-AG MIDI guitar.

You'll notice my lean to the domestic equipment. But these days that's no mean option.

Someone's Electone. Nice home organ, bloody nice line and bass amp. Just the right tonal colouring you need, especially when juicing up some otherwise dry keyboard organ sounds. Or even those from the B4 software.

I think viewers know by now I just love the diversity in my sounds. And I've often tried to temper live sound with the synthetics to give me pleasing works where, for example, the accordion gives way to the NES against the backing track of real drums and bass guitar. I think you need those blends, especially when orchestral romplers and things tempt you all the more.

Somebody's having a nice doodle on their Hammond Romance. Non-mechanical but a good example of clean preset electronics and amp sound which you don't largely seem to get now. Especially on the creamier triangle waves and such:

I hope many try to play like Lord. He's miles better than I am but he's an instinctive ad-libber too. Though in my case it's because I'm rotten at 'proper' music and memory:

My samples: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9491#p93204

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 6:29
by Razmo

The list is of what synths I've had over the many years of GAS... and no, I'm not recording accoustic sounds and never really have. My passion lies with synthesized sounds, but as I do have two samplers I could record anything if I wanted to, and I do have plans on getting myself a mobile recorder one day, and start to make field recordings for use as percussion, natural effects from nature and the World, and lastly; sample synthesis. It's just not something I've done yet.

You are right, that many synths on the list sound a bit "the same"... but I've gotten to understand synthesis techniques so well now, that I rarely listen to demos to make a purchase choise... I look at the specs, and try to analyse the character by listening to demos instead... if you look closely at the specs of all the gear I have now, it's a very carefuly selected bunch of synths, and they all have a certain character, but not least; synthesis architecture.

The reason is, that I'm trying to get the best synths, but as few as possible of them... every machine is a niche instrument that can do sounds like none of the others can, and that's the goal of my Collection.

The reason they all sound the same in demos is usualy because of the trend in music... right now all demo's has to be some wobwobwob dubstep type, and as such, the demos reflect that, and they all try to sound like that... if the instruments on my list was taken to do each what they do best, they would sound very different.

Especialy the Shruthi-1 is a Unique Little beast... it has synthesis functions not found in any other synth, and combine them with analog filters... and the demo's are the exeption to the rules I just mentioned about demos these days... they sound different, and as such you probably found it more interresting... also it can sound very chip tune'ish.

Admittedly, I do have a few analog synths that can be compared also technically, but then they are as said; analog... and that alone makes the difference in sound... The two Moogs I've got are both monophonic subrtactive synths, and even have the same Moog ladder filter, but they still can sound very different and have their own character... another reason is that some of my subtractive analog synths are also polyphonic so that they can be played in chords.

If I take a synth at a time it's probably easier to see the difference:

1. Vermona M.A.R.S. (analog subtractive monosynth):
This one has a very clean tone... very crisp in the highs, but really deep and strong in the lows. It hs a very weird oscillator section where you can blend the waveforms together on one oscillator... as it has two seperate oscillators you can fire up 6 oscillators in a single sound which is quite unique. Can do some really stunning lead instruments in league with old minimoogs if you want it to.

2. Roland MKS-50 (analog subtractive polysynth):
This one is a classic, and was used on countless rave tracks during the 90's... it is the home of the famous "hoover sound" of rave music. It's specialy is fat leads and acid'y basslines. he resonance is really pronounced and screaming, and the build in analog chorus makes this one extremely fat in sound. But it also has a unique form of oscillators. Even though it only have one oscillator per voice, it can be pulsewidth modulated not only on square waveforms, but also the sawtooth waveform. in addition it can blend both the saw and square, and mix it with a sub square oscillator... combine that with the analog chorus and it's huge! It's perfect for 90's KLF, and 80's Laserdance/Koto tracks.

3. Roland MKS-30 (analog subtractive polysynth):
This is a bit like the MKS-50, but it has two oscillators per voice and thus also features like Sync and Crossmod between oscillators... it has the same filter chips as the famous Juno 106 synth, and has probably got the fattest and most vintage style sound of all my machines. It's shines on Berlin School like bass sequences, and surely also fat and very wide synth pads.

4. E-MU E5000 Ultra (digital sampler):
This is simply a sampler, but it's the best hardware sampler ever made in my opinion... has the best user interface I've ever seen, and is probably the only machine I've had where I like to use the interface more than an editor on a PC. It's got very deep editing features, and stunningly nice sounding digital filters and works mostly as my machine for effects, vocals and other sounds that has to be recorded. It is integrated via SCSI to my PC so that I can dump samples on the fly to it from Soundforge... a trusty workhorse with a prestine sound quality.

5. ESX-1 SD (digital groovesampler/drummachine with tubes):
This one is also one of those few where I like the interface a lot. It's a sampling groovebox, but is mainly used for drum samples. It has a meager 24MB of Flash RAM for samples, but it's more than enough. The nice and unique thing about this one is that it has vacuum tubes build in making the sound warmer. But also it's editing features are very intuitive and effective... you can bend every drumsound to something completely different on the fly, and it's sequencer is really nice to work with. The ESX-1's ability to make "motion sequences" is also unique... you can live record any movement you do on the knobs directly into a pattern giving seequences depth and dynamics. And then the tubes can be replaced easily for other types of character.

6. Waldorf Pulse (analog subtractive monosynth):
This is an alltime favourite of mine. The "poor man's Moog", but it still sound different, and has a very deep programing possibility with modulation matrix and all. A very dirty and ARP'ish sounding filter, and good for "dusty old" sounding vintage lead sounds remniscent of the early Jarre period. It is especialy good on bassed and can peel the paper of the walls when played loud.

7. Waldorf Microwave (hybrid digital/analog polysynth):
This one is a very unique one. It's digital oscillators are harsh and hard and is done with wavetable synthesis, but the 8 voices is run through analog CEM Curtis filters and Amps. It can sound very cold and digital, but also very warm and analog, it depends on how you program it. It's character is unique because of the blend of wavetable synthesis with analog filters and amps... very much like the Shruthi-1 actualy, but polyphonic. Perfects for spacy FX, atmospheres and about anything else almost.

8. Oberheim Matrix-1000 (analog subtractive polysynth):
A simple analog polysynth, but with a very strong character in it's sound. It's trick is that it's VERY deep in programming specs... very versatile machine with a good 80's vintage sound. It's unique thing is it's modulation matrix, and it's ability to not only imply hard sync, but two other types of sync that are milder and more aggressive sounding. thus really good to make ringmodded and synced sounds if I need to remake some from the C64.

9. Yamaha FS1R (digital FM and Formant polysynth):
This one is really unique... it's the most complicated FM synth ever made in hardware with 8 voices opperators and 8 unvoiced ones as well. In addition it has formant synthesis for making choir and robotic sounds, and it can make sequences of formants that allow it so talk and sing as well. A very deep machine with more than 3.000 parameters for a single instrument. It shines on bells, choirs, pads... anything really, but does sound a bit thin and digital. No other synth, and even VST instrument can do what this one does even today.

10. SlimPhatty (analog subtractive monosynth):
Well... it's Moog, it's deep, creamy and boomy... perfect for bass and lead sounds... not as deep in programability as you'd like, but what it does, it does VERY well. It's just that Moog sound... that ladder filter that does it all. Does Leads very well also... it's uniqueness is it's character, and it's ability to route the output back into the filter section for really huge and grinding sounds.

11. Minitaur (analog subtractive monosynth):
Moog again... and the oscillators on this one is just phenomenal... really really strong and bright, and the ladder filter after it puts the spot over the "i"... it's sublime for bass, but nothing else really, as it's pitch range is limited to the bassrange. It's uniqueness is the strong oscillators and the ladder filter, and just simply it's sound character. It's sound is comparable to the SlimPhatty, but it has an edge in the bass department, and the SlimPhatty can do the leads that the Minitaur cannot.

12. Shruthi-1 (hybrid digital/analog monosynth):
This is a DIY synth. It's uniqueness is the many different digital oscillator algorithms that include many CASIO oscillator types, formant, wavetable and more. It has some very digital sounding oscillators indeed, in league with the Waldorf Microwave, but it can do much more... it's analog filter and VCA are really fat and nice, and make this machine unique indeed. Good for chip tune'ish lead sounds, but can do so much more.

13. Tetra (analog subtractive polysynth):
A really deep beast in programability (like all DSI instruments really). It's an up to date more clean sounding analog polysynth. It's uniqueness is in it's very deep programability, and strong sounding character. Probably the most versatile analog synth I've got.

14. Poly Evolver (hybrid digital/analog polysynth):
This is a very unique one. it has two digital oscillators and two analog ones that can be combined and put through analog filters... but it does this in a rather flexible way... it converts back and forth between digital and analog in it's signal path, thus being able to do tuned feedback, have delay and other stuff... it's the best of digital and analog at the same time. You can even store your own single cycle waveforms in it for use with it's digital oscillators. It has a very distinct sound, and sound like no other machine I've got... but can if it wanted to.

15. Blofeld (digital polysynth):
An allround VA synth with a twist. It can do practically anything VA, but incorporate wavetables as well, that can be custom made... it also allow samples, and all can be mangled within it's very deep programming possibilities... this is a monster synth with a lot of potential I'm yet to experiment with deeper.

16. EX5 (digital multisynthesis polysynth):
This is the only keyboard I've got and thus also my mother keyboard. It's a powerful workhorse and has several different synthesis techniques under the hood. First of it's a 128 voice sampler, nect it's a virtual accoustic synthesizer for making realistic wind and stringed instruments. This synthesis in itself is unique and very deep, and can be controlled with a breath controller. It also has a two voice VA synthesis system, taken from the Yamaha AN1X for that typpical subtractive synthesis. It also has something called FDSP which essentialy is a polyphonic effects system that assign FX on a per key basis rather than on the whole sound. All the different synthesis techniques make this one special, and the ability to combine different techniques in a single sound multiplies the possibilities and uniqueness manyfold. There is no other machine like it really.

That's about it... another rambling away... hope it was not too tiresome. In time I'll post some demo's here of the instruments sound and character when they do their Unique sounds...

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 11:41
by Commie_User
Well don't worry about that. Long as it was, it gives me much to chew on.

Like the MKS 50. In terms of the sound and era, this video catapulted me right back there. An above average play-around I hope you'll agree:

I know there's a stunning diversity if you dig deep enough into the machines. And you have to know which. But I still stand by my feeling because, even today in Dawson's, the Roland and other ranges sound much as they did years ago. Well, to my ears anyway.

So aside from refinements in filters, have things really changed all that much in the last 20 years? Or has fashion simply directed the presets? I certainly know that my JD-800 has the sound of its period but which can also be undone with enough fiddling. And my Alesis DM5 has 'olden days' syndrum presets which sound just like the real things.

Though I'm open to persuasion. I'd welcome a few bits of music to show off the best of them, thank you. A few jingles would be enough of course, like the random quickies I throw up.

On the computer, I have some lovely software such as the Juno 6 emulation. Computer Music magazine also commissions top companies to make theirs, so I find I can also have a large fleet of different models, which I can sometimes run from the output of a late-90s Compaq motherboard - or the Sound Blaster, even better - for that flavour. (I only appreciate that sort of thing in retrospect and I wonder if I'll do the same with the Phase 88. I know it has deliberate analogue warmth but what else is there I wonder?)

As for machines I did have, I do recall a JX 3P which I made the mistake of getting rid of. I saw another cheap one, pristine and complete with fiddly knobs box, but I took too long selling my one first before having the chance to get the new one from the shop. This was only around 6 years ago, so any left are of course second-hand.

Though I want to find if that Yamaha has a VSTi or rompler pack. Should think it has but I only found this link so far. It also links to a pop synth documentary:

I'll watch that later.

And I do think it's important for real sounds to get into a work if they fit, even just samples. But then I suppose I record the kind of sounds which feel more solid with an actual drum or something in. Real synth virtuosos fill the sound canvas so well that their work can feel like there's nothing missing. I suppose that as well.

I'm having a lovely Google of these different models and enjoying the subtleties if I can hear them. In the meantime, perhaps I could put your synth knowledge to the test if you'd be so kind. Can you identify the machine behind this video ident jingle?

That, too, takes me back. We had a lot of videos as kids. But before all that, I think I'll have a bike ride in the sunshine. The countryside's right by the house and that also takes me back.

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 13:18
by Razmo
Yes... that MKS-50 demo shows the nice warm character of the sound it can do, especialy for 80's like synthpop music... and yes, definitely above average :)

But the sound I remember it for is a bit more rough, amely the hoover sound that was used on countless rave and techno music during the 90's:

I bet most have heard that sound in one way or the other during the beginning of the 90's... if they were into techno that is, and hardcore, gabber style.

Actualy the guy that made the sound initialy is Eric Persing... one of the greatest sound designers of all time... he's also the man behind the newer VSTi's like Atmosphere and Omnisphere and countless Audio sample CD's. He worked for Roland back then and did many of this times factory patches... just this sound (Hoover sound) was a joke on his part to the Japaneese manufacturer he's been saying later in an interview... so he's quite intrigued how popular that sound became.

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 13:35
by Razmo
"So aside from refinements in filters, have things really changed all that much in the last 20 years? Or has fashion simply directed the presets? I certainly know that my JD-800 has the sound of its period but which can also be undone with enough fiddling. And my Alesis DM5 has 'olden days' syndrum presets which sound just like the real things.

Though I'm open to persuasion. I'd welcome a few bits of music to show off the best of them, thank you. A few jingles would be enough of course, like the random quickies I throw up."

Yes... Things have actually changed dramatically with Roland... many WHO know their earlier gear shun Roland these days, just like Yamaha... why? because they now use only digital technology, and make only big Workstation like machines, that all are mediocre and boring... they do no new real inventions in synthesis techniques anymore, they just make bigger and bigger ROM'plers with samples of the popular machines they made back then, and honestly... samples don't fool a synth enthusiast in ANY way :wink:

So the technology definitely has changed for the great manufacturers like Roland, Yamaha, Korg etc... though KORG is now joining heavily in the analog bussiness Again having lately remade the KORG MS-20, their most famous analog synth from the 70's once Again, plus they're developping new cheap analog grooveboxes (The new Volca series)...

But you are right in that most machines can be made to sound like whatever age you want them, with a bit of fiddling... but to do this you would have to know how to program them correctly. And yes, you could do with just two or three synths, and not above 16 as I've got... but for me it's like collecting stamps... it's not the need that drives me to get so many, it's my curriosity... and it does inspire me to make music... if I had to do with only a few, I'd start to bore myself at some point.

Here's some demo's of the new MS-20 Mini and the Volca Series from KORG:

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 13:46
by Razmo
About that video Jingle... it's tough to guess on so small a take, but it's definitely an early'er vintage machine that's for sure, and analog too... If I'd have to make a guess it's something ARP'ish, maybe even an ARP2600 which was used on many Things back then... it does NOT sound like a minimoog for sure.

It could also be one of the larger modular synths from that time by either KORG or ARP... modulars were popular in many schools and TV stations back then.

Here's the ARP 2600... wish it was available Again but with full MIDI control :) ... If I recall correctly the ARP2600 is also the voice of R2D2:

EDIT: It could also very well be a Yamaha CS80 because of that brassy tone... or even an early Oberheim.

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 14:22
by Razmo
It would be pointless rambling about synths without presenting some demo's of the machines, and as promised here are the first one.

It's a few presets played on the Roland MKS-50 to show of why I like this machine so much. Unfortunately it's recorded in mono... the MKS-50 normaly has a stereo chorus that is REALLY fat, but because of lack of mixer channels I'm using it in mono... still the Chorus is there, but it's mixed in mono. I've added a bit of stereo pingpong delay though ... most gear these days are used with external FX anyway since analog machines rarely have reverb or delays.

The demo shows some of the sounds that I find define this machines raw and very powerful character, especialy in the rave department, and I've yet to hear a digital VSTi replicate this sound... it's sometimes hard to believe that this synth has got only one oscillator per voice, but the heavy modulation of PWM in addition to the combination of Saw, Square and sub oscillator gives this synth's raw oscillator sound a really hard bite... and top it with the analog FAT chorus in it, and it will color the sound into the extreme.

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 15:51
by Commie_User
Thanks for the videos. Many just the job to put to disc and watch over dinner, along with the pile I'm doing right now. (VCD of course. Many videos aren't high enough quality for DVD even now and, face it, we are retro.)

I like that Roland sound. Sounds very Tomorrow's World, at least in the feel of the age. Me being me, my reaction is that it sounds very close to the 64. Maybe all those games and demos programmed me to think that's how the greatest virtuosity should be channelled. After all, the Volcra just ripped off the C64 after all. Didn't it?! Did to my brain!

I've heard the Hoover sound on the 64 as well. I think one reason I've been so keen on the Commie is that it sounds 'gritty' as well. I always hated that treacly, 'muzak' keyboard sound you often got in the 80s. If I must have something like that in a track, I've usually added a dash of Commie doing similar to add some gravel. And I'm glad to hear real synths delivering more of the 'proper' noises, though older recordings had more warmth.

Which brings me to the ident. Now you've said it, it seems obvious that it may be an older 'telephone switchboard'-style instrument. It sounds warm and olde-worldy.

Though I do certainly agree that the sheer variety aids inspiration and flexibility. And boosts the ego as well. They certainly can sound very different just out the box.

(Which reminds me, I should sample the beats from the organ drumboxes. I'd love to play those freestyle, also adding to their value of being funny metronomes. They've really helped me drum in a style I would never have thought of, with the organ box track wiped to make the accompaniment drums become the main track.)

Sometimes for samples (or ideas for such) I found people like Stockhausen or Penderecki produced some interesting noises for keyboard sounds, as did George Harrison for 1968's Electronic Sound. Had avant garde labels re-released their old stock as sample discs then they'd probably do a roaring trade. They gave me a few ideas, though far from the way intended.

Though if you have no spare mixer sockets, may I recommend my DIY bodge course? (If I took on your case, I'd make a long 'thumbscrew', with many couplers sandwiched between. A couple of holes either end and bing-bang-bong - an instant, rackmountable eyesore solution to free up everything. And yet cheaper for essentially the same connections you get in the shops.) ... 416e3d26bc

£1.80 each, free postage. Or you could spend £60 for a proper rack now. But at least if you make it yourself you can just do a row of four for £6 or something, to get you out of trouble and save some money. ... 2ec7599969

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 16:22
by Razmo
Unfortunately, just throwing in some stereo rack mixers won't do the trick for me Commie User... I need every synth on it's own mixer channel because I need to have EQ, insert points, and AUX sends for them... I use every synth in single mode, even if they can play more than one sound at a time, mainly because I want to be able to tweak the instruments with external FX and EQ... only a few of my machines I use with more than one instrument, and that's my E-MU sampler, and the KORG ESX-1 drummachine which Work all on their own because they have built in FX.

But I don't care if the MKS-50 is only in mono... generaly the only stereo aspect of it is the analog chorus at the end of the signal chain inside the machine... and I happen to have exactly an external BOSS analog chorus that is in fact the self same chorus hooked up to an AUX send on my mixer... so if I want stereo chorus on the MKS-50, I just put it through that one :wink:

The same goes for the MKS-30 as it has the same fat analog chorus built in, but is also used in mono. Actualy the power of this chorus is more the coloring of the sound it makes, and it is present even in mono... so i'll live... even without more mixing channels... I'm using a 24 channel mixer at the moment, and I decided to make that my limit, cause if I do not, the studio will just get out of hand in size and complexity... just connecting enough MIDI ports is becomming a problem, since the USB power rail cannot take more in my PC... so... that's it :D

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 18:18
by Commie_User
Well I can't suggest anything else for your jack shortages. By the looks of things, you wouldn't want a submixer. But I can maybe suggest a powered USB hub to keep your MIDI connections going, like this one: ... 20cdfa64e4

Though I can leave with one last question. Can you do what the Massachusetts Institute guy did on your own synths? The end of this BBC programme was very interesting.

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 19:51
by Razmo
I allready tried using an externaly powered USB hub, but it's the same... it does not Work with the mIDI interfaces I want to use. But limiting myself to 24 channels on a mixer, MIDI ports are just suficient to satisfy my needs as it is now, so I'm happy with what I've got now... If I got more instruments my home would just start to look like a Flash Gordon Space ship cockpit :roll:

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 03/05/2013 - 20:29
by Commie_User
Hmmm. You do get USB things simply not working with some boards. Which is partly why I had extra USB cards and extra computers lying around.

And I wouldn't say the cockpit look's necessarily bad as long as it's tidy. I get the idea you want to balance between as full a rig as possible and not overcrowding. Some hard decisions when you're in full flow of it.

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 04/05/2013 - 8:14
by Razmo
Yes... I'm using the Cakewalk UM-3G interfaces, and I will settle for nothing less than these because I am rather timing demanding when it comes to MIDI... They each draw approx. 100 milliamps, and no matter what I do... if I connect more than four devices of the same kind, the PC refuses to accept the 5th... I've tried everything, and either it's an OS limit or bug, or it's the motherboard that is a bit too old.

And no... a cockpit like that is a beauty to me... but not in the middle of my livingroom, and I don't have other rooms to spare, just for a studio as things are now, so it's a ballance thing between the studio being the right size and not too "lab looking" and a livingroom that has space for other furniture than racks.

If I just had unlimited MIDI ports, and mixer channels, and a big room for it all, I'd probably never stop obtaining more and more synths :)

Re: Razmo's Gear rambling thread

Posted: 04/05/2013 - 14:19
by Commie_User
I found my computer can get confused too. Or maybe that was just me. (No, a PC does it too when I have a string of the same USB devices plugged.)

I could suggest MIDI Thru but you've probably explored everything. Me, I'm happy enough using a slew of those USB MIDIs from China but then I'd have to be pretty mean to complain at £3 each, including postage. And of course there's the MIDI in the Sound Blaster Lives, so that's me contented.

It is possible to deck your lounge out with gear and have it still look pretty fair. You've seen my place. (Though I think the pics make mine look a touch smaller anyway.) Maybe you can compromise by wall mounting and a bit of strategic placement.

But on the other hand, maybe your living room is far more plush, or even smaller than mine. Can I see what yours looks like, with no pun intended?

Open images in new window, obviously.
Here's mine and I like showing it off, especially as the main guitars and carpet actually came free (as I never tire of boasting).
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Groove house.jpg
There's nothing really pro about my place at all but it gets results. I have all my cables run to the adjoining room through the hole behind the Hammond. And it's perfectly possible to integrate the accustics of a house with padded rugs hung from lighting stands and embellishment from other reverbs.

Plus the gear store room and bedroom's dead if I want to record in those, plus other nice effects across the place. And it's a quiet area. Basically, without pro fitting I've got it made.
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