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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » DSI Synths
which DSI to complete a Nord Modular G2X?
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schrecks



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject:  which DSI to complete a Nord Modular G2X?
Subject description: lofi - industrial music
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Hi there!

After reading and reading, googling and confusing, I decided to open a topic for my dilema.

First I want to say that I´m into lofi, noise and industrial music. Like, Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft, Esplendor Geometrico, Front 242...and so on.

I have a Nord Modular G2X but to be honest, Idon´t have the time and the knowledge to work right with this monster...because the presets are quite shity..I also wanted to sell it..but I don´t have the courage to live without it...

Now I decided to add an analog device and I would like to go to an DSI synth, but I can´t give more than 400euros...

I´m between the Dave Smith´s Mopho and the MFB Nanozweg. Ok...and the Blofeld is VERY interesting for the price, but it´s not analog...but ployphonic.

Which would you recommend for my music interests?

I would appreciate your opinions!

Best Wishes!
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Considering the music you like and that you already have a G2X,IMO the Mono Evolver PE Keyboard would be a lot more interesting and useful instrument than say the Mopho.

.

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schrecks



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for your fast reply!

Uff....the mono Evolver costs around 1200euros..and used about 900...
...would it be intelligent to sell my cute but G2X..???

...or at least to buy the Evolver desktop version?...

Would like to hear your opinion..!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Even though the Evolver desktop is "the same" as the Mono Evolver Keyboard (MEK) they are very different because the MEK has an excellent user interface. Try one and you will understand what I mean. Regarding the G2X, if you think that it is likely that you won´t dive into the modular patching stuff anytime soon then obviously this most excellent instrument is nothing but an expensive doorstop. That being said, the G2 is very capable at that sort of music, but as you have already figured out the presets won´t do at all. If you have a G2 the only way to go is to learn to make your own patches.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

While the keyboard Evolvers are immediate and wonderful (I have a PEK, I can imagine that the MEK is even more immediate), the desktop version is the best menu-based synth I've personally tried (closest comparisons: Yamaha An1x and Alesis Ion).

I think the the desktop is excellent value for money, especially if you don't feel like cramming another keyboard in your studio, and you already have the G2x.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Having said that though, if they had done like with the Prophet '08 desktop, just removing the keyboard and kept the knobs as-is, it would be the perfect desktop module. Knobs to the people!
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schrecks



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey, thank you guys!

Actually, it would be very painful to lose my G2x...because it´s a discontinued synth...not build anymore and very difficult to buy even used.
For now it´s a kind of doorstop..yes..but who knows...years later maybe I´ll have the knowledge to live in his unknown world.

Hmmm...the Mono Evolver Keyboard would be nice...especially because I´m into performances and concerts and it would be cool to lose all the computer stuff...yes...that would be nice!

But unfortunately I really don´t have the money to buy the keyboard version...So i think that an used desktop evolver could be a solution...but where are the knobs for live performances...?....hmm...maybe I could connect it to the G2x, but then i cannot use both at the same time for concerts...or maybe buy an extra midicontroller?

What would you do with my limitations of money...?

thanks guys...
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Are you sure you actually need an analog synth? An alternative that should be inexpensive is the Alesis Ion. It has a lot of knobs, it sounds great, the interface is among the best in its class and the actual synthesis features are absolutely brilliant.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi!

I listened to a few demos from the Alesis Ion and it sounds great! Used it costs about 500euros what could be my limit!

And...hmm...actually...maybe i don´t really need an analog synth...but it will confuse me more...

Has the Ion a progammable arppegiator? It would be very very nice...

Do you know the Waldorf Blofeld? What do you think about Blo vs. Ion?
Would be interesting to know opinions.

Thanks again!
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schrecks



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Arppegiators

Alesis Ion: (31) preset rhythms plus random, pattern-length control, (6) order modes, tempo multiplier

Blofeld:
freely programmable Arpeggiator Pattern with up to 16 Steps per Sound

Evolver: 16 x 4 step sequencer really brings the Evolver to life with evolving “pseudo-polyphonic” sounds – you won’t believe it's mono!


hmmm....
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I returned a Blofeld after several months of frustration with the software bugs and some issues with the paint job. I like the Blofeld a lot and I´m pretty sure the current batch with updated software is a lot better than the one I got.

The arpeggiator in the Ion isn´t very advanced, but then I don´t use arpeggiators much so I don´t know too much about it. I´ve pretty much ignored it.

The blofeld vs. the Ion?

These are different beasts. IMO they shouldn´t really be directly compared as the personalities are different and both would play well in the same rig. The Blo is frankly more advanced but the Ion is not a lesser instrument. The case is that they got mostly everything just right with regards to interface, sound and features in the Ion so it feels just right. The Ion is very capable and a great performance instrument.
The Blofeld is deeper than the Ion, but not quite as immediate. The menu diving in the Blofeld is not too messy and IMO the interface is very good. I haven´t used the keyboard version yet though. I considered buying a new Blofeld, but then I woke up one morning and discovered that I had bought an Arturia Origin. Suddenly I lost any interest I had in the Blofeld. One thing is for sure, I won´t part with the Ion. I do however have only good things to say about the Blofeld.. apart from the annoying software bugs.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

schrecks wrote:
Evolver: 16 x 4 step sequencer really brings the Evolver to life with evolving “pseudo-polyphonic” sounds .


Yes.

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schrecks



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks elektro80 for your interesting analysis.

hmm...

Just 1 more question/opinion, if you permit, going to my first question:

For cool first industrial stuff like from the 80´s, lo-fi...but with dark & deep bass & leads (but not ignoring arpeggios) which one would you choose considering that I have already a G2X:

1. Mono Evolver
2. Alesis Ion
3. Blofeld

Take your time...no hurry..

Thanks a lot for your help!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is an impossible task. Laughing

They will all do deep and dark and a whole lot more.

If you are on a limited budget then the Ion is probably the most fulfilling instrument right now. The MEK is however absolutely stunning.
And the Blofeld will fit fine in almost any rig.

I guess you have to try them all out first.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks!

I think that for now I have plenty of information! Very Happy

And you´re right. I´ll test the synths by myself. I´m very interested in the Ion, but the problem is that you can´t find it anymore in a conventional music store where i live...and there are not so many second hand to buy...

I must see how to manage it...second choice would be the Mono Evolver Desktop...and last the versatile Blofeld (which arpeggiator I like very much...)...

Maybe I´ll need now a few weeks to experiment those and to decide.
Then I´ll let you know. Wink

Best Wishes and MANY thanks!
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schrecks



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi elekro80, I Have News!!!

I had an Korg Triton Pro-x laying around at my hometown and sold it to my brother! Smile

So, now I could buy the DSI MEK!!!!

For live performances it seems very great to tweak!

Do you think í´ll make a good choice?..there is also the Prophet 8 Desktop...


Best Wishes!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great!
Laughing

The MEK is a brilliant instrument, but you do have to invest some time in learning to use it. It can do amazing things. You will find that the MEK is in fact not quite like the traditional vintage analog synths that have a fairly fixed architecture. Instead it is has actually a lot more in common with the semimodulars. The same can be said about the Ion and the Blofeld. This means that these instruments can do quite a bit more than the obvious. I suggest you power up the G2X and connect it to a laptop and install the G2 editor application. When you figure out stuff on say the MEK you can try to patch similar stuff on the G2. Just an idea.. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for your advices!

You´re right... and it´s my plan. I need to explore more the G2x and combine it with another synth, would be wonderfull..

Which would you prefer or makes more sense to combine with the G2x, the Prophet 8 (desktop or used keys) or the MEK?...hmmm...

And do know this beast?..

http://www.future-retro.com/xsoverview.html

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It all depends on what your music needs. It is kinda down to trial and error and learning the gear and making music.

As for the semi-modular hype.. I don´t mean to say that this particular semi-modular is in any way lacking or bad or whatever..but the truth is that a whole lot of modern VA and hybrid synths are in the semi-modular class. The Ion is a semi-modular as well as the Blofeld and the MEK. It seems that most users and reviewers in some auto-magical way miss that point.

As for what you need along the G2 depends on how you use it. If you figure out the G2 sequencer modules then obviously the G2X might soon serve sequencing tasks and then you will need something for chords and something for leads and something for noises and drones. How you use your gear might vary from each song in your set. In the old days you could in extreme cases end up with one keyboard rig for each song. These days you will likely be able to pull off a full concert just with 3 Alesis Ions and a donkey. In my book that is an improvement. And you would even be able to perform the last hour of your set pretty much in tune ( apart form the darn donkey of course ).

A point to make re the G2 is that even though it is a modular synth, you will rarely be actually patching it live. You will rather be playing the patches you have already made and learned how to use. In many cases you will find that you can make patches that can perform several tasks within a particular song. And sometimes you might want to go back to a patch and redo it in order to solve how a set of songs will be played live. The G2 is not a particular instrument in itself, rather the patches you make are.

If you don´t have a full band and a huge set of songs yet, then I guess you will be spending time composing and recording material on a computer first. I suggest you forget about any hardware synth for now and simple rely on software. When you have the songs figured out using software synths, then you might also have gotten ideas as to what you need in hardware synths.

There are however some pitfalls. It is way too easy to forget that you can use band members to play stuff in interesting ways instead of forcing the lot to play along to click tracks and loops and arpeggiator swarms. And the shit sounds way different when piped through a PA anyways, so whatever sounds cool in the project studio might be like cluster bombing penguins when it gets played back through a PA. Figuring out what works takes some time and effort.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey elektro80!

Just wanted to say that I appreciated your last post!
And must say that I already bought a book about synthesis and the DVD Hands on synth from Moogulator! Yes...i´m going to spend some time diving into the G2. Wink

I´m not into softsynth´s...anymore. I´m very tired..and want really change to hardware. My decision is the MEK. I had the pleasure to play on it last day and found it amazing! It inspired me to many many stuff I´m into! Tweaking a bit, it can sound very dirty, trashy and very powerfull! Smile

But let me ask you something:

Do you know if the MEK PE is without any knob issues?...i didn´t like much the plastic knobs..i´m a little afraid that they can fall out or something...but I also know that you can put the prophet style knobs like the PEK.

What is your experience with the MEK knobs?

Thanks a lot!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have seen several reports of people having issues with the endless encoders on the MEK & PEK, and I have issues on my PEK. Twist some of them too slow or too quickly and they will go backwards or too fast forwards. I can work with, but I need some patience with the encoders that are dpdgy sometimes. All Evolvers don't suffer from this, and it can be remedied with a large dose of DeOxit Caig.

DSI have made classic pot versions of most their synths - these should work flawlessly. If possible, try the unit out before buying.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I imagined you would enjoy the MEK!

As for the knobs, I don´t currently own a MEK and in order to get a fairly reliable verdict on the longevity of the knobs and switches and such you will have to get your answers from someone else. But that is quite doable. We have many brilliant MEK owners here.

To get the record straight, my recommendation of the MEK is based on having had one on loan for 3-4 weeks way back. I do think I have enough data and experience to be able to say something sensible about it as an instrument. I don´t have much to say regarding reliability and longevity issues.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
I have seen several reports of people having issues with the endless encoders on the MEK & PEK, and I have issues on my PEK. Twist some of them too slow or too quickly and they will go backwards or too fast forwards. I can work with, but I need some patience with the encoders that are dpdgy sometimes. All Evolvers don't suffer from this, and it can be remedied with a large dose of DeOxit Caig.


thanks!

Let me say, actually I´m trying to manage my money...and there is a big possibility to buy the PEK. Very Happy

Let me ask you: do you have the Prophet Style Knobs? How do they feel?
...unfortunately there are no PEK´s in Berlin to try it out... Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I imagined you would enjoy the MEK!

...To get the record straight, my recommendation of the MEK is based on having had one on loan for 3-4 weeks way back. I do think I have enough data and experience to be able to say something sensible about it as an instrument. I don´t have much to say regarding reliability and longevity issues.



Thanks! Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

schrecks wrote:
Antimon wrote:
I have seen several reports of people having issues with the endless encoders on the MEK & PEK, and I have issues on my PEK. Twist some of them too slow or too quickly and they will go backwards or too fast forwards. I can work with, but I need some patience with the encoders that are dpdgy sometimes. All Evolvers don't suffer from this, and it can be remedied with a large dose of DeOxit Caig.


thanks!

Let me say, actually I´m trying to manage my money...and there is a big possibility to buy the PEK. Very Happy

Let me ask you: do you have the Prophet Style Knobs? How do they feel?
...unfortunately there are no PEK´s in Berlin to try it out... Sad


I'm not sure what you mean by Prophet style knobs - they've made Prophet '08s with endless encoders (the first units had this) and traditional pots, and I've never seen an older Prophet. I have endless encoders on my PEK, and they're far from perfect. I've managed to fix one or two of them with a long session of DeOxit, I'm planning on fixing the rest at some time (I don't have the needle DeOxit thingie, so it takes a while and a dozen iterations of pour/twist like a maniac/pour/twist like a maniac etc before there's an effect). As it is now I can use it OK in my hobbyist's studio, but it would surely be frustrating to work with in a professional live situation.

As I said, it seems that some batches of endless encoders were worse than others, so it could be that if you get a brand new PEK it will have perfectly working knobs.

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