Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by blinddrew »

Isn't that what the second, portable, modular set-up is for?
;)
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by The Elf »

Ben Asaro wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Ben Asaro wrote:
The Elf wrote:I'm kicking myself that I didn't also mention the Audiothingies MicroMonsta 2.

The only problem is that they are rare as fish socks and the world is currently awaiting a new batch to arrive.

It is the size of a small paper-back book, powers from USB, 3-oscillators, 16-voices, or dual 8-voice... Really amazing synth at an amazing price,

Does it play multiple parts, though? That's where the rubber meets the road for me, I need to have 3-4 sequences running at once on a single unit.

It can play 2 parts in dual mode (2 x 8-voice synths) - buy 2 of 'em for 4 parts! ;)

Seriously, for the money and physical size it would be worth considering.

I'm sure it is, but that starts the slippery slope of getting away from a single box solution.

Glue them to a piece of wood - it would still be lighter and smaller than any rack.

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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

blinddrew wrote:Isn't that what the second, portable, modular set-up is for?
;)

If I had my druthers, I would do this in 104hp with the NerdSerq, Chainsaw Quad VCA, and 4 filters ... but that creates more problems than it solves. I've played maybe 300 gigs in NYC over my lifetime and I know enough to know that ideally I want a maximum of 3 devices, no more than 5 cables, and less than 10 minutes (preferably 5) for setup and breakdown.

I need to get from my building onto a bus, the subway (1-2 trains) and back, so multiple power supplies, spare cables, even a tuner adds too much overhead to the travel requirements.
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

YashN wrote:Modal [Cobalt8, Argon8], Korg [Opsix, Modwave, Wavestate, Minilogue[XD]], etc...

Aren't we just spoilt for choice nowadays?

I'm not sure you read my OP; do any of those offer a significant improvement over what I already have? And if so, what? Just listing a bunch of synths isn't very helpful and I've already explained at length what my use case and needs are.
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by YashN »

Ben Asaro wrote:
YashN wrote:Modal [Cobalt8, Argon8], Korg [Opsix, Modwave, Wavestate, Minilogue[XD]], etc...

Aren't we just spoilt for choice nowadays?

I'm not sure you read my OP; do any of those offer a significant improvement over what I already have? And if so, what? Just listing a bunch of synths isn't very helpful and I've already explained at length what my use case and needs are.

I sure did, because who wrote this, me?: "Or perhaps some other option?" I'll leave you to do the research on the other synths mentioned, e.g. on YT.

Re-read my post on the Kurz above (or perhaps you didn't find it helpful), but if you've already made up your mind not to use it, then go with the JV.

Either way you look at it, by your own admission, you haven't even programmed the JV in any depth. The Kurz either.

Had you done some work on the Kurz, you'd find it covers a lot of bases, to the extent you'd GAS less on additional synths.

For me, I'd definitely consider modular/analogue: a good portion of what constitutes the Berlin School is Tangerine Dream, and early TD had a lot of that.

That style is often fairly minimalist, the background being an 8-note sequence with played variations on top.

I can do that kind of thing in a single program, a single key played and the whole track evolving like that on the Kurz, with the ability to do more if I want, like playing live tracks manually...

Daniel Fischer did a whole Pink Floyd track on a Kurz like that once...
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by N i g e l »

I was going to suggest a Waldorf blofeld but although its a small box, its solid and isnt tempo sync friendly.
Apart from that, its a competent VA, can do FM squeels, has a PPG filter & of course the PPG wavetables. Easier & quicker to program than a Kurzweil. .

for 10x the price theres Nord Wave II - does knobby hands on VA, FM & has sample replay - which is nice because Nords have access to the original mellotron master tapes. Some of which are customer specific, like the Tangerine dream reels.

:shock: that was pre-recorded and not synthed live ?????? All good fun :D
https://www.nordkeyboards.com/sound-lib ... ist-sounds

if time is not of the essence, Behringer are probably just finishing off their PPG wave 2.2 but that might only be duo timbral and Ive not heard if it includes the sequencer.
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by John Stafford »

For me, a sequencer like the Korg SQ-1 would be a must for a Berlin School setup.

You could carry the SQ-1 in your pocket, so it wouldn't feel like carting more gear.
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

Just had my first round of editing an Init patch in the JV-1080. Patch Base is great in that it gives visual feedback. However, I am struggling to figure out how to apply the filter envelope in a way that will result in a decent pluck. I'm not even hearing the filter envelope, actually. Going to keep plugging (plucking?) away, I'm sure there's something obvious I'm missing. With an analogue synth, it's easy peasy. Back at it!
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

LOL got it, thanks to the diagram in the Owner's Manual. To set the decay for Level 1, you actually have to adjust the time of Level 2, since that's the time it takes to get from Level 1 to Level 2. It's versatile, but totally different from what I'm used to with analogue EGs.

Now to see if I can get a workable waveshape now! :D
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

Well, I'm pretty chuffed -- this sounds much better than it has any right to!

Figuring out how the effects are added was a bit more complex than it needed to be, but I sorted it out in the end. I'm a little disappointed by the fact that if you have effects on a patch, those effects are overridden when in Performance mode, but it's not a deal breaker.

After I dialed in a rough pluck patch, I felt it was a bit 'squelchy' in that way that Roland filters sound, but once I added delay and reverb, it sounded great!

The versatility and depth of the JV-1080's editing was quite surprising, and the manual actually has lots of useful info, I think it just automatically assumes you have a certain level of familiarity with the architecture.

I'll keep chipping away at it, my plan is to write the plucks on my own and then use the Orchestral and Bass & Drum expansion cards for bass, drums, and string sounds.

Will see how it goes!
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

Had a chance to work on this some more early this morning. Everything sounds/works great. I think that the ultimate setback is going to be the rhythm track. If I use the KSP for two melodic lines, bass, and leave one open for live improvisation over top, there are no tracks left for drums.

The question is: do I add the BeatStep Pro? Stand alone drum machine? Or scale it way back and have just one sequenced line, one bass track, one drum track, and one live improv track?

The advantage of using the BSP is that it also adds 2 more potential melodic lines, which can create some nice complex syncopations.

Hmmm ... will have to think about this!
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Re: Discussion: putting together a single-synth Berlin School rig

Post by Ben Asaro »

Hit my first real snag.

I pulled out my BeatStep Pro, sync'd the two together, and off we go ... or so I thought. Turns out that the KSP's MIDI Out will not pass external MIDI, and the MIDI Thru won't send the internal sequencer's MIDI so I'm left with the JV-1080 receiving either the MIDI from the KSP or the BSP.

So, I guess a MIDI Merge box is needed to combine both pieces, which I must say is rather annoyance since they are both made by the same bloody manufacturer and one would think that they can be made to form a single system. :madas:

I'm not a fan of the box count, which will now creep to four, including the JV-1080, though it will double the amount of sequencer tracks available.

I had a moment of hope against hope that the K2000R would have two MIDI inputs, but it doesn't.

Tomorrow is Sunday, so I have another day to decide on my course of action. Worst case I'll order a MIDI merge box from Sweetwater on Monday.
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