Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Djberwick »

I could at a pinch go up to £500 - for that it seems that the main contenders would be Make Noise O-Coast and the Behringer 2600?...
Djberwick
Poster
Posts: 30 Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Ben Asaro »

I will not recommend Behringer for personal reasons: I think Uli and his company are mercenary and unethical.

The 0-coast is fantastic and you can create a 0-series ecosystem based off of it.

A used Mother-32 or perhaps Subharmonicon should be on your audition list, depending on how experimental you want to get.

In the head-to-head semi modular shootout, the contenders will be the M32, 0-Coast, and SubH, in my opinion. I can't speak to the Neutron.

I personally think that the SubH gives the most bang for the buck: 2-6 oscillators, dedicated audio outputs for each, MIDI and analogue sync, fantastic sound, and an architecture that invites exploration. You can use it as a simple 2-voice synth or something far more experimental.
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1837 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Djberwick »

Just checked out the SubH and that's defo out of my budget unfortunately. However, I found this demo of the Mother-32:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF3lhhiknfY

Assuming this is just the synth doing this (excluding the reverb) I am absolutely blown-away. I haven't heard the O-Coast doing anything like this in the demos - maybe it can though.
Djberwick
Poster
Posts: 30 Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Ben Asaro »

They are very different synths with different aesthetics and architecture. My original goal when I got my M32 was to get three of them. I fell down the modular rabbit hole instead (I have approximately a 10-voice eurorack system) and ended up with a SubH at the tail end.

If I were to start all over again, I would probably stick with my original plan!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1837 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Djberwick wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:44 pm Just checked out the SubH and that's defo out of my budget unfortunately. However, I found this demo of the Mother-32:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF3lhhiknfY

I've not seen that one before - it's an excellent demo! It's not quite a self-generating patch though; it's a repeating 32-note sequence played with random timing changes.

The Mother-32 is a surprisingly capable synth but it's sometimes not the easiest box of tricks to use, in part due to the various combinations of button presses required to effectively use the sequencer.

It has a single oscillator but there are patch outputs for sawtooth and pulse from that oscillator that can be accessed simultaneously, plus you can sort-of get the filter to track pitch as well.

It's definitely a synth that rewards persistence and time spent learning how to use it, it can sound fantastic and it plays very well with other semi-modular and euro-rack kit also.

I love mine, and have it in a 3-tier rack with a SubHarmonicon and a DFAM alongside it.

The Sound On Sound review of the Mother-32 is here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/moog-mother-32
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 6616 Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works | The SOS Forum Album projects
 

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Ben Asaro »

Ha, Eddy took the words right out of my mouth!

I was going to say: if you want sounds that are uniquely your own, you're looking in the right direction. But it's at the cost of time and effort, and quite a bit of both (you can check out my synth challenges for more detailed look at the singing highs and crushing lows of this pursuit).

The only other thing I will add is that if you are looking for absolute rock solid tuning, stay far away from modular and semi modular!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1837 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Djberwick »

No worries, I've spent a lot of time with the Wavestate and enjoy deep crafting sounds/sequences. Not worried about tuning either, adds to the charm!

Seems like you pay a premium for the "Moog" name, but they always come with quality.
Djberwick
Poster
Posts: 30 Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Arpangel »

Ben Asaro wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:35 pm I will not recommend Behringer for personal reasons: I think Uli and his company are mercenary and unethical.

The 0-coast is fantastic and you can create a 0-series ecosystem based off of it.

A used Mother-32 or perhaps Subharmonicon should be on your audition list, depending on how experimental you want to get.

In the head-to-head semi modular shootout, the contenders will be the M32, 0-Coast, and SubH, in my opinion. I can't speak to the Neutron.

I personally think that the SubH gives the most bang for the buck: 2-6 oscillators, dedicated audio outputs for each, MIDI and analogue sync, fantastic sound, and an architecture that invites exploration. You can use it as a simple 2-voice synth or something far more experimental.

Ben is right about the O Coast, it’s pick of the bunch for me, simply, because it doesn’t really have a sound, it can be very conventional, or very, very way out, the Behringer 2600 is a lovely synth, I thought about it, but it’s still an analogue mono synth, basically, with a very stereotypical sound, that’s hard to get away from, I’ve got the Arturia 2600, and it’s fantastic, it does all the things for me that the original 2600 doesn’t, but it’s nothing like the Behringer, it’s very hard to get away from "that sound" which is very good, but not if you don’t want it all the time!
Some of my favourite sounds ever I’ve made on the Arturia 2600, but I’d never be able to get them on the original, or the Berry.
If soft synths were an option, well, the world is your oyster, and if you’ve got an iOS device, Animoog, what more can I say, how much is that? $30?
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9231 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
"Don’t let the noise of other peoples opinions drown your inner voice"

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Djberwick »

The soft synth approach would definitely be a lot lot cheaper but my DAW is already stacked up with VSTs for the orchestral instruments, plus really keen to get into the analogue area by merging the two.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions and demystifying this for me!
Djberwick
Poster
Posts: 30 Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Ben Asaro »

Fortunately, there are lots of us here who are using hybrid systems and sync'ing hardware synths, software synths, and DAWs!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1837 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Djberwick »

My current thinking is that I'll get a Mother 32 first then at a later date get an 0-Coast. From what I've heard no doubt both are top notch but I think coming from my lack of experience the Moog might be better to start off with. I haven't really heard many demos online for the 0-Coast that I like, whereas there's plenty for the Mother...but sounds like it has a lot of scope (maybe more than the M32) to create a wider palette of sounds....
Djberwick
Poster
Posts: 30 Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Re: Unusual hardware synth recommendation...

Post by Ben Asaro »

You literally cannot go wrong starting with a Mother-32, that was the synth that launched 10,000 modular addicts. :D

Just make sure that you are running the latest firmware on it, it greatly improves the performative aspects of the synth!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1837 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC
Post Reply