Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by BJG145 »

...from SOS 1999...

First shown in 1982, it had a UK price of under £400, but now sells to analogue anoraks for as much as £1500! This is ludicrous

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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by N i g e l »

did the manuals ever get written ?

"
Pros
A huge range of obscure and esoteric synthesis capabilities.
Designed to high engineering standards.
Unlimited telephone and email support.
Future-proof discrete circuitry.
Great value.

Cons

Poorly laid out in places.
Legending can be very confusing.
Lacks visual 'sexiness'.
Doesn't fit in 19-inch racks or cases.
Superficial manuals (but three more are in preparation).
"
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

BillB wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:53 am
The Elf wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:37 am It's a woeful design. The sideways pitch wheel and lack of mod wheel are instant 'pass' features for many, and the editing facilities are ghastly. But if you can see past these things, and perhaps adopt an external keyboard and editor (my appoach), then it's a wondrous little machine.

Presumably the MidiDesigner template? Does that read parameters from the synth or do you start from INIT each time?

When I write my own MIDI Designer editors I try where possible to include the ability to accept incoming patch dumps and use them to populate the on-screen controls. I'm afraid the Micron Layout, which I didn't write, doesn't read do this. Maybe one day I'll deconstruct it and add this ability, but... maybe not...

So, I find a patch close to what I need and I use the Layout to tweak it from there.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Arpangel »

Tomás Mulcahy wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 1:11 pm Alesis Micron, and the Ion (same engine better UI) are climbing in price recently. People have noticed that they sound really good. I didn't personally enjoy the Ion UI as much as I did the Novation KS Rack UI. I thought both sounded really good.

But now a used Novation KS Rack sells for more than an Ultranova... that probably won't last long...

FWIW I am keeping both!

I have an Alesis A-Station, that, and the Micron are still my most used synths.
I’ve had to repair my Micron and I found it easy to work on, good access, but I’m worried, about future reliability, so I may get another one, it’s very rare for me to say I couldn’t live without something, but a lot of my albums have used the Micron, it’s the "piano"of my synth world, indispensable, and capable of really unique sounds.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

Arpangel wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:15 ama lot of my albums have used the Micron, it’s the "piano"of my synth world, indispensable, and capable of really unique sounds.

There's a lot I like about the Micron, but 'unique' woudn't be one of my praises. At least not in the sense that any other synth can't do something 'unique' if you tweak it enough. It does a good emulation of many old synth sounds, but it's all pretty safe stuff.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by BillB »

The Elf wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:22 pm
BillB wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:53 am
The Elf wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:37 am It's a woeful design. The sideways pitch wheel and lack of mod wheel are instant 'pass' features for many, and the editing facilities are ghastly. But if you can see past these things, and perhaps adopt an external keyboard and editor (my appoach), then it's a wondrous little machine.

Presumably the MidiDesigner template? Does that read parameters from the synth or do you start from INIT each time?

When I write my own MIDI Designer editors I try where possible to include the ability to accept incoming patch dumps and use them to populate the on-screen controls. I'm afraid the Micron Layout, which I didn't write, doesn't read do this. Maybe one day I'll deconstruct it and add this ability, but... maybe not...

So, I find a patch close to what I need and I use the Layout to tweak it from there.

I have probably said this before, but for anyone else looking for a Micron editor, Patchbase on the iPad now includes Micron/Miniak.
https://coffeeshopped.com/patch-base/ed ... sis/micron

It can download and edit patches from the synth, so in that sense is has a notable advantage over the MidiDesigner editor.

On the other hand, because of the many parameters available, it has a very busy interface of 2/3 pages, whereas the Mididesigner one is spread over 6 or so. It is always a compromise with iPad (ie small screen) editors. Lots on one page or many pages...

Also of interest is the fact that Chadwick, the Patchbase developer, recommends upgrading the Micron to the latest Miniak firmware, because this enables better data exchange with the synth. The downside is that various of the Micron button swap functions, so would need to be re-labelled. That's a job (upgrade firmware and re-label) I'll be doing at some point, as the Micron panel labelling isn't the clearest it could be anyway.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by ManFromGlass »

BJG145 wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 5:17 pm Vintage synths have been collectors' investments for years. You don't have to spend much time on Vemia to be plunged into that world. The Syrinx went for £13K yesterday.

https://spheremusic.com/Bargaindtl.asp?Item=23725

I’m wondering if the site is hacked. I clicked on the Auctions button and there was a naked woman and an add for Dirty Tinder. It didn’t look like an art photo site!
I guess there’s more money in that than auctioning gear?
:problem:
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Arpangel »

The Elf wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:57 am
Arpangel wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:15 ama lot of my albums have used the Micron, it’s the "piano"of my synth world, indispensable, and capable of really unique sounds.

There's a lot I like about the Micron, but 'unique' woudn't be one of my praises. At least not in the sense that any other synth can't do something 'unique' if you tweak it enough. It does a good emulation of many old synth sounds, but it's all pretty safe stuff.

We all have different uses for synths, and to me, the Micron produces sounds that I can’t get anywhere else, otherwise, I wouldn’t say what I’ve said.
Those sliders, the filters, the actual sound of the whole thing is different.
I actually think it’s not very good at producing "bread and butter sounds" it’s too digital sounding, definitely not warm, it’s not a Moog bass machine or pad thing by any means.
What I find it excels at are really nasty heavy extremely digital "textures" I haven’t been able to get near these with anything else, my modular, keyboards, anything.
I call it "Tod" after Tod Dockstader, it sounds just like him.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

I would be interested to hear some of these unique sounds. Can you point me to some examples?

I'm probably just a bit pedestrian in my editing! :lol:
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Arpangel »

The Elf wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:57 pm I would be interested to hear some of these unique sounds. Can you point me to some examples?

I'm probably just a bit pedestrian in my editing! :lol:

Elf, my album Storm Clouds Over Crickelwood was done almost entirely on the Micron, lots of sounds there, the two soundscapes, are perfect examples.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

Perfect! Where can I get it? (I tried a few searches)
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Arpangel »

The Elf wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:56 pm Perfect! Where can I get it? (I tried a few searches)

It’s here Elf……….

https://agflynn.bandcamp.com/album/sto ... ricklewood

I recorded it at 4am the morning, I was discharged from Dartford General, after being taken off the motorway in an ambulance, I was out of my head on morphine, and this album came out.
It was finished by lunchtime. All I could think about at the time was Tod Dockstader, he changed my life back then, and I wanted a similar vibe, on a couple of tracks, at least, all Micron, apart from an E-MU Proformance piano module on one track.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by N i g e l »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:33 pm Tod Dockstader,

:thumbup: cheers , a name I was unfamiliar with.

Stormclouds etc ..... I have listend to before, in a work environment, and found benificial. Do you get paid for listens in bandcamp ?
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by The Elf »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:33 pm
The Elf wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:56 pm Perfect! Where can I get it? (I tried a few searches)

It’s here Elf……….

https://agflynn.bandcamp.com/album/sto ... ricklewood

Interesting stuff. I'd still say I'm not hearing anything 'unique' to the Micron, but you're making good use of it, and it clearly inspires you - that can't be bad. :thumbup:
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Arpangel »

The Elf wrote: Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:10 am
Arpangel wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:33 pm
The Elf wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:56 pm Perfect! Where can I get it? (I tried a few searches)

It’s here Elf……….

https://agflynn.bandcamp.com/album/sto ... ricklewood

Interesting stuff. I'd still say I'm not hearing anything 'unique' to the Micron, but you're making good use of it, and it clearly inspires you - that can't be bad. :thumbup:

Thanks Elf, it’s the general character of it that I like, and I still wouldn’t know where to turn, to get those sounds, the two long soundscapes especially, it’s the way the modulation section works, it’s very interesting.
True, you may be able to get similar sounds elsewhere, but the Micron produces them easily, with no bother, they are just there.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by forumuser918214 »

Well, there is the "greater fool" theory - think of Beanie Babies. It can work for a while.
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Barows »

Synths, guitars, 'modern classic' cars, unopened computer games, etc. Asset bubbles due to cheap money and 0% interest rates.

But I'm sure TPTB have it under control. Right...?
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Re: Are the older hardware synths becoming the new investment?

Post by Chimera »

I had always assumed that much of the value of older hardware synths was the vintage variability of sound. I’ve recently been looking at Jason Cooper’s Voice Component Modelling using gated sequencers on the Rev 2. http://www.voicecomponentmodeling.com/

Jason has YT vids under the name Creative Spiral and it is certainly a development that has potential to impact desirability of older synths. Jason has measured the Sequential vintage knob changes on the P5/10 and P/OB 6. He believes Sequential have copied his VCM in their implementation. It certainly will be interesting to see whether Sequential run with the idea on their next release.
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