Rolamtech

Synth Stuff

New stuff on the site courtesy of Matt aka reactionoid(at)yahoo(dot)com:

MFB Synth Lite 2

I bought this second hand recently from the usual place at about 2/3 of the new price. It's absolutely tiny, about the size of a paperback book, covered with knobs, buttons and sporting a 2 digit LED display. Overall I'm very pleased with it so here's a brief review of it. In summary it's a knobular DCO driven monosynth with memories, a step-sequencer and an audio input. The Moog-style transistor ladder filter sounds excellent, very lively and fruity. The oscillators are digital yet fairly beefy, and are generated by the main CPU. They have a few foibles with PWM and Sync but on the whole sound respectable to me considering the price. Both oscillators have direct controls for the octave range (16', 8', 4'), waveform and level. Osc 1 has a fine tuning knob whereas Osc 2 has a +/- 12 semitones detuning knob. Oscillator 1 offers saw, square and 2 forms of ring modulation, whereas Osc 2 has saw, square, PWM and an Oscillator Sync setting. In addition, there is a square sub-oscillator which is hidden away in a special mode where you can adjust the tuning and the volume. A single LFO provides triangle, saw or square modulation which can be routed using a knob either to OSC or VCF, but not both simultaneously. The LFO also has a one-shot mode so it can be used as a simple ramp down envelope. The filter has the usual cut-off, resonance ("emphasis") and envelope mod amount ("contour") knobs and feel very satisfying to use. Even though it's a cheap synth, the Synth Lite has two envelopes, one for the filter and one for amplitude but in the Moog tradition they only have three knobs each. The missing knob is Release but this can be set to be equal to the Decay knob or "fixed" (I've not tried this yet).

In the system settings, accessed by holding down the Record button and pressing various other buttons, a number of useful features are tucked away. MIDI velocity can be routed to VCF, VCA, both VCF/VCA or neither. MIDI clock for the on-board sequencer can be set to internal or extnernal. For the VCF, the keyboard cutoff tracking can be set to Off, 1/4, 1/2 or full. A knob would have been better but it's better than not having access at all, since there is a subtle but important difference in the type of sounds that can be made with these settings, especially with the filter res up high. This feature was missing on the original BassStation/BS Rack but added to the Super BassStation. Elsewhere in these system settings, there are some MIDI settings for a soft thru and setting what the controlling keyboard's Mod wheel will affect (Off, VCO, VCF, VCO/VCF).

One of the most fun features on this little box is the step-sequencer. It's tucked away slightly, accessed with various button presses but it works well. Notes and tied notes are input by MIDI (for rests you press a button) and when you've finished it will just play however many steps you've entered. This is great for getting some syncopation going when you sync it up to your main sequencer. There's room for twenty sequences and they can be selected easily in a live situation and transposed by playing MIDI notes. If you're using the internal clock, the tempo is controlled by the LFO rate button which is slightly fiddly and can cause your synth patch to get its LFO twiddled when you had no intentions to do so. I have managed to crash it once or twice by using all the modulation (Ring mod, Sync etc) and setting a sequence going, upping the tempo to max and then transposing it high up the keyboard. This can be too much for the poor CPU and it's quite amusing when it gives up and resets itself. Generally the CPU seems fast enough though. One complaint I have with the sequencer is using glide, this works fine when playing just MIDI notes but I've not managed to use glide on a sequence.

On the subject of memories, this has 84 slots for user patches but it's so easy to twiddle I've barely used them yet. You certainly get a lot of knobs for the money! The external input is a great feature and so far I've used it for filtering my CZ101. I would say it's almost worth the price just for using as a filter alone. The Moogy VCF gives your input a very lo-fi, grungy but pleasant character and I was soon geting Boards Of Canada style pads out of it. Combining the filter input with the step-sequencer leads to some great results, with the filter opening and closing in a pattern while I held some chords down. There is a slight bit of hiss that the Synth seems to apply a gate to in the gaps but I think it all adds to the sound.

Overall it's a great little synth and given its tiny size, the usual consideration of "where will I put THIS one?!" does not apply. It's very happy perched on the end of my ESQ1, a perfect fit between the ESQ's volume slider and the end of the case. Even though it's a DCO synth I'd say it sounds pretty good and with all the ring mod etc can provide some great digital C64 style blips as well as traditional vintage patches. I'd like to try the VCO equipped MFB Synth II now but at their prices (300 pounds), they're approaching the price of a genuine vintage synth so maybe they're not such a good buy. I'm very glad Mr Fricke is making them though, maybe I will be tempted in the future.

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Cheetah MS6 analogue rack synth

And the GAS continues! Glued to Ebay as usual, I spotted this fine example of vintage Welsh budget analogue ending at a good price so a slapped a marginal increase on the high bid at the last minute and to my surprise I won it! I was in two minds about bothering to bid as the MS6 is rather similar to my Matrix 1000, both featuring 6 CEM3396 powered voices of analogue DCO synthesis. I've always liked the Matrix and did at one point consider buying another. The main advantages over the Matrix though are the front panel editing and multi-timbrality. Initial experiments suggest it could be great for zappy synth drums. The pads are similar to the Matrix ones with 2 PWMed oscillators sounding very lush. Overall I can highly recommend it as long as you get a good one, I hear there are plenty of ropey examples around with leaky batteries and other nasties.

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Evolution EVS1 digital polysynth rack

Ebay strikes again.. I think this was on for 20 quid Buy It Now so I jumped on it. I'm going to need another Midisport 8x8 at this rate! This is an old British budget digital synth, launched in the early 90s. It can only be edited by computer so that probably puts a lot of people off, ironically in this VSTi age! The synthesis on offer is a great mixture of 4 op FM, PM and sample playback, 28 algorithms I think. I hunted down the original Atari editor and I was pleasantly surprised to find it runs perfectly using the STeem emulator. I have a suspicion there may be an old Windows editor for it somewhere but this is working fine for now. The presets are a mixed bunch, but with editing this could be a good source of digital mayhem. The modulation options are pretty comprehensive and even allow for basic wave sequencing as it has PCM wave shape as a mod destination. There are a couple of rinky-dink sampled drum kits on it too, great fun. Overall the sound isn't a million miles away from my TX81Z but this is 16 voice. Probably not quite as beefy as the TX for FM basses though.

EVS1 editor pic 1
EVS1 editor pic 2

Novation Bass Station analogue monosynth rack

I own the rack version of this. At current prices it's quite a bargain as it includes MIDI to CV/Gate which works on a separate channel to the internal synth. The Bass Station has quite a fruity filter, but the oscillators let it down slightly. Modulation is quite basic compared the Pulse.

Update: swapped it for a Super Bass Station! More features, but the knobs stick out further and feel like they're begging to be bent off the circuit board as they're not attached to the faceplate (then again, neither are the ones on the Waldorf Pulse)

Update 2: Sold the SBS! With the extra features I think the CPU must have been getting under strain as the knobs weren't that responsive, especially when it's having a MIDI sequence fired at it. It's sort of been replaced by the MFB Synth Lite 2.

Novation BassStation mp3

Ensoniq ESQ1 hybrid synth

There were two versions of this keyboard, the later ones featuring a plastic case. I own the early metal case version which is built like a tank. A rusty tank in my case as the previous owner resorted to painting it with Hammerite to prevent more corrosion.

The sound is rather low-fi, a bit muffled compared to other synths but it has plenty of character. Editing sounds is a piece of cake due to the big screen surrounded by soft-keys, with the voice structure represented by plenty of buttons on the right hand side. The keys feel great so this is my master keyboard. I've been tempted to sell it at times but I'd get a pittance so I've held on to it.

Update: Decided I really like this, not going to sell this! It has been a bit crash-happy lately though, probably loose connections that need a poke.

  • Ensoniq ESQ1 mp3 1
  • Ensoniq ESQ1 mp3 2
  • Ensoniq ESQ1 mp3 3
  • Ensoniq ESQ1 mp3 4
  • Ensoniq ESQ1 mp3 5
  • Ensoniq ESQ1 mp3 6
  • Ensoniq ESQ1 Sys-Ex files
  • Oberheim Matrix 1000 analogue rack synth

    1000 analogue sounds in a 1U rack. Hard to resist I think. I wanted one of these for years and picked one up a couple of years ago when the prices had dropped. There are some crappy sounds amongst the 1000 but also some classics as used by artists like the Aphex Twin (check Selected Ambient Works 2) and Black Dog (e.g. the pad on Xeper). This really shines when you start editing with suitable computer software. The mp3s here are just 3 presets - I should get some of my custom patches recorded.

  • Oberheim Matrix 1000 mp3 1
  • Oberheim Matrix 1000 mp3 2
  • Oberheim Matrix 1000 mp3 3
  • Waldorf Pulse analogue monosynth

    This is a little monster. I got this new for 250 pounds which was a bargain considering they'd sold for 600 pounds when they were first released. The basic sound is pretty strong - beefy oscillators and a Moogy filter but what really makes it is the comprehensive modulation facilities. You have a mod matrix with 15 sources and 16 destinations, and four routing slots to use. Aside from these four slots, other standard mod routings are hard-wired elsewhere e.g. Velocity to Volume so you can really go mad. The front panel isn't too bad but I recommend a computer editor for serious editing. Using the front panel does make me listen more closely though so I think I get better patches using the front panel. Bit slow though.

    Update: I really, really like this. I have been making some excellent sounds lately. I feel like I'm getting to know the sweet spots. WIth some of the demo mp3s on here it does sound harsh but that's cos this was made to go to 11! With careful programming it can sound a lot more managable. It packs a lot of power into a nice litte rack space. Two of these would be nice.

    I've made a new mp3 of the current 40 custom sounds in my Pulse.

  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 1
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 2
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 3
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 4
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 5
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 6
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 7
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 8
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 9
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 10
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 11
  • Waldorf Pulse mp3 12
  • Waldorf Pulse Sys-Ex Files
  • Yamaha TX802 FM rack synth

    This is a DX7 Mk2 in a rack. 16 note poly, 8 part multitimbral using blocks of 2 voices. I've sold this one cos it was a bastard to edit and life is too short. It works well with a standard DX7 editor but ideally a proper TX802 editor would be very nice as it supposedly has 8 patch edit buffers. Never found one though.

    Update: I don't miss this one bit!

  • TX802 mp3 1
  • TX802 mp3 2
  • Yamaha DX11 FM synth

    I had this for years. This really was built like a tank. Nice and compact, and very easy to edit for an FM synth. This was one of the last of the DX series, featuring souped-up 4 operator FM with various waveforms. I used to alternate between this and the ESQ1 as my master keyboard. I liked the keys but you had to whack them to get top velocity. The 'Fixed Velocity' feature was very handy when you wanted to be sure you were inputting full velocity notes. I eventually sold it to a friend and got a TX81Z to free up some space.

    All DX11 track
    DX11 Cubase Mixermap
    DX11 Sys-Ex files

    Yamaha TX81Z FM rack synth

    Very nearly the same as the DX11, the main thing missing is a pitch envelope. No great loss, I can live without it. The output seems a lot cleaner than my DX11 too. I knew it would be harder to edit but it's bearable. You can't beat these 4-op ones for bass.. better than the TX802 I think, probably because it's simpler to get results - less envelope stages etc.

    Update: This really is a bit of a pain in the bum to edit. I was much more productive on the DX11. Need to write a software editor...

    The DX11 stuff above probably works with the TX81Z. I've not got round to trying it yet though.

    Korg Wavestation A/D digital rack synth

    A glorious Ebay bargain this one. 220 pounds -I couldn't believe my luck! I've had it a while now and have yet to program it. It's in great condition but the backlight needs replacing so that has put me off. The presets are great fun to play for now, even if there are some very obvious signature sounds in amongst them.

    Update: sold it! Probably great but it was a ball-ache to edit with a fading and super reflective screen.

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    Ensoniq EPS16+ rack sampler

    Very rarely switched on these days but I don't want to sell it. Probably a sentimental thing.. I used this all over the tracks from my most productive period. I've done bugger all since moving on from an Atari ST, a DX11 and the EPS16+ !

    I got hold of this after trying to get the best out of a Kawai K4 for a couple of years. This was a huge leap up in quality and it still sounds excellent today. Drums sound really beefy yet clear. I preferred the sound of this to the ASR-X (see below..)

    Update: bought another one off Ebay for peanuts, this one's got the SCSI interface and flash RAM. *rubs hands with glee*

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    Ensoniq ASR-X drum machine / sampler

    Now sold, I struggled with this for a few years. With the top-notch Ensoniq effects and decent resonant filters (a first for an Ensoniq digital), it did sound pretty damn good. Using it was a different matter. As a sampling drum machine it's a great box. You can soon create something very original, just by knocking up a beat, stuffing it through the effects, resampling it, filtering it etc. There's no end to that really. However, using it as a replacement for an EPS16+ or ASR10 is absolutely miserable. Layers, transwaves etc. are all inaccessible from the front panel. It's frustrating because underneath the interface it's a very powerful device.

    Update: If I had the room and the cash I'd get another cos they do sound bloody good. Just don't expect it to do it all.

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    Roland SH-101 analogue monosynth

    Brilliant. This is rightly a classic and I would recommend it to anyone. Basses and acid lines just sound right on this. In fact it's extremely hard to make this sound bad - a sign of a great instrument.

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    Roland SH-09 analogue monosynth

    I got this quite some time after the SH-101. It's very similar in layout and superficially the sound is similar too. Here's a 'compare and contrast' I did:

    Bender - no 'push' modulation on the 09, LFO mod can be applied on the 101 using the Bender.

    Portamento - just a slider for time on the 09, whereas the 101 has Auto and On options.

    Note priority - always low note priority on the 09, 101 is last note (need to check this one). I believe this is due to the 101 keyboard being digitally scanned (for the digital sequencer note entry) whereas the 09 is plain old analogue.

    LFO - 09 has Sine, Square and S&H, 101 also has Noise. 09 has a slider for LFO delay, although this doesn't affect LFO->PWM. LFO is always Sine when applied to PWM too (need to check if this is the case on the 101 too). Another thing I need to check - I'm sure the LFO on the 101 goes a bit faster than the 09's.

    VCO Pitch mod - The 101 seems to cover a wider range, the 09 only covers 4 semitones on mine on Sine. The Square mod covers a wider range of just over 3 octaves though.

    Octave switching - the 09 knob has positions for 32' to 2', whereas the 101 starts at 16'. The 101 does has a 3 octave (Low/Medium/High) keyboard transpose toggle which is very handy. Using the octave selector on the 09 to change octaves affects the filter cut-off.

    VCO waveforms - The major difference is the 09's is constructed from discrete parts whereas the 101 uses a CEM3340 chip. Both feature noise, saw and modulated pulse waveforms. The 09 features separate knob positions for square and PWM. Pulse width can be modulated by LFO or Envelope on both or set to a fixed shape. On my 09, the pulse width never gets as thin as my 101. Maybe this can be fixed with a tweak (there are three rubber bunged adjustment pots above the PWM slider), or perhaps they were all like that?

    Sub Oscillator - Both 09 and 101 feature 1 octave and 2 octave down square wave and also 2 octave down fixed pulse wave.

    Mixer - quite a major difference between the two here, as the 101 has separate sliders for square, saw and noise. The 09 features sliders for VCO, Sub Osc and External input. This limits the 09 a bit but it does gain the External input.

    Filter - Both feature a four-pole low-pass filter, again like the oscillator the 09 is discrete whereas the 101 uses a Roland chip. Maybe I'm deaf but they sound pretty similar to my ears! Both feature standard sliders for frequency, res, Envelope modulation and LFO modulation. On the 09, the Envelope modulation can be inverted or switched to 'Envelope follower' for use with the external input. The 09 lacks a Keyboard Tracking slider and the filter is preset to track the keyboard chromatically. I'm not sure if this is real or imagined but the 101 filter/res/env sliders seem more responsive i.e. they interact better. This could be tied in with the Key Tracking slider.

    VCA - Both can be switched between the Envelope and Gate. The 09 also features Hold, useful with the external signal I believe (not tried it yet).

    Envelope - Both feature a single envelope which can be triggered by Gate, Gate+Trig or the LFO. I read that the 09 is a tad slower than the 101 but they both seem pretty sharp to me.

    Sequencer - the 101 features a built-in 100 note digital sequencer/arpeggiator that allows individual note bends. The sequencer can be transposed on playback, so it can be treated like a programmable arpeggiator. This is a lot of fun and can be synced up easily to a modern set-up using the clock input driven by a spare output from a drum machine. My SH-09 came with a CSQ-100 which is a huge box for it's functionality: two tracks of basic CV/Gate sequencing. I can't see myself using this, even for fun - it's just too big and fiddly!

    Inputs/Outputs - Both feature CV/Gate in and out (mini jacks on the 101), main out and headphone out. The 09 features an External input for filtering of other synths, guitars etc. I've not tried this yet. The 101 features Ext Clock In, Hold inputs and connectors for the Mod Grip.

    Appearance - They both look great but the 09 is certainly more robust. I suppose it depends on if you prefer metal or plastic. Or 70s vs 80s... The 09 features chunkier slider tops and knobs and has smoother sliders. One thing that annoys me about the 101 is the fine tune knob is very light and easily knocked. The 09 features a much smaller, more resistant pot.

    PSU - Internal (with captive cable) on the 09 versus external wall-wart on the 101. The 09 seems to run quite cool.

    Keys - The 09 features slightly yellowed, flat fronted keys. The 101 has pearly white ones with the usual inch and a half gap under them to collect dust. I prefer the 101 keys.

    Sound - I agree with the archives on this, the 09 does indeed sound 'fatter'. Considering the differences in circuitry though, they're pretty damn similar. The 101 still sounds very good. It's not inferior to my ears, just different. Ignoring the tone and focusing on patch creation, I've only just got the 09 but my suspicions are that the 101 is slightly more versatile. Time will tell..

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    Roland MKS-70 Super JX analogue rack polysynth

    A classic of sorts. This is the module version of the JX10, which is two JX8P's. It sounds pretty good but I'm going to flog it. I've come to the conclusion that the main reason for it sounding so good is down to the two built in Roland analogue chorus units. Without the chorus, the sound is a bit bland. With the chorus you get a very wide, smooth classy sound.The MIDI response is a bit slow but that doesn't matter for pads.

    Update: Updated it to the latest ROMs for better sys-ex support. Sold it (near enough..)

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    Casio CZ-101 digital polysynth

    This isn't being used but that is more down to space limitations than anything else. This is loads of fun. A CZ-1 would be very nice to have as it adds velocity modulation. Due to it's toy-like size you can plonk this on your lap and sit with a pair of headphones on programming it for hours like it's a Gameboy or something. The sounds are great - early digital with lots of lovely aliasing. I can see why Vince Clarke got a rack of these in 1985.

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    Kawai K4 digital polysynth

    This was my first synth. I'd been eyeing up the K1 and Roland D10 for ages but when these were blown out I went for one of these instead. It's a fairly standard ROMpler but aside from the 256 standard waveforms, if you tuned the waves high enough you were presented with a load of wave sequence loops, a bit like the Roland D50. These weren't documented in the manual but were used all over the presets (like the startup sound "What's XTC?"). The digital filter was resonant but very sharp and liked to pop and click. I believe this was fixed in a later ROM update but I never got the chance to try it. The main problem with the K4 is the underpowered processor, which makes sequences sound rather sloppy. For single sounds (like you'd probably use it these days) it would be okay though. It's been ages since I had mine, so I'd be interested to try one again to see what my 2004 ears would think of it.

    K4 played through a guitar amp
    Industrial-esque track from 1991

    Kawai K1r digital rack synth

    My new secret weapon! This is somewhere between the ESQ1 and the CZ101 in terms of sound. With 256 waveforms (40 or so are 8-bit samples, the rest additive cycles) and no filters, this is a ring-mod monster! This has bags of character and I wish I'd got one of these years ago. As noted above, I went for the K4 which was cleaner and had filters and effects. While the K4 is still a bit grungy, it doesn't come close to the K1 series for 8-bit dirt. I think there are a good few ambient albums that could be made with just this and a decent effects unit. I'm now thinking that a K4r at the right price could be a worthy addition to my gear-mountain.

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    MAM ADX-1 drum synth

    An excellent all-analogue drum box. This has five channels of mini-synths to produce typical analogue boingy drum sounds. They are out of production now and I count myself quite lucky to find one. I believe this product was refined and expanded and eventually became the Vermona DRM-Mk2 (aka Touched By Sound Syncussion), which had eight channels, a better build and sounds better. I really like my ADX-1. It's handy to have a lump of real analogue goodness with built in MIDI triggering in such a handy little box. With 50 knobs, it's a lot of fun to tweak. The synthesis isn't that flexible but overall it sounds pretty good. Each channel has a modulation knob which can vary the sound for each time it's triggered. This sounds brilliant on the hi-hats and 'synth' channel. My only gripe is the knobs are a bit dodgy (yet again, just mounted on the PCB and not fixed to the case...).

    MAM ADX-1 mp3 1
    MAM ADX-1 mp3 2

    Yamaha RY-30 Rhythm Programmer

    Or Drum Machine to you and me... I first tried one of these at a music fair when they were first released and was blown away with the sound (48kHz samples in 1992?) and ease (and depth) of editing. When one of these cropped up on Ebay for a good price recently I snapped it up and was even happier when it turned up with an extra ROM card featuring more drum samples. This is very close to a synth, featuring resonant filtering and envelopes. The samples and be tuned over a huge range and layered which makes for some good sounds.

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    Roland MKS-7 Super Quartet rack synth

    This is an odd piece from Roland's 1980s synth legacy. It is a preset multi-timbral rack unit containing the guts of a Juno 106 and a TR-707 drum machine. The sounds can be edited by sys-ex or "engineering mode" (mildly painful) but the sys-ex isn't quite straight-forward enough to work with my Doepfer Drehbank which I'd planned on using. It looks like I have yet another editor to be write...

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    FAT Freebass FB383 rack monosynth

    This is the MAM MB-33 under another guise. It is a one oscillator bass synth, a reasonably close clone of a TB303. Apparently the filter is the same but the oscillator is different. It sounds great, I can get real thumping analogue bass notes out of this and honking, quacking, chirping 303 lines. The resonance isn't quite as extreme as a real 303 to my ears. For the price, I have no real complaints other than the key range it responds to over MIDI stops about two-thirds of the way up my keyboard. Looping a pattern in Cubase has made it lock up once or twice too, rather annoying.

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    Korg Poly 61M analogue polysynth

    Got this after hearing some mp3s on the net. It's one of the later ones with a very basic MIDI implementation. It's in good condition but had nasty cigarette burns on two of the keys. Luckily I found someone in the Sound On Sound small ads selling spare keys which snapped in very easily so it now looks perfect. The tact switches need replacing and also the fat Varta battery is probably due to explode all over the PCBs so I've got to do that. It looks like a pain to get access to though. Worth all the effort as it sounds superb. For years I had read that they sound thin, weedy etc and are crap but I beg to differ! It sounds very warm and 'old analogue' to my ears with 2 DCOs, one with PWM. The filters are wonderful and I think are based on Korg's own chips, their versons of the SSM 2044s? There are annoyances like the limited parameter resolution and the basic MIDI but overall it's a bargain retro buy if you get a good one. I'd like a Poly 800 now but I have this Siel I need to get working (see below) .

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    Siel Expander 80 (aka EX-80) analogue synth

    Won this Italian gadget for 22 quid! A steal! Unfortunately it didn't come with the power supply so I need to make one. I believe it requires AC, 2 times 16V, centre tapped. The Expander 80 is a close relative of the Korg Poly 800, or rather the Korg EX800 module. It has 8 DCO oscillators, one SSM2045 VCF and a chorus. The great thing about it is that every parameter can be modified using MIDI CCs. I love the plastic box, a real gaudy yet sleek 80s bit of design there.

    Update: I've managed to get hold of a suitable PSU for this (big thanks to Tony Allgood of Oakley Sound Systems) and I'm glad to report that it's fully working. It's definitely a lo-fi cheese machine with the divide-down "additive" oscillators sounding rather "chip tunes". The way the single filter is retriggered sounds great to my ears, a very different experience to the usual polysynth. The interface is surprisingly speedy to use and all the rubbery buttons are responsive. I like the fact that there are two LFOs but I wish the one routed to the oscillators could do square wave modulation rather than just triangle. I suspect the Korg sounds a bit classier but I really like this, and at 22 quid I can't complain!

     

    Daphon Analogue Effects Pedals

    Got a couple of these brand new off Ebay UK for peanuts. The first is the E10PH, a phaser costing 12.50 UKP. It's got a very smooth, warm definite analogue sound to it, quite different to the ones in my digital effects. It's not a tremendously strong sounding phaser but it warms up my synths very nicely. It's from Daphon's original range housed in a plastic stomp box with PCB mounted pots and jacks. This is fine for gentle synth use but if you're aiming to stomp then the newer metal range are a better bet.

    The second pedal is the E20DL analogue delay. It's a bucket brigade device using an array of capacitors to store the sound rather than digital memory resulting in a totally different sound to a digital delay. With the feedback and smooth response from the knobs you can get a great variety of echos and full delays. You can almost play it like an instrument in it's own right once the feedback gets going! I really like this and for the price (17.50 UKP) it's an absolute steal. The metal range are built like tanks with cast metal cases and very solid knobs and jack sockets. On this design there's more room around the knobs for tweakage too. I'd say the extra few quid spent on the metal versions is well worth it.

    Two short demos of my Korg Poly 61M through the Daphon effects:

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