Need some recommendations - studio based.


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OK - My Live rig is kind of set for now. Bottom is my RD2000, Top board is a Fantom 7. I have a 3rd tier shelf with Legend EXP, Virus Ti2 and Peak. They all provide something the others dont - and in a live band mix the fact there is no fully analogue synth doesnt really matter.

When I say "set for now".... i want an Iridium BUT this will replace the Virus. I think it will do everything the Virus does plus sampler, FM engine (kernals) etc. The sticky point for now is the arp/sequencer doesn't latch when using an external keybed - only if using the onboard "pads". Thats a deal breaker for me but Im sure it will be sorted in a FW update - then ill make the switch.

so - id always thought thats would be it - literally no room for anything else HOWEVER, Ive re-giggled things. Ive removed my 3 tier stand from my home setup (keep it packed for live) and gone back to my old table 2 tier stand (more stable) - and Ive added some angled wall mounts to hold the 3rd tier while at home. The upshot is because Im using wall mounts - I have space for a 4th tier above it.

This will house "home use" only modules (no keyboard). its not limited to sound sources. Im open to drum machines, hardware sequencers etc as well. The caveat is I want at least one fully analogue synth. This is where the help comes it. Its partly about narrowing down the options with an "open eye" - no "pre conceived" thoughts. I dont know enough about how things complement or duplicate.

Options im looking at:

1. Deep Mind 12.

+ points: cost: analogue: control sequencer (means I can design a melody and transpose it in real time - something I cant do). FX
- points: DCO not VCO (not convinced a DCM is any better than a hybrid like the Peak in its core sound). Limited Osc section.

2. DSi Rev 2.

+ points: its a DSi.... loads of modulation and full Osc section.
- points: DCO not VCO. Cant transpose the patterns without holding a button at the same time - not great for me.

3. Argon Cobalt 8.

+ points: price. Full Osc section. Nice sounding.
- points: its another VA

4. Profit 6/OB6 ()probably the OB as its less like the other things I have/am looking at).

+ points: VCO. NICE sound.
- points: Limited flexibility (does that matter with everything else I have). Cost

5. Keystep/Beatstep Pro.

+ points: can do those transposable sequences DM can - but multiples running at once.
- points: no sound in itself. difficult to integrate over Midi (need to insert/merge it somewhere in the chain)

6. TR8s

+ points. Adds rhythm stuff I dont have (well I do on the Fantom but its pattern based not real time)
- points. Its not a synth lol.


Im more than open to other options I may not have though of - or alternatives to kit Ive listed. Polybrute module would definitely be up there - but I haven't heard of any plans to release one.

Size wise - I have 400mm deep which is plenty - possibly enough to stack one behind another (beat step and Tr8s for instance, though Ive not checked sizes). Width wise, the shelves are 120cm - so plenty for 2 modules. Possibly 3 with a little overhang, and depending on the modules (cobalt 8 and DM for instance arnt big).

As I say - I know what Id like - but thats not what I want to do lol. I want a selection of gear that allows flexibility, as wide a range of options and capabilities I can, though as I say i do want a fully analogue synth as I done have one ( and Ive never had one).

so - long post - but help?????
 
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happyrat1

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Deepmind 12 is probably your cheapest entry point into analog synths and the TR8s is a good item if you don't already have a drum machine. Though I opted instead for the Behringer RD8 for drums as it is truly analog.

I own the Deepmind 6 and to tell the truth the smaller size suits my studio better and I really don't miss the extra 6 voices for the stuff that I do.

Gary ;)
 
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How to connect everything midi wise.....

I could fit - a Deep mind 12 Desktop, an OB6 module, and a Digitact.

No idea ow to connect the RD and Fantom to all the synths (well that bit I can do using a merger 2 in, 2 out then 2 lanes to the synths daisy chain from there) BUT how go I connect the Digitact in so control the synths as well????

Is is just putting that in the "chain" before the synths Id want to sequecnce? Can I put it into a second merger to keep the chain length down?

Something like 2 keyboards into midi merger 1 - one output goes to the Virus and the organ (dont need to sequence them) - the second goes to a 2nd midi merger. input 2 of that is the digitact with the outputs goin to Peak, OB6 and DM (on its 2 outs).

Alternatively I can just chain everything - 2 keyboards to merger - out of that to Digitakt - then on to Peak, OB6 and DM. other output would go to Virus and organ module. Not sure how Digitakt adds its stiff if I use the Midi thu.

Lots to look into.
 

happyrat1

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Get your self one of these.


And use a laptop or a tablet to handle the routing of the devices.

I use an old 4 Port MIDIsport on my rig and handle all the routing with a program called Catia on Linux.

Any routing program should work if you can find one for your platform.


I simply drag and drop connections with my mouse. Works like a charm :)

EDIT >>> Here's a screenshot of my current studio. In this shot I'm using my Kurzweill 88 keyboard as a controller for a Behringer Poly D and an ASM Hydrasynth.

screenshot1.jpg


Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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Basically I control what signal goes to each device by assigning different MIDI channels to the Beatstep Pro and routing those to Bass synths and Drum Synths on corresponding channels and I layer sounds from the controller by simply connecting them all on the same channel.

It really is very intuitive once you've got it all set up.

I usually use channels 1 thru 7 for Leads and Bass and leave the drum channel set to the traditional 10.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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BTW, if you use the traditional method of MIDI chaining you run the risk of inducing lag into the system by chaining too many MIDI ports at once. MIDI is an OLD and SLOW protocol.

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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With the 8 port MIDI interface it's doable with a laptop since all the MIDI devices are blocked to a single USB. In my case it would never work with a laptop because I am also using umpty zillion USB ports. I have to use a desktop computer. You however, can set this up with a laptop in your case :)

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Here's a couple of flowcharts of my current studio.

Flowchart-a-studio-a-2021.jpg
Flowchart-m-studio-a-2021.jpg


This should help clarify what I am saying.

Gary ;)
 
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I use the 2x2 now. I need it to be stand alon really. dont want to hook up to a PC necessarily.

I have looked and though its more expensive the Motu Midi Express XT looks pretty good. 8 in 8 out - and has presets. Some factory some user programable. Those presets can be run "stand alone".


The "keyboard" factory preset basically routes any input to all outputs - so up to 8 controllers and 8 destinations. Helpfully they dont route to their numberd counterpart - so put 1 routes to 2-8 input 2 route to 1, then 3-8 etc. Means you can connect the keyboards in and out and it filters out loops.

Means I can controll either keyboard from each other - plus all 5 modules (inc Digitakt as I use one of the keyboards as master clock) - and Digitakt could sequence all 7 sources.

Just got to figure a way to mount it for live..... though actually I could keep the 2x2 I have mounted for live as I wouldnt take Digitakt/DM or OB6. solves a problem as I can mount it behind the synths.
 
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Like that flow.

Tempted with a Hydrasynth - but again its VA/Wavetable.
Tempted with a Minilogue - but the sequencer doesnt transpose from the keyboard trigger. If it did Id have that not the DM.
Tempted with the Behringer Modle D.... but cant save patches (and not sure I need a mono really for my stuff).
 

happyrat1

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I can tell you all three are a boatload of fun, but I end up playing around with the knobs and switches on the Model D and the Poly D so often it is sort of distracting when you're trying to lay down a track.

Then again with all the presets in the Deepmind and the Hydra you start to get lazy and just start auditioning thru hundreds of patches looking for a proper sound sometimes.

Correction >>> I love ALL my synths and they all keep me very entertained on long, cold, winter nights :D

I can say though, that the Model D and the Neutron are excellent starter synths if you want to get your feet wet in the world of analog..

I'd say go with the Neutron if you are going that route. It's two oscillator paraphonic and has way more patchbay options. Much more versatile than the Model D which is essentially a reboot of a thirty-five year old design.

Also, even though the oscillators are digitally clocked, it still takes about 15 minutes for them to stabilize on all my analog gear.

Gary ;)
 
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Not sure Im going that route. I know what you mean about Presets. I bought the Virus Ti1 used - and he emailed me pretty much EVERY present commercially available. There are over 700 banks of 128 sounds...... 18 months later Ive still not listened to all of them - but Ive been though a lot.

Im just trying to build a rig with options for every "type" of synthesis. Hence why Iridium will replace Virus. It does everything virus does - plus it adds an FM engine (it even accepts DX7 patches) and sampler, and granular.

Ultimately the Fantom 7 has its own quirks - a filter, LFO and env per oscillator with 4 osc per tone. That does things other Synthes cant do. The Virus/Iridium has hugh mod matrix with plenty of envelopes and LFOs (and envelope shapes). Peak has an analogue filter and is hybrid with 3 Osc, and wavetable capability. The DM12 will be DCO (and I think its the better buy rather than a Rev 2, which sounds a lot closer to peak despite being analogue) - so Im only missing a VCO and a mono. The VCO will be a P67 or OB6 because I MUST have a DSi synth at some point. For the mono I dont know right now, but thats the last on the list as I feel ill use it the least. Quite possibly a Pro something (Sequential pro 3 if Im flush, behringer Pro 1 if not) or possibly a model D.

Need a drum machine - but actually investigated the TR6s - which while not as "real time performance" capable as the TR8s - thats not what I want it for. The smaller form will fit. I could add an MC101 or Digitakt as well - probably Digitakt for the sequencing and sampling capabilities.

Once I get rid of the kids, and have a larger room - Ill add a Mono, and also I really want a Moog One..... that will be a retirement pressy to myself in 10 years if Ive not got one before that.
 

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