PDA

View Full Version : Old School Hardware



Chef Napalm
30-04-2013, 06:45 PM
Any producers here making use of good, old-fashioned hardware? I just picked up a Yamaha RX5 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/rx5.php) and a QX3 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/sequencers.php#qx3) that I'm excited about.

nomos
01-05-2013, 02:02 AM
"Making use of" would be a stretch these days, unfortunately. But I've had a Yamaha RY-30 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/ry30.php) for some time and I'm really fond of it. It's a synth hiding in a drum machine. Each pad can layer two sounds, each of which can be pitched, filtered, panned, etc. And it accepts cards from SY synths of the same vintage. It was Yamaha's answer to the R8, I think. The presets are more rock oriented but that becomes relative once you start mucking with the sounds.

More recently, I picked up an Ensoniq ESQ-1 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/ensoniq/ens_esq1.php). It's a monster...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncIoh2CP3Lc

The plan was to link these guys up with Ableton, but sometimes I wonder if it would just be more fun with a hardware sequencer. How do you like yours?

Chef Napalm
01-05-2013, 02:22 PM
I'm more familiar with my Alesis MMT8 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/mmt8.php) than the new (to me) Yamaha, and I like that very much. Ridiculously easy to use, hardy and cheap; it was perfect for my first forays into hardware. I mostly went looking for the Yamaha because it will do 16 tracks.

It's a bit funny, tho. The MMT8 will occasionally randomly transpose notes. While this might sound like a problem, I actually kind of like it. It drops a few one-time events in my tracks and gives them a slightly live feel.

In my experience, Ableton doesn't work very well with MIDI unless it's via USB.

I also have, in no particular order, an Alesis HR16B (http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/hr16.php), Waldorf Blofeld (http://www.vintagesynth.com/waldorf/blofeld.php), a Roland JP8000 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jp8000.php), and a Roland M-VS1 rompler (http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/oct95/rolandmodules.html) that I'm currently trying to control using sysex (http://www.2writers.com/eddie/TutSysEx.htm) through a Novation Remote Zero SL (http://global.novationmusic.com/midi-controllers/zero-sl-mkii). It's really not working out, tho.

Chef Napalm
01-05-2013, 04:42 PM
Here's an excellent explanation of Ableton's MIDI woes: http://blog.snugsound.com/2012/08/hardware-integration-with-ableton-live.html

Chef Napalm
03-05-2013, 04:29 PM
Anyone else?

alex
03-05-2013, 07:53 PM
that RX5 looks really nice, kinda like this (http://www.vintagesynth.com/casio/rz1.php). Picked it up from some Australian guy who never used to have a drummer in his band. Amazing machine, the samples are so cool.

alex
03-05-2013, 07:53 PM
the reviews on vse are really shit!

blacktulip
04-05-2013, 10:08 AM
Got a Kurzweil K2000 a while back (something I always wanted when I was 16), took out the disk drive, replaced it with a memory card drive, upgraded the system ROMs, figured out the basics of the synth engine and how to use it with a BCR2000 MIDI controller to increase the knob factor. Great fun!

woops
04-05-2013, 11:39 AM
I like the sentiment of the thread, but an MC-303 I was looking forward to rehabilitating has had it, so I cannot make any real contribution

nomos
04-05-2013, 04:12 PM
a Kurzweil K2000 ... (something I always wanted when I was 16)
Me too - Future Music fantasies ("Ooooh... If I just had a K2000 and an ADAT I'd be unstoppable.")


took out the disk drive, replaced it with a memory card drive ... Great fun!
For some reason this never occurred to me as an option. Would it be difficult for someone with intermediate soldering skills?

blacktulip
04-05-2013, 04:35 PM
Me too - Future Music fantasies ("Ooooh... If I just had a K2000 and an ADAT I'd be unstoppable.")

For some reason this never occurred to me as an option. Would it be difficult for someone with intermediate soldering skills?

No soldering required. The tricky parts were more archeological than technical challenges: finding a SCSI-compatible (IIRC) card drive, and getting the original drive out without breaking up the near-fossilised plastic case.

I had a book called 'History of House' which had a huge effect on me; it had a bunch of gear-focused interviews (maybe from Sound on Sound?) with all the Detroit techno bods, 808 State, Baby Ford, Larry Heard. The K2000 must have been the pinnacle of music technology on the day of publication as it was getting massive boosts for its "undreamed-of synthesis potential", etc.

Chef Napalm
05-05-2013, 12:06 AM
Got a Kurzweil K2000 a while back (something I always wanted when I was 16), took out the disk drive, replaced it with a memory card drive, upgraded the system ROMs, figured out the basics of the synth engine and how to use it with a BCR2000 MIDI controller to increase the knob factor. Great fun!
Nice one! That sort of control is exactly what I'm shooting for with my remote zero/rompler combo. Just can't seem to get the hex right...

My hardware lust started with that Synth Brittania doc. I still lust after a Korg MS20 because of it.

alex
07-05-2013, 11:26 AM
I also managed to pick up this (http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/fb01.php) at the back end of last year. It's really nice, got some wicked sounds on it. 40 too, what a bargain.

Having trouble editing the patches though, as they've discontinued the ipad app that could edit this & other such FM synths, and I can't seem to find out to do it straight from my mac??

I love it though, so crunchy!

Anyone got any Casio synths btw?

I've got a tr 626 & a Juno 106, very common but obv distinct Roland sounds

Chef Napalm
07-05-2013, 07:51 PM
Having trouble editing the patches though, as they've discontinued the ipad app that could edit this & other such FM synths, and I can't seem to find out to do it straight from my mac??
You might try here: http://ctrlr.org

I have a Casio SK1 (http://www.vintagesynth.com/casio/sk1.php) that I bought at a flea market, but I've never actually used it because it doesn't do MIDI. I was impressed by the sound and feel of their new performance synth, the XW-P1 (http://www.casioca.com/products/Digital_Pianos_%26_Keyboards/Digital_Synthesizers/XW-P1/). They were selling for $450 here in Canada just before Christmas, which is a significant price drop from what's listed on the website. In the end, though, I decided that I really didn't need another digital synth.