Old School Hardware

nomos

Administrator
"Making use of" would be a stretch these days, unfortunately. But I've had a Yamaha RY-30 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. It's a monster...

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

Lost in the Supermarket
I'm more familiar with my Alesis MMT8 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, Waldorf Blofeld, a Roland JP8000, and a Roland M-VS1 rompler that I'm currently trying to control using sysex through a Novation Remote Zero SL. It's really not working out, tho.
 

alex

Do not read this.
that RX5 looks really nice, kinda like this. Picked it up from some Australian guy who never used to have a drummer in his band. Amazing machine, the samples are so cool.
 

blacktulip

Pregnant with mandrakes
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

is not like other people
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

Administrator
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

Pregnant with mandrakes
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

Lost in the Supermarket
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

Do not read this.
I also managed to pick up this 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

Lost in the Supermarket
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 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. 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.
 
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