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Old 09.04.2020, 09:54 PM
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Default Gear update

Analog polys are pretty much the heart of my modest studio these days. I started getting more and more into the vintage analog sound and gravitating away from any major investment in VA synths for the time being -- would love to see Access do a Virus Ti3, but I don't see it on the horizon. I think that software has gotten so good at VA that its harder to justify the price tag. Will continue to keep one eye on Waldorf Kyra.

The combination of Prophet Rev2 and OB-6, especially lined up and played together as in the photo, satisfies such a wide range of my synth need and the sounds that come out of the two of them are incredible. These two boards compliment each other beautifully! The 16 voice dual-timbral Prophet is effectively 2 synths in one, so that's three analog polys within easy reach. ... This, I think is why we often see this combination among poly fans (Prophet+OB-6). The OB-6 brings that special Oberheim sound, and the Prophet has that incredible versatility as well as a rich sound that seems to appear in so many classic synth tunes (yet both can sound as modern as you want them to).

Some folks talk about DCOs (Prophet Rev2) as opposed to the VCOs of the OB-6... is there a difference? No...in terms of the "analogueness" of the OSC tones, there really is not a discernable difference. Remember, even the magical Juno-106 was DCO based. What gives each their unique personality is the Curtis filter (Prophet) vs. the SEM filter (OB-6), and this has much more to do with the analog sound than DCO vs VCO. The notch filter is the one thing the Prophet cannot do and it is an important difference between the two, however there are certain sounds that the Curtis filters of the Prophet just excel at. Aside from the filters, it's all the various types of modulation that bring out the warmth, and both of them have crazy options.

About pic -- Note they both say "Sequential". There really is no DSI brand anymore.... I haven't yet seen an OB-6 that is branded Sequential in any other pics, although they will surely become more common over time. I have seen a few Rev2s in pics branded Sequential. The OB-6 still has the Tom Oberheim signature on the front (not shown).

Embedded images not allowed so here's the link : https://imgur.com/F8eb2eA

I still have my TI Snow... not visible in the pic because the angle of photo. Still use my Maschine MKI but primarily for FX and specific creative urges, because XO has taken its place as my drum machine.

Update -- captured image from Sequential's product site...

https://imgur.com/a/nAAzoZR

... branding not updated there, DSI logo still visible I think the branding differences are an interesting component of these synths' history that won't be present in new products. Who knows, maybe the DSI labeled ones will bring a bigger price tag on the used market one day? If so it won't be due to rarity -- not sure of sales numbers but the OB-6 has been around for 4+ years now so quite a few units sold.

Last edited by MBTC : 10.04.2020 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 11.04.2020, 09:09 PM
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Here are 3 sets of soundsets by Luke Neptune for the OB-6, Prophet Rev2 and Prophet 6. It's a good way to hear some of the differences of the three, since it contains renditions of classic film riffs by the same creator on each of the synths. I wouldn't use them as the end-all comparison though, because for example the Stranger Things Bass doesn't sound like he put much effort into the Rev2 version, the OB-6 one sounds much warmer IMO, and the Rev2 is very capable of warm bass. Also, there are some areas the Rev2 just sounds brighter and better than the OB-6, but it's not a limit of the OB-6 as much as a reflection of how much time was put into each. And I'm not sure making them sound the same on each was even his goal as much as to bring out specific traits of each synth.

I did notice in Luke's comments he said all of his Rev2 sounds are single-layer 8-voice, which makes these vids a good comparison of oscillator and filter character, but not a good comparison of the synths overall.. because for example, if he had stacked 2 layers on the Rev2 he would be taking it into territory the others cannot go.


OB-6: VCOs and SEM filter, 6 voice
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9XQGQZgBNg

Prophet Rev2: DCOs and Curtis filter, 8 voice per layer (2 layers)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAU-80ReCag


And lastly, here is some of the same patches for the Prophet 6, which I don't yet own!

Prophet 6: VCOs and Curtis filter, 6 voices
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0ZyozQZWp0


Here is what I think is capturing the difference between the 8 voices of the Rev2 and the 6 of the OB-6. Many people will say the OB-6 sounds fatter (sometimes it does), but in certain sounds you can hear a difference the polyphony makes, like in the last moments of Jump intro:

https://youtu.be/58yog7dDJHU?t=119
https://youtu.be/bVGLc5mdras?t=118


Which of these three synths (OB-6, Prophet Rev2, or Prophet 6) do you prefer the sound of, and why?

Last edited by MBTC : 11.04.2020 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 11.07.2020, 12:12 AM
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Default Korg Minilogue XDm

Recently added a Korg Minilogue XDm to my setup. I didn't want to waste space on a tiny keyboard with slim keys (referring to the keyboard version versus the desktop module), I'd rather have a smaller module that I can just keep near one of my 61 key controllers and reach the knobs easily, and non-standard sized keys and cramped octaves aren't my thing. I would have bought a Prologue module if one existed... I think Korg might have decided that an 8-voice Prologue desktop would cost not much less than the 8 voice keyboard to produce, so the price point wouldn't make much sense. A Minilogue XDm is a good way to test the Korg analog waters -- a keyboard version or second module can be polychained for 8 voices controlled from a single unit.

Out of the box, impressions based on presets were somewhat lukewarm --I'm now spoiled by the sound of Sequential gear. I was listening to basses, strings and pads and comparing them to the sounds I get from my Rev2 and OB-6.... and clearly it's not in that league (nothing close)....At first I thought it was going to be a send-back, but then I started tweaking the presets and finding sweet spots, playing with the sequencer + motion feature, the multi-engine and then had that holy shit moment where I realized why this thing gets five star reviews. Once you use the drive to push the signal through the filter, and realize the power of the effects (delay, mod and reverb all simultaneous and the reverb is LUSH), it dawns on you what a creativity powerhouse this little box is! And for $550 USD? Amazing value and recommended, nothing like it at the price point IMHO.

Like I said, it's not going to replace my Sequential stuff but it definitely found a welcome home in my studio.
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Old 15.08.2020, 10:24 PM
MBTC MBTC is offline
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Recently added a Prophet 6 to my list of analogs. I actually sold my Virus Snow a few months back -- I always liked the sound, but actually working with it annoyed me and I felt like soft synths had gotten close enough to the Virus sound and even surpassed it in many cases. The reason workflow with the Snow didn't work for me was mostly just not having a "knob" for everything and having to go back to the mouse/keyboard to do this or that (and even then, I didn't care for the plugin or find it to be very good for sound design or production). Then there is the "volume" thing (i.e. the Virus TI has lame volume, because according to Kemper they had to leave enough headroom for 16 parts to play at the same time. What? Let me adjust the volume per part to my liking, headroom is for me to worry about not the synth designer, and this seems like the kind of excuse Elon Musk would make).

Anyway, despite all this I may get another Virus at some point because it does some things well -- I just need more knobs and direct control than the Snow offered.

A friend of mine inquired about my Minilogue XD module, and asked me how it compared to the Snow. Honestly even only as a 4 voice VCO poly and an under $600 price tag, its a little gem and sonically adds much more to a mix than the Snow, albeit not the exact same types of sound. It can sound very digital if you want it to, especially with the third digital oscillator, and there is a rich community of custom oscillators to choose from for the minilogue/prologue line.. you can get some very cool sounds from it, but what I like best about it is the sequencer, how you can combine it with "motion sequencing" modulation. Korg USB MIDI drivers are a little finicky and I think like the Virus its not a class compliant device (so you need the driver on Windows at least).
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