Moog, DSI, Elektron, OPZ, another OP1? Help me spend my $$$!!!


#1

Friends,


I’ve been selling gear that I’m not “loving” (most of my guitar/band stuff) so that I can buy things that I DO love. Stuff that inspires me to play more. Much like the OP1 has done for me.

Theme is mainly based around knobby synths. So, on the list of possible “to buys”, a motley bunch:

Prophet 08 PE: Tried one a few years ago, loved it. Couldn’t afford it, now the price has bottomed out due to the Rev 2
Sub 37: Had a sub phatty for a year, loved the sound but hated the under-the-hood functions and wanted a 3 octave keyboard. A BSII has been filling in since, but the 37 has been calling me name since… (BTW the little phatty doesn’t do it for me)
DSI Tempest: This one really really interests me and has for quite a while, as I’m also a drum programmer. Anybody got any first hand experience with one? Apparently they’ve fixed a lot of the older issues with an OS update, but mainly interested in how it works as a synth? not much about this online, it’s mainly complaints about the OS or just drum stuff. Only a good few synth examples around.
Octatrack: wildcard on the list this is a real “maybe”, as the finniky looking workflow puts me off. Not sure if it’s really something I need, but people seem to rave about them? Could be really useful for live stuff, but not sure if I’ll ever really be able to ditch the Mac… but maybe this will be the one?

Last on the list is hold my money to see about the OPZ (literally no idea about that one), or grab a second OP1 for uber-self-indulgence and 8-track recording. Can you sync them using the PO sync?? Be a PITA if I needed a midi host, but would be really really cool to have 2 OP’s sync’d up and play entire tracks with different loop points etc etc

Any thoughts welcome!

p.s. I’m sorted for computer stuff/software etc, really searching for instruments.

#2

OP-1 to OP-1 sync is Midi only as this is currently the only way OP-1 accepts any external sync. You could use the Element LFO with the Mic in to e.g. the Punch frequency (or Tremolo volume) to sort of trigger envelopes from one OP-1 to the other. That’d not give you any time sync or frequency information though, so it’s a limited form of getting them to play together. Plus you’re loosing the output (at least one channel if you hard pan it) from your one OP-1.


#3

I say nay to octatrack if you’re already set on a computer-based workflow. It might fit into that if you needed, say, a sample-based drum machine, or a midi sequencer, or wanted it to play live without a computer. But if it’s not really necessary in your setup it’ll be a lot of time spent learning it, then dealing with the struggles of integration into a laptop setup (lack of outputs and over bridge, sync issues, guilt over not using its full capability, etc).

I have an OT and love it, am now a slave to certain tricks it pulls off, but it has honestly been a struggle and maybe I would have been happier sticking with Ableton.

Sounds like yay to P08 and sub37, instruments you already know you’ll love. Make sure you won’t get rev2 envy though.

Tempest, not qualified to comment. Played on one for a couple of days and found the interface to be an absolute nightmare, but people love it and say it’s a good synth too. Can teach you a lot about drum synthesis because all sounds need to be sculpted from scratch out of identical voices.

Nay to two OP1s IMO. Think it would defeat the elegance and simplicity of the little thing. Samplers play well with it for expanding track count, I will say that.


#4

Ugggggh that sucks! Would be awesome if it could sync PO style, but some (using magic) transfer the audio thru.


Anyone seen a vid of someone syncing 2 OPs and using them like an 8 track? Steezo uses a bunch of them but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him using multiple tape tracks. AFACT anyway

#5
Ugggggh that sucks! Would be awesome if it could sync PO style, but some (using magic) transfer the audio thru.

Anyone seen a vid of someone syncing 2 OPs and using them like an 8 track? Steezo uses a bunch of them but I don't think I've ever seen him using multiple tape tracks. AFACT anyway
You'd need a midi host box (or computer!) and do it via usb midi. Should work tho.

#6

@Anfim thanks for the words on the Octatrack. I think you’ve summed up exactly my trepidation about it. I’m super deep in Ableton and still really enjoy working with it (was a nice creative change from using Pro Tools for years. I also use Maschine as my main soft/hardware sampler and sequencer, so you’re right - the Octatrack would be obsolete.


Would really like to try a Rev 2, but TBH can’t see how it would be that much better than the orig 08? Nothing about the update details blew my mind, and its a $600 difference here in Oz

#7

2nd hand Moog Prodigy :slight_smile:


#8

Jump into Eurorack?



#9
2nd hand Moog Prodigy :)

Dunno much about the prodigy, but they’re pretty expensive here? At least as much as a sub 37. I’d be a little worried about reliability nowadays too maybe?


@<a href=“https://www.operator-1.com/index.php?p=/profile/54/spacetravelmadeeasy” class=“Username” style=“margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-weight: bold; font-size: 15px; font-family: “lucida grande”, “Lucida Sans Unicode”, tahoma, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(1, 115, 198); background-color: rgb(252, 252, 255);”>spacetravelmadeeasy<span style=“color: rgb(37, 38, 30); font-family: “lucida grande”, “Lucida Sans Unicode”, tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 17.8px; background-color: rgb(252, 252, 255);”>
Eurorack just doesn’t do it for me, feels more like a machine than an instrument. Literally haven’t seen/heard a single example of something that has changed my mind of that either. I like stuff with keys/strings attached. Maybe it’s jst me?



#10
I have an OT and love it, am now a slave to certain tricks it pulls off.

Can you elaborate on these ensalving tricks?


#11
I have an OT and love it, am now a slave to certain tricks it pulls off.

Can you elaborate on these ensalving tricks?


The way you can record any random material into a track, and very quickly slice it up, drop some trigs, randomise the slices, add some plocks and have a rhythmic melody going that’s unexpectedly good and different with little effort. In this sense it’s a great song starter and ideas machine.

The other key thing for me is the crossfader. You can quickly map any number of parameters to a scene and then crossfade between them, and discover surprising in-between states which you can then resample. Crossfading stuff like playback rate, slice position and delay times makes audio feel very malleable and elastic. If you have several of the scenes set up you can jump between them instantly for fast glitchy transitions, or xfade between any different combinations of scenes. AFAIK there’s nothing else in the hardware or software realm that lets you manipulate audio in this way so spontaneously, and it’s really really fun.

The OT kinda sucks for mixing and arranging so often I use it to generate lots of smaller loops and ideas which then get dumped into Ableton for the serious treatment. But IMO Ableton sucks for starting songs, so best to play to the strengths of each… Currently working on a live set that’s just OT, OP1 and FX pedals so I’m forcing myself to learn the arranger and be more organised with it. The OT can do linear but you need to put the effort in.


#12

DSI pro 2 was great and easy to make sound good for the short while I had it. Great sequencer. I’m gonna pick one up again once I spot a bargain.
That’s coming from someone who found the tempest very difficult to figure out too…


#13
I have an OT and love it, am now a slave to certain tricks it pulls off.

Can you elaborate on these ensalving tricks?


The way you can record any random material into a track, and very quickly slice it up, drop some trigs, randomise the slices, add some plocks and have a rhythmic melody going that’s unexpectedly good and different with little effort. In this sense it’s a great song starter and ideas machine.

The other key thing for me is the crossfader. You can quickly map any number of parameters to a scene and then crossfade between them, and discover surprising in-between states which you can then resample. Crossfading stuff like playback rate, slice position and delay times makes audio feel very malleable and elastic. If you have several of the scenes set up you can jump between them instantly for fast glitchy transitions, or xfade between any different combinations of scenes. AFAIK there’s nothing else in the hardware or software realm that lets you manipulate audio in this way so spontaneously, and it’s really really fun.

The OT kinda sucks for mixing and arranging so often I use it to generate lots of smaller loops and ideas which then get dumped into Ableton for the serious treatment. But IMO Ableton sucks for starting songs, so best to play to the strengths of each… Currently working on a live set that’s just OT, OP1 and FX pedals so I’m forcing myself to learn the arranger and be more organised with it. The OT can do linear but you need to put the effort in.

I also have been trying to learn a little more in how I can fully produce tracks on my OT alone. Do you have a big memory card? have you tried resampling whole 4 page patterns down to one sample? Then putting that sample on each track and using each track as a mastering effect as needed. Reverb, compression, spatializer, eq, filter, delay, etc. you can then sequence trigs on whichever “master effect” track you want to hear it play through. So like I have my entire song intro or verse or half a verse, or whatever fits with the bpm, on track one (filter and delay) and track two (filter and reverb) track eight is set to be a master track running compression and spatializer. So I trig track one first time through all four pages, filtering and delaying as needed, track two I use filter, and the amp page to edit and add reverb when I want and I use the Arranger to mute and un mute the tracks/ sequence the song. I then move on to the next part of the song and if I still have tracks left on pattern one I do the same thing as above. Point is you can fit an entire song on pattern one alone by doing it this way, yes your samples are longer and you have to delete a lot more samples too but in the end it has unlocked more production potential using OT this way

It’s like how Panda Bear runs song stems from his Octatrack but instead of laying these tracks out on all 8 tracks, resample them all to one track and use the effects on other tracks to create your variations using the Arrangers many possibilities


#14

Whooooa, just found this on youtube - makes the Prophet sound incredibly expressive


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpYfuUX9hVM

#15

@anfim thanks heaps for yor detailed reply.


This is the kind of impression I was getting with the OT… I find it really appealing, It’s just a pretty big investement… I’m thinking it’s a next year thing for me… Not like a “next year”, but actual next year…

I see myself using it in the exact way you described… So it’s really good for resampling, hey? That’s one of my biggest passions at the moment…

Resampling on the OP-1 is great, very flexible considering everything else it does… But in some ways it’s a bit slow and clunky (for me… Perhaps I just need more practise)…

Thanks again.

#16
Whooooa, just found this on youtube - makes the Prophet sound incredibly expressive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpYfuUX9hVM

A bloke on a ship was playing last year bought a prophet 8 (I wasn’t familiar with them at the time)… He was a jazz shredder, playing in a quartet, and I was very impressed with the tone, and expressiveness. The aftertouch functions, like applying vibrato when you press the key harder with aftertouch sounded beautiful.


Why is the guy in the vid you shared hitting his loop pedal like a 1/4 note before the loop start, though? I guess he has quantizing on, or I was hearing the one differently.

#17

@ludicrouSpeed no prob. Yeah it is a commitment. Resampling is straightforward if a little fiddly sometimes: each track has its own rec menu where you can set the source as inputs or resampling, and for resampling you can choose track 1-8, master, or cue. Cue is handy because it lets you cue the tracks you want to resample and then grab them all together. Then you need to save the buffer, assign it to a track and make sure it’s properly trimmed to play back in time etc. Lots of steps. However…

@PTSowns tbh sometimes i resample when I stumble across a really nice xfader position or LFO combo, or to bounce 4 drum tracks to one, but I don’t use resampling all that much for arranging like you say because it means you lose granular control over what’s happening on each track, and are then restricted to just ‘playing the FX’ over a backing track, which is fine for live but not especially interesting in terms of going off-piste and improvising a bit. No more fun slice juggling for example. So I tend to try and make all the tracks as good as they can be without resampling, then find scenes that work for them, and maybe set up an arranger sequence if things are feeling more linear than experimental. True that you feel short on fx slots working this way (always pissed that you can’t have delay + reverb) but being forced to make tough choices is not always bad for a song.

BTW it’s interesting you mention panda bear, I knew he was touring with 2 x OT and a mixer but no more info. Any interviews where he chats process?

Sorry to derail this thread with OT chat folks…


#18

The OP did mention the OT as an option, haha.


#19

http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/in-pictures-panda-bears-lisbon-studio-615651

I’ll look for more


#20
The OP did mention the OT as an option, haha.
I still have a morbid curiosity about it though, even though I'm def leaning towards a prophet - they are $1699 new in aus at Awave - can't believe it. They were about $3k last time I checked.

A workmate of mine swears by his OT, and was telling me how you can constantly resample in the background while you're improv'ing, then use the crossfade to loop a section of the recording, mess it up, and then crossfade back to the original.

Sound complicated AF tho!

I just picked up a SP505 to bounce back and forth between it and the OP1 - the OP1's re-sampling is sooooooo much easier. Same with Maschine, I wish it was simple, but it's just a few too many steps, a few too many default parameters you have to set (and cant save you're own default - stupid) so it kills the flow for me.