Dollar for dollar, what are the underrated synths or synthesizer modules?


ringmod

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What synths do you feel are underrated in relation to their generally accepted price points? Include why you feel it is undervalued for its current market monetary worth. The synthesizer or synth module can be from any era, anything from vintage to modern. As well, it can be analog, digital, or a hybrid of both. I'm not talking about a synthesizer you picked up Craigslist for an amazing price. I'm talking about synths evaluated roughly at their average market value.
 

ringmod

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I'll start with my pick, the Yamaha FB-01 FM synth module! Granted, this pick will raise some eyebrows but consider the question...... You can get these things for next to nothing. I use Unisyn as an editor and always run the sounds through some analog processing to minimize the overly digital aspect as much as possible. I like to run the FB-01 into a Roland Space Echo to add more character, variance and wobble. I'm not saying the FB-01 is going to blow anyone away, but the bottom line is the Yamaha FB-01 is a dirt cheap FM sound source that can be a really useful tool in production, especially if enhanced through analog processing.
 

gearbot73

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My pick is the Roland Alpha Juno 1. From aggressive punchy sounds to beautiful drones and pads this thing is pretty versatile. DCO yes, but it does have a 24db analog lowpass filter. Full disclosure, I use the PG-300 programmer, which is not cheap and the combo probably puts this synth out of the underrated category. But, using an editor like Unisyn to create sounds is almost as good as with the PG-300. I highly recommend the Alpha Juno 1 for a synthesizer purchase in this price range.
 

Squawk

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I'm going to say Virus, but only because it's the most underrated, and overrated synth out there. Seems you either love it or hate it. Granted, the price point for the TI2 is high, but it's a great unit. Yes, it's digital. Yes, there are a lot of amazing soft synths out today, but there's still something extremely rewarding about having a hardware interface, and not tying up DSP resources on your computer.
 

Squawk

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It's kind of a shame what happened to Ensoniq. I used to use the Paris system, and it was so far ahead of its time! They made some great stuff. DP4 was also great.
 

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Indeed, T. I put a lot of research into the PARIS system, and came extremely close to getting it. If I hadn't spent years saving for it and during that period given in to switching from ATARI to Mac, I'd probably still be using it today... and have made a tonne of music too. The closed system appealed very much to me, as it still does; all these modern distractions inherent in a computer-based setup are the bane of my life!

Used a Mirage in the '80s, bought the SQ-80, EPS, EPS 16+, ASR-10, DP/4 and finally the DP/4+ twice through the '90s.

I always wanted an ESQ-1, but as I had to rely on the local newspaper classifieds back then, I wasn't able to procure one. Now that it's possible via the interwebs, it's a shame I can't really justify it for my current setup. At least I have my totally-revamped JD-990...
 

zukan

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It's kind of a shame what happened to Ensoniq. I used to use the Paris system, and it was so far ahead of its time! They made some great stuff. DP4 was also great.
I used to work for Emu/Ensoniq as a sound designer and when Ensoniq came up for sale Emu grabbed it for its technology and hardware components.

All of this, including our jobs, died a death the minute Creative bought out Emu.
We were designing the EMU SP1600 at the time. Andy designed the hardware unit and I was creating the stock sounds for it. That was shelved too.

In the years since Emu's demise Creative carried on selling my roms, along with Rob's and a Janice's, and we never got a penny.

A wonderful company killed by the greed of one company .
 

Monkey Man

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That sucks, man.

Sounds like the ROM on the SoundBlaster et al cards contained your work, then, and for nicks.
 

Monkey Man

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Hmm... the post didn't show up, but after I rewrote it, it did, along with a duplicate (this one).

Sorry.
 

Squawk

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I used to work for Emu/Ensoniq as a sound designer and when Ensoniq came up for sale Emu grabbed it for its technology and hardware components.

All of this, including our jobs, died a death the minute Creative bought out Emu.
We were designing the EMU SP1600 at the time. Andy designed the hardware unit and I was creating the stock sounds for it. That was shelved too.

In the years since Emu's demise Creative carried on selling my roms, along with Rob's and a Janice's, and we never got a penny.

A wonderful company killed by the greed of one company .
Yeah, it's very unfortunate. Creative painted the Paris hardware blue, relaunched it, then killed it off shortly after. It was fun while it lasted. I was a part of the Paris newsgroup back in the day (back when newsgroups where a thing). It was great, lots of cool people there sharing info.
 

Squawk

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The other brilliant marketing idea was having a painted faced clown in the Paris advertising! :clown:

What was up with that? o_O
 

Monkey Man

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A cynic might say they already knew they were playing us all for mugs.
 
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