The Official DSI/Sequential Forum

The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'

The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« on: June 18, 2017, 07:16:23 PM »
Hello all!
I have owned many many synths over the past 17 or so years and I have a plentiful studio filled to the brim with synths, Point being I'm no stranger to synths and various synthesis methods.
but for some reason when I sit down in front of the Pro2, I draw a blank...This has never happened to me before lol
Even when I sit down in front of my modular I start coming up with all kinds of crazy ideas without even really thinking even synths like the Waldorf Blofeld (Which is one of my favorite sleeper synths) with it's limited interface I never have any issues diving in and making sounds.

I have thoroughly explored the Pro2 and both sonically and feature wise and it is a phenomenal synth.
I'm almost ashamed to admit in this thread that I am a sound designer (Ironically enough I programmed a huge bank of patches for Arturia for their Prophet V/VS and had no shortage of ideas) I have always programmed my own sounds in every track I made...I don't even use drum samples that I haven't made myself. Not in a snobby way it's just the way I prefer to work.

I don't get why I draw such a blank with the Pro2 it's very logically laid out it has a wealth of features, highly flexible and sonically beautiful on top of that I have the CV ins and outs hooked up to my 9U of eurorack along with my Elekron Analog four so it's like one giant mega synth yet I have not saved one single patch on this synth, It's been more about trying features out and messing around then creating patches to save.

I've had (and have) synths that are just as feature rich and haven't had this issue with them though it may be part of the problem...Having such a massive palette to work with (I've found that often limitations can lead to creativity) but beyond that I can't comprehend why I've yet to dig in and start programming like crazy.
Has anyone else had this issue?
Any recommendations?
I mean it's not a bad problem to have just an odd one.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 07:42:44 PM »
I've found that often limitations can lead to creativity.

In my opinion, excessively feature-rich instruments are killers of creativity.  Perhaps you need to simply your Pro 2 set up.  Try it apart from the modular equipment.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 07:43:53 PM »
I've found that often limitations can lead to creativity.

In my opinion, excessively feature-rich instruments are killers of creativity.  Perhaps you need to simply your Pro 2 set up.  Try it apart from the modular equipment.

Rob

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 04:13:50 AM »
I've had mine for less than a week, and it's interesting you said that because I experience/d a similar problem.  I own a Sub37 and a Matrixbrute.  There were several reasons why I added the Pro2 to my collection, and at the top was its four voice "polyphony". Both the two other analog synths I mention have paraphony, but the Pro2, as you know, is able to do it better.  Once I remembered this, I began to focus on creating paraphonic patches entirely.  Perhaps you could go back and think of why you bought it and focus for now on exploring those features.  Cheers :)

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 04:56:40 AM »
I've had mine for less than a week, and it's interesting you said that because I experience/d a similar problem.  I own a Sub37 and a Matrixbrute.  There were several reasons why I added the Pro2 to my collection, and at the top was its four voice "polyphony". Both the two other analog synths I mention have paraphony, but the Pro2, as you know, is able to do it better.  Once I remembered this, I began to focus on creating paraphonic patches entirely.  Perhaps you could go back and think of why you bought it and focus for now on exploring those features.  Cheers :)

One thing is certain–I've gone back to understanding the role of paraphony / shared filter in pad design; polyphonic pads just don't sound the same or fit into a mix as well as paraphonic ones....
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: Prophet-12 desktop, Pro-2, AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 08:10:22 AM »
Been exploring creating paraphonic pads with super waves and have gained even greater affection for the Pro 2. Sounds fantastic through those filters. I especially like holding a note through a down-sweeping filter and then triggering additional notes with envelope retriggering set to "off." Love how the notes get darker over time.
DSI Pro 2 | DSI Tetra | Moog Minitaur | Analogue Solutions Nyborg-12 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Korg Radias-R | Roland JV-1010 | 104HP Modular | Arturia BeatStep Pro | Ableton Live 9 | Strymon Big Sky | Eventide H9 | Boss DD-500 | Zoom MS-70CDR | iPad

jdt9517

  • **
  • 132
  • Music through the Legal Mind...
    • How I keep my music habit moving....
Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 06:27:37 PM »
I agree with SS.  So far with the Pro-2, I have started with bread and butter sounds, using 2 oscs.  Going outside of that range usually starts with "what if I add . . ."  to the basic sound. 
Jim Thorburn .  Toys-  Dave Smith: Prophet 08;
Pro 2; Prophet 12; EastWest Orchestral soft synths; Yamaha S90; Yamaha DX-7; KARP Odyssey; Ensoniq ESQ-1.  All run through a Sonar DAW with a Tascam DM-24 board.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 02:26:50 AM »
It's funny how some synths grab you and others don't. For me the Pro2 grabs and has yet to let go.
I have made LOTS of patches, the majority paraphonic as I find that particular limitation very inspiring. Unusually (for me) I haven't used the sequencer too much and the arpeggiator not at all. This is perhaps because I'm usually not synced to my master clock (due to the annoying MIDI clock in / screen disruption bug) or perhaps the Pro 2 just leads me in different directions. I find that making a series of starter patches really helped, with the mod matrix pretty well stocked from the outset. The use of the different waveforms, the gorgeous Oberheim filter, the analogue overdrive and delays, all these things are inspiring. A synth of power and extremes. For example, I scared the hell out of myself the first time I tried the tuned feedback along with high resonance on filter 1 - and not in a good way!

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 07:34:49 AM »
Playing to the strengths of the P2 will get me to save patches.

- Paraphony is king in this synth. Try assigning 4 different waveshapes to the oscillators in Paraphonic mode. Test the differences between normal VCA operation and holding the VCA open with a DC offset, both ways can be useful. Set the Filter Env amount to zero and modulate it with other things instead.

- Modulation sequencing. You can have the sequencer running all kinds of background modulation, yet not triggering any notes from Track 1. Playing notes free-hand against the sequencer's modulation is a nice trick.

- Feedback. Often unpredictable. Playing with this usually makes me save patches because I stumble upon something I know I probably couldn't recreate if I tried.

- External Audio Input rocks. Sometimes I approach the Pro 2 like this: it has two analog filters (series or parallel), an envelope follower, a digital Character section, feedback, delays and distortion, tons of modulation sources and routings, a 32-step multitrack sequencer, CV ins/outs for external gear, all housed in a box with lots of knobs and 44 keys. Oh, wait, it has internal oscillators too? Cool, I guess those might come in handy sometimes.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 09:25:52 AM »
The Pro 2 has so much creation ability of different sounds I do find myself wandering and twiddling all over the place.   The sequencer is mesmerizing too, so I get caught up with that.    Whereas when I sit behind the OB6 I'm more likely to start playing a "song".  So , it's really what kind of mood I'm in that determines which I one I switch on.   Though lately I've been pairing both instruments.  (see my recent song post in pro 2 music).

 I very much appreciate having Pro 2 in my setup.   And, yes,  I'll likely never take mine out of paraphonic.   I learned about paraphonic with the Vermona Perfourmer and been a fan of it ever sense. Really surprised some of the mono only companies haven't done more of this over the years.
DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2017, 10:17:55 AM »
I learned about paraphonic with the Vermona Perfourmer and been a fan of it ever sense. Really surprised some of the mono only companies haven't done more of this over the years.

The Vermona Perfourmer is not paraphonic though...

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2017, 08:11:58 PM »
I learned about paraphonic with the Vermona Perfourmer and been a fan of it ever sense. Really surprised some of the mono only companies haven't done more of this over the years.

The Vermona Perfourmer is not paraphonic though...

What do you mean?   Correct me If I'm wrong with terminology, but  I can play 4 voices, 3, 2,1 simultaneously however I wish- all with same, or different, settings of the 4 available oscillators.  That certainly seems the same as Pro 2 concept -which is paraphonic.  I should mention that I will sometimes also use a midi keyboard controller to a Mondovox midi box which I can route to lets say four different mono synths to do the same effect.  Sometimes I set this to the 4 separate channels on the Vermona to give whatever sequence of triggering the order of the various channels when I play.   Whatever it's called, it sounds fantastic.
DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2017, 12:53:39 AM »
A paraphonic synth is one that can play multiple notes but lacks some vital resources for each voice, usually per-voice filters or envelopes. A classic example would be the Korg Poly800 which, although you can play chords, all the notes are processed by a single filter/filter EG. This restriction can be used creatively (as on the Pro2) but it means you don't get true independent articulation of each voice. The Korg Monopoly was another fun one - 4 different oscillator waveforms but only a single envelope for the VCA and for the single filter.
In constrast, the Vermona has 4 voices (oscillator, envelope, filter, LFO, VCA) that can be configured flexibly in a number of different ways. I think what you were looking for was that each voice is set up separately, giving it polyphony in the old Oberheim 4-voice way, which is pretty rare and wonderful. The Pro2's 4-note paraphony implementation is cool because it allows freaky things like routing voice pairs through the 2 filters and has separate articulation for each oscillator as well as those unique waves. Apologies for rushed explanation, hope this helps.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2017, 12:52:17 PM »
Thanks for the explanation Bongmystic.         
DSI Equipment: Poly Evolver Keyboard, Prophet 8,  Pro-2, OB6, P-12
 

https://Soundcloud.com/wavescape-1

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2017, 03:18:47 PM »
Thanks for the explanation Bongmystic.       

Full of wisdom I am. Well, full of something ;)

NLB

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2017, 12:42:26 AM »
I found the Pro-2 overwhelming at first. The primary draws were the dual filters and the modulation possibilities, but by the time I got into the Paraphony and Feedback I certainly wasn't having any writers' block  :D

My early patching attempts were terrible and I did have some reservations. But I stuck at it, resolving myself to designing one complete, playable patch per day.  I have it beside me when I'm working, so I can frequently turn and noodle. I've barely used the sequencer yet, but increasingly happy with expression I can build into my sounds. I actually like the aftertouch response on my unit, and tend to overuse it for vibrato. But a tiny amount adds so much life.

You're a sound designer, so this won't be news to you, but I try to design the patch conceptually at first, on paper. Only then will I go to the synth. Patching with purpose. Well, initially at least, because you still go off one some wonderful tangents.

It took a long time to get a handle on the filters. Obviously, it all depends on what they are fed, and at what level. I had my first whoaa moment with the SVF when I put some modulated superwaves through it. Switch on paraphony and tell me if that's not lovely.

Pining for it as it's in storage right now.  :-[

:)



Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2017, 01:54:28 PM »
I sometimes draw a blank too, but that's because I'm usually overwhelmed and overjoyed. I love the Pro 2 that much!
When I freeze, I usually do what Sacred Synthesis suggests... start simple and work up.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2017, 04:20:00 PM »
I have kind of the opposite effect with mine. I've only had it for 24 hours and already saved a bunch of patches I programmed from scratch. I really love programming on this thing, it feels like I can flesh out almost any idea I have.

Re: The Pro2 makes me 'Draw a blank'
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2017, 07:22:45 PM »
I have kind of the opposite effect with mine. I've only had it for 24 hours and already saved a bunch of patches I programmed from scratch. I really love programming on this thing, it feels like I can flesh out almost any idea I have.

Haha, I did the same thing - blew out about 26 patches of variations, all of which were pretty fun approximations. It's a really fun programmer's synth (though I suspect that the Arturia Matrixbrute is, as well - the Pro-2 just takes up far less space on an already crammed stand).
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: Prophet-12 desktop, Pro-2, AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000