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Great Wavetable Synths

Shaw

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Great Wavetable Synths
« on: November 22, 2017, 03:09:45 PM »
Perhaps we should start a couple of lists in case Dave Claus doesnít come through with the goods this NAMM.  My list would be ďGreat Wavetable Synths Iíd Consider Buying Since DSI Didnít Make OneĒ.  I suppose other peopleís lists might supplant ďwavetableĒ with ďsample basedĒ, ďgranularĒ, ďfmĒ or whatever... Amyway, to start the Wavetable list, I have set Reverb alerts for the Prophet VS, Waldorf Microwave XTK or Q, and Access Virus TI (which I think most people overlook for wavetable synthesis)...  Any other favorites out there?

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 03:47:41 PM »
I created a new thread for this, as this may lead in a direction that is not related anymore to any speculations about the next DSI synth.

From the list of vintage instruments I would add the PPG, the Waldorf Microwave Rev. A, and the Ensoniq SQ-80 (as a poor man's PPG).

As for granular stuff, I'm interested how the GR-1 by Tasty Chips Electronics will turn out.
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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 04:17:43 PM »
I'll add my two cents for the Modal 002, 001 / Modulus MonoWave, as well as the Kawai K3(m), and the K5000(W/S) if you consider shifty additive synthesis as a reasonable equivalent.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 04:19:57 PM by DavidDever »
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: Prophet-12 desktop, Pro-2, AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 04:30:50 PM »
The Studio Logic Sledge and Waldorf Blofeld are the only ones Iíve played. Not sure Iíd consider the P12 a wavetable synth but Iíll add that in there.

From what Iíve heard John Bowen Solaris. I canít get over how good that sounds.

I would like to hear more Wavetable stuff from the Nord Lead 4 And Modal 002

For vintage stuff Iíd say jus5 based on sounds Alone the Prophet VS is at the top of my like followed by the PPG Wave 2

Razmo

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 04:44:00 PM »
The Shruthi-1 synth has classic 8bit wavetables coupled with analog filters and VCA... Also the Ambika have it but with polyphony.

The Audio Thingies Micro Monsta also has wavetables, and the ability to upload some yourself.

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 09:41:31 PM »
The Shruthi-1 synth has classic 8bit wavetables coupled with analog filters and VCA

Bought one of those the other day.  Not got to play too much with it yet but it's a nice combination of digital and analogue sound.  Has a gritty sound similar to the Microwave.  Needs a snorkel though, like the Microwave.

My MicroGranny arrived not completely working which depressed me and I've set it aside because of it, but, the little playing  I have done gave me a little feel for using granular synthesis and I'd like to try more.

I would describe my use of my XTk as that of replacing my M1 with something that has character.  It didn't replace my M1 but it came close.  Put it this way, I don't use the M1 for it's pads since I got the XTk.
I thought that the Blofeld would be an XT on 'roids but it's a different beast despite the similarities.  Maybe it's the interface, but I haven't programmed nearly the same amount of patches from scratch on it compared with the XTk.

Shaw

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 05:58:38 AM »
From what Iíve heard John Bowen Solaris. I canít get over how good that sounds.

I am super impressed by the Solaris, but at twice the price of the Virus TI2... (considering that I can pick up a Virus off Reverb in mint condition vs having to buy the Solaris new).  At 96kHz, I donít mind VA at all (I think that applies to both the Solaris and the Virus).


Quote from: LoboLives
I would like to hear more Wavetable stuff from the Nord Lead 4 And Modal 002.
The Nord Lead 4 Wavetables (if I remember correctly) arenít really ďtablesĒ but rather static waves.  At any rate, I had one a few years ago; I wasnít that impressed. Though, as I have stated before in another thread, I was primarily put off by the feel of the keyboard.  Cheap feeling.
As for the Modal 002, I donít see it as offer enough over the P12 (which I have) to justify the price difference.  And, admittedly, Iím not so much of a sequencer user.

The vintage stuff would be great.  But you rarely see a Prophet VS or PPG Wave come around that is in truly great shape.  And when you do, the seller is rightfully asking for a wad Ďo cash.

Presently, Iím leaning toward the Waldorf XT or XTK. 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 06:09:32 AM by Shaw »
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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 06:10:49 AM »
Instead of looking for existing wavetable machines how about figuring out how a modern wavetable synth should look like? I know, I know, instant entering a design-by-committee mode. But as DSI only make constrained designs there could indeed be a market place for such machines! ;) . o O (  :-X :-X :-X )

Features I would love to see are morphing wavetables whenever it be Waldorf style linear morphing, VS style bi-linear interpolation via a joystick or a new design featuring tri-linear interpolation via a 3D touchpad. There are several ways of reconstructing the wavetables and I think it would be nice with two: VS style linear interpolation and Waldorf style staircasing.
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Shaw

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 06:35:06 AM »
Instead of looking for existing wavetable machines how about figuring out how a modern wavetable synth should look like? I know, I know, instant entering a design-by-committee mode. But as DSI only make constrained designs there could indeed be a market place for such machines! ;) . o O (  :-X :-X :-X )

Features I would love to see are morphing wavetables whenever it be Waldorf style linear morphing, VS style bi-linear interpolation via a joystick or a new design featuring tri-linear interpolation via a 3D touchpad. There are several ways of reconstructing the wavetables and I think it would be nice with two: VS style linear interpolation and Waldorf style staircasing.
Well, yes, I am really hoping DSI makes a wavetable synth this year, but if they donít, Iím gathering the usual suspects as alternatives.  :)


An interesting alternative would be a ďsynthĒ that essentially loads VSTs, in which case there are lots of good Wavetable software synths. But that project would come with a whole range of headaches and I understand why it hasnít been done.  Or at least, hasnít been done with any real success.  But man I would love to have an Omnisphere 2 dedicated synth.
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 06:56:10 AM »
From what Iíve heard John Bowen Solaris. I canít get over how good that sounds.

I am super impressed by the Solaris, but at twice the price of the Virus TI2... (considering that I can pick up a Virus off Reverb in mint condition vs having to buy the Solaris new).  At 96kHz, I donít mind VA at all (I think that applies to both the Solaris and the Virus).


Yeah I still think the Solaris sounds fantastic. Especially when the ROTORS are used. I think the best way to sum it up is to not use it as a VA synth but instead try and find it's own sound. It's certainly flexible enough to but too many people try to emulate Prophet 5, Moog and Oberheim synths.

The only thing that holds me back is the lack of multimode. John has been working on this for a while but it still isn't implemented and for the price I can't justify purchasing one in hopes it will be. I guess it's not a huge deal but I expect ALL the bells and whistles from a synth that expensive.

I have been asking for examples of both the P12 and Nord Lead 4 Waves, FM, Bell, Tine type sounds but most of the examples I hear people use them as VA synths.


Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2017, 08:18:17 PM »
An interesting alternative would be a ďsynthĒ that essentially loads VSTs, in which case there are lots of good Wavetable software synths. But that project would come with a whole range of headaches and I understand why it hasnít been done.  Or at least, hasnít been done with any real success.  But man I would love to have an Omnisphere 2 dedicated synth.

Actually a few of companies have made VST players for computer-free softsynth performances. There is SM Pro Audio's V-Machine and though the product is still available in many places, I don't know what's happening with SM Pro.
Another is the Muse Research Receptor which comes from a more stable company.  Still only a two line display and four knobs.
Then there is the Seelake AudioStation X64 which looks like the best solution of the three.  It has a knobbox like the old Akai samplers from around the turn of the century and that is a blessing. Though it still only has a two line display this can be complimented by a tablet.

I've been tempted to get a VST player, but things like compatibility of VST's and it being basically an exercise in old fashioned menu diving has made me think twice.  Last I looked the AudioStation X64 wasn't out and it is quite an impressive computer and probably has a price tag that reflects that.

As far as being devices for complex programming of soft-synths, I don't think they would provide a too satisfying experience, but would be great for stable on-stage VST use.  I could be wrong about that with the AudioStation X64 and it's tablet support, but then you are bringing a third-party device (compatibility issues?) into the system and those things are little VST hosts themselves in a way, though they don't have anywhere near as decent IN/OUT options as the dedicated boxes above.  It seems with soft-synths is always a trade-off when trying to make them as flexible as stand-alone hardware.

Shaw

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2017, 08:37:44 PM »
... and I forgot to add the Waldorf Quantum, which until now is Dreamware / Vaporware, but hey, if they make it, itís a contender for my purposes.  So if either Santa Dave or Weihnachtsmann can come through....  8)
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2017, 03:49:43 AM »
... and I forgot to add the Waldorf Quantum, which until now is Dreamware / Vaporware, but hey, if they make it, itís a contender for my purposes.  So if either Santa Dave or Weihnachtsmann can come through....  8)

The Quantum will definitely be released. Probably next year. I played the prototype at Superbooth in spring and Richard Devine is said to have had it for sound design already. There's even a Thomann site already: https://www.thomann.de/gb/waldorf_quantum.htm

I'd be cautious about the info given there, though. I can't remember it not having aftertouch for example and I think its exclusion is unlikely if they went with a Fatar keyboard. If the price mentioned here is anything to go by, it won't be far off from Modal products though.
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Shaw

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2017, 04:43:38 AM »
... and I forgot to add the Waldorf Quantum, which until now is Dreamware / Vaporware, but hey, if they make it, itís a contender for my purposes.  So if either Santa Dave or Weihnachtsmann can come through....  8)

The Quantum will definitely be released. Probably next year. I played the prototype at Superbooth in spring and Richard Devine is said to have had it for sound design already. There's even a Thomann site already: https://www.thomann.de/gb/waldorf_quantum.htm

I'd be cautious about the info given there, though. I can't remember it not having aftertouch for example and I think its exclusion is unlikely if they went with a Fatar keyboard. If the price mentioned here is anything to go by, it won't be far off from Modal products though.
Thanks for the heads up Paul... do you remember anything about the build quality? Was it a solid metal enclosure like the Blofeld? How did the pots feel? (Though I suppose the pots on a prototype are less likely to be production grade....)

Cheers!
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2017, 05:01:58 AM »
... and I forgot to add the Waldorf Quantum, which until now is Dreamware / Vaporware, but hey, if they make it, itís a contender for my purposes.  So if either Santa Dave or Weihnachtsmann can come through....  8)

The Quantum will definitely be released. Probably next year. I played the prototype at Superbooth in spring and Richard Devine is said to have had it for sound design already. There's even a Thomann site already: https://www.thomann.de/gb/waldorf_quantum.htm

I'd be cautious about the info given there, though. I can't remember it not having aftertouch for example and I think its exclusion is unlikely if they went with a Fatar keyboard. If the price mentioned here is anything to go by, it won't be far off from Modal products though.
Thanks for the heads up Paul... do you remember anything about the build quality? Was it a solid metal enclosure like the Blofeld? How did the pots feel? (Though I suppose the pots on a prototype are less likely to be production grade....)

Cheers!

Very solid and pleasing feel and aesthetically nice to look at. Built like a tank, as Nick Batt would say. And the rings around the knobs light up in grouped colors for each section to make it easier to keep track while you're editing a sound. The sounds the developers programmed were on the rudimentary side, as it was still early days. But that should change, once it has gone through the hands of sound designers.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Shaw

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2017, 05:51:06 AM »
... and I forgot to add the Waldorf Quantum, which until now is Dreamware / Vaporware, but hey, if they make it, itís a contender for my purposes.  So if either Santa Dave or Weihnachtsmann can come through....  8)

The Quantum will definitely be released. Probably next year. I played the prototype at Superbooth in spring and Richard Devine is said to have had it for sound design already. There's even a Thomann site already: https://www.thomann.de/gb/waldorf_quantum.htm

I'd be cautious about the info given there, though. I can't remember it not having aftertouch for example and I think its exclusion is unlikely if they went with a Fatar keyboard. If the price mentioned here is anything to go by, it won't be far off from Modal products though.
Thanks for the heads up Paul... do you remember anything about the build quality? Was it a solid metal enclosure like the Blofeld? How did the pots feel? (Though I suppose the pots on a prototype are less likely to be production grade....)

Cheers!

Very solid and pleasing feel and aesthetically nice to look at. Built like a tank, as Nick Batt would say. And the rings around the knobs light up in grouped colors for each section to make it easier to keep track while you're editing a sound. The sounds the developers programmed were on the rudimentary side, as it was still early days. But that should change, once it has gone through the hands of sound designers.

Itís almost a given with Waldorf that your getting the metal enclosure... but you never know when manufacturerís are going to do something ďboneheadedĒ like changing a tried and true design...  :)
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2017, 03:48:47 PM »
In addition to the Ensoniq SQ-80, there's the ESQ-1 and the TS series. The TS-10 is still highly regarded even though its filters are nonresonant. Here's an interesting webpage about its capabilities. http://www.donsolaris.com/?p=902

Shaw

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 05:10:44 PM »
In addition to the Ensoniq SQ-80, there's the ESQ-1 and the TS series. The TS-10 is still highly regarded even though its filters are nonresonant. Here's an interesting webpage about its capabilities. http://www.donsolaris.com/?p=902
Iíve looked at the TS-10 as well as the Ensoniq VFX / VFX-SD.
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Razmo

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Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2017, 10:11:52 AM »
What do people consider "wavetables" !? ... I see SQ-80 mentioned which is not a wavetablesynth, it is a ROM'pler with analog filters and VCAs... there seems to be great confusion out there as to what wavetable synthesis is, I know that... true wavetable synthesis is where you have a table of equally long waveform cycles as stored samples, and has the ability to change between theese via modulation sources.... not even Ensoniq trans-waves fully clarifies for this as the lengths differ as far as I recall it, though they are close to sounding the same... but machines like ESQ-80 and ESQ-1 and the like are not wavetable synths in the true sense (Waldorf wavetable sense that is)

Re: Great Wavetable Synths
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2017, 10:16:06 AM »
What do people consider "wavetables" !? ... I see SQ-80 mentioned which is not a wavetablesynth, it is a ROM'pler with analog filters and VCAs... there seems to be great confusion out there as to what wavetable synthesis is, I know that... true wavetable synthesis is where you have a table of equally long waveform cycles as stored samples, and has the ability to change between theese via modulation sources.... not even Ensoniq trans-waves fully clarifies for this as the lengths differ as far as I recall it, though they are close to sounding the same... but machines like ESQ-80 and ESQ-1 and the like are not wavetable synths in the true sense (Waldorf wavetable sense that is)

I only mentioned the Ensoniqs for sonic, not technological reasons. The ESQ-1 and 80 have always been considered the poor man's PPG. Not because of them being proper wavetable synths, but hybrids with a similar sonic character.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6