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  • Torn between Romplers

    I've fought it long and hard, but synth GAS has its grip on me once again. Even with all the awesome software out these days, I still find myself missing the romplers I've owned to a degree. When I listen back to my old tracks that I used them in, I hear sounds I made that have a character that I really enjoy. So I've had my eye on a few 'special' rack units and have been watching the used prices, nearly ready to pull the trigger. Here's what I'm looking at:

    Roland JD-990 - I'll probably end up with one of these no matter what. I REALLY miss my JD-800 sometimes. Still holding onto my JD Strings expansion card just in case (and because they fetch absurd prices) $300-$400

    Yamaha MU-100R - This was the first synth that I owned. Really cool sound set, and could take 2 of the Yamah PLG boards. I started learning sound design on this box, not sure if its as cool as I remember or I'm just being nostalgic. There's an MU-128 as well that can take 3 PLG boards and has some extra features. Either fetches about $200.

    Yamaha CS6R - Back in my MU100R days I lusted for a CS6X like no tomorrow. Never went through on it. This is the rack version, sells for about the same price. $400 - $500. Like the MU tone generators, its a rompler that can take the PLG synth boards, and also has a phrase sampler.

    These are the 3 I'm mulling over, but I'm open to any suggestions. Basically looking for a rompler that has some real synthesis capabilities. Either through its architecture, like the JD990, or through real synths-on-a-card.

    Current crew of synths includes an Akai AX-80, Korg Z1, Korg DW-8000, Korg DSS-1 (waiting for the new upgrade board), Kawai K5000S, and an Alesis Andromeda. My budget is < $500.

    Thanks,
    A77
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Live for Nothing, or Die For Something - John Rambo</div>

  • #2
    get the one you've never owned, the CS6R. that'd be my choice and I have to say I have been interested in all those same synths at some point but haven't played them.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Korg Triton Extreme, Yamaha CP33, Vermona Lancet Mono, Voce V3, M Audio Venom <br />
    Carvin TL60t, G&amp;L S500 tribute, Agile AL3010 &gt; Carvin MTS Combo Korg AX3000G<br />
    <br />
    Bus to Neptune<br />
    <a href="http://www.bustoneptune.com" target="_blank">www.bustoneptune.com</a></div>

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    • #3
      Rather than the 3 Yamaha's you've listed, maybe you should look at the original Motif rack. It can take plg boards too, and has a much larger rom set. Current ebay listings for the original are in your range.

      Some of the main draws of the CS6X were the knobs, the keyboard, and the ribbon - all of which are missing on the rack. The rack has some knobs, but not as many, and not as accessible.

      If you want a rompler/synth without having to add plg boards, maybe take a look at some of the older Kurzweil K2000's.

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      • #4
        Get a JD-990 when you can find one in VG condition. I bought a JD-800 new years ago & sold it and went with the 990 when they came out a year or so later. Since then I bought a second 990 and love 'em.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="System">Akai MPC4000, Kurzweil K250 &amp; K2661, Roland JD-990 x2 &amp; A-70, Yamaha FS1R, Moog Voyager RME<br />
        </font></div>

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        • #5
          Damn mildbill I'd forgot all about the Kurz...certainly sounds the part. From the demos I've been listening to, it's got a powerful, dark sound which is right up my alley:



          I like the Motif idea too, does the original Motif rack come loaded with any PLG boards? The only drawback to the Yamaha stuff, those PLG boards still fetch a premium used. Especially the one's I'd want (AN1X board, of course
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Live for Nothing, or Die For Something - John Rambo</div>

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          • #6
            Beware Yamaha Motif racks have horrible editing options and can be confusing.

            Comment


            • #7
              romplers by definition date themselves... i'd look at something newer.
              I know there are a lot of JD fans out there, but really, it's just a modern digital sample player... in the case of the jd800, a dated rompler with a great interface.
              As far as the yamahas go - look at something newer - i'd go motif es - you get the most recent soundset + the ability to add plg cards.
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font size="1">as of now: fusion 6hd, motif 6, rs7000 + siel MONO</font></font></div>

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              • #8
                I missed my JD800 so much I also went for the JD990 with the vintage expansion card, and although it sounded similar to me, it just didn't give me the feel of the actual JD800.
                But I must admit I'm not a fan of rack modules anyway, for some reason there is always a disconnect for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah if going for a ROMpler you might just go for something newer - unless it's an EX5R with its built-in expansions (and since you won't use it as the brain/sequencer behind your songs you should be fine with its processing power).

                  I've even seen Motif ES Racks going for 399 at our local Guitar Center, so you might find one for less than 500.

                  Don't forget the Roland XV-5080 or 5050, the Kurzweil PC2R and of course, the Alesis Fusion 6HD which still sells for under 500 used and can be pretty much whatever you want it to be
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="verdana"><a href="http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze" target="_blank">http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze</a></font></div>

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                  • #10
                    I wish I would picked up an Alesis when Sweetwater was blowing them out with the latest OS and some fresh sounds. The price was right as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You mustn't think you've failed me
                      Just because there's something else
                      You were the first real ROMpler I ever had
                      And all the things I ever said
                      I swear they still are true
                      For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you

                      Torn between two ROMplers, feelin' like a fool
                      Lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules

                      <div class="signaturecontainer">My VCAs go to<b> 11</b></div>

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                      • #12

                        You mustn't think you've failed me
                        Just because there's something else
                        You were the first real ROMpler I ever had
                        And all the things I ever said
                        I swear they still are true
                        For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you

                        Torn between two ROMplers, feelin' like a fool
                        Lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules



                        Meatball that brought a tear to my eye, I couldn't have said it better myself
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">Live for Nothing, or Die For Something - John Rambo</div>

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                        • #13

                          I missed my JD800 so much I also went for the JD990 with the vintage expansion card, and although it sounded similar to me, it just didn't give me the feel of the actual JD800.
                          But I must admit I'm not a fan of rack modules anyway, for some reason there is always a disconnect for me.


                          Normally I feel the same way - I don't own any synth racks. Usually when I produce I'll use one or two sounds off each synth per track. Or, design the sound on the hardware and then bring it into Ableton as audio and manipulate it further. The way I have the rack set up its right in easy reach, so I'm willing to give a couple synth racks a try And, I'm saving the space in the studio for something really majestic


                          Yeah if going for a ROMpler you might just go for something newer - unless it's an EX5R with its built-in expansions (and since you won't use it as the brain/sequencer behind your songs you should be fine with its processing power).


                          Does the EX5R have the AN board built in?
                          <div class="signaturecontainer">Live for Nothing, or Die For Something - John Rambo</div>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does the EX5R have the AN board built in?


                            Yes but only 2 voices (still, for bass and leads it would rock). It also has the physical modeling engine! And 128 voices on the ROMpler side.

                            Man. I should get me one.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="verdana"><a href="http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze" target="_blank">http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze</a></font></div>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I also had a JD-800 for many years and did a lot of programming on it which I saved to ram cards. When I decided to sell it to make room for Roland V- Synth, I bought a JD-990 and loaded all my custom sounds into it. It also came with the Vintage synth expansion board. It's a great module and I doubt I'd ever sell it. I also have a Kurzweil K2000R and as others have said, it's worth considering.

                              Here's one that hasn't been mentioned yet - the Korg Trinity Rack. I bought a used one a few months ago for $180 and I am very impressed with what a great sounding rompler this is. Once the Triton came out, the Trinity was history, but they are really excellent synths. I also like my Wavestation SR a lot too.

                              One you don't hear about as much is the Emu Morpheus. I'm thinning the herd and am considering selling mine with two rare factory sound cards.

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