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Studio Electronics synths
Old 9th February 2009
  #1
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NWSooner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Studio Electronics synths

Hi all.

I'm looking into getting a new rackmount analog synth that would complement my existing setup. As far as analog goes, I currently have a DSI Mopho and an Alesis Andromeda. My other hardware synths are a Fantom G, Virus TI Desktop, and Kurzweil K2000. With plugins I have Reaktor 5, Hybrid, Sonik Synth 2, and the Arturia V Collection (Minimoog V, Moog Modular V, CS-80V, ARP2600 V, Prophet V, Prophet VS, Jupiter-8V) along with various samplers like SampleTank 2 and Structure.

I'm looking for a currently manufactured analog rackmount synth. I've played around with the Moog Voyager RME which is nice, and also the Prophet 08 Rackmount.

I'd like to get something that adds a distinctive sound to what I already have, so that pretty much eliminates the Prophet 08 since the Mopho is basically one voice of the Prophet 08 plus a sub-oscillator. The Voyager RME is a possibility. It's ok if the synth is monophonic. Obviously polyphonic would be nicer (all else being equal) but I'm fine with monophonic if I get a better sound (or sound that I can't get with my current equipment).

I think basses, leads, and effects would be the most important area. I think I've got pads pretty well covered with the Andromeda (plus CS-80V and Virus TI).

Lately I've run across the Studio Electronics stuff and have been listening to various samples and demos using them, and I'm a bit confused about the differences. There are three that look interesting:

SE-1X Redeye - monophonic, 3 VCOs, Oberheim SEM filter
ATC-Xi Quad - monophonic, 2 VCOs, Moog/SEM/303/2600 filters
CODE - monophonic up to 8-voice polyphonic, 2 VCOs + 1 sub-oscillator, Moog/SEM filters built-in, plus you can add any two of 303/2600/CS80 filters.

Is the CODE-4 a superset of the ATC-Xi? So if I installed the optional 303 and 2600 filters would it essentially be a 4 voice ATC-Xi with an additional sub-oscillator? How well does the CODE do with basses compared to the SE-1X? 1 less VCO, but does have a sub-oscillator.

Anyway, I don't know if there's any place locally where I can hear these synths, and I was wondering if anybody could explain the differences between the three as far as their sound and typical application.

The ATC is about $1400, the SE-1X about $1600, and the CODE 4 around $3600. There's a cheaper monophonic version of the CODE (around $2300) but if I was going to go the CODE route I'd probably step up to the four voice version; polyphony is convenient.

If I went the CODE route, any suggestions on which two of the three optional filters (303/2600/CS80) would complement my existing stuff the best?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Old 9th February 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
oh no - you've got some tough choices to make!!!

It seems to me like its between the SE CODE and the Voyager - both very nice synths...I personally dont think you could go wrong with either - unless you wanted to pick up some more vintage analogue. However seeing as you've not mnetioned it - that alone is sign enough that you may as well stick with modern....

Question is - do you want a polysynth?

Its a good question - is the CODE/Omega a stacked up ATC...? Im not sure....

I do know that the SE1x is a nice monosynth - but I would choose a Voyager over it any day of the week...

The CODE OD + some filters will give you a very versatile synth...both as a Poly and Mono.

However - you could get a Voyager - with the CP251 and other breakout box and turn it into a Semi-Modular....I' also get a nice tube overdrive to patch in before the filter to give it some grunt....That is a LOVELY combo and get you some mad sounds as well as standard patches....

Touch choices.......

FWIW whilst great Im not sure the difference will be 'that' big as you already have an analogue monosynth and a polysynth - however they will have a slightly difference quality to their sounds...

Looking thru your fairly comprehensive arsenal all I could suggest is some FM synth or maybe a Waldorf XT....but hey nothin wrong with stacking up some quality analogue!
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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DevonB's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't forget the Future Retro XS! Good price, good sound, semi-modular.

Devon
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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plaid_emu's Avatar
Have you also considered the Spectral Audio Neptune 2?

Spectral Audio : Cyclus 3, ProTone, Syntrack, Neptune, NeptuneII

Check out the demos on that page. It compliments the Mopho very well. It's got a very distinctive and unique sound and has a lot of great features for a $600 synth.

Old 9th February 2009
  #5
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Carey M's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSooner ➡️
SE-1X Redeye - monophonic, 3 VCOs, Oberheim SEM filter
ATC-Xi Quad - monophonic, 2 VCOs, Moog/SEM/303/2600 filters
CODE - monophonic up to 8-voice polyphonic, 2 VCOs + 1 sub-oscillator, Moog/SEM filters built-in, plus you can add any two of 303/2600/CS80 filters.
I had an SE-1X on loan for a few weeks and I own an Omega 8. I've also had a short play with an ATC-X (a bit different from ATC-Xi).

If you just want basses, leads and FX, why pay for the extra CODE voices? I love my Omega, but I wouldn't buy one if I didn't need great polysynth-sounds. Also, one thing that a stock-CODE lacks in comparison to an ATC and SE-1 is discrete VCAs. IME, these discrete VCAs are essential to great bass sounds. Yes, my Omega can do great basses, but the SE-1X just had a lot more "bite" and bass to it. And from what I've heard, the ATC-Xi really benefits from it's upgraded VCA. You can upgrade an Omega/CODE with these discrete VCAs too, but it is costly.

If you want a killer polysynth, then I'd have no hesitations to suggest going with a CODE.

Choosing between the SE-1X and the ATC-Xi... Well... If you want more filters, go with the ATC-Xi. I love the ARP2600 filter in my Omega. But I think I'd still go with the SE-1X RedEye. The extra oscillator and the knobbier interface would be my reasons why.

- CM
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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rids's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The ATC-Xi uses the same VCO architecture as the Omega. So it is related to the Omega, but the sound is quite different. From what I hear from the demos, my ATC-Xi has a slippery greasier sound. With the new snappy Mini amp, basses and leads come out nice and gives it extra punch. I love my ATC-Xi and would never sell it, maybe for a maxed out Code, but that's a lot more than I need to spend when the ATC-Xi is such a great sounding analog. It also adds a Sine waveform to use.

The SE-1X Redeye is more along the lines of Minimoog. So to me, you should compare the SE1X with the Voyager. The Code is a beast of it's own.

Make sure you get the ATC-Xi over the X. It offers the ability to save your tweak from an external controller like the Novation SL or Behringer BCR2000.

I like SE gear a lot, but you can't go wrong with Moog either. I will say that I think the ATC-Xi is much more expressive than a Moog LP.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Deleted 8456dd3
Guest
Might be selling my Code 8..

Im thinking of selling my Studio Electronics Code 8 OD..

8 voices. It has 8x CS80 filters installed as well as the stock SEM and Moog filters.
It has the overdrive and snappy mods too (overdrive can be turned on/off via switch) Not more than 2 years old and in great shape. Looking for £2500. Price is FIRM.
Mail me if your interested.
May trade for a Virus TI (desktop version only) plus £1650.
Or a Lexicon PCM70 plus £2050.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 ➡️
Im thinking of selling my Studio Electronics Code 8 OD..

8 voices. It has 8x CS80 filters installed as well as the stock SEM and Moog filters.
It has the overdrive and snappy mods too (overdrive can be turned on/off via switch) Not more than 2 years old and in great shape. Looking for £2500. Price is FIRM.
Mail me if your interested.
May trade for a Virus TI (desktop version only) plus £1650.
Or a Lexicon PCM70 plus £2050.
*sigh*

....if only I had the ££££
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Carey M's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 ➡️
Im thinking of selling my Studio Electronics Code 8 OD...
Anybody want to buy my MidiMini? (demo's here (mostly dry) and here (with MF-104z).

I'm serious. I want that Code.

- CM
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
idiotboy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone know if you can upgrade an ATC-X to an ATC-Xi ?

I've got the ATC-X and love it, but wouldn't mind having improved MIDI editing capability, if that's what the -Xi model gives you.

I assume the -Xi model also has all the "midiminify" stuff too (snappy VCA, sine wave, etc), true?

Thanks

PS: cross-posted to the spam-errific Yahoo SE group.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I have only really played with an SE1 and the tone chameleon( is that the atc1?) with a couple diff filters but I REALLY dont think the SE stuff has much balls
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJB06 ➡️
Im thinking of selling my Studio Electronics Code 8 OD..

8 voices. It has 8x CS80 filters installed as well as the stock SEM and Moog filters.
It has the overdrive and snappy mods too (overdrive can be turned on/off via switch) Not more than 2 years old and in great shape. Looking for £2500. Price is FIRM.
Mail me if your interested.
May trade for a Virus TI (desktop version only) plus £1650.
Or a Lexicon PCM70 plus £2050.
That is a seriously good deal...

May I ask why you're selling?
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I have only really played with an SE1 and the tone chameleon( is that the atc1?) with a couple diff filters but I REALLY dont think the SE stuff has much balls
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by legezer ➡️
I have only really played with an SE1 and the tone chameleon( is that the atc1?) with a couple diff filters but I REALLY dont think the SE stuff has much balls
good grief.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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rids's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by idiotboy ➡️
Anyone know if you can upgrade an ATC-X to an ATC-Xi ?

I've got the ATC-X and love it, but wouldn't mind having improved MIDI editing capability, if that's what the -Xi model gives you.

I assume the -Xi model also has all the "midiminify" stuff too (snappy VCA, sine wave, etc), true?

Thanks

PS: cross-posted to the spam-errific Yahoo SE group.

Yes, this is possible. I think the upgrade is under $200. I was going to do it, but just felt like selling the X and buying an Xi. The 'i' in the ATC-Xi means it has the midiminify with the Moog VCA, Sine wave and the ability to save tweaks from your controller keyboard.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
idiotboy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks Rids.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Phaidon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by legezer ➡️
I have only really played with an SE1 and the tone chameleon( is that the atc1?) with a couple diff filters but I REALLY dont think the SE stuff has much balls
Ah?!?!?!

Ehmmm,woteva!
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Deleted User
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I have to leave a full rack space open below all of my SE gear. There are definitely balls hanging down there.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Phaidon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BF_ ➡️
I have to leave a full rack space open below all of my SE gear. There are definitely balls hanging down there.
Lol!!!
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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rids's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Holy crap, I was just putting my ATC-Xi through one of my distortion pedals and it's balls were hitting me in the face. I didn't think the ATC-Xi could get anymore juicy, but I was wrong
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by rids ➡️
it's balls were hitting me in the face
I think I have seen that film...
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I think I am about to get a SE-1X myself.
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My voyager has bigger and juicier balls

ahaha
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by plaid_emu ➡️
Have you also considered the Spectral Audio Neptune 2?

Spectral Audio : Cyclus 3, ProTone, Syntrack, Neptune, NeptuneII

Check out the demos on that page. It compliments the Mopho very well. It's got a very distinctive and unique sound and has a lot of great features for a $600 synth.

YES!! +1 here. I love my little blue beasty
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
lhm1138's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I had both the original ATC and the ATC-X Quad
. Wasn't too crazy about the VCOs, they lacked girth. The membrane interface was a bit annoying too. I did like the ARP and Moog filter though. I'd take the Moog LP over it to be honest, I like that the oscillators drift and require ocassional auto calibration.
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
the atc isn't all that great. you get membrane panel, one knob that gets twitchy and makes little jumps occaisionally, and filters that frankly sound tame compared to what they are supposed to emulate due to gain staging differences between the atc and the originals.

the 4 voice code is a very expensive prospect for what you get. for that money you could get a full modular and a cheaper vintage analog along the lines of an sci pro one or possibly squeeze in a jupiter 6 or 4 if you get a smaller modular setup.

the new moog stuff is also heinously expensive vs. what you get. it is moog stuff so the oscs are beefy, but the whole 24 db ladder filter is a bit overdone and common these days and besides you have that in the andy already.

if you're dead set on a studio electronics piece and have the filter option in what you choose get the cs-80 filter for definite.

my real recommendation is just pick up a good condition korg ms-20 and yamaha cs-15 if you want variety in your analog sound. nothing sounds like them except the cs' larger brethren.
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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NWSooner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No, I'm not sold on Studio Electronics. I'm just looking for a rackmount analog that will add to my existing palette of sounds. I'm not sold on SE yet, and haven't had a chance to play with any of them.Still investigating.Thanks to everybody that has responded so far, good info!
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I heard a SE-1x in different musicstores and wow...never heard such a great bass! Even at very low octaves the sound is very defined and clear. For me the best synth for basses I've seen so far
It's too expensive for me at the moment. And I hate using menus to reach some parameters. But the sound...wow!
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSooner ➡️
No, I'm not sold on Studio Electronics. I'm just looking for a rackmount analog that will add to my existing palette of sounds. I'm not sold on SE yet, and haven't had a chance to play with any of them.Still investigating.Thanks to everybody that has responded so far, good info!
No way to just investigate through Internet.
Find way to try Omega, it's excellent and probably the best modern analogue with great filter's options. I have several old analogue synths and although they have their own flavors, if I would need to choose one keeper among all them Omega would be the first choice.
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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Phaidon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwaves ➡️
I heard a SE-1x in different musicstores and wow...never heard such a great bass! Even at very low octaves the sound is very defined and clear. For me the best synth for basses I've seen so far
!
Amen!
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