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Studio Electronics Omega 8 & Code 8 - Do you own one?
Old 8th March 2014
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Studio Electronics Omega 8 & Code 8 - Do you own one?

Hi Guys,

Does anyone own a Studio Electronics Omega 8 or Code 8?

What are they like?

Is it really like a modern synth with vintage sounds?

Thanks

Chris
Old 8th March 2014
  #2
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Unfortunately Chris I've not yet spent considerable time with my CODE 8 yet but I can say it delivers on analog sound like only analog sound seems to be able to do.

I found most presets quite disappointing but as soon as I started tweaking it slowly revealed itself. I've had one or two odd behaviours/bugs but nothing significant.

Although there are controls on the front panel there are quite a few you wished were there too. Some LFO assignments had me stumped for a while but I guess once you learn what's what it'll become clear.

Really wish it had a step sequencer.

I looked at the Prophet 12 (and Solaris), the interfaces are very tempting and commendable but on sound alone my vote went to the Omega/CODE. It is more polite than the old classics but for me, that is better. Sometimes my old OBXa sounded quite gritty and lo-fi. I didn't want that as the core CODE sound.
Old 8th March 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
was silents's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
After going through a lot of synths, though none of the top top tier ones, I ended with the omega 8. The main competition was polyevolver, andromeda and mks80 r5. In the search for a poly synth, I was not so much interested in modulation routes and unique capabilities but needed to have the best possible tone. I a/b'd it with an ob8 and the omega was super close. People complain about it having software envelopes (they don't complain about the a6's software envelopes) and I really don't understand. For bass stabs I do have a pro one though. Anyway, bottom line, I'd say if there is a modern poly with vintage tones, the omega is it. I don't think I'd trade it in for anything except for a jp8, cs80 or Schmidt.
Old 8th March 2014
  #4
Old 8th March 2014
  #5
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Paul_G's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think with some saturation/distortion it sounds great. I used it a lot on our last record and plan on using it a lot more....
Old 8th March 2014 | Show parent
  #6
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EDGEK8D's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G ➑️
I think with some saturation/distortion it sounds great. I used it a lot on our last record and plan on using it a lot more....
Fan
Old 9th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I own one (Omega -8. Not CODE) from October. First of all, before the synth itself - the customer support is one of the best. I'm having some problems with the screen, and they are sending me an alternative one.
Other than that i totally agree with all of the above. It really sounds great. The presets that come with it doesn't do it justice. Once you start tweaking it - it really reveals itself. It's a fairly simple poly, relatively. It doesn't have 4 lfo's like dsi and all of that - but the core sound is un-matched (in my opinion) to any other analog poly in production today. I'm seriously considering maxing it even more with 8 CS-80 filters. Need to decide if i'm going to do that - or go for the Sequentix Cirklon.
It has some known, small bugs and quirks - but they are really negligible compared to the whole picture.
Old 9th March 2014
  #8
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Hi there,

I used to have a CODE 8 and sold it. It really does have a wonderful sound, though definitely clean and not that 'electric' for lack of a better word. One of my favorite things about it are the oscillators -- they are incredibly round and full. Not that 'FAT' necessarily (though I regret not experimenting with detune more when I owned it), but very three-dimensional, sort of the opposite of the superficial sheen of digital. They also sync very nicely (before I owned the CODE I thought sync patches were purely for acquiring the Prophet 5 'wooow' effect...).

The filters are also really great -- don't let the fact that there are so many options fool you into thinking it's a 'jack of all trades, master of none' unit. The resonance on those babies is phenomenal, and they can get 'wet' without this overwhelming the sound (for instance, the P5 Rev 3 that I'm moving on is a little bit too syrupy for my taste...hard to use subtly). CS-80 is the option to go with IMO.

Regarding the envelopes, I will say, they are slow. I have an Andromeda right now and somehow they are just waaaay more punchy, regardless of the fact that both units have software EGs. I have heard that the Arp filters help this, however.

I'll post some demos when I get home if you're interested. One bit of advice -- Gearslutz really hates the Andromeda, but I would suggest you consider this synth (just watch a few Youtube videos) before jumping on the CODE. For some reason, I let the amount of smack talk I was hearing about the A6 keep me from checking it out at all, and I've ended up with one a year and a half later -- I find it to be much more snappy-fat 'vintage' sounding, though this is not to discredit the CODE, which has a really wonderful sound in its own right.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Cheers,

Churchy
Old 9th March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
sensorfold's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChurchyLaFemme ➑️
Hi there,

I used to have a CODE 8 and sold it. It really does have a wonderful sound, though definitely clean and not that 'electric' for lack of a better word. One of my favorite things about it are the oscillators -- they are incredibly round and full. Not that 'FAT' necessarily (though I regret not experimenting with detune more when I owned it), but very three-dimensional, sort of the opposite of the superficial sheen of digital. They also sync very nicely (before I owned the CODE I thought sync patches were purely for acquiring the Prophet 5 'wooow' effect...).

The filters are also really great -- don't let the fact that there are so many options fool you into thinking it's a 'jack of all trades, master of none' unit. The resonance on those babies is phenomenal, and they can get 'wet' without this overwhelming the sound (for instance, the P5 Rev 3 that I'm moving on is a little bit too syrupy for my taste...hard to use subtly). CS-80 is the option to go with IMO.

Regarding the envelopes, I will say, they are slow. I have an Andromeda right now and somehow they are just waaaay more punchy, regardless of the fact that both units have software EGs. I have heard that the Arp filters help this, however.

I'll post some demos when I get home if you're interested. One bit of advice -- Gearslutz really hates the Andromeda, but I would suggest you consider this synth (just watch a few Youtube videos) before jumping on the CODE. For some reason, I let the amount of smack talk I was hearing about the A6 keep me from checking it out at all, and I've ended up with one a year and a half later -- I find it to be much more snappy-fat 'vintage' sounding, though this is not to discredit the CODE, which has a really wonderful sound in its own right.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Cheers,

Churchy
There's much more hate for the Code/Omega than for the Andromeda here on Gearslutz.
I'm glad I didn't let it influence my thought process.
They are both very good synths. I don't understand the nit-picking with either of them.
Hours can be lost sitting in front of the Code just by manipulating a single patch. I'm sure the same can be said for the A6.
I'm sure both would be revered if they sold for $1500; that seems to be the prime criteria.
Old 31st July 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Omega 8 is definitely a beast, its up there with my Andromeda as my favorite analog in the last 10 years or so. The basic unison sound alone is just ungodly, I dont think they could ever make a plugin that sounds like it.

I think mine is looking for a new home, Im moving again soon and cant fit my huge rack into the new space. If anyone is seriously interested PM me, Im deciding between lending it to a friend and selling it to someone here.
Old 31st July 2014
  #11
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Kindred's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I had a Code 4 for a year or so. It was really nice and the sound was unmistakably analogue, however for me it wasn't $4000 nice so I couldn't justify holding on to it...

If you take the time to program SE synths carefully they can produce highly original and interesting sounds....
Old 31st July 2014 | Show parent
  #12
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tvsky's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindred ➑️
for me it wasn't $4000 nice so I couldn't justify holding on to it...
+1

if money is no object however
Old 31st July 2014 | Show parent
  #13
Oli
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Oli's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindred ➑️
I had a Code 4 for a year or so. It was really nice and the sound was unmistakably analogue, however for me it wasn't $4000 nice so I couldn't justify holding on to it...

If you take the time to program SE synths carefully they can produce highly original and interesting sounds....
I've not played a CODE/Omega, but that has been my reason for not going that way, so far. So, being from Perth, I guess you also don't have a chance to try before you buy, most often? I felt more confident about buying an A6, for less money, as I've generally found that complex kit generally has a lot to offer, which one may not see in demos.

You mention 'original and interesting sounds'; that would be important for me, laying out that much cash for a synth. Did you find the modulations are extensive enough and work well enough for interesting synthesis? Was there anything that you felt was really missing?

I had originally hoped that it would do a reasonable CS-80 approximation, but from demos, it seems that the filter clone isn't enough in that regard. I've not played a CS-80 either, but it seems there is more going on, that isn't covered. I think the CODE/Omega still don't support poly AT right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sensorfold ➑️
I don't understand the nit-picking with either of them.
I think that kind of nit-picking does not always represent a negative opinion over all, thgouh. I have plenty of criticism for synths I love, and I'm yet to play something that couldn't be better in some way. I do think people can get overly concerned with a limitation though. When I talk to friends about some kit, and say it's great, but ... , they end up thinking it's really **** because of the limitations, and miss the 'great' bit.
Old 31st July 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
intuitionnyc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't have an omega or a code, but I have an SE Minimidi and it sounds AMAZING!
Old 31st July 2014 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
EDGEK8D's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog ➑️
Omega 8 is definitely a beast, its up there with my Andromeda as my favorite analog in the last 10 years or so. The basic unison sound alone is just ungodly, I dont think they could ever make a plugin that sounds like it.

I think mine is looking for a new home, Im moving again soon and cant fit my huge rack into the new space. If anyone is seriously interested PM me, Im deciding between lending it to a friend and selling it to someone here.
As this thread is from a while back, and you just posted today, I wanted to ask about an above comment.

Dissapointed to hear that the envelopes are digital and slow. I hate slow envelopes. I mean, a snappy envelope doesn't have much trouble getting slower, that's what the ADSR is for. But slow envelopes, In my experience, just feel so much more limited. Would you agree with that comment from above?

I've lusted after an Omega/Code for a while and always saw it as the best modern analog poly option with so many features. This was discouraging to hear though, especially when dropping six grand. I want it to be able to do just about everything. Slow envelopes spoils that for me.
Old 8th August 2014
  #16
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papawise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I'm looking for a poly,
I'm between the DSI Poly Evolver, the Omega8/CODE and Prophet 8
what do you think guys ?


BTW, the Omega 8 is $5.000 nowadays
Old 8th August 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Here's a 15 minute demo i made of presets i programmed. Even though the envelopes are software - you can still produce some punchy sounds from it. The demo, though, is a mixture of basses, leads, pads etc:

Old 22nd August 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Selling my Omega 4...located in EU...
Old 20th September 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
 
cramseur's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I own one now (Omega 8 came today). And I have to say it is a big bad wolf.
The bottom can blow your house down.

Still playing around...listening to patches.
But so far it fully, from just the factory presets, it provides analog goodness.

I'm smiling. (mine was used $3300 USD).
Old 20th September 2014 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
MORDICUS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➑️
I own one now (Omega 8 came today). And I have to say it is a big bad wolf.
The bottom can blow your house down.

Still playing around...listening to patches.
But so far it fully, from just the factory presets, it provides analog goodness.

I'm smiling. (mine was used $3300 USD).
Hey cramseur ; very good deal ... Hopefully you re not getting the price of this too high
Good move you made on buying it ... Are you gonna load others filters ( 2600 ? Cs80 ? )



PEACE


MORDICUS
Old 20th September 2014 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
papawise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➑️
I own one now (Omega 8 came today)...
great, congratulations!

didn't you find it a bit "digitallish" ? I mean similar to the behavior of the Prophet 12. With that shine on the highs.

Which other synths do you like? just to compare, talking about sound.
Old 20th September 2014 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
cramseur's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MORDICUS ➑️
Hey cramseur ; very good deal ... Hopefully you re not getting the price of this too high
Good move you made on buying it ... Are you gonna load others filters ( 2600 ? Cs80 ? )

PEACE

MORDICUS
From what I've heard, the CS80 filters are definitely going in first. That one impressed me the most.

I was trying to hold out for one at $3000 but I had this money sitting there, and knew that I would nickel and dime it away, if I didn't jump now. I don't have much self control.
Old 20th September 2014 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
cramseur's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by papawise ➑️
great, congratulations!

didn't you find it a bit "digitallish" ? I mean similar to the behavior of the Prophet 12. With that shine on the highs.

Which other synths do you like? just to compare, talking about sound.
It doesn't sound like any digital synth I've had. (Supernova, MWXT, Blofeld, Virus B, T81z, Motif, Evolver, PolyEvol rack). It sounds much fatter, bolder and broader than those.)

I haven't heard the P12 like, only in YouTube videos. I do not like that. I also haven't really liked the DSI Evolver series which I grew tired of quickly. I do like some of the sounds I heard from the Pro2 demos though.<go figure>.

It has it's own sound. Not at all dark at the top end...seems brighter. And maybe since it's modern , not as, i dunno, imprecise? So if you call that "digitalish"... I guess.

I don't like talking about this kind of stuff, because I really don't care. ..either I like it or I don't. Plus I allow my opinion to change over time with more use, then If I don;t like it anymore, I sell.

What do I like?
Own: Roland SH-2!, A6, MWXT!, MKS-70, MKS-30 Minimax, Minitaur!,

like but: Micromac, Xpander, OB-Xa, Minimoog, MKS-80 rev 4. Prophet 600, Leipzig, MonoPoly, maybe sub Phatty.

like for no apparent reason: Alesis Ion

don't particularly care for: Korg/Yamaha old analogs, Virus, Nord, MW1, Moog Phatty/Voyager
Old 20th September 2014 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Welcome to the club, Cramseur! Now get those filter slots filled up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papawise ➑️
great, congratulations!

didn't you find it a bit "digitallish" ? I mean similar to the behavior of the Prophet 12. With that shine on the highs.
Not at all, but I would say that the oscillators sound very "wide" and "full" as if every frequency range is equally present, which in comparison to some vintage synths that have a degree of high-end roll-off, probably makes it seem that there's more high-frequency presence to the sound, but that's certainly not at the expense of low-end girth and warmth because it has the lot. I wouldn't characterize it as "digital" either, and the comparison to the P12 is way off to my ears (not completely convinced by what I've heard from the P12 FWIW, although haven't used one in person, so I reserve judgement at least a little).
Old 20th September 2014 | Show parent
  #25
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ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➑️

I don't like talking about this kind of stuff, because I really don't care. ..either I like it or I don't. Plus I allow my opinion to change over time with more use, then If I don;t like it anymore, I sell.
Would love to get your opinion eventually on the envelopes. I know many have felt that they were too 'sluggish' and one GS member, CoolColJ, eventually sold his because of his dissatisfaction over the envelopes.

I've never used one but I will admit even though I thought about picking one up many times, the complaints about the envelopes are what keep me at bay.


Thanks,
Frank
Old 21st September 2014 | Show parent
  #26
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cramseur's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian ➑️
Would love to get your opinion eventually on the envelopes. I know many have felt that they were too 'sluggish' and one GS member, CoolColJ, eventually sold his because of his dissatisfaction over the envelopes.

I've never used one but I will admit even though I thought about picking one up many times, the complaints about the envelopes are what keep me at bay.


Thanks,
Frank
I'm no expert on these kind of things. I just make sounds i like.
What type of experiment would be useful in assessing whether the envelopes are "fast enough"?

I saw the comments about the speed of the envelopes...But when I listened to the clips I heard sounds I liked...and that was that.
Old 21st September 2014 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➑️

I saw the comments about the speed of the envelopes...But when I listened to the clips I heard sounds I liked...and that was that.
That's cool. In the end that's all that matters.
Old 21st September 2014
  #28
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cramseur's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ionian:
Just tell me what your envelope speed test is, and i'll send you an audio file based on those specs.
Old 21st September 2014
  #29
Gear Addict
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Regarding envelopes, I'd say that depends on what you're after. I've programmed fast sequenced stuff as well as basses and leads on the Code that bite just as good as my Mini D or Cwejman S1 (which has 0.5 ms envs!). Nothing has more powerful attack than my A100 anyway. ;-) Congrats on the purchase, it's a great synth..!
Old 3rd November 2014
  #30
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by davecjd ➑️
Hi Guys,

Does anyone own a Studio Electronics Omega 8 or Code 8?

What are they like?

Is it really like a modern synth with vintage sounds?

Thanks

Chris
I've been a big supporter of the SE stuff since using a prototype of the SE-1 before it's original release, I love this company. The ATC-1/X is awesome, and so is the new Boomstar! I have an Omega 8 with an upgrade to turn OSC 1s triangle into a sine wave for deeper bass sounds. I've owned it for about a year now. The synth definitely sounds very analog and very big as I suspected from owning their other products. I cannot get the sound of this synth from any plugin or digital synth (as was suggested in that completely ridiculous review in SOS some years back). Also the customer support is second to none, especially considering the company is like 3 people. The synth (like the ATC-1/X) is a bit of a chameleon in that with different filter options you can get quite a variety of sounds and emulate some beloved classic synths quite well. You can stack up to 8 voices for mega huge leads or bases and create multi-patches which combines multiple synth patches to create a mega patch. This mode can also be used to turn this synth into a multi-timbral unit. There isn't anything in production that can touch this thing and like most of my analog studio gear plugins just don't compare. My only criticism (which is minor in the grand scheme) is one that I've seen several others point out which is the presets that come loaded don't showcase the potential of this synth as much as they could. I found the pre loaded presets simply not that useful for the kind of productions I do. I would like to see some preset banks being made available on a regular basis either by SE or other users that contain sounds both modern as well as some standard beloved vintage patch emulations that showcase the great filters that the Omega has. I've actually been working on such a bank and have had pretty good luck replicating both classic and modern sounds on my own. However progress is slow, while I have a good working knowledge of subtractive synthesis I'm not a professional programmer / sound designer so it's an arduous task to program all my own custom patches to taste, but the payoff is huge. In spite of this one minor issue I can't praise this synth enough. This is an instrument that you continue to grow with and discover new things as you use it. Like a high end guitar or other classic instrument it's one that you generally keep for life. You don't have to take my word for it, just look at the list of producers that have this unit on the SE website (and in many cases they own more than one), Daft Punk and Snoop Dog come to mind but there are many others in many genres. I think this unit due to it's cost and the fact that you have to get deep with it on a programming level to get the best out of it has turned some of the hobbyists away but professional producers who are into using analog gear love this thing! On a selfish level I love it because I can create sounds that not too many people have access to. The price at about $5000 may seem high but if you look at the used market I've seen Memory Moogs going for $12,000 on eBay recently and the SunSyn going for $7000, so if you consider that $5000 doesn't seem so bad. Also you can start with a scaled down model and add voices and filters as you have money which cuts the up front cost quite a bit. My answer for my one criticism is to just become a better and faster sound designer, which has worked, I'm already getting some ridiculous results from mine and have started trading patches with a few other users. I may post a bank of sounds once I finish tweaking them for other owners down the road (this won't be soon). If anyone is interested in trading patches or banks hit me up online.

Last edited by mikaeljohnston; 4th November 2014 at 07:11 PM.. Reason: Corrections
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