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Macbeth Synthi?
Old 12th March 2014
  #1
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pandar's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Macbeth Synthi?


Is it just me or does the new macbeth look a lot like a synthi.

Musikmesse 2014: Ken MacBeth previews MacBeth Elements analogue synth | MacBeth Elements | Tech News | MusicRadar

Kinda like the M5 looked like a 2600

Last edited by pandar; 12th March 2014 at 02:23 PM.. Reason: IMAGE
Old 12th March 2014
  #2
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intuitionnyc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It was definitely inspired by the Synthi projects.

Looks beast, but it's gonna be REALLY expensive. Like almost buying a real Synthi expensive.

EDIT: Just looked it up. It is going to be 3,995 GBP which translates to about $6,700.
Old 12th March 2014
  #3
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EvilDragon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Way too expensive. Could've at least had a proper keybed with ribbon controller at that price...
Old 12th March 2014
  #4
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Yeah, that's kind of silly.

I don't doubt the quality and sound. But there is just so much available these days, how can anyone but a collector justify that?
Old 12th March 2014
  #5
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds great, but is it worth it? I guess Ken can charge whatever the **** he wants, but I'm not paying that kinda dough for a monophonic synth module like that. Sorry.

Saw off the (to me) useless toy keyboard and slash the price considerably and I'll be happy to have a talk about it.
Old 12th March 2014
  #7
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
At last! I was waiting for it! I will get two of them because I like the color. I won't buy it if it's under $7000...I don't want compromises...I don't want cheap plastic sound for my luxurious living room studio...Oh...and the keybed! I want only the greatest keys in the history...(checks again the picture of Elements...)...hey! Wait a minute!
Old 12th March 2014
  #8
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pandar's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
for that kind of money I wonder why he removed the pin matrix?
Old 12th March 2014
  #9
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
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Don't know if you've heard him play it, but it sounds amazing!

And the touch keyboad is very much part of it's sound, the way it gets played.

I would love one, but it is still a bit too expensive for me (that said, I am VERY glad we have at least one synth creator making true high-end instruments... not every synth maker should be about the race to the bottom and Guitar Center style packaged goods... just my opinion.)

-a
Old 12th March 2014
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Ken's stuff is priced high but sounds amazing. For those who don't want the keyboard he's also doing a 3U 84HP Eurorack module version for Β£1800.
Old 12th March 2014
  #11
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🎧 5 years
Why didn't he just make the whole front panel a touch screen instead of touch keys and then you could have whatever GUI you want or design your own?

I hate feeling like I'm actually doing something with my hands. I only have 3 things with real keys on them already, so I definitely have room for more real keys rather than a metal thingy that might be more expressive if I use it differently to normal keys. I prefer generic, especially for this kind of money.

I won't be able to make it sound better than maisonvague anyway, so it doesn't matter what it sounds like, I need it to look flash in my studio. I can't risk anyone looking at it and saying "Why no real keys?" and "How much?" etc.

If Ken really cared about me he'd stop making this stuff altogether because I have complaints and my complaints outweigh his need to satiate his curiosity in sound design. It's not like he's trying to sculpt sound in relief, and that relief is envisioned inside a box and so is not visible to the outside world, and is in the form of electronic components rather than stone. I mean, that would imply that he is selling bespoke art rather than a simple inanimate object, and that would be silly.

I can't afford one anyway. If only these boxes were as cheap as my opinion etc, etc.......here fishy fishy....
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #12
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo ➑️
Don't know if you've heard him play it, but it sounds amazing!

And the touch keyboad is very much part of it's sound, the way it gets played.

I would love one, but it is still a bit too expensive for me (that said, I am VERY glad we have at least one synth creator making true high-end instruments... not every synth maker should be about the race to the bottom and Guitar Center style packaged goods... just my opinion.)

-a
I know what you mean and the touch keyboard is certainly a unique and maybe more "robust" option to trigger and play melodies, especially if it works like a series of x/y pads.

I'm not sure about that "true high-end instruments" bit though...what does it mean? Do you really believe that everything else is down to the bottom? So, suddenly, musicians can't accept any affordable instrument as a high quality instrument? Is it all garbage because someone sells a much more expensive product? ...and what does a "high quality instrument" mean? Is there a guaranty that it will last longer and that it will be more useful than any other synth in a studio? I can never find a logical reason behind uber expensive musical instruments. A synth that you can't buy is a useless synth IMO.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #13
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D ➑️
Yeah, that's kind of silly.

I don't doubt the quality and sound. But there is just so much available these days, how can anyone but a collector justify that?
Seen Buchla prices lately? Macbeth's regarded as, if not the best, right at the top of the analog world. His prices aren't out of line with others in a similar bracket like Cwejman. This type of instrument is for people who know exactly what they want and will pay to get it - he has a few high profile musicians in his client base. I guarantee they will sell out.
Old 12th March 2014
  #14
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🎧 5 years
beautiful...
Old 12th March 2014
  #15
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🎧 10 years
This is not cheap synth. Can't wait to hear new demos. I followed this project and
I saw that Ken bought some NOS parts that are not as cheap as new one. Macbeth synths are not for everyone. I have Micromac R and I won't sell it. I have also Ms 20 mini and there is Huuuge difference in sound quality. The best bang for buck for me is DSI Tetra, i love this little synth. If You spent some time with Tetra You could make beautiful sounds. Micromac sound is always beautifull. II'll try to save some money for Elements eurorack module and I'm sure everybody who love analog synths would like to have one.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveFromKyoto ➑️
Seen Buchla prices lately? Macbeth's regarded as, if not the best, right at the top of the analog world. His prices aren't out of line with others in a similar bracket like Cwejman. This type of instrument is for people who know exactly what they want and will pay to get it - he has a few high profile musicians in his client base. I guarantee they will sell out.
I agree completely.

I spoke yesterday with Phil Cirocco who is an Arp EXPERT. He is currently working on my Arp 2600 and restoring it. He was explaining to me that many synths (most Arp 2600's included) have components that are cheap. He said it makes sense because they are trying to make money when selling synths. For example, the original Blue Marvin Arp 2600's have certain pieces that were $20 a pop. When they went to production of the grey Arp 2600's, these same pieces were substituted with 12-18 cent pieces instead which did affect the sound. That's why the Blue Marvin's sound much different and are highly sought after.

Perhaps this is the same way Ken Macbeth is going about things. He is probably putting the best components in his synths thus driving the prices up. I don't think he is overflating his prices just for the hell of it.

It's kind of funny how everyone wants companies to remake Arp 2600's, Jupiter 8's, CS-80's, etc. People also want other companies to make "qualilty" synths. Then.....when someone like Ken Macbeth comes along and makes one, they bitch about the price. I just don't get it.

As far as the keyboard is concerned??? This synth was inspired by the Synthi that had a very similar keyboard to input sequences. This synth can take outside control voltages/midi so if you have a controller, you can hook it up. WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE A "PROPER" KEY BED????? I'd rather have this keypad as this is different and interesting.
Old 12th March 2014
  #17
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pandar's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Its not like macbeth would be making low cost synths if he wasn't making this. If the entire market was in the $7000 range I could see more room for complaint. But I do think the lack of the pin matrix is a problem. If you are making a money is no object remake why remove the the one of the most appealing parts. As to the key the original synthi didn't so why should this.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #18
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by intuitionnyc ➑️
I agree completely.

I spoke yesterday with Phil Cirocco who is an Arp EXPERT. He is currently working on my Arp 2600 and restoring it. He was explaining to me that many synths (most Arp 2600's included) have components that are cheap. He said it makes sense because they are trying to make money when selling synths. For example, the original Blue Marvin Arp 2600's have certain pieces that were $20 a pop. When they went to production of the grey Arp 2600's, these same pieces were substituted with 12-18 cent pieces instead which did affect the sound. That's why the Blue Marvin's sound much different and are highly sought after.

Perhaps this is the same way Ken Macbeth is going about things. He is probably putting the best components in his synths thus driving the prices up. I don't think he is overflating his prices just for the hell of it.

It's kind of funny how everyone wants companies to remake Arp 2600's, Jupiter 8's, CS-80's, etc. People also want other companies to make "qualilty" synths. Then.....when someone like Ken Macbeth comes along and makes one, they bitch about the price. I just don't get it.

As far as the keyboard is concerned??? This synth was inspired by the Synthi that had a very similar keyboard to input sequences. This synth can take outside control voltages/midi so if you have a controller, you can hook it up. WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE A "PROPER" KEY BED????? I'd rather have this keypad as this is different and interesting.
On the nose. He's not cheaping out on components, and he's using through-hole design which inflates costs.

And if you know about the modular world, you know nobody is getting rich off this stuff. It's a lot of long days and a relatively small market base. You can't compare a one-man shop being everything from R&D to sales, marketing, shipping/logistics and customer service to a corporate design team working to economies of scale.

At the end of the day most of that shouldn't matter to the end user, but if the high end sound using classic components and design philosophy matter, there's a price to be paid for it as only boutique manufacturers are able to justify filling that niche.
Old 12th March 2014
  #19
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🎧 5 years
Just curious how his synths are made. All hand made, hand soldered? How many people does he employ to do this? Can I get a job doing this?..
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #20
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vertflyer ➑️
Just curious how his synths are made. All hand made, hand soldered? How many people does he employ to do this? Can I get a job doing this?..
He can speak more directly, but I believe it's a combination of some hand assembly, and some contracted factory assembly. I remember he talked about sending out the specs to a factory for manufacturing during the lead up to the Micromac.

As for can you get a job - most modular shops are solo operations, but a couple do employ an assistant since it involves a ton of fiddly soldering.
Old 12th March 2014
  #21
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I guess what PISSES ME OFF about this thing is that I thought I had read someone quoting a price of roughly 2400 pounds. Then I discover it's more like 4000. ****ing hell in flying ****land that's a ****ing disappointment.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #22
BM0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandar ➑️
Its not like macbeth would be making low cost synths if he wasn't making this. If the entire market was in the $7000 range I could see more room for complaint. But I do think the lack of the pin matrix is a problem. If you are making a money is no object remake why remove the the one of the most appealing parts. As to the key the original synthi didn't so why should this.
Other than the appearance to some extent, I don't think the synth is modeled after the Synthi. It is most likely based on his X Series modules.
Old 12th March 2014 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➑️
Other than the appearance to some extent, I don't think the synth is modeled after the Synthi. It is most likely based on his X Series modules.
I was checking out some of his videos of the prototype and the filter is actually based on the Roland System 100 diode ladder filter, so while it kind of looks like a Synthi, it kind of sounds like an old Roland synth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovgjGN9Ft2E
Old 12th March 2014
  #24
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schmuck's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Beautiful and I am sure the sounds & UI it will deliver as well.

I for one am glad it is very expensive, since I don't even need to start thinking about getting yet another mono.

Not sure what having money liquid has to do with being a collector however?

It is great to have cheap tools but I am not sure I'd want a world just full of volca's and microbrutes (as cool as they are). What I am definitively sure about is if *I* were to produce a product in an area where I am an expert, and my primary goal is not making the quick buck, then I would DEFINITIVELY try to produce as high quality as possible.
Old 12th March 2014
  #25
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intuitionnyc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I saw that pricing I mentioned above somewhere but I don't think anything is concrete yet. BUT, I would guess that the pricing above is probably close considering a X-Series Dual Oscillator costs $1,400.
Old 13th March 2014
  #26
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Gringo Starr's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Rumor has it that the M5's will get built again. I'd rather save for one of those. But this does look and sound nice.
Old 13th March 2014
  #27
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chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Suddenly touch plate keyboards are flavour of the month.
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #28
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kosmoflot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitradix ➑️
I was checking out some of his videos of the prototype and the filter is actually based on the Roland System 100 diode ladder filter, so while it kind of looks like a Synthi, it kind of sounds like an old Roland synth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovgjGN9Ft2E
that second filter is mad!

you can see the man is putting his soul into the instrument!
exceptional stuff!
Old 13th March 2014 | Show parent
  #29
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectral Climax ➑️
I know what you mean and the touch keyboard is certainly a unique and maybe more "robust" option to trigger and play melodies, especially if it works like a series of x/y pads.

I'm not sure about that "true high-end instruments" bit though...what does it mean? Do you really believe that everything else is down to the bottom? So, suddenly, musicians can't accept any affordable instrument as a high quality instrument? Is it all garbage because someone sells a much more expensive product? ...and what does a "high quality instrument" mean? Is there a guaranty that it will last longer and that it will be more useful than any other synth in a studio? I can never find a logical reason behind uber expensive musical instruments. A synth that you can't buy is a useless synth IMO.

Yes, I do believe that and the facts are right there in front of everyone's eyes. I know you'd love for it not to be true, but it's just the reality...

Most synth companies follow the "Max features for Min. price" strategy.

And yes, that's part and parcel with the Walmartization (sorry, Guitar Centerization) of msuic retail.

It's a hobby industry now.

And I know a lot of people don't want to hear that either, but it's the truth.

So, what I'm saying is, MacBeth is one of the VERY few synth companies that are truly driven by "quaity" economics. ie, make professional products and le the quality dictate the price (as opposed to price-point dictating quality).

So, now a bunch of folks have their panties in a wad and whill yelp... "Wahuu, are you saying you can't make a hit with cheap gear." (Duh, because THAT'S not much of a strawman argument .

Yep.

As for your last statement, "I can never find a logical reason behind uber expensive musical instruments. A synth that you can't buy is a useless synth IMO." ...

The operative thinking there is... "you." YOU can't understand.

Well, that's because SOME people want "better" and not just "more." And some people would rather pay for quality. And you just don't relate to that.

Thing is, you don't have to worry about it. Most companies are serving you.
Old 13th March 2014
  #30
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🎧 10 years
I think Macbeth synths sound really great, and look like quality products. But while that's true - i sometimes feel there's a certain amount of mysticism around them, as if there's a secret "pixie dust" in there or something.
Also, i don't understand why people compare this 7000$ synth to sub 1k$ synths. I think the new Macbeth is expensive compared to expensive synths :-)
I mean, i look at my GRP A4 and Vermona Perfoumer mkii. These are not "lower end" synths. And yet 7000$ can get you this new Macbeth - but it can also get you a GRP and Perfourmer. I think the new Boomstars - while a lot cheaper in price - are also high quality monosynths, through-hole technology etc. You could get all six different boomstars (moog, sem, arp, 3003. SE80, korg 700) and have more than 1k$ left.
So while i accept this new Macbeth is a high quality synth - i can't imagine why it should cost this much.
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