Waldorf Microwave 1 vs Microwave 2

Waldorf  Microwaves are top wavetable synthetizers, they are the direct descendents of the awesome PPG WAVE.

Analizing the two models (assuming that the XT is an enhanced version of the 2, but it sounds the same) the most important difference is the fact that the Microwave 1 is a hybrid synth with digital oscillators with VCF and VCA (so an analog 24dB lowpass filter for each voice and a vca) while the Microwave 2 is a fully digital DSP synth.

The differences are evident, the microwave 1 has a more organic and warm sound, sound heavier in the mix and is darker, the microwave 2 is more versatile as the synth has multimode filters, a cleaner sound and a lot more functions, but it sounds colder.
One thing to notice is the envelope clicking.
Both the 1 & 2 have env clicking, but while the 2 can be prevented from clicking with a well programmed env curve, on the mw1 the attack clicks, so this noisy attack cannot be avoided.
here is a demo comparison from Retrosound youtube channel:

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DSI Mopho Review

The Mopho , by Dave Smith  , is a little yellow box with a very powerful synth inside.
As you can read on the manual , the Mopho is a MOnoPHOnic synth with a full analog audio path, this is the main difference with the other DSI monosynth, the Evolver.

The Mopho was born as a single voice from the Prophet 08, with added sub oscillators.
The carachter and presence of the synth is the same of the big brother but the Mopho has a plus , a more powerful bass because of the suboscillators.
The synth structure is simple: 2 DCO with subs(1 oct down, 2 oct down) , the classic DSI Prophet Curtis lowpass filter with 12/24 dB slope 3 LFO, 3 ENV with delay.
There are no effects , but the synth has the Feedback to sound more raw and aggressive.
Another interesting function is the Filter Audio Mod, in simple words dco1 can modulate the filter frequency creating FM sounds, very interesting when the filter is near to self oscillation.

As all the other DSI synth the Mopho has a 4 track motion sequencer that can control every parameter you want, in order to create, sequenced phrases, evolving textures or powerful rhythms.

The last interesting thing is the Audio in to process external sources thru the synth engine.

The mopho has  a different layout from the other DSI products, it has ten knobs with 5 of them assigned to classic controls as pitch, filter cutoff, resonance, attack and decay/release (useful for a realtime tweaking without getting into menu)  and 4 are “assignable parameters”.

The editing on the machine isn’t super fast as you have to scroll the menu, but if you get into it , it can be quite easy, however using the free editor making a patch is really fast and simple.

The strenghts of the mopho are the powerful sound, the 100% analog timbre that reminds the Sequential Circuits Pro-One , the realtime controls and the dimensions, and not to forget the Price!
The down side is the editing on the machine that can be overlooked by the ones who like software editing or who use an external controller/programmer.

The Mopho is a good machine for those who are looking for powerful analog monophonic sounds for classic tasks as bass or leads but is also a good machine for who is working on more experimental sounds thanks to the motion sequencer and modulation capabilities as the fm filter mod.

Yamaha PSS 390 mini synth demo

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The Yamaha PSS 390 is the “toy keyboard” claimed to have the better and best sounding FM synth engine in the toy range.
It has 100 tones that can be widely modified with the tone controls, instead of button +/- it features sliders to edit the synth parameters.
The only lack is the midi control that however  can be added by retrofit.
It can be seen in action in the videos of the band “the Apparat Organ Quartet”.

Circuit Bending the Casio SA-serie

Doing some circuit bending on my casio keyboards  I collected some useful schematics to “safe-bend” the casio sa serie (sa 1 2 5 8 10 20 etc).
The main mod is the one from Casperelectronics that adds interesting bends as the “glitch/randomizer” , “feedback” , “5th add”, “pitch shift” and the classic “power crash”.

Casio SA-X

In the forum www.circuitbenders.co.uk I found another scheme based on the casper mod but with some adds.


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