Frankfurt Impressions

From Haible_Juergen#Tel2743
Sent Sat, Mar 11th 1995, 00:30

Hi!

As Stefan already posted, we were on the Musikmesse yesterday.
Here are some of my personal impressions:

Clavia Nord Lead:
=============
Of course I wanted to hear the "Digital Analogue".
I liked the basic sound of the Oscillators. It is rather
"warm" as opposed the usual harhness of DCO's.
They have made this part quite well IMO.
I didn't like the filters very much, though. They might be
better then many other digital filters, but they are too
clean for me at high Q settings. I wonder if they have
enclosed overdrive effects into their virtual model - I
don't think so!
Could't check the speed of envelopes. To much noise
outside, and too much guys who wanted to take my
place at the hedphones ...
I didn't like the small knobs. Well, yes, they *have*
knobs, which is a great plus on its own. But they are
rather un-precise and have that kind of LEGO-feeling.
I liked the design ...

Doepfer Modular:
=============
There it was.
It's cheap, in both ways:
It is affordable, but the modules are only very, very basic.
It seemed to me that they just took the chips and a minimum
of potis and left out anything that would have meant a penny
of additional cost. Take the VCO: Only two CV in's. No keyboard
plus LFO plus ADSR control. You want linear FM? no chance.
Only one type of sync. Modular = Unlimited? Not with the Doepfer!
The other modules are similar. Only the most basic functions.
I have seen non-modulars that are more powerful ...
They have rather small front panels, and they left out everything
that wasn't absolutely necessary. NOT a system FOR ME!

Korg Wavedrum:
============
Well, I'm no drummer. But it's much fun to hear the different reactions
on different playing methods. It is a good demonstration of the new
"Physical" technique. Funny the presentation of Nippy Noya: He
doesn't seem to understand much of algorithms (though he tried
to explain them to the audience ;->), but guys, how the man can play!!!
So it was more of a gig to me than a demonstration. A piece of good
music amongst so much noises ...

Voce Electric Piano:
===============
Finally, I could hear this unit, together with the organ modules.
It was too loud in the neigbourhood to check out the sound totally,
but the first impression is a good one. I especially liked the
panning vibrato. It sounds rather realistic; more than just a panning.
How have You done this, Dave, if You are listening?

Yamaha VL7:
==========
Not that new, but it was the first time for me to take more than a brief
look at it. There were about 10 units to be played, so I could sit down
at one for a quarter of an hour without being kicked off.
I'd like one of these as a solo instrument. It's just fun to sit down and
play and turn the wheels and see what happens. Perhaps they will
become cheaper in the future ...
Sadly, the large polyphonic one wasn't there. I asked one of the friendly
ladies for it, but she said something like "It's DM 60.000 and we don't
expect anyone to buy it" - Right. But I'd liked to play it once, anyway ...

Aviator (?)
========
This was the greatest surprise for me, so I kept it for my last point.
The guys at TBS showed a brand new semi-modular Synth made in
England, "Aviator" or something like that. It is semi-modular in the
sense of an ARP2600, and it reminds me of the ARP in many ways.
3VCO, 2VCF (both SEM-type LP/NOTCH/HP continuous, one
switchable to 4-Pole LP, one switchable to SEM BP), 4VCA, 3ADSR,
2LFO, S/H, External, and: Solid knobs instead of worn out sliders!
This could be *very* interesting for those who are hunting for a 2600.
The sound: Fine! The price: about 900 English Pounds or DM 2600,-.
Let me see: Used and worn-out 2600's go for DM 3000,- to 4000,-
here, these days ...
If I weren't building a modular, I think I couldn't resist buing one of 
these!

JH.