Re: New Waldorf Mono Synth (2nd Reply)

From Data
Sent Fri, Nov 3rd 1995, 00:10

> --Again, no oscillators available as mod sources = no fm = little that coul
> be done sonically with, say, a Korg MonoPoly!  Is it worth $1200 more just 
> MIDI control?  For this kind of deutchmarks you could get a lot more synth
> the used market, or even a small Doepfer modular.  Target market: wimps who
> worry about oscillator stability in older gear.  
>

I dare say it will not be worth - actually around $700 - more than a MonoPoly 
to plenty of people, and it may not even be worth as much as a MiniMoog to 
plenty of people.  The market this instrument is really targeted at is a very, 
very difficult one, because it has to compete with a very glutted used market 
as well as all the other new, in-production products found in most markets.  
Often these newly produced analogues have an initial blow dealt to them because 
they are new designs- nay, because they are newly manufactured.  Remember the 
post saying that "oh no, these new Moogs will be awful because they're going 
to be new, &c &c"?  Perhaps it was only a joke, but that mentality is pretty 
wide-spread among analogue types.  A new instrument can't be "vintage", after 
all.
  Besides, I think it may be worth the extra money for "MIDI control".  A $250 
mono-synth from 1981 is probably going to cost a lot of money and effort to 
upgrade and mod to the same level as a new instrument such as Waldorf's.  The 
new design, if it is any account, will incorporate lessons and ideas from 
years of experience with MIDI equipment.  It can reasonably be expected 
to be quite stable and reliable, and to provide much flexibility with things 
like controllers and sys-ex data.  And note that this instrument has a 
fairly rare feature: a MIDI-clockable arpeggiator.  Many people want one (I 
know I do), but usually the arpeggiator is an after-thought, not something 
that companies have in the past taken the trouble to refine and make really 
useful.  Remember, although reliability is not an instant "gotta-have-it" 
feature, poor software stability has sunk more than one MIDI instrument.

> >-16 internal modulation targets e.g. 
> > Osc 1 Pitch, Osc 1 Level, Pulse Width, Cut-Off, Resonance, etc.
> 
> Again, no modulation OF (not "by") the LFO's nor the EG's! I'll bet the LFO
> don't even get up to 20 hz.  Ever set up two LFO's which modulate one anoth
> and then use their respective output voltages to control other parameters? 
> would have cost nothing to implement.
>

I disagree.  Every feature, whether in hardware or software, costs money to 
implement, and given the cut-throat nature of this market, it means you've got 
to choose your features carefully.  Extra flexibility equals extra complexity.
It may well be that, due to the nature of the instrument's design, this 
feature was simply too costly to implement.  It may be that they had a deadline
to meet, and they didn't have time for this one more feature.  Often, it's a
trade-off between lots of gee-whiz features and making a solid, useable
instrument which does what it was designed to do, and does it well.  I know 
that if I wanted to do this particular function, I would probably expect to
find it in a modular synthesiser, rather than in a hard-patched design such 
as this.  Every instrument has its function, and this instrument could, I 
think, very possibly find a place in my studio, provided it sounds good, of 
course.
 
> Another cynical marketing idea, IMHO.
> Danny
> 

Tell this to a company which has risked many thousands of dollars developing 
a new design.  We're not talking about Roland or Yamaha here.  I don't think 
Waldorf can really afford this very expensive kind of cynicism.
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