Little Phatty VS Korg MS20 / 4 poles VS 2 poles

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cla
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Little Phatty VS Korg MS20 / 4 poles VS 2 poles

Post by cla » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:52 am

one of the first thing I noticed on the filter is that raising resonance will eats up the overall volume. I was really disappointed about this, and I know this happens on many synthesizer but, for example, not on the Korg MS20(12db/oct filter, I know...).
I bought the phatty because I needed a midi controlled monosynth, but now I'm thinking to return to my old Korg MS20+SQ10 setup: really analog, no steppy modulation, weaker but to me better sounding filter, one knob for each parameter, semi-modular concept.

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Portamental
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Post by Portamental » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:19 pm

Have you tried setting the Phatty to two poles? You can set the filter slope from 1 to 4 poles on the LP.

cla
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Post by cla » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:37 pm

yes, I tried the two pole setting to compare the filter with the MS20 one.
however the phatty is really a good sounding synth, but I think it's overrated.
it lacks features that I took it for granted and that can be found in much cheaper synthesizers like the novation bassstation(!): autoglide and velocity response. big disappointment!

EricK
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Post by EricK » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:33 pm

The Voyager will drown out the Oscs when the Filter resonance is high too.

Its just one of those things.
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Portamental
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Post by Portamental » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:22 pm

EricK wrote:The Voyager will drown out the Oscs when the Filter resonance is high too.
Tell me about it. And those Voyagers come messy pretty fast, with all those wires sticking out the back panel.

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Post by CTRLSHFT » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:20 am

cla wrote:yes, I tried the two pole setting to compare the filter with the MS20 one.
however the phatty is really a good sounding synth, but I think it's overrated.
it lacks features that I took it for granted and that can be found in much cheaper synthesizers like the novation bassstation(!): autoglide and velocity response. big disappointment!
Auto-glide would be cool and probably do-able in a firmware upgrade.

Velocity has been standard since Tributes on the LP. There's even a section in there for how drastically velocity affects the cutoff.

Comparing the MS20 to the LP is sort of silly though, that's like comparing the Voyager to the Roland SH-2. Totally different synths.
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EricK
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Post by EricK » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 am

Portamental wrote:
EricK wrote:The Voyager will drown out the Oscs when the Filter resonance is high too.
Tell me about it. And those Voyagers come messy pretty fast, with all those wires sticking out the back panel.
Yeah especially with those expansion boxes they offer with it.
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cla
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Post by cla » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:48 am

CTRLSHFT wrote: Velocity has been standard since Tributes on the LP. There's even a section in there for how drastically velocity affects the cutoff.

Comparing the MS20 to the LP is sort of silly though, that's like comparing the Voyager to the Roland SH-2. Totally different synths.
I mean the dynamic, not the filter.

how can you say they are totally different? The internal architecture is the same! 2 osc subtractive synthesis!
comparing the MS20 to the Phatty is not so funny. they are both monophonic and only for this reason they belong to a specific category. compare the Voyager to the sh-2 is really funny. however it was just an example to say that the Phatty is disappointing in several respects, and that a 30year-old synth is better designed than a new one(MS20 lacks MIDI but we're talking abuot 1978's stuff...).

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Post by EricK » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:27 am

Its not saying anything bad that something designed 30 years ago is better than today, thats the case with a lot of things. Its just the marketing mindset that goes into products of today (that all electronics are to be recycled because fixing them is more expensive than buying a new one) that is bad.

Name just about anything and youll say "They don't make them like they used to."

Bodies of cars used to not be made of distentegratable plastic. Microwaves used to last 30 years.

Ill bet building a MS20 today with the same parts would cost a lot more than the Voyager would.
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cla
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Post by cla » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:56 am

EricK wrote:Its not saying anything bad that something designed 30 years ago is better than today, thats the case with a lot of things. Its just the marketing mindset that goes into products of today (that all electronics are to be recycled because fixing them is more expensive than buying a new one) that is bad.
Well said. do you remember when the manufacturers provide, along with the instructions, the service manuals with all the schematics? some companies also provided the PCB! if you wanted you could rebuild one! happy days!

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Christopher Winkels
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Post by Christopher Winkels » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:54 am

There aren't many car bodies made out of plastic that disintegrate. Even Saturn went back to steel a few years ago. Those that are plastic are usually only using it for bumpers - and for good reason. Those heavy steel ones were murder on pedestrians, cost a fortune, added weight (bad for fuel economy and handling), and rusted away as soon as there was any pitting on the chrome. Besides, look at how reliability has improved in the last three decades and there is no way one can statistically say that "they don't make 'em like they used to" and keep a straight face. The average Kia is - from a purely reliability standpoint - better built today than the average Mercedes from the '70s.

And microwaves lasting 30 years? Yeah, my grandmother's Amana did that. But then it cost the equivalant of over $2,000 in today's money. That amount of money can buy a lot of modern microwaves that may or may not last a decade.

And cheap stuff has always been with us. The reason we don't remember it is because it was cheap in every sense of the word. It broke quickly, got tossed, and was soon forgotten about. There was a lot of very cheap and nasty tat floating about in every consumer product field. But the quality stuff survived and that's what we think of as the benchmark. The good old days weren't always so good, as anyone who owned a Ford Pinto or GM X-body from the '70s will attest. :wink:

Where I will agree with you is that we've lost a sense of over-engineering stuff unless it lies at the very absolute apex of the market. The idea that it's not a bad thing to make that power cord 10' long rather than 6' as a courtesy and convenience to the person purchasing it. That those pots should be the ultra-smooth, silky feeling ones that cost $0.10 more each rather than perfectly good but somewhat more brittle-feeling ones that will save a few bucks on total cost of the instrument. And it may also be that because labour costs are now so low (measured in a few dollars per day for workers in the far east, rather than a few dozen per hour in Europe and North America) one can't effectively pour a lot of money into component material and still make a good business case for a product.

And, ultimately, some of the blame needs to be placed at the feet of consumers. There are lots of people prepared to pay $10 for a "that'll do" item that might wear out in two or three years rather than $20 for a "that's fantastic" item that'll last two or three decades. They'd rather save a buck now even if it means spending more later. Or who buy based on abstract specs rather than true performance.

Oh dear... there I go rambling... :oops:

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Post by alamilla » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:33 am

OK, here's my two cents because I happen to own both a Phatty and an MS-20 and I have to disagree with you here

I do really like the MS-20 - it does have its own sonic character
but to me, the MS-20 is still a very limited synth
to call it semi-modular in design is a bit of a con to be honest
I hate reading ads for these things where they talk about these "amazing, legendary filters"
granted, they sound different; a very thin timbre
I love the band pass sound
the low-pass on it's own is weak though
and the high pass doesn't have much functionality beyond my EQ on Logic

If you want to overcome the volume loss of resonance at high levels then I suggest you get a decent compressor
something like a Keeley is very high quality, perfect for high output instruments and it comes in a small, pedal-sized box
alternatively, Diamond Pedals make a studio quality, optical compressor which is worth looking at

OR

go Modular
Modcan make a couple of filter modules that deal with this typical, high-resonance, volume loss

OR

get a Future Retro XS

As far as the Phatty being 'limited', I think it's subjective and totally depends on what you want from a synth
the MS-20 has:
no means of interacting via CV or MIDI
no option of different filter poles
no tempo-synced LFOs
no oscillator as a source for modulation or oscillator sync
no keyboard transpose functions
no dedicated mod and pitch wheels
no pair of standard envelope generators
no arpeggiator

what it does have is a neat, envelope follower section, the most insane distortion effects I've ever heard on any synth, and a unique filter section

all of this considered, mine is for sale
http://www.myspace.com/skipteque

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GregAE
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Re: Little Phatty VS Korg MS20 / 4 poles VS 2 poles

Post by GregAE » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:01 am

cla wrote:one of the first thing I noticed on the filter is that raising resonance will eats up the overall volume. I was really disappointed about this, and I know this happens on many synthesizer but, for example, not on the Korg MS20(12db/oct filter, I know...).
I bought the phatty because I needed a midi controlled monosynth, but now I'm thinking to return to my old Korg MS20+SQ10 setup: really analog, no steppy modulation, weaker but to me better sounding filter, one knob for each parameter, semi-modular concept.
FYI: The volume drop you are hearing on the LP is a result of Automatic Gain Compensation (AGC) within the filter design itself - a characteristic of the Moog filter. This topic has been covered before:

http://www.moogmusic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6937

Korg's filter design doesn't have AGC (AFAIK), which is why there's no volume drop. Of course, it doesn't sound the same, either.

Ziggy
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Post by Ziggy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:20 pm

I own both synths...

MS-20 has semi-modular qualities and an unique sound but I have to say that I find it quite limited in tone colour possibilities.
Oscilators and filters are thin and it also lacks important features like wave or pulse width modulation or standart EG for filter control.
I have the MS-20 for 30 years and I still love it for crazy twin filter sounds, also for external sound treatment, filtered noises and this kind of stuff. But when trying "musical" sounds I find it limited and even unspiring.

LP has it's own limitations but I never get upset by that. Tone quality is excelent and I can create lots of inspiring sounds. CP-251 adds modulation possibilities much further and the arpeggiator is a great tool.

Sorry to say but since I have both units I have played the Moog much more than the Korg and I have been able to create a much wider variety of inspiring sounds.
Moog LP-II, Clavia Nord Electro, Emu Vintage Keys+, Korg MS-20, Oberheim Matrix-1000, Moog CP-251, Korg M-1, Berhinger UMX-41

Ziggy
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Post by Ziggy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:38 pm

Thinking that the different sound qualities of these pair of synths can be explained because of the difference of poles of the filters is far from true.
Both synths have a completely different personality and sound doesn't matter if you set 2 or 4 poles on the Moog filter.

Being able to set 1, 2, 3 or 4 poles on the LP is great and it expands a lot it's sounding possibilities. Sometimes I think that 1 or 2 poles on the Moog sound much closer to an ARP than 4 poles do, but I never find that the Moog sounds anywhere like the Korg. They are too different machines in every area appart of being 2 osc analog synths.

In fact I would say that the Moog on 2 poles sounds like a... 2 pole Moog!
Moog LP-II, Clavia Nord Electro, Emu Vintage Keys+, Korg MS-20, Oberheim Matrix-1000, Moog CP-251, Korg M-1, Berhinger UMX-41

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