Analog Synthesizer Heaven/Hell

I have been seriously pondering buying another synthesizer. I originally was eyeing a Virus Ti but am now thinking about trying to fix my Virus Classic (it has a few quirks) and buying an analog synthesizer of some sort. Seems like there has been a bit of a resurgence there both in the forum of analog modular and more integrated synths. The former I find very interesting but wildly expensive and unrealistically expensive. Plus, as cool as those are, they seem to be for supporting sounds rather than, say, for pads, which is really what I am after.

I go back and forth on it, in part due to the varying prices of things, but so far my pick is a DSI Prophet ’08. I am still debating on the rack/desktop or the keyboard version. The latter I would have to find used as the new price is out of my price-range. It’s pretty glorious though I think. I have also considered a DSI Tetra, or going vintage with something like an Oberheim OB-6 or Juno synths.

I tend to keep going back to the ’08 for the modern feel with the vintage sound. My only gripes are lack of an audio input (for running external sounds through the filter), and lack of a high-pass filter. The Prophet 6 has an HPF but it’s quite expensive and, apart from being a VCO vs a DCO and maybe being easier to use, I’m not sure I see the draw. Likewise going vintage gives me tons of options, many of which are affordable but many also lacking in control surfaces. The lack of audio inputs on a lot of these isn’t terrible. I still have SSM2044 VCF chips and still want to build a sort of Midibox effect box with them.

On that note, I still want to build an rackmount MBSID. The main problem is the cost of the control surface boards (if I have them fabbed) and panel. And to a lesser degree a chassis to fit it all in. The SID chip has a unique sound that I really like but it isn’t an analog synth and I have a working little brother SID synth anyway (the SammichSID).

There is now a rather epic thread over at GearSlutz about all this. Trouble is, these things cost quite a bit such that, at least to a point, it’s worth spending time to figure out which one I think I might like the most. It’s rather nice to see that lots of these analog synthesizers sound different from each other. And I think perhaps that is among the point in getting an analog synth. They seem to have quite a bit of character which is really hard to find in the world of virtual-analog synths…

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