Thursday, September 15, 2016

Finding a Good Poly Pairing

So, as I'm reworking the writing/performing rig, I've got some decisions to make. Probably the most difficult for me is the selection of a polysynth. I'd love to have a hardware poly, but I just don't have the cash right now; instead, I need to choose from among the plug-ins that I currently have in my library.

My first thought was to focus on the Korg Legacy Polysix. The Polysix (which, IRL, is my favorite keyboard in history) works pretty well, but I find it incredibly unfulfilling. Why? I have no freakin' idea. For some reason, the UI makes me avoid making my own presets, and it's no fun to twiddle in real time. It also has That Virtual Analog Sound - a little hollow, not quite loose enough - in a way that doesn't work for me. So... not that.

The other obvious one is Madrona Labs' Aalto. I love this synth; for me, it is the Buchla that I want without having to write a check to Fake Buchla Inc. And it poly's up OK - a little heavy on the overhead, but generally worth it. It's also fun to program (although a touch small for live tweaking). If I have pause about it, it is that sometimes the patches are a little overwhelming, so a 4-voice chord can make All The Noise. So this is one that I'll use, but I also have to craft the right patches for the gig.

Next up on the checklist is Absynth, but I'm having problems buying in. Not sure why, because I've been using Absynth for as long as it's been around. Maybe I'm just exhausted with "the same ol'" and need something new - which reminds me...

I did a review of the Arturia recreation of the Synclavier, and that gives me some of the poly movement that I normally get from Absynth, but a different perspective (and programming interface) to spice things up. Maybe this is the tool-of-choice. Gonna give it a try, anyway.

So there you go - stream of consciousness decision-making right in front of you, but now I've got a plan. Aalto with some careful patch development, and Arturia Synclav for wash-y move-y stuff. Let's see how it goes!



  1. I am completely in love with Aalto. I just wanted to let you know that the interface is nice and resizable, you can drag it in the lower right corner.

  2. Oh. My. God. I didn't know this. I'm so used to plug-ins having a fixed size (or at best, a few size options) that I never even noticed the resize handle at the lower right. This is awesome!!!

  3. hey man, ain't no thing! You've been a great help and inspiration over the years, I'm only happy to help in any sort of small part. ...Andreas Wetterberg :)