Fantom Vs. Motif

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:56 am

As much as i like my Alesis QS6, it is dated, and its sound expansion so limited these days. I'm looking at picking up an older Motif (and putting the AN card in it) or an older Fantom. I'm mostly doing techno/darkwave music, so i don't exactly need the latest greatest 50 MB grand piano sounds for my music, but i do need nice pads and synth features. I'm asking for you guy's opinions on both, and the merits and drawbacks of them.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby griffin avid » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:15 am

If you're looking for 'synth features' then you should probably get a synth instead of ROMplers.
i.e. Somthing that can MAKE pads from scratch and really get some interesting sounds going.

Both of those boards will have some very nice pads and synth tones, but eventually you will use the best of them and be here again.

If you get something that can generate new patches easily then you can always make more sounds and that module will remain valuable until you tire of its basic tone.

Off the head newish, I would look into an Access Music TI...
DSI Prophet 08...

There's also a lot of options for used gear too.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:44 am

Well, I'd like a newer ROMpler for sampled sound playback that is easier to add sounds to than the QS6. (blank memory cards for those are not that expansive, and i can only use 8mb at a time) The VA expansion card for the Motif would give me an AN-1X onboard. I am looking at used gear, especially because the expansion options for the new Fantom are limited, and many people seem to be dumping their older Fantoms to get new ones- while the new Motif can't take the AN expansion at all.

I messed with a Prophet 08 at Guitar Center (nice thing about living in LA, they actually stock these things) and liked the... accessibility of the interface.

Is a Virus really going to be that much of an improvement over my AN-1X? I need both a good rompler and a good synth... anything that is *both*?
Last edited by Ashe37 on Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby griffin avid » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:26 pm

Good question. Sounds to me like a digital synth that has bread and butter ...or traditional sounds like strings and keys...

I keep leaning toward used, but newer ROMpler...then look into an Alesis Fusion.
Should be cheap and has a lot of (synthy programming) features and they added a new sound set within the last year ot two.
It seems to have had a surge in popularity.

Weird and new tones, I'd say V-Synth, but I don't know what that does to your budget.
Pads, pads, pads. I know it's a hardware forum, but damn if Spectrasonics Atmosphere aint the king of pads.

I have an AN200 and I wouldn't say that it's specialized for pads or even traditional synth tones.
A Korg old EA-1 does great for cheap blippyness and an extra layer of tone.
Meh.. :?

So again, if you're really concerned with adding extra sounds (presets) in the future then an Access TI (Desktop or even TI Snow) plays back patches of every Access synth...ever. If you run out of sounds with that....

Check out their site and listen to those tones.
http://www.access-music.de/
I come back to this because I think it's better to be able to add new patches/presets than expansion cards as far as longevity and cost is concerned.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:37 pm

I've been wondering about the Fusion- its the synth engine on the fusion the same as the Ion? Would have to save up/make money off this stuff to afford one of those.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby griffin avid » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:57 pm

No, The Ion and Micron are siblings.

The Fusion has been going for cheap. I would say comparable to a used Motif ES, if not cheaper.
You might even find a used fusion.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:22 pm

One thing to consider about Motifs with the PLG150AN VA card is that you have to use a computer editor to get 100% programming of the card. From the synth UI you only get access to about half the parameters and many you'd expect to get at (like the oscillator waveforms!) you can't.This annoys the crap out of a lot of people, I've learned to live with it. You do get the capability of a lot of real time control when playing the AN card...up to 18 controllers :shock: and it does sound good.

If you go with a Motif, the ES is worth paying extra for since you can use cheap USB storage in addition to hard to find SM cards and you need outboard storage if you program your own PLG card patches. The original Motif uses SCSI (yuck) or SM cards only.

Not trying to scare you off the Motif, I own the ES with VA cards and love it. I personally don't like Fantoms at all, either for sound or the UI. IMHO the one to look at if you don't like the Motif is the Korg Triton Extreme + MOSS expansion board.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:25 pm

griffin avid wrote:look into an Alesis Fusion. It seems to have had a surge in popularity.


The massive price drops from nearly $2000 to about $500 had a lot to do with that :?
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:17 pm

for $500 where? :)

Can the ribbon controller on the ES be used like it is on the AN-1X? What about knobby controls?
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:00 pm

Ashe37 wrote:for $500 where? :)

Today eBay, wantads but there were many dealer blowouts last year. At $500 the Fusion's flaws are easier to swallow 8)

Ashe37 wrote:Can the ribbon controller on the ES be used like it is on the AN-1X? What about knobby controls?

The ES ribbon is a single rather than dual controller, it's not pressure sensitive like on the AN1x. It's assigned to a different CC# than the AN1x but you can easily remap it. The ES has four knobs. Like the AN1x there's switches which select what they currently control, one setting is user assignable. Of the four the first two are global assignments and the other too are assignable per patch. It's trivial to map them to AC1-4 of the PLG card (which is what the factory presets use). You also get one switch setting where the knobs control cutoff, resonance, amp EG attack and amp EG release so you don't need to waste the assignable controls for that. You can program into a patch what mode the knobs are in when launched.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:38 pm

ok, sounds easy enough...

The question is still open, is a Virus going to be that much better than my AN-1x?
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:24 pm

Better? Maybe....

--- Virus is multitimbral
--- Virus has up to 80 voice polyphony
--- Virus has more filter types, vocoder, onboard multi-FX
--- Virus keeps adding features through OS updates
--- Virus can be used as a VST inside a DAW
--- Virus has tempo-synchable LFOs

If any or all of that is important to you, then yeah it's better. Expect to pay $2K used.

Maybe the question you should ask is: what do I want the AN1x to do that it cannot?
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:35 am

Nothing, I'm just interested in a ROMpler that isn't as outdated as the QS, and is (more) expandable. Oh, and while I'm making a wish list, has aftertouch.... (as a long time Ensoniq user I'm used to having it, tho yes i realize i can save a bunch by doing without) In addition to 'generic techno' (i.e. non-synth) sounds, I need things like realistic strings and chorale vox.
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby Ashe37 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:43 pm

What about a Triton LE?
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Re: Fantom Vs. Motif

Postby meatballfulton » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:17 am

Ashe37 wrote:What about a Triton LE?


No aftertouch!!!
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