Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

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

Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SoonerBJJ » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:24 am

I'm compiling a fairly minimalist set up with the intent of making electronic music at home. I'll be learning as I go, but one of my goals is to make Berlin School-style ambient music and perhaps foray into more modern EDM.

Currently, I've got the Roland Alpha Juno 2 and I'm running Logic Pro on my iMac. I plan to add an analogue synthesizer in the very near future. Now I'm leaning toward the Mopho x4, but I haven't ruled out a Juno 60 or Polysix. I may add a drum machine at some point, currently leaning toward a vintage Roland or Elektron Machinedrum. I've decided I would prefer an analog, or at least analogue-type, step sequencer in hardware format. I'd rather work with hardware and do very little with the Mac.

I've been reading a good deal about the Polymorph and Dark Time and both seem to fit the bill. Any reasons I should consider one over the other? Thanks in advance.
Last edited by SoonerBJJ on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby samuraipizzacat29 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:53 pm

you might want to change the subject line to "Dark Energy". I came here thinking :? but now I see what you mean.

Dark energy if you're planning more modularity or generally like the sound of it. Plus it's probably a bit cheaper no? I haven't been looking, but can't say i remember seeing a polymorph FS in the recent history. I didn't like the sequencer on the rave-o-lution 309 I had, and the sounds are the same as could come out of a computer. IMO - the question is probably better served by asking "Doepfer Dark Energy or Ipad/IO dock"

re-reading your post, maybe you did indeed mean dark time. In that case, I think that guy is a bit overpriced for what it does. Analogue solutions oberkorn can be had for less $ if you wait it out and have as many features.

Is there a reason why you're considering more expensive polys when you've already got the alpha juno 2? some members will rave about how much they love their _______, but the law of diminishing returns applies. Or say you broke the bank and went for a tempest which could satisfy basically all of your requirements wouldnt it? 6 voice polysynth with analog drums and good sequencing.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SoonerBJJ » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:10 pm

I really want a knobby analogue for reasons that are probably obvious to most who visit a "vintage synth" forum. After considering the options I ordered a Mopho X4. I believe it will suit my needs very well. The Dark Energy is interesting but not high on my radar. I was specifically interested in the Time as a sequencer.

From what I read, the Polymorph and Rave-o-Lution are very different animals. As I said, I am looking at the Polymorph vs Dark Time for the sequencing abilities. The R-o-L doesn't hold much appeal for me.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby samuraipizzacat29 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:38 pm

your subject title says dark time and your closing remarks say dark energy. I thought dark time was a straight up analog sequencer, not aware it even had midi. You might want to check the midi specs to make sure it'll do everything you expect it to. dark time is only sort of similar to a polymorph in that dark time is a sequencer whereas a polymorph sequences as parts of its functionality.

FWIW - if you're just operating it through it's midi outs, you're better off with a control surface imho. an ipad is a control surface and so much more, that's why it was offered. doepfer maq 16/3 is better suited for midi tomfoolery IIRC.

If you want a knobby analog, you have to say "I want a knobby analog". All you mentioned was 6 voice polysynths and a minimalist setup. An alpha juno 2 is fully qualified as a 6 voice polysynth in a minimalist setup. "I want to learn synthesis" or "I want knobs I can tweak in real time" is a different need, and advice would be offered appropriately.

basically everything that you're suggesting doing could be done easily and nicely with an ipad, tempest, and your mac. Like your first line says "fairly minimalist setup" with long-term flexibility.

you have to give us something more to go off of than ask our opinion, do what you want anyway, and then return just to disregard what's offered. your post doesn't actually say what you want except you want a small electronica setup and are looking at a quasimidi polymorph or dark time and want to eventually buy a polysynth & a drum machine. so my response was: 1) neither and 2) you already have a polysynth and/or a tempest would meet both goals. I don't understand why you need another polysynth if you're going to make ambient/EDM without a good sampler or a nice digital in there.

i'll shut up now.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SoonerBJJ » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:52 pm

:D You are absolutely correct. I did close with Energy when I intended Time, as in the subject line. I edited my OP.

I'll get back after I have a chance to digest your post. Thanks!
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SoonerBJJ » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Okay, your points are well taken. Comparing the Dark Time and Polymorph may be an apples and oranges proposition, because as you point out the DT is a straight up analog sequencer without MIDI and the Polymorph has MIDI capability and a sequencer as only part of its functionality. The DT probably does not suit my purposes. Although, the maq 16/3 does look like a good alternative.

And, I should have been more specific in just saying I want a knobby analog. The AJ2 is great but I still want a knobby analog. :)

As much as I'd like to separate from my Mac and iPad, you are probably right that I would be forgoing a valuable and convenient resource.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby samuraipizzacat29 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:28 pm

right on ;) I'm not telling you what you should do, just offering more opinions.

the ipad, in my opinion, is just as valuable a resource as any other synth out there. especially for electronica. don't underestimate what you could do with software and a solid sampler. I've come full circle on my thinking and all I've really kept are the digitals I really love and monosynth/modular stuff. You can do basically anything you want with a kurzweil pc3k. just saying.... On one hand, one needs to separate from the software to not be a slave to it. On the other hand, you need the software to get really sweet sounds (IMO). Disregarding what you can do in the digital realm is a severe mistake musically (Unless you're a physical instrument player, I'm just talking in regards to electronica).

have you thought of something like maschine? you'd get a lot of mileage out of that as well.

Dark time does appear to have at least some midi implementation, i'm just not sure what it does or doesn't do. and the maq is like the opposite - it's very geared towards midi, but the cv/gate outputs are on the back :evil: which is annoying unless you have it racked with a patch bay or something.

don't sell the alpha juno after you get the mopho - you might regret that.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SoonerBJJ » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:49 pm

I would be lying if I said nostalgia wasn't a big part of my interest and motivation right now. I am drawn toward the sounds and music of my youth in the 80s. I grew up reading Keyboard mag and dreamed of making that music myself. My parents bought me the Alpha Juno at the height of my obsession in 1987. But to my later regret, my dedication to actually making the music fell aside for the next several decades. Fast forward to 2012 and I have the maturity, discipline and some resources to get back into it. I'm making up for lost time. :)

I suppose my goal is to make music similar to what I see from TheSynthFreq, SynthManiaDotCom and the like at Youtube. They are using the hardware I identify with my youth and appear to be doing so in a relatively tech-simple fashion. I realize the Mopho doesn't exactly fit, but I see it as a modern rendition with the added flexibility of modern amenities.

Thanks again for the opinion. I'll take all I can get.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby samuraipizzacat29 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:17 pm

well, if nostalgia is your goal, I'd buy cheap first. First things to get for that sound would be a dx7 and a d-50. the patch banks available online for the dx are just insane (easily 1000+ on the yamaha dx group). or stay in the box and go fm7/fm8. there's an app for ipad that's called dx-i and even though it's a bear to program proper fm sounds, it's hugely capable and costs $2 (I think). 4 op like a dx100/dx27.

I'm really good at spending other peoples money, but a kurzweil pc3k will get you a long ways. the way that it synthesizes sound makes it so you can make it sound legitimately like just about anything. it's amazing. a waldorf blofeld or microwave does a pretty good job at weird or pleasant ambient sounds as well. or a v-synth.

Contrarily to everything else I've said, if you just turn something on and want to make music on it, go for it. maybe a juno 6, 60, 106 would suit you just perfect for that. Polysix prices are insane, but what do i know. I remember the first time I turned on the jx-3p I had and at the time it was racked above a juno-106. I loved playing the 3p but ended up being able to take or leave the juno. different strokes as they say. still, I sold the 3p and the 106 and haven't looked back.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby Cybercardinal » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:47 pm

Well, as you know by now the PM and Dark Time is 2 different things. Dark Time is analog and you need some hardware synths for it, where PM is digital and completely selfcontained with 4 synths and 4 sequencers to control them. They are both great.

You can't compare the Rave-O-Lution and the PM. They are 2 completely different machines, but goes well together as a team. (I'm not too fond of the sequencer on the Rave-O-Lution either though.) There is lots of other boxes out there like the Rave-O-Lution, but none like the PM as far as I know.

In my opinion you can't go wrong with a PM.

Yes, you can do what it does on a Mac/PC but it would take you longer time, and the PM is more inspiring to work with and it's sequencer can control other hardware synths. It's a good learning tool as well, and you can sit with it on your lab for hours and try out ideas out or just randomly noodle around. It's a winner if your into Berlin school, but it can do tons of other stuff.
Last edited by Cybercardinal on Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SoonerBJJ » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:55 pm

Agreed 100% on the PM. Now I just need to find one. :D
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Re: Quasimidi Polymorph vs Doepfer Dark Time

Postby SSquirrel » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:16 am

iPad+I/O Dock and some good apps like Sunrizer and a small MIDI controller covers that portion nicely. The AJ2 and any number of knobby analog options...you really have a large amount of options ahead of you
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