Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

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

Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Joey » Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:38 am

Battle of the ultimate polysynths.

I'm in the market for the end all be all (sound shaping wise) of analog polysynths

through my research I have found that the andromeda and xpander are the two polysynths with the most programmability and great sound to back up their palette.

I've done research on the specs, watched videos, etc...

but I can't decide.

so, I need your help VSE

can anyone tell me their experiences with these synths?

what do you like and dislike about them

which would you take if you could only take one on a desert island

opinions

anything

thanks guys

-joey
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby V301H » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:38 am

The A6 is the more advanced instrument in nearly every way. It is complete with keyboard, wheels, and ribbon controllers. Not to mention most of the functions have a dedicated control rather than calling up a page for each function. If it comes down to a certain vintage type of sound then this may be a factor in favor of the Xpander.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Joey » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:57 am

V301H wrote:The A6 is the more advanced instrument in nearly every way. It is complete with keyboard, wheels, and ribbon controllers. Not to mention most of the functions have a dedicated control rather than calling up a page for each function. If it comes down to a certain vintage type of sound then this may be a factor in favor of the Xpander.


keyboard and wheels arent an issue... but ribbon controller is defintely a plus

if it was between a matrix 12 and andromeda which would you take
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby xpander » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:34 am

V301H wrote:The A6 is the more advanced instrument in nearly every way. It is complete with keyboard, wheels, and ribbon controllers. Not to mention most of the functions have a dedicated control rather than calling up a page for each function. If it comes down to a certain vintage type of sound then this may be a factor in favor of the Xpander.

i totally disagree, the Xpander is massively capable, and allows completely free-running modular style madness without a note-on trigger. and i've always thought it has a brilliant user interface, it is efficient & non-cluttered despite it's huge modular archecture, it is completely logical. 24 years down the road and it doesn't have an aged, faulty contact keyboard attached to it nor does it superimpose a keyboard as a controller.

from an old post:
5 LFOs per voice, waveforms for each are selectable from:
Triangle, Square, Up Saw, Down Saw, Random, Noise, or you can have it sample ANY modulation source at a user-defined rate for the LFO shape, which is unreal modulation possibilities. all waves- including the Sampled waveshape- are lag-process-able by their own dedicated lag processor or one of the general modulation lags. all LFOs can be freerun (modular synth style!) or retrigger-able, with a single or multi or external retrigger mode, and you can define where in the wave phase it will retrigger to! you can independently modulate the speed and amplitude of each LFO by any modulator, up to 5 modulators for any given destination. you can use all 5 LFOs (five distinct waveshapes at once) for any given destination. oh, and the vibrato modulator is a 6th LFO, but it is global to all voices

Oberheim Xpander/Matrix-12 has the following modulators available per voice:

5 LFOs
5 DADSR envelopes
3 five-point tracking generators
4 ramp generators
keyboard (key number as controller data)
velocity (number as controller data)
release velocity (number as controller data)
pressure (any MIDI controller can be assigned to this)
VCO2-VCO1 FM or VCO2-VCF FM

plus globally:
2 pedal inputs (any MIDI controller can be assigned to this)
2 MIDI control "lever" inputs (any MIDI controller can be assigned to this)
vibrato

also, you can modify the Xpander for 6 external inputs (they disengage & replace the noise source when a cable is connected).

the filters have 15 modes, it is basically capable of infinite sounds, so the idea of it as having a "vintage" sound is strange. like the andromeda it's a powersynth and capable of a massive palette of sound.

... and everything in pea-green on this pic can be modulated by ANY of the modulators:
Image

classic Xpander sound:
[youtube]4BvWxQw23u0[/youtube]
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Robonaut » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:39 pm

I'd go for the Andromeda.

Why spend so much money on a 20 year old synth that could breakdown at any time when you could purchase a brand new synth which has a warranty?

Also, my understanding is that the Andromeda has noticeably faster envelopes, but I have never done a comparison between the two myself.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Joey » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:41 pm

Robonaut wrote:I'd go for the Andromeda.

Why spend so much money on a 20 year old synth that could breakdown at any time when you could purchase a brand new synth which has a warranty?

Also, my understanding is that the Andromeda has noticeably faster envelopes, but I have never done a comparison between the two myself.


because they are both just as likely to break?

i'm asking for people who have owned them to comment
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Robonaut » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:58 pm

Joey wrote:because they are both just as likely to break?


Even if that were true (and I'm not certain that the Andromeda is that unreliable) the Andromeda could at least be fixed under warranty and you have a better chance of finding the necessary parts.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby modulator_esp » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:58 pm

I have an Andromeda and a Matrix 12

I wouldn't like to have to choose between them, but if I had too I'd probably go with the Andromeda, mainly because it seems a lot more versatile to me and at half what it cost me for the Matrix 12 I'm much happier to gig with it.

Sonically I feel there is enough difference between them to keep both, to me the Andromeda is kind of hard and cold, whereas the Matrix 12 is relatively softer and warmer, though this is very subjective.

I find that the Andromeda is also much better for performance, the ribbon is great and I really like the way sounds aren't cutoff when you change patches.

I found programming the Andromeda a lot harder to get to grips with than the Matrix 12, it is generally much more complicated, lots of the parameters have quite wide ranges that need to be tamed using offsets, the envelopes can be quite tricky to get right and there are just so many different choices, but this is what make it more versatile.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Sir Ruff » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 pm

This has been discussed a few times before here...

I'm still VERY tempted by an Andromeda, especially with a new run... but I couldn't see owning both. I am still getting to grips with the Xpander after owning for many months, and the anadromeda's very strength (in-depth programming), could also be a weakness if it takes even longer to program. Of the Xpander, I probably like the design and layout more than anything. It feels like sitting down in front of a spaceship console, and is very fast to program.

There are a few issues to be wary of with the Xpander like the VCO chips, display and DAC possibly versus more microchip based design of andromeda... I couldn't say in X many years which would be harder to replace parts for tho.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Joey » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:27 pm

this is going to be a tough one...

good thing I have a long time to save...
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby OriginalJambo » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:09 am

Doesn't the Prophet-08 already have you covered? And if not why don't you sell it to help fund your pursuit of an Andromeda/Xpander?
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Joey » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:25 am

OriginalJambo wrote:Doesn't the Prophet-08 already have you covered? And if not why don't you sell it to help fund your pursuit of an Andromeda/Xpander?


Prophet only covers a small footprint, and I'm really looking for super intense modulation capability with a unique sound, something the xpander and andy both offer...

With that said, I have used the prophet on too many tracks to sell it, it just works so well. At this point I think I have my core setup and wouldn't sell anything I currently own.

So I'm just looking for somethinghat I don't have
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Bitexion » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:37 pm

I've seen several user reviews say their A6 left their Matrix-12 gathering dust so they sold it. Never owned a M12 or xpander so I couldn't possibly say.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby OriginalJambo » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:26 am

Joey wrote:With that said, I have used the prophet on too many tracks to sell it, it just works so well. At this point I think I have my core setup and wouldn't sell anything I currently own.


Glad someone has - I'll hold you to these words if you start changing you mind though. ;)

So I'm just looking for somethinghat I don't have


If it were me I'd take the Andy, just for the warranty more than anything else.
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Re: Andromeda A6 vs Xpander

Postby Joey » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:04 am

currently leaning more towards the xpander... i keep feeling like the andromeda might have a lot of overlap with the virus soundwise from what i keep hearing...

but the warranty of the andromeda is nice, and theres something about having a synth with a built in keyboard that makes it so much more playable, I always feel a disconnect whenever I use a rack or desktop module with a midi controller

but thats just me

damn i need more money, but don't we all.
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