Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

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Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby paugui » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:12 pm

Hi

I am a lot into ambient and electronic music (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno, Vangelis, JMJ...) and I am wanting to get a nice groovebox for me that suits that kind of music well.

The one that seems the best for this to me is the Radikal Technologies Spectralis, but since I might be able to get a used EMU XL7 or a used Yamaha RS7000 for less than half the price each of a used Spectralis, I was wondering if the Spectralis would really worth the difference and would have a nicer workflow when compared to the others?

What are the advantages of the Spectralis over any of the other two?
And in terms of sounds, does the Spectralis suits well?
I only heard a good demo of it (the ambient one), as the others are too far way from what I want to do with it...


Thanks in advance,
Best regards

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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby shaft9000 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:32 pm

you can also consider the Quasimidi boxes, as some of their lineage is present in the Spectralis.
Jörg Schaaf designed those, too.

Of those three I only have used the Spec. I have done work w/ an MP-7 which is close but not the same; sounded very bright and crisp.
The Spec pumps out more bass than anything digital I've ever encountered, and the overall sound quality is top-notch. Very clear mix engine and D/A even when summed to the 2channel L/R outs only.

As for the Spec's workflow you should prepare to spend quite a few hours understanding how all the sections work...it's not a simple machine. The more you eat into the learning curve the better it gets/more fun...but it can take a while. Some people just get frustrated with it and sell it off. I think it's main limitation is the display size...it could really use a ~ 6"x9" touchscreen or something to make all of the page-hopping less of a chore.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby paugui » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:55 pm

From what I've heard the only difference between the MP7 and the XL7 is the sound ROM (if you get the XL7 ROM, your MP7 will be the same as a XL7, just with a different name and job paint).
About the workflow, what do you think about the Spectralis vs the MP7?
I was hoping that the Spectralis would have much more possibilities and would be easier to work with (the only groove equipment I have is the Yamaha RY30 and I am not that experienced with that one either...), as I am a newcomer to groovebox and wouldn't like to spend much money on something that might be quite hard to work with...
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby stikygum » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:26 am

The Polymorph is the box you want if you want easy. I think the Spectralis from what I've heard sounds deep. So it might be harder to understand what's going on.

I would still get it over the other too, just because it would sound better and more groovebox oriented with lots of tweakability. If you like those bands, you have to buy the Polymorph or the Spectralis. It's basically those bands in a box here.

The Spec has the analog filter in it also.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby shaft9000 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:28 pm

paugui wrote:About the workflow, what do you think about the Spectralis vs the MP7?
I was hoping that the Spectralis would have much more possibilities and would be easier to work with (the only groove equipment I have is the Yamaha RY30 and I am not that experienced with that one either...), as I am a newcomer to groovebox and wouldn't like to spend much money on something that might be quite hard to work with...


MP7 is quite a bit easier as it basically an MPC-style sequencer with some xOx abilities...and not too far off from an MC-505, really. The Spectralis is more complex in every area. The synth engine(s) alone are deep, and the sequencing extensive (32 lines per pattern) so it's definitely NOT a 1st groovebox recommendation. If you want simple than maybe go with an Electribe. Even the XL7/MP7 takes a bit more getting used to.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby masstronaut » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:14 pm

I was going to say you'd probably have to work quite hard to make the XL-7 sound like 70s Berlin school analogue or whatever, it's not really that kind of synth. Much better for 90s style ambient I would say...

But the arpeggiators are good (on each channel) and the sequencer is easy to use, if you used it drive your other stuff (like the MS6s) it could be really good.

Or get a nice sequencer, like a Genoqs Nemo or something.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby paugui » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:34 am

I was thinking of getting a real step sequencer too, but I would still be wanting a good drum machine (I only have the Yamaha RY30 and the Cheetah MD16r), which I think the Spectralis or the XL7 would be nice at.
They would also be cheaper than a Genoqs Nemo (at least new, but to get one used in Portugal or here in Norway seems quite complicated).
But definitely in some time I would love to get a dedicated sequencer, but for now I would prefer to get an all-in-one machine.
And I am definitely thinking more and more about the Spectralis, seems better for what I want.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby n3wt15 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:19 pm

I have used all of them, im not a fan of the command stations, but I know a lot of people who are gung ho over them.
I just didnt like the work flow of the px7 for some reason, and the sounds werent anything too exciting either.

The rs7k also isnt great with its internal sounds, but has a really deep, easy to use, and powerful sequencer.
The drum sounds are good, you can find a few synths here or there in it that are good. The effects are great, and the sampling option is nice. Its great if you plan on using other synths, and this to control it, having two midi outs adds for more possibilities as well.

The spectralis is a monster, it sounds great, is very deep, but will take you a bit longer to learn. I love mine, but still use my rs7k to control my other outboard gear, its just easier...plus I use most the channels on the spectralis for the spectralis a lone. The sound engine on the spectralis is amazing, and it also has the fliterbank inputs, which you can run anything into.

The spectralis by far is going to be the hardest to learn, but its also going to be the one that will give you the most options, and the best quality.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby paugui » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:33 pm

I ended up getting the XL7 this Christmas.

The person who was selling the Spectralis decided to keep it and I was able to get a XL7 for a nice price.
Haven't yet used the XL7 that much, but it seems nice.
The sounds seem quite good but I still have to get used to the sequencer before being able to do some nice stuff.

I was looking for a Yamaha RS7000 too, but I would have to pay more for it and I wasn't sure if it was as new, like my XL7.
Also, the guy who was selling it had some troubles with a previous attempt of selling it and he would likely have to wait for a while before he got his RS7000 back.


At least for now I am happy with the XL7.
Would have loved to get the Spectralis, but given my inexperience with grooveboxes, I think it wasn't bad to get a cheap one and maybe later I'll get the Spectralis.

Now it is time to do some nice sequenced music :P
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby shaft9000 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:55 pm

:thumbsup:
nice....now you get to sync the AN1-x, V-Synth, NordMod and XL7 sequencers...sequence your racksynths, and float some trippy Fizmo and lush Polysix into the mix...would like to hear that combo for sure!
got any cool FX to run 'em through?
an old-school flanger or phaser would add a lot of vintage character, as will an analogBBD delay or even better, a Space Echo/tape delay piece. An EHX carbon copy is a great yet also inexpensive way to start, if you haven't already.

just to add to your GAS....you might hit a "tone wall" before long and want a Moog for the TD/Schultze stuff.....i sure did
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby paugui » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:18 pm

I have tried that kind of setup in a New Years Eve concert at electro-music.com, but as I was still quite inexperienced with both the EMU XL7 and the Ensoniq Fizmo and my Korg Polysix (coupled with my SRE-555 Chorus Echo - an RE-501 in rack - which is the only external FX processor I have) has a problem with one of the filter chips, I couldn't really explore their sonic potential as much as I wanted.
But definitely it is a nice setup, and I am specially looking forward to explore my Fizmo, which definitely has a really nice and unique sound.

I hope I can add some more analog stuff, including effects, and maybe trying some DIY modular stuff, to get a more TD/Schulze like sound.
But I still hope to get a Spectralis and maybe the RS7000 in the future, to add some nice grooves, despite I am quite happy with my EMU XL7.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby Zamise » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:55 am

Love my RS7000, I'm taking it to my grave if it out lives me. My Speckie love/hate. Never really messed with Emus. MC-909 is prob worth considering if you've not yet too.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby balma » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:49 pm

shaft9000 wrote::thumbsup:
nice....now you get to sync the AN1-x, V-Synth, NordMod and XL7 sequencers...sequence your racksynths, and float some trippy Fizmo and lush Polysix into the mix...would like to hear that combo for sure!
got any cool FX to run 'em through?
an old-school flanger or phaser would add a lot of vintage character, as will an analogBBD delay or even better, a Space Echo/tape delay piece. An EHX carbon copy is a great yet also inexpensive way to start, if you haven't already.

just to add to your GAS....you might hit a "tone wall" before long and want a Moog for the TD/Schultze stuff.....i sure did



An excellent way to get the best of the Vsynth's power is with the Emu command station.

One of my biggest complaints about the V synth, is the uncomfortable multitimbre. This synth, actually does not have a multitimbre section. You access it on the general menu, go to a very simple midi screen.

the midi channel assignation is totally rigid and static. You CAN'T have several multitimbre setups on the V synth.
Just one per project.

So I did this:

Each patch of the v synth, can be splitted on 16 different zones. So you can have, on the lowest keys, (C-2 to C 0) a one, two or three keys for the first 12 zones. I use a kick on the C-2, a hi hat on #C-2, a snare on D-2, you know what I mean, a basic and small kitdrum. then, some bizarre voices, or effects that does not need a keyboard scale.

Then, I assign a bass to keys C1 to C2, a lead to D2 to B4, and a pad or any other patches that needs keyboard scale.

So, I saturate from -c2 to c8 keys with sounds. 16 sounds, 32 oscillators per one patch.

Doing this kind of programmation on the V synth, creating 16 sounds per patch, on 512 patches, can take you ONE YEAR of intense v synth program skills.

But you can be sure, after such a pain in the ass job, that you know your V synth. And now, it's ready to be controlled by an external sequencer.

V synth should be sold always with an external sequencer on a combo.

If you assign any patch to MIDI channel 2 to 16, you CAN'T access them from the V synth. You'll be forced to use a synth like the command station to play them, unless you use velocity zones.


Now with the previous explanation of keyzone programming for the V synth, you can play, from the XL7, 256 sounds


At the same time, connect the FIZMO to the second midi channell of the command station.

If you are going to sequence the FIZMO, is highly recommended to use:

A sequencer that can have assignable MIDI knobs. So you can reassign the knobs in order to control the F-I-Z-M-O vital knobs, those ones that makes your dog barking or running away when you tweak them.

A sequencer that has long bar patterns. Fuckin electribes are only 8 bars. Why long patterns? Because Fizmo sounds need some time to achieve their power. Not 2 seconds sounds. But loooooooooooooooooong sounds.....

Patterns on the command station are 32 bars long 8-)


Command station-V synth- Fizmo

A weird and complex transwave, a killing rompler with outstanding sequencer, a decent and very versatile VA, with a killing sampler. Well, I generally does not see the sampler of the V synth as an apart section, but a hibrid sampler-VA.

You are ready to make some cool music with these three synths.



The command station is the best sequencer under the $500. It blows away the electribes, the RM1X, and the MC Roland series when talking about sequencing external gear.

the RM1x however, has a lot better user interface and great groovy effects. This Yamaha groovebox is so fun and easy to use, two thumbs up for live acts: HUGE screen, comprehensive parameters, it kicks the command station with a friendly interface. Sometimes I get so frustrated with command station's fucking cursor. Is terrible!

but I can't be compared with the C.S. when controlling other synths. That's a fact.


That SPECTRALIS is the synth of my dreams...... :drinks: I would sell half of my setup, to get the Spectralis. I say this, based on demo sounds, reviews, all the stuff you can get nowadays about the Spectralis on the Internet.



My recommendations for your new command station:

the best implementation for the EMU command, is definiltely, sequencing other synths. I use two of them for those purposes since several years ago, and I know them very well.

The sound that you can get from them, depends A LOT of wich ROMS you chose to put on it. And when I say a LOT, I meaned it.

Some of the Emu roms are totally useless depending of your purposes.

The best ones? Beat Garden, Techno Construction Yard and World Expedition. They are as much as expensive as the unit itself, ,but the worth every $$$ you pay for them.

If you have those ROMS, I strongly recommend to get your hands on the E-mu for a long journey.... this rompler can produce amazing sounds when somebody with a Saint's patience, starts to program the patch cords.

the user interface is a pain in the ass, so getting good sounds helps a lot.





what the hell I'm talking about???

Oh yes! I quote you shaft9000, because It sounded funny to me, that you mentioned almost the exact combo that I have wired on my room:

Command station XL7 (4 ROMS) controlling a V Synth and a Ensoniq Fizmo....

You should hear how this combo sounds.... I can't explain it. On just one patttern, I can choose from 256 sounds from the V synth, 32 sounds from the command station, and 4 sounds from the FIzmo.....
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby masstronaut » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:14 pm

balma wrote:what the hell I'm talking about???

Lol.
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Re: Radikal Technologies Spectralis vs EMU XL7 vs Yamaha RS7000

Postby cartesia » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:39 am

you should think about getting the PX-7 if the price difference isnt too much, its a bit newer than the mp/xl 7.. some of the old data wheels/pads are starting to break down from what I've heard.
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