Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

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Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby forcedopinion » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:58 am

I am looking for a 1U Poly Synth to take on the road and have in my studio. Basically, I've come down to these two synths. Looking for some advice.

I want a synth that will do organic sounding pads / strings (think early autechre, 80's chicago house), poly synth sounds, wacky fx, and bass (but it won't be my featured bass synth, just capable). Most importantly, sturdy and can handle car travel for a tour, and be midi sequencing friendly.

I like to record lots of different types of music - film score, techno, hard trance / early goa trance, industrial, ambient, krautrock.

OBERHEIM -
Lots of storage
12 DCOs
These seem to be some of the most dependable analog-ish racks synths available, especially at this price.

Questions -
Does this sound thin in a live mix?
I know that editing has to be done on the computer BUT can you tweak patches from the synth by itself? Extend / shorten envelopes?
Is the filter self-resonate?

I picked the MKS-50 because of the similar price range and size.

Anyone use both?

Ok, thanks in advance for the advice!
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby Ashe37 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:27 am

I have a Matrix 6, *had* a MKS-50. (Matrix 6 and matrix 1000 same sound engine and share patches) The Matrix 6 is good for strings, brass etc, ok for bass, and has a lot more programming possibilities than the MKS-50.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby max badwan » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:22 am

I had a Xpander and still have a MKS-50. Both instruments will meet your needs, but to answer your questions directly:

Any sound source can sound thin if you want it to - if you want a thin sound the MKS has HPF
Editing from the front panel? OB no, MKS yes - a generic knobby controller will handle that though
Filters self resonate? - OB yes, MKS no (the Xpander could, so I'm assuming...)

The Matrix is a technically "better" synth - much more depth than the Roland, but the MKS has a few tricks up its' sleeve not shared by the Matrix: fast, 7-stage envelope; LPF + HPF; and PWM on both square and ramp; and chord mode which make it an interesting synth in its' own right.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby vynlOverdrive » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:03 am

I'm selling a Matrix 1000:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=72834
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:31 am

I can't speak for the MKS-50, but I have a Matrix-6, which, as has been noted, has the same guts as the Matrix-1000. It's definitely dependable; I've had to use the tuning function all of three times, and that in the first week after I bought it out of a guy's basement. Haven't touched it since. I wouldn't describe the sound as "thin," though it's definitely not as big as some of the classic OBs. It can get almost kind of delicate-sounding with the right patches, though. I'd call it a jack-of-all-trades; it does just about everything pretty well, though it doesn't really excel at much beyond buzzy polysynth brass/string type sounds. The filter is definitely self-oscillating; mine can be pushed just to the point where the self-oscillation starts to distort a little. It also has a nifty feature where the filter cutoff can be frequency-modulated by one of the oscillators, which, when combined with self-oscillation, enables it to get some almost Yamaha FM-style sounds. It's definitely capable of some good bass sounds; the low end isn't huge, but it's certainly there. As for organic pad sounds, it takes some work to set up, but the availability of two "ramp" attack-sustain envelopes, three conventional ADSRs, and two LFOs all available for a ten-connection patch matrix allows for some wonderfully complex evolving sounds. Live tweaking is limited, but it can respond to breath control and pedal control messages in addition to pitch bend, mod wheel, channel aftertouch, and sustain, all of which can be routed through the patch matrix to control whatever you like. It's not a big, impressive sonic monster, but it's a very versatile little synth, and if you need just one polysynth, you could do a lot worse.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby max badwan » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:42 am

yeah, the Matrix series blitz the MKS 50 any day, IMHO, probably the best DCO synths (Matrix 6/1000) made.
Last edited by max badwan on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:25 am

I went back to my Matrix-6 the other day (been getting things set up again after a move.) I was too down on its sound; it really is good, in its own way. It's much more clear than my other analog synths - it really excels at clear mids, even if it's not a bass monster. Not thin at all. I'd definitely get this over the MKS-50.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby max badwan » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:57 am

max badwan wrote:yeah, the Matrix series blitz the MKS 50 any day, IMHO, probably the best DCO synths (Matrix 6/1000) made.

Having said that, the MKS 50 can punch its way through a brick wall if you want it to.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby cornutt » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:28 pm

forcedopinion wrote:I know that editing has to be done on the computer BUT can you tweak patches from the synth by itself? Extend / shorten envelopes?


Not at all. On the Matrix-1000, you have to have a computer to do any patch editing. If that bothers you, you can get a Matrix-6r for about the same price. It's only 2 rack units and on it you can edit patches from the panel (it's a pain, but you can do it). However, the Matrix 1000 has a more complete MIDI implementation.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:55 pm

To a certain extent, you can use the patch matrix to route control signals from the MIDI controllers it uses in place of the Matrix-6's switch and swell pedals and mod/bend levers to alter parameters. Not the most ideal approach, but doable for some basic performance controls.
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Re: Oberheim Matrix 1000 VS Roland MKS-50

Postby 8bit9bot » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:01 am

if you like prophets, OBs, and jupiters... def go with the matrix 1000 - its not as HUGE sounding but you can get a basic version of those classic 80s 2osc synth sounds

if you like junos, polysix, JXs... go with the mks50 - its great for analog chorus sounds... tho still not as HUGE sounding as something like a juno60 - it's really missing power in the resonance catagory... and it does not self oscillate - maybe look @ the mks7 and mks30 if you want something like the early 80s rolands (beware of the 106 chip failure issue)

i have owned both the 1000 and the mks50 and i like them both more than the mks80 - believe it or not... the rev5 mks80 is not as nice as an mks50 IMO! (how controversial!)
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