Marion Systems MSR-2

Marion MSR-2 Image

The Marion MSR-2 was designed by Tom Oberheim and so it is known for having the 'Oberheim sound' packaged inside a compact single-space rackmount module with modern digital reliability and MIDI implementation. Despite its rather harmless and simple appearance, the MSR-2 allows for some fairly complex but intuitive programming. The filters, envelopes, LFOs and other parameters are very analog-like in their sound and editing methods. The module is also 16-part multitimbral. And external inputs route a signal through the envelope and filter sections. The MSR-2 is rare but definitely worth checking out.

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12 Visitor comments
Section Three
March 9, 2011 @ 8:00 am
Marion Systems didn't have much success with the MSR-2, and never produced another module apart from the analogue synth one. They eventually repackaged the synth module as the Prosynth, without the modular aspects of the MSR-2. I own one of each, and they are excellent, fat sounding analogues. The only downside is the slow response to MIDI note on messages, which means you have to offset bass parts to get them dead on time. You can also get them at bargain prices - I got my MSR cheap as it seemed to be broken, but a simple battery change fixed it!
December 18, 2010 @ 10:13 am
I got one of these off eBay. It is fitted with 2 modules. For some reason it is quite unstable when both modules are inserted but using only 1 module is working perfectly. I don't have any of the problems reported by some users around in the net. I find it very nice sounding, very creative, there are many routings options. It would be great to have an editor or to be able to use an external controller to control at least the most important parameters. Even if the menus are very logically organised, nevertheless the complexity of this instrument makes it very difficult to program using just 2 knobs, 2 buttons and a relatively small display. Anyway I think it can be a good buy if you are looking for a very versatile, wondeful sounding 8-voice analog sinth. Not so good for bass and percussion, very good for pads, brass, various keyboard sounds, ambient drones. For me it is the perfect companion for my Moog Voyager and Yamaha TX-802.
June 24, 2010 @ 2:04 pm
I realize I can think of some synths that one might argue is more complex than the msr2, but it's more than complex enough, to put it mildly.
June 24, 2010 @ 2:02 pm
I can't think of a more complex and modular-like analog racksynth. And it's only 1u! The amount and variety of modulators is stunning, even with no arp or sequencer onboard. 10! simultaneous modulation sources and destinations, and more or less every parameter is available either as source or destination. 7 band onboard eq. Onboard mixer with panning. Multitimbral. External sound can be processed through the vast synth engine, in 12 or 24 db, even in stereo!!!! My god! An insanely comprehensive and elaborate synth. A patient programmers dream. Can't wait to actually hear it! LOL! -: )
May 15, 2010 @ 4:17 pm
Comes with more than 200 superb sounding Oberheim alike presets!
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Rated 4.04 (198 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices (expandable to 16)
  • Oscillators - 2 oscillators per voice
  • LFO - matrix modulation built-in (up to 10 routings at the same time with 24 sources/33 destinations)
  • Filter - 12/24 dB/oct filter
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 500 patches
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1994
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