Multitracking a mojo synth vs multiple dedicated job synths

Back into the swirl of overthinking my setup…
How are you people’s experience with multitracking let’s say one great synth of choice, that does it all well, vs. having multiple cheaper dedicated synths for different jobs (bass, pads etc…).

I’m looking at holy cows (prophet and ob6’s and the likes) again and wondering how liberating it might be to do most of it on few single but classy items.

Then again, I’m spoilt with multitimbral synths or the endless availability of plugin instances…
Does multitracking get annoying quickly? I think what gets in the way is the need to record filter movements etc before you know how the track will develop…
On the other hand: It might be liberating to just turn ideas into recorded audio quickly, make decisions quickly.
Actually I got into the habbit to resample plugin sounds in the DAW quickly to audio…

Anyway, interested in some inputs on this topic.

I guess I’m just GASing for the one precious synth once again…
But I’m still aiming for a setup with only few well chosen instruments.

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The last thing I ever mutli tracked was 3 years ago. One synth. One drum machine. It was tons of fun. And every now and then I think of revisiting that way of doing things. Havent actually got as far as turning abelton on though… Multi tracking with just one synth gives a very unified sound.

Ps… third track on the EP… acid lines… :wink:


If nothing else then it is certainly an interesting way of working, so definitely worth considering the approach if you tend to enjoy the kind of challenges that occur.

I am very much into these kind of concepts, I find that working in such constraints gives me a boost to try a bit harder, and as a result they end up being different than when I work with more gear.

Also it can be a great way to fully dive deep into a particular instrument.

Multitracking does require a certain amount of forethought and commitment when compared to working with multiple instruments sequenced, things like tweaking and frequency range and fx being the obvious examples.

I say try it.


If the OP already has one synth, they can already try this. No need to purchase an expensive instrument beforehand.



I’ve done a few full tracks on different synths I’ve got. Mainly mono’s but I’m currently putting together a Digitone one. I think it’s loads of fun, makes you work to find the sounds and think more about programming and sound design. I love it. I add FX compression and eq in the DAW as I’m multitracking and arranging anyway. That said I’ll always try and capture any on board FX the particular synth has if it sounds okay. Tbh I’ve found some simpler instruments in terms of interface have got me loads of mileage so it can be done but with some work. It’s an excellent way of learning your way around an instrument too.

Here’s one I did last weekend on the UltraNova.

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that‘s very true :slightly_smiling_face:
swapping instruments would be a side effect for me in this scenario. Already started the selling and downsizing quite a bit.
If I downsize to only one main instrument, it would be some kind of special sounding thing in my vision :upside_down_face:
to be honest, it would be two synths, cause I can‘t part with the digitone. so looking for the analog counterpart so to say. But the ones that really interest me are not multitimbral or have several sequencer tracks

I tried this approach for some single tracks. It has its advantages and drawbacks.
I just wanted to hear the experiences of some well respected likeminded people here :slightly_smiling_face:

it‘s not necessarily about justifying an expensive thing… the main purpose would be a knob per function synth, that can handle basses, pads and leads but doing this all well, instead of having a little army of one trick ponies

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Unless it’s a deal breaker I wouldn’t worry too much about multitimbrallity if you’re happy to overdub. I’d sooner have the facility to create the sounds I want over how it functions in that regard but that’s just me and how I work these days. I’m not sequencing loads of parts at once or playing live so overdubbing is fine for me.

Sometimes I’ll multitrack, it just depends what I’m using. If it’s analog gear I’ll tend to sync it via clock and build up the basics from there keeping stuff synced to the master clock for the overdubs. When I’m multitracking I tend to do it dry just keeping check on the levels, sometimes use a plug in on a particular track for compression etc but I tend to concentrate on that stuff at mixdown

I’m looking forward to doing a track with just the Peak; I’m trying to get some ideas together in my head first tho!

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IF you’re looking for something to make percussion type sounds on a part from the Digitone (which I must say sounds very good for that purpose so far and I’m just scratching the surface; never used it for drum sounds before) I’d say from experience you want something with a resonant band pass filter.

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nice :slight_smile: everything 101 or wait… there are some pads in it.
great stuff. will listen to the whole EP.

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no doesn’t have to do drums.

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I’ve been with my Prophet 12 for some time now, using it exactly as you describe. Once you find the instrument that speaks to you, this is a fantastic way to work.

I noticed, though, having tried this on other instruments as well, that the raw and pure analogues, don’t work as well for this. They’re so full, they take up a lot of the headroom and if you process that to tame them, you lose some of their flavour.

Prophet 12’s many things, but it’s not as full as its siblings the Prophet 6 or a really nasty Moog, and as such, perfect for the purpose.


nice, good point on taking too much space in the mix. I did some tracks with only a Nordlead 2x, it was really well suited for this purpose.

That’s what I’m after. Not really found yet. The Digitone is the closest so far. But I’m missing a one knob/function partner…
I compared almost every poly - that can also do bass very well - I can think of, either in the store or in about 1001 youtube demos over the last years.
In most of my finished ableton tracks, it was mostly Repro5, TAL Uno lx or Diva… I have seem to have a faible for Roland basses.
So I’m looking at the ugliness himself, the System 8 as well… But if I spend that much money, the much beloved dsi synths are in reach as modules. I don’t have a lot of space either…
Peak might be another great option. Or some Juno, but I don’t want to buy vintage and the boutique version is a bit limited with its 4 voices.

I wasn’t too impressed of the sound by some other options (Rev2, minilogue xd, deepmind)

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Re S8 vs Peak. I’ve got both and you’ll get more miles out of the Peak for sure👍

Nothing against DSI btw. Love my Evolvers and one day I’ll have a P6

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Fits the topic nicely… This is one of the most impressive multitracking attempts I’ve heard.
He has some other great ones on his channel.


regarding sound or features? I find the ACB stuff really impressive for the most part

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You know. if you really like that Roland sound, as far as cheap “Work Horse” synths go, the Deepmind kinda nails it. The presets are utter garbage (who ever put them together kinda missed the point.)
here an example of some nice patches on the Deepmind that are more true to its (JUNO/SH-101)-ish architecture. (AFx, BoC, Autechre, etc)

Another honorable mention is the mutable instruments Ambika with SMR4mk2 filters. Its multitimbral with 6 individual outs plus a mix out.

If you really just like the Prophet sound, grab a Toriaz AS-1 (single voice Prophet 6)

Hope this helps!


Don’t get me wrong, the S8 sounds great! But In terms of features and sound I’d say the Peak trumps is. You’ve got the ever expanding selection of wave tables, more modulation possibilities and the FX are cracking, especially the reverb. S8 does that Roland poly sound brilliantly, really nails it imo but you sometimes want something a bit different

The big one might be support too. Novation are brilliant in terms of upgrades etc where as I think Roland have stopped actively developing the S8 now the Jupiter’s are pitched at the S8 spot.

Velokitty spent months doing this. :x. Its extremely impressive.

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yeah I know that video. It’s really great. The kaini industries sound in the beginning is beautiful.
On the deepmind, the menu kind of puts me off a bit. And I can’t find a lot of bass examples from it.

too much menu

hmm… 1 voice only. I guess I could take the Behringer if I wanted a one voice prophet.

But thanks.

Not sure. I’d have to try them all, but I don’t enjoy testing synths in crowded shops.
Might be too picky. But I really like the idea of having just one or two workhorses…

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