What are your favorite multitimbral synths?

One of the features I love the most of the Elektrons are their tracks and their multitimbrality (is that even a word?). Layering sounds with them are just medicinal. Purifying and healing.

But, what other multitimbral synths or music instruments do you have that you really like? I’ve had both the Waldorf XT and the Nord Lead 2, but didn’t ever get used to the menu diving you had to do on the XT and the sound on the Nord just didn’t do it for me in the long run.

I had hoped that the poly evolver was multitimbral, which it apparently is, but you can’t edit patches in multi-mode, which is a big bummer, as that would take away the joy of layering the sounds “on the go”.

Any takers? :slight_smile:

The sheer amount of layering synthesis power and flexibility you get in one of the newer Virii is pretty hard to beat if multi-timbral is your key buying factor. I had some bugs with the few I owned, but for making multi’s to use with my MD, it was a pretty flexible set up.

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Nice tip, thanks! I got a friend with a Virus TI, I’ll give that one a go for sure. :slight_smile:


Roland V-Synth XT and GT. A few years back I had the XT but had to get rid of it for financial reasons. Can’t remember how many parts it had but the second generation v-synths were and still are pretty complex machines. Nice vocodor and D-50 cards. Spent a lot of time in D-50 mode. I’d like to get the GT model one day but if I was to get another hardware synth I think without question she would be a Phophet 12. Shit that thing reeks aggression. Speaking of aggression but a few levels down M-Audio Venom is a cheap multi part synth with all the parameters programmable via interfacing software.

Xpander! :+1:

I have a Waldorf XT and a Nord Lead 2 – had them both for years. I like the NL 2 in theory, but somehow almost never seem to use it. The XT I have recently kind of rediscovered after picking up MonstrumWave (http://www.monstrummedia.com/), a fantastic software editor that even lets you edit/create wavetables. It’s a little expensive, but you’ll be programming new sounds again on it like a champ.

My friend has had a Virus B for ever as his only synth, and I’m constantly amazed at the sounds you can get out of that thing. Often thought that I’d buy one, but never have . . .


Waldorf Q. I have the rack version of the 5 rack space beast and like how there’s always 16 voices, no matter how wild you go with mod matrix, filters, and having 8 stage envelopes that are loop able even within themselves, and a poly multi timb sequencer/arp on-board just adds to the fun!

Second would easily be my Virus KB or KC…so much more than “trance” they seem to be stereotyped and stamped with in minds of a lot of people. very capable, but the Q has a much deeper matrix.

My OT recently got a virus :heart: … Virus C- 16 part multitimbrality and 32 voices, which is quite enough to go crazy, specially with OT’s midi sequencer and parameter locks. :slight_smile: and yea ‘namnibor’ way much more than just trance.

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I’ve been thinking about getting a Blofeld keyboard recently. Seems like it has so many sound options and that it’s a bit easier to edit than the XT (despite the lack of knobs). 16 parts multitimbral and it’s pretty cheap! GAS’ing for it currently! :smiley:

The XT is awesome but I have to say what’s also extremely awesome is the new iPad App by Waldorf, NAVE. I know someone on the ‘Waldorf mailing list’ that actually sold his Waldorf Wave for $10,000. and replaced it with NAVE. However, like the XT, it’s a pure wavetable synthesizer but will not be getting rid of my XT rack anytime soon.!

I have a 2nd hand Virus C rack. Best sounding synth I’ve ever owned. Sadly the menus are very confusing - the more recent models with software editors are probably much friendlier. Multi-timbral mode is a head-nip because of the daft menu implementation! And the manual is rubbish.

I can see now why the Virus is so successful; it has more sweet spots than any other synth I’ve ever used. It’s so easy to get killer sounds from it. By comparison my A4 is much more effort. Much is made of the virtues of analog, and it does sound great - WHEN you can find the sound that does the job! Outside the sweet spots it can sound horrid or uninteresting.

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I have a virus ti desktop… sounds great next to my a4.

Would be tempted by either the new waldorf pulse 2, or subphatty rack.

Any realistic idea if a4 will ever be allowed to sequence my virus over midi???

blofeld, radias, and … MnM (this is multi-timbral, right? 6 tracks of timbres?) :confused: :+1:

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ensoniq esq-1
yamaha tx81z - the voice allocation (8 total) is fairly controllable and handy.


The XT is awesome but I have to say what’s also extremely awesome is the new iPad App by Waldorf, NAVE. I know someone on the ‘Waldorf mailing list’ that actually sold his Waldorf Wave for $10,000. and replaced it with NAVE. However, like the XT, it’s a pure wavetable synthesizer but will not be getting rid of my XT rack anytime soon.![/quote]
Hehe, nice, haven’t heard of it. I think what bothered me the most with the XT was that it felt so unresponsive a lot of the time, I could twist 10 different knobs and it wouldn’t really do a lot to the sound. Probably comes down to my limited understanding of the thing, but it just seemed like a lot of the parameters didn’t actually effect the sound all that much at times. I sold it off, but think I’m gonna try another waldorf with the Blofeld, see how that clicks. :slight_smile:

Installed Nave on my wife’s iPad. It’s fantastic AND you get a glimpse of a Wave in the animated splash screen too :slight_smile:

For 20 quid it’s just incredible - would have cost as much as a car 20 years ago! This is a proper high-end synth. If you have an iPad you just have to get it. (Only niggle is that you can’t modulate the FX.)

BTW Propellorheads Thor is also excellent.

(OK neither Wave nor Thor are multitimbral!)

I am a big fan of Waldorf synths.

The Q keyboard is amazing. I had an XT rack a few years back, sold it because i just could not get anything done. I would just spend hours twiddling knobs, and not finishing any music. I have since then regretted selling it multiple times. The Blofeld, with all its quirks, is still a fantastic synth for the price, very classy sounding, a bit quiet unfortunately.

I do love the Virus stuff as well, wrote an entire album with the Virus C and OT. Such a great combo !

Not a big fan of DSI in general, although the Tempest is incredibly inspiring.

Nord Rack is an old favourite of mine too, with a sweet mellow sound, and lovely envelopes.

There are too many to list, but these ar a few that stand out for me :slight_smile:

Microwave XT is an amazing synth. Just incredible what it’s capable of. ‘Alien communication device’ is a pretty accurate description!

Always seems to cut through the mix, no matter how busy it is.

Andromeda A6 also excellent. 16 voices / 32 oscillators. All analogue signal path. Any combination of saw, square, triangle, sine. Modulation system is huge. Can split sounds across keyboard + multiple MIDI channels. Envelopes are a bit slow, but no complaints otherwise.


Kurzweil K2000RS is a fantastically deep instrument that sounds great and has mad mad modulation features.