System-8 vs Blofeld?

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System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby buffer » 05:39, 14 July 2017

Hi,

I am a synth newbie and currently have a JD-Xi and JP-08. I am thinking of stepping up, and I really like the looks of the System-8. I like that there is one knob per function and I like the plugout idea. Also the arpeggiator and sequencer look good. If it were $500 cheaper I wouldn't be asking this question.

The Blofeld seems to be very well regarded, maybe better regarded than the S8. Definitely known for having an extreme range of sounds, with good quality. But the interface scares me a bit, I HATE HATE HATE menu diving, which is part of the reason I want to sell the Xi. (The other reasons are I want full size keys and real ADSR controls)

Can anyone who has owned the 2 provide a comparison of how it is to use them, and their range of possibilities? Do you think the limit of 8 voices is a problem for the S8?

Just for reference I like everything from piano to chiptunes to industrial to synthwave to ambient.

Thanks--
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby mimoid » 15:17, 14 July 2017

buffer wrote:Hi,

I am a synth newbie and currently have a JD-Xi and JP-08. I am thinking of stepping up, and I really like the looks of the System-8. I like that there is one knob per function and I like the plugout idea. Also the arpeggiator and sequencer look good. If it were $500 cheaper I wouldn't be asking this question.

The Blofeld seems to be very well regarded, maybe better regarded than the S8. Definitely known for having an extreme range of sounds, with good quality. But the interface scares me a bit, I HATE HATE HATE menu diving, which is part of the reason I want to sell the Xi. (The other reasons are I want full size keys and real ADSR controls)

Can anyone who has owned the 2 provide a comparison of how it is to use them, and their range of possibilities? Do you think the limit of 8 voices is a problem for the S8?

Just for reference I like everything from piano to chiptunes to industrial to synthwave to ambient.

Thanks--


Wow, the Blofeld and the System-8 are TOTALLY different animals. Actually they are almost kind of like the direct opposites.

Blofeld: digital sounding multitimbral synth, based on sampled wavetables. Sounds extremely cold, shiny and metallic, although it is possible to coax some softer and warmer timbres out of it too. Very much based on menus and with a few (although strategic) endless rotary encoders. If you think the JD-Xi is menu driven, you will absolutely hate the Blofeld. Programming the Blofeld is an absolute nightmare, but you can get some truly astonishing results if you get your head around the operative system and the wavetable synthesis concept. The synth has some sweet sounding effects, a very high quality metal shell, excellent keyboard and a decent screen. Blofelds can be bought second hand dirt cheap, particularly if you are good with the desktop module (you will need a MIDI keyboard though).

System-8: analog sounding bitimbral virtual analog polysynth. Sounds (depending on the loaded software, called "plugouts") very warm and lush. It comes preloaded with three plugouts (the native S-8 plus a Jupiter-8 emulation and Juno-106 emulation). The emulations are vastly improved versions of the software running inside JP-08 and JU-06 Boutique modules - the System-8 will make your JP-08 superfluous. Additonal emulations (such as the SH-101 or the SH-2 can be loaded, and just as the pre-loaded plugouts, they sound indistinguishable from the originals. The synth has one button per function, no menu diving at all, and is very intuitive and easy to use. It has a plastic shell, plastic pots and a rather cheapish, although fully adequate keyboard. There is also a simple but nice onboard sequencer. The onboard effects are decent, but not as good as the effects found in most DAW's. The System-8 also exists as a virtual instrument (part of Roland Cloud and cannot be purchased separately), if you can imagine going ITB.

TBH, both are excellent synthesizers. If I were you, I would sell both the JD-Xi and the JP-08 and instead get the System-8 and a TR-8 to replace the drums from the JD-Xi.
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby buffer » 06:43, 15 July 2017

mimoid wrote:
buffer wrote:TBH, both are excellent synthesizers. If I were you, I would sell both the JD-Xi and the JP-08 and instead get the System-8 and a TR-8 to replace the drums from the JD-Xi.


Thanks for the response, I was thinking the same thing since the JD-Xi's drum part, while very cool and way better than any other keyboard I've seen, is no match for a an actual drum machine.

Anyone else have both the blofeld and the S8 and care to comment? At this price range I think Deepmind 12 is also in the running, although I am fairly sure I'd rather have one of the other 2.
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby runningman67 » 16:18, 15 July 2017

I had both. Infact I owned a Blofeld keyboard version, sold it, regretted it and bought a Blofeld module.
I have now also sold that.
Why?

The System 8 is better. I copied some pad sounds from the Blo to the S8 and they sounded better, clearer, more expressive. Also there is immediate tweakability. So from there it is easy to build up and save to new slots, lots of Pad, lead, bass goodness.

The Blofeld is an amazing synth for the money, the keybed is one of the best I have played. The Arp section is better than the S8 but.............the effects are not as good and you can appreciate the VA aspect is not as good as the ACB on the S8.

Lastly.
Menu diving. The matrix idea on the Blo is good but if you want to get serious, thats when you start to give up and where you will be so pleased you bought a knobby S8.

S8 TR8 is a good combo but you may miss some of the Supernatural sounds on your Xi and the drums are still great.
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby runningman67 » 16:25, 15 July 2017

Regarding the Deepmind 12.

I've played one side by side with the S8. It is a very nice synth. I was surprised how good but once again, menu diving. Very effects lead and I didn't see any preset bank dedicated buttons.

So... there are some user friendly issues there that you will not get with the S8.
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby skinmechanic » 19:37, 15 July 2017

I had the Blofeld module and Keyboard versions, loved the sonic pallette and sound it can create. I also have the system 8. There is much more modulation options with the Blofeld engine and it has 3 full Oscillators and can do much more sounds with regards to movement and textures than the System 8 can. The system 8 does sound warmer for sure our of the box with the filters of the System 8, JP8 and Juno106.

However the reasons I sold my blofelds was the lack of realtime controls. However consider the Studiologic Sledge, it is based on the Blofeld synth engine made by Waldorf and tweaked slightly. The Sledge is excellent, the Black version I have with two LFO's which can both be synced it allows you to import samples and new waveforms to be used as Oscillator 1. It's much easier to program and for me the glaring omission of the System 8 "Aftertouch" is a delight with the Sledge and the keyed is one of the best I've played on.

If you search for the George Hall Sledge tutorials on youtube you will get a sense of the patches that can be made by it. and for £699 GBP you can't go wrong. Although I do have both this and the System 8 at the moment.
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby buffer » 07:52, 16 July 2017

skinmechanic wrote:I had the Blofeld module and Keyboard versions, loved the sonic pallette and sound it can create. I also have the system 8. There is much more modulation options with the Blofeld engine and it has 3 full Oscillators and can do much more sounds with regards to movement and textures than the System 8 can. The system 8 does sound warmer for sure our of the box with the filters of the System 8, JP8 and Juno106.

However the reasons I sold my blofelds was the lack of realtime controls. However consider the Studiologic Sledge, it is based on the Blofeld synth engine made by Waldorf and tweaked slightly. The Sledge is excellent, the Black version I have with two LFO's which can both be synced it allows you to import samples and new waveforms to be used as Oscillator 1. It's much easier to program and for me the glaring omission of the System 8 "Aftertouch" is a delight with the Sledge and the keyed is one of the best I've played on.

If you search for the George Hall Sledge tutorials on youtube you will get a sense of the patches that can be made by it. and for £699 GBP you can't go wrong. Although I do have both this and the System 8 at the moment.


Well, thank you for mentioning it, I hadn't even heard of the sledge. Looks much more like what I want than the Blofeld, and having a larger keyboard would be nice too, with little to no menu diving! System 8 is facing some stiff competition here.

Cheers
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby skinmechanic » 17:01, 17 July 2017

The sledge is a dream to program the layout is very much Moog too, full size knobs. There are some good Sledge Black Edition videos on youtube which show the new LFO sync capabilities and showcases some of the complex movement of sounds the Sledge can do. It's not the most complex of Synth Engines, but have to say it's one of the most enjoyable to program and actually you learn a fair bit about programming a synth through it (I Certainly did).
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby buffer » 05:31, 21 July 2017

Well, I pulled the trigger on the new sledge black edition. I found a b-stock "new" one for less than 60% the cost of the system 8.

The deciding factors were the number of keys (61), voices (24!), and the cost difference. Blofeld was ruled out because I want knob-per-function.

Thanks for all the advice. Maybe I'll get Roland's system-8 successor if it has more keys and voices!
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby analoguesque » 22:43, 21 July 2017

skinmechanic wrote:I had the Blofeld module and Keyboard versions, loved the sonic pallette and sound it can create. I also have the system 8. There is much more modulation options with the Blofeld engine and it has 3 full Oscillators and can do much more sounds with regards to movement and textures than the System 8 can. The system 8 does sound warmer for sure our of the box with the filters of the System 8, JP8 and Juno106.

However the reasons I sold my blofelds was the lack of realtime controls. However consider the Studiologic Sledge, it is based on the Blofeld synth engine made by Waldorf and tweaked slightly.


The reason I chose a Studiologic Sledge II over the Blofeld was because of the hands-on control. I'm sure the sound is very similar to the Blofeld in a lot of cases, and if so, then it is not all shiny, digital, glassy, and cold, to mention a few of the terms usually thrown at it from people who may not have programmed it :). It can do grungy, dirty sounds, but also warm pads and growling "analog" if that's what you're looking for. It has limitation compared to the Blofeld, but that immediate editing is worth it's weight in gold. I think it really compliments the S8. You can check out some of the sounds I programmed into it on YouTube - nothing crazy, just a lot of bread-and-butter sounds that I think the Sledge II is easily capable of:

http://analoguesque.x10host.com/Studiologic-Sledge-II/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnE9nvMTiiA?version=3&vq=hd1080
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXbJh2cG-FU?version=3&vq=hd1080

The sound definitely compliments my S8 though, so my guess is the same will be for the Blofeld.

Ian
http://analoguesque.x10host.com/Roland-System-8/
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby analoguesque » 22:47, 21 July 2017

buffer wrote:Well, I pulled the trigger on the new sledge black edition. I found a b-stock "new" one for less than 60% the cost of the system 8.

The deciding factors were the number of keys (61), voices (24!), and the cost difference. Blofeld was ruled out because I want knob-per-function.

Thanks for all the advice. Maybe I'll get Roland's system-8 successor if it has more keys and voices!


I have a bunch of free presets under the Studiologic Sledge II section of
http://analoguesque.x10host.com/. About 450+, and several simple sample presets also. That should get you going. :)

Ian
http://analoguesque.x10host.com/Roland-System-8/
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby skinmechanic » 10:40, 22 July 2017

Nice sounds! There is a way to get to the hidden wavetables that are in the Blofeld but not in the Sledge, they are there but hidden using the editor, there is some videos on it. I agree the Sledge isn't the most sophisticated synth engine, it can compliment the System 8 very well which mine did. However having the Sledge with it's two LFO's and most importantly Aftertouch I instantly realised some of the system 8's shortcomings but having the sledge. Hope you like the sledge when it arrives.
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby skinmechanic » 20:06, 26 July 2017

Actually if you want to hear a track which features heavily the System 8 (Juno 106 Plugout engine) and the Studiologic Sledge then listen to the below ;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lT3MaoARz4
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby analoguesque » 17:38, 28 July 2017

skinmechanic wrote:Actually if you want to hear a track which features heavily the System 8 (Juno 106 Plugout engine) and the Studiologic Sledge then listen to the below ;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lT3MaoARz4


Great song. Such a very sad, and unfortunately, true video.

Ian
http://analoguesque.x10host.com/
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Re: System-8 vs Blofeld?

Postby buffer » 00:36, 29 July 2017

Thanks everyone, I received my sledge black.

Great, great interface. I think for a newbie it is probably important to have all the functions available for adjustment. Having such a large control panel makes it BIG though!

Great feeling keybed as well, although from a visual perspective I wish they had just gone with regular colored keys.
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