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is Moss board really worth purchasing?
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mezzojammer
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Joined: 26 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:58 am    Post subject: is Moss board really worth purchasing? Reply with quote

Hi
I have read some lukewarm reviews of it on harmony central and just wondered is it worth buying? The prices Ive seen them going on ebay for seem expensive aswell - £200-£250. (I think I would pay £50-100)
I have bought recently a Korg Radias-R in addition to my triton extreme so would this board significantly enhance matters or not. Im doing mainly electronica/ambient/club/pop/ dance music.
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Synthoid
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the MOSS board in my Triton for years and enjoy the variety of modeling options it offers. It's like having a Z1 under the hood. Smile

Most reviews of MOSS on this forum have been quite favorable. I agonized over MOSS at first, and wasn't impressed with the factory sounds, but......there are hundreds of free patches available here in the forum download section, and tweaking the sounds on your own is quite rewarding.

I agree that £200-250 is high for a used MOSS board, considering it cost about $475 new in USA. (Not sure what it cost new over there).
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mezzojammer
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Synthoid wrote:
I've had the MOSS board in my Triton for years and enjoy the variety of modeling options it offers. It's like having a Z1 under the hood. Smile

Most reviews of MOSS on this forum have been quite favorable. I agonized over MOSS at first, and wasn't impressed with the factory sounds, but......there are hundreds of free patches available here in the forum download section, and tweaking the sounds on your own is quite rewarding.

I agree that £200-250 is high for a used MOSS board, considering it cost about $475 new in USA. (Not sure what it cost new over there).


Is it exactly like a Korg Z1 then? (All combis/programs from Z1?)
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Synthoid
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All original Z1 programs are available for free download. I don't know about any combis, though.
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OmarNoori
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

id say the moss expansion is worth it but i dunno about the 250-250 price tag, since this time last year they were including it free with the purchase of a triton Sad
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Milter
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can get a MOSS board for £300. Is that worth the money? I'm still considering doing this. At the same time I have a second hand mint Z1 that is also available to me for £300... Should I get the Z1 then?

The real question is not if it came free with a triton last year, the fact is that it still has a good price tag! I belive the reason is that most users don't uninstall this option to sell it - but just sell the board/module with the MOSS in it, not gaining very much extra for that. I actually saw a used Triton rack with MOSS for £500. So buy it, strip out the MOSS and sell it for £400 Smile

So, you get a 8 voice (from what I read on this forum) great sounding synth for £250-£300 is that worth it?
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Synthoid
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milter wrote:
I can get a MOSS board for £300. Is that worth the money? I'm still considering doing this. At the same time I have a second hand mint Z1 that is also available to me for £300... Should I get the Z1 then?


Yes, I sure would!

Cool
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Timo
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milter wrote:
So, you get a 8 voice (from what I read on this forum) great sounding synth for £250-£300 is that worth it?


Moss has 6 voices.

At this point in time, I think £250-£300 may be a bit steep. I'd say perhaps £150-£200.

If you're thinking of spending £300, I'd look to try and get a second hand Virus B/Indigo (24-voice) or a Novation Supernova/Supernova II (20/24-voice+ respectively, upgradable to 48 voices I think), KS4 (16-voice), or similar.

On the other hand, Moss has the physical modelling which is unique.

My 2 cents.
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Matty_Boy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. I have the MOSS and the Supernova. The Supernova was about £180 - £220 on ebay and sounds fuller than the moss. If you're only after analogue sounds I'd go for that. The moss is a bit more versatile though.
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Pecca
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moss was/is a lovely engine with physical modelling. - but...
There are much cheaper options these days (if you can handle a computer).
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Milter
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pecca wrote:

There are much cheaper options these days (if you can handle a computer).


I can't in a live situation Cool

I was trying some other stuff yesterday with mor org. Triton Extreme. I have some samples from Moog, ARP and Oberheim synths that I imported to the sampler. adjusted the ADSR, filters and gave it some delay/reverb. And that actually gave me some pretty fat analog sounds for my live setup. I think this will be my preffered way - Live.

I'll try and get a REAL analog for my home studio.
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BasariStudios
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pecca wrote:
Moss was/is a lovely engine with physical modelling. - but...
There are much cheaper options these days (if you can handle a computer).


Cheaper or no cheaper, they cant do what MOSS can, please tell me one
that can, i'll be thankfull but something MOSSlike, not other stuff.
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Timo
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nedim wrote:
Pecca wrote:
Moss was/is a lovely engine with physical modelling. - but...
There are much cheaper options these days (if you can handle a computer).


Cheaper or no cheaper, they cant do what MOSS can, please tell me one
that can, i'll be thankfull but something MOSSlike, not other stuff.


Regarding standard subtractive analogue-modelling, anything with two or three standard oscillators and two filters should basically be able to do what the Moss does, and some will sound better. For example, for standard subtractive analogue modelling usage my Virus [subjectively] blows the Moss right out of the water, sonically.

However, Moss has many unique features and strengths that are not seen in any other synths. In my view these are:

• The physical models (Organ [three drawbars per oscillator], Brass [three brass models, plus two horn models, and a reed brass], Reed [five sax models, plus two double-reed models, a bassoon, clarinet, two flute models, a pan flute, ocarina, shakuhachi, two harmonicas, and a reed synth], Plucked Strings, Bowed Strings, and finally Electric Piano), each with individual flexible modulations and settings.
• The possibility of creating a hybrid of physical modelling AND standard analogue-modelling within the very same patch (one for each of the two main oscillators, although a couple of the physical models require both oscillators for mono-oscillator usage due to requiring higher DSP).
• 4 freely assignable LFOs, and the modulation/assignation possibilities within each LFO are really quite powerful.
• 4 freely assignable EGs, and 1 additional Amp EG (5 in total). Again, the modulation/assigning and ADTSR (sic, T is an additional slope before Sustain kicks in) possibilities within each EG are very flexible.
• Comb-filtering, oscillator sync, cross-modulation, resonance modelling, ring-modulation and semi-advanced FM. Most synths offer Sync and Ring-mod, but not the others. The comb-filtering and cross-modulation can come across as being harsh if not programmed correctly or tamed, though, and the FM is prone to zipper artefacts when not modulated by an LFO or EG. Some of these models can be limited in use to the average programmer as they can be hard to program correctly and achieve usable sounds, but they can be used for very unique ones if you explore them.
• Waveform modulation of the saw-wave. No other synth I know can do this (apart from the Radias). It splits the saw-wave into two and modulates the phase of one of them (via LFO or similar), giving a pulse-width motion type effect, gently rocking between one octave and another. It's quite different to sounding like anything else, a very nice effect. Great for brassy type sounds, or thickening up a sound without any messy detuning.
• Although the sub-oscillator is limited to just the basic saw/sq/tri/sin wave, I think it's enough to call it a third main oscillator as it has its own very flexible pitch modulation possibilities (albeit that's all it has). The Virus's sub-oscillator, on the other hand, can be only tri/sq, and is permanently locked/pitched two octaves below Oscillator 1, so you can see how much more flexible the Moss is in this circumstance.
• In addition to the usual LowPass, HiPass, Band-Pass filter types, a unique fourth filter type is available: Dual Band-Pass, with individual modulations or slave usage for each band.
• The mixer is very flexible, and you have two amplifiers available which can be each modulated via other modulators (the main Amp EG, or the other 4 EGs or 4 LFOs, or other dynamic modulators, etc). Unfortunately you can't pan each amplifier, so it's still summed to mono afterwards. This is the same with all synths I've tried, though. But I wish it wasn't.
• The available LFO shapes are better than average, and the modulation possibilities are excellent. (The Zoop phenomenon!)
• Different tuning scales are possible (Equal temp, Pure Major, Pure Minor, Arabic, Pythagorean, Kirnberger, etc. etc), although to be honest most of us in the West will use Equal temperament 100% of the time.

Moss's weaknesses, albeit in my own view:
• It can have a tendency to sound very digital/characterless. An MS-20 it ain't.
• The filters could perhaps have done with a little higher headroom, although you can compensate by programming around it accordingly (lowering internal patch levels, etc.)
• The learning curve is pretty big, and probably offputting to most. Takes a long time to get into it if you're new to synthesis.
• It has only 6-voices.
• Some DWGs (single-cycle PCMs) would have been nice to increase the standard subtractive oscillator sonic possibilities.
• Zipper artefacts are apparent with manual manipulation (although it has to be said that LFO and EG modulations are completely zipper-free). I only mention this because my 10-yr old Virus is a beaut to tweak in realtime, as all knob movements are interpolated for smooth, zipper-free output. However, no other synths I know can do the same as the Virus in that aspect.
• The physical models can sometimes be hard to make them sound natural. I think ideally you'd need a breath controller for some models.
• Often needs effects to bring the overall sound up to speed.

My subjective 2’.

Timo
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dave
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timo wrote:
My subjective 2’.

Wow! Great value for money. Smile

Thanks for the exhaustive review, Timo.

Kind regards.
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Tiayviel
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dave wrote:
Timo wrote:
My subjective 2’.

Wow! Great value for money. Smile

That deserves the "Quote of the Day" award, lol.
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