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Viewing topic "AN1X vs. AN200 vs. PLG150-AN"

     
Posted on: November 14, 2004 @ 10:10 AM
mhschmieder
Total Posts:  0
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Newcomer

Can someone summarise the differences between these three products, and correct any mistaken perceptions I have. I am debating whether to pick up a cheap used AN200, a cheap used AN1X, or a second PLG150-AN plug-in board.

Does the AN1X have two actual PLG150-AN boards in it, or is it “equivalent” in the sense that the VL70m is “equivalent” to a PLG150-VL with a whole bunch of VL70m-specific effects/etc. not available on the plug-in board?

What is the hardware editing interface to the AN1X vs. the AN200? The few Google hits I found and the two eBay items for sale are not large or fine-grained enough images for me to be able to tell whether the AN1X is deeply menu-driven or has an adequate number of front-panel direct access knobs/buttons.

At first glance, it appears to me that the AN200 has the more powerful hardware controller interface (though half the polyp[hony, of course), but that NEITHER offers as much direct control as the software expert voice editors (which are not yet OS X ready).

I understand that both the AN200 and the AN1X refer to patches or voices as “patterns” whether or not they contain step sequencer data, and that the pertinent part of the manuals for determining how to dump voice libraries is in the sections devoted to bulk dump of patterns.

What is unclear to me is whether the plug-in-all-bulk files that we use with the PLG150-AN also work with either standalone product. My guess is they don’t, since they are probably Motif-specific file types and probably cannot be used as MIDI SysEx bulk dump files.

This begs the question of whether the Regenerator library can be used with either standalone AN module. Or Bad_Mister’s freebie libraries. My guess is that the answer is a resounding “no” for Bad_Mister’s PPhatty” library, but that DCP’s Regenerator would work IF one was running Windows and could take advantage of the expert editor to compile appropriate bulk dump files from the provided voice editgor files that ship with Regenerator.

Of course I could use any of the downloaded AN1X sound banks that I got from the internet, as they are provided in many file formats. So the final question is how many and which file formats and load/save methodologies are supported by the AN1X and the AN200, and is it the same for both of them?

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Posted on: November 14, 2004 @ 11:30 AM
Bad_Mister
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status: Legend

Re: AN1X vs. AN200 vs. PLG150-AN

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Does the AN1X have two actual PLG150-AN boards in it, or is it “equivalent” in the sense that the VL70m is “equivalent” to a PLG150-VL with a whole bunch of VL70m-specific effects/etc. not available on the plug-in board?
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Neither, really. Let's see if I can put it in its own terms. The AN1X was a standalone 61-note synthesizer that was greater than the sum of 2 PLG150-AN boards. Because the engine was interactive. It had a Single, Dual and Split play modes. Each Voice could be two different SCENES (a Scene being a snapshot of all the knob positions) and you could morph between the Scenes. SCENE = PEG, LFO1, LFO2, VCO1, VCO2, SYNC, FM, Mixer, Noise, Ring Modulator, VCF, FEG, VCA, AEG, POLY/MONO/LEGATO, Portamento, 16 Control Matrix assignments, Variation Effect.

It had a X-Z axis Ribbon controller (left-right and Pressure sensitivity), 8 multi-function knobs with an assignable layer.
You also had six different types of layers:
Single
Unison
Dual
Dual Unison
Split
Split Unison

The AN1X had its own multi-effects processor and stereo 3-band EQ.

The PLG150-AN is based on one of the two Scene engines of the AN1X and can play a single Scene from the AN1X. YOu can have Single and Unison mode.

The comparison to the VL70-m and the PLG150-VL has nothing to do with this (as when you place the PLG150-VL in the Motif ES you actually have more effect processing than the VL70-m). Which is also true of the PLG150-AN (you actually have more effect processing when placed in a Motif ES).

The AN Expert Editor has a function where it can receive a bulk dump from one or the other Scene of an AN1X. So there is some Voice compatibility - as there is between VL70-m and PLG150-VL, between DX7 and PLG150-DX.

The AN200 has a PLG150-AN in it. Although these are very different products as well. Because the AN200 has a Drum Machine built in to it (thus the patterns). This makes bulk dumping between the units not directly possible.

There is a AN1X Editor for Mac that has a mode for AN1x and a mode for PLG150-AN. And as you will see it simply removes one of the two Scenes, and removes the unavailable modes.

To me (and this is my opinion so take it for what it is worth) the most powerful combination is a Motif ES with a PLG150-AN board (or two). The AN1X is fine if you want to have a separate keyboard - it has its charm. But as I was putting together the “Phatty” set of Custom Board Voices -> and turn them into Plugin Voices for the S90, Motif and Motif ES and then finally putting them into Performances, I recognized that this was the best of all worlds. The AN200 has a drum machine, which the Arpeggiator was replacing - plus you have Pattern mode of the ES; plus I could sync the PLG’s step sequencer/arpeggiator with the host product’s arpeggiator - that just put it over the top. The effects of the Motif ES are just out of this world (not that real analog synths had effects but hey...)

My recommendation get an AN200, take the PLG150-AN out of it and buy a PLG150-AN - put them both in the ES… this will give a 10-note analog synthesizer.

No you will not be able to get the layer modes of the AN1X - you could address each PLG150-AN as a separate board but you it would be either/or. Either you put POLY EXPAND = ON (10 note poly) or you address them as 2 separate 5-note boards.

Besides the AN200 Editor is Windows only (XGworks)
The PLG150-AN Editor will eventually be 0SX compatible (one day).

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Posted on: November 14, 2004 @ 05:27 PM
mhschmieder
Total Posts:  0
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Newcomer

Re: AN1X vs. AN200 vs. PLG150-AN

Thanks for an extremely helpful and complete response.

I saw a used AN200 at Gtr Ctr yesterday for $120, with one broken knob but otherwise functional, and this seemed like a good way to get a second AN board (I bought my first AN board back when I owned the Motif Classic). I could always offer up the extra knobs for free to anyone who needs them :-).

I was of course curious about the poly expand mode, so am happy to hear that this would be possible when running two AN boards inside the Motif. And after reading the Sound-On-Sound review of the AN1X from when it came out, I realised that it was great for its time but as a standalone synth would be disappointing to me by 2004/2005 standards (not enough direct top-level tweakability).

I also was already getting the impression the AN200 was meant more as a groove box (like Korg’s Electribe series) than a small table-top keyboard-less synth module, and your statement about the patch and editor compatibility issues confirms this.

So I guess the $120 used AN200 is a really good deal even just to bastardise the PLG150-AN board contained within!

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