What's 'wrong' with the Cwejman S1?

Dieses Thema im Forum "Analog" wurde erstellt von MonoRob, 8. Juni 2007.

  1. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Hi all,

    the S1 is high on my pron list, and although there's no cash yet, I'm often checking the net for sales and reviews of this synth.

    Over the last couple of years I get the impression of a pattern: the S1 gets sold relatively fast after being purchaced. I have the idea that after about two months, this synth changes owners more often than other synths.

    It's very likely that my observation is completely wrong, and of course the sellers claim they love the synth, but need the money for some reason. Nothing wrong with it.

    But maybe there's some problem with the S1?
    Is it the sound? The complexity? Anything?

    Just very curious...
     
  2. Moogulator

    Moogulator Admin

    it's one of the smallest and not so cheap systems, maybe they all need the money, and it is a bit different sounding.. it's not a <a href=http://www.sequencer.de/syns/moog>Moog</a>, but it's kind of "new school analog" system.. some like it, some don't but I did not see that it is often sold.. but I do not really follow big auction platforms that often, so maybe I am not that much into "sales"..
     
  3. Bluescreen

    Bluescreen bin angekommen

    Hi Robert,

    did you listen to the S1 yet ? I've always been lusting after one, because it looks beautiful, is compact and solid and has all components that a small modular should have.
    But I didn't find too many audio examples in the web that pleased me completely. It' sound seems to be of the more precise, defined character. Very fast envelopes, therefore good for any percussive stuff, but not those meaty oscillators or filters that are associated with the Moog sound for example.
    I think it tends soundwise into the direction of my Evolvers. Can't proof that however because I had none yet.

    Maybe I am wrong, the S1 sounds beautiful, and many people sell it because they had the wrong expectations.
    Most owners of modular systems know exactly what they want and buy only things they are rather sure about. The S1 however might be intrigueing also for those who are new to analogue semimodular synthesis, but discover after purchasing that it's not their cup of tea.
     
  4. Jörg

    Jörg |

    That matches my impressions.
     
  5. Moogulator

    Moogulator Admin

    imo thats how the things are.. but it has very fast envs, so it is nice for more modern style of music (not only but it works nice with those newer kind of sound "school" ;-)

    I'd not assume the ppl know all their modules, there's enough pple buying stuff and sell it, look at sales / buy section of this forum .. most of the users here got everything they need but still sell and buy.. ;-) *G*
     
  6. Ilanode

    Ilanode Tach

  7. frixion

    frixion Tach

    IMHO the S1 ranks in the same league as the Minimoog, the Arp 2600/Odyssey or the Oberheim 2-Voice.
    It's soundin' powerfull, very flexible (maybe could be even more) and very distinct.
    Cwejman produced very "accurate" or "precise"-sounding components (but not clinical like Doepfer), that maybe not impress owners of very "coloured" Synths (Minimoog, Korg MS, EMS, Oberheims, Yamaha CS).
    For me it's not believeable that there aren't good demo-sounds on the net it should be very easy to create them.

    Cheers,
    Phil
     
  8. Moogulator

    Moogulator Admin

    Hmm, it'S Filters did not really sound "precise" to me, it had nice warm distortion in it, I'd assume the ARP Filters to be cleaner and more "analytic", but still the Cwejman isn't a bad sounding synth at all.. but obviously a bit cleaner/colder than <a href=http://www.sequencer.de/syns/moog>Moog</a> (well, even <a href=http://www.sequencer.de/syns/sequentialcircuits>Sequential Circuits</a> sounds colder than <a href=http://www.sequencer.de/syns/moog>Moog</a>, isn't it?)

    it is not as "wide" as oberheim SEMs are, but it is very fast and cool and "modern" sounding.. so it has enough advantages to go for one, if I had no moog I would def'ly go for one..
     
  9. frixion

    frixion Tach

    :arrow: Simply a modern-soundin' analogue classic :!:
     
  10. Bluescreen

    Bluescreen bin angekommen

    I apologize if my post sounded negative. I am sure that the S1 is an excellent synth, but is has its own sound character.

    Robert has an MOTM system, maybe the S1 would be a good complement because its sound is imho quite different.
     
  11. frixion

    frixion Tach

    And sound is always taste. :) Maybe the S1 isn't a "peoples' synth" (not considering the price), but a synth for connaisseurs. ;-)
     
  12. 11ish

    11ish Tach

    I really think there's nothing wrong with it. I love mine, for one. And I don't think it gets resold especially often. Consider it's a lot of money you have to shell out for one, and in these rather unstable times (sob, sob) it happens that you suddenly just can't justify having such expensive (though it's undoubtedly worth every euro) gear around anymore.

    As for the sound, it is quite special, I think. Maybe it doesn't boast that cliché "analogue fatness", although you could probably patch it to sound very full sounding. I don't know what a "good", "fat" or whatever sound actually is, I'm into noises (not "noise" as a musical genre though) and experimental stuff rather than getting "that sound" that's supposed to be "good" because it can be heard on the records by (insert favourite artist)... but I admit, I have to *like* the sound of a synth, like everybody else, I guess - so it all boils down to personal taste. I like the S1's sound and it's flexibility.

    The S1 is very flexible, envelopes and all, and it has loads of built in VCAs... great layout, it's very nicely built. And I love the filters' sound. With a few additional modules by Doepfer, Blacet etc. you can build a nice little system around it.

    I don't know what a good demo is, so here's another bad demo with a few seconds of S1 - most probably doesn't do the S1 justice, sorry... but you might get an idea of how it *can* sound when in the wrong hands ;-) :

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Hi Stefan.

    I also only know the synth from the few demos available through the web. There was one very impressive one on the old Cwejman site, a complete song, that I quite liked. But a couple of days I saw one playing on a YouTube video, and it sounded rather cold, more like a FM synth.

    But then there's this glowing SOS review that really confuses me. And Boele heard in the flesh and was rather impressed.

    So yes, one of the options the S1 changes owners could be the more cold, harder sound. Otoh, I wonder what the SOS review guy had been drinking then, if it always sounds like that. ;-)

    Confused. I guess I won't know for sure until I've tried one myself.
     
  14. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Very true! But I witnessed the 'S1 thing' happening not long ago. Bought new (lot of cash!), sold couple of months afterwards. I can understand someone experimenting with, say, 800 euro worth of synth. But 2650 euros...

    Could it be that the S1 is misunderstood? For example, if someone doesn't learn the mixer volume on a Memory Moog must be lowered below 30% or so, he/she will always think this synth has a rather agressive sound (which I love btw). Could it be that the S1 is colder (and maybe distorting smoothly) because some gain knob is always set to the max? Exactly like the SOS reviewer predicted?
     
  15. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Yes, that, the flexible semi-modular approach, and the envelopes. I'm a sucker for snappy envelopes, but the S1 really takes it all.

    But if the sound is so so, I'd probably sell it after 2 months. lol.
     
  16. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Congrats! ;-)
    The above is true no doubt. But it works both ways. If you don't like it after all, it's a lot of cash catching dust, so better sell it and get something else.

    Could you elaborate on the sound character please? Maybe compare it with something we know? And is you know the SOS review, do you think it is correct?

    Thanks for the demo! I'll listen to it first thing in the morning. :)
     
  17. Moogulator

    Moogulator Admin

    imo it does oot sound like something "vintage" we know.. thats, why it is hard to tell..

    I'd agree on the "Phatness" quote in that post..
    SOS and specially Gordon Reid has his special opinion, I sometimes do not feel exaclty like he does ;-)
     
  18. frixion

    frixion Tach

    Cwejman is sounding like Cwejman and not really like something else, sorry! :lol:
    But the best demonstration of the sound capacities was by the German Magazine "Sound&Recording" (issue 7/06), which tested the Cwejman Modular modules.
    I was so impressed that I had to get two VM-1 modules later. Before that I got the opportunity to test/play the S1 of forum member HPL for some hours.
     
  19. 11ish

    11ish Tach

    Hm... difficult. Actually, that's one thing I like about the Cwejman, it's not presenting itself as the "new" Moog-clone or Arp-clone or whatewer, all the more it's a new instrument in its own right.

    One reason why I have my difficulties with discussions about sound or sound quality is that I use instruments like these for something that could be called "live action" (even if no one's watching or listening ;-) ), meaning: the process of patching and playing the system is more important than the result (a recording is little more than the documentation of that action). That's *one* idea of music making that I'm after recently (one other diametrical idea is making perfect tracks, which I also pursue at other times - that's a completely different thing but just as good, of course). That's why I prefer to use joysticks and the Wiard JAG over a keyboard. I'm not aiming for "music" in a traditional sense here, rather for something like spontaneous abstract expressionism (please don't judge my above demo in that respect - that was just a stale example for panning the filters. I have better recordings, but not on my HD at the moment...). Anyway, in that action, the most important thing is flexibility and openness. That's why I use modular stuff anyway. (Of course, as I said, I have to like the sound.) In that respect the S1 is brilliant. You have so many patchpoints, inputs even for the delay parameter of the envelopes, for example. I've had it for a year, but still have only scatched the surface (main reason, of course, is my time consuming job, grrr). So that is a very short hint at what I am doing with these things. I was very much inspired by the approach of musicians like Thomas Lehn or Haino Keiji in this particular method and aim.

    One could argue the S1 tends to sound rather thin (probably because the Bandpass (on both filters) sounds so good that I happen to use it a lot), but then again, what is "good" or "bad" about that? I personally like this sound for a similar reason why I like the sound of a shamisen, for example.

    You could, of course, just as well use the S1 for track compositions. You mentioned the demo tracks on the old Cwejman website... I happen to have them on my hard drive. Hoping this poses no problem copyright-wise, I post them here:

    [img=http://media.twango.com/m1/roundedthumbnail/0001/audio.jpg]

    [img=http://media.twango.com/m1/roundedthumbnail/0001/audio.jpg]

    [img=http://media.twango.com/m1/roundedthumbnail/0001/audio.jpg]

    I remember these were also a major factor in my decision to buy one... ;-)
     
  20. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Heh, subtle. ;-)
     
  21. Moogulator

    Moogulator Admin

    Kind of.. ;-)
     
  22. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    These demos are so phat! I really want to have a S1 but i have to save some money first.
     
  23. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Well I listened to all the examples in your twango account, and that indeed confirms the above. It's not a clone of a well known vintage synth with a familiar sound.

    I get the idea. More oriented on performance. When I try that the problem mostly is that I'm having a lot of fun, but at the same time I'm boring the crap out of the audience. You have to be good to keep the listener entertained. With a S1, a couple of nice controllers, and a firm understanding of the gear, I can see some light at the end of the tunnel, yes. ;-) Your demos prove this synth is capable of a vast array of different sounds.

    Yes, it was Cwejmachine that impressed me so much. And it still does. Having listened to all the examples here, I made the following conclusions:

    1. I love the S1. I love the sound and it's capabilities. It indeed has its own character, and its indeed capable of doing New School kinda stuff, like Mic said. It would fit perfectly next to my MOTM rig, that has a more American sound (but of a modern, high quality).

    2. I think I understand now why the S1 changes owners that much. Yes, I really think there's something 'wrong' with it, in the viewpoint of the sellers. It doesn't really do the fat vintage stuff, at least not without some extra effort. It's the S1's own character that makes it both unique and less popular. If I had to choose a single analog synth, my choice would be the MOTM, not the S1.

    3. Until I hear S1 demos that give true vintage emulations, I think the SOS review is very confusing. Yes, Gordon Reid indeed mentions the synths's 'own character', but the biggest part of the review explains how the S1 does all those vintage synths. So far, I haven't heard a single mp3 that that confirms the SOS claim.

    Anyway, still very high in my pron list. I'd love a S1, plus a couple of those sexy modules please. :) Thanks for the demos!
     
  24. MonoRob

    MonoRob Tach

    Do you have a link for me to learn more about these two? Definitely interested.
     
  25. 11ish

    11ish Tach

    Thomas Lehn plays an EMS AKS, often live with other musicians from the avantgarde/new music world. I have seen him live once at the Academy of Music here in Cologne. He really plays it like an instrument, performs with a lot of virtuosity. His official website is
    http://www.thomaslehn.com/

    HAINO Keiji is very different. I have seen him live four times. He's been playing since the seventies, he's probably THE representative of japanese free music. What he does is not easy to describe. He plays the g-instrument (wrong forum here, i know ;-)), but also percussion, a modified hurdy gurdy, drums, and electronics, among others. He does use loopers live, but in such a skilled way that results sound rather organic, not machine-like. I guess one has to see him on stage to get an idea what his performances are all about - terms like "aural exorcism", "shamanism", "butoh" or Artauds "theatre of cruelty" may be thrown in here to give vague hints. Not all of his records are brilliant, but quite a few are. The most brilliant available recording is not a CD though, it's his percussion video. In his own words, he is first and foremost a singer and poet, though... I think, he is an absolutely unique artist and person.

    there is one very good unofficial website:
    http://poisonpie.com/sounds/haino/index.html
     
  26. tomcat

    tomcat Tach

    Save some money, play it next time when you visit me (and im not working on a track using it at the moment ;-) ) and go to order one :)

    Fortunately it doesnt sound vintage .... its pity enough that too much people "wasting" there time to try to emulate software after the old well known stuff or to try to build circuits which sound exactly the same....

    Im happy about synths like the S1 or Sunsyn, especially because they sound different
     
  27. lacroix

    lacroix Tach

    HAINO Keiji is very different. I have seen him live four times. He's been playing since the seventies, he's probably THE representative of japanese free music. What he does is not easy to describe. He plays the g-instrument (wrong forum here, i know ;-)), but also percussion, a modified hurdy gurdy, drums, and electronics, among others. He does use loopers live, but in such a skilled way that results sound rather organic, not machine-like. I guess one has to see him on stage to get an idea what his performances are all about - terms like "aural exorcism", "shamanism", "butoh" or Artauds "theatre of cruelty" may be thrown in here to give vague hints. Not all of his records are brilliant, but quite a few are. The most brilliant available recording is not a CD though, it's his percussion video. In his own words, he is first and foremost a singer and poet, though... I think, he is an absolutely unique artist and person.

    there is one very good unofficial website:
    http://poisonpie.com/sounds/haino/index.html[/quote]

    Very very interesting link. Never heard of HAINO before. Great.

    Lacroix
     
  28. Moogulator

    Moogulator Admin

    to my ears, the S1 is not the same but comparable to some aspects of the serge modular, ..
    but do not take this too close, but you asked for a closer comparable "known" synths, but I wanted to come up with audios on this..

    The Serge has also the notion or tendency to "not sound instantly fat" but hi-ended.. roughly said, that does NOT mean you can't make cool basses.. but it is different comparted to other synths..

    viewtopic.php?t=15984&highlight=
     
  29. the S1 is an absolute wonderful synth - but as here already mentioned - may people buy it with worng expectations

    it's not not one of those synths u can turn on and have wonderful analog sound

    it small size dosn't show it's complicated and complex possibilities

    and it doesn't have it's very own typical sound - it's more a clean sound

    if u want it dirty, mean and powerful u have to know what u're doing

    i can only recommend this synth to anybody who is willing to spend time with it creating sounds
     
  30. tomcat

    tomcat Tach

    Here i do not agree....

    1. you can turn it on and have wonderful analog sound .... if you know how to ... cause no stored presets

    2. it has its own cwejman sound ... which is very clean cause of the osc & filter stability (over time and temp!) and can be very dirty when you overdrive the lp filter or use the distortion

    3. sure you need to know what you do ... cause its modular non preset. So for beginners its hard to get the first sounds ... even after some time you still find more possibilities. Imho its the same with every modular synth. If you know its easy to make it powerful, dirty is more easy ... distortion and overdrive :)
     

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