No screen on Super 6 : Is it Ok or not Ok for daily use?

Hello here :slight_smile:

There is no screen on Super 6, but it has presets, arpeggio, sequencer and Midi CC.
Isn’t this annoying for the use of some functions ? For example :

  • Fine tune the TEMPO value ? :thinking:
  • Modify Super 6 settings ?
  • Manage Super 6 controls automations from an external MIDI device, such as a groovebox (Akai MPC) ? How to know the current/default value of a control ? :face_with_monocle:
  • How to know the “current” value of a control (knobs, sliders) if you want to edit a “preset” patch ?

How to you perform these tasks without screen ?

Thank you

Regards

Denony

  • Fine tune the TEMPO value ? : it’s probably possible to get pretty good at matching the tempo by ear to your track, although in all likelihood it would not be 100% tight and might drift a little bit. If you are sequencing it via midi through your DAW, then this is not a problem in the slightest: you simply engage the SYNC parameter.
  • Modify Super 6 settings ? again, it takes some time to get used to but becomes muscle memory if you play it everyday (and given that you are interested enough in posting these questions, you must be taken by the S6’s sound, which is a delight: wanting to play on it everyday is easy if you love it. Also, you did not specify which settings that you mean. A lot of the global settings, for me at least, only need to be set once and then you are good.
  • Manage Super 6 controls automations from an external MIDI device, such as a groovebox (Akai MPC) ? How to know the current/default value of a control ? This would probably be very painstaking to try and do with a ‘hardware’ sequencer like a groovebox. I would not recommend this, although I am sure it can be done and done well with some time and patience. Doing this with a DAW would be infinitely easier and would get better results in my opinion. I use Ableton, although I find myself doing automation very seldom. The S6, to a greater degree than a lot of other synths, is a performance instrument. I prefer to get a sequence going and then jamming on it, changing parameters, performing with the sliders and knobs etc., while recording. Listen back after you are done and select the best results and print those to a new audio track. No automation needed.
  • How to know the “current” value of a control (knobs, sliders) if you want to edit a “preset” patch ? If you check out the forum here, one of the users made a comprehensive editor for the the S6 and spent a lot of time and effort doing so. I have not checked it out yet, but I believe that with the editor you could probably do this.

Overall, it sounds like the S6 might not be the best fit for you, because the lack of the screen does make all of these things that you have questions about somewhat difficult and potentially cumbersome. If you love the sound of it, though, I would try one out and also think more about the potential positives that come from not having a screen, no visual feedback between you and the sound that you are after. As many other users on the forum have noted, the synth is very special in that the design/signal flow is very thrifty, no frills, yet the possibilities for fresh and pleasing sounds are staggering. The way in which parameters interact with one another and how the design layout facilitates this is something special. I do not mean to sound rude in saying this, but your questions indicate that you are focusing more on what the synth is not than what it is. I say this respectfully, though, for all of these things are definitely important and practical concerns when buying a new instrument. Good luck!

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Hello @decibalcoop

Thank you very much for your detailed and interesting reply. :blush:
Your answers confirm what I thought. The lack of screen will complicate my use of the Super 6.
It bothers me because I really like the sounds of the Super 6 demos I hear on Youtube :heart_eyes:. I don’t know what to do: to buy or not to buy a Super 6 Desktop ? :thinking:

Regards

Denony

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There weren’t any screens on any synths until about 40 years ago. I’m sure you’ll get on just fine! :slight_smile:

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I’ll say I’m lucky enough to have a Super6 right above a Moog One, and I owned a Rev2 before the Moog. So the entire time I’ve had the Super6, I had another analog polyphonic synthesizer with a screen in the same room.

The only time I really miss having a screen is during patch selection. I have to keep a patch sheet nearby with notes about what patches are in what memory slot and whether I have any non-standard modulations mapped in the preset. On the Rev2 or the One, I can either name a patch such that I’ll remember that kind of thing or put it in patch notes, so all of that is right there in the synth as I’m browsing patches.

In use, actually doing sound design, I find I don’t miss the screen very much at all. It is a very different way of working to be sure, but I can get stuff done faster on the Super6, even if I often end up at a simpler place. By comparison, I can dive deep into altering envelope shapes and filter mixes and more on the Moog One to get the exact sound I’m after, but the downside is making a single patch with only one layer can take me 45 minutes to get just right. In 45 minutes I can make 3 or 4 sounds that feel complete on the Super6. The Rev2 felt similar, though less extreme than the Moog - to get the sound I wanted I could have a bit more control with the screen, but it takes time to do that and takes longer to make really good sounds.

So I would frame the question as “do I need the screen in order to help me access deeper control over the sound?”. I would argue if you already have software synthesizers you’re happy with, then the answer is “no”. You can always go to something like Pigments (or even Vital for free, which even has multiphase stereo LFOs just like the Super6) if you feel you need the deeper control. The Super6 excels more as an immediate, simple synthesizer that sounds pretty good. It has some deeper functionality, but I rarely use anything that isn’t on the front panel myself, and I feel I still get enough out of the synth to make me happy.

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For me, “no screen”’ actually works better. I dread the synth honeymoon phase where I make and name maybe 10-20 presets. Then for the next few weeks, I keep staring at those same names, and I end up feeling stuck.

That’s why I factory reset a lot of my gear to feel new again. Heck, a few of my synths here can’t save anything at all, even better!

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Yes, and if you delete all the presets from your S6 and delete the InitPreset, it always boots in Manual mode, so the knob positions ARE where they are supposed to be. I’ve had mine like this for a while now, and it’s a joy. If I do want to save something (rarely) I just save it to the hard drive via USB.

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