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Reply To: Getting my first analog synth – what to try with H9?

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First off, congratulations.  Good choice.  Don’t let anyone kid you that you can’t do some amazing … er, stuff with a 25-key mono.  Practice the octave switches & wheels, just like you would any other keyboard technique.

Now, coupled with an H9, or two?  Where do I begin?  The sky is the limit, but here’s a start:

MIDI Sync the two units together.  One cable.  Probably with the ‘Brute as the ‘master’, and the H9 as ‘slave’.  You’ll thank me later.  The arpeggiator, all rates on any algo, LFOs on both ends … synchronized together.  MIDI control is another giant ‘rabbit hole’ to dive into, but sync is the barest essential.

Synths usually skimp on standard post-processing effects, if they’re there at all.  So the obvious fattening choices, like delay, or reverb, make good starting points.  Here’s a rule of thumb that helps with clarity:

  • Complex synth patch = simpler H9 patch
  • Simpler synth patch = complex H9 preset.

You have a ton of waveform processing & motion available in that synth.  Too much post-processing can mask that out.  For example, a flute-like triangle wav could use BlackHole, but a Metalizer or supersaw-based patch might be better off in a Room.  “Rules” are made to be broken, but sometimes … you just need to increase an H9 MIX parameter until you barely hear the added effect, then back it off a tad.

As for the H9 multi-effect algorithms (like SpaceTime), you really have to treat them like an extension of the synth itself.  Another ‘module’ that you plugged into the synth.  Myself, I’m rather partial to the PitchFactor algorithms with synths.  Those algorithms either add something that most synths won’t do, or enhance a similar parameter, or feature, found in both units.

Here are a couple links on how I’ve been using the PitchFactor, long before I acquired my H9s: