Which Play+ synth patches do you come back to often? What's your favorites? Fills not as great?

I’d like to open up a subjective discussion around the synths on the Play+.

I’m still trying to “get comfortable” with implementing them. I find I can come up with really interesting drums and beats with the primary sample-based features of the Play+, but the synths are so hit-or-miss based on the sound of the track I’m working on. I often feel like none of the patches hit home.

I also find Fills with synths cumbersome, because so many of the fills will reset the synth of the track I have selected (even if it’s Midi out!), so I find I can’t really use fills for synths a all. I’ve gotten more comfortable with scale filters and the piano roll as a consequence :slight_smile:

I’m curious if anyone has developed an affinity for certain patches. You could call them favorites. Or just the synth patches you’ve set as your defaults?

I make my own mostly. I enjoy experimenting. but personally I absolutely adore the synth engines. I get the feeling polyend are into very similar music to me. having basically an Sh101 & a juno on my play+ & tracker mini with that lush reverb is musical heaven for me. every time I turn them on I’m like wow :heart:

I must say tho I think the stock presets are amazing. some of the best around imo


This is encouraging to hear! I find the endeavor somewhat intimidating. Do you start on init, program your steps and then start tweaking until you like what you hear?

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I’d recommend grab any general sound, write a melody/sequence, then go thru the presets till you land on something more suited to the vibe, and then tweak that to your liking.

defo easier than starting from scratch.

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@hey.erc — curious where you’ve landed on this topic after some time.

I’m coming to the Play+ from the OP-Z (and no synth / groovebox experience previously). While the Play’s synths are objectively more beautiful and diverse…I’m having a harder time getting inspired with sounds that sit nicely together and inspire me to create. I’m getting amazing propulsive inspiration from the sample / percussion side, but less so with the synths. It’s only a couple weeks in though and I’m guessing it’s growing pains.

Wondering if / how you made the turn.

The experiential difference between the sequencer and synth sides of the Play+ are I think where I got stuck too. Former is fast and iterative, the other is more exploratory and nuanced, and most of the knobs imply affinity toward the sequencer and less toward the synths (though I understand they were developed more or less in parallel and the first Play was limited by component availability at the time).

As I’ve turned the rest of my mix DOWN, the synths have started to shine for me a bit more. Try generating some chord and bass fills with sampled synths from a pack, and when you like the sound, try to find the closest match and paste the sequence into your synth sequencer. It’s a lot of tweaking though, for sure.

Also, re-read the descriptions of the synths and try to internalize what they might be best at. ACD always sounds like pure techno to me, FAT is my go-to for its richness, VAP for texture and pads, and WTFM for pads mostly. Then when you’re hunting for a certain sound, at least you can whittle it down by engine.

Lovely tips thanks. Especially finding the music in the sample mode and then copying the steps over to the synth side.

I’ve also been spending some time just jamming live with the synths via an external keyboard. No sequencing at all — just spending time getting to know the synth sounds. It’s been inspiring. Because as you say, the sequencing is just so fun and immediate that my instinct is to dive in. But the synths need a slightly different mind and understanding before they really pay off.

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