MK1 vs MK2 sound differences

Hey there,

I’m a MK1 owner who just bought a MK2. I’m kind of surprised they sound different. I mean if I’m not using new features, just raw synthesis and modulation, I immediately hear a difference. The MK1 is a lot snappier more resonant. The MK2 is not as granular or lively sounding.

Perhaps there’s a deep reset I can do which will calibrate the sound engine. I’d really hate to have to send the MK2 back. I’m such a huge fan.

So, I just spent a few hours playing with MK2. This model has a different sound. The audio rate XLFO mod of the 100% resonant filter is so snappy and almost sizzles on the MK1. I LOVE the sound of the mk1. MK2 is dull and not as complex sounding. It’s more tame? I don’t quite know how to explain it. The fizz from x-mod is gone. I was hoping this would be the same sound but more options (continuous automation yeah!!). But I’m bummed it is a step back. I wonder if a firmware update might help align it more with the unit I have in the future. Over the next few weeks, I’ll try and install the Patterns from mk1 to mk2 so that I can do a straight playback comparison.

I’d love to hear feedback from our lovely developer about this. Are they supposed to sound the same? and if they don’t how can I report this in a meaningful way? I don’t want to sound like some crank, but MK2 doesn’t sound as interesting as MK1.

LMK how I can help provide meaningful feedback.

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(I don’t have a Mk2 here, nor am I doubting you)
Are you talking about audio rate modulating the filter frequency?
Or audio rate modulating the filters resonance?
On the Mk1 (I just tried) I only just noticed that there are multiple high speeds when pushing the TYPE button. I wonder if thats whats missing (or reassigned) on the mk2?
The different speeds and shapes sound VERY different. I can’t believe I just noticed this!

Audio rate modulation of cutoff filter works the same way on both MK1 + MK2. The sound this modulation produces might be revealing aspects of the synth which are different. I’ve spent a lot of time on MK1, especially recently, and I bought a MK2 thinking I might swap it out with MK1 for an upcoming live performance. But now, I’m not sure I’d do that. The MK2 has a more tame, less granular sound. Unfortunately, to really nail the differences, I’d need to put the same banks on both devices and do a press-play demo. I think it would be unfair to have two recordings of just moving a knob around. That said, it would probably be enough for anyone familiar with the MK1 to notice a difference. I was a bit surprised. Even after repeatedly running the calibration procedure, I can hear a difference. It lacks the same sizzle that the MK1 has.

Also, as a MK1 owner, I have to say, I’m not super thrilled about the button changes. The soft buttons lack the confident click of the MK1. I’m getting used to it, but it is definitely less ideal. I must admit, I was critical of the SEQ buttons on the MK1 as well, since they are soft and lack good positive ‘click’ compared to say, the large chiclet buttons below. I’m sure I will get used to it, but my initial response was not as positive as expected. I do appreciate the compromise however, and as I get more into programming the 3D modulation, it think it will become less of an issue!

My primary issue now is they just don’t sound the same. Perhaps this is something that firmware update can improve over time? It would be nice to hear from Matthieu regarding the differences. It wouldn’t surprise me if he rewrote the entire engine for Mk2. What an ambitious project!

Hi @Eluxtria,
I was wondering have you tried the resonance calibration? Its a slightly different boot up key combo and the resonance peak is then set.

Just an idea.
I was wondering how you’ve been getting on with them both?
I was torn between mki and mkii and ended up going for the one, but would like to try the two maybe in the future.

Hi OneStepToo,

is it worth to change the resonance? I also have an MKI with the fantastic VCF. I miss the musical VCF resonance on the MKII. I would also try to change that now. As the MKI and MKII sound very different, one should have both versions. Both filters are unique in their own way.

Just in case someone missed it in the manual:

Resonance calibration

The maximum amount of resonance you want to get out of your synth is very subjective. Some people like very distorted self-oscillating resonance, others prefer no self-oscillation. On Mono it is possible to calibrate the maximum resonance level. To do so, turn off the synth, hold [TYPE] + [WAVE], and turn it back on. [PATTERN] and [RUN] LED will flash. You can play the synth normally and set the resonance at desired maximum level (best way is to turn down both osc levels, hold a note and increase resonance until you are happy with the self-oscillation level). When you’re done, press [RUN], the resonance maximum will be saved.

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oooooh yes, it is worth it. It took me 10 attempts before I hit the resonance point that was perfect for me. More resonance than in the factory setting but no distorted screeching. So there’s still room for improvement in the callibration without the resonance no longer sounding musical. About 1.2 mm below the end of the circle. For MK3, I would like to be able to set different types of resonance as a selection menu. This calibrating is too much try n error.

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Nice @emode !!
I haven’t tried it yet, I wanted to get use to it as factory , but I’ll give it a go.

Interesting it seems the two filters on mk1&2 are different then, if you feel so too.

I’m quite enjoying the mark one as there’s so much to get my teeth into already with the slightly simpler design.

Hey, sorry I haven’t responded here. I’ve had quiet and adventure with my Mk2. I now have a replacement unit and so going through it again to see how its working. I can’t seem to get the resonance calibration to work actually. When I follow the instructions for the Mk2 (different than mk1) the unit seems to boot up and does not flash the lights as indicated in documentation. I’m pretty sure it is not calibration. The analog architecture is probably completely new for mk2. Well, some day, I’ll put them both side by side, and run the same pattern/sound and you will know what I am talking about.

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Excellent @Eluxtria ,

Keep us informed. Especially with bugs on both models. People on Elektronauts have recommended keeping mk 1 on os 1.99 as its more stable.

Shame the updates seem quite slow from the company, slow support could reflect on sales and user confidence.

I have had very little issues with my Mk1. I’ve been using it live and it behaved flawlessly, even creating patterns on the fly.

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Oh cool.
What OS version are you rocking?

I’ve just rolled mine back to v1.9.9 and it seems stable so far.

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