Synth Site: Miscellaneous: MK-1 S-2 Stage Performer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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Patrik from Sweden writes:
Its a wery good Instrument.I laughed when i read about the programming manual,so typical the Manager,probably Mr Franz.I worked for them for over 12 years so its typical.Today is it wery hard to get Manuals etc on older Wersi Instruments.Hopeless.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-05-2010 at 10:19
UserName a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
I bought two Wersi Performer second-hand. Good sound. Missing an manual. The coversheets, one magnetic, are a good help, but my Korg poly 800 is much more easyer to use. Greetings.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-11-2009 at 06:14
Sam Frantz a professional user from Lancaster PA writes:
Howdy, I reverse engineered the MK-1 in 1986 I believe while in the employ of Wersi, who I learned of from an ad for the MK-1 in Keyboard magazine. I was a CS major nearby and ran by and dropped off a resume, $6 an hour internship for programming new factory presets for the MK-1. Now you guys are gonna kill me, but I wrote a programming guide for that thing which was stuffed into every MK-1 that was shipped out for probably a year or so. I was actually told not to put those manuals into the boxes with the units as they ship. Reasoning was "we want to sell them the sounds". I tried to explain the importance of building a user base of hobbyists to promote the instrument, but the president was clear - they do not go in. The shipping guy and I disagreed, and I don't think any customers mentioned it :) but did they save their copies of this thing? I yi yi. I still recall some quirks. Like the amplitude envelope had one slider that was a release cutoff threshold of 128 or something, where if it was exactly that, you'd have sustain when you hold the keys down, if it was below that you'd get a percussive sound with 0-127 varying decay rates, if it was above 128 you'd get no sound at all! Hahahaha! That was like slider #7 or something. The German manuals were always horribly incomplete and almost a year out of date. Plus the work was done by people speaking English, the manuals were written in German, then translated back into English again.

One of my pet techniques to layer a percussive sound with a sharp downward frequency envelope to make the attack more enharmonic/complex. The MK-1 could get some very full warm bass tones. Those 32 harmonics, with the complex amplitude and frequency envelopes - it could be otherworldly. I have some recordings of my original pieces that use the instrument, demonstrating some of my sounds. No cartridges :( I should post mp3s somewhere.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-26-2008 at 11:56
Till "Qwave" Kopper a hobbyist user from Germany writes:
This synth is close to useless without the full manual. You need to dig deep into it to program additiv synthesis sounds yourself. My Wersi Stage Performer SII got 20 voices but only a single SSM 2044 filter. So it is using the filter paraphonic. Think Poly800. I know no one able to use the Sysex. Maybe it was never working at all. The available sound cartridges (20 sounds each) are ranging from real instrument sound-a-likes to pure digital heaven. Some well known Waldorf WAVE presets origin from this synth. Wolfram Franke of Waldorf was doing sounds for this synth before working as sound-designer for Waldorf. He made the cartridge #11. The Sounds Kling was later recreated on the WAVE and the microWave I and named Klingklang there. The sound Vox Humanum too. The inside is full of digital board plus the analog filter and the electronics of the Werse Voise Phase/Leslie and Ensemble FX. Some Stage Performer got a little digital preset delay build in. You can choose from several preset delay times and the FX amount by using knobs on the BACK of the keyboard. Of cause not programmable at all. The layer and split settings are not bad for those days. You an use up to four different sounds and layer and or split the keyboard. But only one split point for all sounds. Due to the analog Wersi Voice Ensemble FX and the rich string sound, you can get nice analog sounding string machine sounds. And the SSM filter gets some nasty distortion sound when using the overdrive mode from the programming matrix.

This is definitely nothing for normal synth users, unless you stick to presets. But then you won't get the special and unique sounds at all. Programming sounds is a real user-interface nightmare. Even with the manual on your lap and the special paper-labels to tell you what the user matrix setting gives you what parameters (only one level of more then 8 levels are labeled on the synth itself).

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-08-2008 at 07:31
ram a professional user from Australia writes:
Even now, in the year 2007, the EX-20 (rack version of the MK1) is a powerful synth - especially if fully populated with DSP cards and with a collection of a few cartridges.

It is a bit of a pain to program even if you have its full documentation and schematics. The power supply is too weak for a fully populated box and will need to have its transformer replaced with one with a higher current capacity (a Wersi design error).

Does anyone know of an external editor/librarian for this thing - ideally that would run under Linux? (Like I said, programming it is a pain.)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-25-2007 at 02:12
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