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#2434920 - 08/28/12 05:29 PM Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what?
scottasin Offline
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Registered: 01/06/07
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Loc: Fort Collins CO
So I'm looking to get add/switch a synth in my rig. Right now I've got a microkorg (which I'm not too fond of attempting to program) and a Korg Delta (which sounds good for what it can do, which is not very much). I'm thinking I'll sell the Delta and try to replace it with a GAIA or Ion, or something else in that range ($500-$800). I really want something with lots of knobs/sliders so I can do easy on the fly tweaking and programming. My first thoughts are the ones I mentioned, but is there anything else in that range that is knobby? As far as use goes, big trippy swirling pads, heavy lead sounds, and general analog synth type stuff.

(I know theres already an Ion thread on the front page, but I think this is its own discussion)

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#2434924 - 08/28/12 05:47 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: scottasin]
timwat Offline
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Seems to me there's a balance between "knobby" and actual sound. No sense shelling out $$ for a knobby synth that sounds meh. The first thing that pops in my head when you mention knobby, around $800 and GAIA/Ion is a used Nord Lead 2x. No effects, no arpeggiator, but (IMO) would sound better than either of the choices you've mentioned.

Other options that might be worth demo'ing prior to making a purchase decision:

Ultranova
Mopho
Tetra
Blofeld
Venom
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#2434925 - 08/28/12 05:56 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: scottasin]
AnotherScott Online   content
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If you're looking at used stuff (which the Ion would be), if you like the micorkorg sound but not the programming interface, you could also look at an MS-2000.

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#2434927 - 08/28/12 06:11 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: AnotherScott]
zapper Offline
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Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 281
you could consider also novation ultranova, korg r3, akai miniak.

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#2434928 - 08/28/12 06:20 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: AnotherScott]
CEB Online   content
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Something like this?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Korg-Radias-/280946693031?pt=Keyboards_MIDI&hash=item4169ba53a7

or

With the keyboard would probably break your budget.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Korg-RADIAS-Synt...=item20c9f2ff05

I would hunt down a used Nord or Radias at your budget.

The Gaia seems too harsh to my ears.


Edited by CEB (08/28/12 06:23 PM)
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#2434934 - 08/28/12 06:55 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: CEB]
CEB Online   content
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Maybe a Yamaha AN1X ot CS6x would be available and cool axe for your needs...... Roland JD800 may be OK.


Edited by CEB (08/28/12 07:40 PM)
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#2434941 - 08/28/12 07:38 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: CEB]
mate_stubb Offline
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I MUCH prefer the sound of Ion over Gaia. It's not even close.
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#2434946 - 08/28/12 08:26 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: mate_stubb]
Moonglow Offline
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Casio XW-P1
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#2435147 - 08/29/12 02:42 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: Moonglow]
scottasin Offline
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Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 502
Loc: Fort Collins CO
I'm not really seeing anything in my range as far as Nord Leads go, but the Radias modules seem to be reasonable. Of course, alongside it I'd have to get a MIDI controller of some sort, which would bump the cost at least $100, but that seems to be the best option I'm looking at right now. What would you guys suggest as far as a relatively simple MIDI keyboard? It looks like the Radias has all the controls it needs on the front, so I'm really just looking for 49 or 61 keys for cheap that won't break on me.

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#2435154 - 08/29/12 03:18 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: scottasin]
timwat Offline
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Registered: 11/21/01
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FWIW, I'm routinely seeing used Nord Leads going for ~$800, and the rack version for less than that. I've always been impressed with how immediate that synth feels under the hands, and love my Wave. Just a thought.

As far as MIDI controllers, opinions will vary but I really like my Novation 61SL (the older original version). Now that the MKII has been out a while, I see the original for sale on craigslist all the time.
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#2435159 - 08/29/12 03:42 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: timwat]
scottasin Offline
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Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 502
Loc: Fort Collins CO
I also just found one of these on the local Craigslist. Any of you have experience with the Doepfer DarEnergy?

http://denver.craigslist.org/msg/3199988035.html

I'm also checking out the Blofeld, and it seems like a pretty powerful synth, and a used one could be in my range. What are your thoughts on them?


Edited by scottasin (08/29/12 03:54 PM)

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#2435162 - 08/29/12 04:14 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: scottasin]
allan_evett Offline
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Scott, I've been checking out the Blofeld via youtube, audio examples, etc.. It's a lot of synth in a compact package. Impressive for the $$$. If I wanted a high powered, comprehensive VA -and budget was not a constraint - the Access Virus appears to be an extremely powerful tool. But even their cheapest - the Virus Snow Ti2 tabletop module - ranges from $1300 - $1500.

For what you're trying to do, the Blofeld will more than do the job. I remember seeing one, used, about a week ago; can't recall where, at the moment. IIRC, it was priced at $450.
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#2435166 - 08/29/12 05:24 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: allan_evett]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 1973
Loc: San Francisco
I've had the Gaia for awhile. Actually, I had one, sold it, then later picked up another one used. No, it's not the fattest synth, even in it's price range. The Ion, as far as I can remember it, sounded better. The Ultranova sounds way better. But I really liked the hands-on easiness of the Gaia. I played lots of shows with it and no one ever said "hey, that synth doesn't sound very good." What mattered most to me was that I could quickly create the sounds I needed.
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#2435167 - 08/29/12 05:29 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: Adan]
Adan Offline
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Loc: San Francisco
. . . just checking out that other thread. The MiniNova looks very good!
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#2435182 - 08/29/12 07:16 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: scottasin]
Bucktunes Offline
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Posts: 1368
Loc: Quincy, Illinois,UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: scottasin
I'm also checking out the Blofeld, and it seems like a pretty powerful synth, and a used one could be in my range. What are your thoughts on them?


It is indeed a beast of a synth, and I think you'll find the sound blows away both the GAIA and the Ion. I've expressed my fondness for the Blofeld in the "Turning German" thread, so I may seem a bit biased... laugh

The module is within your price range, but the keyboard version will cost you a few more bills unless you can find one secondhand. It's not as knobby as some VAs, but the OS is pretty easy to navigate, especially with the display. And at any given time you've got 6 knobs available for tweaking. I was able to tweak patches easily the first time I played with it, and I'm no guru! laugh

Anyway, that's my .02. If you play it, you will like it! smile
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#2435286 - 08/30/12 12:37 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: Bucktunes]
scottasin Offline
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Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 502
Loc: Fort Collins CO
So really its between the Radias and Blofeld for me right now. I'm not sure which to go for without getting a chance to try either, and seeing as no music stores in the area would have either, I'm kinda stuck. I really like the knobiness of the Radias, but aside from that I'm not too sure how they compare sound-wise. I see the Radias only has 2 oscillators per voice rather than three, does that cut down on the sound significantly in your opinions? What about the depth of synthesis/modulation options? Are both of them pretty versatile synths? What kind of sounds are each one more known for?

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#2435293 - 08/30/12 12:57 PM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: scottasin]
johnchop Offline
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Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 1525
Loc: Georgia, US
scottasin,

Some of your questions can be answered by the manuals:

Blofeld
RADIAS

I had the RADIAS expansion card in my Korg M3, and while not quite the same (the RADIAS is reportedly even richer), I absolutely loved the sound. It could go from warm to nasty. Lots of interesting modulation options+effects.

I can't imagine you'd be _limited_ by either.

-John
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#2435390 - 08/31/12 06:02 AM Re: Roland GAIA vs Alesis Ion vs what? [Re: johnchop]
therealvicz Offline
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Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 337
Loc: Shropshire, UK
There are some good Radias videos on Youtube including this one


and this


I have both the rack unit and the M3 card. The rack is 4 part multi timbal, the M3 card only one part, but you can stack up to four of them in a combi, so effectively the only difference is the knobbage.

It also comes with a decent editor programme for Mac or PC.

There is also good info in the Korg Radias Forum
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