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Rocommend a synth? #2974267 02/07/19 03:07 PM
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Old geezer here. i missed the entire synth era and frankly after reading for months i sometimes don't even understand the conversations. I just play at home,and currently have an A100 and leslie and a Hammond SK1-73. I'd like to experiment with a synth but have no idea what to buy. Is there anything used under a $1000 that is recent vintage and is a good value? Prefer semi=weighted and presets as opposed to lots of menu diving. If new is better, I could go up to $2000. There is a Dave Smith Prophet Rev/2 semi local to me for sale but I dunno how user friendly those are. Thanks

KC Island
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974273 02/07/19 03:14 PM
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Ok, so it has to have a keyboard (no module) and I assume it should have full-size keys.

I'm also going to assume you want something polyphonic.

Does it have to be able to play more than one sound simultaneously?

The Rev/2 would keep you busy for years, assuming you like the basic sound character.

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: johnchop] #2974275 02/07/19 03:29 PM
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I would suggest starting with whatever music you like and see what synths they were playing when they recorded those records. For better or worse, your idea of what a synth is supposed to sound like is probably already formed...

Buying used is fine. I've bought the majority of my stuff used and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

YouTube is your friend. There are demo clips of nearly anything you could ask for out there and it will save you boodles of money not to buy something that won't sound right to you. In my case, the Dave Smith synths just don't work. That's not to say that they won't work for you. My point is that you can listen to a dozen demos and have some idea of what the thing sounds like before you plunk down your hard-earned cash.

Consult Reverb and eBay to see what various models typically sell for so you don't get fleeced.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: GRollins] #2974284 02/07/19 03:49 PM
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Depending on the type of sounds you are after, I'm a big fan of the Access Virus. Very "knobby", you can do many things on the front menu. A little out of your range unless you buy used. I've been looking around myself for a Virus C (a bit older) as you can pick these up way more cheaply than the newer ones, and they aren't all that different in basic sound and programming IMO.

If you do buy used, and are in the US, I love Guitar Center used. They ship cheaply, and you can return it locally within 30 days. That is huge. 30 days to find some issue or flaw that you didn't notice when looking at it out in a parking lot somewhere after talking to someone on Craigslist.

I recently started peeking around myself and the synth market has really taken off. Not that I care that much about this, but there are "actual analog" keyboards around again in the first time since...forever? grin Behringer Deepmind would be one of the cheaper ones. Korg Prologue, Dave Smith Rev 2 have been a couple I've heard are very nice. The Roland JD-xa recently caught my eye.

Edit: I see you mentioned the Rev 2. If I needed strictly synth tones right now I'd be looking strongly at that. I love the Prophet tones and I've heard this is a winner. Also, the keys are supposed to be top notch (this is something I really love about the Virus as well).

If you mean "synth" in the general sense and not strictly "synthesizer" then there are more options, with varying degrees of control "out in the open". Do you have some specific sounds/genres you might be going after?

Last edited by Stokely; 02/07/19 03:51 PM.
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974289 02/07/19 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: dfcas
Prefer semi=weighted and presets as opposed to lots of menu diving.

As stokley alluded to, people classify different kinds of boards as "synths." If you mean synthesizer in the classic sense, action will almost certainly be unweighted or semi-weighted (not fully weighted/hammer), and the choice would not be between presets and menu-diving, but rather menu-diving vs. direct controls. Boards with menu diving will have presets. Boards with direct control may or may not have presets.

All the other comments here are filled with good ideas/questions to try to narrow down what you're looking for.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: AnotherScott] #2974325 02/07/19 07:21 PM
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Get a controller like the new rev of Arturia KeyLab MK2, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol, etc. and do your synth learning in software.

You'll not only get your fix, but you can get a big old bag of synths in the Arturia V Collection 6 for a few hundred bucks and have the experience of your DX7, Jupiter, Buchla, CMI Fairlight, Moog, ARP, Synclavier, Prophet, CS-80, Solina, etc. and entertain yourself for an eternity.

Would I ever need or buy a Buchla Easel? Of course not. Is it hella lotta fun to have this in software. Yes it is! And for the price of my beer money.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: AnotherScott] #2974331 02/07/19 07:31 PM
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I encourage the idea of a used Dave Smith Prophet '08, a 61-note instrument. Prophets tend to come with a generous number of useful presets straight from the box. You get enough knobs that you can easily learn the major moves you'll want to make most often. Tweaking the filter for a brighter sound or adding a little time to an envelope's decay and release for a longer fade-out will become second nature. I politely advise against the Roland JD-Xa, as its a hybrid synth that calls for a little more programming experience to apply readily. The new Yamaha MODX is retailing at $1299, to great reviews. Its heart is a touchscreen that's easy to use and it sports just enough of the right knobs and sliders, IMO. As a serious organist with some SK use under your belt, I suspect you'll make the connection between playing drawbars and playing knobs more readily than you might think right now. Don't buy a used instrument that's too close to "vintage," as they often have expensive repair issues due to age, just like us. facepalm

I don't think you really want a totally analog instrument as much as a ROMpler (Read Only Memory), which offers samples of both acoustic and electronic sounds. While there is always a lively debate about the nature and quality of sound-production methods, ROMplers often come with a few permanently assigned knobs and then some which are user-assignable. The MODX could add choirs, bells and the like to your organ palette, while those knobs would teach you the basics of synthesis. Its win-win for newbies. Whatever you buy, don't be too daunted, because we all embrace the complexities until we find the right personal zone. The goal isn't necessarily to become a technical expert, but to expand your own musical range. I envy you a bit, because you're about to have the great rush of fun that comes from the newness of it. I wish you good luck as you proceed. thu


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: David Gillman] #2974348 02/07/19 08:48 PM
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If Yamaha makes a MX49/61, but with Montage sounds, I’d recommend it.
Let’s see,
What kind of music do you make?
What synth sounds do you want?
I’d recommend either a MODX-6, Juno DS-61, FA-06, or Korg Krome 61.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: johnchop] #2974435 02/08/19 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: johnchop
The Rev/2 would keep you busy for years, assuming you like the basic sound character.


thu

I agree that the Rev2 should be on your list of synths to try. It has an effects section, so it's the complete package.

Because you play an A100, consider an analog polysynth with one knob per function. Ideally it would have some reverb or delay effect in it (because it's less complicated for you if the effects are built in).

A second synth could be a complex digital synth, but I think you want to start with one-knob-per-function analog (with presets). If you are ok with a "mere" monosynth ... perhaps you should consider the iconic Moog/Hammond combination? (There's the Grandmother and Sub37 for example. The Grandmother has a spring reverb, but no presets.)


(Corey Henry with Hammond and Moog Voyager. The Moog speaks at 3.15)



Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Tusker] #2974465 02/08/19 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: JerryA

Because you play an A100, consider an analog polysynth with one knob per function. Ideally it would have some reverb or delay effect in it (because it's less complicated for you if the effects are built in).


Sorry ... that's a cryptic sentence. Let me explain. Presumably, on the Hammond, you have trained your body to press certain knobs and switches and feel/hear the difference in sound as you play. You might often feel a particular type of emotion when swelling on the pedal, or pulling out a certain set of drawbars. I do.

A one-knob-per-function synth will be the most natural outgrowth of that way of playing. Therefore you will have a much more musical experience bonding with a Rev 2 (which is pretty close to one-knob-per-function) than a Deepmind 12 (which has sliders for many functions but requires menu diving), and you will have a better time with the Deepmind 12 (or 6) than you would with a Yamaha MODX (a fantastic synth, for someone else.). You will have a wider tonal pallet in the presets of the MODX, than in the presets of the other two ... but the other two will have a wide enough tonal pallet to radically extend what you do on the Hammond.

Ditto for any mono-synths you may consider. Hope this helps.

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Tusker] #2974556 02/08/19 05:13 PM
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I would say..

Behringer model D..

Its affordable, its basically a minimoog, still the mother of all monosynths to me..
A great instrument to start your travels in the world of synthesis.
And you have enough money left to buy a deepmind 12 to controll it..

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974565 02/08/19 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: dfcas
Old geezer here. i missed the entire synth era and frankly after reading for months i sometimes don't even understand the conversations.


The big unanswered question here is do you want to learn? Or do you just want to play presets?

If the answer is the latter, anything that sounds good to you will work. If you want to learn the basics of subtractive analog synthesis, the Rev2 isn't bad - but there are even simpler synths to learn on such as...

Nord Lead! rimshot (actually being serious this time) laugh


A casual cruise of the local CL revealed a used Rev2 for just $1100 - and that's asking price and it's been there for awhile. I think you probably could get one for under $1000 - which is your stated goal. A Rev2 is a lot of synth for a grand. Don't think you could go wrong with one.

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: KorgyPorky] #2974622 02/08/19 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky
I would say..

Behringer model D..

Its affordable, its basically a minimoog, still the mother of all monosynths to me..
A great instrument to start your travels in the world of synthesis.
And you have enough money left to buy a deepmind 12 to controll it..


I know it's the 'B-word' but I agree. I played the Deepmind 12 and it's an affordable (and wiser) answer to the 106, plus added bang for the buck. This part of the B Company is making some decent stuff, hat's off to them. I own their Model D and have an orig Model D in studio, the comparisons came down to such minutia it's not worth discussing.

Pair the Deepmind with their Model D and you can do much damage (and save a lot of $)

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Bill H.] #2974628 02/08/19 09:32 PM
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I amend my earlier suggestion to add the Rev2 to the idea of the '08. Its earned a good reputation. JerryA isn't wrong about the MODX, but its 4 knobs and 4 sliders are not an unreasonable compromise. They're a cross between preset and assignable. You may feel okay with that or prefer a more knob-per-function instrument. Its a bit hard to decide on a new tool, in a good way, because there are very few truly bad choices now.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: David Gillman] #2974691 02/09/19 02:42 AM
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A used Jupiter 80 would also be a nice introduction.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Synthaholic] #2974697 02/09/19 03:36 AM
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Don’t forget about the Prophet 08. Used prices are pretty fair and it’s also a lot of synth for the money. Rev 2 for a little more.

Personally I really like the Novation Peak, but you’d need a controller.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974727 02/09/19 11:48 AM
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Seems the OP hasn't returned yet. idk


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Synthoid] #2974733 02/09/19 12:26 PM
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...which leaves us in a rather one-sided discussion.

It's hard to make suggestions when you're not getting feedback or answers to your questions.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: GRollins] #2974734 02/09/19 12:32 PM
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Then, this is your open thread.

Groove vs pocket. Same thing?

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974736 02/09/19 12:34 PM
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Depends how much lint is in the pocket.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: ksoper] #2974741 02/09/19 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: ksoper
Then, this is your open thread.

Groove vs pocket. Same thing?


Why not post that where it counts? There’s nothin’ like a Saturday morning can o’ worms.


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: drawback] #2974749 02/09/19 01:07 PM
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Forget ROMplers. You have that covered. For one knob per function analog or virtual analog I would suggest a used DSI or Access Virus. Or maybe a Behringer Deepmind 12.

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Synthoid] #2974772 02/09/19 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Depends how much lint is in the pocket.



Silly me...I thought Lent was down closer to Easter, certainly not before Valentine's...

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: RABid] #2974790 02/09/19 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: RABid
Forget ROMplers. You have that covered. For one knob per function analog or virtual analog I would suggest a used DSI or Access Virus. Or maybe a Behringer Deepmind 12.


As said, behringer deepmind12+ model D and you have both polo as mono synths covered.. for about €1000...

You will not find a DSI synth for that money.. atleast not the ones you would want...

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: KorgyPorky] #2974804 02/09/19 03:47 PM
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I'm still here and reading. The used Rev2 seems to have sold, so that may change the calculus. I'm reading and learning from you guys but I have nothing intelligent to offer.

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974806 02/09/19 04:01 PM
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1) What kind of music appeals to you?
2) Who played on the album and what did s/he play?
3) If you're hearing a sound in your head that you can't find on an album, do your best to describe it.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: GRollins] #2974814 02/09/19 05:23 PM
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Another way to get your feet wet with very little cash outlay is to get Syntronik. If you have an ipad, you can buy the app very cheaply, they even have a free download with restricted functionality. You can generate some massive soundscapes with it, because unlike mono-timbral synths, this app can play 4 sounds at once, mapped across the keyboard as desired. And the effects are killer.

The onscreen display gives you most of the knobs of a knobby synth, and allows you to play with many different sounding synths, and change up the filter as desired. That way you can learn a bit more about how subtractive synthesis works, how important effects are to the final sound, and start developing your ear for what you like and don't like about the synth sound. For easy chair auditioning, it doesn't get much better- sit down with an iPad in your lap, hook up the headphone out (or dongle) to a speaker, and audition sounds, adjust parameters, etc. A cheap, used 37 or 49 note controller, as little as $100-$150 new, or less if you buy used, makes this auditioning of sounds more enjoyable than just playing the iPad onscreen keyboard.

For myself I really don't like how piercing/shrill the high end of many synth sounds are, but you can tame with the filter cutoff and eq. The presets of many sounds on Syntronik sound like they were made for EDM, most of which are a turn off to me.

The problem with a well-endowed program like Syntronik, is there's a couple of thousand presets! Same goes for many soft synths out there that need a controller. Learning to hear what you like and don't like is an education in and of itself, esp as many of the sounds are bizarre and not in the usual pallette of music colors. There are many resources on the web for learning subtractive synthesis, some of which start very simply and train your ear for understanding what you're hearing, so you know how to adjust the sound.

Are you interested in learning about it?

Randy


Last edited by Randelph; 02/09/19 05:26 PM.

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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: Randelph] #2974826 02/09/19 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: Randelph
Another way to get your feet wet with very little cash outlay is to get Syntronik.



Or Audiokit Synth One


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Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: drawback] #2974916 02/10/19 01:13 PM
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I don't have good eyesight so I don't think I want to try an iPad solution. Also, I'm just not attracted to it as I don't want to play a computer:) I'm more interested in a hardware solution and I'm investigating a Nord A1. Is it user friendly?

One of the things I like about my SK1 is I can use the 10 presets or the drawbars and never have to use the screen.

Re: Rocommend a synth? [Re: dfcas] #2974917 02/10/19 01:24 PM
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Then, I wonder if a Roland Juno DS61 might be the answer!


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