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reidmc

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A rock/hip-hop hybrid guitar band I know may add a laptop/turntable/effects guy to their band, and would like him to be able to play a few synth bits live: a few bass notes, a pad or two and the occasional lick. No keyboard in the band and the new guy, who can play a bit, knows nothing about synths.

 

My hands-on synth experience stopped in the early 80s. So. . .any suggestion of a compact analog polyphonic synth that would be $300-800 used would be great. 3-4 octave fine as are mini-keys. And they don't need anything that is current. (Reliability is way more important.) And relative to today's sonic palette, the more unique the sounds they'd be likely to pull out, the better, so some odd vintage piece fine, too.

 

Thanks!

 

Reid

"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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Casio XW-P1. Available next month... $499.

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-011mhLVNKzw/Tw8dGMLcK0I/AAAAAAADuW8/HljssQLcAGQ/s1600/casio_xw-p1-1.jpg

 

Google it, read the specs & watch the videos. Huge bang for the buck.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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The ones below are polyphonic (necessary for pads), meet the cost/size criteria and have enough knobs to help a noobie tweak sounds. I don't have any experience with these except the X-Station.

 

New:

 

Korg R3

Novation UltraNova

Roland GAIA SH-01

Casio XW-P1 (coming soon)

 

Used:

 

Novation X-Station

Alesis Ion

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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i second the karma suggestion (triton without sequencing(song building) or sampling(turning short recordings into synth sounds), but say get the triton x50 for the same $350ish cause it has the extended triton rom sounds and is newer so will be less beat up. it's basically their last call for tritons b4 they left that engine for the whole new soundsets. noting compares to the triton soundset to me. the 'combo' patches that play drums and whole loops and layerd sounds, as much as i think pre-made stuff takes away from creativity, are really good for getting ideas/newb jamming. but if not a rompler and want a knobby techno type synth, you can't go wrong with a jp-8000 plus maybe an innexpensive distortion and reverb effects boxes, cause it don't have them but will greatly broaden the sound. jp8k screams play me more than most synths i think.
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MicroX is very portable and 25 full-size keys. I like the soundset better than the X50 (32mb are identical, 32mb are different).

 

I hooked up my X50 last week for the first time in a while. Combis still sound pretty good. The Keybed has to be one of the worst ever made, but it's an impressive synth for the money.

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Great suggestions. Thanks!

 

I'll be checking the specs and used avails on some of these.

 

Any chance one could load into any of these boxes some sound cues for live triggering: movie dialogue, sampled vinyl, found sounds etc?

"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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Yes, the MicroX's soundset is way better than X50/TR if hip hop and electronica is your style - half of the memory (32 MB) is filled lot's of cool drums and sound fx. A very powerful synth for the money!

No possibility to load custom samples though. The new Casio might do the trick though, but not the XW-P1 mentioned above - for this style of music you'll probably want the Casio XW-G1 instead:

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XWG1

 

Only downside I see: 1) not available yet. 2) not exactly small and compact

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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To answer your question about live triggering / sound cues - non of the above (except XW-G1) has a sample memory for your own sounds. You might want to consider a dedicated box for that.

 

A nice combo here, I think, would be a Korg R3 (virtual analog with vocoder) and something like a Korg Kaoss Pad 3 for samples and strange effects. Downside - a bit out of the specified budget, if you can't find a good deal on used ones. If the R3 is to expensive, there's also the cheaper MicroKorg XL which has the same engine and most of the features R3 has, but in a smaller, cheaper package.

 

R3:

[video:youtube]

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R3/

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/microKorgXL/

 

Kaoss Pad 3 pro:

[video:youtube]

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KP3

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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Thanks again to all, esp. Mr. Tobbe.

 

This thread + more thought has helped me focus the need question for my friends. They need, in priority order: ability to store and manipulate speech, sfx and music samples, a few useful preset pads that can be efxd and stored for live recall plus a bit of shallow (vs deep) synth capability but not much. And they need it all in one plastic box or one small + one micro box well suited for live performance.

 

So. . . .I plan to send them out to check out:

 

Used Korg Karma

Korg KP3 + Microkorg or Microkorg SL (and then try to find used)

 

My only concern about all this Korg is that they will end up finding and using a lot of the same sounds and effects that are already overused. That may be fine for them, as they are using the sounds in a guitar-based indie-rock context (and not in a dance or electronica or sound design context), but it would be cool if they could find a more obscure equivalent of the Karma, or a Microkorg equivalent they could use with the KP3. It would seem however, that most options would give them way more rompler or synth capability than they need, and likely in a bigger box than they need.

 

Again, many thanks for the help. And I welcome any additional suggestions and obervations.

"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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So. . . .I plan to send them out to check out:

 

Used Korg Karma

Korg KP3 + Microkorg or Microkorg SL

 

I wouldn't expect to find a used Korg Karma just sitting on some retailer's shelf. Better to check eBay or the local Craigslist.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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So. . . .I plan to send them out to check out:

 

Used Korg Karma

 

Wait... Karma doesn't sample, does it? Isn't that their top priority?

 

If so, what about something like the Korg Microsampler? As it's name implies it's more sampler than synth/rompler. But if I remember correctly, it does come with some preset sounds like pianos, EPs, and maybe pads as well. And of course, it's super-portable.

--Sean H.

 

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg TR76, Novation X-Station 61, Casio PX-320

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Karma doesn't sample, does it? Isn't that their top priority?

 

KARMA technology, (Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture) created by Stephen Kay, is included in the original Korg Karma, Oasys, M3, and Kronos.

 

Very simply explained, it's like an arpeggiator on steroids... it has nothing to do with sampling.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Karma doesn't sample, does it? Isn't that their top priority?

 

KARMA technology, (Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture) created by Stephen Kay, is included in the original Korg Karma, Oasys, M3, and Kronos.

 

Very simply explained, is like an arpeggiator on steroids... it has nothing to do with sampling.

 

Yeah, I know. That's my point:

They need, in priority order: ability to store and manipulate speech, sfx and music samples...

So I plan to send them out to check out:

Used Korg Karma

 

Am I missing something here?

--Sean H.

 

Yamaha MOXF8, Korg TR76, Novation X-Station 61, Casio PX-320

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They need, in priority order: ability to store and manipulate speech, sfx and music samples...

So I plan to send them out to check out:

Used Korg Karma

 

Am I missing something here?

 

Not missing anything. The original Korg Karma has no sampling capabilities.

 

:thu:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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how bout these used: laptop, midi controller, vst synth (some great ones free) , vst hosting DAW Digital Audio Workstation program (can't go wrong with Fruity loops [cheezy name and terrable preset sounds/drums that discuises how great a program it can be] for $60ish new or a free multi tracking recording program like audacity)

If you just must not use a computer, get a keyboard you like and if it can't sample & you just want to trigger samples instead of turning them into sounds to play across the keyboard as if they were built in, for $10 you can get an mp3 player on ebay, add FX to the samples for free with audacity program b4 putting in mp3 player and trigger the samples with the mp3 player or a capable cell phone.

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Yes, with the given needs - a MicroSampler might be the best place to start. It seems to have great sampling processing tools and also the ability to play basic keyboard sounds. Only downside is no pitch/mod wheels, which I think is a necessity when playing synth bass sounds.

But hey - let them start with a MicroSampler and then add something like a MicroKorg later - then it seems like all basses are covered!

 

 

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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The Arturia MiniBrute would be a good suggestion, I think, except that it's not supposed to be shipping until April. But it seems to fit the bill you describe..a compact analog polyphonic synth that would be $300-800 used. Actually, it wouldn't fit the bill because it'd be new! :D
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The Arturia MiniBrute would be a good suggestion, I think, except that it's not supposed to be shipping until April. But it seems to fit the bill you describe..a compact analog polyphonic synth that would be $300-800 used. Actually, it wouldn't fit the bill because it'd be new! :D

 

And monophonic.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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misread too much late night info - now see Karma wouldn't work. Microsampler may in fact be the best bet, no mod wheel not necessarily a deal stopper as it look like efx are assignable to a couple of rotary switches for live mucking about.

 

thanks again for all posts. . .

"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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