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Analog Synth


Chromedoggy

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I am thinking about an analog synth.

My goal is to learn synthesis on a back to basic level,

I am thinking along the lines of a Moog sub 37 or the Mother 32 with a controller.

Any expert advice or recommendations?

I am pretty much a beginner with a basic understanding of how synths function.

My budget is 500 to 1500 range.

I do have boards I could use with a desktop or rack unit.

Sorry if this subject has been beaten to death, and thanks in advance for any input.

 

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What features in an analog synth appeal to you? Which one of those sounds better to you? Which one has features that appeal to you more? Which do you think would inspire you the most?
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pretty much interested in knob tweaking.

I like the sound of the sub phatty but have not put my hands an many of the wide range of analogs out there.

I dont care much for mini keys or the toy like keybeds on some of the lower priced units

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You don't need to purchase a hardware synth to learn back to basics. So many VSTs mimic the user interface of simple subtractive synthesis. And many are free. And lots of video tutorials on YouTube and even various books written on programming a subtractive synth. Also, many manuals for soft synths and DAWs include entire chapters on their subtractive synths.

 

Just a suggestion for starters before you invest in an expensive piece of hardware.

 

http://www.u-he.com/cms/tyrelln6

 

https://tal-software.com/products/tal-u-no-62

 

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2011/08/22/bpb-freeware-studio-best-free-subtractiveva-polyphonic-synthesizer-vstau-plugins/

 

Maybe once you've had a chance to play you can get an idea of what features you'd like to see in a hardware synth and make a better choice for yourself?

 

 

 

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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The Sub 37 is about as full-featured as any Synth available with a dedicated control for each function. Very good for learning Synthesis.

 

The Sub Phatty is also well-appointed but has a lot of hidden functions so maybe not so good to learn on.

 

The Mother 32 has several limitations despite it's semi-modular design. You would need to add a second unit to get closer to the features of the Sub 37 or Sub Phatty and even then would lack some important Synth functions.

 

If you like semi-modular the Korg MS20M is worth a look. It does require assembly as it comes in a simplified kit form. Won't sound as fat as a Moog but has pretty much all the functions expected in an Analog Synth.

C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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For an introduction to hands-on, knob-tweaking synthesis, I think the most accessible option is the Microbrute.

Fully analog monosynth, decent features and sound, the patch matrix and sequencer are huge fun, and it's just about the cheapest piece of hardware you can get, so you won't waste money in expensive gear you may never fully use.

 

If you really can't get along with mini Keys, for a very small premium you can get the Minibrute (basically the same synth with full sized keys and a couple more modulation options) or a Bass Station II.

 

The latter is incredibly powerful for its size and price, but also more complicated to use.

For its price-value-didactic potential, I really think nothing beats the Microbrute

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I suggest you chart out what features you want, and consider some used Eurorack equipment.

 

My suggestion on features for learning synthesis.

 

2 oscillators with sync capability and pulse with modulation

noise generator

filter with variable slopes and full resonance capability

mixer

amplifier

2 x envelop generators (at least ADSR)

2 LFO's capable of audio rate modulation

 

This will let you experiment with detuning oscillators, sync, filter settings, audio rate modulation effects, cross modulation and more. Much of this can be done on digital, but audio rate modulation is really something to be learned on analog. Digital processing breaks up and gets really distorted when trying to replicate audio rate modulation.

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

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Ah, forget the budget. Get the Schmidt! :laugh:

 

 

http://i1.wp.com/www.synthtopia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/schmidt-analog-synthesizer.jpg

That thing just looks badass. Solidly in my "when I win the lottery" category.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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CEB, Have you used this synth? I am pretty fond of the DSIs, but I am a little intimidated by the big polysynths.

 

I don't own it. I should. I've played it and I like it a lot except for the power supply. But if you look at old dead analog synths most them probably died due to power supply issue. Power supply dies on a P08 just get another one without having to take it to a shop and have it opened up. At the end of the day I would still much rather have an internal power supply.

 

My philosophy is if I can only carry one synth it is a poly. I can run the poly in unison or mono modes. I think the hardest thing to wrap your mind around will be the modulation architecture but that is only because you have a lot more options. It is only as complicated as you make it. The P08 modulation possibilities are huge. Simplier mono sysths are easy to understand because you can't do anything. Just start out designing sounds like you would with a Moog with no crazy LFO routings then grow into it when you are ready.

 

If you are still intimidated and your main goal is to learn and you are determined to go with hardware I would look at a VA like the Sledge. The Sledge's layout is great. The Gaia is a lot of fun to program but it is very Roland like. I think the Sledge is better learning layout.... Like learning Pascal to learn how to computer program.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

If you got a P08 you probably would want a Lexicon or some sort of reverb/effects unit.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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A nice walkthrough but this is the original 8 voice version. It is now 24 Voice after all the software upgrades.

 

[video:youtube]

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I'd also recommend the Prophet 08, but be sure to get the PE (potentiometer edition) if you decide to go with it. The original non PE 08 had knobs that required more than full turns to get from minimum to maximum value making things like a single filter sweep really unwieldy. It's really easy to map that to the mod wheel or pedal, but it all of those knobs acting like that can really be a pain when programming. Be aware that with the 08 you're not getting any onboard effects. Throwing a simple reverb and delay in with that board makes it a great choice. If budget or size is a concern, the Mopho x4 is essentially half of a Prophet 08, but still go with the 08 if you can. Once you get a hold of the mod matrix programming that thing isn't too bad.

 

I also agree with CEB regarding about bringing a poly synth if you bring any synth to a gig. You can get some pretty great lead sounds with the 08, but you're not gonna be playing any pads or other poly patches with a Sub 37.

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If you can live with the less than full size keys (85%) the Korg Minilogue is an excellent option for a learning synth. It is full featured, well built and inexpensive. The built in oscilloscope (a rarity) shows you the impact of filters, modulation, etc on your sound. They are hard to find as they've been on backorder since release.

 

Busch.

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I'm going to throw an Oberheim SEM pro into the ring. They're classic, timeless, well built, flexible with room to grow (now with the patch panel) and have all the basic synth features. They don't have all the bells and whistles, but what they lack in features they make up with sound. They sound amazing.

 

Also you could do 2 mother 32s or heck even 3 if you get a good deal. MS20 I will always support. Prophet 08 too. Don't forget the vintage market.

1974 Rhodes, CP70B, Polivoks, Dominion 1, Behringer D, Mother 32, DFAM, MS20 Mini, Folktek Mescaline, Nord Lead 2x, KArp Odyssey, Jv1080, Digitakt, Hydrasynth,
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I have been trying to see one of these in person. After a year, i think I may have tracked one down.

Back in the good old days (emphasis on old) I played a micro moog and a korg 770. The Sledge workflow appears most familiar to what I have used, though I am 30 years of lost brain cells past that.

Thanks again CEB and everyone else

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