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Synthesizer vs. Workstation


Lissa

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What is the difference between a synthesizer and workstation? I've been checking on-line over the last 6 months. I'm interested in writing songs. I grew up playing piano. Right now I have an old Yamaha PSR-21. I was leaning towards the workstations, but in checking out the synthesizers, I'm getting confused as to which way to go, which leads me to my original question. To me, they appear to be the same type of instrument, but there has to be a reason why they are in separate categories.

 

Any info/insight is appreciated. :)

 

Lissa

 

P.S. Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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A synth is usually a performance instrument. A workstation is usually a synth with sequencing (and these days, user sampling as well, in many cases) built in.

 

If you're going to use your computer to sequence, you may not need a workstation. If you don't plan to use a computer, or if you want to write/play backing tracks away from your computer, then the workstation may be the way to go.

 

That's basically the cut-to-the-chase answer.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Think of a workstation as a studio in a box. If you're planning in writing songs and don't wanna mess with cables, racks, computer minimum requirements, etc, get a workstation. I would go for a used Ensoniq.

 

I had two workstations and i used them for gigs only. Never needed their sequencers. I wished that feature was replaced by other things like, more sounds, effects etc.

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I think , from a songwiter's point of view, an arranger keyboard is the best way to go.

 

An arranger keyboard typically has pre-programmed beats, and backing tracks, so that you can easily compose a song of any given style with them.

 

Furthermore, today's arranger keyboards frequently come with sounds that rival synthesizers and workstations (though not quite as good).

 

A good choice would be the Roland G-800 or 600.

 

The user interface may be a bit confusing on these, so you might want to check out the Korg PA-80 (which, according to Korg contains the sound engine of their flagship Triton workstation - the best selling synth of the last few years).

 

If you want sheer simplicity, but powerful features to boot, and very good quality sounds, check out the upper Yamaha PSR range - a PSR-9000 is a good choice, or the new Tyros is even better (though $3,000). The Yamahas are by far the easiest to get around. This also makes it good for gigging.

 

Hope this helps!

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Thanks Dave, Carlito, and Soundscape Studios.

 

I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. It's very useful info.

 

Today's keyboards are truly fascinating. So much so, it's really hard for me to make up my mind.

 

Much thanks,

Lissa

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