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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Modular Synthesis
Need assistance determining which synth to buy
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anonymous87



Joined: Nov 08, 2006
Posts: 1
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:14 pm    Post subject: Need assistance determining which synth to buy Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I have never posted to this forum before, so I apolygize ahead of time if I made any mistakes.

Anyway, I need some advise regarding purchasing a new synth (either together with the keyboard, or as a separate unit that I plug my current keyboard into as a controller; either method is fine). I would prefer to pay no more than $1500, and don't mind buying used equipment. I have never bought an expensive synth before, so I know VERY little about this (I only have a piano and a fairly limited, inexpensive synth). I am primarily interested in good early analog synth sounds (Depeche Mode, and especially very early OMD (first 4 albums) are good examples of bands with the style of synth sounds that I'm after), although I do not mind if the analog sound is simulated with a digital machine. I've heard people refer to these as "retro" sounds, although I occasionally hear them in bands that haven't been around as long, as well. I would prefer to buy modern equipment that does everything rather than tracking down the multiple old authentic machines, if at all possible.

As for the old equipment that I'd like to simulate, I've heard various names, such as moog and mellotron, but don't know specific model numbers or anything.

I have had very poor luck asking this question in various stores - the sales people I've asked have not been able to demonstrate any of the sounds that I am after, and many keep trying to sell me computer software, which I have absolutely no interest in.

I would really appreciate any recommendations on what machine to purchase - thanks
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome

Computer software isn´t really a bad suggestion. First of all this allows you to explore the sounds you think you´d like to use and you will probably want to record your music later on anyway, so a computer, DAW software ( like Logic Pro or Cubase ) and some extra stuff like audio interfaces is kinda what you will end up with anyway.

Hardware synths:

Creamware ( http://www.creamware.com ) is making digital clones of some older gear like the Minimoog. All the Creamware ASB devices are really good.

Roland has the SH-201 which is really fun.

There are many others out there.

A hardware version of the Mellotron will be expensive. The best alternative is the M-Tron software. http://www.gmediamusic.com/gforce/m-tron/M-Tron.html

The Moog Little Phatty is also quite excellent.

You might want to look into a secondhand Clavia Nord Modular. Apart from simply being a wonderful little synth, it also works great as a substitute for something like the Roland System 700 and Roland System 100m.

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meic



Joined: Nov 12, 2005
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Location: Hamburg/Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Maybe for you it would be interesting the following link: http://asb.creamware.com/

These machine are offering a very good emulation of analogue classics and a human price.
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egw



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Alesis Ion is a pretty good virtual analog.


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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome

The Moog Little Phatty is a monophonic synth. I wouldn't get a mono synth unless you really understand why you would want it. They are nice in some applications, but they are limited.

I agree with elektro80 that you shouldn't dismiss software synths. There are many excellent free soft synths you can get for Windows or OSX. See our OSX and Windows forums under "Instruments and Equipment". With soft synths, you'll can try out lots of different designs without spending a lot of money. This will be a great way to learn about synthesis. After you get some experience you'll get a better feel for the technology and your decision to buy some hardware will be more intuitive.

I assume you already have a keyboard with MIDI out, so you can control the soft synths with that. Generally, one only needs one keyboard. Most synths come in a sound module version that has no keyboard. In the 70s and 80s you saw people with stacks of keyboards - that's sorta obsolete these days.

If you a looking to find something that will make sounds exactly like some particular bands used, you may be in for an endless and frustrating quest. Bands often change synths or use different ones layered together. I would suggest patiently learning more and then pick something that appeals to your tastes and style of playing.

(The ION is really nice, BTW)

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Mohoyoho



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Ion is an excellent synth. For a soft synth with an analogue-y sound I would recommend Arturia's Moog Modular V. It can be polyphonic and has a great sequencer. The Moog Modular V is a fantastic synth to learn synthesis on.
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