Where do I go from here? (have MIDI controller, now what?)

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MajorSeventh
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Where do I go from here? (have MIDI controller, now what?)

Post by MajorSeventh » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:21 pm

Hi All,
I have been an electronic music fan for a long time, but never acquired any gear.
I recently purchased a Roland MKB-300 without much thought about what to do after getting it.
I'm a fan of analog synths, but will probably not get any hardware. I like the products from Arturia. They have computer models of many old analog synths.
The last few days I have been checking out rack synths and prices on ebay. I'm hoping to pick up something cheap just to try it out. There are a lot of choices, and I noticed that the newer modules have more filters (LFO, etc) and tend to include more patches. The Roland synths seem to include sounds from their predecessors.
When I tried out the MKB-300 before I bought it, I downloaded a VST host app and a plugin, and bought an in/out MIDI/USB device and I got the keyboard to use sounds on the VST host. So, I'm guessing there are many sources of sounds available for computers, though I haven't checked that out.
So, I feel like I'm standing on a precipice looking out over a vast landscape of sound possibilities.
What specific modules, software, etc. would you recommend for composing music and having access to sounds.
I am a fan of analog stuff, '80s cheesy sounds, and want to compose electronic music, anything from retro Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream stuff to more modern chill, lofi, and maye some 8-bit stuff.
I want to start off slowly, mostly because of expense, and not get overwhelmed with a ton of choices.
I have looked at the Yamaha TX81z, and some of the older Roland boxes, U-220, JV-880.
So, if you have recommendations on a few pieces of hardware/software to get me started that would be great. I want to drum/percussion tracks as well as synth sounds.
Cheers!

HalloweenJack
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Re: Where do I go from here? (have MIDI controller, now what

Post by HalloweenJack » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:55 am

There are a couple of free software synth which sound really good (very close to the originals) and you can use to emulate the 80s sounds:

HalloweenJack
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Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:14 pm
Gear: Roland V Synth with VC1, Yamaha FS1R, Roland JX3P Kiwi Mod, DSI Mono Evolver, Korg Arp Odyssey, Korg Sigma, Roland JDXi,Korg Monotron Duo and Delay
Band: The Electrician

Re: Where do I go from here? (have MIDI controller, now what

Post by HalloweenJack » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:18 am

There are a couple of free software synth which sound really good (very close to the originals) and you can use to emulate the 80s sounds:

Roland JX8P free software

Ensoniq SQ80 free software

Then I would buy an FM synth because FM is the sound of the 80s ;) , I'd go for a 6 operators FM synth module, like Yamaha TX802, btw you will find thousands of free sounds for FM synths on the web...another module very very good sounding and which has been used by everyone, it is the Roland JD990, better with the Vintage sound card installed, you will get amazing sounds...maybe you need a real analog, mainly for bass duties, you can purchase something modern like Korg Monologue, Behringer Model D (a Minimoog clone), a Korg Arp Odyssey module (a Behringer clone will arrive soon and maybe it will be cheaper), a Korg MS20 mini...

For drum sounds now I am using a Roland JDXi, its sequencer is quite limited in song "mode" but has plenty of wonderful vintage drum sounds and it's also a good hybrid synth, it combines a 1 oscillator + sub oscillator + low pass filter analog mono synth, with a polyphonic 2 oscillators digital synth (Roland Super Natural engine), for me the downside are the mini keys but I'm using it as a module ;) , you can use it initially as your only analog bass synth...

Ciao!

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madtheory
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Re: Where do I go from here? (have MIDI controller, now what

Post by madtheory » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:56 am

That Roland is a gorgeous keyboard action, and a classic electric piano sound thrown in. Add an Akai MIDI mix or similar assignable controller and spend a year playing with the Arturia V-Collection. You'll probably find that they kick the shite out of almost all cheap rack synths on eBay.

My setup is similar. An Akai MX-1000 weighted controller, and a Novation KSR as the hardware controller for Arturia. It's wonderful.

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