3 Synth Rig

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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3 Synth Rig

Post by Mixolydian » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:20 am

Thomas Dolby answered a question in his blog and stated,

"It's best to find two or three synths (or softsynths) that you feel really at home with, and learn them inside out. You'll always get better results if you make sounds deliberately based on something you've imagined or heard in your head, rather than just flipping through presets on some new device you don't know very well."

Based on this, which 2 or 3 synths would you choose?

I'd go with a fairly standard setup:
A Prophet 5, a Minimoog, and a Roland RD-700SX.

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Post by aeon » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:51 am

  • Clavia Nord Modular
  • Korg OASYS PCI
  • Roland SH-2


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Post by slowalan » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:36 pm

V Synth

How long to learn these inside out eh?

And I disagree with Dolby in this......nobody can hear a sound in their head that is not a composite of a sound they have heard elsewhere. Lear said it...Nothing Can Come of Nothing.

This is one of the discoveries one makes in synthesis...all utterly new and unheard sounds do not come intentionally...they come by accident and random tweaking. There is no such thing as "sound creation", only sound combining which is more or less expedited by the power of your technology.
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Post by yburn » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:38 pm

Microwave1 or Waldorf Q

I agree with the 3 synth rule or thereabouts. There seem to be too many people buying one of every type of synthesis and it's just impossible that they can be learning these things to any reasonable level. I'll have gone deaf well before I run out of ideas on the MEK alone. I've no interest in getting a proper FM synth until I retire and although I'm interested in modulars I think I'd be more productive working within a set of limits and on a synth that doesn't change every week.

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Post by aXL » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:50 pm

If I had a lot of time (and money) on my hands, I'd probably go with a three-synth combo of Oberheim OB-X, ARP Odyssey and a fully upgraded Korg M1.

But at a more realistic level: a Roland Juno-60, a Yamaha S90 ES and a Moog LP.
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Post by crystalmsc » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:51 pm

I would like the 3 synths to be the Waldorf Stromberg with analog filter, SE1x and FantomX8 expanded.
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Post by toonelind » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:05 pm

3 is good number. i've been using 3 synths live for some time now.

good choice for live use would be:

analog mono for bass and leads
hi tech va/wavetable for pads and effects
polyanalog or sampler, according to needs

my rig is:

mks50 / w30

ideal would be:
keyboard version of atc-x with knobs or moog source
possibly nord wave, we will see soon
mks70 / w30 with some extra knobs and internal memory for opsys and 10 mb memory for samples

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Post by yburn » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:09 pm

slowalan wrote:
This is one of the discoveries one makes in synthesis...all utterly new and unheard sounds do not come intentionally...they come by accident and random tweaking. There is no such thing as "sound creation", only sound combining which is more or less expedited by the power of your technology.
This only applies to patches created on their own with no reference music. if I'm writing a track that is full of energy with a driving bass, I'll take a patch and mold it to the track, add an arp or some modulation etc. It's not random at all. I don't see the point in sitting there creating random patches just for the sake of it, instead I see presets as starting points hence when i get a synth I wipe out all the flashy stuff and fill it with pretty standard sounds. The only time I'll bother to program a patch on it's own is when I'm learning something new ie, formant filtering or discovering a new instrument, again this isn't random.

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Post by JJQ » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:25 pm

I guess it woul be

Roland Jupiter-8
Oberheim Matrix-12
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Post by antilles » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:32 pm

Well to cover as much ground as possible:

A sample player - Triton or something
An analog - monophonic will do - Pro One or MS-20
Some digital synth - JD-800

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Post by Analogue Crazy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:40 pm

A6 Andromeda, MS20 Mini, M500SP, DS-8, Motif 7, DX11,

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Post by redchapterjubilee » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:09 pm

I guess I'm already there somewhat. I need a lead/bass machine, a pad/pedaltone machine and some electro-mechanical sounds. So I can cover that with my three main synths (Moog Source, Roland HS-60 & E-Mu Vintage Keys Plus.) I'm going on a year now with the same rig and that's pretty rare for me. I nearly fell victim to GAS recently but I pulled the plug on it before it got out of hand.

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Post by ReaPeR » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:20 pm

My choices would be:

Clavia Nord Stage Compact
Waldorf Q+

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Post by Dano » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:12 pm

In general terms I'd pair whichever VA and ROMpler you like for the first two synths and then for the third I'd go with either 1) something a little more unusual such as a Microwave, Wavestation, ESQ or FM synth such as a DX200, 2) another VA or ROMpler that has special features or a different character that would compliment the primary choice [Nord Modular/Micromodular or Ion come to mind as VAs] or 3) an analog synth

I've heard quite a few of people say that their most productive times have been when they scaled back to a minimal synth set-up.

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Post by Bob-omb » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:25 pm

I'd choose the ones I already have.

Moog LP
Roland Jupiter 4

If I had loads of cash it would look something like this.

Moog LP
Roland Jupiter 6

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