How should I go about synths...

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shadowshocker
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How should I go about synths...

Post by shadowshocker » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:06 am

Hey,
I've been playing guitar for awhile, but recently I've been inspired by synths. I want to still play guitar, but achieve synth sounds with it. So far I've had multiple suggestions of how to get a synth sound, but none of them require an actual synth, and I'm still kind of interested. Alot of people recommended effects pedals and such that could get me close to a sound that I'm looking for, but it's always sort of limited, to the pedal. Some people mentioned though, that some synths have the option to have an input in, where I can plug my guitar into and use the synth, but still play off my guitar. Just wondering, how this approach is and what are the ups and downs of doing this. Is it even worth doing it? Also, I am most interested in analog, and most of the synths recommended for this were digital. I'm trying to get all sorts of sounds from it, but the main inspiration to get one was the Boards of Canada sound.

Thanks,

-Zack

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micahjonhughes
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Post by micahjonhughes » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:29 am

Roland (and others) made a series of guitar synths. Through a special pickup you can use your guitar to control a synth.

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Post by Entropy Farmer » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:34 am

I've heard the desktop Evolver works well. Found this with a quick google, and there are a few examples here towards the bottom (contributed by Roger Linn, no less).

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Post by shadowshocker » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:07 pm

I've looked at the Roland synths before, but it seems more like a workstation, than a synth. I'll have to read more on the Evolver, but I'm really wondering if there are any analog synths that aren't built for guitar, but have the capability to use guitar.

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micahjonhughes
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Post by micahjonhughes » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:14 pm

A workstation? You must mean something else.

Get a GK-2A pickup and then you have a choice of synths you can plug into.

You can use something like the evolver as an effects box but you can't control the oscillators from your guitar.

There were old school analog synths that had pitch to cv inputs. You could plug a guitar into these but you could only play one note at a time. Korgs x 911 is an example of one of these.

Roland's GR 700 and G 700 were an analog synth and special guitar that allowed the synth to play chords.

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micahjonhughes
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Post by micahjonhughes » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:32 pm


Entropy Farmer
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Post by Entropy Farmer » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:45 pm

You can use something like the evolver as an effects box but you can't control the oscillators from your guitar.
Well no, you're basically using your guitar as an osc in this setup. I find this to be a lot more interesting than a guitar that just outputs midi, though.

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micahjonhughes
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Post by micahjonhughes » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:26 pm

You would be using the Evolver as an effects box. The guitar playing would have no control over the internal oscilators. You can alter the guitar's sound through the filters, envelope follower and effects but it would still be a processed guitar. The Evolver is a complicated beast you you can get a lot of variation by plugging a guitar into it but it will not react to pitch 'info' from the guitar.

A guitar synth on the other hand gives you controls over synth oscilators and envelopes. The pitches you play on the guitar are reproduced by the synth. Your guitar can then control the synth and therefor play sounds like a synth. It is like using a guitar in place of the keyboard to control a synth. Most modern guitar synths allow for both using the guitar as a controller and as an effects box from the guitar.

These are two very different things.

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Post by JSRockit » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:34 pm

How about a Moog MF-107 (as an oscillator) and a Moog MF-101 (for filter)? That will sound like a synth and a good one at that....and and all for about $500 or so. That said, you will need many different pieces of gear and alot of post processing to sound like BOC.
Korg Volcas / 6 x TE POs / MicroBrute / EH Space Drum & Crash Pad

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Post by Suburban Bather » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:08 am

+1 on the freq box and lpf, also an electro harmonix bass micro synth would be good as well. I only say bass because I've heard from many guitarists that the bass ver. sounds even better on guitar than the regular version. When you pair the moogerfooger lpf with the bass micro synth you can get vowel sounds :P

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Post by shadowshocker » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:07 am

I'm going to approach this in a new direction since using a guitar would be very limiting in some ways when compared to a real analog synth. But can somebody please explain to me what kind of setup a band like Boards of Canada would have? I'm not trying to copy their sound or get the exact equipment they have, so I don't need exact equipment names or anything. I'm just wondering what kind of gear would be necessary for this kind of music. I will take it from there and research equipment that I want on my own, but I have no clue where to start for the basic setup. I just need help on what kind of setup and equipment I will need. For example, the drums for this kind of band, I heard drum machines, samplers, etc, but that is all new to me, so if someone could explain stuff like this and what kind of things I will need, that would help so much. Again, I'm not trying to search for that sound of theirs and perfect it to sound just like them...if I was, I would have just searched the forums and read all the other ones looking for the exact equipment. thanks.

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Post by micahjonhughes » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:19 am

Search the discussion forums. There are several discussion of Boards of Canada and their equipment.

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Post by shadowshocker » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:36 am

I have searched and most of them are just listing what exact equipment to get...but I more interested in what kind of setup. I don't need to know what exact piece of equipment I will need for the exact sound. I'm more interested in the basic setup. Will I need a certain kind of synth, how will I achieve the drum beats, etc.? Sorry that it's been posted alot, but I've read through almost every thread, and I'm still confused on what I will need. thanks.

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Post by micahjonhughes » Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:52 am

Just to get started, you would be best at getting a single piece of equipment that would do both analog style synth sounds and drum sounds. You might not want this synth forever but it would let you get into making electronic music.

I don't know much about these types of synths as they tend to be newer. For some reason the Sh 201 is a new Roland synth that might be something you would be interested in.

Now many people here at VSE do have knowledge and plenty of opinions on these types of synths. Check out threads about first synths. That should give you enough info on to get started.

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Post by shadowshocker » Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:00 am

Well, my friend has a workstation, and were both interested in getting analog synths. But we'd rather buy stuff that we would use permanently, rather than slowly get better equipment and have to go back and keep replacing things for what we would really need. I've taken that approach when I first started guitar, and I found it was annoying to constantly go back and upgrade, rather than just save up for the initial thing I needed.

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