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Help me figure out what VA synth to get

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:08 pm
by squaresprocket
Alright this is a pretty noobish question, but I need some input into what virtual analog synth to get. Right now all I have is a Juno-106 and MC-505.

I want one that is capable of good dance sounds/arpeggiator, but not at all limited to that. Most of my music is dancey funk/jam, or more lo-fi indie, or psychedelic rock/jam. Just as an example, some of my fav bands vary from Radiohead and Pink Floyd, to LCD Soundsystem and !!!, to The Locust and The Blood Brothers. Oh, and dedicated knobs or sliders for most if not all parameters is a must (I hate navigating through tons of menus). Presets aren't important really

Here are some that I'm considering that are in my price range:
Roland JP-8000
Korg MS2000
Korg Prophecy
Roland SH-201

And out of my price range at the moment:
Nord Lead 2 or 3
Korg Radias

So what would you recommend? Thanks for any input!

Re: Help me figure out what VA synth to get

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:22 pm
by memo
squaresprocket wrote:Here are some that I'm considering that are in my price range:

Roland JP-8000
Korg MS2000
Korg Prophecy
You might want to mark the Prophecy from the list. While it sounds fantastic, it requires quite a bit of menu diving in order to program.

Is polyphony an issue? The MS-2000 can only do 4 notes, limiting it a bit as far as big chords. But its event sequencer is awesome and perfect for electronic/dance.

The JP-8000 is a good synth. Great strings, pads, and dance stuff, easy to program, although it has a silly way of organizing patches and performances.

The SH201 has the same engine as the JP-8000, but I think its a bit easier to manage since it has simple patch organization - but only 32 locations, which is limiting. Its build quality is also questionable, and I think the D/A converters are inferior to the JP-8000 (although some dispute this).

Re: Help me figure out what VA synth to get

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:31 pm
by seamonkey
squaresprocket wrote: Here are some that I'm considering that are in my price range:
Roland JP-8000
Korg MS2000
Korg Prophecy
Roland SH-201
First I would suggest searching audio demos of any synth you are considering, this will help you decide if the sound of any particular synth will help you obtain the overall sound you are looking for. Searching YouTube is also a good way of hearing different synths in actual use.

The Korg Prophecy is a monopoly synth meaning it only plays one note at a time plus it requires a lot of menu diving to create sounds.
The JP-8000, SH-201 and Korg MS2000 have plenty of knobs which allow for easy editing.

No one can help you figure out what synth to get, other than explaining features it comes down to what you want to hear. Synth tone and textures are a subjective thing, they all sound different so in the end it's YOUR ears that will have to make the decision for you.
Good luck

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:33 pm
by squaresprocket
Polyphony's not a big issue, mostly i'm looking for versatility. Something that has good fat bass and lead sounds and psychedelic filters/effects, along with the pads/strings/dance stuff. Thanks for the feedback guys!

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:05 pm
by JSRockit
You can get a used Nord Lead 2 off ebay for less than $500.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:34 pm
by SWAN
squaresprocket wrote:Polyphony's not a big issue, mostly i'm looking for versatility. Something that has good fat bass and lead sounds and psychedelic filters/effects, along with the pads/strings/dance stuff. Thanks for the feedback guys!
From your list-Id go for the MS2000. Would fit with the more instrumental/live sounds from your music taste.....JP8000 might be a little 'too' dance....

Or Get a Nord if you find a cheap one...

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:24 pm
by MitchK1989
you can probably score a used nord lead 2 in your price range, and that's what I'd recommend... As long as a lack of internal effects isn't a problem.

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:07 pm
by i_watch_stars
I want one that is capable of good dance sounds/arpeggiator
JP-8080. All the way.

There is no point in getting an SH-201 over the JP, Nord and MS2000 can't do dance sounds nearly as well (MS2000 can't do a trance lead to save its life). MS2000 also doesn't have the polyphony. I have never played on the Prophecy but I highly doubt it can do dance better.