Your synths and their function/place within your setup

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Post by justin_havu » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:37 pm


Gateway Laptop - This is running Reason 4.0, which I use for my acoustic/electric pianos, strings, 50% of my organs, and a couple of synth leads.
M-Audio Keystation 88es - Controls the laptop.
Korg K49 - Controls the laptop.
Korg Triton Extreme - Takes care of horns, synth textures, and some sampling.
Yamaha SY85 - Handles thick pads, and choral sounds.
MicroKORG - Used for arpeggiated sounds.
Waveforms, and filters, and knobs. Oh my!

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Post by spookyman » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:54 pm

MrFrodo wrote:
spookyman wrote:My Gig-Rig :

Fender Rhodes : for...Fender Rhodes sound
Clavia Nord Stage : hammond, clavinet
Moog Prodigy : basses and lead
Korg Polysix : polyphonic brass sounds, strings, sometimes arp shemas
Hi spookyman,

It's always good to know that someone is still using instruments like those onstage (except for the Nord Stage, which is still pretty new).
Thank you MrFrodo :wink:

With a good flight case, no problem...and all these vintage keys are pretty reliable. I would not take my OB-X for touring...

It is much easier to be a good equipment purchaser than to be a great musician.

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Post by redchapterjubilee » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:56 pm

M-Audio Oxygen 49 triggering laptop + Reason 2.5 + MiniMoog V and E-Mu Vintage Keys Plus
In the studio the laptop is the rhythm machine and source of everything sequenced. I've even been successful running a loud click from Redrum into the Moog's trigger to get the Moog to sync with the laptop. Live the laptop becomes a second Moog for playing overlapping parts (Source with one hand, MMV with the other).

Live, the VK+ is almost completely relegated to being a Mellotron module, though I also use a particularly nasty Taurus sample for pedaltones too. In the studio the VK+ is surprisingly useful. The filter isn't resonant but I do have more control over the samples than some ROMplers.

Moog Source + Alesis Bitrman
Bass, leads, noise, arpeggios. Live it is pretty much the one synth I play on virtually every song, and is the only synth I play with a looping pedal for a project I call GUL Space Station. Live it is a Synth Nerd Magnet.

Roland Alpha Juno 1 triggering an Oberheim Matrix-1000
The pad machine! But between the two there are lots of FX, basses, leads, pianos, etc. But really those synths are great for pads, and at least with the Juno I've got some editing and real-time manipulation. I like to layer the two.

Realistic Concertmate 350
I use sometimes for the cheesy rhythms live but mostly as a lead machine. The fantasy setting through lots of reverb and delay is ghostly.

60GB Apple iPod Video
I do no live sequencing, so the iPod is the source for my backing tracks.

All of this stuff runs into an Alesis Multimix 12FX with an Alesis Ineko and Line 6 Echo Park in the send/return chain. The mixer's built-in FX chip is great for reverbs and chorus but I use the outboard stuff the most.

For recording purposes I send a digital coax signal from the mixer to the Echo Layla soundcard in my PC (I also use an Echo Indigo for the laptop's ASIO soundcard) and record with Adobe Audition 1.5.

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Post by mis psiquicios y yo » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:01 pm

gfriden wrote:
mis psiquicios y yo wrote:JUNO 60: That's the one i play live most, pads, like pianos, leads, noises, everything
Wow! Must have been love at first sight then! I mean, it's only been a month and a half since you bought it!"

Yeah, i substitute my MS2000 (which i used to play live) for the Juno 60. It is so "playable", simply love it.
mis psiquicos y yo
In electronic music, sequencers are as important as synths, they all modify your composition and playing

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Post by philbar » Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:50 pm

reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3..

virus - pretty much everything is covered here it does the lot.
machinedrum sps -1, erm percussion and weird blippy stuff...
mpc - midi sequencing/ sampled crunchy beats!

Access Virus Ti Polar + Ableton Live

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Gear: esq1, ion, dx7s, alpha juno 1, k-station
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Post by theplateauxofmirror » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:55 pm

K-Station: I really like this for arpeggiated stuff; it's lots of fun to tweak them in real time (since i don't have a sequencer, I have to do everything in real time).

Alpha Juno 1: basses and leads; with the alpha dial and an effects box I get some nice soft leads. I've never really tried to get nice pads out of it, but someone mentioned that eariler, so I'll have to check that out. Also, running it through guitar effects I can get a good floor-shaking sound similar to a fuzzed-out guitar.

DX7: weird, eno-esque pads. That's it so far, I don't have FM down yet but I'm working on learning it.

Ion: basses and definately pads. I just got this and I'm really liking it. With the mod matrix you can do lots of little things to thicken up leads, too.
ion - dx7s - alpha juno 1 - k-station - piano forte (buy it)

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Post by tyrannosaurus mark » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:35 am

Little Phatty Basses!

Juno-60 Melody and chord work (about to sell it because you can't tour with one on a pane without huge luggage excesses)

Nord Lead 2r w/ controller Melody and chord work that actually fits in a plane!

Yamaha SY-1 Lead stuff, going to sell this one too

Yamaha Motif 6 I keep it at home because it's huge, I use it mainly to sample drum sounds out of. Never figured out all the other stuff, inherited it, huge waste on me really

Roland Space Echo RE201 Always used this for atmospherics etc etc, just about to sell it as well

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Post by factual35 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:27 am

Since my set-up is small my synths have to cover a lot of ground.

EA-1- basslines, drippy acid seqeunces and sound effects
HT-3000- mostly pads and anything that requires me to play chords. I also commonly use it for lead or support sequences since it completments sequences from the EA-1 very well.
PSS-570- doesnt get much play time anymore, but I usually use it for metallic stabs and single hit sounds. I also sometimes run it through an Alesis Philtre for a stranger analog sound.

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Gear: esq1, ion, dx7s, alpha juno 1, k-station
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Post by theplateauxofmirror » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:53 pm

factual35 wrote:Since my set-up is small my synths have to cover a lot of ground.
Same here; I think that pretty much answers the original question. You can get usable sounds of all sorts out of any decent synth, and it's not until you've got a budget that can sustain a big collection that you can be super-specific about what you want out of each one. Having to economize by getting all sorts of sounds out of a couple of pieces makes you understand them a lot better, in my opinion.
ion - dx7s - alpha juno 1 - k-station - piano forte (buy it)

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Post by Synthaholic » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:34 pm

MicroKORG - Handles any/all analog type duties (PWM, sync, S&H), especially where I want to tweak the sounds. Also useful for vocoder and arpeggiator.

TX802 - FM duties, EPs

Motif XS6 - Everything else, including bringing all the sound into my laptop via mLAN
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

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Post by sas » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:29 pm

First of all I'd like to congradulate the author of this thread for introducing such a useful topic! :idea:

Korg Z1 -- Textured Pads, Complex Effects, Smooth Strings, nice deep, stabby digital basses (ala PPG, VS.) or smooth, full, rounded basses (ala Mini, Source) , some classy digital sounds, excellent ROMpler--provided you have the patience. The digital filters are shite for sweeps, but lend that golden age of V.A. sound in the vein of Nordlead. MIDI Controller Extraordinare!

Korg Mono/Poly -- Steak and potatoes analog, howling/aggressive basses, leads, sweeps, simple pads, arpeggiations, analog FX, independent VCO's give mock modular ability when arpeggiated, overall brillant tone with the SSM filters.

SCI P600 - Good all-around polysynth, poly-mod weirdness, warm pads, strong Pro-One Style Mono leads, Killer PWM, glide--I just can't get enough (of it)-- sequencing sketch pad, lo-fi analog FX (wonderful LFO) can be more subtle/versitile in terms of brightness, sharpness than the Mono/Poly, and that said, pairs well with it--CEM filters give nice contrast in a mix.

MPC 2000XL -- Drums, samples, sequencing

Yamaha A4000 -- Mine is broken so I haven't been using it much, but hopefully sample blender, some sequencing, prospective MPC MIDI buddy.

SQ-80 is gone, but had alot in common with the Z1 in terms of pads, leads, drums, digital, etc.

MC-303 -- Drum sounds, Lo-fi roland stuff, bleeps, white/pinknoise.

Seems to be all I need. I'm happy.
Korg Mono/Poly . Korg Z1 . SCI Prophet 600 . Oberheim Matrix 6r . Akai MPC 2000XL . Yamaha A4000 . Roland MC 303 . Odds/Ends

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Post by Mush » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:08 pm

Modular G2 - Everything (from granual to plain VA through lo-fi sampling, FX-processing and physical modelling). It is "the shite"!

Machinedrum - Rhythms and bleeps usually tap-sequenced instead of x0x-ed... Parameter-locks and the lfo's makes it come alive like no other percussion-machine I've owned.

I don't use anything else actually. Well the MS10 when I just wanna play until I get an idea, then I do it on the G2 instead. The MPC1k is hopefully sold within a few days as I bought it more than a year ago and still haven't begun to use it. It's not working as I want it to and I don't wanna adopt to its paradigm.

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Post by braincandy » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:47 pm

I was fairly hammered when I started this thread and had just finished replying in the "80s MIDI madness" thread. I guess I was sort of disgusted with myself for having several pieces and being much less productive than when I got along just fine with the ESQ-1 + HR16 setup during my earlier years. I really learned a lot more about those instruments than I have a lot of the pieces I've had since then. Anyway...

Juno-G: It's a good all-rounder and does several things well. I'm even starting to replicate sounds from the JD-990 and the Vintage Expansion board.

AN1x: I've done everything from drums to fx to pads with it and used it for melody lines/leads in my old band. It's also capable of some digital weirdness. I've thought of selling it just for something different, but I have a familiarity with it and that counts for something.

JD-990: It's great for atmospherics and pads. The Vintage board is worth having and the JD can produce analog-inspired sounds that rival some VAs.

Nova (desktop): I haven't really dug into this yet, but bought it as I saw it for a great price and wanted to give it a go. I like it, but I'm trying to decide if it's too much overlap or not with the stuff I'm doing with the AN1x and JD. I don't need this many synths to not really be doing anything.

impOSCar: I wanted an analog-inspired softsynth and this certainly fills the bill. Solid sounds all the way around.

Reason 3: I use it as a giant sound bank rather than a system.
Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster | Squier CV Duo-Sonic | e6400 Ultra | Blofeld | a bunch of effects

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Post by sacredcow » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:49 am

I waste a lot.
Nova- Everything
Kawai K4- Controller
E-MU XL-7- Sequencer
Casio ht700- Fun

Btw, braincandy, have you upgraded to OS 4.0 on the Nova? It'd almost insane how much it adds (new filter models, features, a few more voices of polyphony, ..etc.).
PowerMac G4 dual, DSI MoPho, E-MU XL-7, Korg ES-1mkii, Korg EA-1, Novation Nova, Kawai K4, Casio vz10m, Casio ht700, Yamaha PSS-480

(5 good trader references and counting)

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Post by insky » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:57 am

Poly 800 - wasting space in my closet.
Stuff I own:
X Station
Poly 800
MaxiKorg 800DV
Elka Rhapsody 610

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