Yeah. To be honest, for a long time I was sure all I wanted was an Alesis Ion. It sounds amazing, great value, etc. But then I started fiddling around with real analog synths, and...well, everyone here knows the difference. But maybe I should reconsider. Your suggestions so far have been great--thank you to everyone for your input and discussion. I'll certainly look into the Yamaha AN1x and Roland Alpha Juno 2.otto wrote: As many others have mentioned you might be too quick to dismiss VA.
Sorry for being vague on the sounds I want. The most important sounds to me are: thick, rubbery, tight sounds I can use to craft good techno/dance basses and leads, huge, thick, lush, complex pads I can use for warm/bright/mellow shoegaze type textures, and...anything nasty and aggressive that can really cut through a loud distorted mix.
If anybody wants a concrete example of the kind of sounds I'm most interested in, I've hosted some songs for download that serve as basic examples. I know it's a bit of a hassle to download songs for some random guy on a synth forum and listen to them, but if you have some free time, I promise they're worth it. They're great songs, in any case.
"Yeah (Crass Version)" by LCD Soundsystem. The synth comes in at 3:18 and continues until the end. There is some fantastic programming going on here, considering how dramatically much the synth line evolves. They actually used a Moog Taurus II for this, but listen to how much they do with it. http://www.sendspace.com/file/9it0qp
"Midnight Souls Still Remain" by M83. Here's the closing track on the new M83 album. Warm, lush, mesmerizing pads. It's just two goddamn chords over and over again, but it sounds breathtaking. M83 are very hush hush about what synths they use, but it's rumored they have a MemoryMoog...so who knows. http://www.sendspace.com/file/7ui1b2
"Nice 'n' Sleazy" by The Stranglers. Here's a classic. There's synth throughout, but I especially like the f**k up solo in the middle of the track. Sounds like trash, but that's why it's awesome. No idea what synth they used for this. http://www.sendspace.com/file/vic78x
I considered the DCO vs. VCO thing for a long time, but I honestly can't tell the difference between them. Besides the drift, obviously. I definitely have one question, though. In doing all my research, I couldn't figure out why there aren't more tube synths on the market. It seems like such an interesting technology for synthesis, since everyone loves and venerates tubes. But there have barely been any serious tube synth products. I mean, besides obviously stuff like the Novachord, and Metasonix...which makes that...thing...that...sounds like a jeep stuck in the mud. What's with the lack of tube synth technology? Is it a really limited architecture, or something?