cutting the fat...

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adsr
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cutting the fat...

Post by adsr » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:35 pm

hey all. i am at a point now where i have a lot of gear that simply does not get used anymore. i am looking to trim my synth setup and could use a few suggestions, along with reasons you would keep or get rid of something. here is my current synth list:

Alesis micron
Alesis MMT-8 (v.1.11)
Akai AX60
Akai MPC 500
Akai MPC 2000
Akai S2800
Casio CZ3000
Casio SK1 (x2)
E-MU Planet Phatt
Ensoniq SQ80
Hammond Piper
Korg EA-1
Korg ER-1
Korg microKorg
Korg Poly-800 II
Novation Bass Station Rack
Roland Alpha Juno-2
Roland JV1010
Roland TR-505
Waldorf Micro-Q
Yamaha DX21
Zoom RT-123

note that i am not looking to BUY anything, but just simplify. i certainly dont need to add to this list. i do not use my Mac for my synth studio...there are no computers of any kind. everything runs thru the MPCs and is either daisy-chained or running thru a MOTU MIDI Timepiece A/V. i am keeping the micron, the microKorg, the Micro-Q, the Bass Station Rack, and the MPC500. everything else is in limbo.

PLEASE NOTE: i am NOT looking for comments as to what you will take off my hands. this is not an auction. i will not tell you what i will sell this synth or that sampler for. i am looking for insight from my peers as to why i should keep any of this s**t around. thanks.
Micron - MMT8 - AX60 - MPC2000 - MPC500 - S2800 - CZ3000 - SK1 (x2) - SQ80 - EA1 - ER1 - mK - Poly 800 II - BSR - Alpha Juno2 - JV1010 - TR505 - MicroQ - DX21 - RT123

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by 8bit9bot » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:58 pm

K---Alesis micron - keep - unless you dont like VA... this should cover most conventional subtractive synth sounds
K---Alesis MMT-8 (v.1.11) - keep - if you arent using a computer you probably use this for sequencing?
S---Akai AX60 - sell - lots of controls on the front panel but i imagine the micron could do just as well - never used it
?---Akai MPC 500 - not sure never used it
K---Akai MPC 2000 - keep - i never used it but it looks way more useful than a tr-505
?---Akai S2800 - not sure never used it
K---Casio CZ3000 - keep - this one has a unique sound... but the presets are kinda boring
S---Casio SK1 (x2) - sell one - TWO??? thats way redundant... when you sell mention its popular for circuit bending
S---E-MU Planet Phatt - sell - looks corny from what i read... honestly i never used it tho
K---Ensoniq SQ80 - keep - never used it but it seems very interesting... another reason to sell the micro-q
?---Hammond Piper - never used it but from the sounds of the name... i wouldnt like it
S---Korg EA-1 - sell - like a crippled microkorg w/ a sequencer
K---Korg ER-1 - keep - this one is pretty interesting
S---Korg microKorg - sell - unless you like the vocoder more than what the micron can do
S---Korg Poly-800 II - sell - too much bland subtractive... the juno is better
S---Novation Bass Station Rack - sell - very redundant... sounds like the EA-1 but muddier
S---Roland Alpha Juno-2 - sell - unless you cant get enough of the unique DCO... but its mostly redundant
?---Roland JV1010 - not sure never used it... i probably wouldnt use it but roland usually makes good stuff
S---Roland TR-505 - sell - this one is as boring as they come
S---Waldorf Micro-Q - sell - another VA? sure it has nice wavetables but you'd be better off w/ blofeld or microwave
K---Yamaha DX21 - keep... the only fm synth on this list??? definitely keep it
?---Zoom RT-123 - not sure never used it

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by cram1960 » Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:19 pm

Keep:

Drums:
MPC 2000 (Sample the other drum machines then dump them (MPC 500, TR505 , RT123, ER1)

Synths:
Akai AX60 (DCO analog),
Ensoniq SQ80(Wavetable),
DX21 (FM),
Micron (VA),
JV1010 (decent bread and butter Rompler)
Bass Station Rack
Maybe the Juno 2 also (DCO analog)

Sequencer:
MMT-8

I would ditch everything else including some you say you're set on keeping (MicroKorg - blecch). I would suggest some class upgrades, but without knowing what type of music you intend on making, and whether playing live is needed, this is as far as I'll go now.nan option
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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by prinsen » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:17 am

adsr wrote:i am keeping the micron, the microKorg, the Micro-Q, the Bass Station Rack, and the MPC500.
That's a great and compact setup. Unplug the rest of the stuff immediately. Then start selling off the pieces you haven't felt the need to turn a within a month or two from now.

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by Z » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:07 am

I agree with cram, except I'd ditch the Bass Station and keep the CZ (like 8bit9bot said, it has unique sounds). The AX60 has VCO's (great, underrated synth)
cram1960 wrote:Keep:

Drums:
MPC 2000 (Sample the other drum machines then dump them (MPC 500, TR505 , RT123, ER1)

Synths:
Akai AX60 (DCO analog),
Ensoniq SQ80(Wavetable),
DX21 (FM),
Micron (VA),
JV1010 (decent bread and butter Rompler)
Bass Station Rack
Maybe the Juno 2 also (DCO analog)

Sequencer:
MMT-8

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by wiss » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:09 am

I think you answered your own question.....what synths you are keeping.

I know you don't want to hear it but I would toss all the drum machine, samplers, sequencers, and mpc's and just get a MPC 2500 (I love this machine, only 2nd to my studio 440)
Last edited by wiss on Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by lhm1138 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:20 am

"i do not use my Mac for my synth studio...there are no computers of any kind. everything runs thru the MPCs and is either daisy-chained or running thru a MOTU MIDI Timepiece A/V. i am keeping the micron, the microKorg, the Micro-Q, the Bass Station Rack, and the MPC500. everything else is in limbo."

Not using a Mac for your studio sounds sacriligious. I'm guessing you must work with computers or something and don't feel like looking at another one when working on music.

This is tough, because you wouldn't really get much for most of this stuff.

Alesis micron - Keep or sell towards an Ion. If you don't use software to edit, this would be a good move.
Alesis MMT-8 (v.1.11) - Maybe sell. The SQ-80 has a nice 8-track sequencer.
Akai AX60 - Never used. Looks like a nice interface though, and VCOs. I'd keep it.
Akai MPC 500 - Two MPCs is kind of redundant.
Akai MPC 2000 -
Akai S2800 - If you don't use software, you probably need this around if you do a lot of sampling or use sample CDs.
Casio CZ3000 - Keep. Mos def.
Casio SK1 (x2) - Send one to Tablebeast to bend or bend it yourself. Or add MIDI to one. Not worth it to sell IMO, unless you just want to spread the lo-bit love.
E-MU Planet Phatt - Sample it to your Akai and sell it. True you don't get the Z-plane and virtual patching, but I never thought the Z plane filters were all that wow anyway. Using these without an editor is also kinda painful.
Ensoniq SQ80 - Definitely keep. Great interface, very versatile.
Hammond Piper - If it's worth your while to sell it, sample the heck out of it first. If not, I'd just keep it. Looks fun, but probably a space hog. Craiglist material.
Korg EA-1 - Kind of redundant with microkorg. Sell.
Korg ER-1 - Never liked these things, but they're good for shitty plastic electro drums.
Korg microKorg - I'd sell and get an MS-2000R for the quicker editing and better interface, modules take up less space. Use the SQ80 as a master for your modules.
Korg Poly-800 II - Shitbox. Sell it. Or mod it. The one filter for everything led to some nice string machine type sounds, but overall not a remarkable device, unless you like modified square waves for everythign.
Novation Bass Station Rack - Useful. MIDI-CV conversion could come in handy. I'd keep this one. You have a lot of DCO synths.
Roland Alpha Juno-2 - I think the SQ80 can cover this and the Poly800 quite well. These are good, but the keyboards on the AJ2 are a pain maitenance wise.
Roland JV1010 - How do you edit this little thing? If you're just using the sounds stock, I'd just sample them and move it along.
Roland TR-505 - Great XOX sequencing. Not worth it to sell IMO, better to have around for the sequencer.
Waldorf Micro-Q - Maybe redundant. Not used this one, but you've got quite a bit of VA too.
Yamaha DX21 - Casio CZ covers a lot of this ground. This one could go IMO.
Zoom RT-123 - Nifty little drum machine. Always good to have a quick drum machine with numerous percussion sounds. Probably not worth it to sell it.

Definitely keep the SQ80. And I'd consider a Behringer BCR-2000 so you can use MIDI learn where applicable to make templates for some of these units that aren't so fun to edit.

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by adsr » Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:44 pm

thanks guys. you all make good cases. lhm: i use Pro Tools on a Mac for all my recording duties, but everything "synth" is done outside the box first. i have been playing synths since the late 80s, sequencing on an older MMT8, and its just the way i know how to do things best. i do a lot of synth-pop and ambient stuff, cram, and i dont play live at all. i actually use the MPCs for sequencing more then sampleing and i know them like the back of my hand...thats why they stay.

you are right about the CZ...there really is nothing like it. the SQ will also most likely stay. the Micro-Q has to stay. it is a BEAUTIFUL box and have never owned a VA like it. the filters a smooth as silk and it is very versatile. versatility is also why i am keeping the micron. i really dont think people realize how much you can do with this little synth.

i suppose i really did answer my own question. prinsen is right that what i am keeping is a great little setup. add the CZ and the SQ80 into the mix and i really dont need much else. the BCR-2000 is a GREAT idea. i will have to look into it.

any other suggestions are welcome. damn...i just hate getting rid of stuff that has served me so well.
Micron - MMT8 - AX60 - MPC2000 - MPC500 - S2800 - CZ3000 - SK1 (x2) - SQ80 - EA1 - ER1 - mK - Poly 800 II - BSR - Alpha Juno2 - JV1010 - TR505 - MicroQ - DX21 - RT123

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:58 pm

I am a bit of an extremist -

Alesis micron - bye
Alesis MMT-8 - bye
Akai AX60 - keep this as your analog poly
Akai MPC 500 - bye
Akai MPC 2000 - keep
Akai S2800 - bye
Casio CZ3000 - sample a few good sounds, then bye
Casio SK1 (x2) - keep one
E-MU Planet Phatt - bye
Ensoniq SQ80 - keep, just too cool of a synth.
Hammond Piper - no idea here. though really, bye
Korg EA-1 - keep. too easy, immediate, and fun
Korg ER-1 - sample it to the mpc, bye.
Korg microKorg - undecided
Korg Poly-800 II - bye
Novation Bass Station Rack - keep as the cv to midi might be useful
Roland Alpha Juno-2 - bye
Roland JV1010 - sample it, then bye
Roland TR-505 - bye
Waldorf Micro-Q - keep
Yamaha DX21 - bye
Zoom RT-123 - bye
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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by 23 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:00 am

adsr wrote:hey all. i am at a point now where i have a lot of gear that simply does not get used anymore. i am looking to trim my synth setup and could use a few suggestions, along with reasons you would keep or get rid of something. here is my current synth list:

Alesis micron
Alesis MMT-8 (v.1.11)
Akai AX60
Akai MPC 500
Akai MPC 2000
Akai S2800
Casio CZ3000
Casio SK1 (x2)
E-MU Planet Phatt
Ensoniq SQ80
Hammond Piper
Korg EA-1
Korg ER-1
Korg microKorg
Korg Poly-800 II
Novation Bass Station Rack
Roland Alpha Juno-2
Roland JV1010
Roland TR-505
Waldorf Micro-Q
Yamaha DX21
Zoom RT-123

note that i am not looking to BUY anything, but just simplify. i certainly dont need to add to this list. i do not use my Mac for my synth studio...there are no computers of any kind. everything runs thru the MPCs and is either daisy-chained or running thru a MOTU MIDI Timepiece A/V. i am keeping the micron, the microKorg, the Micro-Q, the Bass Station Rack, and the MPC500. everything else is in limbo.

PLEASE NOTE: i am NOT looking for comments as to what you will take off my hands. this is not an auction. i will not tell you what i will sell this synth or that sampler for. i am looking for insight from my peers as to why i should keep any of this s**t around. thanks.
You know, generally speaking, I've found that I can go through a gear list of someones and I'll see what I consider "significant overlap". Just multiple things that can carry out accomplishing very similar sounds.
Here I'm hard pressed in locating the overlap.
In any regard
The Akai AX60 I might ditch, but I'd recreate whatever patches I had done it that I really liked on the Micro Q first. Now despite the fact that I could do this with the Q, the rack nature of the Q puts it in a category of very different treatment...I'm not as prone to programming rack units as I am desktop or keyboard units, so I very well might keep the AX60 simply for that reason.

The Korg ER-1 I very well might ditch. Again, it's the Micro I'd be looking at having replace it's duties. But for similar reasons to the AX coupled with the sequencer on the ER, I very well might keep the ER around. It wouldn't be a sound thing, just a sheer ease of programming (both sound and sequence) thing.

Novation Bass Station Rack This depends on how "analog" obsessed I was feeling. If it wasn't a significant degree of analog obsession I was feeling, this almost surely would be ditched out on and once again, it'd be the Micro taking over it's duties in all likely hood.

Casio SK1 I could easily lose at least one of these and just go "O.K. 2000 and S, do your thing"

All in all, though in regards to architectures and such I see some minimal amount of overlap, in the overall I just don't see all that much overlap at all.
It'd be hard for me to figure out what I was ditching out on.

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by nathanscribe » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:22 am

I would ditch the Akai 500, 2800, one of the SKs, the Planet Phatt, all the Korgs, the 505 and possibly the DX. I dunno what the Zoom is, so maybe that too. Why? Duplicate functionality, c**p sounds, being OK but not worth the hassle, etc. I like FM but there are probably better alternatives, and the only Korg I've ever used and kept is the DW8000. The only reason I would keep the MicroKorg is the vocoder, but you probably have one elsewhere.

Having said that, your gear list is plenty smaller than mine, so I've no room to talk at all. I have been through a few of the ones you have though, and mostly I've parted with them.

Personally, I'd rather have real analogue than VA, but the extra functionality on modern synths can be quite nice. If I'm going to have drum machines, they need to be distinctive enough to be worth having on their own merit - that is, if I can do with samples, I will. In the end, I've got a 606, 909 clone, DR-55 and a LinnDrum. All GAS for drum machines is gone now. Except 808 sounds. I want some. Samplers: I've got a few, 4 I think. Best to keep the ones you can actually get use from. Sequencing: whatever floats your boat. I used an MMT-8 for a few years, and broke it eventually. Fun, limited, OK till I outgrew it. In terms of different types of synthesis, it's nice to have a few, but if you don't use them, don't hold them too close. I have loads of stuff I keep around because "I might use it some day".... hmmm.

You should know yourself what you really want here. Take something out of your setup for a few weeks. If you miss it, bring it back. Otherwise...

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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by Clavier » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:59 am

tallowwaters wrote:I am a bit of an extremist -

Alesis micron - bye
Alesis MMT-8 - bye
Akai AX60 - keep this as your analog poly
Akai MPC 500 - bye
Akai MPC 2000 - keep
Akai S2800 - bye
Casio CZ3000 - sample a few good sounds, then bye
Casio SK1 (x2) - keep one
E-MU Planet Phatt - bye
Ensoniq SQ80 - keep, just too cool of a synth.
Hammond Piper - no idea here. though really, bye
Korg EA-1 - keep. too easy, immediate, and fun
Korg ER-1 - sample it to the mpc, bye.
Korg microKorg - undecided
Korg Poly-800 II - bye
Novation Bass Station Rack - keep as the cv to midi might be useful
Roland Alpha Juno-2 - bye
Roland JV1010 - sample it, then bye
Roland TR-505 - bye
Waldorf Micro-Q - keep
Yamaha DX21 - bye
Zoom RT-123 - bye
I agree with what is said here. However, I would definitely keep the DX21. I like mine more than my DX7 in a lot of ways and I feel that it's the best 4 operator synth out there. Learn your way around it and you will be surprised how intuitive and immediate it can be.

I might also keep the Hammond Piper, because I love weirdo electronic organs. They add unique tones to a synth line up, are good for sketching out ideas, make a great synth stand, and they no real value.
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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by otto » Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:17 am

I know you said you're not looking to buy but I always like the quality over quantity philosophy and you could always slim down while upgrading to some nicer stuff.
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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by JSRockit » Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:07 pm

Trim the junk and you're left with a nice set-up:

Akai AX60 = Keep
Akai MPC 500 = Keep
Akai MPC 2000 = Keep
Ensoniq SQ80 = Keep
Korg microKorg = Keep
Roland JV1010 = Keep
Waldorf Micro-Q = Keep

Then use the cash you get to adhere to Otto's philosophy... for real.
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Re: cutting the fat...

Post by 23 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:10 pm

I'm just going to note what I find so significant about the Planet Phatt, and why I think it's one of the very last things that can leave.
When it comes down to it, the Planet Phatt is basically a digital modular. It's not to the extent of the Proteus 2000 and 2500, but still significantly deep. If memory serves correct, you still end up with around 40 some odd patch sources and destinations, 20 to 30 some odd patch slots, and a small handful of Z-Plane filters.
Put all together, never mind what it was marketed as, you have an absolutely deadly piece at hand that's stands in some capably damn rare timbrel territory.
Personally, it's amongst the very last of things that I think you should let go of as a result...there's a lot of tucked away all to often unmentioned power in there. Never mind what the thing was marketed as.

Same goes with the CZ...it's phase distortion basis is going to allow to jump into some territories that analogs/VAs simply are not going to tread and the same goes nor would the Phatt.
If anything, the DX will allow you to head into similar territory AT TIMES, but again, there's some crucial differences in territory that aren't going to allow either one to fully cover the territory of the other. (Read this as you aren't even going to approximate sounds of the other at times)

The JV again simply brings you into some fairly unique territory amongst the rest. Aside from the fact that it arguably offers you the deepest architecture (all be it a pain to program without an editor), there's also just some weirdo facets to it's architecture....FXM, the boost function (available on some structs) and what that can end up brining into the fray, the ability to have, on an individual patch basis, timbre comprised of what might as well be considered one 2 Osc dual filter synth along side TWO OTHER single osc fully featured synths (remember, like I said, I'm talking about a single patch here).

Maybe I'm wrong, but my guess from your list is that you had things like this in mind when you were purchasing...because there are just differences that I see between a lot of the items that all seem to have their purposes.
With some it's on a timbral capability side.
With others it lies more on an ease of programming and/or sequencing side.

Even with the 2000 with it's 2 MIDI outs...I know with me, the way I look at that is in one fail swoop, because I don't like having to reconfigure and reconfigure, there's my JV and Micro Q taken up right there.
With my MPC 500 I have my Planet Phatt covered.
If I elect to run from a soley hardware sequencing basis (which I think at times is better than what software can offer for the live domain), it makes total sense for me to still have that MMT8 around. There's pretty much all my other single timbral non-sequencer holding pieces all taken care of.

*shrug*....
I may be crazy, but like I said, there's just a certain logic as to where I see everything you have fitting in to it's own place.

But man oh man, never mind that R&B whatever that the Planet Phatt was marketed towards, amongst the very last of things you have should that ever be considered (IMO). That thing just steps into things so miles beyond reach of everything else due to just it's Z-Plane filters, never mind it's modular as h**l nature, that I just don't see how/why you should part with it.
For the love of sounds not yet made, HOLD ON TO THAT THING MAN!

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