4 Keyboards that complement each other?

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syntheticsolutions
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4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by syntheticsolutions » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:44 pm

I like the idea of eventually stripping down my set up to maybe just 4 or 5 keyboards.
Are there any synths that you find complement each other greatly?

I really love to use the Jupiter 4 and RS-505 together to make quite ambient, polyrhythmic sequences.
I think the rich tonality of the Prophet 5 would bring a lot to the table too. I currently have a prophet 600 and adore the sound, however, the infinite amount of bugs, steppy parameters, slow reacting pots, glitchy DAC and cheap build give me a huge headache. I plan to save and then sell the P600 in order to get a P5.

I hate the thought of getting rid of my Juno 6 as I have broke through so many creative boundaries with it.

I suppose what I am asking is, Is there any specific combination of synths that you find work perfectly well together?
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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by edfunction » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:15 pm

4-5 keyboards doesn't sound that stripped down to me ;) (actually looking around my room I could strip down too)

I'd say that there should be a good monosynth in there (some cv patching a plus) and possibly something modern with sampling capabilities. A V-synth might cover a lot of bases. ?

Is there not a lot of overlap in overall sound with the jp4 and the rs505, would be good to keep one of them for warm fluffiness (i'd go for the jupiter).

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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by syntheticsolutions » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:13 pm

edfunction wrote:4-5 keyboards doesn't sound that stripped down to me ;) (actually looking around my room I could strip down too).
Haha! It is stripped down to me :)
edfunction wrote: I'd say that there should be a good monosynth in there (some cv patching a plus) and possibly something modern with sampling capabilities. A V-synth might cover a lot of bases. ? .
I forgot to mention that I have an MS-10 that will never leave my possession, it was my first synth and will always be with me. It has the ultimate bass tone to my ears. That PWM is just bloody outrageous!
edfunction wrote: Is there not a lot of overlap in overall sound with the jp4 and the rs505, would be good to keep one of them for warm fluffiness (i'd go for the jupiter).
I really don't find much overlapping territory with the two. Maybe I use the JP-4 fore more unconventional synth sounds? I generally stay away from classic string sounds with the JP-4 and chose to utilise the fast envelopes for basses, arpeggiators and more percussive sounds.
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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by balma » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:39 pm

I´ve selected my gear using such criteria. no matter label or reputation, but looking to create synths wich help each other with their funtions or the lack of them.
Get a rompler, a sampler, a VA and a real analog. Or a sampler, a performance oriented synth, a drum section synth, and a sequencing oriented synth.

I´ve been squeezing the fizmo during the last months, using a hardware sequencer to manipulate the 6 MIDI channels of each sound. Working in this way has totally transformed the sound of my fizmo, and, at least, I´ve been including its sound on most of my latest compositions.
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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by Joshy » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:04 am

I´ve selected my gear using such criteria. no matter label or reputation, but looking to create synths wich help each other with their funtions or the lack of them.
Definitely is how I'm going about my gear currently. I'm planning to cut my setup from 5 synths down to 3. I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed with 5 pieces and I think I'll be effective with less.

Still, the one's I plan on keeping will be the most versatile in my opinion and cover a huge range together.

My setup recommendation would be a lot different though since I'm not too into old analog. I'd keep the Juno though, since it's awesome. :D


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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by silikon » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:16 am

syntheticsolutions wrote:I suppose what I am asking is, Is there any specific combination of synths that you find work perfectly well together?
Any synths that allow you to get where you want to go in your head, to sound as non-cheeky as possible. I wouldn't concern one self with architecture; if you're going to pare down the kit, then do it in a fashion that you're comfortable will give you all the tools you'd need and be damned the extraneous. Sounds to me like you're more into keeping the JP4, 505, Juno and MS10, with the P600 around only to assist in funding the P5...

It's kind of interesting; those problems you note with the P600 are some of the reasons I find it somewhat endearing. :)

Edit: I reckon I have little business chiming in here... So fair warning there. I can't whittle what I have down, nor do I ever see doing so. I tried, honestly. Just can't do it. My hat is off to you if you can, however - for you are a better man than I in that respect.
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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:27 am

syntheticsolutions wrote:I like the idea of eventually stripping down my set up to maybe just 4 or 5 keyboards.
Are there any synths that you find complement each other greatly?

I really love to use the Jupiter 4 and RS-505 together to make quite ambient, polyrhythmic sequences.
I think the rich tonality of the Prophet 5 would bring a lot to the table too. I currently have a prophet 600 and adore the sound, however, the infinite amount of bugs, steppy parameters, slow reacting pots, glitchy DAC and cheap build give me a huge headache. I plan to save and then sell the P600 in order to get a P5.

I hate the thought of getting rid of my Juno 6 as I have broke through so many creative boundaries with it.

I suppose what I am asking is, Is there any specific combination of synths that you find work perfectly well together?
Hah, it's funny that you have these synths which you need to keep because they have their own little things you can't live without whereas I just see them as 'analogue poly, analogue poly, analogue poly and another analogue poly'.

My setup is very nicely pared down, I've got my monosynth (modular), polysynth (ultranova), modular polysynth/toolkit/whatever I want it to be (Nord modular G2), sampler (octatrack) and then a bunch of effects. All I want to add is an analog four (not because I need it, just because I think it would be fun) and a Vermona DRM1 mk3 for analogue percussion. I've gotten rid of some things that I really liked what I could do with them (V-Synth, Evolver) but I decided that I'd rather have something else that did that function, for whatever reason.

I think that if I were you I'd be selling all those polysynths except maybe the stringer and getting a Prophet 5. You'd maybe miss some little things like the J4 arpeggiator but overall you'd be in a better place musically I think. Quality not quantity.

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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by phesago » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:36 am

Stab Frenzy wrote: Hah, it's funny that you have these synths which you need to keep because they have their own little things you can't live without whereas I just see them as 'analogue poly, analogue poly, analogue poly and another analogue poly'.

My setup is very nicely pared down, I've got my monosynth (modular), polysynth (ultranova), modular polysynth/toolkit/whatever I want it to be (Nord modular G2), sampler (octatrack) and then a bunch of effects. All I want to add is an analog four (not because I need it, just because I think it would be fun) and a Vermona DRM1 mk3 for analogue percussion. I've gotten rid of some things that I really liked what I could do with them (V-Synth, Evolver) but I decided that I'd rather have something else that did that function, for whatever reason.
THis is some solid s**t right here. I may be guilty of having unnecessary s**t, but I really do try to keep my set up trimmed down as much as possible. KNowing what you need is the best possible way to make decisions.

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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by Romannis1972 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:59 am

When I had the "massive setup" I consistently had composer block. Never failed...

The I took a break. Sold all of my gear except for a eurorack modular and a polysynth.

Now, I own something I thought I wouldn't ever have: a ROMpler. And, I'm very surprised it fits in well with my other kit!
I'm not so sure that having a lot of gear would be a bad thing since you can obviously see that people like Hans Zimmer has absolutely no problem designing and composing music on a frequent basis.

I think pairing is a very positive thing, since so many synths can be mere clones of another but still retain their own character. the music I create is not in need of super machines, just a good separation enough to get mixes right.

Application and knowing your gear is the key.

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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by tekkentool » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:11 am

Romannis1972 wrote: I'm not so sure that having a lot of gear would be a bad thing since you can obviously see that people like Hans Zimmer has absolutely no problem designing and composing music on a frequent basis.
How often do you think he's cracking out the modulars compared to how often he's just sitting at his (admittedly massive) computer?

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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by Romannis1972 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:46 am

tekkentool wrote:
Romannis1972 wrote: I'm not so sure that having a lot of gear would be a bad thing since you can obviously see that people like Hans Zimmer has absolutely no problem designing and composing music on a frequent basis.
How often do you think he's cracking out the modulars compared to how often he's just sitting at his (admittedly massive) computer?
Haha, yeah I'm sure a fair amount is just 'there'a but even in some of his recent scores I cam hear very interesting designs that sceam Roland 100M...

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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by condit79 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:02 am

Don't shed that Juno6. If it's historically helped you get stuff done, keep it! That, your ms-10 something really more modern like a mopho x4 to replace the prophet 600 and a jupiter 4 would be an insane setup. When you put your sound together, consider where stuff sits in the mix. Personally, my setup is a mopho, a minibrute, a juno6 an esq-1 and a dotcom/stg soundlabs moog format modular. They all sit in different places and serve different purposes.

What do you make? Think of the kind of stuff you want to make and then assemble the tools necessary, no more. Make a few setups where you hook up a few different combinations and see what doesn't get used. Like, when I make house music, it's the modular for sequencing, the mopho for arps and the juno for bass/arps. That kind of thing has helped me sort where I want to use things. If I'm going to make more 70's electronica, then it all gets used in one take ala klaus schulze with the mopho playing bass, sequences from the modular, and arps on teh minibrute and the esq-1 for leads/pads.
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Re: 4 Keyboards that complement each other?

Post by CfNorENa » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:21 am

Complementary keyboards is definitely the way to go, and I suspect most of us would agree to the general principle. Where it gets tricky is that we all emphasize different things (so complementarity is itself fluid and subjective), and we all have a different comfort zone in terms of how many synths we feel most productive with.

In my case, the two key complementarities are digital/analog and, in the analog domain, different filter types. So I think I've settled on a setup with six synths: two analog monos, two analog polys, and two digital. The two analog polys I settled on are the Prophet 5 (sharp, cutting, aggressive CEM sound) and the MKS-70 (soft, warm, dreamy), which to me really do sit at opposite ends of the poly spectrum. My one analog mono for the time being is the (original) SEM, so I'll want to complement its 12dB multimode filter with a 24dB lowpass of some sort (I think the Minimoog would be ideal, or perhaps a Micromac, but I just don't know if I can shell out that much cash). As for digital, I really just want to cover as much territory as possible. The Kronos gives me everything I need, really, but I do love wavetable synthesis, too, so that's how I can justify the Microwave XT.

Probably more info that you needed. Anyway, yes, discover for yourself what your priorities are, and how many synths you're most productive with, and then make sure the ones you keep are all complementary. No point in redundancy or overlap, unless you're a collector.

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