Stoked About my Rig

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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iainnitro
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Stoked About my Rig

Post by iainnitro » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:15 pm

Greetings:

I have finally got a workable rig going. I set out to setup my home recording studio and purchased Pro Tools 11 (I am on a Mac) and Arturia Collection V which contains some great Virtual vintage synths like the Prophet V and Moog Mini. It also has a good ARP emulation.

I went ahead a spent some money on a good MIDI controller as well... ended up with an AKAI Pro MAX 49.

Could stop here and be fairly happy, but still want to add some good studio monitors and also a mixer which I have decided will be a Allen and Heath 12 Channel mixer and I am leaning towards the Yamaha HS8's for the monitors.

For my microphone, a trusty good ol' EV RE20 :-)

Other than the gear mentioned, I have decided that my keyboard rig needs an Alesis Andromeda A6 and I still want a real Mini Moog (probably Voyager) at some point.

As fate would have it, I did see the Alesis for under $3000 on ebay and would have jumped on it, but the timing (funding) is low -- that figures!

My influences in the synth world are varied, but mainly in no particular order:

Roger Powell
Keith Emerson
Geoff Downes
Thomas Dolby
Mark Mothersbaugh
Gary Numan
Vince Clark

There are others... naturally. I am moved by kind of the off-beat sounds and naturally I love a good grand piano... still looking for a VST for that one for my "modern synth" setup. It is amazing where the tech is today and we owe it all to folks like Bob Moog! I like the idea personally of combining the analog with the digital to get the best of the older tech and still use the newest tech as well! People like Thomas Dolby have done that for a very long time.

Anyhow, just got the rig started and hopefully the setup will continue to grow in a good direction. I am only $1250 (USD) from completion of my home studio and then I figure I have the $10K or so to go on the synths I am seeking. This will be the slow part of the process.

Love the communities thoughts on the Virtual Synth idea, though personally, I think it is cool. It has made me like computing again and put the fun back in that I experienced in 1990 when I was just getting into computers. I suppose it is inevitable that our beloved vintage gear will wear out and there are good emulations, but like emulators for vintage computers, there is sometimes no substitute for the big iron (original boxes). An example is, (and maybe I am daft) but on my Arturia Mini V emulator, I can not seem to get the "cat" sound that the mini can do.

I am sure I just need to experiment more with the knobs... it is a very good virtual instrument though.

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_seph
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Re: Stoked About my Rig

Post by _seph » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:47 pm

iainnitro wrote:......still looking for a VST for that one for my "modern synth" setup. It is amazing where the tech is today and we owe it all to folks like Bob Moog! I like the idea personally of combining the analog with the digital to get the best of the older tech and still use the newest tech as well! People like Thomas Dolby have done that for a very long time.
....but like emulators for vintage computers, there is sometimes no substitute for the big iron (original boxes). An example is, (and maybe I am daft) but on my Arturia Mini V emulator, I can not seem to get the "cat" sound that the mini can do.

I am sure I just need to experiment more with the knobs... it is a very good virtual instrument though.
congrats on the new rig. this last year I bought a new laptop and I'm loving the portable rig that I've put together, so much so that I'm now questioning the need of my studio...

don't expect 100% emulation from Aruria. they're great synths and some get closer than others, but I like to think of them all as being "inspired by" rather than digital clones of the classics.

as for a modern digital synth, my two favorites are Camel Audio's Alchemy and Aalto from Madrona Labs.
-Aalto is an outstanding synth inspired by the instruments of Don Buchla (one of the other folks we owe much to). Madrona Labs was running a 1/2 price summer sale on Aalto but you may have just missed it. They are also just about to announce their new physical modeling-basd softsynth and I'm incredibly excited to see what they've done.
-Alchemy is my favorite softsynth as it combines incredible depth with an engaging user interface. Alchemy covers nearly all in which digital synthesis excels, Additive, Spectral, Granular, Sampling and Virtual Analaog synthesis and it has also has a nice iPad control counterpart.

however, as you're using Pro Tools you may also find Native Instruments Komplete bundle to perhaps be more ideal. There really is no better collection of software and effects than Komplete and were I not a Live Suite user that is trying to keep my plug-ins to a minimum then I would have bought it some years ago. Ultimately though Komplete is a great and well priced one stop solution.

the only thing I can really say in closing is to be conscious of what it is that matters to you. I've owned a LOT of synths over the years and these days I'd honestly be happy with my MacBook centric rig and just my V-Synth. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy the rest of my synths and everything else, however when it comes to making music I've found that with the right mix of MIDI input devices (iPad, Push, SoftStep, AudioCubes, etc..) that a virtual studio can be more immediate, immersive and inspiring than a lot of hardware, but that's just where my journey has taken me.

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natrixgli
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Re: Stoked About my Rig

Post by natrixgli » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:49 pm

iainnitro wrote:I am only $1250 (USD) from completion of my home studio
Famous last words :lol:

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Re: Stoked About my Rig

Post by phesago » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:16 pm

natrixgli wrote:
iainnitro wrote:I am only $1250 (USD) from completion of my home studio
Famous last words :lol:
you left about 2 or 3 zeros off of that lol

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Hybrid88
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Re: Stoked About my Rig

Post by Hybrid88 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:38 pm

The word "finished" doesn't really go with an ever-changing, evolving setup.

Being stoked with it is another matter. :geek:

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