what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

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zardoz677
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what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by zardoz677 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:53 pm

I love electronic music from this era especially jungle and rave stuff. Two questions:

What were the main popular synths that would have been used during this time ?

What about the source of this classic piano sound that dominated this era?

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by Alphacode » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:02 pm

Well , definitely JD-800, M-1 , Juno 106 later nord lead, Quasimidi but also Analog synths from back the 80's

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by AK79 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:07 pm

that piano ? Sounds like Roland to me JV-series perhaps....

Popular synths of the 90s ? I remember Roland JD800 was popular amongst d´n´b people. Also the analogstuff was very cheap then so most people used that. And AKAI-Samplers of course...

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:11 pm

You're barking up the wrong tree if you're thinking synths. It's all samplers for the most part. Which is not to say that something like a d-50 or m1 isn't totally 90's - it is, It's just not what gives you the jungle/ rave sound. As far as akai goes, early 90's s1000/1100, later s3200xl, but almost any rack/ keyboard sampler will work. An old Atari machine running an early version of cubase plus akai S is like THE talked about rave setup (at least on the internet :-/). If you have a sampler (even just software to play around in), google datafile 1. It's a sample set (freely available) that will give you a lot of period specific sounds to get some rave/ techno off the ground in that style.

Ps, the piano sounds a lot like a mirage, but you can do that sort of piano on any sampler, the m1, d50, and tons of other synths
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by Bitexion » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:47 am

The Korg M1 was really popular at the time, since it could do both analog-type sounds and totally digital stuff coz of the samples. And the Roland D-50/JD-800.

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by Z » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:24 am

Yeah, Ninja is right. By the early 90s, samplers had become reasonable affordable for electronica artists along with inexpensive analog gear like $100-$200 Junos and TB-303s, $300-$400 808s & 909s.

The Top 40/pop artists were all using the latest and greatest stuff from Korg (M1, WaveStation, 01/W) and Roland (JD-800, JV Series, R8), though the M1 was very popular with house artists using the Piano preset playing 7th chord stabs. The D-50 had pretty much wore out its stay by 90 or 91.

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by megamanx » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:49 am

I remember lusting over the VA's such as the nords, waldorf, andmainly the prophecy in the mid 90's. Mainly because of the arpegiators because I didn't know the first thing about playing keys.

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:23 am

Datafile One Sample CD

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by zoomtheline » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:03 pm

The piano sound is not janky enough to be a CS1x but they were popular in the mid ninetees.

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by cornutt » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:05 pm

Yeah, samplers, Akai and Roland. Lots of people using the Roland S-series. As much love as the JD800 seemed to get from artists, Roland didn't actually sell that many of them. The JV series was far more popular.

Then there's the whole slew of Proteus-based rompler boxes from E-mu.
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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by zardoz677 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:37 pm

Thanks a bunch folks! I will check out that sample cd for sure. I dont get this part about why everyone mentions samplers. So when I hear all these lush pads such as this


they must have a source right? So are you all saying that they would have just sampled a chord from their friends synth or something? Or are they playing this on a synth?

What was the role of the sampler and what did it contribute to the sound of this era? Very curious and appreciate your responses!

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by Z » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:51 pm

Not sure which sound you're asking about, but it could be a synth or a sampler. When sampling a synth, it's best to only sample a single note rather than a chord. For example, if you sample a minor chord, every key you play will be a minor chord.

I was not too big on samplers, but in the early 90s, DAWs didn't really exist and most of us recorded to 4 or 8 track tape tape or ADAT. Since we could "stripe" one track with sync tone so we could synchronize our MIDI gear to the multi-track and not have to phsyically record our MIDI gear to tape giving us the other tracks to record vocals, guitar, turntables or whatever. I mainly used a sampler (a Roland W-30) to expand the pallet of sounds (mostly traditional acoustic instruments) that were not available with whatever synthesizers we could afford at the time.

I'm sure most people were sampling drum machines or drum sounds from old records and obscure sci-fi movie quotes (see Strong Bad, below). Of course the hip-hop guys were sampling riffs, hooks and drum breaks.


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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:51 pm

Like Z wrote, a very popular use of samplers back then was to sample synthesizers. It's always been cheaper to borrow (or rent) synths to sample than actually buy all of them. Once samplers themselves got cheaper (thanks to the Mirage) more people started using them.
zardoz677 wrote:What was the role of the sampler and what did it contribute to the sound of this era? Very curious and appreciate your responses!
Listen to this (from 1989)

Image

and this (from 1993)

Image

The sampler eliminated live musicians from hip-hop and launched the "bedroom producer".
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by max badwan » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:34 am

The Korg M/T series were nearly ubiquitous, if not mandatory back then - the JV1080 became so, and Akai S and MPCs (any model) were the main workhorses for contemporary music production in the early/mid nineties.
There was always some older analog gear,often gathering dust, leaning against the wall in studios in those days (often a P5 or a JP6/8).
The Atari ST was the sequencer of choice (I used Notator and moved to Logic on the Atari), and a few Apple PCs running the precursor of Protools back then.
The classical musos I knew all swore by Kurzweil K series.
Yamaha REV 5/7 and SPX 90 were the most common digital effects.
I remember a few Emulator 3s as well.
Drum machines were still around - RX 5, TR 909 and Linn were still being used, but samplers were busy killing them off as well.
That piano sound is the M1.
I forgot to mention the Ensoniq EPS - it was a common sight in the early nineties.

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Re: what were the popular synths of the early- mid 90's

Post by ninja6485 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:18 am

max badwan wrote: That piano sound is the M1.
I thought that at first, but I'm hearing some aliasing there that I don't get from my m1 that I do get from my mirage :ugeek: . For op's purpose it makes absolutely no difference though, and the m1 piano is perfect for the sound he's going for anyway.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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