Best Synth Teacher

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Percivale
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Best Synth Teacher

Post by Percivale » Thu May 01, 2014 6:43 am

Excluding persons, tutorials and other learning methodologies, which synthesizer do you feel had taught you most about sound synthesis? Remember this is not a competition and neither is the question asking your opinion on the latest/biggest/baddest 8-)

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Broadwave
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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Broadwave » Thu May 01, 2014 9:22 am

1. ARP 2600 - When I first started dabbling with synths.
2. Korg Kronos - Now.

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu May 01, 2014 9:25 am

Can't really beat the SH-101 as one of the best learning synths, but I kinda jumped in the deep end with the V-Synth, in hindsight maybe not the simplest synth to learn on but definitely one of the most rewarding :)

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by nathanscribe » Thu May 01, 2014 9:57 am

Juno 6. My first synth back in 1991. No manual, no access to online resources, even the bloke who sold it to me had about half an idea how it worked - I just played with it till I figured out what could be done.

Moog LP. Not so much about learning how synthesis works, as what can be done around the edges of a relatively simple modern analogue. I've had this 7 years now, and am still getting surprises from it.

I feel like I need to explore FM more, and get back into lo-fi sampling. I used to totally cane my Mirage back in the 90s.

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by meatballfulton » Thu May 01, 2014 12:16 pm

dotcom modular
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: Best Synth Teacher

Post by synthroom » Thu May 01, 2014 2:36 pm

Kronik wrote:1. ARP 2600 - When I first started dabbling with synths.
A 2600 here too. got one or my 3rd or 4th synth. It's nice because it's all right there in front of you, with a nice fixed wiring diagram on front, and then all the patch points just add to the learning experience.

I understand they were initially designed as a "teaching" synth to begin with.
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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Smoking_Gnu » Thu May 01, 2014 5:25 pm

Alchemy, as I started off with software. The layout makes it quite easy to understand how modulation and signal flow operates, while still being easy to read with little screen changing. I now rarely use it as my other software and hardware sounds quite a bit better, but I very likely would have been intimidated and much less productive if I didn't run into Alchemy first.

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by c-level » Thu May 01, 2014 5:48 pm

SH201 the layout is pretty well illustrated with arrows across the board. great mod options. easier than my first micron at least....

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by V301H » Thu May 01, 2014 6:48 pm

My first Synth was the one I learned the most from:

ARP Odyssey, white face. One of the most complete hard-wired control-per-function Synths.

Of what I have now the Roland Jupiter 6 is the closest thing to the Odyssey and a great Synth I still learn a lot from.
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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Bitexion » Thu May 01, 2014 8:33 pm

My learning synth was the Alesis Ion. Helluva thing. I bought a big subtractive synthesis book from amazon at the same time I got my Ion. I had no idea what ADSR envelopes were, i didn't even know how to make an "automated filter sweep" at the time.

And happily I found every single item in the book on the Ion. So I kinda learned everything from that book.
And then I went on to enter a sound design competition for Alesis, and won second prize (two big studio monitors) ^^

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by commodorejohn » Thu May 01, 2014 9:18 pm

For me, it was the C64 SID chip and the SID-emulating GoatTracker on the PC. At a time in my life when I had absolutely zero disposable income and didn't know you could still buy second-hand analog synths anyway, I had a full-fledged hybrid digital/analog subtractive synth just sitting around in a computer I got for nothing from somebody's attic. I got to learn about filters, envelopes, cutoff and pulse-width modulation, and using arpeggios to stand in for chords, and got to be baffled by oscillator sync and ring modulation, which was not explained at all clearly in the literature. I also learned a bit about just how much you can accomplish with a paraphonic filter and only one oscillator per voice. Granted, the filter resonance is limited and doesn't get close to self-oscillation, but there's still a h**l of a lot you can do with the SID, and it was a fine introduction to synthesis.
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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Infinity Curve » Thu May 01, 2014 9:32 pm

Novation K-Station

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Rezisehtnys » Thu May 01, 2014 10:42 pm

I really didn't get much into programming sounds until I got my JX-8P. Ironically enough my first synth was an Alesis Ion. My second synth was a Poly-800. It was shortly thereafter I realized I needed 61 keys to play 90% of the songs I wanted to play at that time, so I think that's why I never really clicked with sub-61 key synths that weren't monophonic. I made sounds on the Ion and Poly 800, but it really wasn't until the JX that I really started to make sounds.

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by Bitexion » Thu May 01, 2014 11:43 pm

commodorejohn wrote:For me, it was the C64 SID chip and the SID-emulating GoatTracker on the PC. At a time in my life when I had absolutely zero disposable income and didn't know you could still buy second-hand analog synths anyway, I had a full-fledged hybrid digital/analog subtractive synth just sitting around in a computer I got for nothing from somebody's attic. I got to learn about filters, envelopes, cutoff and pulse-width modulation, and using arpeggios to stand in for chords, and got to be baffled by oscillator sync and ring modulation, which was not explained at all clearly in the literature. I also learned a bit about just how much you can accomplish with a paraphonic filter and only one oscillator per voice. Granted, the filter resonance is limited and doesn't get close to self-oscillation, but there's still a h**l of a lot you can do with the SID, and it was a fine introduction to synthesis.

The SID chip is one of the finest synthesizers ever made. I grew up with the Commodore 64, and would at times just blast the music from a game instead of actually playing it. I marvel at the amazing things the good composers could come up with. Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway et.al. They are gods in my eyes. And to thing they programmed their music in pure assembly code is even weirder.

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Re: Best Synth Teacher

Post by cgren72 » Thu May 01, 2014 11:58 pm

Eurorack taught me way more than I have learned from my other synths. I know that my sdiy cgs, mfos, bridechamber modular that I am currently building will take that even further

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