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What hardware to buy? IDM/Ambient

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:19 pm
by zorbid
Hi!
So, forgive me for posing one of the most common questions there is. But can’t seem to figure out the best way to go for my specific needs. I want to buy some analog keyboard that sounds AMAZING. I tend to make either electronica/IDM (I like Jamie XX, Caribou, also things like Thom Yorke) OR more ambient stuff (like Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, et al). So things like that is what I'm after.

A few aspects:

– I'm not going to be playing live much, if at all.

– It's not THAT important for me with huge tweakability. I'm not one of those "the more knobs the better" people. I just want the best damn analog sound there is.

A few of the hardware stuff I've looked at:

– Waldorf Blodeld
– Juno 60 (or Juno-106)
– Yamaha AN1X
– Prophet 6 or DSI OB-6.
– Novation Ultranova

Most artists I like seem to be big on the Juno-60 och 106. But I would be a bit worried about the reliability and having to fix/repair etc.

I mainly want to use it for lead/key/shorter pluck sounds and all things similar. And pads. Less focused on bass sounds. If there’s a difference in what to go for based on that.

The Prophet 6 or OB-6 seem damn nice. But also so expensive. And perhaps it’s a bit of a waste of money if having as many things to tweak as possible isn’t what I’m after.

Price is of course a factor, but thinking about treating myself so not top priority. Although, the price of one Prophet 6 would almost give me ALL the other ones. So maybe that could be one way to go

So, in short: the best possible analog synth for recording for someone with my preferences.

Thanks!!

Re: What hardware to buy? IDM/Ambient

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:30 pm
by Ashe37
If you're after a Juno-ish sound, look at the Behringer Deepmind

Re: What hardware to buy? IDM/Ambient

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:37 pm
by Z
zorbid wrote:I just want the best damn analog sound there is.

A few of the hardware stuff I've looked at:

– Waldorf Blodeld
– Yamaha AN1X
– Novation Ultranova
These are digital, not analog. They're all fine synths, though. Why does it have to be analog? What is your budget? What other gear do you have?

Re: What hardware to buy? IDM/Ambient

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:54 pm
by zorbid
Z wrote:
zorbid wrote:I just want the best damn analog sound there is.

A few of the hardware stuff I've looked at:

– Waldorf Blodeld
– Yamaha AN1X
– Novation Ultranova
These are digital, not analog. They're all fine synths, though. Why does it have to be analog? What is your budget? What other gear do you have?
My bad! To be honest, I'm a newbie and all arguments I have on this is probably based on newbie understandings of this.

All I know is I've spent quite a lot of time with VST:s and at best, they're great but often to my ears they lack that extra something that it seems easier to get with analog/hardware. I bought an Elektron Analog Rytm for this purpose and I'm very happy with it. Perhaps digital could work just as well for this purpose.

Perhaps buying something too expensive is dumb in my situation. On the other hand, would be nice with something that I like just as much a few years down the line when/if I've learned more.

My gear otherwise is sparse. A Focusrite Interface and an effect pedal.

Re: What hardware to buy? IDM/Ambient

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:57 pm
by Z
Yeah, I'd start off small and inexpensive. There seems to be notion going around the past 8 years or so that "analog is better". Yes and no. Analog is best at sounding analog. There's plenty of decent digital virtual analog synths out there, though. Lots of people rave about the Yamaha AN1X. Digital synths will usually give you a broader sonic pallette with more complex waveforms. Lots of people rave about the Blofeld as an inexpensive and compact synth providing a wide range of sounds and also being multi-timbral meaning that the Blofeld can play several different sounds simultaneously (a bass part, a strings part, a lead part, etc).

Another synth you should consider is the Behringer Deepmind 12 or the smaller Deepmind 6. These are dual oscillator analog synths with a fantastic on-board digital effects processor.

I'm not familiar with the artists that you listed as influences, but if you're wanting to do ambient, I recommend getting a good reverb unit like an Eventide Space. You can run a cheap Casio keyboard through it and will sound like ambient magic. In addition to the Eventide Space, there's also Strymon BigSky and the smaller BlueSky and Empress Reverb.

Re: What hardware to buy? IDM/Ambient

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:11 pm
by Jabberwalky
Ultranova