New To Syths

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
Heto13
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New To Syths

Post by Heto13 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:07 am

Heya guys! This is my first post here and I'm new to synths. I have been playing music for several years and I'm really into electronic-like indie music, like wolf parade, MGMT, and of Montreal. I'm looking to buy my first synth and my price range is under $500. I really like how the MaxiKorg sounds but the only one i could find is for $1200. I like the Korg 700s, but the sound is not powerful enough and sounds a lot like Napolean Dynomite music. Basicly I'm looking for an Analog Synth with a powerful sound like the MaxiKorg for under $500, and is possible for me to find one on sale. Not necessarily as good at the MaxiKorg, but something close to that level of "umph."
Like I said, I'm new to synths so I might be asking for something that does not exist. haha. But If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be awesome.
Thank you very much!

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Re: New To Syths

Post by monolith » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:36 am

Juno-6 is good (my first synth), and it's polyphonic.
http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/juno6.shtml

You can probably get a Moog/realistic concertmate MG-1 for that price.
http://www.vintagesynth.com/moog/mg1.shtml

Thats all I can think of right now, but I'm sure more folks will suggest others soon enough...

Best of luck!

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Re: New To Syths

Post by Johnny Lenin » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:53 am

A couple of things... First of all, be warned that this post will disappear to Buyers Guide, where it belongs, soon.

Secondly, what you do plan to DO with the syhth. Do you want a monophonic instrument [that is, something to play basslines and leads and make cool noises] or a polyphonic instrument [something to play chords and pads and make cool noises]? With that in mind there are many, many options under $500.

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Re: New To Syths

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:00 am

You should just get an MS2000.

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Re: New To Syths

Post by clusterchord » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:15 am

stab, but he said he wants "oopmh" .. :D
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Re: New To Syths

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:28 am

All those bands mentioned could be done on an MS2000. The MS2000 has the ballsiest bass out there too, if you're going for a raw sound.

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Re: New To Syths

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:16 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:All those bands mentioned could be done on an MS2000. The MS2000 has the ballsiest bass out there too, if you're going for a raw sound.
You forget though, you are talking to somebody that wont suggest anything under 2,000 dollars.
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Re: New To Syths

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:35 pm

If you'll accept softsynths: FM8

Got my copy for 149 euro, ex VAT, including shipment, so that won't break the bank. Sound wise you do about everything you'd ever want regarding pads. Synvoxes, classic/retro pads, pads with tonality moving over time, you name it..

To spare the CPU you could create waves from each note and use them inside a streaming sampler, this is especially handy for FM8 sounds using a large unison of 8 voices or more (up to 64)!
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Re: New To Syths

Post by otto » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:01 pm

A lot of not purely electronic indie music can be done with pretty much any synth. In other words there aren’t particular synths associated with indie music. You just need to get your foot in the door. For $500 and it being your first synth I would also recommend an MS2000. If you must have analog you have a few options both mono and poly synth which is something you’ll have to decide. Do you want to play chords or just a note at a time? Based on the maxikorg and 700s I’m guessing you want an analog mono. I suggest checking out ebay and seeing what pops up in that range. You might be able to get:
Yamaha CS-5/10
Realistic MG-1 (moog design)
Micromoog
Roland SH09
Waldorf Pulse (and midi controller)
Novation Bass Station (and midi controller)
Dave Smith Mopho or Evolver (and midi controller)
You could pick up a Bass Station (or possibly the Pulse) for around $300 and a Roland Alpha Juno for less than $200 and you would have a mono analog and a poly analog and you could use the Juno to control the Bass Station. Try to find samples of various synths in your price range and see what you like.
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Re: New To Syths

Post by Joey » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:38 pm

try a korg ms2000

or a roland sh201

or a moog mg1

or a yamaha cs5

or a dave smith evolver and midi controller
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Re: New To Syths

Post by Frayo » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:59 pm

I just bought an MS-2000 a few weeks ago. Don't underestimate it. Yes, it is a VIRTUAL analog, but damn- it's a good one.
It's capable of most synth sounds suitable for Indie music. It's also capable of some killer dance leads....which actually encompass most of its presets. For $500 you can also throw in a Kaoss Pad II and get crazy with it with the nut-job effects combinations you could come up with.

Yes, it is only 4 voice polyphonic, but with the right programming (knob-twiddling) you get sounds so fat you don't even want to add more...unless they are massively complex pads with lots of sustain and you don't want to cut notes off. I think the 4 voice polyphony gives me motivation to try and make the fattest sounds possible.

It's even got a 12db filter on it which is really fat (but it aint no mini!)

Given the sounds and flexibility of the MS, I would say it's the best bang for your buck. I payed $250 for it and I've gotten so far $350 worth of enjoyment out of it.

It's also got a vocoder and allows external audio processing!
The only trouble with this, is that you need to run your MIDI controller THRU it and to the synth you want to manipulate it (the bastard only seems to want to engage when you have MIDI running to it (I have the MS-200R which is cheaper than the MS-2000, but I'm guessing you have a MIDI controller, or a cheap keyboard with your basic MIDI IN/OUT).)
To add polyphony, I usually sample the little demon in low resolution and play it through the sampler- this isn't a problem because I love low-fi.

Also the Evolver is a rocking piece of kit. Bear in mind that it's monophonic (one note at a time)...but damn! what a note!

(Kinda random but posted:....)
I have this cheap little Yamaha PSS-680 with MIDI. It's really cheesy and I dig it's easy little 2 OP FM synth on it. This thing when run through the Korg MS-2000 and a little FX box gets raped and destroyed completely. I've come up with some crazy nut-job sounds with this combination. 12 bit samples of some destroyed FM madness make it to my Casio RZ-1 to compete with the edited and externally filtered sounds from the Yamaha RX-5 to make some crazy percussion action. Just wanted to throw that one out there.

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Post by crystalmsc » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:34 am

Using a Waldorf Pulse+ and an X-station would give you everything to start recording for a bit more around the budget:
- a powerful 3 oscs analog mono synth with lot's of modulation, great arp and audio input (stereo output)
- a good controller with after-touch and synth style editing, with easy to use editor
- a nice sounding synth which is doubled up as an audio/midi interface
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Re: New To Syths

Post by Joey » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:27 am

the pulse is too complex and the user interface is not friendly for beginners

the x station will do him fine however
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Post by crystalmsc » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:27 am

Joey wrote:the pulse is too complex and the user interface is not friendly for beginners

the x station will do him fine however
true, when used together, it almost feels like playing with a Pulse Kb. One of the benefit is that the Lay Out of the 3 oscs x-stn interface would effectively being used with the cc friendly Pulse.
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Re: New To Syths

Post by drawtippy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:16 pm

Welcome Heto13,

You're not only new to synths, you're new to the forum and if you haven't guessed it by now, we take this stuff super seriously... in the best way. The other posters are right, you need to tell us what you want to do with the synth. Pads, bass lines, arpeggios? Do you have a computer set up? etc.

I like those bands you mentioned too and you would be shocked how much software, VA and low end gear they use. Without getting into a "heavier" discussion, sometimes the limitations of gear are exactly what makes it great and how you arrive at a unique sound that's all your own.

As far as the MaxiKorg, I am lucky to have one of these beasts. It took me a year and half to find one in good shape for the right price. Though it sounds amazing, I do not recommend it as a first synth. It has oddly named controls, no pitch or mod wheels and no midi. I'd take the other member's advice and look at something else. Hope this helps.
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