Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
hotfoot982
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Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by hotfoot982 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:21 am

Hello,
Im looking into buying a synthesizer. I have very little experience with synths. The only synth I ever played was on a casio keyboard (wk-1350). I want to get a real synthesizer now. So please help me chose one.

- Budget: $200 ... $250 if I have too.
I am definitely willing to get a used one. As long as it plays.
- Sound: I want to make just weird crazy noises. I don't want any sounds the synth makes to be catagorized into sounds such as techno or trance. I just want it to be odd sounding :/.
If this helps im really into animal collective.

Here is a list I came up with from browsing on ebay of used synths in my price range. Please let me know what you think:
- Baldwin fun machine (Can buy from my friend but looks more like an organ)
- Korg Microkorg
- YAMAHA DX21
- korg poly 800
- Casio SK-1
- Yamaha CS1X
- Yamaha Cs2X
- Yamaha DX7s
- Ensoniq Esq1

I found the Microkorg to be the best because it got really really nice ratings on this site and on ebay it's not that much to buy used. It's in my budget.
If you know of any other synth that I should get thats not on that list PLEASE let me know.

Thank you and I appreciate anybody who responds to this :D

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Old Iron Giant
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by Old Iron Giant » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:44 am

MicroKorg

IMO, a great synth to start on.

Hugo76
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by Hugo76 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:46 pm

Yeah, of those mentioned I'd definately get the MicroKorg. You may want to see if there are any similar alternatives, but with more knobs. I don't know what they usually go for, but one of the Access Virus synths may be an option.

ned-ryarson
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by ned-ryarson » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:04 pm

micro korg too...

but to get really 'weird' tweaked out phsychedelic stuff, you'll need to process your synth with external effects, hard ware effects modules and such..

and ableton live has great pluggin effects.. brilliant for experimental


but yeah, the synth only contributes to 50% of the sound IMO

hotfoot982
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by hotfoot982 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:56 pm

Ok sick! I guess ill go with the microkorg! :D
And I have ableton live so looks like im set :-).

THANK YOU SO MUCH everyone for responding!

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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by paugui » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:20 pm

I would suggest a Yamaha AN1x instead of the MicroKorg if that is to be your only real synth.

The Yamaha has a proper keyboard and 10 notes of polyphony instead of just 4.
You don't have a vocoder or external processing, but as a first synth I would say this would suit you better and it is quite easy to edit too (I think this wouldn't be worse than the MicroKorg at all).
As a plus, it has step sequencer which is really nice.

I think you can probably get one for the same price the MicroKorg goes.


Go to this website to understand some of the specs and how it sounds: http://homepage.mac.com/synth_seal/html/ds_an1x.html


Hope this helps,
Best regards

Paugui

hotfoot982
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by hotfoot982 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:21 pm

paugui wrote:I would suggest a Yamaha AN1x instead of the MicroKorg if that is to be your only real synth.

The Yamaha has a proper keyboard and 10 notes of polyphony instead of just 4.
You don't have a vocoder or external processing, but as a first synth I would say this would suit you better and it is quite easy to edit too (I think this wouldn't be worse than the MicroKorg at all).
As a plus, it has step sequencer which is really nice.

I think you can probably get one for the same price the MicroKorg goes.


Go to this website to understand some of the specs and how it sounds: http://homepage.mac.com/synth_seal/html/ds_an1x.html


Hope this helps,
Best regards

Paugui
Yeah you might be right because I just want a synth that will last me a decently long time (maybe 2 years?) and thats pretty good. I don't need a vocoder either as of now.
Maybe I will look into it.

Thanks for the advice

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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by ned-ryarson » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:21 pm

yeah.. even though the MK has a small interface with menus, it's quite simple to programme if you know what functions do what...

i learned on an MK, but i had 1 to 1tuition and up until that i wasnt able to get much out of it.

therefore a knobbier synth would probably be better for a newbie

hotfoot982
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by hotfoot982 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:25 pm

Ah I really should try to get that but it seems to be running around 300+ on ebay.
I will try to save up I guess :/

ned-ryarson
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by ned-ryarson » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:00 pm

yeah man do it... i have a few others, way more expensive, but i still reach for the MK first.

top s**t for bass, ambient pads/drones and fx..

when you do, let me know if you need any help wit it. peace

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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by paugui » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:02 pm

hotfoot982 wrote: Yeah you might be right because I just want a synth that will last me a decently long time (maybe 2 years?) and thats pretty good. I don't need a vocoder either as of now.
Maybe I will look into it.

Thanks for the advice

I have my AN1x for more than 2 years and I don't see myself selling it.
There is no other synth with the same engine with at least 10 notes of polyphony (I think that is only possible if you buy 2 PLG-AN boards, and Iam not sure if they are compatible with the actual Yamaha workstations).

Unless Yamaha makes a new improved model, I don't think the AN1x has a replacement and it might always be a good synth to keep.
The MicroKorg already has a replacement and with all the success it is enjoying, I think more are likely to follow, so you might get another one, probably a newer model of the same line, in some years.

Unless you really want a synth with mini keys and don't mind with polyphony, I really think the Yamaha would be a better choice, as you don't really need the vocoder.

I never had a MicroKorg, I only played one in a store, but I didn't felt the sound was any better than the AN1x.
The MicroKorg might be more versatile, due to the extra waveforms, but sonically I didn't found it superior when I demoed it in the store.

hotfoot982
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by hotfoot982 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:51 am

Ok I guess Ill try to save up some money and get that. It sounds good.
Thanks :D

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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by ned-ryarson » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:53 pm

if i suggest another one now, will you say, 'ok ill get that then'? haha

hotfoot982
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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by hotfoot982 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:09 pm

ned-ryarson wrote:if i suggest another one now, will you say, 'ok ill get that then'? haha
hahahaha yeah man i know thats how i feel.
I don't know anything about synths so im taking any advice. And an answer to your question would be probably if you back up your statement. lol.
Welp I will see what will happen and how much money I can get. If I can't get enough I will just go with the MK I guess. :?

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Re: Want to buy a synth: Complete newbie here. Advice?

Post by ned-ryarson » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:50 am

hahaha.. good man! peace

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