A Synth nerds existential crisis.

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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ensoniqphreak
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A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by ensoniqphreak » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:38 pm

In need of some advice my fellow synth junkies. My lineup currently consitsts of two Ensoniq boards (ESQ-1 and Mirage) the Casio CZ-101, and a Yamaha DX7. I am about to purchase either a Korg DW-8000 for around 200 (plus shipping) OR a Microkorg for slightly more. My Question: Given that I already have another Mid 80s digital analogue hybrid (the ESQ) is a DW-8000 going to bring anything to my lineup not already there? IS the Microkorg really all its hyped up to be, or is it just another analogue modeling synth with a few knobs and a vocoder? I guess there is a larger existential crisis going on here: I am a fiercely loyal 80s digital synth guy (knobs scare me, give me sliders and LED's!!!). Is it time to branch out, or should I get the DW- 8000 and continue to bask in mid 80s analogue digital hybrid heaven? Thanks for the help.
Spencer Musick (my real last name if youll believe it)

Gear: Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-6, Ensoniq ESQ-1, CZ-101. VAs: Korg Legacy Collection, DAhornet, Omaha, SQ-8L, Arppe 2600.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by Z » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:10 am

I don't think the DW-8000 will give you much more than what the ESQ-1 alreeady has. The DW is certainly a breeze to program for a synth without sliders and the onboard DDL is a nice feature.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by Jinsai » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:15 am

You have a state of the art setup...provided it's 1986! ;-)

I remember using the DW-8000 and it wasn't all that great, unless you're dying for some non-saw/pulse waves in gritty-in-a-bad-way digital.

Your assessment of the Microkorg is right on. If that's not what you want, don't get it.

Your "crisis" depends on what music you want to make and how you want to make it.

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ensoniqphreak
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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by ensoniqphreak » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:30 am

I suppose the biggest snag in my lineup is the lack of arpeggiator, which is why I looked at the DW-8000 and Microkorg to begin with. I kind of want something small, along the lines of a Multimoog or Micromoog in size (hence looking at the microkorg), which i suppose is a minus for the dw-8000. Any other suggestions of places to look?
Spencer Musick (my real last name if youll believe it)

Gear: Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-6, Ensoniq ESQ-1, CZ-101. VAs: Korg Legacy Collection, DAhornet, Omaha, SQ-8L, Arppe 2600.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by 8bit9bot » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:31 am

definitely dont get the dw-8000... looks like you have almost everything you could want from that time period - if i were you i would definitely want to add a roland d-50 or d-550 to your already awesome setup

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by ross308 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:39 am

if you want to continue being loyal to the 80' hybrids the dw is clearly the way to go . like it has been said its real easy to program and sounds sweet. if you like the sound of the microkorg maybe you should try to get the ms-2000 rack version for around the same price. it would be a nice way to confront youre fear of knobs.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by plikestechno » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:15 am

With what you have I'd get the microkorg and be in digital-VA hybrid heaven. Swiss army knife of machines. Can do a lot. Keyboard sucks but you can control it with your other synths.
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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by 8bit9bot » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:16 am

not to be overly negative but the dw is very crappy - it has 1 filter for those 8 voices... the filter sounds ok... but the oscillators are VERY limited compared to the ESQ... only 16 waveforms... no osc sync, no AM, no FM... i owned one for a few years and out of every synth i ever owned it was the worst (very clunky too)

the microkorg doesnt really fit in w/ what i thought you were going for (all mid 80s gear) - if you were going to get another synth like the ESQ 1... i point you towards the kawai K3 (make your own additive waveform + analog filters) rather than the korg DW... and if you really are set on the korg DW maybe you should check out the DSS-1 first (http://synthmania.com/DSS-1%20Sound%20Library.htm) check out the sounds at the very bottom (they utilize the filters extensively) - if you really need a VA... the microkorg is definitely not the best thing out there... you like it becuase of the size maybe? personally i like your 80s gear thing much more than adding some cheesey VA from the 2000's

your set up almost mirrors what i consider my ideal setup... except my "wish list" includes the roland d-550 (i used to own one... never should have sold it) - have you tracked down any good disks for your mirage?

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by ensoniqphreak » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:18 am

I wonder if an Akai AX-60 or 80 would be absolutely impossible to find? perhaps any suggestions for other boards that are fully analogue but still 80's?

this thread is so helpful. thanks guys.
Spencer Musick (my real last name if youll believe it)

Gear: Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-6, Ensoniq ESQ-1, CZ-101. VAs: Korg Legacy Collection, DAhornet, Omaha, SQ-8L, Arppe 2600.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by plikestechno » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:23 am

The Roland JXs are tres 80s. "Final Countdown" MAN!
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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by 8bit9bot » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:52 am

it seems that the roland super jupiter was used a LOT from the beginning to the end of the 80s and features VCO's and VCF's - there are those AKAI synths you mentioned... tho i dont know how common they were compared to the rolands - if you dont mind DCO (digitally tuned but still analog) you should definitely check out those roland JX synths - i think the most common JX synth used in the 80s was the JX8p - also you could try other DCO synths like the junos or korg poly 800... they have very 80s sounds (the poly 800 has a really weird oscillator... additive square waves) - if you're into euro or italo 80's music... you should check out the elka synths... tho i have NEVER seen one here in the states

since you like hybrids... you may be interested in the PPG wave decendant synths from waldorf... like the waldorf microwave 1... it has analog filters and features the PPG waveforms - the thing that makes the PPG waveforms more interesting than ensoniq is they can be animated... instead of just 1 static wave - like the prophet VS crossfades w/ its joystick... the PPG and waldorfs can scan thru a series of waves w/ envelopes and LFO's as the controller - the PPG wave was used in a lot of euro music thru-out the 80s... so you'd probably hear a lot of familiar sounds if you checked it out - - depeche mode used the PPG wave on "a broken frame" pretty extensively - here's the original PPG wave: http://www.ppg.synth.net/wave22/

hopefully im not telling you a lot of stuff you already knew... but i do find it imperative to steer you away from the DW and microkorg! ;)

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by ensoniqphreak » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:09 am

my feelings on DCO's should be well conveyed in my lineup. I prefer them. I would like to come across a cheap akai. They seem so rare though! The AX- 80 is mid 80s, has an arpeggiator and DCOs (not sure if the circuits themselves are digital or digitally controlled analogue oscillators) so it fits into my theme. Any help as to where do look? Pawnshops and craigs list look like the next step as ebay seems to have no Akai gear..
Spencer Musick (my real last name if youll believe it)

Gear: Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-6, Ensoniq ESQ-1, CZ-101. VAs: Korg Legacy Collection, DAhornet, Omaha, SQ-8L, Arppe 2600.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by Neonlights84 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:52 am

I would avoid the DW. For around 300-500 dollars you can have one of the following:

microkorg
micron
ms2000
ion
jp8000
an1x
juno 106
alpha juno 1
jx-8p
jx-10


I would recommend any one of those over the DW. The ESQ is simply great at that kind of stuff, no need to retread.
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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by Otoroko Heavy Industries » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:52 am

The ex-8000 was my first hardware synth, then bought the MS2000 and played with it for a few months. Then turned on the EX again and promptly sold the MS2000.

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Re: A Synth nerds existential crisis.

Post by jupiter8 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:22 pm

8bit9bot wrote:not to be overly negative but the dw is very crappy - it has 1 filter for those 8 voices...
Really ? I thought that was only the Poly 800.

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