Restructuring my setup

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killanator
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Restructuring my setup

Post by killanator » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:05 pm

After much thought I am finally making the decision to restructure my studio to a more functional, less synth-focused setup. My current setup is a Moog little phatty, casio cz-1000, korg ms2000r, and korg es-1. I am going to completely change this to something more streamlined and functional. Most of my gear I barely use anymore, cz-1000 has been untouched for at least a month and korg es-1 has been sitting on the ground for at least 3 months. I've decided to ditch the whole thing and start from scratch(except for keeping my current monitors and computer). This is so I can have a more functional live rig for contemporary applications and also have a more streamlined setup in the studio.

So what I am thinking about selling is the casio, moog, and both korgs. I am already shopping around for a Alesis QS7/Quadrasynth on fleabay, and will get one soon, but haven't decided on anything else. I have decided to only have 1 hardward synth, and am looking in the price range of around $500 or a little more, something recent and VA. I'm really liking the SH-201, though if anyone has any other suggestions I will definitely consider them. It doesn't have to be brand new, and maybe I'll think about something from the 80s or early 90s but a VA synth would be cheaper, and fit better in contemporary applications. Sure, I absolutely adore the sound of my LP, but it is over 1k retail and is monophonic, I will gladly play analogue synths in the future but I am just a kid in high school, I don't need it now.

Those are the only 2 things I would want keyboard-wise, so they can handle all my synth parts and then I got pianos, clavs, eps and whatnot all covered with the QS. Drums, sampling, effects are definitely cheaper in the software realm, and easier for me. I am going to get an Audiophile 2496 with my next paycheck for my interface. For MIDI I am planning on getting an APC40(I am a live addict) and some korg nanothingys, 1 or 2 nanokontrols and a nanopad.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, or if anything I posted is absolute c**p please let me know. I will probably be posting some stuff up for sale/trade here in a bit. I hope to have my new studio ready by the new year.

EDIT: After looking a little more into whats available at my desired price range for synths, I am also considering a Waldorf MicroQ Keyboard, Yamaha AN1X or Roland JP-8000. I want at least 8 voices of polyphony there, and a good-sized(49-key) keyboard. AN1X is cheap but I think the JP-8000 tops it.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by Dj Pound » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:43 pm

I see you got an ES-1....Dust that baby off and make some tunes :!: Tons of fun await you.
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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by TrondC » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:05 pm

-If you get the APC 40 and already have Live...that's all you need + the interface :)
In fact, I'd keep the LP, it will double as your midi controller, and it adds analogue sound to your otherwise digital setup. sounds sweet to me :)

oh, and the ES is tons of fun, but if you don't use it, it's easy to sell

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by killanator » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:12 pm

While just the apc40 would be perfect for if i was doing purely electronica, I also need a live rig, with a polysynth and a rompler, therefore I must sell the LP. I will have plenty of time for analog synths in my future.

So what do people think between the JP8000, sh-201, and an1x? Im liking the an1x pricewise but the jp-8000 and 201 sound better, so I'm thinking 8000.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by paugui » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:15 am

If you are considering an Alesis QS7.1 or Quadrasynth I would definitely recommend you to get the Fusion instead.
The extra engines are quite good and it definitely is a good all in one.
I definitely like mine

If you want a dedicated VA I would say that the AN1x has a pretty good sound. Since from what I've heard the SH201 has the same synth engine as the VA on the V-Synth, I think the filters on the AN are much better than the ones on the V-Synth (if you compare with the V-Synth, you have less variety, but the SH201 doesn't have all the COSM processors that appear on the V-Synth).
I really like the AN1x and, despite I have never played the JP8000, I think you won't be worse with the AN1x. The only big problem the AN1x has, compared to the JP, is that you don't have a knob per function, but you have a keyboard with aftertouch and a step sequencer. I would likely recommend you the AN1x if you need to have a keyboard, as the JP8080 seems to be much better than the JP8000, but it is a rack (and you might get that one later).
The V-Synth would also be a nice alternative, as it has a nice synthe engine with lots of possibilities and you have nice controllers (D-Beam and X-Y Pad), but it is much more expensive than the previous alternatives.

If you want something cheap, for me the Alesis Fusion (6HD or 8HD, depending on your preference for the keys) and the Yamaha AN1x would do the trick, but only with the Fusion you would be able to do some nice VA sounds, cause the internal VA engine is great


Hopes this helps

Paugui

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by killanator » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:37 am

Well I've checked out the AN1X demos and it does seem like it would do me pretty well, and is cheaper then the Roland options. Fusion looks nice but it is a bit out of my price range. I've played a couple of the alesis QS things and I know that they will fit my needs. V-synth is definitely out of my price range.

EDIT: I calculated what my budget would be with selling my gear at current prices on ebay, and it came out to about 1300-1400 USD. I calculated what it would cost for my desired setup with the AN1X, and it came to about 900-1000 USD, leaving the other 400 or so for korg nanothingys and an interface(which will be about 200-300 new). So pricewise, the AN1X would work pretty well, although I still would like input from someone who has played both a jp8000 and an AN1X. They both sound pretty good to me, but I would like to have more knobs then are present on the AN1X.

YET ANOTHER EDIT: Theres an SH-201 at $305 on fleabay that ends in 1 hour, if that stays low(around $350) then I'm probably going to get it.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by paugui » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:02 am

I saw some Fusions here at VSE for less than 500$.
In Europe they are still much more expensive, but in the US I'm sure you can find a 6HD for about 400$.
If you consider to buy only two synths, I think you can get the Alesis Fusion 8HD and the Yamaha AN1x for less than 1000$.

I really suggest you to think about the Fusion, cause in my opinion the best parts of it come from the extra engines. The FM section is really nice (the only minus when compared to the DX7 is the fact that the envelopes are ADSR and not multi-stage envelopes, but you have more EG's and LFO's (8 of each) and a Filter with lots of different types, including an ARP2600 emulation), the VA is nice too (with the same number of EG's and LFO's - they are the same for all different synth sections - but unfortunately not all the filters type including on the Ion/Micron and only one) and a really nice Physical Modeling section (different than usual, as it is a rare synth method, but possible to get some really nice sounds out of it).
Considering the PCM section only I would probably recommend you to get something different from Alesis (I think I prefer my Triton to the Fusion in terms of the PCM section), but considering the whole package, I think the Fusion is definitely a winner.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by killanator » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:22 am

Well, i looked on ebay and didnt see anything under like $600 in completed. I really am only seeking 1 hardware synth, and 1 rompler type thing. How would you compare the PCM on a fusion to a qs7 or quadrasynth?

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by paugui » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:36 am

I never tried the QS7 or the Quadrasynth, but I think the Fusion is basically an evolution with more filter types, a modular structure and different oscillator types (because the path of the signal is similar and all the sections remain equal except the oscillators, which can be PCM, VA, FM and PM).
I think the Fusion is quite a step forward and if it didn't had those OS problems at the beginning I think it could have been a huge success. Maybe in the future it will be a cult instrument.

There was some debate over the two on these topic: http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... on#p523033
One thing interesting is that it seems the QS series and the Quadrasynth didn't have a resonant filter, which the Fusion has (you even have an ARP 2600 filter emulation and plenty of other nice filters, including 3 formant filters).

Maybe someone else can give you a deeper insight, but I really think the Fusion would be worth the extra money.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by killanator » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:54 am

So what does the Fusion have in terms of PCM and sounds it has on there? I need pianos, eps, organs, clavs, all those keyboard things.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by paugui » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:35 am

Then you would be good with the Fusion 8HD.

The keyboard feeling is really nice.

About the sounds, it is no Nord Stage or a Kurzweil PC3x, the sounds of pianos are not as good, that's for sure, but it can sound good on those kinds of sounds too (and it can do a lot more due to it's modular structure with lots of modulators and the various synthesis types).
If it doesn't sound that good, you can always import some samples (you have a 40 or 80 Gb HD, so you can import whatever you want) and use your new samples to make the sounds as you want them to be.
Also, if you are into Jazz/Fusion, FM might be a plus, cause it can emulate electric pianos fairly well and the DX7 was a favorite with Chick Corea, for example.
Also, there is a fairly nice free library of sound available for it, on Hollow Sun, which has some nice samples (including an acoustic gran piano, harpsichord and probably some more keyboards and a lot of synths).

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by tallowwaters » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:28 pm

killanator wrote:So what does the Fusion have in terms of PCM and sounds it has on there? I need pianos, eps, organs, clavs, all those keyboard things.
It can do all those instruments just fine with the onboard samples. Plus FM, Physical Modeling, VA, and a fairly fully featured sampler. Pretty easy to edit when you find your way around the architecture.
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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by balma » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:04 pm

just an honest opinion.

Man, sit on a chair in front of your synths, and look at them on a different way.

I'm just trying to give you a different perspective and not going to tell you exactly what you want to hear, but sometimes who needs a change is the musician and not the gear.

with those machines you can do amazing stuff. If you push further with them.

I know so, so much producers, who don't do anything, because they just want to change the gear. if you have those
synths collecting dust, you should reconsidering your thought process, and try to give them a different usage.

You can modify the way an Electribe ES-1 sounds, since it's a sampler. It depends of YOU how it sounds.

that small thing is very versatile, not deep, but easy to play, and it provides a lot of fun, if you fill it with decent
samples.

Don't ask what can your gear do for you, but whan can you do for your gear. Overused phrase, but always true.
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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by killanator » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:08 am

balma wrote:just an honest opinion.

Man, sit on a chair in front of your synths, and look at them on a different way.

I'm just trying to give you a different perspective and not going to tell you exactly what you want to hear, but sometimes who needs a change is the musician and not the gear.

with those machines you can do amazing stuff. If you push further with them.

I know so, so much producers, who don't do anything, because they just want to change the gear. if you have those
synths collecting dust, you should reconsidering your thought process, and try to give them a different usage.

You can modify the way an Electribe ES-1 sounds, since it's a sampler. It depends of YOU how it sounds.

that small thing is very versatile, not deep, but easy to play, and it provides a lot of fun, if you fill it with decent
samples.

Don't ask what can your gear do for you, but whan can you do for your gear. Overused phrase, but always true.
While I understand your reasoning, no matter how hard I push, none of my synths will play 5 notes at once. This can obviously get in the way. And no matter how much I try, I can not load infinite samples into the es-1 at once, which is necessary for what I want to do, and no matter how hard I try I can only have 1 effects processor on there. Yes, the gear I have is very good, and I can do a lot with it, but I need a change of setup to do what I want to do, this involves selling things to get different things that I need(more polyphony, a sampling keyboard for pianos etc). I started building this setup when I knew absolutely nothing about synths, and now that I have an idea of what I'm doing I'm sure I can get a better setup now that will work and I won't let myself change further.

The Fusion looks great, but I would need the 8HD for the size of the keyboard(i want a 76 at the minimum) and the 8HD is to pricy for my budget...It looks really nice though. Perhaps if I waited a little longer to get some more dough. I'll think about it.

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Re: Restructuring my setup

Post by Dj Pound » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:46 am

Just curious what exactly are you trying to accomplish musically?

Concerning the ES-1, I can understand being displeased with only 1 effects processor. But have you tryed resampling? The ES has the ability to resample a sound infinetly with effects applied, with ZERO quality loss. This opens up an entirely new possibility for expression, and IMHO is one of the major selling points for keeping the ES.
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