I'm new to the forum :)

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
User avatar
Drea_Dee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:59 pm
Real name: Drea
Location: Denver
Contact:

I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Drea_Dee » Sat May 22, 2010 6:29 pm

I can't tell you how happy I was that I found this website..I think I've found more information on this site then anywhere else and it helps so much! I've been a piano player most of my life but I am new the world of synthesizers though the music I've always listened to is more synth driven weather its from back in time or right now. But I have an issue..

So I've looked at tons of websites reviews and have tried talking to people in certain stores (bad idea, they just try to sell me the one that is most expensive) about which synthesizer would be best for me as a beginner and it seems that it mostly comes down to the microkorg and the alesis micron (my price range is between 200-300, maybe 400) for just right now! since its my first one I don't want to spend too much money and cant (fashion design school is burning a hole in my pocket) I really just want to understand synthesizers and the process of creating music with them..I want to learn the technology which brings me this-

There has to be other synthesizers within that price range besides those two synthesizers-maybe you've heard this question before and if you have I'm sorry but I've spent hours looking through this forum and other places and I just need to ask what would be best according to what I would need it to do and what my personal flavor is.

I need creative freedom- I love really strange weird, f**k up sounds that don't sound like the typical synth sounds that you hear in every song on the radio or the typical ones that first come to mind-analog is very important! ofcourse I want to create my own sounds but as a beginner it might take some time before I can get to that point. Sequencer is important aswell..and normal sized keys, I hate that the microkorg has those tiny toy keys it drives me insane! but there has to be others out there that are a little newer maybe between 5-10 years old in that price range that can do what I want! live sound is important aswell as having all the basic plug ins I know the older ones don't have as much..

Please help me before I go insane! this is all really overwhelming and I would really really appreciate any advice..thank you so much! and I hope I made sense to everyone its like learning a new language! but I promise I'll get better with it next time I ask a question :)

tunedLow
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:08 pm
Gear: Sage XP 4wt 10
Sage TXL 3wt 710
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by tunedLow » Sat May 22, 2010 10:56 pm

Have you looked at the stuff from Dave Smith Instruments?

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Solderman » Sat May 22, 2010 11:16 pm

Drea_Dee wrote:my price range is between 200-300, maybe 400...
...I love really strange weird, f**k up sounds that don't sound like the typical synth sounds that you hear in every song on the radio...
...Sequencer is important aswell..and normal sized keys...
My first thought based on the above was an Ensoniq ESQ-1 or SQ80. Waveforms are digital but the filters are analog, plus it has a sequencer and is pretty easy to edit.

Super Jexus has done two videos for it:
Part 1 Part 2
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

User avatar
RobotHeroes
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2207
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:57 am
Gear: a toothed wheel that engages another toothed mechanism in order to change the speed or direction of transmitted motion
Location: California/OT

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by RobotHeroes » Sun May 23, 2010 12:06 am

My first two synths were the Korg MS-2000 and Roland JP-8000. Both have lots of controls for you to tweak and great to learn with. On craigslist you could find either one for around $400 although it seems like sometimes people sell them for more.

The microKorg is the small version of the MS-2000. If you liked the interface of the microKorg but hated the small keys then maybe look at trying out a used Korg R3. Also both the MS and JP have a sort of sequencer on them. Opinion on like/dislike of sound differs from person to person. You can make a wide variety of sounds with either ones. They were good to learn on and made lots of sounds I liked.

When starting out I recommend def staying under or around $400 and not getting anything old without knobs if you want immediate action. Last thing you want is to spend X and get frustrated with buttons and number values instead knob/slider action. :happy3:
"*Automatic Gainsay, you ignorant slut." - Primal Drive

"thanks guys. RobotHeroes, your avatar is the single most important thing on this website. ever. it reminds me that the world actually can be a good place." - rjd2

:happy3:

User avatar
stephen
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 698
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:04 pm
Gear: Laptop
House Brick
Renoise
Loomer Aspect
FM8
Location: UK

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by stephen » Sun May 23, 2010 1:10 pm

There's the Novation X-Station in that price range, although the 49 key and 61 key versions cost more
Stephen(2)

User avatar
Drea_Dee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:59 pm
Real name: Drea
Location: Denver
Contact:

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Drea_Dee » Sun May 23, 2010 6:54 pm

tunedLow wrote:Have you looked at the stuff from Dave Smith Instruments?
I did look at the Dave Smith instruments and found them to be pretty bad a*s..but unfortunately all the ones I've looked at are kind of too far out of my price range for right now but I would love to own one in the future :)

User avatar
Drea_Dee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:59 pm
Real name: Drea
Location: Denver
Contact:

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Drea_Dee » Sun May 23, 2010 6:57 pm

stephen wrote:There's the Novation X-Station in that price range, although the 49 key and 61 key versions cost more
I did look at the Novations but don't know too much about them! has anyone ever tried them before? and only 14 keys!! maybe its just weird to me since i'm so use to playing full size keyboards :?

User avatar
Drea_Dee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:59 pm
Real name: Drea
Location: Denver
Contact:

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Drea_Dee » Sun May 23, 2010 7:13 pm

RobotHeroes wrote:My first two synths were the Korg MS-2000 and Roland JP-8000. Both have lots of controls for you to tweak and great to learn with. On craigslist you could find either one for around $400 although it seems like sometimes people sell them for more.

The microKorg is the small version of the MS-2000. If you liked the interface of the microKorg but hated the small keys then maybe look at trying out a used Korg R3. Also both the MS and JP have a sort of sequencer on them. Opinion on like/dislike of sound differs from person to person. You can make a wide variety of sounds with either ones. They were good to learn on and made lots of sounds I liked.

When starting out I recommend def staying under or around $400 and not getting anything old without knobs if you want immediate action. Last thing you want is to spend X and get frustrated with buttons and number values instead knob/slider action. :happy3:
Thats good advice! I do like what I see with the Korg R3! especially the full sized keys and I like that it comes with the gooseneck mic aswell! I did like the sounds of the microkorg but feel like its a little bit too trance? or can that change when you start manipulating the sounds more?I mean I love dance music but its not really the direction I'd like to go in right now..I dont know if that makes sense? I like really dark kinda dreamy sounds aswell, almost angelic? I've been listening to alot of the stuff I've listened to in highschool like coctaeu twins, OMD, the jesus mary chain I dont know if that helps! it seems as though I'm just going to have to run with something until I learn what I like and what I dont like! I feel like everyone has such a personal preference when it comes to synths because theres just so many flavors! what one person might like about one another person doesn't I just have to stop being afraid and run with something! and with something thats around $400 you can't really complain

User avatar
Drea_Dee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:59 pm
Real name: Drea
Location: Denver
Contact:

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Drea_Dee » Sun May 23, 2010 7:21 pm

Solderman wrote:
Drea_Dee wrote:my price range is between 200-300, maybe 400...
...I love really strange weird, f**k up sounds that don't sound like the typical synth sounds that you hear in every song on the radio...
...Sequencer is important aswell..and normal sized keys...
My first thought based on the above was an Ensoniq ESQ-1 or SQ80. Waveforms are digital but the filters are analog, plus it has a sequencer and is pretty easy to edit.

Super Jexus has done two videos for it:
Part 1 Part 2
I like what I'm hearing about this one! and not only that but the price seems pretty damn good for all that it does and it seems a little more simple for a beginner like me and I like the fact that it has some pretty neat distinctive sounds that are a little different from others! and if its easier to edit that also helps me until I get more experience..could this be the one? I think it could be...can anyone tell me a little more about it from personal experience?

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Solderman » Sun May 23, 2010 7:30 pm

I've got one in my studio right now, and have been using it mostly for dark pads. Super Jexus' programming skills in those videos exploits some of the more esoteric qualities of the ESQ-1, namely its flaw/feature limitation in the waveforms to produce digital artifacting. This is confirmed on his review page.
The Ensoniq is not going to give you the same immediacy of an MS2000, like RobotHeroes suggests, certainly not at first. But my experience with a good editing interface is that if you have quick button-press access without any menu-diving beyond that, and you spend enough time to know where everything is, that can be enough to get a real-time performance. If you want to hit the ground running, I would advise, just as Jexus does on his review page, not to buy this synth.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

User avatar
RobotHeroes
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2207
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:57 am
Gear: a toothed wheel that engages another toothed mechanism in order to change the speed or direction of transmitted motion
Location: California/OT

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by RobotHeroes » Sun May 23, 2010 10:28 pm

Drea_Dee wrote:I did like the sounds of the microkorg but feel like its a little bit too trance? or can that change when you start manipulating the sounds more?I mean I love dance music but its not really the direction I'd like to go in right now..I dont know if that makes sense? I like really dark kinda dreamy sounds aswell, almost angelic? I've been listening to alot of the stuff I've listened to in highschool like coctaeu twins, OMD, the jesus mary chain I dont know if that helps! it seems as though I'm just going to have to run with something until I learn what I like and what I dont like! I feel like everyone has such a personal preference when it comes to synths because theres just so many flavors! what one person might like about one another person doesn't I just have to stop being afraid and run with something! and with something thats around $400 you can't really complain
Think of a synthesizer as a blank canvas and art materials. At the grain they all have the same basics for you but they all might have their extras in the form of routing flexibility, # LFO's, etc. You might try one out and they are full of trance, pop-hop, pseudo-analog presets but don't let that totally kill it for you. You are the artist and are only limited by your knowledge which will grow as you tread forward. Visually the mircon looks unappealing to use but there is a guy on youtube that makes some great sounds.

Essentially you are right about having to stop being afraid and go for it. You have to start somewhere right? People around here have their own preferences in synths because they are at that point where you start to hear those characteristics which sometimes come with big price tags or they like old stuff because of their "imperfect character" or even aesthetics. Stick to it and you will be saying certain synths sound plastic, brittle, and cheap in no time. :lol:

Also who doesn't like coctaeu twins, OMD, the jesus mary chain? I love me some shoegaze, dreamy dreampop with some darkness thrown in.
Solderman wrote:I would advise, just as Jexus does on his review page, not to buy this synth.
From memory he totally hates the MS-2000 and the JP-8000. I think he even got the JP a second time because he thought the first one might've been broken.
"*Automatic Gainsay, you ignorant slut." - Primal Drive

"thanks guys. RobotHeroes, your avatar is the single most important thing on this website. ever. it reminds me that the world actually can be a good place." - rjd2

:happy3:

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Solderman » Mon May 24, 2010 4:36 am

What I meant was, it requires one to spend some significant time to learn the interface to get good sounds out of. I did not intend to say that Jexus disliked the synth. On the contrary, the review page is all the highest marks.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

User avatar
iProg
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:28 pm
Real name: Carl
Gear: Prophet-5, Prophet VS, Pro-One, Moog Prodigy, ARP Axxe, Korg PolySix, Roland D-50
Band: ArtWithHeart
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by iProg » Mon May 24, 2010 11:15 am

Find a Juno 6/60/106 for $400 and get to know classic subtractive synthesis with a vintage sound.

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3804
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Ashe37 » Mon May 24, 2010 11:37 am

Also, an MS2000 would be equally valid... knobby and simple with depth when you're ready.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: I'm new to the forum :)

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon May 24, 2010 12:30 pm

Yeah an MS2000 is a great first synth in my opinion.

Post Reply