What piece of gear got your mojo back?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
danbroad
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What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by danbroad » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:51 pm

Over the years I've alternated back and forth between hardware and software - especially now software's sounding so good [Omnishere, for example, does things my JV-1080 could only dream of....]. In the end, I sold my Viruses, the MS2000 and the MPC1000 and built a solid-state drive DAW PC specifically for my Spectrasonics instruments. I still love them to bits, but I miss the proper hands on control; my music making isn't suffering, but my experience and enjoyment of it is. Does that make sense?

So, I'm looking around at interfaces, hardware, instruments. I want deep potential, but instant gratification too. I want a player's choice - even if that means a non-keyboard based instrument.

You know when you're looking at prospective purchases and it's just all too good? You end up going over and over the same Youtube vids, VSE reviews, user manuals, and end up going off on tangents for stuff that's entirely different to that which you started out looking at? I'd initially set myself on a DSI MEK, but recently I've been digging the crazy stuff I hear from the Elektron boxes. So, at the moment my options look like...

Machinedrum UW+
Mono Eolver Keyboard
Mopho Keyboard
MS2000

I'm a keyboard player, but I'm seriously considering ditching keys in favour of the Machinedrum; any of you identify with that? I love Berlin-school TD/Schulze stuff, but I'm equally at home rocking out on a Motif with some cheesy bar-room blues. I like evolving drones and minimalist deep 4/4 IDM... disparate tastes, disparate equipment choices...

So, I'm asking for advice from, frankly, a bunch of stuff that we can't compare to each other. Synth, sampler, drum machine... I don't expect anyone to say 'get this' or 'get that' because it's an impossible choice. No, what I'm looking for is any real-life experiences where you went out on a limb or chanced a purchase that's revolutionised your music-making experience. Something that got your mojo back, made you enjoy it all again. Has anyone been through this? Not so much a 'writer's block' as an 'enthusiasm block'?
Less words more noise

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sequentialsoftshock
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:16 pm

A f**k Evolver keyboard. A f**k Pro~One. Any goddamn device made by Dave Smith, past or present.
bonne chance

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by rharris07 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:22 pm

I was desperately bored with the few synths I had about a year ago, and just decided its time to buy a new one...but I wasn't into anything I found at the nearest guitar center...so I watched some videos, read a few reviews here and there...and finally just decided to jump on the Prophet '08 without any real live experience on it...there was no local shop that sold them, nor did I know anyone that has one...so I just took a chance...and it was an awesome decision, because that board has done so much to get me excited about synth sounds and writing on synths....h**l its the reason why I got the MEK as well.

The other two synths that really got me excited about using them to write new material: Access Indigo 2, and Korg DW8000. The DW is not a glamorous machine by any stretch, but damn can it make some very cool sounds. The indigo 2 was just a totally different beast than what I had been using, and still is the only synth I have that sounds the way it does...I get a lot of my synths crossing over into each others' sounds at times (P'08 and MEK, SD-1 and DW8000, etc.)...but it is just a world of its own, and extremely powerful too.

I will say also - for all the s**t talk it gets, the microkorg has given me a lot of 'push' when I've needed it too...especially if you get into really working out some good sounds on it, and adding external effects to it - maybe throw some tube overdrive on it so it thickens up a bit...it can make some very nice string sounds, and can get a good little berlin-school arpeggio going to get started on a track too....for the price of one used these days, its definitely worth it I think. It is a nice, cleaner alternative to the gritty sounds I get from the P'08 and MEK most of the time (not complaining...thats how I typically program the damn things...to growl!).

MEK | SixTrak | DrumTraks | Motif 8 | DW8000 | MicroKorg | EMX1 & ESX1 | Soviet TOM | Arp Quartet | SD-1 32V | Elka 490 | Indigo 2 | E6400 | Morpheus | SQ2 | DotCom Modular

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by th0mas » Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:44 pm

To answer your question, "The next one I get, I swear"

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by novielo » Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:27 am

well, when i feel like i should change one piece of gear. i ask myself why i want it, sound, layout? then i go back to my gear and try to do what i wanted from the new synth. 95% of the time i stay with what i already have, dig them a bit more and i get more creative.
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:41 am

Having a modular cures any creativity or enthusiasm block. If you don't enjoy playing with a modular, you obviously need a new hobby.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by monolith » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:45 am

The S612 did it for me.
The possibilities are endless for the sounds I can make and they are totally unique to me.
I spent hours last night making tracks with a sound I made by layering my voice and my sitar.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by TrondC » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:53 am

th0mas wrote:To answer your question, "The next one I get, I swear"
truth

prepare for another "Machinedrum saved my musical life" sort of reply here:

For me, I made more music and enjoyed making it more after owning the Machinedrum UW for 6 months than with all my other gear over a cource of about four years. now that they come with the +Drive (sort of a giant memory upgrade; you have 128 times more storage, like having 128 physical machinedrums in your room, but you can only play one at a time..) and a bunch of free "Sound banks" (basically sysex of patterns, drum sounds, samples etc) the machinedrum just got even better... Inspiring, quick, easy to use, but deep, complex, original and will keep you exploring new things for years to come.

my 2 cents

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by speak_onion » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:09 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:Having a modular cures any creativity or enthusiasm block. If you don't enjoy playing with a modular, you obviously need a new hobby.
This, sort of, but I vastly prefer virtual modulars to the real thing, because modern convenience. I would recommend to anyone that has $400 to drop on a micromodular to do it. But that doesn't really help the OP, because you're looking for the hands-on control. Uh, get a MIDI controller with the nord?

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by krzeppa » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:21 pm

It was my mind.....creativity just sort of popped in there again about 7-8 months ago after taking a 3 year vacation! :)

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:04 am

speak_onion wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Having a modular cures any creativity or enthusiasm block. If you don't enjoy playing with a modular, you obviously need a new hobby.
This, sort of, but I vastly prefer virtual modulars to the real thing, because modern convenience. I would recommend to anyone that has $400 to drop on a micromodular to do it. But that doesn't really help the OP, because you're looking for the hands-on control. Uh, get a MIDI controller with the nord?
Why just pick one? I've got a G2 as well as a Eurorack system, best of both worlds.

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speak_onion
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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by speak_onion » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:06 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
speak_onion wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:modular
virtual modulars
Why just pick one?
Lack of space and funds. :(

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:26 pm

That is a sad state of affairs, I sincerely hope you'll have both in your future. :D

The thing with the G2 was that after I'd spent $5k or so on a case and a half of modules picking up a second-hand G2 didn't seem like much of a financial stretch. I think starting on a modular might warp your brain a little bit though.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by speak_onion » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:32 pm

I'll be fine. ;)

Anyway, I'm spoiled rotten re: unlimited #s of modules, patch memory, morph groups, etc.

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Re: What piece of gear got your mojo back?

Post by THEODICY » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:48 am

Gotta agree with everything Trondc said. The Machinedrum was a godsend for me. It sounds great, always interesting, always inspiring, always explorable and best of all it made music making fun again!!! Love that box and will never EVER be without one. If it were stolen, I'd sell other gear to buy another one right away.

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