Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:03 pm

Alright friends, I'm sorry to post again, but I think I've figured out some guidelines, and I need your help!!

Looking For: Keyboard, 61 keys (preferably)

Price Range: Trying to keep it at $450.00 or less

Style of Music: I plan on using this board in an experimental/minimal/drone/ambient project that I've been playing with lately...but I'd also like to use it for solo gigs where I'd be playing covers on piano.

Specs: I need acoustic sounds (Piano, Organ, Strings, Bells, etc). I would also like synth sounds (ambient, weird, experimental, etc.) with some knobs to mess around with to manipulate the sound.

I know this is pretty vague, but I wanted to keep it from being too lengthy. And I apologize for not being down with a lot of the synth lingo, so you guys might have to dumb it down for me a bit. Any help would be much, much, appreciated! Thanks!!!

User avatar
rharris07
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:41 am
Real name: Ryan
Band: Ghost Fires, The Witch Family
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by rharris07 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:10 pm

Possibly a Korg DW8000, or maybe a Yamaha DX7 IIFD could work. I'm not sure what the Yamaha Motif 6 or 7 goes for these days...but they shouldn't be too high if you pick up one of the originals, and it could definitely do the trick. I've seen Motif 8 boards for around $1200 - so surely the Motif 6 couldn't be out of your price range.

You could also try a Yamaha SY55 or SY77.

I don't know much of anything about Kawai boards, but I know there are guys here that could probably let you know if there are any Kawai boards that could accomplish what you want within your price range.

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

ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:24 pm

rharris07....thanks for the advice man. I'll definitely check out some reviews, demos, prices of these boards

User avatar
sequentialsoftshock
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2415
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:57 am
Real name: Zayne
Gear: Pro One, Analog Keys, Prophet 5, MPC60, TR606, RD8, St. Vincent Guitar, Bluesbreaker amp
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:27 pm

You may want to look at one of the Nord boards or even a midi controller with software instruments for synthesizers, organs, pianos etc

User avatar
Phenom
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by Phenom » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:55 am

Take a look at the Yamaha CS6x, good synth for natural and synthy stuff, cheap and expandable with different synthesis types when you feel like trying something new. Handy little sampler too if you fancied exploring that.

The Roland XP30 wouldn't be a bad place to start either, but maybe not as much fun as the CS6x.

ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:19 am

Thanks for the advice guys, very helpful stuff....I think I've narrowed it down to the Yamaha EX-5, Yamaha CS2x, Yamaha CS6x, Roland XP-30, or the Roland Juno D.

I really like the CS2x based on demos that I've watched, it's got everything I need, and I think it's probably the cheapest of the ones I listed above. I feel the CS2x might suit me better, as i am a synth beginner and it looks pretty simple to figure out...I'm worried I wouldn't use the CS6x up to its full potential?

User avatar
Phenom
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by Phenom » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:29 am

Hmm, I'd try and stretch a bit further than a CS2x if I was you, I had a CS1x (basically the same synth with less polyphony and ROM) and I found it quite irritating. I think the user interface is badly handled (only in my opinion tho) and those nice sounds that you might have heard on demos are only available on a single part, the rest of the voices are just standard Genal Midi stuff. Not very interesting from a creative synthesis point of view. Not saying the CS2x is bad, just that it was bad for me, so be sure to try the out the user-interface a bit.

That said it covers the basics, and its featured synth part can sound very nice, but then again, so can ost modern romplers, and with a great deal more flexibility. If cost is an issue, how about something like a cheap master keyboard and a JV1080. Better than a CS2x in my book, and probably the same price.

ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:32 pm

The thing is, I'm looking for something newer in order to avoid possible repairs/ebay scammers. Also, something pretty simple/straightforward that a newb like myself could pull out of the box and start playing...I don't really intend on using any computer software or anything like that (mainly because I'm pretty technology illiterate.) My first and only synth (Novation XioSynth 25) was fun for awhile, but I never really figured out how to create my own sounds. I generally stuck to the presets and used the attack, resonance, frequency knobs....which got old really fast. And as a piano player, piano/organ patches are really important to me...but I also would like the synthy, weird patches for this experimental/ambient/drone project that I'm working with.

Having said that, the Roland Juno-D looks to be simple enough, is relatively new, and is in my price range. It's got a ton of patches, some basic, built in drum patterns(I think?), and five knobs that I love to use (resonance, frequency, attack, etc). My only concern, though, is that it's not gonna have enough of the synth pads, bleeps, and arps sounds that I'm looking for...as I hear it's more of a want-to-be synth...more like a keyboard. Any thoughts, advice, help???


MAN finding the right synth is a tedious task!!!

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: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:55 pm

Kawai K5000W. Great keyboard action, amazing stuff for drones in the additive section and a decent piano sound in the rompler section. A way better choice than any that you're looking at except maybe the EX-5.

ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:36 am

K5000W...very nice, some spacey sounds coming out of that board...I'm very much digging what I've heard so far. What are the main differences between the K5000W and the K5000S?

User avatar
rhino
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2611
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:00 pm
Real name: bill
Gear: keepers:
Kurzweil K2500x
Ensoniq TS-12
Yamaha SY-99
Alesis QS-8
Roland JD-800
Roland JX-10
Akai AX-80
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
Fizmo
Location: kentucky hills

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by rhino » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:49 am

The "S" model has 12 real-time knobs that can be assigned to parameters. Good for live work. No difference in other features AFAIK.

One on Ebay right now:

When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:10 am

Wow, I'm really tempted to bid on this fine machine...my only concern is that it may be a bit complex for me? The preset sounds that I heard were awesome though. And the knobs...ohhhh the sweet, sweet knobs. And does it for sure have a piano sound?

Hair
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 402
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:31 pm
Location: Edison, NJ
Contact:

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by Hair » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:35 am

The new Korg PS60 seems like it could be good for what you want, it's essentially a preset box designed for easily switching sounds on the fly, but it has knobs for tweaking as well - if you have a Guitar Center or something nearby you can probably try one out and see if it would work for you.

I wish they made an 88-key hammer-action version so I could get my dad to get past the vanilla sounds of his Yamaha P90, the EPs in the Korg are great from what I tried.

ManInTheFog
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by ManInTheFog » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:47 am

Nice, I didn't even know the Korg PS60 had been released...demo videos look pretty cool; looks a lot like the microStation with big keys. I wonder how the synth sounds are? I'll have to check out Guitar Center this weekend and take a look. Thanks for the tip, Hair

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: Synth n00b desperate for help..again.

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:46 am

rhino wrote:The "S" model has 12 real-time knobs that can be assigned to parameters. Good for live work. No difference in other features AFAIK.
Actually the W has a sequencer and GM rompler section, and the S and rack have a programmable arpeggiator.

The S doesn't have a rompler piano sound, there might be something programmed in the additive section but I don't think it'd be all that realistic.

Post Reply