complete newby looking to buy some gear

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Tue May 31, 2011 10:49 am

ok so i have no idea about any synth stuff at all! in fact i was looking into buying a new effects machine for my dj rig when i stumbled onto the korg kaoss pad mini. and then decided id better buy its companion the kaossilator, on an impulse. anyways one thing led to another, researching the stuff i bought, and then just clicking around on other stuff, mainly through this website, i discovered all theses amazing old machines that do crazy stuff!

so well i have decided to buy some of it and give it a whirl!

but i have no idea where to start, i like the look/price/sound of the cheap old roland rackmounted stuff though! dont want to drop a huge bag of cash on something experimental... im in australia so kind of limited as to whats on sale at any given point in time.

looking into getting a D-110 first to have a play with, as its dirt cheap! but then i guess i need to buy some sort of keyboard to even use it, so would i be better off saving my money and buying a keyboard first and then some rack units??

heh sorry to sound like an idiot but literally a week ago the thought of buying synths had never entered my brain! so im really starting from scratch

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5398
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by madtheory » Tue May 31, 2011 11:17 am

Tell us what kind of sounds you want to make. "Crazy stuff" is a bit general! :) The D-110 has about 3 good sounds and is a PITA to synthesize with. The world of software synths would be a good place to start, there's a lot of good stuff that's legally free and would give you a good idea of what direction you'd like to go in. So something like Reaper (OK that's not free, but it's free to try out and cheap to buy) and any number of free VST synths and effects.

intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Tue May 31, 2011 11:52 am

software syths are definately out! ive had alot of friends who have tried to get me using them and UGH how horrible, to dig though menus and turn about 100 dials with the mouse... i realise they are powerful tools if used properly, but they just arent any fun for me. the whole appeal for me is the physical presence and character of these units i think? and LEDS and dials of course :) im not even really trying to make music really, i just want to play with sound ya know :) i guess my interests would be whatever sounds are as far away from actual instruments as possible!! wierd synthy soundscapes or soemthing.

i have read this synth is annoying to program, but thats kind of appealing in a wierd way. like those people who learned to drive in the most dangerous, unroadworthy POS vehicles, like they actually had to learn how to DRIVE man! as opposed to people who jump straight into a new model auto with ESC and ABS and all the rest, well sure they can 'drive' in some sense of the word, but not like the others ya know :)

and i guess since i have no experience at all, i wont know any better!!!

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5398
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by madtheory » Tue May 31, 2011 1:13 pm

Then I suggest you start with a Roland Juno 106, those are still reasonably priced compared to other "vintage" synths, sound excellent and are lovely to use.

For more money, any of the Nord Leads are just as lovely to use (lovelier, because of the pitch and mod wheels), sound just as good but do more stuff.

I would guess that the DSI Prophet 08 is pretty good too, but I haven't had the pleasure.

intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Tue May 31, 2011 2:27 pm

really nice suggestions there, only prolem now is i want both of them!!! what sort of price would you expect to pay for these?? in terms of australian dollars right now on ebay theres a nord lead 2 for about $750ish shipped and a juno 106 would come in slightly higher for $920ish.

and this is probably a stupid question, but i could use these keyboards to control any other rack type synths that i buy? or do i have to buy a keyboard that is made to just control these things? how many rack synths can you control from one keyboard???

User avatar
TheKeytarist
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:58 pm
Real name: Joseph
Location: Los Angeles CA

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by TheKeytarist » Tue May 31, 2011 3:23 pm

This might sound a little out there, but for crazy sounds, how about a more micro modular, I haven't had much experience with the Nord, but it is modular, and that means lots if crazy things can happen. But as far as I know, the micro modulars are better in the hands of well... More experienced synthesist. I'd also recall hearing some where else that modulars are great for learning synthesis. Excuse my some what confusing ramblings of an opinion, but any ways, just some thoughts...
Last edited by TheKeytarist on Tue May 31, 2011 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one."
— Benjamin Franklin

:keys1: :drums: :keys2:

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: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue May 31, 2011 3:24 pm

Where in Australia are you? If you're in Melbs go to the Music Swop Shop in Carlton and try a whole lot of stuff out to see what you like.

AU$750 is really good for a NL2, If you like the sound go for it. I wouldn't buy a 106 for $920.

User avatar
TheKeytarist
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:58 pm
Real name: Joseph
Location: Los Angeles CA

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by TheKeytarist » Tue May 31, 2011 3:30 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
AU$750 is really good for a NL2, If you like the sound go for it. I wouldn't buy a 106 for $920.
NL2 also sounds nice.
"A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one."
— Benjamin Franklin

:keys1: :drums: :keys2:

intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:11 am

well the nord lead got snapped up already, hahah.

so...whats a 106 worth then, this one was basically in great condition, he had full restored it i think. a huge slab of that cost was postage, because i couldnt find any in australia., and was looking at one from japan. the actual synth was $800.

im in perth, western australia, the only music store i know of sells only 'current' stuff.

also probably worth a mention is that im visiting the UK in about 2 months, do you think it would be worth waiting till then and trying to grab something while im over there? theres just not much available here locally. though the wait might actually kill me!

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: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:35 am

Personally I don't think a 106 is worth more than $600, and even for $600 there are other synths I'd go for. Every 106 will eventually start to lose voices and then you need to pay around $100-150 to fix each one. There are 6. I also think they sound kind of plastic and boring, but sound quality is a subjective thing.

I don't know a great deal about Perth I'm afraid, but there's a bit of a scene over there so things will pop up eventually. The UK is cheaper for some things and more expensive for others, I'd probably keep looking here and have the UK idea as a backup.

intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:55 pm

thanks for all the advice so far! if anything it has made me decide to purchase more carefully... i can see now that $200 for the D-110 would be better spent towards a nice keyboard that would be more fun to play with.

i have checked out some youtube vids to try and check out the actual sound of these things... and i have to say i think im falling in love with the juno-60. there is a guy called retrosound on youtube that makes some amazing little songs with it! the sound is just perfect. its like how an 8 bit computer game would sound, if you were actually there in real life! or something...

anything i should know about this model, just in case i decide to jump in and buy one after a few whiskeys late one night??? does it have any know issues like the sound chip in the 106? estimated price range for decent>>really good condition one? thanks again :)

User avatar
Psy_Free
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:36 pm
Gear: Synths 'n' stuff.
Band: Klangzeit
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by Psy_Free » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:26 pm

The Juno 60 has no MIDI (it uses DCB instead), so you can't easily integrate it into a MIDI setup, unless you buy a Roland MD-8 DCB to MIDI converter.

It doesn't have the voice issues that the 106 has and is generally pretty reliable and solid. Prices range from £350 to £650 ish depending on condition & the delusionality of the seller. The thing is, the Juno 6/60 is fairly limited in its sound making capabilities. It's a very good polysynth, make no mistake, but for the money they go for these days, not the best value IMO.

Personally, I think you would be better off buying a more recent VA like the Roland JP-8000, or Korg MS-2000 to start with. These have MIDI, plenty of knobs & sliders, are good for learning analogue synthesis on and can be had for reasonable prices. If your forum name is anything to go by, then they would be right up your street.
"Any noise is good. For what is a different matter"
Bandcamp 1
Bandcamp 2
Soundcloud

intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:07 pm

wow, very nice choices too. is it wrong to slowly fill my house with these things??? :shock:

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5398
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by madtheory » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:58 pm

I always recommend the Novation K station too, they go for small money. The Alesis Ion is super if you can find one.

intrancewetrust
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 10:34 am
Gear: sausage fingers and a bad hat

Re: complete newby looking to buy some gear

Post by intrancewetrust » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:52 pm

anywhere i should be looking other than ebay and gumtree?? its kind of annoying, there is almost nothing in WA, slim pickings in the eastern states and not everyone wants to post these things. most of the stuff on ebay is kind of overpriced "buy it nows" from people who obviously sell alot of this stuff....

Post Reply