rack mount synth vs hardware synth

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mizu
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rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by mizu » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:36 am

rack mount vs hardware

also I myself hasn't used a rack mount synth so what exactly is it? do you plug it into your midi keyboard and use it as a synth?

thanks. and also discuss!

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Re: rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by Psy_Free » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:57 am

A rack mount synth is hardware. It's basically a keyboardless version of a hardware synth which you can screw into a thing called a rack. You can then connect the MIDI OUT of your MIDI controller or synth or sequencer to the MIDI IN of the rack mount synth and play the sounds on the rack mount via your MIDI controller/synth/sequencer.

As for rack mount vs synth (I'm assuming you mean a synth with a keyboard), then that depends on several things such as how much space you have, how much you can afford (racks are typically less expensive than their keyboard equivalents) and how important the UI is (some rackmounts have fewer knobs than keyboard equivalents due to space limitations).
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Hybrid88
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Re: rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by Hybrid88 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:47 pm

Rack mount saves on space but are generally a pain to edit on depending on which unit you go for. My recommendation would be to have rompers as rackmount and synths as keyboards. :)

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Re: rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by danbroad » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:04 pm

It does very much depend on which rack, though.

Things like the Slim Phatty, Voyager, Leipzig, Virus, Novation KS, Korg MS2K and Radias, Waldorf Q's and XT's are every bit as knobby and editable as their keyboard-enabled versions. For synths like these, it's actually quite a blessing to have a rackful, as you can road case them up for easier transport, play with complex alternate routings using patch bays, and control them from a single master keyboard. If you're tight on floorspace and wallspace, a rack can save huge amount of effort and pain banking up keyboards vertically, leaving room for monitors or LCD screens etc.

the real advantages, for me, are that tabletop synths look nice but end up as a bitty mess of power, audio and MIDI cabling spread out over the desktop. A Rack enables you to hide every last bit of cabling away, and use a simple patch bay for a more 'modular' approach. Plus, the 19" rack is an industry standard, and so there are a huge amount of signal processors, effects units, preamps and other devices which conform to the same standard. I power my rack gear IEC's through a single conditioner, so everything turns on at once, and it's much more zen to see everything in a nice order. Of course, we are all different, so you might love to see a haphazard array of tabletop boxes cabled together!
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Re: rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by Z » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:41 pm

I try to only buy a keyboard synth when a rack version is not available. I have only a few execptions: SCI VS, the rack version is too expensive, FIZMO, the rack version is as rare as hen's teeth, and lastly I have the XTk since it is rarer than the rack version.

But it is easier to edit sounds from a keyboard synth. So if you've got the space, go for the keyboard synth.

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Re: rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by harness » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:53 pm

Most of my stuff is rack mount, as I don't have alot of space, and editing isn't that hard, as the rack is in front of me. Depends on the ergonomic layout of your studio. If you have your rack synths easily accessible and not on the floor behind you, I'd rather have the synth in rack form.
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Re: rack mount synth vs hardware synth

Post by adekoyote » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:57 am

Grooveboxes and rackmounts rule for me. I have one keyboard, and the space issue is a big deal...

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