Help!! New To Synths!

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
Post Reply
gettinthatfosho
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:24 am

Help!! New To Synths!

Post by gettinthatfosho » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:32 am

Hi, I am thinking about buying a used kawai k3, because I really dig the style and the nostalgic tones. But I am new to the world of synths. I have only ever had a cheap entry-level Yamaha. But, anyway is there anything I need to know? Do I need like some expensive software or plug-in type things? I am hoping that I can just play music plain and simple like my old yamaha keyboard, but except with much more possibilities and awesomeness. Any tips/information will help me out a ton. Thanks!!!!

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: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by rhino » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:42 am

Welcome to the board!

The K3 is a rare old bird that will be lots of fun. No offense meant, but you DO understand the Kawai has no amp and speakers of it's own: you'll need a small bass amp (please not a guitar amp) and a 1/4" audio cord to hook the synth and the amp together.

Get the manual and lots of sounds at kawaius.com. Look out for patches on other sites...I got a bunch that were full of bugs and refused to load.
Last edited by rhino on Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

midi2
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:04 am
Gear: Alesis S4+, Yamaha: TG77, TG500, SY35, TX7, KORG: 03R/W, P3, DW6000, Kawai: K1, K4r, Roland: D-50, Fantom XR, A-33 , Oberheim: MC1000, MC2000 EX

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by midi2 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:44 am

I suggest to start playing with soft synths at first to understand what's going on in the forms of sound synthesis...

Horace
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 5:26 pm
Gear: Juno 6, MG-1, 707, ES-1, KP3, x0xb0x, 2 turntables, a microphone
Location: USA, VA

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by Horace » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:48 am

Whew! That's quite a question. First off, what kind of music do you want to make? That can really steer your setup in a number of directions. If you're new to synths, vintage analog/digital synths can sound great and be a pleasure to make music with. A word of caution on older gear: it is old. You may have to maintain your equipment more diligently than you would with modern gear.
Software can be a very versatile tool, and there are plenty of free VST plugins available on the internets. I suspect you would need some sort of digital audio workstation (DAW) to start composing and arranging your tracks. An audio interface can also help you with with recording and midi. I have a Tascam US800 that came with Cubase, and the combo for me was a GREAT upgrade [from single-track recording off a crappy gemini mixer from who cares]

With regards to the K3 specifically, check out this video if yo haven't already:

Lots of different types of sounds in there. Seems like the K3 could be start of a solid setup, plus it has character ;]. I'm pretty sure it has MIDI too [would be surprised if it didn't] which is good for syncing to your computer/other gear/using it as a controller for software if you want to.

And welcome to the forum!

gettinthatfosho
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:24 am

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by gettinthatfosho » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:26 am

@ rhino Thanks for the help! but... why is a guitar amp not okay? I have used my little line 6 amp with my yamaha with a guitar cable and it was fine. (as long as the amp is on clean). Could I use it temporarily? until I get a bass one.

@ horace thanks for the input! I am interested in making ambient/new age, and psychedelic type music, Heck maybe i'll invent my own genre!! haha

ALSO DOES ANYONE KNOW.. about programming sounds and stuff? is it hard?? does it come with enough cool sounds to keep me happy for a while? Do i have all the sounds in that video Horace linked?

gettinthatfosho
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:24 am

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by gettinthatfosho » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:41 am

rhino wrote:Welcome to the board!

The K3 is a rare old bird that will be lots of fun. No offense meant, but you DO understand the Kawai has no amp and speakers of it's own: you'll need a small bass amp (please not a guitar amp) and a 1/4" audio cord to hook the synth and the amp together.

Get the manual and lots of sounds at kawaius.com. Look out for patches on other sites...I got a bunch that were full of bugs and refused to load.

Thanks, do you know if it comes with these sounds?

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: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by rhino » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:45 am

Guitar amps (as a rule) are designed to have less low-freqency response to prevent the gutar tone from getting "muddy"... but no harm will come from using it until you get something better.

Download the manual and read it. Has some good "basics" of synth programing.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

mizu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:02 am
Real name: Seiji
Gear: Casio MA-101 (going to buy a synth to replace that toy keyboard)
Yanagisawa Saxophone
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by mizu » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:12 am

rhino wrote:Guitar amps (as a rule) are designed to have less low-freqency response to prevent the gutar tone from getting "muddy"... but no harm will come from using it until you get something better.

Download the manual and read it. Has some good "basics" of synth programing.
they say in Japan that its dangerous to plug in Guitar amps. It can blow your amp, and your ears.

btw, subtractive synthesis is easy to learn compared to other programming methods (FM, Additive, PD, etc....) You'll find out quick. Also, don't get into midi and stuff yet cause people can make a whole book talking about midi, just understand what you can use it for and simply what it is.

gettinthatfosho
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:24 am

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by gettinthatfosho » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:44 am

Thanks for all the input everyone!!

also Does anyone know if the Kawai K3 has a nice grand piano effect? Like touch sensitive keys and stuff?

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: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by rhino » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:34 pm

The K3 keyboard has both velocity and aftertouch (you can change various aspects of the tone by how hard you press down on the key after the note plays). The factory piano tone will not fool anyone, but for a 25-year-old synth you shouldn't expect the kind of realism you can find today (for a price).
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

User avatar
Nightdare
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:44 pm
Real name: Jacky
Gear: Roland D-50 / XV-88
Various guitars
Location: Neverlands

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by Nightdare » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:20 pm

mizu wrote:
rhino wrote:Guitar amps (as a rule) are designed to have less low-freqency response to prevent the gutar tone from getting "muddy"... but no harm will come from using it until you get something better.
they say in Japan that its dangerous to plug in Guitar amps. It can blow your amp, and your ears.
The problem lies in the input and speakers

If you were to use an amps FX return, that would be line level and no danger, but the 'normal' guitarinput may not take a synth with it's volume wide open too well

Also, a guitar amp can easily be used as Bass amp (Lemmy from Motorhead never used differently), but those 12" guitarspeakers won't be able to handle the low end frequency spikes (my 2x12 here only does 70Hz-5KHz) and slowly wreck themselves
I'd imagine a synth being 'hi-fi' and therefore work best on broad spectrum speakers, not limited frequency response designed bass or guitar speakers

User avatar
MikeRochip
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:22 pm
Gear: DSI Evolver, Alesis Micron x2, Korg EA-1, Korg ES-1, Korg Monotron, Casio HT-3000, Casio WK-1630
Band: Mike Rochip
Location: Outskirts of Civilization in Georgia, USA

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by MikeRochip » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:52 pm

Nightdare wrote:I'd imagine a synth being 'hi-fi' and therefore work best on broad spectrum speakers, not limited frequency response designed bass or guitar speakers
I agree with this. The OP should buy a keyboard amp, not a bass amp. I've played a synth through a bass amp before, and it sounded pretty awful compared to playing through monitors, which is what I'm used to.

Keyboard amps might be a bit more costly, however.

gettinthatfosho
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:24 am

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by gettinthatfosho » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:37 pm

Thank you to everyone on here (especially rhino)!!!! Incredible amount of information!! I signed up for a different synth forum to find out I couldn't even post anything!!! So i said screw this and came here, and I'm glad I did!!! I'll try to update you guys when I get the synth. Or maybe you'll hear me around as the next big ambient artist!!! haha

User avatar
Nightdare
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:44 pm
Real name: Jacky
Gear: Roland D-50 / XV-88
Various guitars
Location: Neverlands

Re: Help!! New To Synths!

Post by Nightdare » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:23 pm

MikeRochip wrote:

Keyboard amps might be a bit more costly, however.
But the stereo in the livingroom is ready, capable and already paid for ;) :lol:

Post Reply