Best synth for an 80s gig?

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rodgre
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Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by rodgre » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:47 am

I know this might be a little too general for this forum, but after lurking here for years, I really trust you guys.

I play guitar/guitar synth in an 80s tribute/parody band. Our keyboard player struggles with his rig, as he's not really a *synth* player/lover. He plays the parts, but often can't figure out what patches sound good or even close to the originals. He uses a Yamaha MM6, Roland Juno D and a Microkorg. I can program sounds for him, but I really feel that his gear is totally limited in programmability.

What would you guys suggest? I am thinking he should get Reason and a laptop, as I can program his sounds for him, but perhaps a slightly older workstation would be good.

I'm good at hearing a song and saying...."Oberheim strings and a DX7 baseline...". I can program his sounds, but the MM6 seems hard to program specific patches for.

I want him to have as authentic a sound as possible.
Classic analog and digital synths, great piano.... What do you think
What would you guys do?

Roger
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by edfunction » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:17 am

I'd go for a juno 60 and a dx7. That would cover most bases and sound authentic without being crazy expensive.

There are many alternatives to the dx7, an sy77 would be great. the 4-op fm synths would be also fine and cheaper.
If you don't want to spend so much on a juno60 an alpha juno or a jx3p or 8p would be a cheaper way.

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by philip » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:45 am

jx8p

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by Steve Jones » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:09 am

philip wrote:jx8p
That's the one.
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by Cybercardinal » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:31 am

If you dont want to go vintage take a look at the Access Virus KC, it can do it - exept the great piano.

Look at the Roland V-synth too

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by Z » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:21 pm

Roland JD-800 - digital synth with great analog-ish sounds and a decent piano. Super easy to program since it has dozens of sliders.

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:58 pm

kurzweil pc3 or pc3k. the VA sounds great. It has incredibly convincing pianos. and enough out of the box patches to make one's head spin. Program if you want to, set and forget if you want to. Salty price tag but worth every penny for the gigging musician.

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by calyx93 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:36 pm

Ditto on the DX7 and Juno/JX pairing - add a cheap Mirage rack + a handful of string, brass, orch-hits, vocal disks - you'd be totally set.
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:28 pm

rodgre wrote:the MM6 seems hard to program specific patches for
It's a preset instrument, so what's inside is what you get. The only thing you can program is FX settings and split/layer setups. The patches are all derived from the original Yamaha Motif, so pianos are pretty good and it will have some of the synth noises you're after.

Juno D is not far removed from a preset instrument. You are limited to filter and EG settings mods to the presets.
perhaps a slightly older workstation would be good.
Yamaha Motif, Motif ES or MO would fit the bill...$500-800 depending on condition. Only one board to take to the gig, great arpeggiator. You can buy third party soundsets like these:

Vintage Keys

80s Pop/Rock

Check out the demos.
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by jeffrey1121 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:33 pm

Juno-6, Juno-60 or J-106

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by V301H » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:58 pm

An Oberheim Matrix 6R or Matrix 1000 would give you access to very complex analog sounds for not a lot of money and could be MIDI'ed to a keyboard you already have. For FM a Yamaha TX802 would give you multi-timbral capabilities in a rack which would also be very good for sequencing. Beyond that an inexpensive rack-mount Sampler from Roland, Emu, Ensoniq, or Akai could be a good addition.
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by rodgre » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:55 pm

I was thinking about the Junos, though I don't recall if they could do convincing mono lead sounds. I could have bought a JX-10 w/ programmer a few years back, but i felt it was too big a synth covering too few bases.I have been thinking about the Oberheim Matrix 1000 lately. I agree that a DX is a must. I guess the problem is that I know how to find the right sounds, but our keyboard player doesn't. I had been trying to convince him to get a laptop and run Reason and I'd create all his patches for him.

For VA stuff, I have an Alesis Micron that I love, and I think it makes the MicroKorg look pretty weak.

I am starting to think that a workstation like a Triton/Fantom/Motif might be really powerful for his setup, as long as I know how to program it. I've tried programming the Motif and I can't figure that thing out for the life of me!

The real bummer is that this gig could be so much fun for a real synth freak. I could see myself rockin' an Emulator 2, a Realistic Moog MG-1 and maybe a Prophet 08 if I could do more than play a C major on keys!

Thanks for the input!
Roger.
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by fh991586 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:04 am

I think the Juno 106 is great for mono leads. I haven't used much the Juno 6 like that, but it's one reason why I really like the 106: I can almost get some "Tron Legacy" sounds out if it. At least, to my ears! ;)
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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by philip » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:18 am

fh991586 wrote:I think the Juno 106 is great for mono leads.

U gotta be kidding?>?>>?? The worst synth for this

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Re: Best synth for an 80s gig?

Post by fh991586 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:26 am

No, I'm serious. I like its sound as a mono synth, added to the idea that his primary goal is to be used as a polyphonic one. But consider the fact that I never played with a Mono/Poly, Pro-One, or any Arp synth. So saying that I like the sound of the 106 in mono mode is simply honest. For this thread's purpose, it could be a good choice considering its price and how easy you can find one. I've never tried the DX7 in mono mode, thought...
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