Help for noob's first analog synth

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wakingmeme
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Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by wakingmeme » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:29 pm

Hello All,

I'm looking for some assistance in selecting or understanding my first analog synth. I've got some experience with software synths and I really just want something I can touch, play around with, and learn on.

That said, I do have some semblance of an idea towards what I want. I think I want it to be analog, and possibly vintage.

So, any suggestions?

Right now I'm looking at these two synths:

http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jx3p.php (no programmer, 300)

http://www.vintagesynth.com/dsi/mopho.php (500)

The latter I know is not vintage, but it seems more hands-on than the jx3p, and perhaps comes with fewer potential maintenance head-aches.

Thanks!!

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tim gueguen
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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by tim gueguen » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:48 pm

The Mopho will only play one note at a time, so if chords are important to you you'll want the JX3p.
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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by zoomtheline » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:11 pm

Those synths are so far apart in what they offer that pretty much any synth is a viable option for you. What sounds are you wanting to achieve and what are your influences? And I guess the main thing is, what is your budget?

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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by Stafftunes » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:10 am

My roland JX3P was my second ever analogue synth, the first being my yammy SK30.

As the 3P had two oscillators, Sync and Crossmod (Metal) modes, + a much more resonant filter than the SK, I really learnt a lot more about the fundamentals of synthesis on the JX3P. It's a great, rich sounding machine and despite the fact I have even more capable gear now I'll not get rid of it, it has a character all of it's own.

It should be said I've never had a programmer for it either, it's very quick and easy to edit, and you can tweak the filter etc in real time using the sens/edit slider when it's being sequenced over midi.

The only drawbacks I can think of are lack of portamento/glide, no mono mode. And only 32 patch memories, but then again, that hasn't hindered me in the 18 years I've had mine.

I believe there's some kind of mod board for it too, can't remember the name, adds features like Unison, that'd be pretty cool I recon.

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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by rhino » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:04 pm

http://kiwitechnics.com/jx3pupgrade.htm

Kinda pricy, but looks cool. If I still had my JX3p I'd go for one.
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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by walkathon » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:57 pm

rhino wrote:http://kiwitechnics.com/jx3pupgrade.htm

Kinda pricy, but looks cool. If I still had my JX3p I'd go for one.

Rhino beat me too it ... seconded!
Otherwise, keep your eyes open, consider a cheap Juno-1 or 2 if one floats by ...

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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by Stafftunes » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:23 am

One day if I ever have funds again I'll be getting that upgrade board + the europa for my JP.

Yeah that kiwi-3p sounds like it'll make the JX kick even more a*s to be sure!

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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by wakingmeme » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:48 am

Hi Guys, Thanks for the help.

Yeah I am most seriously considering the Jx-3p. My main concern is the lack of interface for changing parameters. I really want a hands on experience.

But then there is teh price. This jx-3p is going for 300 or b/o. Whereas I figure a juno might cost me 2-3 times as much. Is this true, and is that a good price? I haven't been able to find any other sales of a Jx-3p to compare to.

The lack of glissando is another thing that I'm glad you brought up. It's definitely something that might bother me.

Regarding what I want to be able to sound like, I can go about that a couple of ways. I am looking for something that can sound organic rather than synthetic, and that has lead me to think I want analog. I need something to learn subtractive synthesis on. One album I think of is Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished. I suppose this is a hard thing to really describe, especially since I don't know the world of synths at all. Something that sounds good minimal, something that could work well with acoustic instruments.

Maybe it's better to describe what I don't want to sound like, namely, not looking for dance-y or huge pop sound. I'm thinking more soulful, psychedelic, ambient.

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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by natrixgli » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:26 am

wakingmeme wrote: Something that sounds good minimal, something that could work well with acoustic instruments.

Maybe it's better to describe what I don't want to sound like, namely, not looking for dance-y or huge pop sound. I'm thinking more soulful, psychedelic, ambient.
I'd definitely rule out the mopho, unless its an X4, you'll probably want chords. Sounds like maybe analog would be a limitation given you're not going for EDM or pop, maybe consider something digital like a Blofeld or Microwave XT. Analog synths are great but can be a bit samey. Maybe look at a novation ultranova too. It's virtual analog but has some digital waveforms and wave tables as well. I think it would be a good all arounder.

Nothing would sour your first experience with hardware more than having a synth with dead voice chips or something like that so I'd hesitate to recommend vintage gear. If you do go that route have a look at the Ensoniq ESQ-1. Hugely underrated and usually a pretty good bargain. It's a hybrid analog/digital synth. The Akai AX-80 is another cool old poly, more limited than the ESQ-1, but also easier to program.

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Re: Help for noob's first analog synth

Post by natrixgli » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:32 am

BTW animal collective use a lot of samplers, a roland sh2 and Juno 60. :)

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