Buying first synth, totally overwhelmed by the choices.

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ajb667
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Buying first synth, totally overwhelmed by the choices.

Post by ajb667 » Sat May 07, 2016 6:12 pm

I've been wanting to buy a synth for ambient music and dark droney music for a while now. I've been reading up on different synths, and even reading other threads started by people who want to make similar music but I feel like I've gotten nowhere. They either suggest stuff waaay out of my range, or a million different synths at once. Its just so overwhelming and I honestly feel more lost than I did when I started looking.

What I DO know is that as stated, I want one that can handle dreaming, reverby ambient music, but can also can can gritty and dark for drones. I'm pretty sure this means that Im going to be wanting a polyphonic synth. I dont want a rackmount or anything, so keyboard is a must. I really want one with plenty of knobs so I can control everything and tweak it as much as possible. Some patch memeory would be nice too, so i can save the stuff I make to it. As for a budget, I'd prefer around 500 USD, new or used is unimportant. I hope this is enough for you guys to give me some help. if you need any more info, let me know!

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nuketifromorbit
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Re: Buying first synth, totally overwhelmed by the choices.

Post by nuketifromorbit » Sat May 07, 2016 9:48 pm

Do you currently have an outboard fx/reverb processor? You can create drones on virtually any subtractive synth, but only virtual analogs are going to have an on board effects processor. I'll just parrot what most people here will recommend. Get a knobby synth with an intuitive hands on interface so that you can easily learn signal flow and subtractive synthesis. Your going to be hard pressed to find a knob laden polyphonic keyboard synth for 500 bucks. A virtual analog is going to be your best bet. From what I can tell roland jp8000s, roland gaia's, korg ms2000s, and some of novations cheaper offerings can be had for around that price.


Having an outboard fx processor is probably a good idea. Older digital reverbs such as the alesis quadraverb and yamaha spx90 can be had for under a hundred bucks used and will probably sound better than most synths built in effects. If you want more exotic reverb algorithms the zoom ms70-cdr sells for about 120 new, and will get you access to algorithms only found on high end strymon and eventide processors.

Honestly if I were in your position I'd give up on polyphony and patch storage, pickup a used arturia minibrute and grab a used effects processor.
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madmarkmagee
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Re: Buying first synth, totally overwhelmed by the choices.

Post by madmarkmagee » Sat May 07, 2016 11:29 pm

Don't know how "gritty" it can be but the Roland JD XI seems like something you might be into-

Or an Ensoniq ESQ-1 with a used external effect processor. Though may be to 'gritty'. ? (not really "knoby" but very good user interface.

Or as the poster above suggested Gaia. They go pretty cheap used.
Last edited by madmarkmagee on Sun May 08, 2016 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying first synth, totally overwhelmed by the choices.

Post by Percivale » Sun May 08, 2016 12:26 am

Try Waldorf Blofeld.
ajb667 wrote:I've been wanting to buy a synth for ambient music and dark droney music for a while now. I've been reading up on different synths, and even reading other threads started by people who want to make similar music but I feel like I've gotten nowhere. They either suggest stuff waaay out of my range, or a million different synths at once. Its just so overwhelming and I honestly feel more lost than I did when I started looking.

What I DO know is that as stated, I want one that can handle dreaming, reverby ambient music, but can also can can gritty and dark for drones. I'm pretty sure this means that Im going to be wanting a polyphonic synth. I dont want a rackmount or anything, so keyboard is a must. I really want one with plenty of knobs so I can control everything and tweak it as much as possible. Some patch memeory would be nice too, so i can save the stuff I make to it. As for a budget, I'd prefer around 500 USD, new or used is unimportant. I hope this is enough for you guys to give me some help. if you need any more info, let me know!

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Re: Buying first synth, totally overwhelmed by the choices.

Post by Psy_Free » Sun May 08, 2016 2:16 pm

Percivale wrote:Try Waldorf Blofeld.
ajb667 wrote:I've been wanting to buy a synth for ambient music and dark droney music for a while now. I've been reading up on different synths, and even reading other threads started by people who want to make similar music but I feel like I've gotten nowhere. They either suggest stuff waaay out of my range, or a million different synths at once. Its just so overwhelming and I honestly feel more lost than I did when I started looking.

What I DO know is that as stated, I want one that can handle dreaming, reverby ambient music, but can also can can gritty and dark for drones. I'm pretty sure this means that Im going to be wanting a polyphonic synth. I dont want a rackmount or anything, so keyboard is a must. I really want one with plenty of knobs so I can control everything and tweak it as much as possible. Some patch memeory would be nice too, so i can save the stuff I make to it. As for a budget, I'd prefer around 500 USD, new or used is unimportant. I hope this is enough for you guys to give me some help. if you need any more info, let me know!
+1 for Blofeld.

Also, Novation Ultranova can nail ambient & drones in it's sleep.
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