80s VIBE! What first synth should i buy ?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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madtheory
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Re: 80s VIBE! What first synth should i buy ?

Post by madtheory » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:18 pm

Um, hello? While it is fun to debate the relative merits of the synths on offer, don't forget that the guy's a noob who wants to produce tracks, not add to an existing setup.

You're not going to be able to produce tracks like the ones you posted with only one of the synths people are talking about. You need to be able to record and arrange multiple tracks with effects like reverb (very important for eighties sounds!!). None of these synths can do that, and none of them have drums, which you'll obviously need.

I suggest that first you start learning a DAW like Reaper, Ableton Live, Garageband (Mac only) Sonar or FL Studio. Use the synth plugins that come with those. Try all of the free and inexpensive VSTs that are out there, many fabulous recreations of eighties classic synths. And based on the tracks you posted, you'll probably love V-Linn for drums and TAL Uno for all of your synth parts :) But there are thousands of other options out there in VST land, all with 10 to 30 day free demos.

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Re: 80s VIBE! What first synth should i buy ?

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:20 pm

madtheory wrote:Um, hello? While it is fun to debate the relative merits of the synths on offer, don't forget that the guy's a noob who wants to produce tracks, not add to an existing setup.

You're not going to be able to produce tracks like the ones you posted with only one of the synths people are talking about. You need to be able to record and arrange multiple tracks with effects like reverb (very important for eighties sounds!!). None of these synths can do that, and none of them have drums, which you'll obviously need.
The SQ-80 has an eight-track sequencer and a set of drums (chintzy lo-fi drum-machine ones, but then it is the '80s we're talking about here.) All you'd need on top of that would be a cheap effects box.

And anyway, most of the rest of those can easily conjure up some workable drum sounds, and if he's going to be doing multitracking anyway it's hardly a serious obstacle.
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Re: 80s VIBE! What first synth should i buy ?

Post by madtheory » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:24 pm

commodorejohn wrote:... and if he's going to be doing multitracking anyway it's hardly a serious obstacle.
...ya but he's a noob, and doesn't mention any other gear at all. The SQ80 drums won't do the sounds he linked to either. The first 2 are Linn, the third (Com Truise) is heavily processed DMX, which VLinn can do. And Com Truise does a s**t ton of processing in the DAW to get that sound.

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Re: 80s VIBE! What first synth should i buy ?

Post by Pro5 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:28 pm

If you are *serious* about real 80s vibe then get a Roland DCO synth. I'd recommend Juno 106 or JX-3P. The later sounds a bit more vintage in fact, it can sound really 80s if you want it, though with the chorus off and through modern effects and some thoughtful programming it can serve for non-80s sounds also.

I can't recommend the 8P or 10 but I never liked them when I had them, they don't sound as vibey, they don't even sound as 'analog' as the JX-3P.

JX-3P is still generally cheaper than Junos, but you may want the programmer if it's first synth, in fact the PG-200 even for a seasoned programmer like myself, does allow lots of things you just won't do by using the single edit slider alone, from very nuanced patches where you'll go the extra mile in tweaking cos its easy, to live changes of more than one parameter. But you could just buy the 3P alone for now to see how you like the sound, then get the PG-200 later. I had a few 3ps (two with PG-200s) and the first one I had modded so could use a novation remote zero (better than the BCR imo as takes up less space and you can have the LCDs tell you the function) BUT I can say it always felt better from the real PG-200, nothing beats that, and it looks the part too with the matching 80s design and chrome... a 3P without the PG-200 sat on it now looks kinda empty to my eyes :lol:


oh FWIW, when I got back into synths again after a 10 year gap (from 98 - 2008) so in 2008 I bought my FIRST synth in a long time (after being software for a while), I had a Juno 6 in the 90s and liked it, but this time I wanted something a bit more so my first synth was the JX-3P. It had to be analog for me, and the 3P fit the bill. So while it wasn't my first synth ever, it was my "first" new-old synth in a long time (I was just a young teen in the 90s). And even without the programmer (until I modded that first one a year or so in) I made a ton of music with it, some of my most successful stuff was done on the JX-3P, some of it intentionally 80s-ish (for TV) some of it just for albums. I love the little beauty (and the Juno 106)

Also I've had many VAs inc the AN1x and they are cool, the AN1x is REALLY cool in fact and I even managed to get some patches very close to the 3P on it but ultimately it lacked the vibe of the real 80s analog, it was inescapable, just doesn't feel the same. I no longer use digital to mimic 'character analog'. Analog for analog, and use digital for what its best for (lots of other great stuff)

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