Should I buy an analog synth now?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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barra
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Should I buy an analog synth now?

Post by barra » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:17 pm

Hi,

I'm a newbie to electro and am at the stage where I'm wondering if an analog synth would be a sensible investment. Here's a few bars from several of the tunes I'm working on, it might give an idea as to what stage I'm at:

I've programmed these instruments myself in Logic.

I have even finished a tune but its just my first attempt:


Here are some of the analog sounds I like:




At the moment I have a Mac with Logic Pro, an audio interface and a midi keyboard with controllers. I also have an old tascam postastudio which I hope to start using soon. I feel my biggest weaknesses are the arrangement of my ideas into a complete tune and getting my ideas to evolve sonically. For this reason both abelton and a synth will lots of knobs seem attractive to me.

Should I get an analog synth and if so which one should I start with? I want to be able to control it in realtime with knobs or midi controller. Being able to interface from my computer via midi and/or midi to cv/gate is of course a plus if the sound isn't compromised. I have over $3000 saved up but I'd like to spend it sensibly. ;)

Would also appreciate any other advice. I don't really play the synth, usually only when I need to figure out a melody I'm trying to program into my daw.

Thanks for your help,

Barra

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ninja6485
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Re: Should I buy an analog synth now?

Post by ninja6485 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:28 pm

Whether or not you want to own and play an analog synth can come down to just the fact that you're interested and want to explore a new instrument.

That being said, an analog synth will not directly help you advance in the areas you need to advance in.

Here's what you need to do to make progress in those areas:

1. Listen to more music. A little bit of cultivated obsession when it comes to listening pays dividends. Follow your interests, and watch them evolve. Spend time collecting, listening, and appreciating. As your interests evolve, your ideas will evolve as well.

2. Take your favorite tracks and analyze them in your daw. Have you mapped out the structure of your favorite song yet? If so, did you also listen through and write down each new part that you could identify and how many variations of the part there are? This is where focus and discipline come into play. Also remember that you don't need to reinvent the wheel: a lot of styles use similar structures. Pick something simple and straight forward and move on from there.

3. You should spend some time researching chord progressions, as well as the basics of picking out the key of the song, how to use the various scales and modes, etc. Many people can intuitively write a melody, or hear which notes don't clash with it as an accompaniment, but a good working knowledge of music theory is a toolkit that will help you structure a song around the harmonic changes, develope melodies, and get out of tricky situations where you're running into a creative block.

4. Try starting from the top and work down: know what parts you need, and where they should go, and then discipline yourself to stick to the form. If something magical happens, go with it, and adjust the form accordingly.

5. Edit your work! Set it aside for a week, and come back and get rid of what's bothering you. If your song doesn't sound right, put it against a song that does and note the differences. Don't be afraid to remove parts that aren't doing anything in the song, and don't be afraid to cut down your sections so thay they're long enough to get the job done, but not longer. The magic word here is Lagom.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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meatballfulton
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Re: Should I buy an analog synth now?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:18 pm

I agree with ninja that you don't need an analog synth or any new instrument at this point.

I've played a lot of kinds of music over the years from acoustic folk music to electronic. What they all have in common is melodies and arrangements. Focus more on the musical aspects and less on the technical/gear and you'll make better progress.

Good luck!
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

barra
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Re: Should I buy an analog synth now?

Post by barra » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:57 am

Thanks for your help!

The audio file in my post contains just parts of the songs that I am working on but its obvious now even to me that I need to focus on completing tunes for now. I like the idea of importing my favourite tunes into my daw and seeing how they are developed.

Since I'm new to electro, what artists/genres do you think I should listen to based on the music I'm making making? Here are a few clips from my tunes:


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meatballfulton
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Re: Should I buy an analog synth now?

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:04 pm

You should just start with stuff you already know and like.

EM is no different than any other style of music, when you are starting out you learn how to play your favorite songs. After a while you know enough to start making your own.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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