First true synth purchase, need information on choices

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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First true synth purchase, need information on choices

Post by jboucouras » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:32 pm

Hey, guys! I have been using a MIDI controller for about a year for my synth playing. However, I have been playing in a more synth-heavy project lately, and I am interested in adding another synth other than my controller for our live performance stuff.

I am looking to do analog, but I am not completely married to it if somebody can recommend me a reputable option. My budget is under $350, so I am looking at only cheap, simple stuff.

Here is the list of synths I have been looking at:

Roland Alpha Juno
Roland Hs-60
Roland Hs-10
Roland Juno-106
Korg Poly 800

Here is a song from my band to get an idea for the sound I am talking about:

Obviously I'm not looking to get a synth to do every single sound in that song. The synths that were used for the recording were a Nord Stage Lead 2 and a Roland Hs-60 that was used for some of the more pad-based sounds, especially in the chorus.

Could somebody who is more knowledgable than me offer some comparisons/reviews based on the synth's I've listed? I'm also open to other suggestions, as long as they fit within my price point. From the prices I have seen, it looks like an Alpha Juno or a Poly 800 will be the most attainable.

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Re: First true synth purchase, need information on choices

Post by ninja6485 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:21 pm

I'm not sure you're going to be able to find a Juno 106 for $350, if that's $350usd. Maybe theVA boutique JU-6 would come in for that price.

Generally speaking, analog synths represent the most expensive type of synthesizers. $350 doesn't really get you a whole lot in the world of synthesizers period, unless were talking digital/rack gear, desktop synths, some modern microbrute type stuff DIY, odds and ends, etc. Thay being said, keep an eye on the JX8p. Otherwise, I would focus on virtual analog synths, which are great for doing analog sounds live. Have you checked out the m audio venom? And how do you feel about mono synths?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: First true synth purchase, need information on choices

Post by garranimal » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:08 am

I second what ninja says with the JX-8P. They are dirt cheap right now. The Alpha Juno is within your budget and was my first analog synth. I enjoyed it a lot. Roland Gaia can be found used in that budget, has 64-voice polyphony and 3 different sound engines including a decent sounding analog-modelling. If you're lucky you might score a Novation Ultranova around $350-400 used. Tons of bands are going with a Korg Microkorg if you can abide 4-voice polyphony and those dreaded mini-keys. Others, Alesis Micron and its alter-ego Akai Miniak uses the same synth engine.

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