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small MIDI controller/synth

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:11 am
by thermite zapruder
I've been using an M-Audio Oxygen 8 as a desk controller to control my e6400 Ultra and desktop Evolver--just for auditioning sounds, triggering samples, and simple lead and bass lines. It's falling apart, and given the terrible key feel of most MIDI controllers and the cost of good ones, I've been playing with the idea of getting a small synth to use for these purposes instead. Would need to send velocity sensitivity...controls that could be assigned to some parameters of the receiving devices (esp. Evolver) would be nice but not a must.

Someday I'll just get the Pro 2 for this purpose but that ain't happening anytime soon. I just like the idea of having bargain synths as MIDI controllers, bang-for-buck wise, having formerly used an AJ2 for this purpose when I was playing live and now using an ESQ-1 for the modules in another part of my studio.

Grateful for ay suggestions...thanks.

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:20 am
by Ashe37
Oxygen 25 Mk IV?

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:31 am
by thermite zapruder
Thanks for weighing in but I'm looking for a small synth to replace its functionality, not another (solely) MIDI controller.

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:18 am
by Ashe37
Bass Station II, Untranova, Mninova, Mopho... what are you looking for? price? polyphony? size? number of keys?

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:02 pm
by thermite zapruder
Sorry, I thought it was clear that I'm looking for something small--similar in size to the Oxygen-8, ca. 25 keys. My "bargain" request is, however, far more subjective, so...something less than $500, and well less would be optimal. For perspective, I was considering the Monologue but it doesn't appear to send velocity data so that's out. Type of synth matters less at the bottom of the price curve (if cheap and a good controller, any synth features a bonus; if more expensive, I'd want to have a particular affinity for the synth features). Don't much care if it's mono or poly, though in the 25-key range I'd assumed most offerings would be mono synths. As I don't own much in the way of unapologetically digital synths, something along those lines might be nice. I'll look at the ones you mentioned for MIDI implementation/price.

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:20 pm
by Ashe37
There really isn't much digital with 25 keys. The 25 key thing is recent while any digital synths that aren't VA or romplers were way before that.

Two 25-key romplers i can think of are the MicroX and the Taktile Triton. The MicroX is more capable as a synth, while the Taktile is much more meant as a controller and the synth engine in it is minimally programmable, to its detriment.

oh, and i see i mistyped Mininova.

For other VAs, the Microkorg and its descendants, as well as the R3. Those are less flexible as midi controllers tho.

If you can find one in your price range, the Ultranova is a full-featured VA synth that has a mode where it acts as a full midi controller.