Synth-Beginner: AN1x or K-Station

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Roter_Flieger
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Synth-Beginner: AN1x or K-Station

Post by Roter_Flieger » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:25 pm

Hi,

well this forum is subtitled with "Pulling out your hair?" so I finally try to ask someone in here before I really start to do so.

I am an absolute synth beginner. I love electronic and synthesizer music and I tried to play some of those tunes that I hear regularly. Problem is that my sound module (a Korg waveblaster for vintage soundcards, converted to a true MIDI device) does not sound like a real synthesizer, but like a GM sound module. After playing around with the demo of Native Intruments Pro53 for some time now, I want to get a real synth (you know, hardware with knobs on it). As an input device, I am currently using the Novation mm10 (a small two-octave masterkeyboard made for the Yamaha QY-10).

I got two different offers: one is a K-Station from Novation and the other one is an AN1x from Yamaha. Both are at the same price, so now, I do not know which one to choose. The K-Station is appealing because of its small keyboard - basically the same two-octave keyboard as found in the mm10 - because I have only very limited space in my apartment. But the AN1x seems to have more features. I already had the K-Station in my hands and I read a lot about the AN1x. So which one to choose?

Pros K-Station:
- lots of well laid-out knobs, giving you instant access to all important parameters
- three oscillators
- vocoder
- the sound snippets I found on the internet are really great
- small keyboard (makes a small device)

Cons K-Station:
- small keyboard (sometimes I really wish my current MM10 had three octaves instead of two)
- only low-pass filter
- only one voice at a time, thus no layering


Pros AN1x:
- two voices with 10 note polyphony
- mod-matrix
- low-pass, high-pass, band-pass filter
- finally more than two octaves with aftertouch and a ribbon controller

Cons AN1x:
- big, I have only a limited amount of space in my apartment (although I still might cram it in)
- only two oscillators
- more complex user interface (?!)
- no vocoder (I doubt, I will ever miss it)
- I did not find any good sound samples of it yet


Maybe one of the more experienced synth specialists in these forums can help me or at least give me a small piece of advice. Thanks.

XZit
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Post by XZit » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:06 pm

Sounds like your going for a good analog feel.
I guess it matters on 1.) your budget 2.) where are you picking up the AN1x from? and 3.) What sort of music are you producing?

Like me for example-->I want some good analog sounds, by budget is $500 or so, and I want somthing thats good for psytrance/goa, breakbeat/hip-hop, and drum and bass/jungle production. So the best choice for me that I've found is the Alesis ION. Great reviews on the ion from all over the place. Two main issues I've seen about it is no digital output, 8 voice polyphony, and the screen can be hard to read at sometimes...but other then that the synth is excellent!


If I was doing more trance/techno related music (mind you I'm not making "trance" like epic trance or whatever--psytrance/goa requires a more analog sound) then I'd suggest to go with the K-station-->I hear the K-stations great for more of that trancier sound.

The AN1x sounds nice and raw--great analog sound for the money (thats why I asked where your getting it from). And it pulls off some excellent appregiations, and can hold its plate for sure.


In reality its up to you...
You say you didn't find any sounds of the AnX1 yet? Did you look on here? On vintage synth? http://www.vintagesynth.com/index2.html

I say its really up to the type of music your producing, your budget, and if you want "instant" results or not.
The k-station will yield fast results becuase of the knobs being right there and everything, the Anx1 might require a bit more effort--but effort thats well worth it.


pz

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Tidda
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Post by Tidda » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:19 am

Hi,

I'm the proud owner of an AN1x and very happy with it. That doesn't help of course as that's just my taste.
I'm not too familiar with the K-Station, I only have some experience with the V-Station software.

But let me add some more differences you didn't mention.

- The K-Station has got external inputs, the AN1x hasn't.
- You can update the K-Station's OS with a download from the Novation website
(although they probably won't release a new release for it, but it's convenient if you buy one that hasn't been updated)
- K-Station can store 400 patches, AN1x 128

- The AN1x has got a band-elimination filter.
- The AN1x has a 4-track FreeEG (basically recording knob movements for 4 different parameters)
- Oscilator sync is implemented differently, on the AN1x you sync Osc 1 with it's (virtual) self, which leaves the other Oscilator free. In the K-Station you sync 1>2
- AN1x is multitimbral (duo-timbral?) which means you can layer 2 sounds or split the keyboard playing different sounds on each side. So that would make it a 5-voice 4 oscilator synth.

Maybe the following will help you on the search for the best synth for you:
"What, as an AN1x owner, appeals to me in the K-Station that I miss in or would like to have been added to my AN1x?"
- The external signal input
- ...... ??? can't think of anything else.

As I said I own an AN1x and am quite unfamiliar with the K-Station, so any K-Station users, please correct me if I'm making stupid assumptions or other mistakes on te K-Station. Maybe a K-Station owner can also reverse the question on what appeals to you in the other synth.

Regards,
Tidda

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Post by XZit » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:29 am

Ya all I heard about the K-station is its great for quick usage-with knobs right at your disposal, and its great for techno/trance like I stated.
If your debating between the An1x or the K-station I say go for the An1x, you'll find room.

pz

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Post by crystalmsc » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:08 am

The AN1x is one of my favorite synth, with great software editor and lot's of great sounds from the net. The tone is so musical to me, but the filter stepping is could be less desirable than some newer VA. These 2 AN1x songs are very good to give you some idea of how nice it sounds, with and without the fxs within full arrangements: http://www.deepsonic.ch/deep/htm/an1x.php
From those 2, I'd go for the AN1x simply for it's tone. You may also get the equivalent of 4 oscs thickness in the layering mode, specially within the Unison mode which is really beef things up. It's lovely to toying around with the FreeEG in the sexy looking editor :lol: but since you also love to play those popular synth and electronic tunes you've heard, of course the AN1x is a very playable synth with longer keys, aftertouch, scene buttons, ribbon and 2 big wheels. Specially if you like the NI's Pro53, the AN1x was designed to emulate the Prophet 5 with better features and flexibility than the original. Kinda two P5 in one wannabe 8) Yamaha used to have some nice relationship with the ex SCI guys those days..It's worth the extra space for this Yummy.
Last edited by crystalmsc on Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Thefumigator » Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:33 pm

Those AN1x tunes are great, I love them, I would ask however, how good is this synth for soloing "a-la-minimoog"? I want something that sounds similar to my first solo of my video...
Image
watch my first youtube video :D
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Post by crystalmsc » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:07 am

Yo Fumigator, as long as you are fine with the stepping filter (specially when you are turning the knobs slowly), the Tone and capabilities is there with flying colours..Yamaha is always good with solo instrument, since the VL days (VL is the 2nd VA to me after the D-50 before the Nord raise), and the AN is no exception. Sometime, I even think that the AN1x is kinda souped up Nord Lead (remember that CS1x Nord wannabe casing design). Both are based on the P5 and the AN1x did it better. While I like both, to me AN1x is a better lead instrument, specially for that moogish solo. More expressive and soulful. The fxs are beef things up while the ribbon is always nice for soloing 8)
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