NewB needs SYnth Help!

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quicksilverXP
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NewB needs SYnth Help!

Post by quicksilverXP » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:53 am

My band and I switched from playing rock to RnB/Hip-Hop/Rap/Pop as we thought it might be more fun. I was a guitar player before, but since I play piano the best, they thought I should be on synth/keys (considering almost every Pop/RnB song has some kind of synth. Our goal is to play all songs live with little sampling.

I've been reading up on the different kinds of synths (analog and FM), and purchased a DX7 and an Alesis Micron (both temporary), and I think I may be getting used to layering, splitting, sequencing, but the stuff I need help on is programming... where both manuals seem very hard to follow. I know it's asking a lot... but I'll give some songs I need help on (go ahead and bash... these songs are the stuff everyone loves where we live).

1. Summer Love (Justin Timberlake, but music created by the infamous Timbaland).
-There's a part in the song (mainly the chorus) that sounds like a violin layered with some kind of synth string ensemble. It starts out high and then slowly travels to a low note. It's the most piercing and significant part of the chorus. I can't figure it out... is it some kind of portamento setting? The sound starts at 1:03. Knowing Timbaland... it's probably a sample... but can this sound be made?

2. Stronger (by Kanye West... using Daft Punk's original).
- This is a small part... but on one of the parts where Kanye says "That's how long I've been on yah" at 2:30. It's a sound that sounds very robotic and analog. But I can't figure out how that sound is done.

Those are two examples. I'm trying to not use patches and creating it myself... but for a newb this is complicating. We've been playing without these parts.. and everyone seems to enjoy it... but I figure why not try to see exactly how they were made.

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Post by kevindustrial » Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:14 am

Oh man, doing any editing on a DX7 is h**l. I really wish that Yamaha had some way of programming it like Roland did for their JX-x and D-50 synths.

I wouldn't get TOO worried about trying to write your own DX7 patches right now. Just toy around with it and use a guitar processor to give it some different voices.


You might wanna get something with more knobs than the Alesis offers if you're looking to jam stuff out and experiment with sound creation though. I think thats where my Virus is the best at...my Nord following right behind. Nords seem to be awesome at sounding incredibly like every synth ever on the radio and after I got mine, I was kinda surprised that I was hearing Nord sounds everywhere and didn't realize that is what it was.

Sorry, I'm just rambling and blowing off homework!

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quicksilverXP
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Post by quicksilverXP » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:01 am

You're right. That's why I'm selling my DX-7. I only really used the DX-7 for my talkbox. But I found a DX-100 to replace it with.

The Micron is really awesome. But it's tedious having to switch in between all settings via one knob.

I'm a newb... so I paid newb prices for both of my first synths. But it seems you have to pay a good amount for a newb to have easier accessibility.

Still looking for some help with those two songs... but I'm gonna keep trying with this Micron.

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Post by Big Gnome » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:45 am

Both are excellent instruments, congratulations (word to the wise, though--a DX100 will not come close to replacing the DX7).

I can't help you with those particular sounds as I'm not familiar with the songs, although I strongly recommend you spend some time here.
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quicksilverXP
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Post by quicksilverXP » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:36 pm

Yeah I know. The DX7 was a great instrument. But I really only used like three sounds from it... as our band actually has two keyboardists in it. One handling all the samples/synth parts... and one handling all the real instruments parts (piano, strings, etc.). I kind of go in between playing actual guitar to playin gthe few synth parts that there are.

The DX100 is mainly for the talkbox to get the Roger Troutman sound. It's got a much easier to use pitch and mod wheel for mimicing a "human" like voice.

I don't want to part with the DX7... as some of the sounds were crazy... but I have little use for it. I might just keep it for the h**l of it.

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Post by quicksilverXP » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:37 pm

Big Gnome wrote:Both are excellent instruments, congratulations (word to the wise, though--a DX100 will not come close to replacing the DX7).

I can't help you with those particular sounds as I'm not familiar with the songs, although I strongly recommend you spend some time here.
By the way... thanks for the link. Should help me get started.

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Post by quicksilverXP » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:10 am

Nice. Got everything to work by just superglueing the broken pieces of the keys that I found inside the chassis.

The volume slider is a lot better now that I cleaned it but there's still a small bit of scratch in it. I ordered some cailube to fix it.

I also got the DX100. It works perfectly. The only problems with it is that when I nudge the headphone jack upwards the sound will cancel, and sometimes, when connected to the main output, sound won't come out until I nudge the output just a little.

Is this a result of bad jacks... should I replace them?

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