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Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:14 am
by Miles Powerhouse
There are many threads like this in this forum, but I'm pretty sure none of them are as specific as mine. If they are, they aren't recent enough for me.

I'm starting a band, and one of our members wants to learn how to play a keyboard/synth for live shows. I'm not 100% sure on his budget, but I will post it here as soon as I find out. He asked me to look for one, and I wasn't too sure what to get. Here are the requirements:
  • 49 or 61 keys, synth-action
  • No Romplers
  • Can be bought brand new (subjected to change)
  • Reliable live and in studio
  • Easy patch recall
I was thinking of a Casio XW-P1, but I would like your input. Thanks in advance

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:43 am
by ninja6485
You know, I think I actually prefer the sound of romplers to V.A.'s. Why no romplers? Just curious btw. Your requirements seem fairly broad: it might be a good idea to take him to some music stores and see what they have. Then you would know for sure that it sounds and feels the way you want.

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:11 am
by Don T
Miles Powerhouse wrote:There are many threads like this in this forum, but I'm pretty sure none of them are as specific as mine. If they are, they aren't recent enough for me.

I'm starting a band, and one of our members wants to learn how to play a keyboard/synth for live shows. I'm not 100% sure on his budget, but I will post it here as soon as I find out. He asked me to look for one, and I wasn't too sure what to get. Here are the requirements:
  • 49 or 61 keys, synth-action
  • No Romplers
  • Can be bought brand new (subjected to change)
  • Reliable live and in studio
I was thinking of a Casio XW-P1, but I would like your input. Thanks in advance
Analog, VA, Digital, Sampler, or "all of the above"? If you like your softsynths, why not get a really nice midi controller and a Macbook Pro? Not the cheapest solution, but dependable, easily carried, and basically can be almost any synth you want. Plus, get the right rig and you can run the whole thing on batteries.

Disclaimer: I am a dyed-in-the-wool analog person. I have yet to hear a softsynth/VA that has the presence of an analog hardware synth or keyboard (Not saying they don't exist, just haven't heard one). That said, under the conditions you describe above, I would follow my own suggestion, but only after digging through a bunch of softsynths that I could at least be somewhat happy with the sound they produce. For instance, I had heard quite a few synths/keyboards that I THOUGHT had a decent Hammond Organ sound, until the day a 1956 Hammond M-3 showed up in my garage. The list of 'decent' Hammond sounds on digital gear dropped to ZERO. I know there are some good ones out there, I just haven't heard one yet. I guess what I'm saying is: If you go with something similar to my suggestion, dig around for sounds that truly please you, as opposed to something to just get by.

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:27 am
by Miles Powerhouse
We will use softsynths, I just want him to have a hardware synth just so he can get used to both and we don't have to wait for the software to load.

A workstation may do. I want something that has many sounds and that can be programmed and edited when needed (live and in studio). I don't want something like a Nord because I don't want to confuse him with all of the knobs and switches. That's what I'll use softsynths for.

How about a M-Audio Venom? If you can recall patches easy, that would be a plus. It doesn't have too many knobs to confuse him either.

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:33 am
by Stab Frenzy
The Venom is a ROMpler, as are workstations.

Don't take this the wrong way, but do you even know what a ROMpler is?

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:43 am
by Miles Powerhouse
What? A ROMpler emulates realistic sounds by the way of samples such as pianos. The Venom is a synth, right? Every video and webpage calls it a synth, as in it can create its own sounds with oscillators.

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:51 am
by Don T
Miles Powerhouse wrote:We will use softsynths, I just want him to have a hardware synth just so he can get used to both and we don't have to wait for the software to load.

A workstation may do. I want something that has many sounds and that can be programmed and edited when needed (live and in studio). I don't want something like a Nord because I don't want to confuse him with all of the knobs and switches. That's what I'll use softsynths for.

How about a M-Audio Venom? If you can recall patches easy, that would be a plus. It doesn't have too many knobs to confuse him either.
I know it's not the most current thing, but something like the E-MU X-Board is what I was thinking of. Programmable, meaning you can set up different configs for each softsynth, and it has enough assignable knobs to accommodate the most tweakable parameters without looking like a giant Buchla modular set up (Even though I think Buchla modular stuff looks WAY cool!). It can even be used to control any hardware synth that accepts midi CC messages. Plus, it runs on batteries if needed, and can use a standard midi cable or midi over USB. By the way, yes, I have one, even though I use it mainly to test synths under repair, or for entering notes into Finale on my computer.

Like I said, they aren't made anymore, but many things are still in production that are similar.

Link to E-MU X-Board info:
http://support.creative.com/Products/Pr ... goryID:237

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:59 am
by Stab Frenzy
Miles Powerhouse wrote:What? A ROMpler emulates realistic sounds by the way of samples such as pianos. The Venom is a synth, right? Every video and webpage calls it a synth, as in it can create its own sounds with oscillators.
ROMplers are synths too, synth is a very broad term. A ROMpler uses samples as oscillators, they could be of realistic sounds or of oscillators from other synths or anything. The Venom's oscillators are samples, so it's a ROMpler.

Also I think rather than avoiding synths with knobs as they'll confuse him, you should get a synth with knobs cause then he'll know how to play a synth.

Re: Synth for Beginner Player/Live

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:51 pm
by Miles Powerhouse
The Venom's a ROMpler? Well then...
I have the feeling I'm confusing too many people with this thread. I think he's ok with buying a M-Audio Venom and eventually a M-Audio Oxygen (49 or 61). We want to keep with M-Audio because they are cheap, but reliable. I'll be teaching him basic synthesis as well on my Roland GAIA and a few softsynths.

Sorry for the confusion. :oops: My question is answered, so feel free to lock if necessary.