Synth Suggestions

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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Sir Nose
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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by Sir Nose » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:22 pm

Tweeking hardware effects can produce some totally unexpected results. A lot of sounds are s**t, but the ones that are nice produce sounds that are like nothing else I have produced. Grabbing and tweaking an effect's knob or two at the same time is much more inviting to me than with software. With software effects it's more, set it and forget it, for me. Reverbs and chorus I tend to turn on/off and not change the settings through a track, so software (though I still use hardware) would be just as effective. As for which hardware effects: A hardware delay or two and I personally like filters/ filter effects, they just call to me "tweak my knob." It is also harded to miss use software effects. Some of the most orginal sounds I've made with effects, use it in a manner never intended when designed.

From what you have described an analog mono synth will add something that is not in your setup. Have you put any of your polys into mono mode to check out what playing in mono does to the music you produce? There's the obvious advantage to a polysynth, but there are adavantages to playing in mono especially with respect to when an envelope is triggered and how it shapes the sound.
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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by braincandy » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:40 pm

Agreed w/ Sir Nose about tweaking hardware effects. Just as an example, I was messing around with some drum loops on my sampler and had it going through an old Roland DEP-5 (can be had relatively cheaply and has knobs) and got a lot of variety just by tweaking the reverb and chorus/delay settings. It's little things like that which can add infinite ways of achieving new sounds to what you already own. I also dial back or turn off the internal effects on my synths when using external effects because it winds up being too much and I like the external effects better anyway.
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RD9
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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by RD9 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:20 pm

krzeppa wrote:@RD9...I've seen you talk about the Radias on a lot of different threads, and that is one of the reasons I hesitate to get one (even with thre recent price drop).

It seems like everyone love the MEK. I really wish I could get around to trying one out. I'm starting to wonder if analog is the way to go and what is out there that might fit in well with what I currently have...any other suggestions?
By the way, just as a disclaimer, the issue I have with the Radias is pretty specific to my needs. So I should say that it still has a lot of nice features. :D And it taught me most of what I know about subtractive synthesis (especially in the beginning). The only reason I'm still trying to find ways to use it is because it still does have some benefits, particularly the multi-timbrality which none of my analogs are capable of. If I ever had to perform live, I would hesitate to bring out the MS20 and MS404, but with a VA it's no problem. There's no substitute for trying one out for yourself though, because you never know what you might like. If you have specific questions about it, feel free to ask and I can check any of the features for you if I'm not already fully familiar with them.

Something to consider maybe is an instrument that does stuff you don't readily understand. Maybe even pedals, as aeon suggested. I say that because a lot of modern digital synths give you exactly what you ask for, so things are relatively straightforward. With other more cryptic hands-on equipment, a lot of interesting things can happen just by tweaking knobs whose functions you aren't even sure of. This could open the doors to a lot more experimentation and inspiration, if you're open to serendipity. It can be a lot more fun.

Or if not, maybe a "simpler" analog instrument might also be good to look into. Less params to fiddle with, but a possibly sweeter sound. Before I got the MS20, I was looking at an SEM, Telemark, Semblance, or Leipzig. At the time, I wanted a real analog monster to offset the Radias and MicroKorg. I think I already had the MS404 at that point, which I bought used of course. It was only a single-osc, but enough to lure me to get a bigger monster. Needless to say, analog blew me away. The only problem with getting analog though is you might run into the same problem I am, which is that once you get used to it, you start asking for more and more from your VAs. Which should explain all my Radias whining. :lol:

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krzeppa
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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by krzeppa » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:36 pm

RD9 wrote:I say that because a lot of modern digital synths give you exactly what you ask for, so things are relatively straightforward. With other more cryptic hands-on equipment, a lot of interesting things can happen just by tweaking knobs whose functions you aren't even sure of. This could open the doors to a lot more experimentation and inspiration, if you're open to serendipity. It can be a lot more fun.
This is part of the reason I thought I'd give analog a try. All of the VAs I own are definitely straightforward, as you put it, and I am looking for something completely different. I think that is why I considering dumping the MicroQ and Lead 2. I've heard some crazy and unique sounds come out of analogs that I just can seem to replicate on my VAs.

With effects processors, I would like to get some hardware at some point. But as of right now, I've been pretty content with what I've been able to do with just plug-ins. Maybe I would be blown away though if I did use hardware to do the same things I'm doing now. I guess I won't know that until I try it.

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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by RD9 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:44 pm

krzeppa wrote:
With effects processors, I would like to get some hardware at some point. But as of right now, I've been pretty content with what I've been able to do with just plug-ins. Maybe I would be blown away though if I did use hardware to do the same things I'm doing now. I guess I won't know that until I try it.
Yeah that's what sucks about synths. The only way to try a lot of them is to buy which totally sucks. This one time I lent my gear out to a stranger because I knew it was impossible for them to know what it was like unless they bought it. Anyway, I can't speak for anyone else obviously, but after someone recommended I try a BBD, I picked up an MXR Carbon Copy (analog delay) and it totally changed my perception of what a delay is. I love that thing.

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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by krzeppa » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:24 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I think I'm going to start looking for some hardware effects sometime here in the near future. I also think I am really going to try and get rid of my Nord Lead 2 and MicroQ. Also, I think I'm going to save up and get a Little Phatty. I really want to give analog a try, and I thought to myself...."Self, if you are going to get an analog synth, you might as well just go out and get a Moog."

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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by nateholt75 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:49 am

I started another thread about finding something that's better than my sh201 and the nord lead 2 and novation ks4 were mentioned. i almost went with the ks4 but i read many reviews on various boards about 'clicking' sounds and phantom knob changes. anyone know anything or experienced that with a ks4?
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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by Pro5 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:02 am

From what I researched, the clicking sounds come from note stealing due to limited poly in certain modes (multi and possibly unison/mono etc). I never use multitimbral modes on any synth but if it can't do unison solo/mono without problems I'd be wary of it.

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Re: Synth Suggestions

Post by GameChanger » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:35 pm

nateholt75 wrote:I started another thread about finding something that's better than my sh201 and the nord lead 2 and novation ks4 were mentioned. i almost went with the ks4 but i read many reviews on various boards about 'clicking' sounds and phantom knob changes. anyone know anything or experienced that with a ks4?
I had a KS4 for a minute, and had massive problems with the clicking sounds. I upgraded the OS & checked out everything under sun to see if I could fix it, and I didn't use it multitimbrally. Messing with the attack, in alot of patches still didn't get rid of the click. Sucks because I actually really enjoyed the sound, if it wern't for the clicks. Maybe the one I got was just faulty though. I read everywere once people upgraded the OS, theres was fine. Not mine. Sucks because on of that synths strongpoints is its arppeggator. But 75% of the arps I tried Clicked To Death. I suggest if you go Novation, so for Supernova/Nova.

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