Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-800

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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Moritz
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Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-800

Post by Moritz » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:56 pm

Hey,

I am looking for the right synth to complement my equipment. Since it is my first one, I have a hard time finding the right one. I am starting a new music project and I want to do some experimental LoFi sounding music in the direction of Hype Williams, Forest Swords, Dean Blunt, Dirty Beaches. Its pretty much sample based music, but I needd the right synth to play some bass, spacey brass and exmerimental sound. Hard to exmplain, but maybe you can help me out. I already checked some synths, but unfortunately I dont have the chance to check them all. So heres my options:

- Roland Gaia (I love the hands-on design, would be perfect for me as a beginner but im afraid the sounds are maybe a little not-characteristic)

- Roland Juno Alpha (maybe a little limited ?)

- Casion Sz 1 or sz 101

- Roland Jx 3P

- Roland JP 3000 (Trancey)

- Clavia Lead 2

Im just not so much interested in Super Saw and Trance Sounds and its ok if it sounds a little trashy maybe.

Would be cool if you would give me some reccomendations,

thx and best,
moritz

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by SSquirrel » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:08 am

There's always wavetable synths like the Waldorf Microwave XT to cover the odd spaces in between things and the really out there.

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:55 am

Should be able to find an Evolver keyboard for the top of your price range of you look around a bit, that would do pretty well. Otherwise the Minibrute or the new MS20.

Edit: these are all monophonic, if you want to play chords I'd be looking at the Ultranova maybe.

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by madtheory » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:47 pm

Seconding the Ultranova. Has everything you'd need in a synth and sounds great IMO. For a beginner, it could do with more dials per parameter perhaps. As this reviewer says, the only minus with it is it's "not very knobby" :)

So maybe a used Novation KS Rack? Slightly more limited synth, but more hands on.The KS keyboard doesn't have the envelope sliders, which makes it slightly less accessible.

The Novations are great for "lo-fi" type sounds, with the nice sounding filter, the drift control for the osc, and the distortion effect. One of the brilliant features, especially for a beginner, is the solo button for each of the 3 oscillators.

Evolver is awesome though. Such a deep synth you'll never tire of it, but still very approachable for a beginner.

I agree with you about the Gaia. Easy to use but a bit meh sounding, for some reason.

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by SSquirrel » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:41 pm

If looking at Novation, if you can find a Novation Nova desktop in solid shape, that could be good too. Ultranova is monotimbral vs the 6 parts of the Nova. It's known for troubles with its power supply tho.

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by Disgraceland » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:29 pm

Hi I have a KS rack that I was thinking about selling.

It was my first piece of hardware and I've had a lot of fun with it.

It's a great piece of kit to learn synthesis on, if you are new tyo it. Pretty much everything is on the front panel which makes it very "tweakable".

Added to that, it has a lot of functionality. The arpegiatior is great, the FX do the business and having three oscillators gives you lots of umff, as they say :)

Have a look at some youtube videos - if you are interested let me know.

J

P.S - it's clean, a little rack rash but nothing serious. All pots, etc are good.

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by Re-Member » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:01 am

Moritz wrote:- Roland JP 3000 (Trancey)
...
Im just not so much interested in Super Saw and Trance Sounds and its ok if it sounds a little trashy maybe.
The JP-8000 being a "trancey" synth is a huge misconception. A lot of people used it for Trance music, but it alone will not produce Trance music. All the presets are actually very retro sounding and most were programmed to mimic a lot of Roland's 80s synths. Plus if you don't like any of the presets, you can quickly wipe them out by pressing the "Manual" button which instantly makes the synth match the position of the knobs and sliders. I've had zero problems quickly recreating patches I've made on my SH-101 and Juno-60 onto the JP-8000 for live use, which is all I really use it for these days. It won't sound Trancey unless you specifically play those types of melodies and chord progressions with the Supersaw. All I actually use the Supersaw for is that Gary Numan "Vox Humana" type sound.

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by SSquirrel » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:01 am

Not sure about the experimental angles, but someone in another thread was talking about the Roland System 1 has been taking over the bass duties over all their other synths. Bitcrushing, Reverb and Delay are all in there tho so maybe it could work

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by Intrcptr » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:09 am

another vote for the ultranova . there are some lo-fi patches mixed in here


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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by JeEA » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:08 am

Casio cz line is very different from the normal subtractive synth, but sounds like an analog subtractive synth
Different to program from eg a jx-3p.

Lofi is not how they sound in my opinion.

Maybe you should play one of the old Roland samplers. ;-)
They are lofi 12 bit and you can get a lot of sounds from the sgroup. Also it has the tvf filters like the Roland D series from the eighties.
Last you can sample a synth your self and tweek the samplers parameters. As you wrote the stuff is most sample based.

Cheers

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by Rick N Boogie » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:37 am

As an owner and huge fan of the DSI Mono Evolver kb, I would agree with the suggestion that it would be a great choice. Aside from being a 4 Osc behemoth of a synth, there are some gnarly fx onboard that really take "lo-fi" to deeper depths. Certainly worth consideration.
Bassist, synth junkie

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Re: Looking for the right Synth (LoFi /Experimental) // 500-

Post by groy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:58 am

IDK looks like the original poster jumped ship. I'd also consider an ESQ-1 or 80.

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