small MIDI controller/synth

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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thermite zapruder
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small MIDI controller/synth

Post by thermite zapruder » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:11 am

I've been using an M-Audio Oxygen 8 as a desk controller to control my e6400 Ultra and desktop Evolver--just for auditioning sounds, triggering samples, and simple lead and bass lines. It's falling apart, and given the terrible key feel of most MIDI controllers and the cost of good ones, I've been playing with the idea of getting a small synth to use for these purposes instead. Would need to send velocity sensitivity...controls that could be assigned to some parameters of the receiving devices (esp. Evolver) would be nice but not a must.

Someday I'll just get the Pro 2 for this purpose but that ain't happening anytime soon. I just like the idea of having bargain synths as MIDI controllers, bang-for-buck wise, having formerly used an AJ2 for this purpose when I was playing live and now using an ESQ-1 for the modules in another part of my studio.

Grateful for ay suggestions...thanks.

Ashe37
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Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Post by Ashe37 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:20 am

Oxygen 25 Mk IV?

thermite zapruder
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:18 pm
Gear: ARP 2600
EMU SSM Card Kit
Prophet 600
Evolver
ESQ-1
Juno 6
Alpha Juno 2
JV-1010
Crumar Performer
EMU e6400 ultra
MPC2000xl
SK-1
SK-5
Band: Thermite Zapruder

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Post by thermite zapruder » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:31 am

Thanks for weighing in but I'm looking for a small synth to replace its functionality, not another (solely) MIDI controller.

Ashe37
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Posts: 3760
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Post by Ashe37 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:18 am

Bass Station II, Untranova, Mninova, Mopho... what are you looking for? price? polyphony? size? number of keys?

thermite zapruder
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Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:18 pm
Gear: ARP 2600
EMU SSM Card Kit
Prophet 600
Evolver
ESQ-1
Juno 6
Alpha Juno 2
JV-1010
Crumar Performer
EMU e6400 ultra
MPC2000xl
SK-1
SK-5
Band: Thermite Zapruder

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Post by thermite zapruder » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:02 pm

Sorry, I thought it was clear that I'm looking for something small--similar in size to the Oxygen-8, ca. 25 keys. My "bargain" request is, however, far more subjective, so...something less than $500, and well less would be optimal. For perspective, I was considering the Monologue but it doesn't appear to send velocity data so that's out. Type of synth matters less at the bottom of the price curve (if cheap and a good controller, any synth features a bonus; if more expensive, I'd want to have a particular affinity for the synth features). Don't much care if it's mono or poly, though in the 25-key range I'd assumed most offerings would be mono synths. As I don't own much in the way of unapologetically digital synths, something along those lines might be nice. I'll look at the ones you mentioned for MIDI implementation/price.
Last edited by thermite zapruder on Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ashe37
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Posts: 3760
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: small MIDI controller/synth

Post by Ashe37 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:20 pm

There really isn't much digital with 25 keys. The 25 key thing is recent while any digital synths that aren't VA or romplers were way before that.

Two 25-key romplers i can think of are the MicroX and the Taktile Triton. The MicroX is more capable as a synth, while the Taktile is much more meant as a controller and the synth engine in it is minimally programmable, to its detriment.

oh, and i see i mistyped Mininova.

For other VAs, the Microkorg and its descendants, as well as the R3. Those are less flexible as midi controllers tho.

If you can find one in your price range, the Ultranova is a full-featured VA synth that has a mode where it acts as a full midi controller.

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