My first Synth

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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My first Synth

Post by Compose This » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:14 am

HI, I'm looking to purchase my first synth.
My budget is $300.

I currently have a cheap portable Casio keyboard and an M-Audio MIDI keyboard on hand.
I also have some soft synths.
My reason for wanting to buy a synth is because I'd like to invite in a new sound to my jam space.

Right now it's just guitar,bass, & drums.

The sounds that I'm after are that warm synth sound but also would like some horns and strings as well.
I'm not sure if I need to buy a synth and a sampler for that.

Anyway, Thanks for any assistance that may come my way.

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Re: My first Synth

Post by V301H » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:41 pm

The Roland Go Keys is cheap with high quality sounds. No sound editing but has sampled sounds and some Synth sounds in mono mode. If you want something more versatile check out the Casio XW-P1. It has dedicated Synth, Organ, and Sampled sections all of which can be edited. A bit more money but look around for a B-Stock or used deal.
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Re: My first Synth

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:55 pm

I'd say get yourself a decent Yamaha FM synth - if you're lucky, you might be able to score a DX7 in the $300 range, and you can definitely pick up a V50 or TX81Z at or below your price point. That gets you some some excellent horns, decent strings, and plenty of interesting synth sounds (and yes, FM can sound warm, in the right hands.)
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Re: My first Synth

Post by clubbedtodeath » Sat May 18, 2019 7:32 pm

Sorry CJ, but I'd suggest the OP stays away from FM synths: FM programming is, while very powerful, quite intimidating to the uninitiated.

Compose This: I think what you are looking for is called a 'sound module'. These modules are essentially massive patch banks full of predefined sounds, from horns, strings, percussion etc. Roland and Yamaha made many of these in the 80s and 90s, most of which implemented the General MIDI layout for patchs, and then extended quite a bit. Often, they included internal effects too.

I'm mainly thinking of Roland JV1010 & XV2020, and the Yamaha's MU-50, MU-9 & MU-100. A quick scan of eBay shows many go for well under $300. The catch is you'd need to use your M-Audio keyboard and a MIDI cable to trigger the notes on the module.

I've more experience with the Yamaha XG (MU-100). That had many patches, and lots of options for shaping sounds (eg. filter, amp envelope and so on), so you could shape a patch into something quite different to the original sound. However, I also remember the Rolands having slightly better patch quality, especially the strings.

Hope this helps!

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