How to choose your first synthesizer

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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ranzee
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How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by ranzee » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:17 am



Everything you need to know about getting your first synthesizer. Whether you’re a beginner, or an experienced musician: I give you all the purchasing considerations, plus I recommend and demonstrate 6 of my top pics. Watch the video from start to finish or just use the contents list below and skip to the relevant section for you. The video shares knowledge in purchase considerations, what types of synths to get and demonstrations of the 6 recommendations. I get into some of the details on oscillators, polyphonic, monophonic, analog, digital etc – it is all there!

Video contents:

? 0:50 Considerations before you purchase
? 4:45 Analog synths
? 6:11 Arturia Microbrute
? 13:36 Novation Bass Station 2
? 19:52 Analog polyphonic synths
? 20:24 Korg Minilogue
? 25:48 Behringer Deepmind 12
? 33:16 Digital synths
? 34:32 Korg MicroKorg
? 38:48 Roland JD-XI
? 45:20 Summary

Madeleine47
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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by Madeleine47 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:09 am

Thanks for the guidelines and video that you share here, i'm going to buy new synthesizer.

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ranzee
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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by ranzee » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:47 am

Madeleine47 wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:09 am
Thanks for the guidelines and video that you share here, i'm going to buy new synthesizer.
Hey Madeleine! Congrats on taking the step! Let me know what you decided to get, and hope you subscribed to my YouTube channel - we do a live stream every Saturday at 2PM UTC time.

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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by Headphones73 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:49 am

1. Do your homework. The internet can give you a general idea on the pros & cons of what’s out there. It boils down to the motto “You get what you pay for”. Just because you’re willing to pay more doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy with it’s sounds or features. A digital one can emulate acoustic instruments, but they can’t always fool you or the listener there’s a saxophone or French horn coming from your synth. You might prefer a analog synth for fat bass or silky pads. But don’t expect it to do acoustic instruments very well, and it might be mono. (Meaning even if you play chords, the synth will only play the first note & ignore the rest). Some synths are mini workstations with a sequencer, loads of FX (reverbs, distortions, flange/phaser, chorus, etc). That’s great features to have if you need them, but they may overwhelm you as a buyer of your first synth. But it all depends on the sounds you require and the features you can pay for.

2. Do you need to play live or in the studio? If you want to perform live, you probably want a synth that’s well built over a cheaply built one that won’t survive your touring schedule. If you just need this in your studio, then just have it on a table or keyboard stand.

3. How do you plan to listen to your synth? Most synths don’t come with built in speakers. So you want to invest in studio monitors or a keyboard amp if you are a performer.

4. Look for any music shops in your area that has a synth for you to play. Ask questions to the staff, and don’t feel pressured to buy anything. But get a sense of the sounds you want, what it will run you, etc.

Remember there is no digital or analog synth that does everything. The manufacturer always had to cut corners somewhere to keep the costs down to sell the product to the market. Wether you’re a guitarist or drummer who just needs to play along with some ideas for songs, or you just want to make your own sounds from scratch, there should be a synth that can do what you want.

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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by KayBur » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:53 am

The video is useful. But the question is, what is better to buy for a person who does not know how to play at all and only plans to learn? Isn't it more convenient to buy a piano? Although it needs more space.

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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by paugui » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:30 am

KayBur wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:53 am
The video is useful. But the question is, what is better to buy for a person who does not know how to play at all and only plans to learn? Isn't it more convenient to buy a piano? Although it needs more space.
Depends a lot on what you want...

If you are interested in sound design, I think it's a must to get a keyboard with a nice interface, either plenty of knobs or a decent menu structure and some knobs to allow for realtime control of your sounds, as that's the best way to understand what the different components of the synth actually do.

If you want to play with both hands, definitely it would be recommended to get a synth with more. than 4 notes of polyphony and with a keyboard with at least 4 octaves.
But if that's not really important, I think a keyboard like a Korg Minilogue can be a great option for a beginner!

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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by viktorlovisa » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:31 am

Thanks Ranzee

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Re: How to choose your first synthesizer

Post by JamesMiller31 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:27 pm

Thanks for this very helpful and informative video! I’m about to buy a Behringer DeepMind 12 here to upgrade my studio gear and complement my new Moog Grandmother & Yamaha Reface DX. I’m seeing used DM12 synths from $600 US up online/local. I like Roland & Korg but the DM12 has many more features & effects for the price, plus a great analog sound. DM12 may become the core of my new music setup. Your thoughts?

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