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Analog Synth suggestions
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Nick
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:31 pm    Post subject: Analog Synth suggestions Reply with quote

So about 8 years ago when I worked at Guitar Center I snaked a broken Kawai SX240 from a fellow employee. He had it on hold but hadn't been able to pay for it yet so a manager sold it to me when he wasn't working. I felt bad, and after noodling around for a few weeks and recording some stuff with it, I eventually sold it to the other guy for what I paid for it. It worked intermittently but damn it was everything I wanted soundwise.


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After that I bought a Microkorg because that's what all the cool kids were doing. Honestly I hated it from the start. So dry, and just had that "microkorg sound". I need buttons and knobs on a synth, I hate navigating menus. I also bought a Yamaha M06, which I also kind of hate yet I feel it covers too much ground to justify selling. First chance I get I'm retiring it from band use and setting it up on my desk as a studio tool only. I sold the Microkorg on craigslist a few months ago.

I've had the itch for something more organic for a while now, but the other day I stumbled on one of my old recordings of the SX240 and got really sad. I think the only other synth I've gotten to play that I enjoyed fiddling with more was a Roland Jupiter 8.

I really want another Kawai, but they seem to have risen in price to more than I'm comfortable spending on old fragile technology.

So in my price range I think I'm looking at the Roland JX3P for poly, in addition to maybe a Novation Bass Station II or Arturia Microbrute for monophonic fun. Should I be looking at anything else? The thought crossed my mind that a digital synth that focuses more on "analog modelling", such as a Roland 201 or even a Nord that has more knobs and buttons might be better than my other experience but I'm still not convinced it will sound as warm.

There's one other thing I found that looks pretty cool but it's probably harder to find and heavier than the Kawai even is.


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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Crumar looks like one of those rare synths that when someone actually has one for sale they'll ask for a ridiculous price because they think they're sitting on a gold mine. Good luck though, you might find someone with at least half a brain trying to sell one.
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dezb1 wrote:
I only buy synths with mini keys as I like the shortscale synths.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you seen those two new Analogue/Digital hybrids Roland have just announced? Proper, rather than virtual, analogue coupled with digital synths (think they've also got built in drum machines and sequencers).

The cheaper one has a mono analogue section with poly digital (399 over here) but only has mini keys. They haven't announced the full specs (or price) for the larger one yet but it looks to be poly analogue as well as digital.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those Rolands look neat and really useful, it looks like they tried to build a better microkorg and probably suceeded. While I may very well try one down the road I'm not sure it's what I'm after right now.

Been still doing research. I know it's not analog but I'm now looking at the Nord Lead 2/2x. About $600-$700 on the used market and seem to do everything I want with none of the usual modelling synth hangups. Now to decide what to sell...
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stewart
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if i had the choice of one midrange polysynth i'd go for a Juno 60. not sure how expensive they are in the US though. the 106 is slightly less cool but has the ability to toggle as a monosynth, which i find really handy.

bass stations are great, i have the first generation (cheap as hell) but if i'd had a bit more money i'd have gone for the II.

i think the newer nord leads have the facility to download the electro patches, which is a massive plus.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides the Alphas, the Junos run around $1,000 give or take in the states. They might do what they do the best but I always thought they were kind of a one trick pony.

Which Nords are you talking about? I can't find any info on dumping electro sounds into the lead, maybe some the other way around. From what I gather the 2/2x architecture is generally favored over the 3 by analog purists so I think that's what I'm after, also more in my price range (ideally $600) But thanks for making me google the Nord Electros. Now feeling like I should sell my massive yc-30 combo organ and wurli 200 AND the MO6 and live happily ever after with a Lead 2x and Electro 4
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aen
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the Minibrute for a while. It's like, crazy fun. It's also insanely fully featured for such a small chunk of kit. I really think it's a slam dunk.
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stewart
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
Which Nords are you talking about? I can't find any info on dumping electro sounds into the lead, maybe some the other way around.


ha, as soon as i typed that i realised i was repeating what someone had told me without checking the facts...

the electo 4 is definitely on my wish list, they're incredible. if i wasn't so attached to them for sentimental reasons i'd sell all my vintage keys (with the exception of my synths) and just have one of those.
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Nick
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thread bump.

I tried one of those new Roland microkorg things, was not impressed. Interface was very confusing. Sounded ok, keyboard was crap and the velocity sensitivekeys were useless, way too easy to accidentally give too much snap.

My needs have kind of shifted from wanting to turn knobs and make spaceship sounds to needing a musical polyphonic keyboard with some character-good "organs" a priority. I'd still love an Electro 4 but even if I could afford it, I don't like the prospects of gigging with a $1600 keyboard. Really wish anyone did something like that cheaper. I'd love to tote around my Yamaha YC30 but my back isn't as good as it was even 5 years ago, not to mention I seem to have bought a smaller car.

I played with the idea of a Yamaha mx49 or a Casio Xwp1...Really though all these new keyboards just try to be everything to everyone and leave me feeling over/underwhelmed at the same time.

So I found a Casio CZ1 at a local shop for $279, included 2 rom carts. They offered me $375 for my M06 so I can probably squeeze a pedal into the deal.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
I tried one of those new Roland microkorg things, was not impressed. Interface was very confusing. Sounded ok, keyboard was crap and the velocity sensitivekeys were useless, way too easy to accidentally give too much snap.


That's disappointing; thought it looked promising.

Did you get the CZ-1 then?
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ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
Thread bump.

I tried one of those new Roland microkorg things, was not impressed. Interface was very confusing. Sounded ok, keyboard was crap and the velocity sensitivekeys were useless, way too easy to accidentally give too much snap.

you can turn the keyboard sensitivity off.
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dezb1 wrote:
I only buy synths with mini keys as I like the shortscale synths.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still not what I'm looking for. My sloppy fingers need full size keys. The interface was a bit confusing....just brought back bad memories of my microkorg.

I am a little torn though....for the recordings I'm planning I intend to use my Combo organ, but for live use I'm not sure if it would be better to get an organ
/piano emulator keyboard like a Roland VR09 or Nord Electro, or to get a synth that has some unique patches of its own that might also be able to get into the cheesy organ territory in ots own way.

Have this thing about modelling keyboards where it seems like they're mainly for session/cover artists.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BearBoy wrote:
Nick wrote:
I tried one of those new Roland microkorg things, was not impressed. Interface was very confusing. Sounded ok, keyboard was crap and the velocity sensitivekeys were useless, way too easy to accidentally give too much snap.


That's disappointing; thought it looked promising.

Did you get the CZ-1 then?
just because I didn't like it doesn't mean you won't. I didn't get to spend much time with it and to be fair, I'm not fond of Microkorgs for a lot of the same reasons...touch sensitivity comment was mostly aimed at the acoustic piano patches which is an instrument you just shouldn't play with mini keys anyway.

Did nkt buy the CZ1...that shop was closing and I didn't get a good enough feel for it. My money hasn't been spent yet and I don't have a show lined up for a couple months so there's time to decide. I may go back tomorrow and try to get a longer demo with it.
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ultratwin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
Been still doing research. I know it's not analog but I'm now looking at the Nord Lead 2/2x. About $600-$700 on the used market and seem to do everything I want with none of the usual modelling synth hangups. Now to decide what to sell...



Gonna chime in for the heck of it. It's an odd trade-off in many respects, but with nothing in the world of synths being cheap I'd take my time with a choice either way and keep demoing whatever you stumble upon. Still, I'd go for a used digital modeling piece simply for a load of convenient features that lets me get a taste of analog processes without the old hangups, despite the lack o' phat and so much cool that comes with the monstrous sound of real oscillators. Suffice to say I'm easily pleased if a well-designed digital preset and plenty of knobs can deliver, so you may have to discard much of the following.

A few of my subjective impressions among them...

I've found Nords and Novations in general to be super "slick" and really hi-fi, great for ambient and tight pop mix extras, albeit a tad on the "cold" side. The MiniNova, however is a great starter package I'd dive into if I lost my gear and had to do it all over again.

I'm convinced that Access is by far the exclusive funnel for all repressed German angst and aggression from the past century. after nearly 15 years in the studio, our expanded Virus KB can still keep up with the newbs on the block, and has some remarkably complex pads and blippy tones that even my darling Spectrasonic Omnisphere still can't cover. And their filters are pretty much unrivaled.

Overall, I've felt that Rolands are great "safe" units, and even the older JPs have probably the fattest base tones to work with if you really want to go bananas and leave preset-world.


Last edited by ultratwin on Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nick
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips Andi. It definitely takes time to get to know the characteristics of each model beyond what's on paper.

The good news is I think I've discovered the "synth" I want now. I'm completely sold. And of course it's something I haven't even mentioned in this thread so far and due to not wanting to jinx it I don't think I'll spill the beans til I actually make a move.

The most I'll say is what I want is kind of a one trick pony, and an older board. So even though I'm anxious to ditch the M06, I may want to hold onto that til I can trade up to a more user friendly piano/synth sim like the VR09. I should have synth monies in a week, will post as soon as I buy one.
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ultratwin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool to hear you're heart is set on something rather specific, we'll eagerly look forward to the news and subsequent coupletoanz in due time! bravo
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Nick
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sick with a migraine last night I missed an auction for one with a hardshell case...

But just put in a reasonable offer for one on Reverb. Fingers crossed.




Link


I may even be able to just plug in my korg monotron as an external input for my spaceship sounds.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My offer was accepted. Ended up paying $375 shipped, the one that sold on eBay last night was $10 less and included a hsc, but the case was as old as the synth and had crumbly old foam (some of which was stuck to the bottom). I like to think I would have probably paid more than I did if I actually did bid on that one anyway, and I'd rather get a cleaner one to put in a nicer newer case down the road. Am excite, seller said everything works, missing two slider switch tips and unsure if sustain feature works because he doesn't have a Roland dp2 pedal (which I conveniently already own).
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Nick
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more demos that sold me on the rs09


Link


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Seems great,never heard of is before.

By the sound of it, it seems that this was used on Electronic Renaissance by Belle&Sebastian


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