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absolute newbie to synths.....

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absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby hammer that nail » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:29 pm

hello to all... first of all I have absolutely no clue when it comes to synthesizers hence why I am posting up this topic so you peeps can hopefully help me out. I'm a dj and I'm going to study music production in september so its basically for producing my own music using reason and logic but also id like to use it as a live instrument. ive been reading some reviews and found that the alesis micron seems to be a pretty nice sounding synth but quite basic and ive also been looking at korg microkorg and akai miniak. Heres are some of the criteria im looking for in a synthesizer:
around 44 keys in size of keyboard (maybe more but it needs to fit into a uni dorm room)
synthesizer with good MIDI connections
possibly software control (do most synths have those anyway??)
alot of preset sounds that actually sound good! (some nice bass sounds maybe? i have a fetish for bass)
sound modelling (similar to that of malstrom graintable synth on reason)

Im looking to spend around £400 on one, the rest im going to leave wide open as i dont really know what else to look for.

Hope you can help

Thank you
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Re: absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby Chevytraveller » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:34 am

well.. sounds like you want a little something of everything... but don't we all

well there are any number of different synths out there vying for your cash although from what you have said so far it sounds as though something which integrates well with your Reason/Logic setup is quite important.

I was also in this predicament/position a while back and looked around at a few things.. now as far as synth sounds go, Logic and Reason can cover so many bases(Basses, sorry) so I considered the synth section as a nice bonus, but playability and controllability of virtuals with knobs and faders was high on my list.

So there aren't that many candidates with that kind of interfacing and onboard capability and in the end I settled on a S/H Novation X-station. The onboard sounds are not in the same league as a Nord or Virus, but they are fun and competent.

The killer features are that it works as a 24 Bit audio I/O with Phantom Mic inputs AND as a controller AND as a standalone synth.
Check out this YT clip as an example and although this is the 25 key version, they are available in 49 and 61 key versions

X-Station


Hope This helps

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Re: absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby hammer that nail » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:44 am

Thanks that looks pretty nice, quite alot of modelling and software controlling capabilities. whats the build quality like? do you have any idea what the alesis micron is like?
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Re: absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby Chevytraveller » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:10 am

Build quality is pretty good.. the keyboard action is very nice and the X-Y Pad is another useful addition.
I haven't really used the Alesis, but I know it won't integrate as seamlessly with Reason as the Novation has the templates for the different reason instruments

Also, looking at the Micron it only has 3 controls. Is that enough.. wouldn't be for me.. I'd still get the Novation every time

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Re: absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby Fibes » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:19 pm

For a newb, i'm in agreement that you can't really go wrong with the Novation mentioned above - IIRC this has the same (or very similar) sound engine as the K-series?
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Re: absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby vinyl_junkie » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:19 am

Mate the Micron is far from basic, it's basically an Ion (Fantastic synth!!!) in a really awful package with hardly any knobs but it's cheap and sounds good..and the Mini Ak is marketing, it's the same thing as the Micron but re-branded (Akai and Numark are the same company now)

The Micro Korg again sucks because for the price of a Micro Korg you can buy second hand a MS-2000R..the Micro Korg is actually again a cheaper shitty user interface version of the Ms-2000 which is actually again a nice synth...if a little dated poly wise.

Nord Lead 2 Rack used I would recommend (Not Lead2x other than being more expensive you don't really gain anything worth wile imo and I prefer the sound of the older units any way)

Great beginner synth as everything is pretty much on the front panel and don't need any shift keys to get to key parameters.

Great solid sound that doesn't need messing about with and fit's in the mix easy..none of that awful Novation sound ;-)

Honestly not dissing Novation but I had my fare share of them and they suck for bass (Except the Bass Station's and Super BSR which were ok)
I find their sound very plastic...detune those saws and it couldn't sound any more lame, no life there..my Micro Q oscillators sound 1000 times better detuned than them pieces of ******** lol

Fast forward to 9.02 and this is the kind of quality the Lead2 will give you..although it's not a nord doing the bass the nord can do this easy and sound good and I love the Clavia filters..they have a certain sound to them, going to get me a Modular Mk1 again when I get some cash.
http://soundcloud.com/martin_bell/my-tracks
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Re: absolute newbie to synths.....

Postby caveman82 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:34 pm

hammer that nail wrote:hello to all... first of all I have absolutely no clue when it comes to synthesizers hence why I am posting up this topic so you peeps can hopefully help me out. I'm a dj and I'm going to study music production in september so its basically for producing my own music using reason and logic but also id like to use it as a live instrument. ive been reading some reviews and found that the alesis micron seems to be a pretty nice sounding synth but quite basic and ive also been looking at korg microkorg and akai miniak. Heres are some of the criteria im looking for in a synthesizer:
around 44 keys in size of keyboard (maybe more but it needs to fit into a uni dorm room)
synthesizer with good MIDI connections
possibly software control (do most synths have those anyway??)
alot of preset sounds that actually sound good! (some nice bass sounds maybe? i have a fetish for bass)
sound modelling (similar to that of malstrom graintable synth on reason)

Im looking to spend around £400 on one, the rest im going to leave wide open as i dont really know what else to look for.

Hope you can help

Thank you

Does it have to be a hardware synth? A Macbook, midi controller and some synths could give you all you need.

IMO the synths in Logic Pro have more than enough to get your teeth into. For £400 IMO there is no better pallette of synths than Native Instruments Komplete.
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