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Small synth epidemic

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby emperorcos » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:22 pm

Michael Dow wrote:
db73 wrote:I've toyed with the idea of something like a Juno 6/60/106 in the past but I've always had reservations about buying a machine that's almost as old as I am!


I own a Juno-60, an SH-09, a tb-303 and a tr-606, all of which are older than me! (im 23) and i absolutely love everything aout all of them! I think possibly my MKS-50 could be older than me too!

And then there's my bon-tempi air organ..... that could be ancient!

I had a guy in the studio the other day, we had the sh-09's CV and GATE's linked up through the 303's midi retro fit and cv/gate outs and used it through a valve preamp (1960) and it sounded out of this world. Something i couldnt have quite created with software synths or probabaly a mopho etc.


i find a lot of the above overrated apart from the 303(which has been overly used at this stage) in my opinion there is far better analog synths being made today but hey if it works for ya,, :)
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby vinyl_junkie » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:40 pm

Man none are over rated imo only over priced so perhaps not worth it to some people...the way I see it is if you got the money and you always wanted one hey go for it cos they are great synths!
I got the Alpha Juno 1 and I love it..also a JX3P which is not bad and I love my DX's all of which are about as old as me lol
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby vinyl_junkie » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:42 pm

Steve A wrote:Whilst I accept that software editors are a necessary evil given the economic realities outlined above, my main worry would be how will you edit these things in say ten years time when computers/OS/platforms will have moved on so much and the current editor is unlikely to work and most likely won't be getting updates that far down the line.

Damn right...you could easly imo make a very cost effective way of edditing the synth easly from the front pannel and still have the USB option for software edditor....
I used to have a old Win98 laptop just for edditing my Nord Modular...great times :tongue:
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:49 am

vinyl_junkie wrote:Man none are over rated imo only over priced so perhaps not worth it to some people...

I think it's a case of people expecting too much of them. I love the sound of my Juno 6, but if you're not used to old synths, you probably expect them to be more flexible and do a bit more. As far as I'm concerned, it does limited things but sounds very (and nicely) distinctive...
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby jayzed » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:24 am

It's your choice, of course and horses for courses blah blah...

But have you thought that by excluding the use of computers you are shutting yourself off from the visual aspects of your music?

I met someone with synasthesia once (saw music as colours) and I was quite envious. She found it so much easier to memorise music, scales and chords made instant sense to her and she seemed to have an ability to grasp music so much more easily than even the highly educated orchestral musicians in that group.

Having a computer screen to show us what our music or sound is doing is a way for all of us to experience a limited version of this - dependent upon the quality of the interface, of course.

I know there are a lot of people saying we should work primarily with our ears and I have no argument with that but I also don't wish to limit myself - to work blindfolded, as it were.

What I do understand is setting oneself deliberate limitations. I suppose with music it can sometimes be more productive to work blindfolded, as the walls one stumbles into may sound fantastic.

Forget I spoke ---- As you were.

BTW, the small synths you mention don't bother me at all. In fact, they barely register as I tend to do everything except guitar, drums, bass and vocals ITB!
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby stinkfinger » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:10 am

I use an evolver and a Waldorf Pulse, both matrix editing, and both piece of cake to use. I like desktop synths and if more of them had evolver style editing I would probably own a few more, but menus aint my thing.

As for desktop vs rack mount, if the desktop had matrix like the evolver then the desktop wins everytime. I just bought an angled rack for my Pulse but its still in a fixed position, far better on the desktop right in front of you while you tweak, then just throw it to the back of the studio when you're done.

As for build cost, surely a desktop is no more or less expensive than a rack unit? And surely a desktop with loads of menus is no less expensive than a matrix? Maybe I'm wrong but I thought the evolver was a budget synth and for me they hit the nail on the head with the editing too.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Mike Craig » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:59 am

To me it makes ergonomic sense to design these small synths so that they can be easily placed on the users desk; perhaps on-top, or to the side of a main/controller keyboard.

Personally, I like to be able to tweak the knobs on my synths at the same time as playing my main keyboard, rather than having to bend down, or wheel my chair over to a 19" rack.

Manufacturers realise that many users are limited for space and therefore design their units to be as compact as possible. Stretching the width of these synths to 19" would result in many of these compact little synths being over-sized (in terms of width anyway).

A 1U or 2U 19" version of your favorite desktop synth, might seem practical and space-saving, but I personally prefer desktop synths. The aspect ratio of the front panel is more aesthetically pleasing and allows the integration of a nice, big display panel (if the manufaturers see fit).

Personally, I think compact, desktop synths are the way forward. :D
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby The Elf » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:49 pm

Two things I find depressing are gear that won't rack and external power supplies. Sure, there are good reasons for some desktop-format gear, but I can't find a home in my studio for any more. Put it in a rack box and hand me a power lead and I'm listening, else I'll just pass on it thanks.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Shreddie » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:40 am

Mike Craig. wrote:Personally, I like to be able to tweak the knobs on my synths at the same time as playing my main keyboard, rather than having to bend down, or wheel my chair over to a 19" rack.
Then get your ergonomics sorted!

I only have one rack synth and that's amongst my small effects rack which is to the left of my main 'workstation area'... That synth and the effects get used fairly frequently. When I'm sitting there, that rack is from about hip height to shoulder height, all I have to do to reach it is turn my head to see it, I don't even need to swivel on my chair. I could probably add another 4-6 units worth of gear to it before it becomes unconfortable to use.

As for keyboardless synths though, I'm not too keen on them. The only synth I have which has some space on the top is my Fusion so I could put one there but when I'm using a synth, I like to sit at it with all the keys and knobs/buttons etc right in front of me so if I ever do get one of these small desktop jobbies, that's where it'll go, there's no other place for it. As for why I like to have everything in front of me, I spend more time creating sounds than I do playing.

I must admit that it is a bit of a bugger basically having three separate work places though, my main workstation and two synth stands (I have two chairs too!) but I've had to compromise on that aspect of ergonomics so that I can have the good ergonomics of several full size (with keys) synths.

The Elf wrote:Two things I find depressing are gear that won't rack and external power supplies. Sure, there are good reasons for some desktop-format gear, but I can't find a home in my studio for any more. Put it in a rack box and hand me a power lead and I'm listening, else I'll just pass on it thanks.
+1!

Racks help keep things tidy and uncluttered IMHO.

Thankfully I only have two external PSUs, one is for my mixer and the other is for a USB hub... Unless you count the one for my Zoom H4 which gets used in the studio from time to time.
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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby Mike Craig » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:55 pm

Shreddie wrote:
Mike Craig. wrote:Personally, I like to be able to tweak the knobs on my synths at the same time as playing my main keyboard, rather than having to bend down, or wheel my chair over to a 19" rack.

Then get your ergonomics sorted!



My ergonomics are spot-on thanks. I was referring to different studios in general.

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Re: Small synth epidemic

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:27 pm

Steve A wrote:Whilst I accept that software editors are a necessary evil given the economic realities outlined above, my main worry would be how will you edit these things in say ten years time when computers/OS/platforms will have moved on so much and the current editor is unlikely to work and most likely won't be getting updates that far down the line.

just because a new computer , or OS comes out, doesn;t mean the old one immediately ceases to work.


I have a mac classic , and an atari in storage... when last i checked, ( about 2 years ago) they still worked.

there's something to be said for not immediately throwing the old stuff out just because a newer shinier one has come along...
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