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Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

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Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Agharta » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:52 pm

Played around with an IK Multimedia UNO last night which was fun.
There seems to be so many synths released these days that it got me wondering what else is out there that is fairly similar.
I'm thinking up to about £250-300 (New price) but less is good. :shh:

One thing that I like about the UNO is that it has a keyboard; of sorts.
I have a few compact keyboards I could potentiality use but they don't have MIDI (USB only) and are not battery powered so I think they are a no go.

Something larger than the UNO is fine and more knobs are good.
Another option maybe is to buy a softsynth for my iPad Mini 5 and hook up my Sensel Morph.
But then it becomes more convoluted, less portable and lacks knobs.
Thoughts?
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Stratman57 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:48 am

I have one of these.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.soundonsound.com/reviews/novation-xiosynth%3famp

Obviously not currently available new, but lots of fun

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Dan LB » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:56 am

An option to consider would be to buy something that uses a wallwart (sorry Elf) and use a powerbank that can supply a suitable DC voltage and current. Strap the powerbank to the back of the synth and you’re good to go :thumbup:
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Agharta » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:15 am

Dan LB wrote:An option to consider would be to buy something that uses a wallwart (sorry Elf) and use a powerbank that can supply a suitable DC voltage and current. Strap the powerbank to the back of the synth and you’re good to go :thumbup:
I was wondering about that as I have a 99WHr power bank which should give decent longevity.
I suppose that should power any keyboard which can be USB powered?
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:51 am

How about: https://dubreq.com/genr8/

But, TBH I think a laptop, or an iPhone/iPad takes some beating - far, far more flexible.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Dan LB » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:20 am

Agharta wrote:I suppose that should power any keyboard which can be USB powered?

Theoretically yes, but I was thinking more along the lines of a powerbank that outputs 9 or 12 Volts although the Novation BSii can be powered over USB I think.

Edit: just to add that, presumably, headroom is compromised when powering over USB so powering from a 9V powerbank would be best.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Dan LB » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:47 am

Yamaha Reface CS or DX maybe? Either will run on AA batteries.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby MarkyC » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:26 pm

Yep Novation BSii can be USB powered...
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Steve A » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:43 pm

I was going to mention the Yamaha Refaces, also any of the Roland Boutiques (with the optional keyboard attachment if you need a keyboard too) which are also battery powered.

All of these eat through batteries pretty fast though!
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:10 pm

I've used a few things with a portable battery and a USB-DC adapter*. MyVolts make different ones, I've got a couple of the 9v cables that are designed for pedals and whatnot. The only issues are 1) if the battery you're using has a low-current cutout, but just plugging more stuff in solves that - USB light etc., and 2) a high start current required variouson some gear, but using a larger capacity power source solved that one.

TL:DR; USB battery + adapter cable = portable synth power :)

*eg., Roland SH-101, Behringer MS-101, various sequencers, pedals, half racks, drum machines, Arturia controllers...
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Agharta » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:46 pm

Thanks all. :thumbup:
Plenty of options so I will need to give it some thought.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby MOF » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:59 pm

Edit: just to add that, presumably, headroom is compromised when powering over USB so powering from a 9V powerbank would be best.
USB requires 5 volts so its headroom is based on that requirement. Too few volts will cause reduced headroom.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby fatbenelton » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:42 pm

Novation Circuit (Circuit Mono Station needs 12v dc).

Not exactly a keyboard but you can play it and it takes batteries!
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:02 pm

I discovered these cables a short while back. I was dubious at first, but they really work well. Essentially it lets you power PSU-based gear from USB ports. I can run, for instance, my PK-5 bass pedals, or my RC-505 looper from my laptop's USB port. For what they cost they are a useful tool to keep on hand.

https://myvolts.co.uk/page.php?xPage=MV_Ripcord

The only downer I've discovered so far is that they don't do a 12V centre-negative, which seems to be common on my gear, I'm discovering, but I've found that the 9V cable will successfully power some of them regardless.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:17 pm

The Elf wrote:The only downer I've discovered so far is that they don't do a 12V centre-negative, which seems to be common on my gear,

Could you not use the centre positive one with the polarity reverser that is listed further down the page you linked to?
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:26 pm

Hah! Do you know, I never even looked further down that page! Thank you, mate.

I bought mine from the same company on eBay, and only linked to that page for this thread. Just goes to show you... :headbang:

Perfect - Sold! :lol:
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Dan LB » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:38 pm

MOF wrote:
Edit: just to add that, presumably, headroom is compromised when powering over USB so powering from a 9V powerbank would be best.
USB requires 5 volts so its headroom is based on that requirement. Too few volts will cause reduced headroom.

My statement was based on this from the BSii manual:

To obtain the best possible audio performance from Bass Station II we recommend using the supplied adaptor

So presumably it has more headroom when running on its 9V wall wart as opposed to 5V over USB? Maybe not...... genuinely curious
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby MOF » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:01 am

My statement was based on this from the BSii manual:

To obtain the best possible audio performance from Bass Station II we recommend using the supplied adaptor

So presumably it has more headroom when running on its 9V wall wart as opposed to 5V over USB? Maybe not...... genuinely curious

I’ve looked at the specifications and I think you’re right, it appears to work from 5-9 volts and 9v is preferred.
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:14 am

An i Pad with Animoog, and a knobby controller, what more could anyone possibly want?
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Re: Looking for a portable battery powered synth; with knobs on.

Postby Agharta » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:32 pm

Arpangel wrote:An i Pad with Animoog, and a knobby controller, what more could anyone possibly want?
I forgot that my Roli keyboard uses BT so I can use that.
I have a nanoKontrol2 which I can connect via USB.
Hopefully I just need a Lightning to USB adapter for that to work.
There's also the Korg Nano Studio Keys and Kontrol that use BT.
8 Knobs and Sliders should give me a decent level of control.
The Animoog sounds great but I haven't found a video yet that goes into the basics of creating sounds as they have focused on the presets.
The Korg software should integrate well with the Studio series controllers.
It's hard to tell the full cost of these apps as they have in app purchases and not sure how essential the extras are.
One adds an 8 track recorder for example.
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