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New beginnings for a newcomer

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New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Trevor Reznik » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:00 pm

Hi all,

As the title suggests I'm a total newcomer to hardware synths and keyboards.

Ive played alot with vsts over the yeats but find them very uninspiring and almost always just end up picking up my guitar to make music instead of playing on the computer.

After this realisation ive decided to give a hardware setup a bash, obviously this opened up a whole new stream of reading and watching which in the end has lead me here not really knowing what i should go for.

I love lofi and ambiant music, like boards of canada, four tet, aphex ect ect. So thats the direction im heading.

I have a decent pc and a 18ch audio interface. Guitar, amp and pedals.

I have about 1500 to spend

I also have a native instruments m32 keyboard as well.

So thats what i have, i just have know idea what i need hehe.

Ive been looking at

Korg minilogue xd
Mpc one
Berhinger model d
Arturia drumbrute
Arturia microfreak
Maschine mk3 with komplete 13
Maschine plus
Novation circuit
Elektron digitone and takt

And thoughts, advice or feelings on this would be super awesome

Thanks
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby fruitcake » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:26 pm

Welcome to SOS!

There are much more knowledgeable and practiced musicians on here than me that will likely share their experience, but remembering back to the hardware I’ve owned over the years I would suggest getting a used mono synth and a used poly synth with keyboard. For inspiration the immediacy of knobs and sliders and keys is great. I suggest used because I used to be able to find decent stuff at a discount.
You didn’t mention if you had a DAW. That would probably be the first thing to get if you don’t have one.
And as a guitarist, if you have a few pedals, don’t hesitate to run the synths through them.
There’s nothing more inspiring than old mono synth through a distortion pedal and analog delay pumped through a fender twin!!
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:41 pm

Welcome! I think you will be very well served by looking into Make Noise, particularly the 0-Coast. That can make a stellar core. After that my advice is to wait until you are 1,000% comfortable with the 0-Coast and know precisely what you're missing before getting any more gear. Delay and reverb are a must, but you can use plugins if you don't have hardware units.

For ambient music, you really can't go wrong with a Moog Subharmonicon, but I wouldn't recommend it as a first-time synth purchase, you'll just end up frustrated. (That being said, the new Moog all-in-one Subharmonicon/DFAM setup looks divine ...)

Make Noise also makes stellar modules that will compliment the 0-Coast really well and for the left-over cash (plus whatever you save in the interim) you can get a small case/power supply/and a few select modules to complete the setup.

Don't overlook some pedal-based options as well like a looper. The new BOSS looper pedal looks amazing and you can use it for musique concrete and live sound-on-sound ambient performance.

You didn't mention whether polyphony is something you're after. I would advise avoiding polyphony for starting out in ambient music, but ultimately it's your call!

The Good News is that ambient can be created with pretty much ANY synthesizer.
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Arpangel » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:10 pm

I’d say you need a poly-synth of some sort, and something a bit more off the wall, given your influences.
Ben was right about the O-Coast, but you could go modular, plenty of advice about that round here, or an O-Coast and a Strega, good combo.
I’d be looking at a Behringer Deep Mind 12, or something vintage, plenty out there, BOC use an ESQ1 apparently, among other things, but in reality, anything will do! Korg M1, Yamaha SY77, look at these, they are still great keyboards, if it was me, I’d get a Korg Triton, and an O-Coast combo, and see how that went.
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:39 pm

I'd suggest you invest in something like Spectrasonics Omnisphere and start making some sounds straight away. There's no need to get into hardware unless *you* begin to feel you have to head that way.
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby nickle15 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:08 pm

I just sold off a Korg minilogue XD in favor of a prologue but I can attest to the thrill of the minilogue XD if you choose to go that route. It was a great first step for me into hardware synthesizers and I learned a lot with it. I used it for some ambient tracks, though not nearly on the level of what's available for consumption on YouTube. However, I'm working in that direction and the minilogue XD was a huge part of the journey for me.

Like most polysynths you can just flip it over to unison mode if you decide to play in mono, which is a good choice for ambient tracks. Good luck!
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby N i g e l » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:36 pm

for "Boards of canada" stuff you would want a polysynth with a good modulation matrix so that you can inject noise or LFO into several places.

If you are a guitarist then "MIDI Guitar" software is usefull for playing VSTs [or external harware]: Guitar -> PC -> MIDI -> Synth

The Korg MS20 / Behringer K2 monosynths have audio to CV& trigger, which might be interesting
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Trevor Reznik » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:52 pm

This is great, i have new stuff to explore.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and ideas.

Ill digest and have a dive on the suggestions above.

Ill post back when i have had a ponder
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby blinddrew » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:30 pm

Just a quick second for Jam Origin's Midi Guitar. I'm not much of a guitarist but I'm terrible on a keyboard so having something that will reliably translate strings to synths is a very useful tool.
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:04 am

blinddrew wrote:Just a quick second for Jam Origin's Midi Guitar. I'm not much of a guitarist but I'm terrible on a keyboard so having something that will reliably translate strings to synths is a very useful tool.
I posted this a couple of years ago, but I wrote this song using MIDI Guitar for everything. It’s far removed from ambient music, but it shows how good Jam Origin’s tracking is!


https://soundcloud.com/as-follows/mcp
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Trevor Reznik » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:42 pm

Ok ok, so after much deliberation im going for the digitakt and a mother 32. Probably add more down the line. That 0 coast looks amazing, as does the subharmonicon. To be honest most of what ive looked at looks amazing and would probably serve me well.

In the it came down to what appeals to me on a sonic level.

Thanks to you all for input and advice

Muchly appreciated
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:30 pm

Great choices! The Mother-32 is great, it’s a major part of my setup. Looking forward to hearing your explorations!
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby paulreso1 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:35 pm

Hi, I am in a similar position to Trevor - a guitar player with a growing interest in synthesiser music. I have been drawn to this through listening to Brian Eno, Laurie Spiegel, Alessandro Cortini and Jon Hopkins amongst many others...

I want to use the Make Noise Strega with my guitar as I have heard a few examples of it being used with different instruments, and I have a few delay/reverb pedals that I am interested in experimenting with....I also have an Arturia Keylab keyboard, and - once I have got the hang of the Strega - I am interested in getting a desktop synth module as well to use with the Strega. My question is, aside from the 0-coast, which other synths could work well with the Strega at around the £500 mark? Is monophonic the way to go (e.g. the Roland SE-02, Mother 32), or a polyphonic option such as Cobalt8M?

Welcome your thoughts,
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby Arpangel » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:49 am

paulreso1 wrote:Hi, I am in a similar position to Trevor - a guitar player with a growing interest in synthesiser music. I have been drawn to this through listening to Brian Eno, Laurie Spiegel, Alessandro Cortini and Jon Hopkins amongst many others...

I want to use the Make Noise Strega with my guitar as I have heard a few examples of it being used with different instruments, and I have a few delay/reverb pedals that I am interested in experimenting with....I also have an Arturia Keylab keyboard, and - once I have got the hang of the Strega - I am interested in getting a desktop synth module as well to use with the Strega. My question is, aside from the 0-coast, which other synths could work well with the Strega at around the £500 mark? Is monophonic the way to go (e.g. the Roland SE-02, Mother 32), or a polyphonic option such as Cobalt8M?

Welcome your thoughts,

The Strega is a strange thing, I wanted one, but I’m holding off, for now.
It’s basically a noise machine, you could ad more to that, or get a contrast, I still think the Deep Mind 12 is a good choice, it’ll give you a great contrast to the Strega, and fill in all the "conventional" gaps, and it’ll always be useful, in any context, no matter what music you make, it’s also very good value.
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Re: New beginnings for a newcomer

Postby paulreso1 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:52 pm

Thanks for suggesting the Deep Mind 12....I hadn't looked at that and will check it out.

Cheers,
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