The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Synths. From many to ONE? TWO? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 19th May 2018
  #61
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
It was an experiment and out of frustration trying to find the right AC adapters for it. I just liked the convenience of it being a mixer and power source for the Volcas, really. Made everything easier. I ended up liking it, though. Perfect for the Volcas, but if the Volcas go it goes with because it has pretty much zero function outside of that. As I mentioned, lots of trial and error and crap-shooting going on with my set-up, hence the need for some slutzschooling.
Slutzshaming is more like it!

Don’t ever feel bad or embarrassed at how you arrive to what you use. Who among us has said, “I want to do electronic music. I’ll get x, y, and z,” and then were totally finished?

I’m a guitarist, and you should have seen some of my past rigs. Hard core guitar gear heads would have laughed at it, but I always had a tone that I thought was great and above all, pretty unique.
Old 19th May 2018
  #62
Lives for gear
 

People think synths are bad, it takes significant work and discipline to not have 50 guitar pedals and 10 amps in a rig...

Old 20th May 2018
  #63
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
So much here I want to respond to, and I will, but all of the tips, advice, and opinions are definitely resonating with me and as of today the Nektar P4 and the Volcas are on their way out, for starters. I'm serious and passionate about learning as much about synthesis as I can (it just feels like the right fit for me) so I think it's time to step up and learn on a serious synth that I can be passionate about owning. Thank you, slutz, for the inspiring posts! Tell me more...
Old 20th May 2018
  #64
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnyKine View Post
People think synths are bad, it takes significant work and discipline to not have 50 guitar pedals and 10 amps in a rig...

That used to be me, until I got a Kemper Amp Profiler. My GAS was instantly quenched. Now I just use it and a tube overdrive and parked wha/fuzz pedal and I’m super happy.
Old 20th May 2018
  #65
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
That used to be me, until I got a Kemper Amp Profiler. My GAS was instantly quenched. Now I just use it and a tube overdrive and parked wha/fuzz pedal and I’m super happy.
Yep.. used to go nuts over pedals and amps. Owned 1/2 a dozen expensive amps. Then I heard the Kemper.. dam. 100% converted. Picked up a Kemper. Zero Guitar GAS now. I have plenty of killer guitars but I sold all my amps except the JCM800 which I am considering putting up on the block to cover some of these synth purchases..GAS just shifted:(
Old 21st May 2018
  #66
Lives for gear
 

Yeah. I have a couple of other friends on the Kemper train. I'm not really down with that, emulations of analog gear of any variety, but I'm happy you guys found a workable solution.

I use all sorts of digital effects and instruments, just not as substitutes for analog, only as unique additions to the real things. I like the things themselves far too much to give them up.

I must admit, sometimes it's the emulation that leads me to buy the real thing in the first place. Like an SEM... I never had much interest in owning an SEM until I played with a software one, then rather than be happy with the virtual I knew I had to have the real thing.

Simulated Amps and Pedals are what my version of Hell would be filled with. . Fake Chocolate, vegan hamburgers, turkey bacon, soy milk, and emulations of Fender tube amps. It would be soul crushing, to me. My entire notion of playing guitar essentially requires tubes and springs and analog widgets with wires going everywhere.
Old 21st May 2018
  #67
Lives for gear
 
Analog Rob Lowe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnyKine View Post
Simulated Amps and Pedals are what my version of Hell would be filled with. . Fake Chocolate, vegan hamburgers, turkey bacon, soy milk, and emulations of Fender tube amps. It would be soul crushing, to me. My entire notion of playing guitar essentially requires tubes and springs and analog widgets with wires going everywhere.
May as well throw in all the keyboards people can’t let die and free hotel breakfast
Old 21st May 2018
  #68
I only have one pedal (Boss RE-20), and I never use it—it's too noisy and shears-off all my high-end. My T.C. Electronics rack-FX unit broke, and I'm glad (since then, my tone never sounded so good!). After I bought my Soldano SLO, I never GAS'd for any another amp (other than the three Mesa/Boogies I bought).
Old 21st May 2018
  #69
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
My guitar rig GAS was stopped in its tracks the moment I played a Monologue. Since then it's been synths synths synths but I've managed to still incorporate some pedal/FX GAS into my synthmania because synths need pedals and fx...right? I miss the simple old days when I would save up for an Alesis Midiverb or something but now I'm overwhelmed by a Spitfire Audio sale here and a new TC pedal there and a new Moog here and a new SoundToys plug in there and a new Behringer clone here...it's just...a lot. Sigh, now I feel the need to go listen to a Kemper demo...
Old 21st May 2018
  #70
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by malice95 View Post
Yep.. used to go nuts over pedals and amps. Owned 1/2 a dozen expensive amps. Then I heard the Kemper.. dam. 100% converted. Picked up a Kemper. Zero Guitar GAS now. I have plenty of killer guitars but I sold all my amps except the JCM800 which I am considering putting up on the block to cover some of these synth purchases..GAS just shifted:(
Oh yeah, obviously I still suffer from serious GAS. It’s just not for guitar amps.
Old 21st May 2018
  #71
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnyKine View Post
Yeah. I have a couple of other friends on the Kemper train. I'm not really down with that, emulations of analog gear of any variety, but I'm happy you guys found a workable solution.

I use all sorts of digital effects and instruments, just not as substitutes for analog, only as unique additions to the real things. I like the things themselves far too much to give them up.

I must admit, sometimes it's the emulation that leads me to buy the real thing in the first place. Like an SEM... I never had much interest in owning an SEM until I played with a software one, then rather than be happy with the virtual I knew I had to have the real thing.

Simulated Amps and Pedals are what my version of Hell would be filled with. . Fake Chocolate, vegan hamburgers, turkey bacon, soy milk, and emulations of Fender tube amps. It would be soul crushing, to me. My entire notion of playing guitar essentially requires tubes and springs and analog widgets with wires going everywhere.
Yeah, I hear you. I’m the same way, but a long time ago I developed a style of music that uses audio loopers and that made using real amps difficult. I was sort of forced out of the amp world. It just didn’t work for what I was trying to do, though sometime in the future I may get a nice little boutique combo.

That said, the Kemper is LEAGUES from anything in software or even the Line6 stuff. (Actually I think Amplitube is better than the Line6 emulations) You do have to remember that you’re emulating a mic’d cab, but once you accept that, I don’t think many would think that they weren’t in a studio’s control room listening to the real thing in another room. The only thing that I thought might be a little better would be to go real amp into a ToneTwo Torpedo. That hybrid approach seemed to be perfect, but when I priced out a rig that I’d want, I quickly put myself into the $3000 range and the Kemper was $1500. I think I made the right choice for me, as the variety is very nice and the Kemper is small which makes room for analog synths. I do run a real tube distortion in the effects loop. Blackstar HT-5 Dual. I keep one of its channels nearly clean and it helps get the 5% lost in the profiling process back.
Old 21st May 2018
  #72
Lives for gear
 
skira's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRAZZ View Post
If you got $4000 USD laying around, the new DSI synth looks amazing!!!
If you've got $4000 USD laying around it's probably mine. I was looking for it. Give it back.
Old 21st May 2018
  #73
The balance I've struck:

1.) "mobile" composing/making songs -- Volca Sample + Yamaha QY-100. The Volca Sample is neat when sequenced with another thing (plus you can still run the Volca sequencer at the same time..), the QY-100 has all that stuff that's hard to deal with (like pitched sounds...) on the Volca Sample, both run on batteries, the QY-100 has a handy 1/4" input that you can use to monitor the Volca Sample so all you need is a MIDI cable, a cable to run the Volca Sample into the QY-100, and some headphones. The poor-man's MPC, but with IMO a better sequencer. Also, for whatever reason I find it really easy to tap out the beat in my head on the QY-100's keys -- it's funny, but I think I like them more than MPC pads, they somehow work really well for me in terms of rhythmic response and playing (most) melodic stuff too.

2.) "studio" synth -- Kurzweil PC361. To be replaced eventually by a Kurzweil Forte (so I can load samples into it). Does all the "type" of synthesis I can dream up, including the usual suspects. The other two pieces are a nice compliment, and the QY-100 can be used to sequence it if I find the internal sequencer isn't doing what I want it to do for some reason.

I also have a Zoom H1N for recording/interfacing with a computer/etc. It also runs on batteries, has a built-in mic that's much better than an iPad/iPhone mic, works as a card reader and audio interface, and does other neat tricks. I currently still have my other audio interface in a closet; if I don't need it for anything in the next couple of months, I'll sell it and just go with the H1N as my primary interface. I may "upgrade" to a different hand-held recorder (prob. something that takes balanced inputs), but so far I really like having all that functionality in a thing. I can record scratch vocals in the car, re-do them in a better room (and sneak it into even better rooms for rogue recording sessions), use it to add tracks via DAW, and so on.

The main things I may add in the future are a.) some sort of modular analog thing (the Grandmother is very much on my shortlist), and b.) a premap/compressor combo plus a mic (I'm thinking RNC/RNP and Avantone CK-6 or similar).
Old 22nd May 2018
  #74
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
So, the latest update: The Volcas are gone, all 4 of them, as is my P4. Many of you have said go with a synth that speaks to you, and while I've enjoyed the System 8, the Rev2, the OB, I've decided to proceed with a DeepMind 12. Reasons being it's paid for by selling the Volcas/P4, I have loved every demo I've heard from it, I like all of the features (we'll see how many of them I implement), and I think rather than make a leap from a Volca to a Dave Smith, I'm going to take what I've learned and hone that on the DeepMind. When I am comfortable working my way around the DM, I can step up to a DS or what have you. Feels like the right trajectory.

I also scored a great deal on a Blofeld desktop, which will fit nicely next to the MicroMonsta. Yes, another desktop synth on the smaller side, but again the Blofeld has blown me away with the texture and timbre of the pads, despite its potential shortcomings and age. It's another synth I can learn a bit more from.

The Reface stays because it's the perfect size to control the Blofeld and the Monologue stays until I can get my hand on a Grandmother...which just sounds wrong. The JP-08 stays until I can someday get a (hopefully by then) System 12 with Jupiter and Juno plugouts...but who knows if Roland will even care about the Systems and plugouts by then?

I've bookmarked pratically every synth and workstation in the thread so thanks for all of the info. I'm better informed than when I posted this. And I'm going to adapt a one great synth is better than 5 okay synths mentality from here on out. Still curious about the Virus, the Waldorf Q (although it's getting a bit trashed, no?), the Kronos, the Prophet X, the Prologue, etc, but baby synth steps. I'm going to put a cork in the GAS and take a deep dive into what I have and what I just picked up and get a better footing all around on my synth skills. And my studio looks better and already feels more streamlined by losing the Volca's and the big controller that wasn't really contributing much. I couldn't have done it without you, slutz.

Old 22nd May 2018
  #75
Gear Nut
Good for you Jiffybox ! very wise choice.

I'm sure the deepmind is quite a... deep synth. Haven't tried one but liked everything I heard coming from this beast.

The Blofeld is also a nice addition. If bought second hand, take the time to double check the output signal and the responsiveness of all the encoders. They seem to be a little bit on the fragile side. If you haven't heard the Don Solaris' sound bank already, I suggest you spend the next 33minutes on this video https://youtu.be/KfosO1Y0nds
Old 8th June 2018
  #76
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Just wanted to thank the contributors on this thread again. I posted this with a curiosity (and a little trepidation) about the possibility of selling my meager set-up for an all-round studio upgrade and once the ball got rolling, I got into it. I actually think that...my current set-up, after much trial, error, money and lessons learned, is the one that really fits the workflow I've always wanted. And all of the sounds? Heaven. Here's the deal:

from
PREVIOUS SET-UP

Korg Volca Mix
Volca Sample
Volca FM
Volca Keys
Yamaha Reface CS
Roland JP-08 Boutique
Audiothingies Micromonsta
Korg Monologue
Eventide H9 Max
TC Electronic HOF 2 Pedal
Digitech Nautila
Nektar Panorama P4
Maschine MK3
Roli Seaboard Block
Roli Lightpad

to

CURRENT SET-UP

DeepMind12 (THIS is the synth for me to really break into synthesis, I think...I'm in awe of it)
Arturia Keystep (a controller, a sequencer, an arpeggiator, a beast of versatility)
Roland System 1m (my dip of the toes into modular)
Waldorf Blofeld Desktop (like the MicroMonsta and DeepMind12, this excels at atmos and pads, my faves)
Roland JP-08 Boutique
Roland D-05 Boutique (I need some 80s in my set-up)
Audiothingies Micromonsta
Korg Monologue
Arturia SparkLE (I just wanted a fun old fashioned drum machine)
Eventide H9 Max
TC Electronic HOF 2 Pedal
Digitech Nautila
Mel9
Maschine MK3
Roli Seaboard Block
Roli Lightpad

and on order: my first Moog, the Grandmother!
and on watch: those new Uli clones...all of them

So now? So much to learn and master. I couldn't have done it without you slutz.
Cheers,
Geoff
Old 8th June 2018
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
My guitar rig GAS was stopped in its tracks the moment I played a Monologue. Since then it's been synths synths synths . . .
Ha! That's funny. My guitar-rig GAS'ing stopped cold once I got a Soldano SLO. Best rock amp ever. The Mesa/Boogie Mark IV reigns for biting mid-range, and the dual-recto is awesome for phat rhythms (sounds just like a Framus Cobra). But for rock leads with excellent definition, yet butt-loads of gain, it's the Soldano.
Old 8th June 2018
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
. . . And I'm going to adapt a one great synth is better than 5 okay synths mentality from here on out.
I think that's a good way to go. In relation to the other thread ("Too many synths?"), I would think having many small synths can contribute to a more fragmented workflow (not always, as many prove to the contrary), but I understand it's hard to resist due to all the low-priced (and capable) product available today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
So now? So much to learn and master.
Me too. I have two uber-complex ROMplers, but I'm going to treat my Montage to some new third-party libraries soon (strings, orchestral percussion, and some ethereal pads) to complement my Kronos' orchestra library. I know I've posted in here before, but I'm re-organizing, and have been re-thinking my entire set-up as well:

"Studio A" (left side of room): My synth "triumvirate" will focus on three main elements:

ROMpler + DCO-analog + VA:

• ROMplers (Montage/Kronos).
• New! DSI Prophet Rev. 2 keyboard (16-voice).
• Access VirusTI Polar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
Still curious about the Virus, the Waldorf Q (although it's getting a bit trashed, no?), the Kronos, the Prophet X, the Prologue, etc, but baby synth steps.
Note that I understand there is little difference between the original Virus TI and TI2 (TI2 has 25%-faster processor). If you're curious, I've seen original TIs selling for pretty cheap (≈$1,300), compared to a new TI2. The Virus still sounds great and is surprisingly versatile, and resides on my "never sell" list. The Kronos is a monster, supports up to a 1TB second SSD, hosts VST-quality sample libraries, plus has some pretty good sounding VA synth engines (AL-1, MS-20, Polysix). The X and the Q are really exciting, but very pricey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
. . . and on order: my first Moog, the Grandmother!
I think we all need to own at least one real Moog. I got the bug, and I settled for a used Moog Slim Phatty, even though I also just got an already Moog-ish, Studio Electronics SE-01. So, I'll soon be building my desktop "analog" section with the two monosynths I just got:

"Studio B" (right side of room): New analog-ish desktop rack-mount set-up:

• Studio Electronics SE-01.
• Moog Slim Phatty.
• Roland System-1m.
• Roland Aira FX modules.
• Korg Radias (VA).
• Roland Fantom XR (obviously a ROMpler, but rackable!).
Old 8th June 2018
  #79
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
Okay, here's a hypothetical question...and it's not a "Hey slutz, should I buy this synth or that synth?" question because I quite enjoy the research that goes into each synth purchase; it's how I learn and discover and it's vital part of my GAS. That said, I've suddenly got a lot of lower end/smaller synths crowding my studio desks (not to mention the cables and cords) and I love the variety and compactness of my somewhat beginner's set-up, but what if I sold all of these? Is there a synth that would do pretty much what all of these do in one package...and maybe then some? Or are there two that would go together that might be more streamlined and flexible than the many scattered before me? I'm not committed to pairing down just yet, although if I were to find THAT synth, it might push the needle.

Current set-up:

Korg Volca Mix
Volca Sample
Volca FM
Volca Keys
Yamaha Reface CS
Roland JP-08 Boutique
Audiothingies Micromonsta
Korg Monologue


plus:
Eventide H9 Max
TC Electronic HOF 2 Pedal
Digitech Nautila
Nektar Panorama P4
Maschine MK3
Roli Seaboard Block
Roli Lightpad
(plus a sh*t ton of VIs)...


I think this is well worth over a couple grand if I sold the rig so I'm in the couple thousand dollar budget, but I probably wouldn't sell the ROLI (I'm liking the MPE and can't wait til it's adapted further) and the H9 is just godlike so I can't imagine parting with it...and honestly I like all of these because they do many things differently and well.

But something that can do monosynth, poly, FM, sampling, drums, with killer effects, etc. would be a strong pull. Just throwing it out there. Seems like the Prophet X could potentially be that (yet still out of my budget of a couple thousand). Or maybe a Rev2 (I like lush pads) and a Digitakt? A Grandmother and a Deepmind 12? A Boog and a Virus T? Do I wait for Uli's barrage to trickle out? So many options in this new golden age of synths. Is there one synth to rule them all? Thought it would be a fun question (surely covered before ad nauseam) and an illuminating one, too.
Cheers,
Geoff

Let your ears and soul guide you
Old 13th June 2018
  #80
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
"Studio A" (left side of room): My synth "triumvirate" will focus on three main elements:

ROMpler + DCO-analog + VA:

• ROMplers (Montage/Kronos).
• New! DSI Prophet Rev. 2 keyboard (16-voice).
• Access VirusTI Polar.

"Studio B" (right side of room): New analog-ish desktop rack-mount set-up:

• Studio Electronics SE-01.
• Moog Slim Phatty.
• Roland System-1m.
• Roland Aira FX modules.
• Korg Radias (VA).
• Roland Fantom XR (obviously a ROMpler, but rackable!).
I'd have whiplash from dashing from A to B to A to B if I were in your studio. I've been following your synth journey lately. I suspect we think a lot alike, studio460! I'm finally so happy with my set-up that I actually had the thought "I have everything I need set-up perfectly, I need nothing else" cross my mind the other day. What kind of slut thinks that way?!? Then I started giving the Prophet X demos some serious attention and now, of course, I want to sell it all for the X to rule them all. I've calmed down a bit because I really do like, nay, love my current set up, but damn that Prophet X is cool. Must step away from the ledge...
Old 13th June 2018
  #81
Lives for gear
 

I'd rather not have to do it, but I could get a ton done with *just* a DSI Pro-2 and a Tempest, and a Laptop/DAW (or a Polyend SEQ, or maybe a Deluge, etc). These two (Pro-2 and Tempest) really are exceptionally powerful and flexible, and are as good as being top-notch controllers with nice UIs as they at being interesting sound sources/synths.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump