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Choosing A First Synth Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitGirl View Post

Does anyone have recommendations for a good store to order from?.
Sweetwater. Great service, free extended warranty. Switched On in Austin are also good people.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitGirl View Post
You know what? Maybe a keytar IS the way to go... lol

Does anyone have recommendations for a good store to order from? I've ordered from midi-store previously (an Expressive Touche SE, which I'm not sure he's been able to even use yet), but they have the Grandmother backordered (although I have a few weeks before I need to order).

Pricing seems pretty standard, so I guess what I'm actually looking for is stores to avoid...
Twice now, Guitar Center has taken my money and told me an item's in stock, and then cancelled my order the next day. Both times, they claimed that the system had shown only one item in their entire inventory, in some store in California, but when they tried to pull it, it wasn't there. So they cancelled the order a day or two later. It never occurred to them, when I was buying (by phone) to tell me there were none in the warehouse and only one in all of their stores combined, which means it's probably a phantom. Sir, you'll get your money back in 4-5 days.

Yesterday it was the Korg Volca Bass. It was a good price, so I told them to reinstate the order and send it when they get more (about a month allegedly). First off, how are they out of Volcas, and second, since it was a good sale price, why lie about availability? Either you NEED it by a date, in which case they should tell you the truth, or if you don't need it like for a gift, then you'll wait because the price is right, so they might as well tell the truth. It's confounding!

That's twice out of maybe 5 online/phone orders total from them. I usually order from one of my local independent music stores, so I can't recommend an online shop. But if it's time sensitive, like a birthday gift, I don't recommend Guitar Center: they lie about items being in stock just to get your order.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
Same with Musicians Friend. Never trust their “in stock” or availability dates (same people)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
Here for the gear
I cannot recommend Sweetwater high enough. Top notch service before and after the sale. Generally they offer a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee. They add a year onto the manufacturers warranty. The sales people are highly knowledgeable and their prices are competitive. They will price match most (not all) other merchants.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitGirl View Post
Thanks everyone!

I checked out the Moog Grandmother which is not totally out of reach cost-wise (but definitely at the top end of my budget). My concern is if I were to splurge on that, he would then need additional equipment in order to use it (speakers and such). I want his gift to be "ready to go" when he gets it, so I would need to know what additional equipment would be required. If it's just little things like cables, that's one thing, but if it's bigger items like speakers, I definitely have to consider something less expensive (maybe more like the Behringer).

I think he'd be really into more knobs to tool around with, though, so the Grandmother is very interesting...
First off, let me applaud you on taking the time to figure out what your boyfriend actually wants for his birthday. Can you give my wife a call and give her some pointers?

While I’m 100% pro Moog Grandmother (the demos all sound lovely...), I’d caution you to give a gift that has to rely on more gifts to work. At the very least, you’ll need a cable and an amp, or a set of headphones... not sure if the Grandmother has a headphone out, but that could tide him over for a while.

If you go with the Behringer Model D (an excellent sounding synth that recreates the original pretty well) you’ll need a keyboard like an Arturia Keystep for an extra $100... and some sort of keyboard amp. Figure at least another $100 for that. So, you could still make a nice setup with about $500-600.

Anyway, that will get you the Minimoog Model D sound that was a staple of prog rock and still continues to be an important sound today. It’s iconic. Be careful, though. This is the first step to a hobby that can easily fill a room.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by evileye0702 View Post
I cannot recommend Sweetwater high enough. Top notch service before and after the sale. Generally they offer a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee. They add a year onto the manufacturers warranty. The sales people are highly knowledgeable and their prices are competitive. They will price match most (not all) other merchants.
Agreed. They’re great to work with, and employ a very good friend of mine who used to be a band made of mine and he’s about as knowledgeable as you can get about any type of music gear. He’s a manager now, but that proves to me that they care about hiring people who know their stuff.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
While I’m 100% pro Moog Grandmother (the demos all sound lovely...), I’d caution you to give a gift that has to rely on more gifts to work. At the very least, you’ll need a cable and an amp, or a set of headphones... not sure if the Grandmother has a headphone out, but that could tide him over for a while.
The way I understand it, headphones with a 1/4 inch connection will work for him, so a pair of headphones will be included with the gift. I'm hoping to find something in the $25-50 range that is decent.

I looked at the User's Manual for the Grandmother and it looks like it comes with patch cables, so I think with the synth and the headphones, he should be good to go...

When he's ready to upgrade to some sort of external speaker, he's on his own (unless its Christmas-time, in which case Santa might assist).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitGirl View Post
The way I understand it, headphones with a 1/4 inch connection will work for him, so a pair of headphones will be included with the gift. I'm hoping to find something in the $25-50 range that is decent.

I looked at the User's Manual for the Grandmother and it looks like it comes with patch cables, so I think with the synth and the headphones, he should be good to go...

When he's ready to upgrade to some sort of external speaker, he's on his own (unless its Christmas-time, in which case Santa might assist).
That sounds great, though I think if you can, up your headphone budget a bit. I recommend these:

Access to this page has been denied.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitGirl View Post
The way I understand it, headphones with a 1/4 inch connection will work for him, so a pair of headphones will be included with the gift. I'm hoping to find something in the $25-50 range that is decent.

I looked at the User's Manual for the Grandmother and it looks like it comes with patch cables, so I think with the synth and the headphones, he should be good to go...

When he's ready to upgrade to some sort of external speaker, he's on his own (unless its Christmas-time, in which case Santa might assist).

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
That sounds great, though I think if you can, up your headphone budget a bit. I recommend these:

Access to this page has been denied.
I’m not sure why the link says “access denied.” Anyway, they’re the AKG 240s and they run $59.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
Transistores's Avatar
 

When checking synth with headphones always put volume on zero first. Somehow at music shops they are always maxed out to ear-destroying levels.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I’m not sure why the link says “access denied.” Anyway, they’re the AKG 240s and they run $59.
The link still worked for me (thanks!) and I think I could probably swing the extra ten bucks (considering my total synth budget started at $3-400)...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
Gear Maniac
 

Buy a second-hand Minilogue. Now cheap and sound good!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I’m not sure why the link says “access denied.” Anyway, they’re the AKG 240s and they run $59.
+1 On these.
Best headphones ever.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
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The Moog Grandmother will not sound as good as Behringer Model D, but if you really want it to have a (tiny) keyboard included... Maybe OK.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
The Moog Grandmother will not sound as good as Behringer Model D, but if you really want it to have a (tiny) keyboard included... Maybe OK.
I don’t know, I’ve heard many demos of the Grandmother and I’d probably pick it over the Behringer, especially if I needed a “tiny” keyboard. 32 notes isn’t bad for a mono. It sounds glorious to me... just missing a third oscillator, but that’s not so bad. One would mostly use it as an LFO anyway... or filter FM. It’s also got oscillator sync, which is a thing I always wondered why they left it off the Model D. Might be a bit more simple for a beginner to learn, and since it’s to be his first and only synth, having a built in spring reverb is very useful.

Personally, I’m way beyond such simple synths. HA! I LAUGH AT YOU SMALL FOLK and your TINY SYNTHS! I require a minimum of 2 LFOs and 3 EGs just to get out of bed in the morning. FETCH MY MY CAPE!

I HAVE SPOKEN!

Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
The Moog Grandmother will not sound as good as Behringer Model D, but if you really want it to have a (tiny) keyboard included... Maybe OK.
Hilarious trolling, but ... no.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
Gear Addict
 

I wonder if instead of Grandmother, it may be a better choice to get a Korg Monologue and Behringer Model D (Moog clone). It costs less, and u get the benefit of a 3rd oscillator on the D. The Behringer D sounds awesome, and the Korg is tons of fun. And the two together would still cost less than the Grandmother. He can use the Monologue to play the D via a midi cable, and I believe use the Monologue sequencer on the D and even run the D output into the Monologue input for more fun. I think that would be a sweet setup.
Btw for headphones I recommend Audio Technica. I use their M50 myself. The M20 is the minimum I would get.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I don’t know, I’ve heard many demos of the Grandmother and I’d probably pick it over the Behringer . . .
I understand the Model D sounds good, but the Grandmother really does sound the business. I would choose it over the Model D any day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
. . . especially if I needed a “tiny” keyboard. 32 notes isn’t bad for a mono.
Yah, my Moog Little Phatty has 37 keys, and it's perfect.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #49
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I said "tiny keyboard" in comparison with my suggestion of an universal keyboard controller with 61 keys which could be used for not only a mono synth but for various polyphonic modules the boyfriend will surely want to have in the future.

And no, i am not trolling.
I strongly believe that if you asked 100 synth nerds, most would say they prefer the sound of Model D over Grandmother.
And of course that is not an insult to the Grandmother - it is a good synth.
But the D is just epic with the legendary sound everybody recognizes.
Answering the question from the opening post:
Someone who is "a prog music fan for his whole life" is probably used to the way the Minimoog sounds - he will sometimes miss that 3rd oscillator a lot.
That is not to say that the Grandmother can't do prog.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #50
Kja
Lives for gear
The sound of the Moog modular is pretty legendary too, get the grandmother, it's a real Moog not a off brand copy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #51
Kja
Lives for gear
I say get the grandmother even over a minilogue xd and a used beringer D just because he loves Moog, so get him a Moog, only a real Moog will do, he will always have it and remember you from this glorious sounding thing. That's worth the price even though the money could be used for more music making function sometimes it's worth it to spend more on the real thing. I think this is one is those times.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #52
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Also i find it a bit funny for people to suggest a synth from a company known for their high prices to someone with clearly limited budget...

Old 4 weeks ago
  #53
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
I said "tiny keyboard" in comparison with my suggestion of an universal keyboard controller with 61 keys which could be used for not only a mono synth but for various polyphonic modules the boyfriend will surely want to have in the future.
I considered the Boog + controller suggestion as well, but decided to not give it for an important reason: since this is the first piece of gear, it really really helps to have something that's self-contained and in one piece.

A Grandmother can be picked up and moved, and the only part you need to worry about is the powersupply. The lack of memory means that it sounds exactly like it was configured. To have something self-contained like this forces you to think about the restrictions, but will also trigger ideas about possibilities.

Sure, eventually you're going to need infrastructure, but it's better to cross that bridge when you get there. There will already be much exploration with just the GM itself and learning the way around the interface. What happens next is up to the OP and their budget anyway.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #54
Kja
Lives for gear
We don't know the boyfriend's budget.. just that it is a gift from a loved one that will have sentimental value and that the purchaser was willing to go from $400 to $900 without batting a eye, because she loves him and wants it to be special. A company that sells budget equipment that are mostly copies of other companies products would not be as special of a gift I thought. Sure the D sounds mostly like a minimoog, that's not really the point.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
I strongly believe that if you asked 100 synth nerds, most would say they prefer the sound of Model D over Grandmother . . .
Dude, I trust your ears since I think you're a damned fine programmer. The Grandmother demos really knocked my socks off; though, I haven't played either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
I considered the Boog + controller suggestion as well, but decided to not give it for an important reason: since this is the first piece of gear, it really really helps to have something that's self-contained and in one piece . . .
Yah, I kinda have to agree with you on that one. The all-in-one-ness of a keyboarded synth certainly has its advantages. Looks purdy, too!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #56
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
The Moog Grandmother will not sound as good as Behringer Model D, but if you really want it to have a (tiny) keyboard included... Maybe OK.

As the owner of both, that is the funniest thing I have read all day.

To the OP - get the real Moog, not the knockoff copy. If he loves Moog, I can't imagine a better one than the GM - really a superb introduction to synthesis.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerbrains View Post
not the knockoff copy
Wow, so it is possible to be biased against a synth even if you own it.
You should be honest with yourself and sell it right now.
Such a dirty, filthy knockoff copy... That sounds 99.9% like a 3500$ synth and 99% like a 5000-10000$ synth.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
The Grandmother demos really knocked my socks off; though, I haven't played either.
Sure it sounds good.
And sure that i am biased for the Minimoog.
For me the sound will always be the #1 priority, far above the UI, brand name, wooden sides, or "artisanal" assembly from parts made in China.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #59
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Praxisaxis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camus2 View Post
You can get him a Behringer Model-D ($300 bucks new) which is a clone of the original Minimoog. Soundwise IT IS CLOSE to the expensive original which cost 10 times more minimum. There are subtle differences in calibration, but he will absolutely get the Moog Sound with this.
She’s after something that works out of the box. This doesn’t have a keyboard. The dude doesn’t have any other synths so probably can’t control it. For many of us, synths with keyboards are a moderately big deal.

OP, if you can afford the sub phatty that’s not a bad choice, though its keyboard is small. Note that with such instruments you reach the other octaves by hitting a button, so no problem there. With any synth you will of course need some kind of speaker... an existing guitar amp will work though a keyboard amp would be better. And a cable.

Be aware of the different kinds of synths. Eg the Sub Phatty is an analogue mono, so you can only play one note at a time (not chords). Sounds weird to a pianist, but they are used mainly for “leads” and bass; besides, the other hand adjusts the dials, which is part of the performance technique. There are other synths in a similar price range which are polyphonic... the tradeoff is those tend not to sound as thick or fat... which may not be an issue to worry about when starting out anyway. Best of luck.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #60
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Praxisaxis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Also i find it a bit funny for people to suggest a synth from a company known for their high prices to someone with clearly limited budget...
Yet you are suggesting a device that will probably require her to buy an additional keyboard for, read two manuals, and plug stuff together before sounds come out. Plus a quick google will reveal he got a cheap clone. Happy birthday beloved.
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