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What was the synth that taught you the most about synthesis?
Old 8th December 2019
  #61
Gear Nut
  • Poly-800 (first synth)
  • Nord Modular (good for learning synthesizer architectures and concepts)
  • Dark Energy (first fully hands on all analog synth... only then, ten years after the Poly-800, did I learn how to think of a sound and then be able to more or less make it without too much trial and error)

It would have been better the other way around of course. ;-)
Old 8th December 2019
  #62
Lives for gear
 
kpatz's Avatar
I don't know if any one synth I've had would qualify as the "one I learned the most about synthesis on"... but there have been several.

My first foray into synthesis in any form was the original Sound Blaster Pro with the 2 operator FM chip (YM3812 I believe?) I found a piece of software that let me program my own 2-op FM patches... so I guess that was my first synth to learn FM on. My next synth was a Korg 01/W which wasn't the greatest synth for subtractive synthesis being it was a rompler with a non resonant filter, but it got my feet wet.

My next synth, a Roland D-50, was probably the one I created the most patches on at that point, so that was probably my most "learning" on a specific synth. I created many analog-ish patches on it, utilizing the 4 partials for fat detuned sounds, and the envelopes, LFOs and "resonant filter". I also ended up with a Korg Polysix which introduced me to analog in general, and the joys of real analog filters in particular.

The next synth that launched me further into analog/subtractive synthesis concepts was a MicroKorg of all things. It was my first 2 oscillator synth that offered cross mod, sync and ring mod, which are old concepts in synthesis, but new to me at the time. I still remember stumbling across a classic sync sweep preset on that MK and, after "taking apart" the patch, having a eureka moment, learning how that sync sound was made. After that I was hooked on all things analog. I learned Yamaha AWM2 with a Motif XS.

I got back into FM years after that Sound Blaster with a TX802, and then real analog with an Andromeda. Those synths are long gone now (sold them years ago), but my current setup is inspired by the synths that inspired me back then. Now I have a MODX for FM, virtual and real analog synths for subtractive, and the MODX gives me AWM2 as well.

I still yearn to learn more synthesis techniques, which is why I want a Microfreak (many different oscillator types) and a Neutron, Grandmother, or Matriarch (semi modular) as my next synths. That and an Osmose, though I preordered that more for the expressive keybed than the synth engine, but it will be fun exploring the EaganMatrix.
Old 8th December 2019
  #63
Lives for gear
 
7Wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulosonoro View Post
[LIST][*]Poly-800 (first synth)

I'm surprised to find several others here who (like me) started with the Poly 800 in the 80s. Sounds like you were in the same boat I was, with limited funds but a desire to buy something programmable. It never made great basses or leads, but you could coax some nice sounds out of it in double oscillator mode (4 voices).
Old 8th December 2019
  #64
Gear Addict
 
Juno6's Avatar
 

Kurzweil K2000 and Nord Modular.
Old 8th December 2019
  #65
Gear Maniac
 



The Roland Jupiter 6 was my first keyboard that laid a full featured synth out for me in true one knob per function fashion. I only had a partial understanding of the complete picture before this board. Still have it today... will never sell.
Old 8th December 2019
  #66
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intuitionnyc's Avatar
Getting into electronic music, I bought a lot of stuff and changed presets. I would tweak knobs not really knowing what they do (with exception of filter cutoff and amp envelope). Software was in its infancy.

An Arp 2600 at school helped me learn a little more but was still fuzzy. I didnt wrap my head around the semi-modular design.

After a bit, I made two purchases. A Studio Electronics Minimidi (model d racked) and a Doepfer Basic System 2. The Minimidi helped me really understand basic subtractive synthesis. The Doepfer Basic System broke down each part of the synth even further. Patching stuff really opened my eyes.

Syntorial took me even further.
Old 8th December 2019
  #67
Prophet-5, OB-XA
Old 8th December 2019
  #68
Lives for gear
 

I bought a new 2600 in 1971 or so, then an odyssey and minimoog in 73 or so. Roger powell demo'd a polymoog for me in 74 or 75. Those were pretty much the ones that I was forced to understand.
Old 8th December 2019
  #69
Gear Addict
 
becks bolero's Avatar
 

minimoog D
Old 8th December 2019
  #70
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Wave View Post
I'm surprised to find several others here who (like me) started with the Poly 800 in the 80s. Sounds like you were in the same boat I was, with limited funds but a desire to buy something programmable. It never made great basses or leads, but you could coax some nice sounds out of it in double oscillator mode (4 voices).
count me in on the Poly 800 in 1983 as well... I had 4! SH101s right after, 2 grey, 1 red, and 1 blue... then a VERY used OB-XA, DX7. I probably got as much out of a D-50 as well circa 1987 and Minimoog, for which I think paid $1500 for the D-50 and $200 for the Minimoog!!!!

Last edited by mrgkeys; 8th December 2019 at 06:45 AM.. Reason: I'm an idiot who can't spell
Old 8th December 2019
  #71
Gear Maniac
 

as a side note 2 things.. I just picked up a DW-8000 to restore and OMG does that thing sound AWESOME.. will actually do a brass that my Moog One can't. And the modulated delay is fantastic.

also synthmagic in the UK has a great Poly 800/8000 Kontakt instrument

https://www.synthmagic.co.uk/P8000.html

if you're just jonesing for the old days of your first synth :-) oh and I beg to differ about not being able to get good basses out the Poly 800. No DX style basses for sure, but big digital ones with ease
Old 8th December 2019
  #72
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7Wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
POLY800. after that, JX10 fine tuning of the subtractive idea.
I knew a guy back in '86 who had a JX10 and I got to program it and record with it a bit. I always liked the JX10 and thought it never got its due -- in large part because of the minimal programming interface. It didn't have fast envelopes for punchy basses etc., but it sure sounded lush. Back then I couldn't afford one of my own, but years later I found one for around $300 with the PG800 editor. Fun synth.
Old 8th December 2019
  #73
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7Wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgkeys View Post
count me in on the Poly 800 in 1983 as well... I had 4! SH101s right after, 2 grey, 1 red, and 1 blue... then a VERY used OB-XA, DX7. I probably got as much out of a D-50 as well circa 1987 and Minimoog, for which I think paid $1500 for the D-50 and $200 for the Minimoog!!!!
I bought the D50 in 1987 as well, and getting it was probably one of the biggest turning points in my musical life. I had never heard a synth that could sound so realistic, or complex and other-worldly. Having the PCM samples and up to four partials taught me a lot about combining timbres to make a patch. Roland really did their homework making that synth. You could make brass sounds that had spit in the attack, violins where you could hear the bow move across the strings, tine pianos where you could hear the clang of the metal, organs that sounded like they were in a cathedral, etc. Ring modulation was also fun, and the onboard effects made everything sound so polished and BIG. No other synth at the time had its own reverb, etc. I also loved that you could split the keyboard with a two partial bass on the bottom and a two partial EP at the top. I used to play lounge gigs with it when I moved from NY to the Florida Keys in '88, doing left hand bass, right hand EP or jazz guitar. The sound used to really turn heads and even expanded my abilities as a player.
Old 8th December 2019
  #74
Gear Maniac
 
Noisebuddy's Avatar
The Waldorf MicroQ
Old 8th December 2019
  #75
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
Arp 2600
Old 8th December 2019
  #76
Gear Addict
 

P5
Old 8th December 2019
  #77
Gear Maniac
As a teenager , I was struggling with FM synthesis to make my DX11 sound substractive. Of course it was a major failed attempt but I understood fm pretty well at the time.
Later everything clicked into place with a Roland D20. This machine taught me sequencing and proper substractive synthesis. I must say the D20 was a great teacher for me I owe this workstation a lot. Then came the digital dark age.
If I knew better I should have piled Junos off all kind, JX, Korg polys and whatnot, but, eh, you can't rewrite the past.
Old 8th December 2019
  #78
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robinkle's Avatar
The supernova II taught me the basics of subtractive synthesis, and what a synthesizer was. The DX-7 made me get deeper into the building blocks of sound, like harmonics, articulation, and so on.
Old 8th December 2019
  #79
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Wave View Post
I'm surprised to find several others here who (like me) started with the Poly 800 in the 80s. Sounds like you were in the same boat I was, with limited funds but a desire to buy something programmable. It never made great basses or leads, but you could coax some nice sounds out of it in double oscillator mode (4 voices).
I only had it since the early 2000s. I could have gotten a simple monosynth for just a bit more but I thought polyphony and patch memory were more important. I had all my information from the vintagesynth explorer website and bought it on ebay.
Old 8th December 2019
  #80
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Juno-60. Memorize religiously what every slider does, even if you don't understand what it actually does.

The Nord Micromodular opened the floodgates to greater understanding and it "decoupled" several things that you accept as unchanging constants on non-modular hardware synths. It also taught me about the importance of economy of resources.

True learning never ends, of course.
Old 8th December 2019
  #81
Lives for gear
 
abruzzi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by subframe View Post
UCSC?
Nope, New Mexico State University. The Music Department head in the 70s was the composition instructor, so he built the original lab.
Old 8th December 2019
  #82
Lives for gear
 
string6theory's Avatar
I learned synthesis from a sampler.

An E-mu E4 Platinum and a PK-6.

What a beast, which I’m certain I underutilized. I used to freak out that I had an entire orchestra in a box with virtual “musicians” that could all play their parts simultaneously.

But, the Moog Voyager RME, acquired many years later, was my first serious synth synth, and first synth love affair, which is why I picked up a Voyager Select to control it :D. A much deeper synth journey and exploration followed and still continues.

Each subsequent synth has had a lot to teach and much to explore. The Model D nudged out the Voyager for favorite visceral tone and wysiwyg panel. But, the Voyagers and their VX-351/2 VC Processors can still be a synth masterclass any time I feel the urge.

Hearing some of you talking about the intricacies of synthesis and complex modulations makes me realize how much I still have to learn. I suspect it will continue as long as I’m alive and kicking. Now get off my lawn!
Old 8th December 2019
  #83
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MarcB's Avatar
learned enough to get by with most synths with a Yamaha V50 fm synth..

But this..

really taught me what synths can do.
Old 8th December 2019
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Juno-60
same here. first 'proper synth' i had (previous was 'just a monosynth', sh-101).
Old 8th December 2019
  #85
I learned synthesis most on Reason' Subtractor, but it's a soft synth.. does this count ?
Old 9th December 2019
  #86
Gear Maniac
 
happyham's Avatar
 

syntorial, then prophet 8, then moog slim phatty, then eurorack, then machinedrum, then reaktor.
Old 9th December 2019
  #87
Here for the gear
The Korg MS-20 in 1980.
Everything was so obvious....
Old 9th December 2019
  #88
Lives for gear
 
Benjaymun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Data_Shrine View Post
I learned synthesis most on Reason' Subtractor, but it's a soft synth.. does this count ?
Of course. Reason teaches you how to use an entire studio.
Old 9th December 2019
  #89
Lives for gear
Not trying to be cheeky - but... eurorack, hands down.
Old 9th December 2019
  #90
DX100. It was my 1st complete synth, and for over a year, my only one. So I learned it inside and out.
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