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Advice for first hardware synth Desktop Synthesizers
Old 11th March 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Advice for first hardware synth

I'm wanting to buy my first hardware synth. I make mostly pop music. Some of my favorite sounding producers are Dr. Luke, Stargate, David Guetta, Red One, Benny Blanco, Jim Jonsin and a few others. With that in mind, what would you guys recommend as my first hardware synth? My budget as of right now is in the $1000 range, but if it's something you think that's worth saving up more for, just let me know. Thanks in advance.
Old 12th March 2012
  #2
Gear Head
 

bump
Old 12th March 2012
  #3
Registered User
You can make pop records with all soft synths if you want. On a budget, that's a very good way to go ... buy a quality controller keyboard and some excellent soft synths.

If you choose hardware, you should do it for very specific reasons that are important to you and your sound. Nobody but you knows what they will be, so why not stay ITB until you reach a point where you think you absolutely must have hardware.

You should at least check out some Moog stuff ... you'll know when you hear it whether it's important for you or not.

The best hardware these days is basically software in a box. I won't be buying a Kronos, because it's a woefully underpowered Atom processer running Linux and a maxed out harddrive with no room left. Software has won at this point.

The main reason for hardware is simply an expensive dongle - which protects the developers so they may be more likely to put their best sounds in. But that's very subjective and sounds get dated very fast.

Try some and see if you like what they bring. I usually walk away thinking that I have better software and samples ... underwhelmed.

But real analog is nice ... although software is fast catching up.
Old 12th March 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
keyboardwizard's Avatar
I think an used access virus ti would suit you well for all those purposes.
Old 12th March 2012
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
You can make pop records with all soft synths if you want. On a budget, that's a very good way to go ... buy a quality controller keyboard and some excellent soft synths.

If you choose hardware, you should do it for very specific reasons that are important to you and your sound. Nobody but you knows what they will be, so why not stay ITB until you reach a point where you think you absolutely must have hardware.

You should at least check out some Moog stuff ... you'll know when you hear it whether it's important for you or not.

The best hardware these days is basically software in a box. I won't be buying a Kronos, because it's a woefully underpowered Atom processer running Linux and a maxed out harddrive with no room left. Software has won at this point.

The main reason for hardware is simply an expensive dongle - which protects the developers so they may be more likely to put their best sounds in. But that's very subjective and sounds get dated very fast.

Try some and see if you like what they bring. I usually walk away thinking that I have better software and samples ... underwhelmed.

But real analog is nice ... although software is fast catching up.
Thanks for your response. I've been using soft synths ever since I got serious about making music (Which started on a day at Guitar Center of them selling the gullible rookie everything they could find Lol) but I always hear hardware has a better sound and I was thinking maybe a hardware synth could give my sound a little more edge and next level sound...? Do you think there is no real validity in that statement anymore with the evolution of soft synths? And as far as sound, I'm a mesh of the producers I listed as my favorite since their the people who I've studied the most and just picked up different things from each so my sound would be in the realm of theirs. If anyone else feels the same about getting a hardware piece as my friend above I would love to hear your take as well. Thanks, again.
Old 12th March 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardwizard View Post
I think an used access virus ti would suit you well for all those purposes.
Noted. Thanks.
Old 13th March 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Look at a used Nord Lead 2 or 2X as well.
Old 13th March 2012
  #8
+1 for the Access Virus TI or a Blofeld. You might be interested in the Slim Fatty as well. For a little more a used Little Phatty is a nice place to start.

Also check out ebay and search "vintage synth". Sort results by everything from $100 to $1200. Check results against advice here and vintagesynthexplorer:Vintage Synth Explorer.

You can get some amazing 80s and 90s rack synths for a few hundred dollars and a ton of personality as well. Don't limit yourself to just "new" synths.
Old 13th March 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by memphis12 View Post
I'm wanting to buy my first hardware synth. I make mostly pop music. Some of my favorite sounding producers are Dr. Luke, Stargate, David Guetta, Red One, Benny Blanco, Jim Jonsin and a few others. With that in mind, what would you guys recommend as my first hardware synth? My budget as of right now is in the $1000 range, but if it's something you think that's worth saving up more for, just let me know. Thanks in advance.
I`m not trying to discourage you but do you think having the same sounds as the above mentioned will give you an edge over everyone else so you can be more like them (i.e.: successful)?

If you have the $$$, then splurge away but todays software synths are very powerful... REASON, Spectrasonics, etc... its amazing what one can do with some talent.
Old 13th March 2012
  #10
Gear Head
 

[QUOTE=Ernest Buckley;7662883]I`m not trying to discourage you but do you think having the same sounds as the above mentioned will give you an edge over everyone else so you can be more like them (i.e.: successful)?

Not at all. Only reason I mentioned my favorite producers were to give you guys an idea of what type of sound I produce so I could get more accurate suggestions. And when I said "edge" I was talking in the sense of that "hardware sound" that many believe that soft synths lack.

And yeah, I don't have money to just "spurge" lol. Thanks for the recommendations. So far it seems like maybe the hardware sound isn't as prominent as I perceived. Thanks again.
Old 13th March 2012
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Delphino's Avatar
 

Mfb nanozwerg.
Old 13th March 2012
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
Look at a used Nord Lead 2 or 2X as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostwars View Post
+1 for the Access Virus TI or a Blofeld. You might be interested in the Slim Fatty as well. For a little more a used Little Phatty is a nice place to start.

Also check out ebay and search "vintage synth". Sort results by everything from $100 to $1200. Check results against advice here and vintagesynthexplorer:Vintage Synth Explorer.

You can get some amazing 80s and 90s rack synths for a few hundred dollars and a ton of personality as well. Don't limit yourself to just "new" synths.
Thanks alot guys, especially for the link, should be very helpful for searching on ebay and craigslist. Thanks again.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 

Hey, thanks a lot guys. Still searching. Couple of follow ups, I'm looking at the Virus's now, it seems to be a good number of these, is there one in particular you guys had in mind, or that's considered the "standard?" Also if I through a juno 60 or juno 160 in the discussion, would you guys still suggest the virus based on your opinions ?
Old 22nd March 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
synthoid's Avatar
 

I think a Virus Snow is the ideal choice in your situation. If it turns out that you really get into the Virus sound, you can always pick up a kb or polar, 2nd hand or new, later on. If not, you haven't blown an enormous stack of money. The sound of the Snow is identical to that of the biggest TI model; it supports less polyphony and doesn't have a kb, but if you're working with it in a studio (as opposed to live) those things can be worked around. (I use a Virus TI kb, have had a Polar in the past as well.)

If you're starting out with hardware synths, the nice thing about the Virus is that sonically it covers a huge territory, and it's pretty straightforwards to program. It's a combination that isn't so easy to find in hardware synths.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #15
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the help while I'm searching guys. I've come down to this. I was thinking of a Juno 60 or both a Virus snow and Waldorf Blofeld, but my question is, do you think the virus snow and Waldorf Blofeld would be counter productive rather than a good combination ?
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