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 Post subject: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:00 pm 
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reverse genius
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Hey guys,

Planning on buying a hardware synth to learn more about sound design and such as actually having a synth in your hand to use is way more fun if you ask me.

No idea where to start though?
and budget of about £300? (if any that are amazing above that willing to go higher) Going second hand also.

I love the hard hitting/bassy/gritty sounds

Novation Bass Station 2?/Roland alpha juno?

I have no idea so asking for some help.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:32 pm 
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Slowy J
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This is a tough question to answer really. Would you prefer a mono or poly synth? Would you prefer one with plenty of hands on controls? Or are you prepared to get to grips more menu based programming? If you're willing to pick up a second hand synth, it might be worth taking some time to go through this site and just do some research on what's out there:

http://www.vintagesynth.com/

Be aware though. Hardware is an addictive fucking business!

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:09 pm 
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Mini or Micro Brute. Great layout of the routing, really great mono synth for learning LFO/Filter Env/Amp Env relationships. Great filter and the "Brute factor" can really dirty things up quick.

Micro Brute is really a steal at that price.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:35 pm 
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Id say minibrute/microbrute for lots of knobs screeching analog or blofeld/pulse2 for more complex digital sound design, i own none of these, looking at getting one of these myself.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:38 pm 
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reverse genius
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yeah id like alot of knobs to play around with (ha).
And I was thinking of mono since I really wanna work on my bass? But I mean to be honest I dont really know.

I shall look into the synths mentioned thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:40 pm 
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reverse genius
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Would you have a preferenced to the micro brute or mini brute?
Looks lovely.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:52 pm 
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+1 for Blofeld. Or wait for Korg to re-new their analog synth line... If they do.


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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:58 pm 
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I'll probably go microbrute rather than minibrute myself. I'm sure there is plenty mini vs micro threads and videos on the web. In simplistic terms, I dont care about the smaller keys as I will probably use external midi from my DAW or Beatstep anyway, and its cheaper!

But then again, I might go the Waldorf route instead, haven't decided.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:43 pm 
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I recently picked up a MS-20 mini and so far it's been a nice addition to my studio. It has a real gritty character and the filters really have a life of their own. You get so many tones and sounds from tweaking the filter that you just can't get with a digital filter.

It has plenty of knobs to play with too. It's a lot of fun, but has a limited sonic palette.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:50 pm 
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I had the minibrute long before there was a micro option.

The major difference between the two is that the Mini has vibrato, a notch filter, an arpeggiator and a Amplitude envelope, while the Micro has a sequencer and a Mod Matrix. The Mod Matrix is interesting and the routing options are certainly fun, but the Mini has far more options in terms of routing/mixing the LFO plus having two separate envelopes for filter/amp instead of one shared one. There's also no noise waveform in the LFO or oscillator section on the Micro.

Still the Micro can route the LFO and/or the envelope to the sub oscillator, which is something the Mini can't do at all (or I haven't discovered how to do it anyways.

Either or, the mini and micro can do a lot more than bass, but if you concerned mostly with bass, you might want to throw the Moog Minitaur in the mix.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:42 pm 
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Yeah, minibrute has dual envelopes, better option for your first synth than the micro.

Though I did sell mine.....

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:01 am 
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tense
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Macca wrote:
I love the hard hitting/bassy/gritty sounHds

Novation Bass Station 2?/Roland alpha juno?

I have no idea so asking for some help.



the BSII has a hitting/bassy/sound.

I bought it as my first hard synth as well.
But in terms of learning the connection between the amp and mod-envelopes it's not directly jumping at you if you know what i mean.
You only have one set of ADSR controls for both envelopes. I use this easter weekend to gain more knowledge
over the envelopes and the LFO's.
There is a pretty nice and long video which shows every function of the BSII, maybe this helps you making a decision.
and its time coded in the description so you can jump to the parts you want to see.

cheers
david



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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:02 am 
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reverse genius
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Cheers guys for all the replies.

Feel like im either gonna go for a Minibrute or MS-20.
Gonna wait till a few more paychecks and more time to think but these definaetly look like cracking synths.

Cheers again.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:11 am 
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reverse genius
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Or should I wait for the minibrute se?

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:39 pm 
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MicroBrute was my first synth and got me hooked. Great sound, much more range/variety than you'd initially expect thanks to the oscillator mixing and modulation and brute factor, and incredibly fun to play with. Feels really "alive", like a tiny tweak can send it mental (in a good way), and having a proper one knob per control set up is awesome for both making it fun to use and for learning. If space and a bit more cash aren't an issue then maybe the MiniBrute would be a better option as not having separate filter and amp envelopes can be a little limiting on the Micro. Heard good things about the Novation BS2 as well but people seem to suggest the Brute has more "character", whatever that means ;)

I've now also got a MicroKorg (only picked it up because it was cheap, mainly functions as a MIDI controller keyboard but is actually capable of some pretty decent sounds - however, the interface is a bit limiting for programming as there are so few knobs, wouldn't really recommend it unless it's a bargain) and an Access Virus B (which I love, it's a digital synth but really sounds fat and alive, capable of sounds ranging from the really smooth to the really gritty... good level of hands on control for tweaking patches, although you do have to go into the menus when you are programming for some features - but it is logically laid out so this doesn't feel like too much of a hassle. Would definitely recommend if you think a poly might be useful and you aren't too fussed about it being "real" analogue, can be picked up for around £350 which I think is great value).

I probably wouldn't really recommend the Blofeld as a first synth, I got one second hand and had to return it due to a faulty knob on it (quite a common fault so I would definitely either go new or buy via eBay etc so you can return it), but was actually kind of glad about that as the reality of the lack of knobs was that it didn't feel that much different to using a VST with a MIDI controller. A bit more intuitive and logical, of course, but if you are interested in the "hands on" aspect of a hardware synth, you might not get it from the Blofeld - I got the Virus instead and am much happier. That said, some of the Blofeld sounds were amazing - I might be tempted again if I see one really cheap!


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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:26 pm 
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tdmusic wrote:
MicroBrute was my first synth and got me hooked. Great sound, much more range/variety than you'd initially expect thanks to the oscillator mixing and modulation and brute factor, and incredibly fun to play with. Feels really "alive", like a tiny tweak can send it mental (in a good way), and having a proper one knob per control set up is awesome for both making it fun to use and for learning. If space and a bit more cash aren't an issue then maybe the MiniBrute would be a better option as not having separate filter and amp envelopes can be a little limiting on the Micro. Heard good things about the Novation BS2 as well but people seem to suggest the Brute has more "character", whatever that means ;)

I've now also got a MicroKorg (only picked it up because it was cheap, mainly functions as a MIDI controller keyboard but is actually capable of some pretty decent sounds - however, the interface is a bit limiting for programming as there are so few knobs, wouldn't really recommend it unless it's a bargain) and an Access Virus B (which I love, it's a digital synth but really sounds fat and alive, capable of sounds ranging from the really smooth to the really gritty... good level of hands on control for tweaking patches, although you do have to go into the menus when you are programming for some features - but it is logically laid out so this doesn't feel like too much of a hassle. Would definitely recommend if you think a poly might be useful and you aren't too fussed about it being "real" analogue, can be picked up for around £350 which I think is great value).

I probably wouldn't really recommend the Blofeld as a first synth, I got one second hand and had to return it due to a faulty knob on it (quite a common fault so I would definitely either go new or buy via eBay etc so you can return it), but was actually kind of glad about that as the reality of the lack of knobs was that it didn't feel that much different to using a VST with a MIDI controller. A bit more intuitive and logical, of course, but if you are interested in the "hands on" aspect of a hardware synth, you might not get it from the Blofeld - I got the Virus instead and am much happier. That said, some of the Blofeld sounds were amazing - I might be tempted again if I see one really cheap!


Cheers bud!

Think ive made up my mind and gonna go with the Mini brute.
Do you or anyone else know if i'd be able to do the step sequencer like the SE version coming out?

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:10 pm 
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Not sure about that. Forgot the Mini doesn't do the step sequencer, it is definitely one of the most fun things on there, more fun than an arp I reckon. Would be sad to miss out on that, it's so immediate and fun. But you could certainly use some external sequencer, e.g. the Beatstep, although it works in a totally different way.


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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:28 pm 
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From those you list I'd go for the BassStation2, I don't like the sound of the minibrute from what I've heard personally.

I picked up a used Moog Minitaur last week and I'm loving it. What ever you choose go for one that has knob per function. Forget the Blofeld and Pulse2, its all about immediacy and you'll learn more.

.

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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:55 pm 
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Any comments on polyphonic synths in a similar price range?


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 Post subject: Re: First hard synth ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:57 pm 
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Senko wrote:
Any comments on polyphonic synths in a similar price range?


As I said above, I'm really pleased with my second-hand Virus B that I picked up for £350. Capable of all manner of sounds, pretty good degree of hands on control, nice on-board effects, great sound... I really like it. You might want to look at second hand Nord Leads also, apparently a bit simpler in terms of architecture than the Virus but more "one knob per control" and very highly regarded, and seem to be around that price bracket or a little higher.


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