Looking for a synth

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mattsb
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Looking for a synth

Post by mattsb » Thu May 14, 2020 5:45 pm

I am a multi-musician, sometimes modular synth artist, sometimes bassist. I'm looking for a single keyboard synth that I can use in a band setting for chords + bass line when the need arises. I don't need a lot of fancy sound design capabilities (I have Eurorack for that) and I do need patch recall.

I want something small (ish) and reliable, so vintage synths need not apply. (I have a Rhodes and a Polysix in the studio but I am not taking them anywhere).

I have been leaning towards relatively modern small 4 voice synths (Analog Keys, Minologue XD, Mopho) but something tells me I will hit a wall and should look beyond.

A Prophet 6 is financially out of reach at the moment so that defines the top of the price range.

I have looked at Rev 2 and Peak in the past and found them harsh, but could revisit that decision.

Suggestions as to minimum voice count and synths ??
'We're not sending astronauts to the moon and back! We're making funny sounds. Let's keep things in perspective here." Dr E&S

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mmp
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by mmp » Thu May 14, 2020 7:59 pm

Peak can be programmed to be smooth sounding or nasty and in your face. Mostly underrated.

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Manresa
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Manresa » Thu May 14, 2020 11:16 pm

If you’re looking at the MinilogXD, why not the Prologue? 8 or 16 voices, half(ish) the price of the Prophet, and flexible with the SDK.

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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Estes » Fri May 15, 2020 2:59 am

I have to say if you can patch a little bit synth sounds, then a lot of synths will do the job. However I found Novation as a company very forwardthinking in terms of performance all around. I have a mono station and I use it with a band on tour but also with my modular rack(since it has cv). They think of all these little extras that sometines misses with other synths. For example you can choose the setting for how the knobs behavie when you switch presets. You can store all presets on a cloud (which can be usefull on tour). Also Novation products tend to be updated with requested features and overall are very reliable.

Whatever synth you decide to look at, make sure to focus on those performance settings that make your stagelive easyier rather than only think of how the sound sounds.

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tweakfilter
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by tweakfilter » Fri May 15, 2020 3:06 am

Microkorg

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h4ndcrafted
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by h4ndcrafted » Fri May 15, 2020 5:37 am

From what you’ve said , I’d go with the XD all day , not just because it is lol face either.

Sounds decent , nice filter and expandable effects. I should get one now I sold my ob6

But small poly synth on a budget ? Blofeld desktop all day, although the interface , while being intuitive , is tedious by current trends. However you are talking soft synth modulation capacity.
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Voltcontrol
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Voltcontrol » Fri May 15, 2020 6:19 am

How much keys do you need and what kind of sound do you want?
Without knowing those and reading your needs I'd shortlist:

Novation Bass Station II Sounds great and downright cheap for what it can do! Perhaps paraphony is enough for you, see:

Blofeld Keyboard. Very decent keybed and great sonic potential.

Minilogue XD also a good shout.
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unclebastard
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by unclebastard » Fri May 15, 2020 7:06 am

Sledge 2 Black would cover your sonic requirements: it has 1000 patch memories, and all your performance controls have a knob or button on the top panel. It has a 61 key Fatar TP9/S keyboard, and is a large beast, but not heavy in weight.
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mattsb
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by mattsb » Fri May 15, 2020 7:44 am

Prologue is definitely on the list. I almost bought one before I bought the Polysix, and if I had known then that I would want something to haul around to gigs, I probably would have gone for it.

Paraphony is definitely not good enough.
'We're not sending astronauts to the moon and back! We're making funny sounds. Let's keep things in perspective here." Dr E&S

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EATyourGUITAR
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Fri May 15, 2020 7:49 am

microkorg or miniak
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Jason Brock
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Jason Brock » Fri May 15, 2020 8:08 am

Something to play in a band = Nord Electro or Stage.
You could get an Electro 3 in that price range, and it would cover any possible sound you would ever need since it can load their sample library which includes analog polysynths (or make your own samples). Easy to use and reliable for gigs.

But if you are sure you only want to stick to synth-ish sounds, either a Prologue or Rev2 would be my choice. Both can do keyboard splits, which would be one of my main requirements for a live synth.

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Shadewe
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Shadewe » Fri May 15, 2020 12:04 pm

What about a MOOG Grandmother? Not sure if it fits your bill but I like it, very robust.
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Voltcontrol
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Voltcontrol » Fri May 15, 2020 12:10 pm

unclebastard wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 7:06 am
Sledge 2 Black would cover your sonic requirements: it has 1000 patch memories, and all your performance controls have a knob or button on the top panel. It has a 61 key Fatar TP9/S keyboard, and is a large beast, but not heavy in weight.
Good shout. Plenty of sounds in this rather comprehensive written review: https://greatsynthesizers.com/en/review ... -a-thrill/

If you choose it, it might be an idea to contact your local carpenter to build a new body for it so it'll look great on stage.
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abandonist
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by abandonist » Fri May 15, 2020 1:33 pm

A Sledge 2.0 can be had for under $550 USD if you take your time buying. Besides being a little buggy (noise when saving patches, and some stuck oscillators on occasion) it’s an excellent value. It’s pretty large, but also light.

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mattsb
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by mattsb » Fri May 15, 2020 7:25 pm

Hmm lots of things I hadn’t comsidered.. Need to check out Sledge and Nord demos.
'We're not sending astronauts to the moon and back! We're making funny sounds. Let's keep things in perspective here." Dr E&S

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EATyourGUITAR
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sat May 16, 2020 10:07 am

electro 3 is an amazing machine but I didn't want to suggest such an expensive machine for a bass player.
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Voltcontrol
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Voltcontrol » Sat May 16, 2020 10:20 am

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 10:07 am
electro 3 is an amazing machine but I didn't want to suggest such an expensive machine for a bass player.
Same. If it appeals to you though go for it.
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Red Electric Rainbow
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Sat May 16, 2020 10:27 am

if you need something analog the deepmind will do the trick.

if your looking for something thats small, disposable and can be thrashed around on the tour id look at the microkorg, micron, gaia, or mininova. nord leads are more advanced and a little bigger but have been incredibly durable for me on the road.

if you want something lethal look no further than anything in the access virus family tree.

as others have said, the novation peak and bass station 2 are both absolute units.
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winn3r
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by winn3r » Sat May 16, 2020 11:07 am

Roland System 8? Digital, $1500 new, ugly as hell, no aftertouch, but you get all the Roland classics and it sounds ridiculously good.




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Schrank
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Schrank » Sat May 16, 2020 4:10 pm

Have a look at novations ultranova. Great synth that goes under the radar and can be had for cheap.
No multi timbrality though.

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Unborn Gore
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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Unborn Gore » Sat May 16, 2020 10:35 pm

The Roland Jupiter-Xm looks pretty handy for gigging.


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Re: Looking for a synth

Post by Keltie » Mon May 18, 2020 7:49 pm

+1 System 8

Light as a feather, does all of the Roland classics with as much authenticity as will make no difference at a typical gig. Choose your fav plugs and go.

I bought mine specifically to leave my various Js at home, as an updated and better upgrade on my venerable JP8000. No one likes to think of gear getting trashed/ stolen/ blown up at gigs, but I’ll take the risk with a system 8.... not the vintage ones.

The power adaptor / cable thing is a pita. Have a spare.

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