Advise Me On Keys

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AFormidableOpponent
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Advise Me On Keys

Post by AFormidableOpponent » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:56 am

Here's the deal: I'm really interested in synthesis and want to get a keyboard synth or two to have and hold through sickness and health. Only problem is that I don't know what to look for. I would like a Keith Emerson/Rick Wakeman sound, or rather their timbral flexability. To me, this means miniMoog, but I want polyphony of at least four voices (three is intolerable, although I really could do monophonic). I was thinking Prophet 08 and something else. Any thoughts? Analog is not necessary.

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dkcg
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Re: Advise Me On Keys

Post by dkcg » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:03 am

AFormidableOpponent wrote:Here's the deal: I'm really interested in synthesis and want to get a keyboard synth or two to have and hold through sickness and health. Only problem is that I don't know what to look for. I would like a Keith Emerson/Rick Wakeman sound, or rather their timbral flexability. To me, this means miniMoog, but I want polyphony of at least four voices (three is intolerable, although I really could do monophonic). I was thinking Prophet 08 and something else. Any thoughts? Analog is not necessary.
I think a minimoog and a motm setup would be most wakeman like.
Prohet's not gonna sound like a moog, those curtis filters will always sound like curtis filters, not a bad thing. I love that prophet sound, but it's all about the lowpass for that moog sound in my opinion.

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felix
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Post by felix » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:08 am

If you have even the slightest desire for modular techniques, I'd suggest the Nord G2.

It sounds good, is incredibly flexible, polyphonic (number of voices restricted by the size of the patch you create, but 8 voices will be no problem for the majority of patches) and allows for some fantastic patches.

I used to have one and really liked it. It didn't have that analog sound that I really yearned for, and I have problems with RSI so creating patches via the mouse was sometimes literally painful, but it was a wonderful keyboard.

If you really want "that sound" though, it's possible you won't be fully happy until you have analog. The minimoog is definitely a very distinct sound. I'm sure I can get my modular close, but it's still not going to be the same.

I had a Moog Voyager after the G2 and that sounded absolutely amazing and was *really* fun to play. Problem was, I'm an awful keyboard player and I still yearned for more modular flexibility.

You might consider the DSI Evolver. They are incredibly flexible, have a very unique and wide range of sounds, and there's a 4 voice keyboard model.

You could do worse than a Prophet08 too ;)

But if you really want that Emereson/Wakeman sound, it's a Moog.
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Kwote
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Post by Kwote » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:34 am

go to http://www.vintagesynth.com and do some research. they list all the early synths, their features and who played what on which album. or atleast what artist used them.
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Post by Roycie Roller » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:49 am

Definitely don't buy anything that is virtual analogue, like Korg Radius, R3. You could get the Voyager Old School, if you don't want presets. Then, you could build up a nice 5u modular to compliment each other. That's really powerful synthesis there. But it will cost money.
The Poly Evolver keyboard is like the Prophet, but with a crazy digital side as well, and it's a very deep synthesizer that sounds awesome (and can also sound moogy). You can pick these up on the used market for a reasonable price.

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Post by AFormidableOpponent » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:09 am

Good, good. The reason why I said "Prophet" is because I was trying out keys at Guitar Center before I became interested in synths, and it knocked the wind out of me. Then I saw the price tag. :doh: I've come to accept that, though.

I'm writing all of these down, and research shall commence shortly. Kwote, I'm looking at Vintage Synth. How does one try out a modular? I've never seen a floor model.

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dkcg
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Post by dkcg » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:43 am

AFormidableOpponent wrote:Good, good. The reason why I said "Prophet" is because I was trying out keys at Guitar Center before I became interested in synths, and it knocked the wind out of me. Then I saw the price tag. :doh: I've come to accept that, though.

I'm writing all of these down, and research shall commence shortly. Kwote, I'm looking at Vintage Synth. How does one try out a modular? I've never seen a floor model.
In LA, there are two places to try them out, Big City Music, small but functional showroom with a good size mostly Analogue Systems modular setup, and Noisebug in Pomona, which last time I was there had a two suitcase setup of mostly PlanB modules. Nowhere to really try out Doepfer stuff yet. If you think the Prophet is expensive, you should check out the price guide on the Buchla site. :D

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Post by brandon daniel » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:43 am

AFormidableOpponent wrote: I'm writing all of these down, and research shall commence shortly. Kwote, I'm looking at Vintage Synth. How does one try out a modular? I've never seen a floor model.
You happen to live in one of the few places in the USA where it's highly likely you can try one in person.

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dkcg
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Post by dkcg » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:47 am

brandon daniel wrote: You happen to live in one of the few places in the USA where it's highly likely you can try one in person.
And too easy to impulse buy a module. :lol:

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:54 am

I think the Alesis Andromeda looks like a sweet polyphonic analog keyboard (with built in ribbon controller).

On the digital side of things the Access Virus TI looks pretty tastey.

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Post by Kwote » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:29 pm

if i had to get an all in one keyboard synth i'd go for the Prophet 08 but i'd still like some modules around for processing duties.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/dsi/p08.shtml

you may want to face the fact that there's no way to go cheap with any of this stuff if you're really searching for quality.

with modulars you can kinda chip away at the cost but ultimately you'll still spend a lot.
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Post by thermionicjunky » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:09 pm

The Prophet 08 is actually pretty reasonably priced and probably what you're looking for. For a more Moog-specific aesthetic, you could A/ get a Moogerfooger lowpass filter or B/ start a small processing modular with a Moog filter. Just about every modular company has a clone.

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Post by Audio Resistance » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:23 pm

There is always the Moog Little Phatty if price is a concern. Like it has been stated already you are looking for that Moog sound. The Little Phatty would be a pretty good first board.

Oh yea , you want polyphonic and it will cost an arm and a leg to get that with the current brand new Moog line up. A Phatty and either the Prophet08 rack or the Polyevovler rack would be a little over the price of a brand new Prophet-08 keyboard, if you got them both used.

A combo of a mono synth and poly is nice, mono's can be incredibly fun so do not totally discount them. Of coarse a proper modular will take care of that.
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AFormidableOpponent
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Post by AFormidableOpponent » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:59 pm

dkcg, thank you for the locations.

Where price is concerned, I'm not going to worry about it. It seems that the market for good new synths starts around 2k.

I've purchased Mark Jenkins' "Analog Synthesizers". Hopefully, the book is a good source.

I tried out a Voyager Old School and two Voyager Performers, but I haven't found a Little Phatty yet. So far, I like the Old School more. There was a monophonic Roland that I thought was okay. Forgot the name.

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Post by Luka » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:27 pm

im a broke student so im looking to grab the alesis ion
nice virtual analog sounds plus some interesting modulation and some fm
im not really that fussed with getting full analog polysynths. seems like there is so much that will die over time with them, there is going to be a point where you will know your synth repair guy by first name basis

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Post by thermionicjunky » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:05 pm

Something to keep in mind about the Prophet is that it uses obsolete chips.

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Post by AFormidableOpponent » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:26 pm

Obsolete? Do you mean that they're no longer manufactured?

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Post by thermionicjunky » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:45 pm

I believe that he still uses his hoarded CEM chips, which are becoming scarce.

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Post by AFormidableOpponent » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:41 pm

Interesting. Obseletion is inevitable, though. If it weren't for musicians, vacuum tubes, for instance, would be long gone, I'm sure.

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Post by thermionicjunky » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:18 pm

The trouble with the custom synth chips is that the demand is high. There is current production of common guitar amp tubes, and the obscure stuff is used by about one person.

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