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First Synth
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
First Synth

Hi all,
Im looking to buy my first Synth. I have got about £500 to £600 to spend,
I have been looking at the Roland Gaia, Novation Ultranova, Korg R3, M Audio Venom, I wouldve looked at the Arturia minibrute but the release date for UK seems to be non existant. Any others I have missed, (not keen on Yamaha)...

I want to create 80s style music aka Numanesque, Depeche, OMD stuff.....
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
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Bullseye's Avatar
Any basic subtractive synth will be a good place to start but get ready for a slew of folks telling you to purchase overpriced 30 year old used Roland synths.

Seems either the Novation or GAIA would be good to start on. I have not owned either but I've played both. They are really not terrible and you can learn the basics on either.

Most of all, have fun! make lots of sounds and make your own style. That's the beauty of synthesizers. Welcome to a lifetime of endless creativity!
Old 16th September 2012
  #3
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks, yeah I been looking around for a while, I was guessing that those 2 were good options, exactly all I want to do is have fun, create sounds, maybe link up with some mates and fool around... nothing major....
Old 16th September 2012
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
i started on the microkorg and because the way its setup i learned VERY fast. and you can find new and used ones on craigslist and pawnshops for under $200. i recomend something like this cuz it sounds great and is almost fool proof.. you also save alot of money to invest in a much more complex synth.
Old 16th September 2012
  #5
m.o
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m.o's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Looked at used Korg MS 2000 or Roland JP 8000?
Old 16th September 2012
  #6
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by m.o ➡️
Looked at used Korg MS 2000 or Roland JP 8000?
the microkorg has the same engine and uses the same patches as the korg ms2000 for a lot less money
Old 16th September 2012
  #7
VST
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VST's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Hold out for a Minibrute if you can, it's well worth it if you want a powerful monosynth for an unbelievable price.

If you need polyphony, i.e., chords, the Microkorg is a nice starter synth. The Yamaha AN1x is cool if you can find one used. I dont know much about the Gaia but if it uses modeling instead of samples maybe it's nice.

Lots of good vintage digitals too, DX7 if you dont mind learning to program, Korg has the DW's.

I guess what I'm saying is if you want to sound 80's why not use a synth from that era, that way there is no room for error.
Old 16th September 2012
  #8
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I keep looking at the minibrute, but its been due for release here in the UK for months now, and still not here yet... Microkorg interested me, but looked fiddly to create own sounds...
Old 16th September 2012
  #9
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tehlord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A Nord Rack 2X would be the best way to go imo.

It has a fantastic and intuitive UI and just happens to sound fantastic at the same time.

Assuming you want to learn how to program (or already do and want to hone your skills) I think the lack of onboard FX is a bonus there as it'll force you to concentrate on the raw sound. Then you just run it through your favourite delay and reverb and you'll grin

Another option might be a JP8000/8080 as they also have a neat and programmable layout, and sound great too.
Old 17th September 2012
  #10
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the donal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For just over 600 squids you could also get a Blofeld keyboard (from your opening post, it sounds like you need keys, rather than just a module- if not, the Blofeld module is even cheaper). Not too many knobs to be sure, but the interface is surprisingly easy and it is quite deep once you start programming.

Capable of very good classic sounds and nice atmospheres plus some real nastiness if you want it, plus wavetables, which is a real 80s thing anyway!
Old 17th September 2012
  #11
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ksandvik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would also get a Minibrute as they now finally are shipping.
Old 17th September 2012
  #12
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samwell7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
+1 on the minibrute,
If you can't get one of those get a microkorg over a GAIA, I've had both and the microkorg sounds a lot better IMHO especially when it comes to bass, the GAIA has a few extra features but it isn't worth being double the price of the microkorg (that's how it is in Australia anyways)

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 17th September 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
the GAiA does have one leg up on the microkorg and thats horns. the GAiA can do horns and other brass beautifully. but id rather have bass and a few hundred dollars than horns anyday.

but if you can get a minibrute go for it. im gettin one as soon as they hit zzounds.com
Old 17th September 2012
  #14
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The Minibrute does sound pretty cool from what I have heard.
I'm not sure about getting a monophonic synth first up though.

I would recommend something with a lot of knobs so you can quickly learn the basics of synthesis and programming, without scrolling through a bunch of sub menu's.
Old 17th September 2012
  #15
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samwell7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The minibrute seems to be the only cheaper synth that has a lot of knobs and sliders, the fact that each knob and slider has only 1 dedicated function makes it the perfect way to learn synthesis, the only minus is that it is mono and will limit you a bit for chords and stuff like that. I'd be more than happy with a minibrute for a first synth, I'm still waiting for mine :/ haha

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 17th September 2012
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
samwell7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goony ➡️
I keep looking at the minibrute, but its been due for release here in the UK for months now, and still not here yet... Microkorg interested me, but looked fiddly to create own sounds...
The microkorg is actually surprisingly easy and fast to use and didn't take much getting used to either. Its almost systematic, also I like that if you load a patch and go to change a knob (e.g cutoff) it doesn't change until you get to the same value I.e if the patch has the cutoff right down and the knob is up and you touch the knob the cutoff won't suddenly jump up to a high frequency and rip your face off, it will only change if you turn the knob down to the original value and then you can turn it up and down smoothly.
haha I hope you understand what I mean or if another user can further explain what I mean, I'm at work on my phone trying to be sneaky haha

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 17th September 2012
  #17
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verve92's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Gaia was my first synth.
Can't go wrong as you will learn to program fast as everything is laid out with no menus or LCD. Plus 64 voice polyphony and mono mode.
Good sounding VA for the price and inspired the synth rig you see below.
I still play it more often than I thought I would.
Old 17th September 2012
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
samwell7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 ➡️
Gaia was my first synth.
Can't go wrong as you will learn to program fast as everything is laid out with no menus or LCD. Plus 64 voice polyphony and mono mode.
Good sounding VA for the price and inspired the synth rig you see below.
I still play it more often than I thought I would.
Gaia was my first synth also, it isn't bad I just don't believe its worth the price compared to the microkorg, the Gaia is about $879 here and the microkorg is $459, to me it isn't worth almost double, the micro has mono mode and unison also and pretty extensive modulation abilities for the price
But I guess its up to the OP, the R3 he mentioned is also very good, but if he went something cheaper like the microkorg he could probably get the minibrute aswell for not much more than his budget (I think, not exactly sure of prices over there)


Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 17th September 2012
  #19
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
another very good option to go with is a DSI mopho desktop synth with a cheap midi keyboard. the mopho has AMAZING sounds, a price around $325 and learning howto use a desktop synth and howto use midi would be -very- benneficial.
Old 17th September 2012
  #20
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
midi just flies over my head, I am a drummer after all :-) (just about to sell my Roland TD9 kit), i do like the idea of the mono minibrute (dont have to worry about chords lol), on the subject of the microkorg which is the better the microkorg or the microkorg xl...
Old 17th September 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goony ➡️
midi just flies over my head, I am a drummer after all :-) (just about to sell my Roland TD9 kit), i do like the idea of the mono minibrute (dont have to worry about chords lol), on the subject of the microkorg which is the better the microkorg or the microkorg xl...
the microkorg original is better cuz the xl is full of sub menus that are a bitch to scroll thru. they took off all the navigation knobs and replaced em with one big nav. knob. altho i do wanna check out the microkorg xl+ that just came out.
Old 17th September 2012
  #22
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
the xl has usb doesnt it? Im guesssing could plug into my laptop and edit via that..
Old 18th September 2012
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
samwell7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goony ➡️
the xl has usb doesnt it? Im guesssing could plug into my laptop and edit via that..
Pretty sure it does, the minibrute does too, by edit what do you mean? If you don't mind tweaking knobs on a computer screen you can save yourself some cash and just use vst's, even though they most likely won't sound as good as hardware, even if the hardware is virtual analog

Ed: +1 to microkorg over microkorg XL for the same reason stated above
Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 18th September 2012
  #24
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goony ➡️
the xl has usb doesnt it? Im guesssing could plug into my laptop and edit via that..
you can edit the microkorg original on your pc too. you just need to get a midi2usb cable. i got mine from amazon.com for literaly 60 cents. then you goto korg.com and download the editor/librarian app. and if you want you can download TONS of patches online for it.. or use ms2000 patches on it. even tho the microkorg xl has a usb port it doesnt include the cable.
Old 18th September 2012
  #25
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
ok... I heard from GAK here in UK the MiniBrute expected in October, along with Novations MiniNova (looks like a microkorg rival)
Old 19th September 2012
  #26
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samwell7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Good choices, I've gotta look into that MiniNova haha

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 19th September 2012
  #27
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If it's your first synth you want something that will inspire your creativity but also allow you to become femiliar with the flow and architecture of synthesis. Something that will allow you to become familiar with concepts such as envelopes, LFO's, etc. The Giaia wouldn't be a bad choice, nor would a Virus. Twist a knob....get a result....understand what happened. I learned synthesis on an SH5 in the early 80's. Bought it at a fire sale in a music store for $100.00. I didn't know a VCA from a UFO. But having all of those things right there ...it eventually all came together, and that was very helpful.
Old 19th September 2012
  #28
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login's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Mininova or ultranova > microkorg, just by the synmth engine

Ultranova also gives you an audiointerface and a controller.
Old 19th September 2012
  #29
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mike vee's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
for sure the mopho x4
Old 19th September 2012
  #30
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goony's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I do a basic understanding of synths, always been interested in them.

i just seen Waldorf Blowfeld within price range as well..Dont know much about them thou..
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