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Can anyone gimme a basic overview of how they work and what makes are good. Thanks!
all your problems solved in one little synth
What kinda sounds can you make from it? And is it easy to use?
all kinds of synthy fun... its a good, cheap starting point really. Piss easy to use too.
Seems like most indie bands have one these days!
Now I'm gonna have to go off and find myself a second hand one. Thanks for the help!
Is that meant to be a plus point? You can sound like The Killers or the new Bloc Party single! Great.
Someone who knows their stuff (or sounded like he did), was telling me that the micro korg isn't so great. Though it is about the cheapest one you can get with the features it has, and they look ace cosmetically, so maybe it would do the job.
Generally you'll save yourself a lot of money and get a lot more features if you go for software synths and a MIDI controller, but i guess it's just not the same.
I do the midi controller route, costs next to nothing but you do have to sort out all sorts of irritating problems like lag, drivers and various software issues. If I had the cash I'd go for a proper synth - dragging a pc/laptop around to gigs along with all the other gear is a nightmare.
I've got a Korg MS-10...I'm not sure I'm the best person to give you a rundown on how they work, but it's great. Buy an old one!
for the record, the microkorg is cheap - but honestly, not to be an asshole, but that REALLY doesn't make it good.
every band and their dad right now seems to have one, and it's so tinny and crap sounding. it also means that a lot of bands are starting to sound the same.
get an ALESIS MICRON - roughly the same price as a microkorg, but infinitely, infinitely better.
I have a microkorg, and although it's fairly useful (especially the vocoder), i wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I like what i've heard from the alesis micron, but it's worth spending a little extra and buying a proper analogue synth. Moog rogues are reasonably easy to get hold of, and are really reliable as far as moogs go.
pay for it in terms of (lack of) features, though. It'll sound subtly better than, say, a Micron, but with a Micron you also get 8 note polyphony, 4 part multi, 3 oscillators, a full mod matrix, 2 filters per voice, 3 envelopes, 2 LFOs and a sample and hold. A Moog Rogue will sound a bit better, but probably not noticably when there's other sounds going on at the same time, it's a monosynth, basic architecture, 2 oscillators per voice, no program memory and regular maintenance, plus 25 year old components that are more likely to go wrong.
True analogue always sounds better than digital approximations, i'd prefer to forego niceties like memory for decent sounds and access to all functions without having to go through menus...
The synth i'd really recommend is the Moog Lil' Phatty, which has analogue oscillators and filters but with all the functionality of a digital synth (program memory, reliable components, etc), but as that costs £750, it's probably not an option for a newcomer.
i have one on the corner of my room right now! its not mine, though.
Roland Juno it is. bloody nice too.
I much prefer monosynths though.
is IMMENSE. It's worth hunting for one: there are bargains to be had.
i wish Id thought about it more before i bought it. The alesis looks really good though, so get that if youre on that budget.
The Alesis thing sounds best, butI'll probably actually just head down to a place where they sell synths, muck around with the Alesis, the Microkorg, the Roland and whatever other cheaper ones they have and see which one I like best. Then I'll have the problem of finding one of them second hand, ahh well...
Btw thanks for the help!
and its ok but not amazing.
its more of a keyboard with synth sounds than a real synth.
big ol' analogue synths are where its at! i 'acquired' a yamaha cs5 and its endless fun making sounds although not hugely practical in a live environment.
My room is literally overflowing with instruments, it's kinda ridiculous, 3 guitars 2 amps and a keyboard... I don't think I'd be able to fit a huge analogue synth into it as well!
the mircokorg and the micron. The micron is much better, it's even better than it's big brother the ion.
cunt knows his shit.
the ion is overpriced and overrated.
micron takes the biscuit.
Full (and fantastic) interface on the Ion vs reverb, a delay effect and a crap sequencer on the Micron, the Ion wins all the time. Give me a full knobbed interface and a reverb pedal over a crippled interface with inbuilt reverb anyday. Other than the extra knobs and screen on the Ion and built in delay/reverb effect on the Micron, they're the same synth.
You can probably get a used Ion for the same price as a new Micron (about £250ish), and you'll get much more mileage out of it, especially as someone who's new to subtractive synthesis. Most people who own Micron's will just use the presets, as it's not especially intuitive to program and edit. Same with the MS2000 and Microkorg, a second hand MS2000 will cost the same as a Microkorg, but you'll get much more use out of it with all the programming functions laid out in front of you, rather than 4 knobs and a grid interface of the Microkorg. Other than the full interface, they're the same synth.
More knobs ftw. They may look daunting if you don't know what they do, but you'll thank yourself when you get bored of the presets and want to make your own sounds. What'll take 5 minutes and an exact knowledge of what you want to do on a Micron/Microkorg will take 10 seconds on an Ion/MS2000.
For £200, your only real options are a new Microkorg or Micron, a used Ion or MS2000 or a basic 80s analogue. I'd advise against a vintage analogue, they're a pain and will probably require some form of service, and will be extremely basic for your money. Microkorgs and Microns have crippled interfaces, so learning synthesis will be difficult, and most people don't do much more than a little basic editing of preset sounds, so I'd really only go with a used Ion or MS2000. The MS2000 is a lot more digital and sharp sounding that the Ion, the Ion sounds more like a real analogue, and can sound extremely close to a vintage Minimoog or Jupiter 8, that cost 5 times the amount. The Ion's also a lot more versatile and complex than the MS2000, you'll get more different sounds out of it. The MS2000 will only play up to 4 notes at once, so is a little bit limited in that respect, so if you've made a sound that takes a while to fade out, and you're playing chords, you're screwed. The Ion you can play 8 at once. If you can find an electronic music shop, try to play either a Microkorg or a Micron. If you prefer the sound of one other the other, get the bigger version of it used. If you have no real preference over the sound, get the Ion
The analogy of guitars isn't exactly the same as synths, as you don't just choose a synth over which one you like the sound of, like you would a Gibson vs Fender guitar, it's more like choosing between a guitar with 2 pedals or a guitar with 15 pedals. The one with 2 pedals may well sound subtly better than the one with 15, but the sonic possibilites of the one with 15 gives it the edge.
I have a rackmount version. its got some amazing preset sounds and you can twiddle knobs and creat even more sounds, all in realtime. i think they sell for about 500 pounds now.
this is all I want to know
I dont wanna spend more than £200 second hand (Im assuming in a few months there'll
be loads floating about off the back of the
"oh, our new rave band were shit" bandwagon)
Synthesizers are highly valuable in modern music. People have seen that there is a limit to what they can do with a guitar so are turning to synths to enhance their sound. Not to mention electronic and dance acts.
try out several types to see which is right for you and look for what your favourite bands are using. The MS2000 has some nice dirty sounds on but every synth has it's own character.
Re: looking for what your favourite bands are using. This is usually a mistake, as most of them use Microkorgs (because everyone else does) and just use the presets. This may be a generalisation but most synth players in indie bands havn't a clue how to use them other than dialing up a preset and playing.
that a lot of people got/will get them and then get bored of trying to learn how to use them and sell them. Not that others wont use them properly.
if this will work but try and download this flash player.
i got hold of it whilst i was studying music tech at uni and it was really useful.
it basically explains all the different aspects of a synthesizer.
let me know if works.
ive got a korg micro x that i bought 2 months ago for 400 pound, that has never been used and i have no use for...if anyones interested in buying it? thought i might as well mention it
casio + pedals wins anyway
with no presets whatsoever beats that though, surely? Haphazard, messy and the best sounds are never repeatable. It dun't 'arf bwwarrrp though.
Or this. Looks like a 70s scientific calculator; sounds like pure analogue slaughter.
the WASP is not technically analogue. BUT IT BWARRPS.