New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by hussey » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:39 pm

Gear, gear, gear. Too many options. :)

I'm looking to pick up my first synth this month (software or hardware). As you can tell, i'm into creating dirt, gritty soundscapes. I have a chain of guitar pedals for manipulating a sound into something lo-fi, but I need to pick up a synth that will match my needs. I've narrowed it down to this:

Hardware:DSI Desktop Evolver, Waldorf Blofeld, Alesis Micron, Doepfer Dark Energy.

Software: Tassman 4, Reaktor, Omnisphere, Reaktor, Metasynth.

I'm having trouble deciding software over hardware. I'd like to get something that I wouldn't have to spend years mastering. This is why I haven't picked up Reaktor, or indeed Komplete before. So many options, but such a learning curve.

Has anyone any advice, or some recommendations for me?

Homebelly
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:52 pm
Location: Aotearoa New Zealand
Contact:

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Homebelly » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:24 pm

If you plan on using lots of guitar pedals as part of your signal chain, and your not too concerned with having some kind of instant recall of presets that include your guitar pedal signal chain, then i would recommend you look for a second hand nord lead 2 or a novation nova in any of its incarnations. Both of these synths lack all of the candy, but have very cool VA modeling and sound great as raw in your face building blocks for FX warping mayhem. I'm looking at getting me a nord lead 2 if i can sell one of my guitars this weekend. Both the nord and the nova can be found pretty cheap second hand.

If you do get swayed to go software then of the very cool choices you have laid out in front of you, my choice would be Reaktor.
R5 is as simple, or as complicated as you want it to be and has a wide open vista of possibilities for sound design.
The only down side is the vast number of presets, new users tend to get lost in it for a while.

My personal favorite is lives operator and then live's routing, racks and other devices.
Check out Christian Kline's site and sounds.
http://www.christiankleine.com
15" 2.4 MBP/Live/Sampler/Operator/ Home made Dumble clone/Two Strats/One Jazz Bass.
Come and visit any time= Soundcloud

Machinesworking
Posts: 11131
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Machinesworking » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:40 pm

One you haven't mentioned, the Obverheim SEM. Two voices instead of one like the Dark Energy. :) Though the Dark Energy is a good choice too. As long as you have a real sound card any FX and sequencing can be added in Live, so IMO a fat oscillator and filter is what you want, besides this being a set up that immediately gets you tweaking. 8)

Dalski
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:59 pm

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Dalski » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:05 pm

I'm with homebelly on the software front. Reaktor 5 is really a whole multitude of synths, samplers, sequencers & FX and they're pretty much all free, excellent user library to choose from!

On the hardware front i'd say at least wait until after NAMM next weekend and see what's released / announced. Noticed you mention DSI, well they have something new coming...

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by hussey » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:28 pm

Homebelly wrote:If you plan on using lots of guitar pedals as part of your signal chain, and your not too concerned with having some kind of instant recall of presets that include your guitar pedal signal chain, then i would recommend you look for a second hand nord lead 2 or a novation nova in any of its incarnations. Both of these synths lack all of the candy, but have very cool VA modeling and sound great as raw in your face building blocks for FX warping mayhem. I'm looking at getting me a nord lead 2 if i can sell one of my guitars this weekend. Both the nord and the nova can be found pretty cheap second hand.

If you do get swayed to go software then of the very cool choices you have laid out in front of you, my choice would be Reaktor.
R5 is as simple, or as complicated as you want it to be and has a wide open vista of possibilities for sound design.
The only down side is the vast number of presets, new users tend to get lost in it for a while.

My personal favorite is lives operator and then live's routing, racks and other devices.
Check out Christian Kline's site and sounds.
http://www.christiankleine.com
Thank you for the reply, Homebelly. I've been up and down with my decision to get Reaktor. I won't be using it for ensembles, I have M4L for that. The library looks incredible, but it's also putting me off. That sounds stupid, but the learning curve for learning sooo many ensembles could be years. I've no problem sitting down and learning, but there has to be a point when you ask yourself, "When was the last time I made music with this?" That said, it could be everything I need. Do you own Reaktor, homebelly?

That website is very interesting by the way, homebelly. Is he someone your interested in?

gjm
Posts: 3679
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:53 am

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by gjm » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:03 pm

hussey wrote:
Hardware:DSI Desktop Evolver, Waldorf Blofeld, Alesis Micron, Doepfer Dark Energy.

Software: Tassman 4, Reaktor, Omnisphere, Reaktor, Metasynth.
Your subconscious thoughts already know what you want :P
iMac - 10.10.3 - Live 9 Suite - APC40 - Axiom 61 - TX81z - Firestudio Mobile - Focal Alpha 80's - Godin Session - Home made foot controller

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by hussey » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:23 pm

hahaha, I only noticed that now. Brilliant spot, man. hahaha.

Homebelly
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:52 pm
Location: Aotearoa New Zealand
Contact:

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Homebelly » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:59 pm

hussey wrote:
That website is very interesting by the way, homebelly. Is he someone your interested in?
He is part of the development team at Ableton.
His M4L devices and operator stuff is very inspiring.

Of the list you wrote i would be inclined to go with the Blo or the DSI.
15" 2.4 MBP/Live/Sampler/Operator/ Home made Dumble clone/Two Strats/One Jazz Bass.
Come and visit any time= Soundcloud

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by hussey » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:10 pm

Oh, I see. I've spent the last hour or so looking at Reaktor, and it's starting to become very appealing. I'm using M4L for creating ensembles, so if I was to buy Reaktor, I won't be using it for that purpose. Instead, i'd like to use it for the ensembles, creating my own patches etc... Is there still a huge learning curve, even though I won't be using it for creating ensembles? I've no problem sitting down to learn, but i'm just curious to know.

hps909
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:09 am

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by hps909 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:50 pm

if you want hardware the blofeld will do exactly what you want .... but yeah reaktor is hard to beat for anything really, although you mention learning curves and reaktor really has one of the biggest around, if you want to make your own modules you can get incredibly nerdy with it not unlike max/MSP ...

but if your just using it as a player with simple routing of premade .ens or even modules like a modular synth it's not too bad.
Last edited by hps909 on Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
macbook pro 2.5 i5 os 10.12 , TC Electronik Konnekt 48, Live 9, Cubase 9, event 20/20, Waldorf Blofeld, roland tb-03, roland Jx-03, korg mikrokontrol, novation nocturn, akai lpd8

delicioso
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:28 pm

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by delicioso » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:55 pm

I wouldn't recommend Reaktor as your first synth. I'd either go for something full of dedicated controls like Gaia or Nova. Reaktor is awesome though if you know what you want out of it.

Machinesworking
Posts: 11131
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Machinesworking » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:56 pm

Reaktor is great, and it really depends on the ensemble on how much time it will take to learn to navigate it.
It's IMO a bit off putting as far as some basic tweaks, as in it doesn't explain how to get multiple audio outs from a ensemble made up of more than one synth or sequencer, but that's a minor quibble. It can be a bit of a resource hog, and IMO it's a lot more than a first synth. It will take you years to master it, though if you just use other peoples ensembles then it's not a big learning curve at all.
Again IMO, from your description and the music in your sig, I would say pick up a monophonic analogue synth like the SEM or Dark Energy, this way your basics are solid, and probably not as prone towards tweaking a preset or worrying about a song for too long, just about finishing it with the patch you've created via the pedals and synth. Reaktor is known to go on sale for 100-200$ at times, so it's something more easily picked up after getting a hardware synth.

hussey
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by hussey » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:13 pm

Machinesworking wrote: though if you just use other peoples ensembles then it's not a big learning curve at all.
Great input, machinesworking. I will be using it only for using the ensembles built in, and other peoples. I won't be making my own.

Machinesworking
Posts: 11131
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Machinesworking » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:20 am

hussey wrote:
Machinesworking wrote: though if you just use other peoples ensembles then it's not a big learning curve at all.
Great input, machinesworking. I will be using it only for using the ensembles built in, and other peoples. I won't be making my own.
Just get it then, like people have pointed out, you have a list, but really you just want Reaktor. :P
You didn't even mention the SEM or Dark Energy from my post! :lol:

Reaktor is a blast! No doubt. Between M4L and Reaktor you've got all the strange shit you'll need.

Homebelly
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:52 pm
Location: Aotearoa New Zealand
Contact:

Re: New synth for the new year (drone,industrial, metal, noise)

Post by Homebelly » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:19 am

Machinesworking wrote:
hussey wrote:
Machinesworking wrote: though if you just use other peoples ensembles then it's not a big learning curve at all.
Great input, machinesworking. I will be using it only for using the ensembles built in, and other peoples. I won't be making my own.
Just get it then, like people have pointed out, you have a list, but really you just want Reaktor. :P
You didn't even mention the SEM or Dark Energy from my post! :lol:

Reaktor is a blast! No doubt. Between M4L and Reaktor you've got all the strange shit you'll need.
And more...
You might want to hang on to some thing solid in case you get sucked down into the rabbit hole. 8O 8O 8)
15" 2.4 MBP/Live/Sampler/Operator/ Home made Dumble clone/Two Strats/One Jazz Bass.
Come and visit any time= Soundcloud

Post Reply