Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
heavensdaw
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Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by heavensdaw » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:13 pm

Hi guys

Bad case of GAS going on here!

I have always loved hardware synths, and I've had the pleasure of owning a few.. Now I have an X-Station 61 which does have it's own basically K-Station synth incorporated.. I can't honestly say that I really, really like the the synths sound, but it has it's uses, and whenever I do use it, it does add a 'presence' that I find a little extra than on my softsynths.. My softsynth list is.. Zebra, Sylenth, and Alchemy mainly..

Now I'm looking for some more sonic goodness.... Mopho? Blofeld? What? (lowish budget)

Any ideas? recommendations?

Cheers :)

Hd

Machinesworking
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by Machinesworking » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:19 pm

The Evolver desktop, or spend a bit more and get the Oberheim SEM.

heavensdaw
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by heavensdaw » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:26 pm

Yo a mate of mine has the Evolver desktop... I just can't wrestle it out of his hands though! :roll: (great little synth)

I don't know the O SEM.. Will do a google!

cheers

Hd

8O
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by 8O » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:36 pm

Recommend looking at second-hand market especially if you can reduce risk and pick up from near inbetween the inbetween. From my experience synths are noticeably cheaper on eBay in the summer too :) plus lots of people are still selling hw as they replace with sw. Also, MFB synths are fun and relatively cheap (feels like the money is saved on the case and knobs, but hey...).
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nuxnamon
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by nuxnamon » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:10 pm

i hope this is not too OT to the original post.. but i also have a few soft synths.. and while they sound great, a good hardware synth, especially analog ones always sounded better, fatter, bigger, etc.. so a while back when i had some money to spend, i looked at a couple of hardware synths.. but what one person suggested to me was to get a coloring box instead, to make all my soft synths basically fatter, or everything else i run through it.. and the suggestion i got was a Emperical Labs Fatso.. fast forward a couple years and i couldn't be happier with my UBK Fatso.. nothing like great distortion, warmth, saturation, and compression all in one box.. get the UBK version and you'll have a better compressor.. here is a recent review they just did even though the box has been out for a while..

http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/reco ... 389/review

matthews
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by matthews » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:25 pm

No love for the microkorg XL?

LeifonMars
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by LeifonMars » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:40 pm

In case you can find Juno 106 from somewhere around 600-700, don't hesitate: the best bread and butter you've ever owned.
MBP OSX 10.6.8, Live 8.4, MFII, Evolver, Monomachine, Octatrack, APC40, Launchpad

Tarekith
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by Tarekith » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:32 pm

Evolver Desktop, Alesis Micron, used K-Station.

heavensdaw
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by heavensdaw » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:54 pm

8O wrote:Recommend looking at second-hand market especially if you can reduce risk and pick up from near inbetween the inbetween. From my experience synths are noticeably cheaper on eBay in the summer too :) plus lots of people are still selling hw as they replace with sw. Also, MFB synths are fun and relatively cheap (feels like the money is saved on the case and knobs, but hey...).
Yeah.. the secondhand market is not only appealing but necessary too! I've been looking at modules too like the E-mu Orbits, Quasimidi Quasars etc.. but hmmm not so sure...

I've around 300 euros to play with.. so really not that much,
nuxnamon wrote:i hope this is not too OT to the original post.. but i also have a few soft synths.. and while they sound great, a good hardware synth, especially analog ones always sounded better, fatter, bigger, etc.. so a while back when i had some money to spend, i looked at a couple of hardware synths.. but what one person suggested to me was to get a coloring box instead, to make all my soft synths basically fatter, or everything else i run through it.. and the suggestion i got was a Emperical Labs Fatso.. fast forward a couple years and i couldn't be happier with my UBK Fatso.. nothing like great distortion, warmth, saturation, and compression all in one box.. get the UBK version and you'll have a better compressor.. here is a recent review they just did even though the box has been out for a while..

http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/reco ... 389/review
No, not at all too off topic.. man .. I'm gonna give a check out to your suggestion.. cheers.. I do like softsynths workflow wise soo much... but it's also a need to have that better, fatter, bigger, etc. thing in your productions.. isn't it?!

The blofeld does look to be a great little synth, with the programability and presence of sound to boot.. but.. Is it that much better than the softsynths that I already have?

Same with the Mopho (minus the programabilty)

My sound card does warrant a good audio input... Metric Halo ULN2 :)

cheers for the help (so far) dudes!

Hd

heavensdaw
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by heavensdaw » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:59 pm

Tarekith wrote:Alesis Micron, used K-Station.
Micron is a great sounding synth.. don't see them too often 2nd hand though..

What would the K-Station give me something I lack in the X-Station?

Hd

JuanSOLO
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by JuanSOLO » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:07 pm

Yamaha CS01, hard to find, sounds GREAT!

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Tarekith
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by Tarekith » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:30 am

heavensdaw wrote:
Tarekith wrote:Alesis Micron, used K-Station.
Micron is a great sounding synth.. don't see them too often 2nd hand though..

What would the K-Station give me something I lack in the X-Station?

Hd
Ah, if you have the X-station then probably not, sorry I missed that part.

southsounder
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by southsounder » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:38 am

+1 on running softsynths through colored analog gear while tracking.

Do you need a synth with a controller or can it just be a desktop/rack module? If the later, the Matrix 1000 and the JP-8080 are my two favorites. Both can probably be had for well under $500 US.

Check out the Ensoniq stuff too, lots of good sounds to be had for cheap and their keyboards are actually pretty sweet. FWIW they're also my favorite sounding synths for using live through a big PA. They just sound thicker and more "real" at stage volumes. Not sure I can explain the technical reasons why, but the difference is noticeable.

hacktheplanet
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by hacktheplanet » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:16 am

I have a Micron I haven't hooked up in quite a while. It's got a case too.
PM me if you're interested and we can work something out. :)
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massenmedium
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Re: Let's talk less expensive but good hardware synths..

Post by massenmedium » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:15 am

I've used Blofeld and Micron and they are both good synths. Blofeld especially - just a wonderful synthesis engine. Not to start an argument here but bear in mind that they are both digital synths. They have their own character for sure but essentially nothing a softsynth couldn't do. There's even a close softsynth equivalent to the Blofeld in Largo. Micron is also not much fun to program without a software editor.

Lots of other suggestions here for modules with at least analogue filters which will offer something different.

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