Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
fellis
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Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by fellis » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:44 am

Looking to buy an analogue synth (not necessarily a modern one, so vintage is on the cards). Ideally it would have a keyboard and MIDI output and input so I could use it to send MIDI to Live to record in sequences and then Live could send MIDI back to it to make it play audio. I mainly want something with plenty of parameters to tweak and muck around with and am looking for pad/lead sounds. Any advice?
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googoo
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by googoo » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:17 am

Budget?

artpunk
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by artpunk » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:31 am

fellis wrote:Looking to buy an analogue synth (not necessarily a modern one, so vintage is on the cards). Ideally it would have a keyboard and MIDI output and input so I could use it to send MIDI to Live to record in sequences and then Live could send MIDI back to it to make it play audio. I mainly want something with plenty of parameters to tweak and muck around with and am looking for pad/lead sounds. Any advice?
Probably of prime importance is the question: What is your budget?
I am certainly not an expert like Marc Doty (look up automatic gainsay on youtube) who seems to have road-tested every synth in existence, but can try and help, I'm sure many others here will have useful advice to contribute too. Sometimes 'vintage ones' cost way more than modern alternatives. Don't necessarily discount a rack-mount or desktop option as a good controller keyboard can serve you well with multiple instruments both hardware & virtual, velocity sensitivity is a must and aftertouch is desirable if you are looking at that option however. (I've found the keyboards that come with Arturia's analogue experience range to be reasonably good)
Due to the complexity and cost of components most analogue synths are monophonic, once you get to the polyphonic area the cost really starts going up, (although the newer options out there like Elektron's Analog4 and Dave Smith's Mophox4 look interesting!) - but don't discount the monophonics for pad sounds as you can spread the tuning of the oscillators on units with more than one oscillator to get nice pad sounds and depending on the options of any given unit the filtering options can spread/pan the sound across a stereo field too.
Different makes/brands of analogue synths and the way their circuits are built, the type of filters used etc will all give each a unique kind of sound If you can, do some homework and do a hands-on with a few potentials on your list to hear what they sound like (keeping in mind the amp/speakers they are going through in any given store can affect the sound)

“... it was just to make an average listener go: ‘What the fuck is this?’ That’s a real inspiration for me and something that I will explore more on upcoming recordings.”
- Wally De Backer (Gotye) quoting Ween's intention behind making records

loydb
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by loydb » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:16 pm

Without knowing your budget, it's really hard to make a recommendation. There's a lot of ground between a Monotron and a Buchla.

If you are willing to get your hands dirty, you can *build* your own modular. Check out musicfromouterspace.com, and see my sig for a couple of project logs.
MFOS Ultimate Expand-o-tron Build Log: http://www.electro-music.com/forum/view ... 797#308797
MFOS Mini-Controller Build Log [FINISHED!]: http://www.electro-music.com/forum/view ... hp?t=42968

fellis
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by fellis » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:08 am

cheers for the words, I'm not looking to spend a lot at allmaybe $200-$300 so super basic. Just want something to physically prgram rather than turning knobs on a screen all the time!
TUTORIALS at: youtube.com/fellismusic

willdahbe
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by willdahbe » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:41 am

fellis wrote:cheers for the words, I'm not looking to spend a lot at allmaybe $200-$300 so super basic. Just want something to physically prgram rather than turning knobs on a screen all the time!
Going to be hard to find a knobby analog synth at that price range. I'm sure there are some out there, but you're going to be looking for awhile. I would suggest a Roland Alpha Juno 1 or 2, but there are no knobs on it, only one alpha dial. You could get the PG-300 programer along with it to program, but that will add a few hundred dollars on top.

You could go with a desktop unit such as this http://mutable-instruments.net/anushri. You have to build it yourself, but it cuts down the price quite a bit. As far as i've heard and read on the net is all of their synths are really really good. They hold their ground quite well next to the more popular and classic analog and digital synths.

loydb
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by loydb » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:54 am

You may want to save a little longer and grab a Minibrute or a Dark Energy. Or build an MFOS Soundlab II.
MFOS Ultimate Expand-o-tron Build Log: http://www.electro-music.com/forum/view ... 797#308797
MFOS Mini-Controller Build Log [FINISHED!]: http://www.electro-music.com/forum/view ... hp?t=42968

JuanSOLO
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by JuanSOLO » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:20 am

loydb wrote:You may want to save a little longer and grab a Minibrute or a Dark Energy. Or build an MFOS Soundlab II.
or SlimPhatty or Minataur.

I recently got a Korg Poly 800 for $135. It's not exactly analogue, but it sounds amazing and it has a joystick.

googoo
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by googoo » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:55 pm

200-300 dolars. How about a Waldorf Pulse or a Novation Bass Station - both monophonic but nice. You could maybe snare a Roland JX3P - polyphonic and very underrated - not many hands on controls but easy to program even without the PG200 controller.
Also check out the MFB range of synths.

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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by crystalmsc » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:01 pm

fellis wrote:Ideally it would have a keyboard and MIDI output and input so I could use it to send MIDI to Live to record in sequences and then Live could send MIDI back to it to make it play audio. I mainly want something with plenty of parameters to tweak
I just played with the minibrute, it's an amazing little synth and fit most what you are looking really well.
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XSIMan
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by XSIMan » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:55 pm

Try U-he DIVA & ACE first if I had to go hardware it would be the Jupiter 8. You can't tell DIVA and a Jupiter 8 apart.

artpunk
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by artpunk » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:33 am

Given your budget and desire to have tweakable parameters, the above suggestions are good ones, save just a bit more and your horizons open up considerably. The Arturia Minibrute offers an amazing amount of parameter control (albeit without being able to store settings, but that's not neccessarily a bad thing) and great bang for buck, Doepfer Dark Energy or Slim Phatty... All good options, haven't played with the mutable instruments stuff but have heard good things about them too.
If I was pushed for one option I would go for the Minibrute as it gives you a great hands-on understanding of how subtractive analogue synthesis works bundled in a nice package for a great price.

Good luck and have fun! Let us know how you go. Ever since I bought my first analogue in the 80's (a Korg MS-20) I have never lost my love of analogue synths, you won't look back!
:D

“... it was just to make an average listener go: ‘What the fuck is this?’ That’s a real inspiration for me and something that I will explore more on upcoming recordings.”
- Wally De Backer (Gotye) quoting Ween's intention behind making records

fellis
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by fellis » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:41 am

Cheers for all the help guys, I'll let you know how I go!
TUTORIALS at: youtube.com/fellismusic

Machinesworking
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:02 am

My vote is for the Minataur.
Sounds freaking amazing, and comes with it's own built in controller. :wink:

artpunk
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Re: Analogue Synth Reccomendations

Post by artpunk » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:14 am

Machinesworking wrote:My vote is for the Minataur.
Sounds freaking amazing, and comes with it's own built in controller. :wink:
I love the Minitaur as well, but the OP should be made aware that Minitaur's active pitch range tops out at C4/Midi note 72.
Important if the OP wants to play leads above that range. :D

“... it was just to make an average listener go: ‘What the fuck is this?’ That’s a real inspiration for me and something that I will explore more on upcoming recordings.”
- Wally De Backer (Gotye) quoting Ween's intention behind making records

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