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Ready for my first analog synth - Suggestions?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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Nig
KVRist
 
449 posts since 12 Oct, 2009, from Ireland

Postby Nig; Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:20 am

Dogboy73 wrote:If you want hands on then the SP/LP might not be the best choice with the one knob per module approach. I love the DSI Tetra but without a decent MIDI controller hooked up it's as much use as a chocolate fireguard. If you're happy to use a synth in a similar way then that opens up your choices somewhat. But for pure hands on-ness goodness you really want everything on the front panel of the actual thing.

- Moog Minitaur: Very hands on, might be a bit limited in scope sound pallet wise, excellent MIDI control. I'm buying one of these for sure.

- Moog Slim Phatty: More scope than the Minitaur but only one knob per module makes it less hands on than it could be.

- Doepfer Dark Energy: Very hands on, maybe a bit small & fiddly for large hands. Semi-modular so should have some scope for some interesting sonic experiments.

- Vermona Mono Lancet: I know very little about this but it looks very hands on & people have a lot of good stuff to say about it. Very interesting little synth.

- MFB Kraftzwerg/Megazwerg: Very hands on, good sonic potential, dubious build quality (as with most of the MFB stuff). Check out the upcoming MFB Dominion X



The AS Telemark has also been mentioned. Bit beyond your budget but this one looks/sounds really good. Nice, alrge hands on interface, semi-modular. This one looks hot & I was close to buying one myself until Tom Oberheim re-launched the SEM (the AS Semblance/Telemark is based on the SEM).

I wouldn't rule out the Minibrute either. This looks like it is going to be hot, it's very, very well priced & is quite small. Although I agree that the keyboard is a bit of a distraction. Would have appealed to me more without it.


Thanks for your mini reviews. Ya only thing throwing me off the SP is the lack of knobs. Pity Moog don't produce a knobby version. The Dominion X and the Telemark look really good. The semi modular part of the Telemark is a nice bonus.

Just been searching round and there doesn't seem to be a shop in Ireland that sell things like MBF/Vermona/Analog Solutions which is a real shame. Next option is head to London but when I add that up it could be at least €200-€300 better spent on gear. Any online stores have a good system for letting you try stuff at home and send back what you don't what?
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Dogboy73
KVRian
 
1100 posts since 29 Jan, 2004, from UK

Postby Dogboy73; Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:44 am

Nig wrote:Just been searching round and there doesn't seem to be a shop in Ireland that sell things like MBF/Vermona/Analog Solutions which is a real shame. Next option is head to London but when I add that up it could be at least €200-€300 better spent on gear. Any online stores have a good system for letting you try stuff at home and send back what you don't what?

There aren't that many outlets for the MFB & AS stuff as far as I can tell. I nearly bought a Telemark once. That would have been direct from Analogue Solutions. I bought an MFB 522 drum machine from Thomann (I think they sell direct as well). I've not seen MFB stuff in too many other places.

I think the best thing to do is listen to as many demos, watch as many videos as possible, ask questions to owners, read reviews & make the best decision based on all this. I'm not sure many outlets (if any!) would operate a trial period scheme. And I've always found that trying gear in a shop doesn't really give you much of an insight into what the thing is all about. Usually you'll be demoing on headphones & you'd need a really good amount of time to demo properly. I demoed a Little Phatty in Digital Village (on headphones) and came away quite dissapointed. Yet I've heard loads of stuff from the LP & SP that I've been really impressed with.
himalaya
KVRAF
 
4017 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:49 am

I think in the end you just need to be bold and go for it. None of the listed synths are bad. There are sonic differences, and some will prefer the sound of A over B, but, none of those will leave you thinking that you're not listening to good quality analog sounds. And since this is your first analog synth, I'd really go for the one which offers direct access to all parameters with a good combination of synthesis options (for the price).

Sadly, most of Youtube demos are not that helpful either as most are of the 'random blips and noise' kind rather than set in a musical context, which would be more useful.



This is one of the most beautiful synth demos I've heard on Youtube, trully inspired. If this was done on any of the new synths mentioned in this thread they would sell like hot cakes (I guess):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-16YRDnc ... r_embedded

These are still (relatively) cheap second hand so perhaps it could be a good alternative to a new synth.
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
Dogboy73
KVRian
 
1100 posts since 29 Jan, 2004, from UK

Postby Dogboy73; Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:05 am

himalaya wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-16YRDncJRA&feature=player_embedded

These are still (relatively) cheap second hand so perhaps it could be a good alternative to a new synth.

Lovely synth the SH-09. One of my mates has one of those & after wanting an SH-101 for years five minutes with this thing & all that went out of the window! I've bid for several of these on fee-bay over the last year or three. Each time they've ended up a bit higher than I was willing to pay or thought it was worth. But if I could find a good example for a decent price I'd snap it up ASAFP!!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from= ... Categories
himalaya
KVRAF
 
4017 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:27 am

Dogboy73 wrote:Each time they've ended up a bit higher than I was willing to pay or thought it was worth.

I know what you mean! :D
I've been there too, and everytime I'd try to outbid the other person, moving the max bid threshold further and further, beyond what I was willing to pay, and then I was always reminded that if i go overboard my wife would simply kill me. :hihi:
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
breakmixer
KVRAF
 
4185 posts since 14 Nov, 2008, from UK

Postby breakmixer; Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:41 am

himalaya wrote:This is one of the most beautiful synth demos I've heard on Youtube, trully inspired. If this was done on any of the new synths mentioned in this thread they would sell like hot cakes (I guess):

These are still (relatively) cheap second hand so perhaps it could be a good alternative to a new synth.


Sounds awesome, how would the Mopho or Arturia Minibrute fair up in comparison, I eventually want an Analogue synth too... :pray:
Dogboy73
KVRian
 
1100 posts since 29 Jan, 2004, from UK

Postby Dogboy73; Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:50 am

breakmixer wrote:
himalaya wrote:This is one of the most beautiful synth demos I've heard on Youtube, trully inspired. If this was done on any of the new synths mentioned in this thread they would sell like hot cakes (I guess):

These are still (relatively) cheap second hand so perhaps it could be a good alternative to a new synth.


Sounds awesome, how would the Mopho or Arturia Minibrute fair up in comparison, I eventually want an Analogue synth too... :pray:

Fairly good I'd say. There's clearly effects on the SH-09 demo posted above. I think if you treated the Mopho & Minibrute sounds in a similar way you could achieve a similar sound. My Spectral Audio Neptune 2 can sound quite aggressive. But put it through a bit of delay & subtle reverb & it takes on a much more 'vintage' quality, which is really nice. A lot of demos of vintage synths on YouTube seem to employ this technique. I was blown away by CountlovE's demos on YouTube. But he tends to put things through an Eventide reverb, which makes everything sound nice! You could probably make an SH-201 sound nice with an Eventide 2016 strapped over the output!! :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/CountlovE?o ... sults_main
breakmixer
KVRAF
 
4185 posts since 14 Nov, 2008, from UK

Postby breakmixer; Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:18 am

Dogboy73 wrote:
breakmixer wrote:
himalaya wrote:This is one of the most beautiful synth demos I've heard on Youtube, trully inspired. If this was done on any of the new synths mentioned in this thread they would sell like hot cakes (I guess):

These are still (relatively) cheap second hand so perhaps it could be a good alternative to a new synth.


Sounds awesome, how would the Mopho or Arturia Minibrute fair up in comparison, I eventually want an Analogue synth too... :pray:

Fairly good I'd say. There's clearly effects on the SH-09 demo posted above. I think if you treated the Mopho & Minibrute sounds in a similar way you could achieve a similar sound. My Spectral Audio Neptune 2 can sound quite aggressive. But put it through a bit of delay & subtle reverb & it takes on a much more 'vintage' quality, which is really nice. A lot of demos of vintage synths on YouTube seem to employ this technique. I was blown away by CountlovE's demos on YouTube. But he tends to put things through an Eventide reverb, which makes everything sound nice! You could probably make an SH-201 sound nice with an Eventide 2016 strapped over the output!! :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/CountlovE?o ... sults_main


Cheers, yeah that demo of the SH-09 has a kind of Man Parrish/Kraftwerk kinda vibe to it, I'm torn between the Mopho and Minibrute as the Mopho is cheaper but has a couple of VST's available now, and you should be able to save patches, but the Minibrute is pure old school style hands on with no patch recall...
himalaya
KVRAF
 
4017 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:07 am

breakmixer wrote:
himalaya wrote:This is one of the most beautiful synth demos I've heard on Youtube, trully inspired. If this was done on any of the new synths mentioned in this thread they would sell like hot cakes (I guess):

These are still (relatively) cheap second hand so perhaps it could be a good alternative to a new synth.


Sounds awesome, how would the Mopho or Arturia Minibrute fair up in comparison, I eventually want an Analogue synth too... :pray:


I guess that in the right hands they would sound very nice as well. I don't have Mopho nor Minibrute so can't judge their sonic strengths and weaknesses. But what I'd say is that with carefull sound design, good production and mix technique pretty much anything can sound very nice. Having said that, this Sh-09 demo has some very lovely sounds which stand on their own, and the effects used do not alter their signature sound.

For example, notice how many sounds use LFO in various ways to animate the sound. It is very subtle most of the time, sometimes modulating the amp, sometimes doing PWM duties, which taken as a whole - when all sounds are sitting together in a mix - it makes for a very lush sound. Obviously EQ could have been used to even out any rough edges, we don't know that. I suppose, we could ask the creator of that demo to post that mix withut any effects, as a scientific excercise :hihi: and hear the difference.

You can do the same in Mopho and the effect should be more or less very similar, not accounting for the difference in the raw oscillator and filter sound. You'd need to be restrained in what you use in Mopho since if you use both oscillators and both sub oscillators with some feedback and modulation galore, you will loose that 1osc+sub character present in the SH-09 video.

Then at the end of the day it's the sheer musicality of that demo which carries it through. I mean check this fella's other videos, especially this :love: I'd love an album of music like this :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AtbuYRV ... re=related
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design
Jesse J
KVRist
 
324 posts since 2 Oct, 2002, from Finland, Europe

Postby Jesse J; Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:17 am

The Arturia Minibrute would be a nice entry into analog and with it's included MIDI2CV interface, it's just a steal! Get it and then add a patch-panel SEM from Tom Oberheim.

I must say I'm loving my Eurorack Modular, so If you at all have feelings towards that, go ahead and move in that direction, but prepare to kiss all your money goodbye as it is very addictive (and fun)!
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djshire
KVRist
 
408 posts since 10 Jun, 2011, from Detroit

Postby djshire; Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:09 am

I have the Dark Energy, and it is a very nice synth. I think I've done maybe 10% of what I can do with it, and I've had it for 8 months. I would highly recommend it....if it wasn't discontinued. Apparently Doepfer had some kind of trouble with the chip manufacturer for the DE, and the DE is no longer being produced. So if you want one, get it now. I have heard there are plans to make a mk2 of the DE, with a different chip, but that is still up in the air.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6552 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:24 pm

Nig wrote:- Moog Minitaur: Looks amazing but I wonder if it could be too powerful to tame for my uses

BTW, if it matters, I make Deep House/Tech House/Techno.

The Minitaur is not too powerful to tame and is perfect for Deep House/Tech House/Techno basses and leads. IMO, it's the best sounding new analog since the Alesis Andromeda.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6552 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:38 pm

dayjob wrote:the mintaur is a one trick pony. your basic moog bass and a little more around the edges.

It's a sweet lead synth, as well. Personally, it does nearly all the things I want an analog for.

also, worth checking out when it's available is the arturia minibrute. laid out very much like a sh-101 but a very different sound. kind of hard to overlook if you like how it sounds.

It actually pulls off the SH-101 sound well. While I personally prefer the Minitaur for the kinds of sounds I'm after, the Minibrute is better for anyone looking to push analog sounds into new territories. It does things I've never heard from an analog before, not even from modulars.
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6552 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:40 pm

Shy wrote:I highly recommend saving a little and getting a Doepfer A-100 Basic System 2.

The Minitaur sounds better, IMO. A modular is overkill for Deep House/Tech House/Techno, anyway. ;)
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Uncle E
KVRAF
 
6552 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California

Postby Uncle E; Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:42 pm

breakmixer wrote:Cheers, yeah that demo of the SH-09 has a kind of Man Parrish/Kraftwerk kinda vibe to it

Man Parrish used to be a customer of mine. Great guy! He was really into the sound of the Scope synths at that time. Anyway, the SH-09 is awesome and the SH-2 is even better. :)
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