First hardware synth

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
AnX
KVRAF
9225 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:06 am

I thought that was too big for your live set up?

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KVRAF
1948 posts since 15 Aug, 2012 from Australia

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:15 am

BONES wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:54 pm
Every live set (bar one) we've played since I bought it so, at a guess, 20 to 25 songs.
I ordered the Novation Summit from StoreDJ on christmas eve. That morning it was the usual price but as I was surfing abouts 4pm, I noticed it was advertised at $2650...It was a new one, not a demo and they were still advertising an ‘open box’ special at 3100...I figured it was an error on their part and squeezed the trigger on it. Come Boxing day, I rec’d an email from them, giving me a confirmation and a January 10th delivery date...It arrived at my place on the seventh...

Wouldn’t you have been narky if you’d have bought one the day before?
I'm tired of being insane. I'm going outsane for some fresh air.

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GRRRRRRR!
11414 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:31 am

Nice catch! And yeah, "narky" wouldn't begin to describe how I'd feel. I just went to check out MicroMonsta 2 again and they are already sold out. If I want one, it looks like I'll have to wait for Batch 3 now.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, JP6K, Hexeract, Vacuum Pro, TRK-01, Knifonium, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

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KVRAF
1948 posts since 15 Aug, 2012 from Australia

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:35 am

BONES wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:31 am
Nice catch! And yeah, "narky" wouldn't begin to describe how I'd feel. I just went to check out MicroMonsta 2 again and they are already sold out. If I want one, it looks like I'll have to wait for Batch 3 now.
I held off on the MicroMonsta 2as well. I found out yesterday though that there’s now a PreenFM3...It was in stock as well.
I have the PreenFM2 but I haven’t bothered with it for quite some time.
I'm tired of being insane. I'm going outsane for some fresh air.

KVRist

Topic Starter

158 posts since 4 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:31 pm

How is the Yamaha Reface CS as a starter synth? I read it is very hands-on and it also sounds quite inspiring. Any experiences with it?

KVRAF
3007 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:49 pm

Analog Four Mk2, when you master it, you can use anything ;)

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KVRAF
1520 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:39 pm

BONES wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:54 pm
Every live set (bar one) we've played since I bought it so, at a guess, 20 to 25 songs.
Just here to back Bones up on the 'Novas as always, 'cause the Ultra was my band's only keyboard for years - we needed something small that could replicate everying we did in the studio (and it did some duty there too itself), including rhodes / wurli, mellotrons, organs, etc.

I never sat down and A/B'd it with other kit 'cause I find that kinda useless, so I won't argue whether it sounds as fat or punchy for certain sounds. But in real-world use and in a mix, it's stupid great bang-for-the-buck. And you don't need to go crazy with the effects, but using the eq / distortion (which can be velocity controlled - one of my favorite features), can really help your sound (for live use, those are particularly awesome features). All features on the Mini of course.

For the OP, if you really want to stick with something simple for learning and can do mono, I'd think the Monologue or BassStation 2 would be great, because you can't get into trouble with tons of modulation options, etc, the layouts are simple and sensible, and they sound great. You can do a lot with the basics and they have big sweet spots.

Synths with a lot of features can be tricky - even someting as simple as filter key-tracking on an init patch can cause unexpected behavior when you're learning. If you need poly, I think the Mini/Ultra Novas are great but have a LOT of those features; kit like the Miniloque is a bit more straightforward for learning. Though if youre getting a Minilogue, you almost gotta go XD. And get more complicated ;)

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KVRAF
1520 posts since 19 May, 2011 from North Carolina

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:43 pm

BONES wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:54 pm
Every live set (bar one) we've played since I bought it so, at a guess, 20 to 25 songs.
Just here to back Bones up on the 'Novas as always, 'cause the Ultra was my band's only keyboard for years - we needed something small that could replicate everying we did in the studio (and it did some duty there too itself), including rhodes / wurli, mellotrons, organs, etc.

I never sat down and A/B'd it with other kit 'cause I find that kinda useless, so I won't argue whether it sounds as fat or punchy for certain sounds. But in real-world use and in a mix, it's stupid great bang-for-the-buck. And you don't need to go crazy with the effects, but using the eq / distortion (which can be velocity controlled - one of my favorite features), can really help your sound (especially live). All features on the Mini of course.

For the OP, if you really want to stick with something simple for learning and can do mono, I'd think the Monologue or BassStation 2 would be great, because you can't get into trouble with tons of modulation options, etc, the layouts are simple and sensible, and they sound great. You can do a lot with the basics and they have big sweet spots.

Synths with a lot of features can be tricky - even someting as simple as filter key-tracking on an init patch can cause unexpected behavior when you're learning. If you need poly, I think the Mini/Ultra Novas are great but but the plus/minus is they are feature rich and not immediate to program outside and editor; kit like the Miniloque is a bit more straightforward for learning. Though if your'e getting a Minilogue, you almost gotta go XD. And spend more money, and get more complicated ;)

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GRRRRRRR!
11414 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:42 pm

LocalTrack19 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:31 pm
How is the Yamaha Reface CS as a starter synth? I read it is very hands-on and it also sounds quite inspiring. Any experiences with it?
It doesn't have patch memory so you can't save your sounds. That's enough to stop me from even looking at it.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, JP6K, Hexeract, Vacuum Pro, TRK-01, Knifonium, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

KVRist

Topic Starter

158 posts since 4 Jul, 2020

Post Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:28 am

BONES wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:42 pm
LocalTrack19 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:31 pm
How is the Yamaha Reface CS as a starter synth? I read it is very hands-on and it also sounds quite inspiring. Any experiences with it?
It doesn't have patch memory so you can't save your sounds. That's enough to stop me from even looking at it.
Isn’t there an iOS app available to store presets? And how is it sound-wise?

KVRist
193 posts since 24 Jan, 2017

Post Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:07 am

LocalTrack19 wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:28 am
BONES wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:42 pm
LocalTrack19 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:31 pm
How is the Yamaha Reface CS as a starter synth? I read it is very hands-on and it also sounds quite inspiring. Any experiences with it?
It doesn't have patch memory so you can't save your sounds. That's enough to stop me from even looking at it.
Isn’t there an iOS app available to store presets? And how is it sound-wise?
There’s this but I don’t see the Reface as supported:

https://coffeeshopped.com/patch-base

KVRist

Topic Starter

158 posts since 4 Jul, 2020

Post Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:49 am

zadillo wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:07 am
LocalTrack19 wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:28 am
BONES wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:42 pm
LocalTrack19 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:31 pm
How is the Yamaha Reface CS as a starter synth? I read it is very hands-on and it also sounds quite inspiring. Any experiences with it?
It doesn't have patch memory so you can't save your sounds. That's enough to stop me from even looking at it.
Isn’t there an iOS app available to store presets? And how is it sound-wise?
There’s this but I don’t see the Reface as supported:

https://coffeeshopped.com/patch-base
I looked it up, it’s Soundmondo on which you can store your presets and browse presets from others

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GRRRRRRR!
11414 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:58 pm

Yeah, I've tried a few of those kinds of 3rd party editor/librarians over the years - Micron, Minilogue and Rocket - and not found them very good.
NOVAkILL : Dell G7 Core i7, 32GB RAM, Win10, Zoom U24 | Studio One | Thorn, bx_oberhausen, ARP Odyssey, JP6K, Hexeract, Vacuum Pro, TRK-01, Knifonium, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket.

KVRian
1344 posts since 21 Dec, 2004

Post Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:49 pm

For 90’s sounds, there is a few synths with similar engines to the VA’s popular in the 90’s

As you’ve mentioned, the Yamaha Reface CS - similar to the AN1x
Mininova- similar to the Nova synth and K series synths
JDXI - not sure if you can combine your own partials, but it’s a much expanded sound engine using expanded principles of the Roland D50 plus I think it has analog mono synth
Alesis Micron/Akai Miniak - same sound engine as Alesis ION but way less controls

Korg Monologue, Minilogue, etc has that nice waveform display and a ton of controls to learn subtractive synthesis fairly easy.

I also think the Waldorf Blofeld is a great deal (similar to the Waldorf Q) and a powerful synth, but I like mine paired with a StereoPing Qfeld controller which gives 3 banks of 16 knobs in a compact setup for hands on control nicely labeled of all Blofeld parameters. The Matrix Controls on the Blofeld aren’t bad by themselves and screen is good sized.

I picked up a Novation KS4 for $250 used. 61 keys, aftertouch, lots of controls. Novation support even helped me by giving me the latest OS to update to, even though it’s been out of production for awhile. Speaking of Novation, the Novation Circuit has two full blown two oscillator Nova synths in it, but needs a proper PC editor to get the most out of them, but it also has drums and a nice fun sequencer.

So many options these days for $500 or less. You could also get a keyboard controller with a bank of knobs and sliders for mapping to an iOS synth if you have an iPad. iPad has some powerful synths, samplers, full DAWs, drum machines, groove boxes. It also has editors that can work with some existing production synths if you don’t mind the somewhat klunky interpretations of the editors.
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KVRist

Topic Starter

158 posts since 4 Jul, 2020

Post Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:46 am

So I’ve narrowed the list now to:
- Deepmind 6
- Minilogue XD
- Reface CS

For learning the basis of synthesis it feels that the Reface is a very good option, whereas the Deepmind and Minilogue seem to offer more depth and more options. It is a pity that due to lockdown here I cannot test it in stores to see if I connect with it. Decisions decisions....

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