My first hardware synth: need some help

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
KVRist
31 posts since 4 Nov, 2020

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:24 am

Hello,

Sorry for the long read.

I'm in need for some expert advice and/or confirmation. I'm looking for (my first) analogue synth. Let's just assume I have every possible software synth available, but I like playing around with touchable stuff.

The sound I'm looking for is that raw and fat sound like the synthline in Parallx - Cyborg Bloodline. So basically techno purposes.

But before emptying my bankaccount on something like a Moog Grandmother, I'm looking for something more affordable. I narrowed it down to the Behringer Model D or Arturia Microbrute. But suggestions are more than welcome. So basically around 300 euro.

I know I need a keyboard for the Model D. I already have a 61 keys MIDI keyboard (M-Audio Oxygen) which I probably will continu to use for all kinds of playing fun and my piano lessons I'm neglecting. But it doesn't have MIDI out. So I will need a keyboard with MIDI out. Preferably one with options like ARP etc. Everywhere I look, people seem to be using the Arturia Keystep, so that one will be purchased as well. But seeing I can use it as a normal MIDI controller for my DAW, I won't add it to my synth budget haha (I would be the worst accountant).

My soundcard (Roland Rubix 24) has MIDI I/O, so I got that covered, right? So even if I don't get a Keystep, I could hook a keyboardless synth up to my soundcard and use Ableton to control it, right? Along with an audio out to my soundcard. Does this kind of routing work?

And what if I catch the virus and decide to add more hardware, but I'm running out of connections? I know, lots of questions and hopefully some answers. Thanks.

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KVRAF
18472 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:02 am

I'd rather have the Behringer Pro One than the Model D...

2 reasons... I personally like the Pro One sound better. Second, it is more sonically diverse.

KVRist

Topic Starter

31 posts since 4 Nov, 2020

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:16 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I was kinda ignoring that one because I have Uhe Repro. But watching some demos, it definitely has some great possibilities and sounds.

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addled muppet weed
76634 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:29 am

yes you can use midi out from ableton to control the synth :)

other than that, it really depends which you like the sound of best.
find a few options that match your budget, then watch videos.

KVRAF
27679 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:37 am

pdxindy wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:02 am
I'd rather have the Behringer Pro One than the Model D...

2 reasons... I personally like the Pro One sound better. Second, it is more sonically diverse.
They're both very attractively priced. So attractively that I considered one of them too a couple of times now. The rational took over again though. :D
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRist
48 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:43 am

One thing you should consider is patch recollection capability. On the hardware side I have a Neutron and an Ob-6. When I mangle frequencies on the neutron for a week then uncover the ob-6 from its shelter, it feels like I travelled in the future. It's just SO annoying not to be able to save anything, for so many reasons. Can't go back to previous work or save state, can't re-use anything, can't make custom bank, can't switch between different sounds on the fly. Plus on the Neutron manual tuning is a pain (the osc mix is super close to the oscs tune knobs, which are very sensitive). There are positive aspects of course, but for me it just led me to realize that I would never buy Eurorack ever, and I avoid vintage synths as much as possible.
Careful with the Berhinger where you may or may not be able save patches. Great for having fun abusing knobs and wearing Jean-Michel Jarre's hat for a moment, not great for making actual tracks unless your thing is record one-shot and be done with it. In my experience only of course.

KVRAF
27679 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:51 am

That's one of the reason why I said the rational took over again. No patch recall. Or having to bounce everything, space allocation, cables everywhere, the need to buy a mixer at some point, the urge to get more hardware to work with the existing hardware etc. etc... it would be a never ending story for me.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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addled muppet weed
76634 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:16 am

space allocation? bigger house.
no patches? yawn. did that last week.
mixer? i have 3. none are plugged in :o

fun/sound/playing an instrument.
why not!

KVRAF
27679 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:20 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:16 am
space allocation? bigger house.
I wished that was possible. :lol: A bigger desk already is impossible. :)

Anyway, even if all the variables would be fulfilled, I wouldn't be happy with it. I'm quite a "less is more" kind of guy. I already get nervous when too many unused VST's crowd my folder.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRist

Topic Starter

31 posts since 4 Nov, 2020

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:57 am

Bulbizarre wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:43 am
One thing you should consider is patch recollection capability. On the hardware side I have a Neutron and an Ob-6. When I mangle frequencies on the neutron for a week then uncover the ob-6 from its shelter, it feels like I travelled in the future. It's just SO annoying not to be able to save anything, for so many reasons. Can't go back to previous work or save state, can't re-use anything, can't make custom bank, can't switch between different sounds on the fly. Plus on the Neutron manual tuning is a pain (the osc mix is super close to the oscs tune knobs, which are very sensitive). There are positive aspects of course, but for me it just led me to realize that I would never buy Eurorack ever, and I avoid vintage synths as much as possible.
Careful with the Berhinger where you may or may not be able save patches. Great for having fun abusing knobs and wearing Jean-Michel Jarre's hat for a moment, not great for making actual tracks unless your thing is record one-shot and be done with it. In my experience only of course.
Thanks for the input. I get it the point about patch recollection, that's why I was also looking at the Microfreak. The OB-6 is about 800-900% above budget.

Also thanks for pointing out where the Behringer is great, because that's exactly what I do. Just having fun. Here's my system, I jam in my DAW, save it as Zx (where x i a number). Why? Because of the old tracker days in DOS, no scrolling through project files, just press & hold pagedown and boom, I'm at my latest work. Anyway, I have a bazillion Z files and no finished tracks.

But couldn't you just take a picture of the knobs when you absolutely want to 'save' a patch and more or less recreate it?

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KVRAF
18472 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:02 pm

chk071 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:51 am
That's one of the reason why I said the rational took over again. No patch recall. Or having to bounce everything, space allocation, cables everywhere, the need to buy a mixer at some point, the urge to get more hardware to work with the existing hardware etc. etc... it would be a never ending story for me.
One thing I like to do is record a bunch of audio while tweaking the synth... then pull out the useful bits (often percussion stuff or bass sounds) and make sample instruments and or drum kits. Sometimes I import sample into the Rytm. Sometimes I make simple multi-sample instruments.

An Isla S2400 sampler is enticing...

Patch recall? no problem, that is what the phone is for! :hihi:

KVRist

Topic Starter

31 posts since 4 Nov, 2020

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:06 pm

chk071 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:51 am
That's one of the reason why I said the rational took over again. No patch recall. Or having to bounce everything, space allocation, cables everywhere, the need to buy a mixer at some point, the urge to get more hardware to work with the existing hardware etc. etc... it would be a never ending story for me.
Right, this touches on something I know nothing of. I'm ok with cables, I'm in the market for a bigger house, the girlfriend gets a walk-in closet if I get a studio room. BUT, what's with the mixer? I get what it does, but when would you need one? When your audio inputs for the audio interface are not enough? And why do I rarely see a mixer whenever I see someone elses setup with 7 synths and drumcomputers to match?

Or do they use a MIDI through box? And where does the audio go? Or do they just hide this? Those bastards...

I'm sorry but this is just about the limit of my knowledge on the topic.

KVRist

Topic Starter

31 posts since 4 Nov, 2020

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:07 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:02 pm
chk071 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:51 am
That's one of the reason why I said the rational took over again. No patch recall. Or having to bounce everything, space allocation, cables everywhere, the need to buy a mixer at some point, the urge to get more hardware to work with the existing hardware etc. etc... it would be a never ending story for me.
Patch recall? no problem, that is what the phone is for! :hihi:
Ha! I knew it! :lol:

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KVRAF
6363 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:42 pm

NickBlanc wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:06 pm
BUT, what's with the mixer? I get what it does, but when would you need one? When your audio inputs for the audio interface are not enough? And why do I rarely see a mixer whenever I see someone elses setup with 7 synths and drumcomputers to match?

Or do they use a MIDI through box? And where does the audio go? Or do they just hide this? Those bastards...

I'm sorry but this is just about the limit of my knowledge on the topic.
For most setups, particularly a simple one-synth setup, a mixer is not necessary and most people just use their interface. A mixer becomes beneficial/necessary when you need additional inputs, want a more complex routing configuration (e.g., outboard rack fx), want direct monitoring without roundtrip latency, etc.

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addled muppet weed
76634 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:55 pm

NickBlanc wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:06 pm
chk071 wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:51 am
That's one of the reason why I said the rational took over again. No patch recall. Or having to bounce everything, space allocation, cables everywhere, the need to buy a mixer at some point, the urge to get more hardware to work with the existing hardware etc. etc... it would be a never ending story for me.
Right, this touches on something I know nothing of. I'm ok with cables, I'm in the market for a bigger house, the girlfriend gets a walk-in closet if I get a studio room. BUT, what's with the mixer? I get what it does, but when would you need one? When your audio inputs for the audio interface are not enough? And why do I rarely see a mixer whenever I see someone elses setup with 7 synths and drumcomputers to match?

Or do they use a MIDI through box? And where does the audio go? Or do they just hide this? Those bastards...

I'm sorry but this is just about the limit of my knowledge on the topic.
audio interface with more inputs (or some mixers will do audio over usb to seperate channels too) is preferable imo, then if you are recording drums/bass/lead and pads, you can get them all on individual tracks for mixing in the box.
of course, you can have lots of fun, mixing live with the mixer too :tu:
but it is not an essential, you have a mixer in your pc :shrug:

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