Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

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Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby digitalread » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Hi folks
I want to buy a vintage analog polyphonic synth. The music I like (to do) is '80s synth pop bands such as Cabaret Voltaire, DAF, Japan, John Foxx, etc...I am looking for a synth suitable to create deep bass line (& arpeggio) but also rich electronics warm sounds.
I was considering any of these: Moog Memorymoog, Roland Jupiter 6 or 8, Oberheim OB8 and Arp Quadra...
The synth will be for an studio
Any advice will be welcome
ThankU
D:)
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby pflosi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:43 pm

Those are all nice choices. You got the budget for them?
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby digitalread » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:52 pm

Fortunately yes :-) , but I need to find one on sale!
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby nathanscribe » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:29 pm

Well the Cabs, when they got into the 80s and even into the 90s, were pretty modest with their synth setup - Juno 60 and 106, DX7, Emax, Matrix 1000, SH-09, 303, 808, 909 (back when they were cheap), S1000 (back when they were expensive) and a bunch of old 70s beatboxes. You can hear the Emax and Junos all over their later, more synthy, stuff. Even now prices for the Junos are rising, they're still a boatload cheaper than anything else you've listed. They did also hire a Jupiter 8 and Fairlight though, so, well, you know... :)

Japan were big Prophet 5 and Roland System 700 users (Richard Barbieri had a small 700 cabinet). The P5 is very much in evidence and a big part of their later sound.

John Foxx absolutely caned his ARP Oddyssey to make Metamatic, though now he has a pretty staggering pile of kit along with Benge. But the classic early-80s Foxx stuff was primarily Oddy.
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby ryryoftokyo » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:54 pm

If you can afford any of those choices, just pick one and go for it. They're all dream synths. If you're looking to not F your bank account, try a Roland Juno 60. Instant 80s.
Moog Multimoog Korg MS20 Korg Electribe EMX Korg Electribe EA1 Arturia Microbrute, Waldorf Blofeld Yamaha AN1x Korg microKORG Roland Juno 60 Yamaha DX7 Roland Alpha Juno 2 Korg Poly 61 Roland JX8P Sequential Circuits Split 8 Korg Monotron Delay
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby polyjuno » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:03 pm

I don't know if the Quadra is really what you're looking for? It's miles apart from the others in terms of features. It doesn't have independent voices with individual oscillators, filters, envelopes and amps, so it isn't truly polyphonic (every note you'll play will share the same filter, envelopes, etc.). Sound is of course another matter, but it's not nearly as flexible as any of the others you listed.

The four others are pretty solid for your needs, I think. The Jupiter-6 might not exactly be the richest and warmest, though. The Jupiter-6 and OB-8 are the cheapest, with JP-6 going for around $2000 and OB-8 somewhere between $2500 and $3000 (depending on where you live though). For a Memorymoog or a Jupiter-8 you'll probably going to have to pay at least $7000, it seems. For that price you could get a JP-6 and an OB-8 (which I think would be a great combo, as the OB-8 is pretty warm and lush while the JP-6 offers more flexibility and a very different, more raw sound), or you could get one of them and a decent monosynth, like the Sequential Pro One (which rocks at basses and screaming lead lines and has an onboard sequencer and an arpeggiator too), and end up paying a lot less than what a JP-8 or Memorymoog costs.

Maybe you could say a little more about what you need from the synthesizer? What features do you consider important? Do you need MIDI?
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby Rick N Boogie » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:08 am

Just fyi, there are many modern VA's that can get the sounds you want. Would cost heaps less, and all be MIDI and USB equipped to work well in a modern studio. I mean, get yourself a vintage analog if that's the dream, but there are many others ways to get those sounds, and then some, for much less money.
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby Steve Jones » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:24 am

I would avoid the Quadra and add a rev 3 Prophet 5 to your list.
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby Aaron2 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:28 pm

A little off-topic, but thanks for mentioning John Foxx. I'd never heard of him before, so I decided to give him a listen. I love his early '80s solo work. Great stuff! (NP: the compilation Metatronic (not to be confused with his first solo album Metamatic.) :D
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby digitalread » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:14 am

Hi there

Thank you for all your posts and help. I definitely preffer vintage analogue and not modern digital (even if these are cheaper) I think a good choice is to buy a Jupiter 6 + Arp Odyssey. Juno 60 is another option...
Jupiter 8 and Moog Memory seem to be very expensive at present time. I already have a Roland SH-101 which is great for bassline...
...and yes John Foxx 'Metamatic' is really cool music :-)
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby polyjuno » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:02 pm

'Metamatic' is fantastic! Almost all of it is done on the ARP Odyssey (and some string synth). Just listen to the intro to 'Plaza', that's a mean synth...

Jupiter 6 + Odyssey sounds like a pretty good choice. With a Juno-60, you'll save some money, and you've instantly got an 80s sound (with the chorus turned on). The big plus of the Juno is that it has a very sweet sound, and it's easy to make it sound good and fit in a mix. However, the Juno's very limited architecturally, and its sound is very distinctive, so you might get tired of it after a while. The Jupiter-6 will provide you with a much wider sonic palette. It has so many features that the Juno-60 lacks; two oscillators (with two way syncing etc.), two envelope generators, two LFOs, multimode filter, splitting and layering, and the list goes on.

Besides the Jupiter-6, the OB-8 is another option. They can still be found at ok prices, a little more than the Jupiter-6s. The OB-8 has a warmer and richer sound, with the possibility to pan each of its voices in the stereo field for some really wide pads and other sounds. It also provides some pretty unique modulation features on its page 2. I'd say the OB-8 is the better 80s pad machine, while the Jupiter-6 is able to do a wider variety of sounds, but that's just my two cents.
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby calaverasgrande » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:56 am

just because I'm a total nerd I have to say that DAF and Cabaret Voltaire are not really synth pop so much as industrial. I know CV later veered off into house/techno stuff, but the bulk of their work starting in the 70's was in confrontational, edgy and very un-pop sounds.
By today's standards 'Crackdown' and '24 hours' are almost pop. But at the time they were abrasive enough to get people mad at you for playing them. Funny how stylistic goalposts move.

Japan did use prophets and some other stuff, but I'd say the Oberheim OBX was in almost every vintage video I can find of them on Youtube. The fact that early Killing Joke used one as well means I am currently harvesting kidneys from homeless children to save up for adding one to my arsenal.

As far as analog Polys, the Alpha Juno's haven't become obscenely expensive but are overvalued for their 'hoover' sound that trance/acid techno-philes dig.
The Jx3p and JX8p are better in my opinion and are often cheaper. Though you may have a hard time with making patches without the associated PG---- accessory that exposes the parameters to knobby manipulation.


The oft maligned Korg Poly 800 and Poly 61 get some great sounds. But both are built rather poorly and have a laborious 'select parameter, increment or decrement' workflow. Kind of like one of those Quadraverbs menu system, minus the menu! Of the two the Poly61 is better.
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Re: Which synth shall I purchase for analog 80's sound?

Postby plikestechno » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:15 pm

I'd go with a Jupiter 6, try to find one Europafied. It will do whatever you want and have enough edge and bite to its sound.

Where in the world are you? That will help you with your choice as well. Just buy the best thing you can locally. Even put up a WTB ad on your local classifieds with a list of synths you're looking for. If you're in a big enough place, someone will have one in their basement for you if you offer Ebay price or a little less.
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