rupert wrote:Hi, Im looking at getting my first synth and until I started looking around didnt consider myself to be completely clueless but after two weeks of looking on Ebay I still have no idea what Im looking for, so Im going to answer these questions below and see if any one has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated
1. What is your budget?
Probably about 300quid, so I dont know what that is in dollars, like 600 or something, although as Ive read if something is just above that price range I could hold out a little longer.
2. What are you into? (music, sounds, etc)
This is where it gets tricky, when I play with my friends we generally play rock music, so to that end I need something that'll add a bit of depth. I like those rich lush sounds you hear from bands like the secret machines and the dears, but then Im also quite into Dance/House/Techno type stuff like Soulwax and Aphex Twin. So I guess I want something that could give me both an organ or string and stuff, but then offer some much harsher and crazier sounds heard in dance music. However I have effects pedels so Im not overly bothered about things like chorus, and phaser or whatever being on the synth, Im more interested in it having things that only synths.
3. Live, studio, or personal home use?
Personal Home Use mainly, but with an eye on the stage in the future, so nothing too massive
4. Level of synth expertise? (beginner, intermediate, etc)
If you hadnt guessed, Beginner, although Ive played on Keyboards before, but beginner is definately the name of the game
5. List what gear you already have.
Synthwise absolutely f**k all, I have effects and guitars and a base and a drum machine, this is where I need the synth to come in and bolster up the sounds I can make.
I've been looking at a Korg MS-10 and a Yamaha CS-10 which are going on Ebay but Ive read vintage synths are risky business for beginners. Am I heading in completely the wrong direction from what I just outlined? Begging for help here, Thanks in advance!
Hmm well for 300 quid you are unlikely to get an MS10 and I think that would be a bad choice anyway as your only synth, as changing the sounds and using the patch cables can take a little while. Obviously not good in a live situation! The CS10 is another nice monophonic analogue synth that is pretty well regarded on here, I am not very familiar with them and I have no idea of the price ranges. It is interesting that you have named a pair of vintage analogue monophonic synths, is this deliberate on your part or do you aspire to playing chords in the future? If you do (which is probably likely in a rock band) then you are barking up the wrong tree with the MS10 and the CS10. Another consideration on vintage analogue gear is that you must be prepared to spend some money on servicing and expect that from time to time there will be repair bills!
Might I suggest a good Virtual Analogue Synth, you will get good value for money on a 2nd hand one on Ebay. The good ones can simulate analogue sounds rather well and are loaded with modern features like memory banks, effects and polyphony. For an absolute beginner you need something clearly laid out with lots of knobs on it and a good display so you can easily work out what is going on as you change your sounds. I think that the Yamaha AN1x would be perfect for you. On Ebay in the UK you would be looking at around 160 - 180 quid for one, so it would be well within you budget. If you want to go down a more techno/trance route then the Novation K Station is a good choice, expect to get a 2nd hand one on Ebay for around 180 - 200 quid. Alternatively you could save up a bit and get them both! That would be the start of a very nice rig especially with your FX pedals!
Hope that helps.