READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.

Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby asteroidgirl » Sat May 16, 2009 10:56 pm

Hello is this thread still open?? I'm stuck between a MM6 & a x 50.. I'll post the questions I saw on the first page here.


1- What is the MOST you could spend?
my range is $600ish~ no more.

2- Is there a more powerful choice just over your budget? If so, save a little more!
no.. no more then $600.

3- What type of music are you going to make?
hmmmmm ... right now aiming for electro rock/ classical/ rock. live.

4- Is a Keyboard a priority or would a rack do?
keyboard is a priority since i'll be playing the keys.

5- Are you prepared for repair bills? If not then DO NOT buy a Vintage unit.
umm.. i'm looking for newer models..

6- Is the synth you are looking at capable of been expanded?
? i plan to keep this keyboard for at least 2~3 years then i'll get a more higher model.

7- Are there more features than you need, if so this is GOOD!!!
um...

8- Read as many REVIEWS as possible, these are not always as subjective as personal views.

9- TRY one out, not always possible, but you can HIRE stuff you know!
i've tried out both the korg x50 and mm6... i like weighted keys since i'm a pianist/violinist and have been playing classical all my life... i am not sure if the x50 is weighted because the model that they showed me, wasn't really working volume wise. =_=;;

10- Dont think that a new synth will cure your musical faliures.
ummm.....

12- Have you already got this type of synth in your set up? Do you need another?
this will be my first synth... well i have a yamaha shs-10 but that was for when i was younger.

oh, i also need a 61 keys, and pref not a heavy heavy synth... so i can carry it around. i'm torn between mm6 & x50... i heard mm6 is more geared towards classical-ish and korg more of a electronic-ish. but what i'm going for is a electro rock-ish classical-ish...... =_=;; so..... hmm... help?
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby Shreddie » Sat May 23, 2009 8:26 pm

asteroidgirl wrote:Hello is this thread still open?? I'm stuck between a MM6 & a x 50.. I'll post the questions I saw on the first page here.

snip!

oh, i also need a 61 keys, and pref not a heavy heavy synth... so i can carry it around. i'm torn between mm6 & x50... i heard mm6 is more geared towards classical-ish and korg more of a electronic-ish. but what i'm going for is a electro rock-ish classical-ish...... =_=;; so..... hmm... help?

Well, you also mentioned possibly wanting weighted (hammer) action like a piano, for the prices you mentioned, you won't find that unless you look at the second hand market or go for a stage piano which will be very limited in terms of its sounds. Hammer action keyboards are only usually available in 88 or (rarely) 76 note synths too and are rather heavy, my 88 note Fusion weighs a ton! As that is the case, a synth action or semi-weighted keyboard may be an option but for the kind of thing you're after, especially if you want a new synth, a light synth action is probably all you will find. As for the X50 you tried not working volume wise, it does have velocity sensitivity so should respond to your playing but some sounds on most synths are programmed to ignore velocity data. Many synths also allow you to adjust velocity sensitivity and the velocity curve but as I am not very familiar with the MM6 and X50, I can't tell you whether they have these functions.

The MM6 and X50 are probably pretty good choices but it might also be worth checking out the Roland Juno-D too although, in some respects that may be a bit more limited in comparison to the other two. Be aware that the Yamaha only has a relatively poor 32 notes of polyphony whereas the others have 64, as I guess you're a relative synth newbie, I had better explain that polyphony is the number of notes you can play simultaneously... And it can quickly be eaten up if you're playing some sounds such as a piano whilst using a sustain pedal. The complexity of a patch (sound/preset) also has a bearing on it, for example, many synth sounds may use more than one oscillator and each oscillator may be stereo, in this case, a sound using 2 oscillators, each of which are stereo, will actually take up 4 notes of available polyphony for each note you physically play. For synths of the type you're looking at, 64 notes is usually the accepted number, higher up the market, 128 is the norm.

Personally, I would probably go for the X50, it's not as limited as the Juno-D and has double the polyphony of the Yamaha. It's also very light and has a couple of cool features.

But you have to choose what you feel is right for you, read some reviews (google for them), download the manuals and have a good session trying them all out, any of them would make a pretty good first synth.

I'm almost tempted to tell you to save up a bit more for something like a Juno-G or M50 as you would have a better variety of sounds and far more capabilities/features... But they're a little more complex to use as they're mid-range synths... However, they may well last much longer before you out-grow them.

Sorry if I haven't helped much as far as your choice goes but I hope I've explained a couple of useful things.
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby Villi » Sun May 24, 2009 3:51 am

The MM8 should be similar to the MM6 but with 88 weighted keys. It does however break your budget at $1000, at least new.
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby extinent » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:44 am

I have a pile of money and bend alot of sounds into music or beats but mostly I go from one channel to the next to cut a beat with various synth like devices.
I however have leaned away from a lot of software and want something I can get tangled up something that will constantly keep me enthralled regardless of price, I was aiming at a dark energy product but I'm not so sure
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:28 pm

extinent wrote:I have a pile of money and bend alot of sounds into music or beats but mostly I go from one channel to the next to cut a beat with various synth like devices.
I however have leaned away from a lot of software and want something I can get tangled up something that will constantly keep me enthralled regardless of price, I was aiming at a dark energy product but I'm not so sure

A pile of money and tangled in cables? Why not buy an MS 20 or build a modular?! ;)
bonne chance
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby ninja6485 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:52 pm

extinent wrote:I however have leaned away from a lot of software and want something I can get tangled up something that will constantly keep me enthralled regardless of price, I was aiming at a dark energy product but I'm not so sure
when i think "regardless of price" i usually don't tend to think dark energy, BUT from what i've seen the dark energy looks very apealing. it's more of a no cords fairly basic-ish budget awesome sounding monosynth. if you have alot of cables and you want something that can keep you enthralled regardless of price why not consider an arp 2500, or perhapse a .com studio 110?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby Confuter » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:37 pm

1- What is the MOST you could spend?
2000 euro's I think. Perhaps i could make an exception for 100 or 200 euro's but rather not since I also have to buy the extras.

2- Is there a more powerful choice just over your budget? If so, save a little more!
Well like i said at 1, I could make an exception.

3- What type of music are you going to make?
Progressive metal! Probably other types as well, but as long as I can play all kinds of progressive metal (dream theater, symphony x etc.) i'm happy!

4- Is a Keyboard a priority or would a rack do?
keyboard! 88 keys is a must!

5- Are you prepared for repair bills? If not then DO NOT buy a Vintage unit.
I'd rather not have repair bills.

6- Is the synth you are looking at capable of been expanded?
...

7- Are there more features than you need, if so this is GOOD!!!
Well like I said 88 keys and i want a piano feel when playing, no keyboard feel, I've learned on the piano and cannot play on a keyboard, those keys are just way to crappy to play with.

8- Read as many REVIEWS as possible, these are not always as subjective as personal views.
sure

9- TRY one out, not always possible, but you can HIRE stuff you know!
I will do that.

15- Dont worry about what gear other people have, it does you NO GOOD!!
I don't need to have the exact same thing as others, but I want to be able to do the same things with mine, that's what's important.

I would be happy if I could save sounds on the synth because in progressive metal there's a lot of changing of sounds and therefore it would be nice if I could easily change from sound to sound and also sounds that I downloaded..
But I have to say that I don't have any experience with synthesizers, so perhaps there are other ways of doing this than having the possibility to save sounds to the synth.
As far as I've seen the only possibility for me was the m50, but I'm not really sure if that's the one I really want because i don't think you can save sounds on that one or download new sounds, so I wasn't sure if i could play music of dream theather for example on that.
Therefore I came to this forum hoping you guys could tell me more and perhaps have a nice idea on a synth that would fit me?
Thanks already!
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby zikerstu » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:06 pm

One of the number "1" selling "Romplers" is the Yamaha Motif line. Since the introduction to the new "XF" series the XS line is being phased out at great discounts. That's what I would call the best bargain around at the moment. It also can do sampling, and the memory can purchased seperately up to 2 gigs. Additional Voice and performances libraries can also be purchased at "Motifator.com". I got some great B3 organs for $45 which I immediately downloaded and dumped into my Motif. Quick and easy, just the way I like it. (Well, sometimes lol)
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:39 pm

Motifs suck ass, yo! I'd call it a bad deal any day. DSI being able to offer affordable analogs still is the deal of the century ;)
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby Mateusz » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:10 am

1- What is the MOST you could spend?
$1500

2- Is there a more powerful choice just over your budget? If so, save a little more!
$100 extra, not more. I'm already stretched

3- What type of music are you going to make?
new wave, also some classic 90s dance and some heavy drum and bass

4- Is a Keyboard a priority or would a rack do?
keyboard defintetely

5- Are you prepared for repair bills? If not then DO NOT buy a Vintage unit.
Looking for a new unit eventually second hand one but still a recent generation

6- Is the synth you are looking at capable of been expanded?
Yes, like SD card slot or some USB connection

7- Are there more features than you need, if so this is GOOD!!!
If it's a workstation then yes

8- Read as many REVIEWS as possible, these are not always as subjective as personal views.
These are really varied, I have noticed.

9- TRY one out, not always possible, but you can HIRE stuff you know!
I tried a couple of synths, from crap wannabe models to some high end stuff. Hire stuff ? That would be great because I don't like staff behind my back thinking I'm going to destroy this thing

10- Dont think that a new synth will cure your musical faliures.
Nah, synth is a another step for me, I love these things ;)

12- Have you already got this type of synth in your set up? Do you need another?
I have a Roland digital piano, not bad and sounds great for its age especially if compared with current 'cheap and good' models
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Re:

Postby Phoone » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:59 pm

stillearning wrote:While I certainly understand these rants, I would be happy if people who want "which synth..." advice would simply include enough info so we can help effectively and efficiently.

1. What is you budget?
2. What are you into? (music, sounds, etc)
3. Live, studio, or personal home use?
4. Level of synth expertise? (beginner, intermediate, etc)
5. List what gear you already have.

There are times when I think "which synth" type questions are the best way to get an answer from people who own and use these things on a regular basis. It's a lot of money for some people to spend. So, do your homework, read all you can, try one in a store if possible, and if you still can't decide, go ahead and ask! If I was a "newbie" reading this thread, it would scare me out of asking anything at all!


I disagree with the "4." cause a beginner can take a "pro-synth" and get into it in the next months...your term goes for the people that buy a "pro-synth" and then they complain about the Difficult Managment and other stuff they dont understand...because they are lazy enough to spend a pretty high amount of time (i have to admit that) so they can go into it really bad!
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:19 pm

Another thread back from the dead :yahoo:

My take on level of expertise is that a beginner is likely to not really know what they want. That's not an insult, BTW.

Your first synth will quickly teach you what you like and don't like. You might be lucky and get it right first time, but more commonly you will want to move on once you have a better grasp of what it can and cannot do and how that matches up with your needs.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby johnny83 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:00 pm

Great read! Thanks guys
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby Ned Bouhalassa » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:13 pm

I went crazy a few years back when I got on the vintage analog train. I must have bought and sold over 20 synths in the span of a couple of years. In the end, I kept the 2nd one I bought (SH-5) and a Memorymoog. I learned so much more by playing with all these synths than months of reading about them here and elsewhere. Nothing beats trying them out in person. Of course, if I had unlimited cash and space, I would have kept the Korg 770, the Jupiter 6, the MonoPoly, the SH-101, MS-2000, etc, etc. :cry: :lol:
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Re: READ THIS if you're looking at choosing a new synth!

Postby phesago » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:43 pm

Ned Bouhalassa wrote: I learned so much more by playing with all these synths than months of reading about them here and elsewhere. Nothing beats trying them out in person. :


:agree:


I am kin dof in that stage now. buying and trying a lot. There's a few that have been stellar but not keepable, and then there's a cou;ple I would never part with(xpander<im not luck enough to have th em12 :( >)
Time for updates: pro-1 x2, Xpander, 808, mopho, SEM, PolyE, Voyager, Fr-Revo x2, XS, DRM MK3, KP3x2, mf104z x2, mf105m, mf103, space/time-factor, t3, nord g1..(plus other effects/sequencers/samplers and other shit).
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