Hardware Synth Discussion

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Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby the4thImpulse » 10 Aug 2013 21:54

As the thread title suggests this thread is a meant to be a mass discussion of hardware synths. A similar software synth discussion thread will be in the software sub-forum.

This is a thread for really any information about synths. Ask and answer questions, post news about future releases, talk about synthesis in general... Whatever it is, keep it hardware related here.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 10 Aug 2013 22:11

Dropping my head in :3
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby itroitnyah » 11 Aug 2013 14:23

What's the difference between an analog synthesizer like this, and a keyboard synthesizer like this one?

Hey and what are these? From what I think I understand, they're a tool used with DJing that you just slide your finger across and it either plays a melody based on where you slid your finger across, or works as an X/Y axis thing and applies one effect if you slide your finger along the X axis and another if you go with the Y-Axis.

Also, mixing boards. My understanding is that audio interfaces just essentially get more microphone ports until they eventually just turn into mixing boards. I also know that you can hook up your reference monitors to mixing boards. Do mixing boards automatically output 24bit/96kHz quality audio, or do some go lower and only some go with 24/96?

All the audio interfaces I've found only have one MIDI I/O port, are there any pieces of hardware that have more midi I/O for multiple hardware synthesizers? Because the hardware table-top synthesizer I linked above uses MIDI. Do the keyboard synthesizers use XLR? Would a mixing board be worthwhile to get, or are those mostly for studio control rooms that do a lot of live recording? Would having a mixing board benefit more than just having an audio interface with a lot of XLR ports?

Just asking because when I move out and hopefully spend upwards of $15,000 on a new home studio, I'm going to delve a lot more into hardware equipment. Maybe. Hardware equipment beyond reference monitors, midi keyboards, microphones and acoustic panels only appeal to me somewhat, some more than others.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Symphon » 11 Aug 2013 16:52

itroitnyah wrote:What's the difference between an analog synthesizer like this, and a keyboard synthesizer like this one?

Hey and what are these?


I can answer these two.

The difference between those two synthesizers are this: The first one, the Elektron Tabletop Synth is sequence-dependent. What that means is that it has sixteen steps that sync with whatever bpm you want, either internally synced or externally, and each step can be set to a specific note. That means, the only notes it will play are the ones the sequence tells it to. Nifty if you have a lot stuff you need to focus on at once and you can make some cool melody loops, but it doesn't have too much flexible when it comes to the sequencer. (Sorry if this part wasn't explained very well)

The second one, the Moog Little Phatty, is key dependent. Although it doesn't have a built-in sequencer, it acts just like an normal keyboard. Whenever you press a button, it plays that note.

Simple enough, eh?

The Kaosillator, to my knowledge, is mainly for effects. You can record loops or send an input signal into the device and use the X/Y pad to control different effects at different strengths, frequencies, and all that. You can also sync it, if I remember correctly, to any bpm you'd like, but I wouldn't bet my marbles on that one. It's good for quick effects while DJing and fluent controls of effects through MIDI.

Edit: Apparently, it's a synthesizer as well! Or, "Synthesizer." Not sure how accurate that is since it says it has sound programs, so it may just be patches, but I don't know. But, yeah.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 11 Aug 2013 16:56

Symphon wrote:
itroitnyah wrote:What's the difference between an analog synthesizer like this, and a keyboard synthesizer like this one?

Hey and what are these?


The Kaosillator, to my knowledge, is mainly for effects. You can record loops or send an input signal into the device and use the X/Y pad to control different effects at different strengths, frequencies, and all that. You can also sync it, if I remember correctly, to any bpm you'd like, but I wouldn't bet my marbles on that one. It's good for quick effects while DJing and fluent controls of effects through MIDI.

Edit: Apparently, it's a synthesizer as well! Or, "Synthesizer." Not sure how accurate that is since it says it has sound programs, so it may just be patches, but I don't know. But, yeah.

The kaosillator is a generative synthesizer the kaoss pad is the effects one
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 11 Aug 2013 18:04

Well I've had a lot of spare time to get to know the Minibrute synth. So if anyone is looking at purchasing that and you wanna know something about it that you didn't see in any videos (or want explained a little better) shoot me a PM and I'll do my best to answer any questions you have.

I haven't gotten it working in FL Studio yet, so I'm not much use with that. If anything ask Ascii or 4th about getting synths working with your DAW.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Conduit » 11 Aug 2013 18:06

Anyone know anything about the Moog Sub-Phatty? It looks amazing from the videos I've seen, but nowhere near me has one for me to play with myself.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby S.P.P » 11 Aug 2013 18:13

Has anybody played with a KP3? I'm thinking about getting one.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 11 Aug 2013 18:40

I'm gonna put buying a synth off for a bit and get a good pedal board setup done, including a wah pedal, some fuzz/octafuzz and stuff... once I've got a moderate set-up I'll go back to the synth. Or instead of a pedal board... I'll just get a wah and then get a head/cabinet or head and make my own cab(s)
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 11 Aug 2013 18:41

PYR3LIGHT wrote:Has anybody played with a KP3? I'm thinking about getting one.

It will be the best purchase ever... I have a KP1 and it's amazing the KP3 pro is a massive improvement
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 11 Aug 2013 18:42

Conduit wrote:Anyone know anything about the Moog Sub-Phatty? It looks amazing from the videos I've seen, but nowhere near me has one for me to play with myself.

As the name suggest it's mainly for basses so unless you have another synth to play the non basses I wouldn't get it... unless you just want to play basses...
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby the4thImpulse » 11 Aug 2013 23:54

PYR3LIGHT wrote:Has anybody played with a KP3? I'm thinking about getting one.

I've got one, use it for both live performance and studio. Wen DJing it's used as a master effects unit, typically for delays, filters and quick stutter loops (not the record sample loops). In studio I run the headphone output of my moog through it and leave the mono output for a dry signal, I only use the revrb and delay on the moog.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby DerpyGrooves » 12 Aug 2013 01:48

I mostly use softsynths, tbh, although I find analogue synthesizers intriguing. I've never seen a point for virtual analogue synths, however, it seems like you would be better off in most cases spending that same volume of money on a decent computer?

Regardless, there's a whole mess of good synths out there, but when it comes to analogue, I tend to go for homebrew. I've found the atari punk console has a super pleasing sound, and is insultingly simple to modify to accommodate filters, alternate waveforms, envelopes and the like. You can even control pitch to a certain degree via voltage, making it more of an "instrument" instead of just a cute noisemaker.



I'm still trying to figure out how to properly interface with an arduino to give me proper pitch control, but ultimately it's my intention to make a really noisy, minimalist drum machine. It's also a good time to mention that arduino can actually be a really pleasant synth platform on it's own, but that's an entirely different post.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Conduit » 12 Aug 2013 21:40

Acsii wrote:
Conduit wrote:Anyone know anything about the Moog Sub-Phatty? It looks amazing from the videos I've seen, but nowhere near me has one for me to play with myself.

As the name suggest it's mainly for basses so unless you have another synth to play the non basses I wouldn't get it... unless you just want to play basses...


From what I've heard it's great across all frequencies, the name is just due to the new sub ocillator they added, which plays a square wave an octave below what your plays. It also has some cool new distortion features. Have you actually played with one?
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 12 Aug 2013 22:28

I've played one and it does have good sounds across all frequencies however the low ends is where it really shines.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Conduit » 12 Aug 2013 22:46

Acsii wrote:I've played one and it does have good sounds across all frequencies however the low ends is where it really shines.


Ahh, I see. I mostly want it to layer under orchestral stuff, but the ability to make nice leads is kinda nessesary when I'm spending 1000+ on a synth. Do you have any suggestions for similar or better sounding synths?
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Acsii » 12 Aug 2013 23:15

If you don't mind not having a keyboard and want to spend roughly the same amount of money you could go the slim phatty
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby the4thImpulse » 12 Aug 2013 23:18

Conduit wrote:
Acsii wrote:I've played one and it does have good sounds across all frequencies however the low ends is where it really shines.


Ahh, I see. I mostly want it to layer under orchestral stuff, but the ability to make nice leads is kinda nessesary when I'm spending 1000+ on a synth. Do you have any suggestions for similar or better sounding synths?

Do you need the analog sound? A good digital with polyphony can be had for that price range and may fit in great with orchestral.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Conduit » 12 Aug 2013 23:36

the4thImpulse wrote:
Conduit wrote:
Acsii wrote:I've played one and it does have good sounds across all frequencies however the low ends is where it really shines.


Ahh, I see. I mostly want it to layer under orchestral stuff, but the ability to make nice leads is kinda nessesary when I'm spending 1000+ on a synth. Do you have any suggestions for similar or better sounding synths?

Do you need the analog sound? A good digital with polyphony can be had for that price range and may fit in great with orchestral.


My only worry with digital is that it can be replicated with software (as far as I know, if there's a difference please tell me.) I also appreciate the warmth of analog, so that would be preferable.
Also, I'm not going to have enough money for one of these for at least a year, so this is really more hypothetical, and to expand my knowledge for later on.
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby the4thImpulse » 12 Aug 2013 23:47

Conduit wrote:My only worry with digital is that it can be replicated with software (as far as I know, if there's a difference please tell me.) I also appreciate the warmth of analog, so that would be preferable.
Also, I'm not going to have enough money for one of these for at least a year, so this is really more hypothetical, and to expand my knowledge for later on.

To whole replication/unique sound thing should never be the deciding factor. Soft synth have gotten very good at simulating analog synths and once it's in a mix with a moderate amounts of effects it can be impossible to know for sure where that sound came from. Now I am not saying everything sounds the same as there is a difference, it's just that difference can so small today with someone skilled at synthesis.

When it comes to hardware it's all about workflow, analog or digital hardware has its own way of doing things that soft synths can never replicate. Physical knobs/faders/buttons are what you are buying, unique sound comes in a close second (and even hardware digital can still achieve unique sound just like Massive and Sylenth can achieve unique sounds.)
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Sonarch » 13 Aug 2013 18:49

I'm sorry but the spam thread is locked and this is semi relevant
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby the4thImpulse » 13 Aug 2013 22:15

Writing a breakdown to a new song and this is what I've got..

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/671 ... 0Break.wav

All the synths were all recorded on the MLP (Moog Little Phatty) making good use of the internal arpeggiator, the hi-hats were the MS2000 and the kick is just a sample..

I sat listening to this and other variants of this for at least 3 hours today.. its why I love analog!
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby nOk » 14 Aug 2013 10:44

Got a Juno 106 from a friend. If you're familiar with these they are fan freaking tactic! Only issue is it had a broken voice chip. I have some basic electrical knowledge so I decided to fix said chip! It involves a process where you desolder it from the PCB and soak it in acetone for awhile and solder it back on. WELLLLLLLL I DUN F*CKED UP. A couple pins on the chip snipped off and one of the throughhole plated contacts got damaged.

Not sure if anyone here has any electrical expertise, so this may be a helpless question, but does anyone know if it is possible to fix the contact? Or at least get it to where it would work again?

I can just order a new chip, expensive as they are :(
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby nOk » 14 Aug 2013 10:48

DerpyGrooves wrote:I mostly use softsynths, tbh, although I find analogue synthesizers intriguing. I've never seen a point for virtual analogue synths, however, it seems like you would be better off in most cases spending that same volume of money on a decent computer?

Regardless, there's a whole mess of good synths out there, but when it comes to analogue, I tend to go for homebrew. I've found the atari punk console has a super pleasing sound, and is insultingly simple to modify to accommodate filters, alternate waveforms, envelopes and the like. You can even control pitch to a certain degree via voltage, making it more of an "instrument" instead of just a cute noisemaker.
(Colin's lab video thing :P)
I'm still trying to figure out how to properly interface with an arduino to give me proper pitch control, but ultimately it's my intention to make a really noisy, minimalist drum machine. It's also a good time to mention that arduino can actually be a really pleasant synth platform on it's own, but that's an entirely different post.

If you haven't, you should check out http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/. They have a couple kits, but they're a little pricey. But they're very inexpensive for what they are :)
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Re: Hardware Synth Discussion

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 15 Aug 2013 03:25

My step dad lent me a DX7 to play with for a while.

this thing is awesome. Everything sounds like the 80's and I love it!
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