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mibby

Analog Synth Recommendations?

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Briefly, my kid's b-day is coming up and is very interested in analog synthesizers. I did a quick search, and besides quickly realizing that I'm waaaaay out of my element here, I thought you guys might be able to point me in the right direction?

Things I'm looking at:  analog (he's got a keyboard controller) and perhaps a patchbay, and most of all, affordable! Like less than $200?  Is that possible?

The Euroack modular stuff looks interesting and does the Korg Mini.  Berringer Neutron looks interesting too, but is it crap?  As I said, I'm waaaaay out of my element here!  TIA guys!

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If it was software    Arturia's having a 50% off sale (last day today), but hardware is definitely out of my league.  Hopefully, someone will chime in... 

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I am not clear on what you mean by Eurorack modular. That is a brand, but also a sort of standard for connecting feestanding analog devices to each other. In any case it is not an analog synth to my understanding but a group of "modules" that perform typically limited functions--you would need several modules to assemble anything like an analog synth. Unlike a some  "modular" or "semimodular" synths that incorporate the various circuits in one cabinet linked by patch cords or switches/knobs these are freestanding units that each typically does only one thing. Very expensive and not very intuitive. Take a look at Voltage Nucleus (currently FREE) to see one software emulation of a Eurorack modular system.

I think it is pretty unlikely that you will be able to get a true analog synth of any quality for less than $200 unless you buy used.

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Since a "true" analog will cost stupid amounts of money, I'd suggest one that's really close like this analog modeling synth:

MS2000-1a.jpg

I had both this one and the rack equivalent (which might be an option since he already has a keyboard controller and can be found for under $300).

MS2000R-1a.jpg

 

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58 minutes ago, Mesh said:

 Arturia's having a 50% off sale (last day today)

Yup, I was hoping they might have some sort of hardware sale too.   I'm a bit lost as well. :)

16 minutes ago, slartabartfast said:

also a sort of standard for connecting feestanding analog devices to each other

Yes, that's what I was talking about. I was hoping there would be some sort of affordable "basic" unit that you could build around...

17 minutes ago, slartabartfast said:

it is pretty unlikely that you will be able to get a true analog synth of any quality for less than $200 unless you buy used.

Yeah, that's becoming rapidly apparent!  Thanks for the info though.  :)

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, craigb said:

the rack equivalent (which might be an option since he already has a keyboard controller and can be found for under $300).

Yes, this is what I'm trying to figure out. Berringer is making  some affordable ones like the Neutron and the Crave. Are they pure crap?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NeutronMod--behringer-neutron-semi-modular-analog-synth

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CRAVE--behringer-crave-analog-synthesizer-with-sequencer

 

 

Edited by mibby

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Do not even think of looking in to Eurorack. Or Eurocrack as it is sometimes called.

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14 minutes ago, synkrotron said:

Do not even think of looking in to Eurorack. Or Eurocrack as it is sometimes called.

Why?  Exceptionally cost prohibitive I'm guessing?  :)

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Yes, cost is amazingly high unless you can find a trustworthy source of second hand stuff and even then certain modules can command a high price.

If you want to stick to hardware then Behringer may be the best option, and something with a keyboard.

I wouldn't bother with their copies of more popular synths and look at stuff that is designed by them from scratch.

I'll see if I can come up with some suggestions.

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Thanks @synkrotron!  As I said, he's got a controller, and I think a patch bay  would be a plus, but not necessary. That's why I was wondering about the Berringer synths - Neutron and Crave...  I really appreciate the info!

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Hmmm... Just started watching this vid about the Crave:-

What put me off straight away was the guy called it the "perfect modular gateway drug."

That's not to say it isn't a good little unit, but it looks to be best used along with existing modular stuff.

It's only one oscillator though, so you pretty much get what you pay for.

The patching ability is good, by the looks and sound of it but is this something that your kid wants to get into? It's not a good thing, and is how synths started off back in the early days, but it can be a bit daunting starting off.

 

The Neutron is very similar and another one of them "modular gateway drug" things:-

 

But, again, perhaps this is something that would be of interest, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you then have to go into Eurorack. It's just the thin end of a very large wedge, if you know what I mean.

 

Regarding the Korg stuff, and Roland too for that matter, you are going to get good quality stuff but at a slightly higher price point.

And another potentially major consideration is some sort of effect unit. Analogue synths, on their own, can sound downright dull and I would be looking to add at least a reverb into the mix and a delay too.

 

A veritable minefield!

 

Is there a local music store? If it was me I'd be taking a trip down there to try some stuff out. It's not really the sort of thing you should be doing over the interwebs.

 

Good luck :)

 

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13 minutes ago, synkrotron said:

Analogue synths, on their own, can sound downright dull ...

Careful. You might cause the internet to implode with comments like that. :)

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3 hours ago, mibby said:

Like less than $200?  Is that possible?

I think that all $200 will buy you is $200 worth of disappointment.

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1 hour ago, antler said:

Is an IK Multimedia UNO Synth out of the question?

That's definitely worth checking out - although I must say I'm not big on the whole confusing IK universe right now.  I wonder if I could use Jam Points on it?

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I think the problem will be that a vintage analog synth seems to be something that is desirable for some reason and so the price is high on the used market for anything any good.

 

Years back I had a Korg MP-4 that I bought at a pawn shop for something like $20 because I convinced them it was just broken (actually you just needed to know how to tune it).  Sold it a few years later to a collector for $300.  

 

Great little Mono synth, the Poly version was incredibly crappy sounding. 

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I have the Behringer Neutron synth.  This is an amazing synth for the money.  Very flexible and sounds great.  Don't listen to the people that say $200 buys you crap.  I was looking at all the different Behringer synths that are copies of synths like the MiniMoog but I liked the Neutron because it has flexibility the other ones don't have.  The patchbay does allow you to hook up other Eurorack modules which Behringer will be releasing at very reasonable costs. 

I've owned quite a few synths in the past including Moogs, Prophet V, etc and have been working with synths since about 1974.  So the Neutron is not my 1st synth!  I think this is an excellent synth to get into world of analog synthesis.

Jim

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Posted (edited)

I have a friend who has always been analog only. He even has an analog guitar synth. There is no more withering comment from him than, sounds digital.

He has been talking about the cool behringer stuff he has been researching... But i don't see any of it in his racks of synths.

I definitely have not followed him down his analog only route. That said, my earthquaker pedals? I think they are kinda junk. Sorry earthquaker. 

But my cakewalk synths? Oh my! There go another 6 hours.

Have you considered getting him syntorial? That's in your budget.

https://www.syntorial.com/

This learning tool has been critical to my ability to enjoy synths over the years.

There are things you can sync in digital that cannot be done with analog. The most obvious is tempo sync, but starting oscillators at the note-on event is another. This way the note attack is predictable. 

Edited by Gswitz
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