Which synthesizer to choose?

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By SolidEric

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12-01-2004, 22:06

I want to buy a second-hand synth with the possibilities of midi (music-module/moonsound). Wich can you recommend me?(ofcourse a not to expensive one) Tongue

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By snout

Ascended (15187)

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12-01-2004, 22:09

It all depends on what you want to do. I had great joy with a Roland JV-30, which is GM/GS compatible -and- MT-32 compatible (several MSX games support this MT-32). But, don't expect too many extra's on this synth. Its sounds are decent, yet not spectacular. Smile

But, based on the information you give I could recommend about 100.000 other synths.

By SolidEric

Champion (332)

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12-01-2004, 22:17

I'm only a beginner, but I want some extra's too, like "aanslaggevoeligheid"(sorry dunno the english word for that one) and it has not to be too old. Wanna make some Cool
8) sounding tunes Wink

By wolf_

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12-01-2004, 22:34

so many factors to keep in mind Smile

* The budget is the most important one.

* If it's gonna be your only synth, then it's important to get an allround synth, rather than a specialised synth composers usually use for 1 purpose (e.g. a dedicated strings-synth, a dedicated bass-synth etc.).

* Do you want bread&butter sounds, or wacky/hacky/freaky/not-of-this-earth sounds?
(e.g. in what style do you want to play/compose)

* Do you want to use preset sounds, or do you want to do all the soundediting yourself?

* do you want basic soundediting or advanced soundediting?

* does it need to be GM compatible, or don't you care for those stupid midifiles ?

* do you have a midi-keyboard already (can be a cheap-ass casio keyboard, as long as it has midi)? If yes, you could pick a module (19" rackformat) .. which is usually cheaper than a keyboard-model.

questions, questions Smile

By wolf_

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12-01-2004, 23:01

Things that show up regulary on 2nd sites like marktplaats are:

Roland JV880
+ usually cheap (usually 150..200 euro)
+ good for synthstuff
+ full soundediting
- not all soundcanvas sounds are supported, so no GM
- Roland-sauce, tho this usually isn't an issue for starters
- it's a module, you need a midikeyboard

Roland JV1080
+ reasonable cheap (400 average)
+ great soundediting
+ all-round sounds
+ accepts internal expansioncards with new waveforms
+ GM iirc
+ good DSP section
- it's a module again..
- Roland-sauce again Smile

Yamaha MU50, MU80, Roland SC50, SC80, Korg XDR5 (50..200 euro)
+ allround bread&butter sounds
+ soundcanvas clone (so.. GM)
- soundcanvas clone (well, that's my personal arguement Smile )
- no in-depth editing
- sounds and DSP's are usually worse than the above modules
- they're modules again..

Interesting devices that show up now and then:

Yamaha TG77 (200..300 euro)
+ samples and FM (6op FM with 3 feedbackpaths, 16 waveforms, scaling, multistage envelopes etc.)
+ 4 DSP processors (Reverbs, delays, chorus, flanger, EQ etc.)
+ samples (aged tho)
+ superb indepth programming
- a module
- a BITCH to program
- a BITCH to program
- a BITCH to program
- a BITCH to program
- a BITCH to program
+ there're PC editors Smile

Yamaha SY77 (400..600 euro)
+ samples and FM (6op FM with 3 feedbackpaths, 16 waveforms, scaling, multistage envelopes etc.)
+ samples (aged tho)
+ superb indepth programming
- tho, easy to program, it requires -as well as the TG77- good FM knowledge to get the best out of it.

This SY77 is a fav of mine.. having a model standing here, I can recommend it to anyone who's interested in professional-FM.

these are just examples, there's a lot more choice.. however, first answer all the questions in my first post Smile

By Low_Profile

Champion (425)

Low_Profile's picture

13-01-2004, 10:02

JV1080 has GM indeed, easy to edit sounds, expandable with new soundcards etc. Great module.

But if you need decent sounds for an ever lower price, maybe look for a original Roland Sound Canvas or it's big brother the SC-88 (Super Sound Canvas) then you have GS compatibility as well. Smile

GM = General Midi
GS = General Sound (=General Midi with extended features like more sounds and chorus/reverb control in midi)

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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13-01-2004, 14:35

I thought GS meant General Standard.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9746)

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13-01-2004, 14:40

It *is* general standard. And that's the whole problem anyway Smile it's a sound-index standard, not a 'sound' standard. That's why evrything sounds different on all GM machines across the various manufacturers. It only says something like 'piano @ place 00' etc. It doesn't say HOW the piano should sound.

Ahwell, offtopic blahblah Smile

By SolidEric

Champion (332)

SolidEric's picture

13-01-2004, 15:15

so many factors to keep in mind Smile

* The budget is the most important one.

I want to spend from 100 - 300 euro

* If it's gonna be your only synth, then it's important to get an allround synth, rather than a specialised synth composers usually use for 1 purpose (e.g. a dedicated strings-synth, a dedicated bass-synth etc.).

So it's gonna be an all-round synth

* Do you want bread&butter sounds, or wacky/hacky/freaky/not-of-this-earth sounds?
(e.g. in what style do you want to play/compose)

Some more extended sounds would be nice

* Do you want to use preset sounds, or do you want to do all the soundediting yourself?

Some preset-sounds are nice

* do you want basic soundediting or advanced soundediting?
basic sound-editing is enough for me!

* does it need to be GM compatible, or don't you care for those stupid midifiles ?
I like gm and gs

* do you have a midi-keyboard already (can be a cheap-ass casio keyboard, as long as it has midi)? If yes, you could pick a module (19" rackformat) .. which is usually cheaper than a keyboard-model.

sorry don't have a midi keyboard allready

Thanks for the information....will think abouth the models you name in your 2nd posting Big smile

By SolidEric

Champion (332)

SolidEric's picture

13-01-2004, 15:18

JV1080 has GM indeed, easy to edit sounds, expandable with new soundcards etc. Great module.

But if you need decent sounds for an ever lower price, maybe look for a original Roland Sound Canvas or it's big brother the SC-88 (Super Sound Canvas) then you have GS compatibility as well. Smile

GM = General Midi
GS = General Sound (=General Midi with extended features like more sounds and chorus/reverb control in midi)

Thanks for the information Bart Big smile

By wolf_

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13-01-2004, 18:47

A module is out of the question, unless you are prepared to invest in a midi-keyboard.

Half a year ago I bought a cheap velocity-sensitive 4-oct keyboard @ Feedback, for ~ 69 euro, that was including a pc-joystick midi interface cable thingy. (just to put on my desk as a simple means to test some sounds made in modular softsynth). It doesn't have aftertouch/modwheel/pitchbend tho, and the velocity-scale didn't feel natural to me, so for serious playing I wouldn't advice it.

Studiologic makes cheap masterkeyboards, but usually you pay your full current budget for that ..

The solution would be an allround keyboard-synth with sufficient editing possibilities, based on GM, such as the Yamaha cs2x.. Wink a Roland JV-30/50 and misc other models in this class. There's a wealth of choice in this specific class of synths.

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