Keyboard/synth for 80's stuff?!

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Morning all!
Due to the onset of my midlife crisis I'm thinking strongly about getting a synth and messing about with programming and playing some of my old 80's memories! (Howard jones/Nick Kershaw etc). 
I am NOT a keyboard player but I'll soldier on. 
Can anybody suggest a modern cheap kinda synth that would allow me to cop so,e of those old sounds or are they now the 59 Les Paul's for keyboard players?!
Just to recap, I know nothing about playing them but am looking for a nice hobby to tackle over the coming year... A pal of mine used to do a great 80's thing years and years ago with cubase iirc but I've lost contact with him....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
:)
Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life
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Comments

  • goldtopgoldtop Frets: 893
    The sound of '80s music is analogue poly synths (OBs, JP8, etc) or Yamaha FM (DX series).

    The original (affordable) Juno series (6, 60, 106) is the sound of an awful LOT of '80s pop. It was a surprisingly simple synth, and had no business sounding as good as it did. Used only, of course, but if you buy one at £750, you can sell it at the same price if you tire of it.

    The Behringer DM12 is a modern take on the Juno architecture but with a whole lot more complexity at your disposal, plus excellent FX. And warranty! There's a DM6 coming along soon at a lower price.

    You can get FM synths for very cheap these days.

    Other than that, you can get ROMplers and modellers that can cop some of the sounds of the '80s.

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3392
    The Sequential Circuits Prophet V was another staple. (Modern reimaginings of this design exist but they certainly are not cheap.)

    For late Eighties sounds, the KORG M1 and the T series cover a lot of bases - especially with the optional extra sound cards.

    The E-Mu Vintage Keys rack module has a good stab at some of the classic sounds. Their Orbit 3 and Xtreme Lead modules do some nice squelchy sounds. The latter was also available in keyboard format. http://www.vintagesynth.com/emu/xk6.php

    If you already have a computer-based recording set-up, consider a "plug-in" software synthesizer. You will need a MIDI Controller keyboard to trigger the software but that one keyboard will serve for all virtual instruments.

    I suggest Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2. Here's Uncle Eric with the science bit. 

    https://www.spectrasonics.net/products/omnisphere/omnisphere-video.php#video
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  • dogloaddogload Frets: 1280
    There's the little Yamaha Reface series - they do a DX one
    https://www.gak.co.uk/en/yamaha-reface-dx-fm-synthesizer/119777

    as well as a CS synth one.
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1578
    For a cheap option grab the korg M1 app from the Apple or Adroid store and use a cheap midi controller, sounds fab!
    Do me a favour and like this:

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  • goldtopgoldtop Frets: 893
    C'mon - the OP mentioned HJ/NK and an M1 is not going to get anywhere close to those sounds. :)

    OP, if you don't mind the tiny size, the Roland JP-08 module will get much closer.

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3392
    edited July 2017
    goldtop said:
    C'mon - the OP mentioned HJ/NK and an M1 is not going to get anywhere close to those sounds.
    True but he also mentioned "modern/cheap".

    An original Jupe is going to be expensive. A Juno 106 may require a chip service. Any Eighties Sequential synth needs about a week for the tuning voltage to stabilise. (Okay. Slight exaggeration.)

    Let's split the digital/analogue difference. Roland JX-10 - Kershaw certainly used it.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1010
    edited July 2017
    I've got a few vintage Korg and Roland synths, but the softsynths do a decent enough job nowadays. Things like Diva, Oddity2, OP-X Pro-II, TAL-U-NO-LX, The Legend, etc.
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  • gusman2xgusman2x Frets: 596
    If it's just for mucking about, or if you're happy to use a keyboard controller, the Volca FM does superb 80s sounds. It's basically like having an 80s horror movie soundtrack in your hands.
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  • hasslehamhassleham Frets: 258
    I had the same crisis as you about a year ago and picked up a Roland JD-XI. I'm not a keyboard player either so the mini keys didn't matter to me, and it's absolutely rammed full of functions which have kept me entertained.
    You can look up the specs but briefly, you get:
    37 mini keys
    Digital synth with plenty of voices,
    Drum synth,
    Analog synth with basic options,
    Vocoder/autotune,
    Sequencer
    Mod wheel + pitch bend wheel

    Sound wise i'm not sure how it compares to the other synths mentioned but I know I am extremely happy with it. You also get downloads of new instruments online.

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  • DodgeDodge Frets: 332
    edited July 2017
    gusman2x said:
    If it's just for mucking about, or if you're happy to use a keyboard controller, the Volca FM does superb 80s sounds.
    +1.
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 959
    Roland XP80 here if your interested, nice sounds and built in workstation, 


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • DodgeDodge Frets: 332
    Actually, if you've got a DAW and a midi controller, try Dexed.  It's free and pretty decent sounding for FM sounds.
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  • dogloaddogload Frets: 1280
    Another option could be the Roland System-1 (or System-8 if you feel flush). As well as being really cool synths they have the bonus feature of being able to be loaded with a 'plug-out' of a classic Roland analogue synth. Unfortunately you have to buy these separately... 

    The System-1 though is an excellent stand-alone. People slag off the keyboard but to be honest it's quite nice to play - as a non-keyboardist - and it sounds fantastic. it can be momophonic or limited poly and has a built-in arpeggiator. Furthermore, it's fun. I got one a couple of months ago, and I can't keep my hands off it! 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33320
    You guys aren't trying hard enough… a keyboard, for 80s sounds for a non-keyboardist?

    You want one of these!

    http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/korg_rk100s-rd_keytar_red.asp?gclid=CK6Z9JeghNUCFde6GwodqIcO-w
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  • Lol - would you believe I was looking at a Peavey powerslide last night. Both of those are all kinds of awesome =)
    Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 667
    edited September 2017
    I was in the same sort of boat but wanted to start with the big string sounds and just got a 6mth old Kurzweil PC3k6 for £1000.  It's an older design that must be due a replacement but the new and used values have really softened.  Good build quality (something Roland seem to have moved away from at their recent price points).  The simple LCD screen alot of people bag is a bonus in my book as I don't want to be looking at a color touchscreen while playing.

    Was tempted to go all out and a Korg Kronos but that's basically a PC, touchpad with keyboard attached and I'd prefer to go DAW router (they also take up to 2mins to boot up - the Kurzweil is 15s).

    I'll probably add a analogue keyboard module (or imitator like Nord Lead 2) or one of the recent analogue mini synths from the likes of Korg/Roland for those simpler synth lead lines.  It seems like a great time to get back in the game and you get alot for your money, especially second hand.  I too was a Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby etc fanboy but my Casio CZ1000 in the mid 80's didn't really cut it!
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  • tampaxbootampaxboo Frets: 486
    the yamaha dx7 was like a musically-transmitted disease in the 80s. i would imagine anything cheapish you can find to fake that will cover all but the grittiest early 80s monosynth electro.
    i am the hired assassin... the specialist. i introduce myself to you... i'm a sadist.
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5895
    this puts things into perspective about what you actually heard back then... bedrock of nearly all songs!




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  • SnapSnap Frets: 2424
    If its the DX7 stuff you are after, there were cheaper versions like the DX21 or DX27.  Much cheaper to do this in emulation though, tons of stuff for the ipad. iSEM, iMini, iProphet, all by arturia, and all very good.
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  • goldtop said:
    C'mon - the OP mentioned HJ/NK and an M1 is not going to get anywhere close to those sounds. :)

    OP, if you don't mind the tiny size, the Roland JP-08 module will get much closer.
    That was my thoughts (JP-08)
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • Nice one - ill check it out.....
    Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life
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  • RaraRara Frets: 5
    Dude! Get yourself a keytar! Sorry, I cannot pass up the opportunity to talk keytar's and midlife crises  =)
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17338
    A decent midi keyboard and this Syntronic software ... top notch emulations of everything you'd ever want. There's a basic FREE version ...

    http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/syntronik/




    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17338








    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17338


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 483
    edited January 22
    dogload said:
    Another option could be the Roland System-1 (or System-8 if you feel flush). As well as being really cool synths they have the bonus feature of being able to be loaded with a 'plug-out' of a classic Roland analogue synth. Unfortunately you have to buy these separately... 

    The System-1 though is an excellent stand-alone. People slag off the keyboard but to be honest it's quite nice to play - as a non-keyboardist - and it sounds fantastic. it can be momophonic or limited poly and has a built-in arpeggiator. Furthermore, it's fun. I got one a couple of months ago, and I can't keep my hands off it! 
    The system 8 comes pre loaded with 2 plug outs now - the Jupiter 8 and juno 106.  Ive played with one extensivly and was about to pull the trigger - then realised I wanted a weighted board to learn piano first (and I have a fantom S which can get there - if not in real time as its a workstation).


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  • Im actually contemplating picking up a used JP8000.  4 ocatave and digital not analogue, but has all the real time control you'd expect and sounds more analogue than it should.
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