Effects for synth/keys

Im beginning to dive deeper down the rabbit hole of synths, guitar hasnt been touched in around 3 weeks so far. Im getting used to my Monologue and love it but Ive seen a few people using effects pedals with synths as well. I have a few VSTs but they seem to kill the analogue sound from it completely (I know theyre going to do it)


 A few people have said get this as a budget option which sounds far better than the VSTs on the video



Would physical pedals make that much of a difference?
Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.....


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  • SporkySporky Frets: 12905
    Cooper Temple Clause used a lot of Boss pedals on the synths. 
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17545
    edited June 24
    Alessandro Cortini from Modwheelmod & Nine Inch Nails does as well.
    So do I, FWIW.

    Unless you are going to record your analogue synths to analogue tape then at some point you are going to have to digitise it.
    Plugins sound pretty good these days- I don't personally think you lose much using plugin effects at all, but the interface difference (mouse/kbd vs knobs and faders) means you make different choices.

    Also, being able to instantiate multiple plugins means you tend not to work as hard with them, rather than getting the most out of the single analogue delay you might have.

    I like building little workstations with fewer options than I have in my main DAW- a synth or sampler + a few effects, maybe a filter, a wah pedal, a looper.
    That workstation is a 'creation station', that the performances that I do from it get tracked into the main DAW.

    I just built something fun (the idea that I stole from Cortini, who probably stole it from someone else) where I use an old Tascam 4 tape track to 'play' chord progressions.
    Say I have a 4 chord song with the progression Em, G, D, C.

    I loop each chord with a looper and record that loop onto each track for about 5 minutes.
    I can then use the sliders of the 4 track to play the chord progression, which can be fed into effects units I currently use my FX8 with- filter,  octaver, wah, delay, reverb and tremolo mostly.
    I can then resample/loop that using the FX8's looper.

    It is exceptionally cool.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2949
    edited June 24
    I find no problems applying DAW digital delay, modulation and reverberation processing to analogue sound sources. 

    Either add them as insert effects then, balance the direct and effected levels within each effect plug-in
    or blend in the effects via an Auxiliary Buss.

    I have a couple of Creamware ASB series modules. Despite being semi-digital, they throb like good 'uns into Apple Logic Pro in a way that Roland JV and E-Mu Proteus ROMpler sounds never quite manage.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • Flink_PoydFlink_Poyd Frets: 2350
    @octatonic ;The tactile side of things is definitely more appealing and I've found what you said about VSTs, I end up stacking them. I don't know if to go multi fx, individual pedals or what at the mo. I never had this with guitars as I just used the effects in the amps, it's weird 
    Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.....


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  • wave100wave100 Frets: 124
    Gasp! A guitarist without FX pedals? Get thee a cheap analog delay pedal, preferably one that will self oscillate, you will have so much fun!
    My workflow with analogue synths is a) play part using zoom multifx if required, b) record midi part in DAW then c) record audio part in DAW without FX while twiddling knobs etc, then d) apply fx in DAW. Another advantage of using hardware FX is you can use zero latency monitoring... for er zero latency. If you monitor with vst fx the signal has to go through the soundcard buffers etc.
    I just use a zoom g3x because that's what I had so it is ok for many effects but unfortunately not so good for delay, so if you find a delay pedal that works well, let me know!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15767
    Guitar pedals can work very well .. I find stereo works best  but experiment ...













    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15767
    edited June 25
    The Moog/Timeline video shows you what can be done with a simple synth line and a decent stereo pedal .. skip the beginning.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • goldtopgoldtop Frets: 805
    What they said about modern Strymon/Eventide/etc FX for bigging up an unaffected synth sound.

    There are alternatives. I found one of these for about £80, and (apart from a finicky encoder) it's like instant magic on my old CS-15:




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  • Flink_PoydFlink_Poyd Frets: 2350
    goldtop said:
    What they said about modern Strymon/Eventide/etc FX for bigging up an unaffected synth sound.

    There are alternatives. I found one of these for about £80, and (apart from a finicky encoder) it's like instant magic on my old CS-15:



    If I could find one of those I'd have it. That's a lot of the sounds I like but theyre few and far between by the looks of things. Strymon etc would be pushing it price wise at the moment 
    Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.....


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  • Flink_PoydFlink_Poyd Frets: 2350
    Ended up getting a Zoom MS70 CDR. So far so good, even messing around with the presets gets a decent sound
    Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.....


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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15767
    edited June 29
    goldtop said:
    What they said about modern Strymon/Eventide/etc FX for bigging up an unaffected synth sound.

    There are alternatives. I found one of these for about £80, and (apart from a finicky encoder) it's like instant magic on my old CS-15:



    If I could find one of those I'd have it. That's a lot of the sounds I like but theyre few and far between by the looks of things. Strymon etc would be pushing it price wise at the moment 
    Then buy Boss or TC Electronics. The Strymon vids show what can be done - the same applies with virtually any pedal. There's a German synth guy who uses Boss stomp boxes.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5494
    The Qudraverb was always a good external FX to joojz up any lifeless patch
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
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