Starter synths?

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  • minimoogminimoog Frets: 128
    edited December 2015
    Neil said:
    It really is just a whim TBH and I won't have a lot to spend until after Christmas but really just wanted to know what sort of stuff (+ease of use) was available to a complete beginner.
    Fair enough. It you want to keep it really cheap and still avoid computers and softsynths you could do worse than a Yamaha CS2X. You can pick one up around £100 and they have some decent sounds in them, a reasonable 5-octave keyboard, and are very light if a tad flimsy. They are waveform/sample based rather than subtractive 'true' synths like those mentioned so far, but that probably won't matter at first. They are programmed via a matrix rather than having a nice sea of knobs and sliders to tweak, but that's the compromise for cheapness. I found mine pretty easy to get on with even so.




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  • blobbblobb Frets: 820
    This is worth a read. Gordon Reid in fact (see what I did there!), and his brilliant series of articles which ran in SoS for a few years. Start at the bottom and work your way up, you will be pretty well clued up if you make it to the end.

    My journey with synths went something like this:

    Want a synth > researched > bought a KS > stumped > seek knowledge about what synthesis actually is > understood what all the knobs were supposed to control > experimented with how the controls interact > create own sounds with a purpose > bought a deeper version of the ks (Supernova2) > applied knowledge gained previously > wanted to start midi sequencing > wanted to sequence multitimbraly > stumped > learnt about sequencers > bought a sequencer capable of multi seq > stumped >  f~*ck it > twiddling again on the KS > enjoying synths again

    Notice at no point in there is there any reference to 'playing piano'. I'm just as clueless now about keyboard playing as ever but you know what? I learnt an awful lot about synths from that ks. It's a brilliant thing to learn about and play around with, you'll enjoy the experience.

    Synth secrets:
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm


    Feelin' Reelin' & Squeelin'
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 820
    In fact, if you only read one of the articles, the end summary sums it up nicely:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul04/articles/synthsecrets.htm
    Feelin' Reelin' & Squeelin'
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2881

    a great "first synth" is the Roland Gaia..

    it sounds great, is pretty capable, and was actually designed to be [according to the manual] a synth for first timers..

    one of my boys has one... I think it sounds great..

    play every note as if it were your first
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