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Synth Suggestions

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by TaySte_2000, Mar 16, 2009.


  1. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Hi Justin I'm after a small 2-3 octave keyboard and would like your advice. I've always loved the NIN keyboard tones so I'm looking for something that gets in that ballpark, but especially deep fuzzy sub rumbly synth sound.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    AX-Synth... i kid... unless...

    not speaking for JMJ, this is simply a new-found interest of mine. i was in a similar situation, and used the JMJ post as well as your midi foot pedals post during my search.
    i also came across this site- it's a good resource for me. the "synth finder" tab is cool:
    http://www.vintagesynth.com/

    though some synths are better than others, it basically comes down to a good synth can reproduce most other synth sounds (pending the number of oscillators, available wave forms, etc.)

    as i am on a budget, and really want a "starter" synth, i went with a alesis micron. it sounds good but it is difficult to change the parameters (usually use my computer to edit patches). i am looking into midi foot controllers now (leaning toward the budget fatar stuff). JMJ has said that he digs the micron's big bro, the ion (which i believe was discontinued).

    some basic things you need to decide on-
    new or vintage?
    digital, analogue, or soft synth?
    mono, poly, both options?
    price range?

    i was looking for a newer synth (to patch direct to a computer or 1/4" out); wanted mono, but didn't rule out poly; 3-4 octave; less money... options i considered:
    -korg ms2000 (discontinued, lots of knobs that make learning the nuts'n'bolts of synthesizing easy)
    -korg microkorg (good sounds, hard to edit, didn't like the little keys)
    -korg mono/poly (vintage synth... didn't want to spend $ on upkeep)
    -novation xio, x station, k station, and bass station (25 key, 49 key, or 61 key versions)
    -roland has a few models (sh, juno)

    if i had the $ to spend, i would have went w/ a moog little phatty (it is mono) or a nord stage.

    if you do a jmj thread search, i recall he mentions
    digital-korg microkorg, alesis ion, novation bass station
    digital &/or analog- dave smith stuff, and moog little phatty
    analog- moog rogue/realistic mg-1, octave kat

    JMJ's gear post mentions a few synths that he owns.
    the bassplayer article says he uses a softsynth setup w/ NIN- Novation ReMote 25SL, Apple Xserve-based softsynth rig
     
  3. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp

    If you check the big gear thread you'll see who started it and posted the info ;)

    I'm going to get a Korg DS for my Nintendo which is an MS2000 in a cartridge suppose if I like that I can have another look at the microkorg but every band I hear it in sounds the same. The Alesis Micron is really tempting.
     
  4. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    it's all about the budget... ion's go around $500 or $600 on ebay. the micron is cool but it is not as versatile for on the fly tweeks. here's a link for a downloadable file editor... it is basically an online version of an ion:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/retroware/

    is it possible to sync a korg ds w/ a midi controller?
     
  5. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Get an Ion. Not small, but so sick. Micron's are great if you DON'T have to tweak knobs and don't mind using an editor.

    Vintage-wise, you could get an Octave Kat, an MS10 or MS20, or a trusty Sh-101.

    Best,
    JMJ
     
  6. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Would you go with the Ion over the Little Phatty or the Evolver?

    I would have thought either of those two would have a thicker sound, but perhaps it's not so?
     
  7. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Ion is weirder and more interesting. Little PHatty and Evolver are both big-sounding analog monosynths. Apples and oranges.
     
  8. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Does any one have any opinions on the Novation XIO stuff?

    I'm going to look for an ION and if I can't find one or they are too expensive I'll get a Micron apparently it's the same synth just less controls and at my level of playing on synths that might be a good thing.
     
  9. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I think so, the DS has wifi in it and I believe you can get midi controllers with wifi in them. I could be wrong though.

    On the subject of synths I was browsing a few forums and saw a post going OMG is that signed by JMJ and I thought woah wierd JMJ shouldn't be big in keyboard circles really and you know what..........................





























    It was Jean-Michel Jarre :ninja:
     
  10. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Haha!

    Hey NIN guitarist Robin Finck has one of those NOvation little guys that's part controller/part synth, and you know it doesn't sound half bad. I just think an Ion/Micron is more creative.

    JMJ
     
  11. I use a midi controller and reason on a laptop for studio stuff. You can deeply edit so many patches that your options are pretty much endless. For live I use a MicroKorg through a Sansamp. Theres a software patch editor for that board and you can get really great sounds saved, plus it's small. The small keys are kind of a bitch to get used to though. Just my 2cents.
     
  12. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Yeah, MicroKorg is really pretty good. Used it with Beck for quite a while, and tons of bands have that cracking in their setups. But yes: the keys suck, and editing onboard is a bitch, you'd have to use that editor.

    Taystee, if you wanna get deep, just rock a controller/laptop like Jackson's saying. That's really the ultimate, and pretty easy too.

    JMJ
     
  13. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I found an Alesis QS6 at what I think is a good price.

    But don't know, I don't really want to go the software synth route but I don't want to get some old synth that isn't going to cut it or even just be fun to play around with.
     
  14. I had a QS6.2 a couple years ago. You might as well light the money you were going to spend on it on fire. They suck my ass. That being said, if you've played it and like it than buy it. I just personally would find more use out something else. I keep hearing good things about the ION board Justin mentioned and I don't think they're too much more than the QS6.
     
  15. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    OK that will pretty much do me to avoid it :D

    The QS6 I can get is £120 so currently $180ish given the rubbish exchange rate I almost think I could buy it and sell it for an Ion :D
     
  16. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I'm going to try an XIO tonight.

    I'm thinking if the novation gets me close since I most likely want bass station sounds then I can get the Ion sounds using the link above and using it with a laptop, the best of both worlds I think.

    Might go the route of the X-Station though.

    But I did realise that I really only want 2-3 oct's I was playing around last night and I really need to limit myself to one handed, two is just an insult to people's ears.

    Justin what are your views on people turning up with laptops for an audition, you know just to run softsynths is it acceptable or pretty much *** are you doing? :D

    Oh and Justin, have you seen this

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Holy want batman
     
  18. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Is that real??? I didn't think it came in a keyboard... Do you have a link? Can't find it at the DSI website.
     
  19. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    http://www.davesmithinstruments.com/

    i don't see it on the site though
     
  20. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Sick. This will be great. I have a Mopho, and this is a total winner.
     

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