Jump to content


Photo

Advice for a hardware synth


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:11

Hello everybody.I am thinking to buy a synth so i can have something to put my hands on and create music cause i dont like using the keyboard and mouse so mutch.I am looking towards the novation ultranova and the roland jd xi.What are your thoughts about these two?What else would you recoment?Have a nice day

#2 gimmeapill

gimmeapill

    Super Advanced Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 August 2018 - 14:51

Those were out of my price range and feature list, so I cannot comment on the Novation and Roland, but I got myself a Reface DX and have been a happy camper so far.

 

- compact and portable (battery powered + internal speakers), fits well in a standard computer keyboard drawer, or in a backpack.

- good quality keybed, pleasant to use (to be more specific: better than any of the controllers with 36 mini keys I tried).

- works fine as a midi controller (sliders can also be assigned), or as a sound generator (sequenced by Renoise).

- sounds good: gets all the classic DX7 stuff covered.

It is not compatible with the original DX presets and has only 4 operators, but in practise this is a non issue for me.I can always load Dexed if I need to see one of the original DX patches and it has one thing the original DX didn't have: 2 onboard digital effects - This make a hell of a difference in standalone mode - it sounds more deep and powerful than I expected. Actually I am recording it live instead of using plugins most of the time, it just sounds more lively (this could be partially due to my sloppy timing I recon).

- lacks an arpegiator, but has a looper = good enough for my purpose (record a loop and noodle around on the sofa). if I want more, I have Renoise.

- interface is great overall: it is actually possible to do some sound design without any external editor and to tweak stuff while playing.

 

All in all, a very pleasant musical instrument that gets a lot of stuff done for a reasonable budget.

But this is obviously not the thing to get if you want to tweaks knobs while playing arpegios...


  • random, Veggies and stoiximan like this

#3 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 08 August 2018 - 15:04

Those were out of my price range and feature list, so I cannot comment on the Novation and Roland, but I got myself a Reface DX and have been a happy camper so far.

- compact and portable (battery powered + internal speakers), fits well in a standard computer keyboard drawer, or in a backpack.
- good quality keybed, pleasant to use (to be more specific: better than any of the controllers with 36 mini keys I tried).
- works fine as a midi controller (sliders can also be assigned), or as a sound generator (sequenced by Renoise).
- sounds good: gets all the classic DX7 stuff covered.
It is not compatible with the original DX presets and has only 4 operators, but in practise this is a non issue for me.I can always load Dexed if I need to see one of the original DX patches and it has one thing the original DX didn't have: 2 onboard digital effects - This make a hell of a difference in standalone mode - it sounds more deep and powerful than I expected. Actually I am recording it live instead of using plugins most of the time, it just sounds more lively (this could be partially due to my sloppy timing I recon).
- lacks an arpegiator, but has a looper = good enough for my purpose (record a loop and noodle around on the sofa). if I want more, I have Renoise.
- interface is great overall: it is actually possible to do some sound design without any external editor and to tweak stuff while playing.

All in all, a very pleasant musical instrument that gets a lot of stuff done for a reasonable budget.
But this is obviously not the thing to get if you want to tweaks knobs while playing arpegios...


I was thinking knobs for realtime thingis.Nice sound from the Yamaha and thanks for your answer.

#4 Jalex

Jalex

    Big Masta Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 549 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 August 2018 - 22:16

How about waldorf blofeld? Good multi-tembral weapon for any electronic sounds.
  • gimmeapill, Medievil-Music and stoiximan like this

#5 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 08 August 2018 - 22:34

How about waldorf blofeld? Good multi-tembral weapon for any electronic sounds.


Too many menus and very expensive here in Greece with the keys.

#6 Neurogami

Neurogami

    Big Super GrandMasta Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 762 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scottsdale AZ
  • Interests:Art, music, technology

Posted 08 August 2018 - 23:56

I've been enjoying my Korg Volca FM:

 

 

 

 

 

It accepts DX7 patches via Dexed.   I did a hardware hack to add a midi-out port to save patches created on the device.


  • Denim, gimmeapill and stoiximan like this

#7 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:51

I've been enjoying my Korg Volca FM:

 

 

 

 

 

It accepts DX7 patches via Dexed.   I did a hardware hack to add a midi-out port to save patches created on the device.

 

 

I love that guy in SonicLab!!So no comments on the synths i posted the ultranova and the jd-xi.I just saw that the jd-xi has a chord follow action and the ultranova has a buit in audiocard.Very difficult to deside i will wait for some other recommendations  and see

 

 

 

 



#8 gimmeapill

gimmeapill

    Super Advanced Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:30

What about a true analog poly like the Minilogue? It has knobs, an easy interface with no menu diving, sounds good, and the price decreased since it was introduced.

 

Looking at Thomann Greece, it is now just between 50-100 Euros above the other two:

https://www.thomann....WFnZSI6ImVuIn0=


  • stoiximan likes this

#9 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 09 August 2018 - 13:23

What about a true analog poly like the Minilogue? It has knobs, an easy interface with no menu diving, sounds good, and the price decreased since it was introduced.

Looking at Thomann Greece, it is now just between 50-100 Euros above the other two:
https://www.thomann....WFnZSI6ImVuIn0=


Seems nice i will check it out.Thanks

#10 Jalex

Jalex

    Big Masta Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 549 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 August 2018 - 16:15

novation nova desktop.

Edited by Jalex, 09 August 2018 - 16:20.

  • stoiximan likes this

#11 random

random

    Chief Above Chief Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:X
  • Interests:Babylon by Bass

Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:44

@gimmeapill

Reface DX strengthen and weaken, you wrote a informative description, thnx !

 

- works fine as a midi controller (sliders can also be assigned), or as a sound generator (sequenced by Renoise).

 

you can also assign the touchscreen "sliders"?
if so how many together?


Edited by random, 10 August 2018 - 10:47.


#12 gimmeapill

gimmeapill

    Super Advanced Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 August 2018 - 12:59

@gimmeapill

Reface DX strengthen and weaken, you wrote a informative description, thnx !

 

 

you can also assign the touchscreen "sliders"?
if so how many together?

 

Yes. I was actually referring to the touch strips. They are slightly more "tactile" than a touch screen & that gives you 4 assignable CCs.

But I hardly scratched the surface when it comes to midi, since I use it mostly standalone and just record the audio output.

I just noticed that it becomes very chatty once you enable midi control. I was almost shocked to see a proper bi-directional midi implementation for most internal parameters - more here: https://usa.yamaha.c...ce_en_dl_b0.pdf

Oh, and it is usb-midi compliant, everything works out of the box on Linux.


  • random likes this

#13 random

random

    Chief Above Chief Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:X
  • Interests:Babylon by Bass

Posted 10 August 2018 - 14:05

With Sustain Pedal, Volume and Pitch then 7, nice

My "Masterkeyboard" is a Yamaha Qy100 so far, would have liked something bigger
Had previously the Yamaha Reface CS in the viewfinder, which has many faders but no Memory Slots, Intern no Velocity and is just Virtual Analog
Yamaha Reface DX is prettier and FM more exciting (for me)


Edited by random, 10 August 2018 - 14:11.


#14 gimmeapill

gimmeapill

    Super Advanced Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 August 2018 - 22:15

With Sustain Pedal, Volume and Pitch then 7, nice

My "Masterkeyboard" is a Yamaha Qy100 so far, would have liked something bigger
Had previously the Yamaha Reface CS in the viewfinder, which has many faders but no Memory Slots, Intern no Velocity and is just Virtual Analog
Yamaha Reface DX is prettier and FM more exciting (for me)

 

The DX is the less crippled of the bunch, and there is no significant price difference, so it's easy to recommend if you want a better keyboard than your QY, but something not too big either, with a nice industrial design.

Regarding midi, I just double checked and the Volume + Octave don't transmit anything (only pitch bend does). But the bank/preset buttons do transmit program changes, and the 4 touch strips change their midi cc according to the menu you're in, so that's actually much more than 7 controls. Each touch strip seems to send between 1 and 3 cc numbers at once depending on the parameter controlled - so you probably don't want to use all the settings anyway.

I should also mention that the thing is able to produce reasonably harsh sounds if needed, thanks to the operators feedback and the built in distortion - just in case that's your thing ;-)


Edited by gimmeapill, 12 August 2018 - 22:31.

  • random likes this

#15 random

random

    Chief Above Chief Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:X
  • Interests:Babylon by Bass

Posted 13 August 2018 - 21:14

Thanks again gimmeapill !

had overlooked that:

When MIDI Control Mode is turned on, Control Change numbers are assigned in order that voice parameter

changes made using controllers on the front panel can be controlled via MIDI.

Well done Yamaha, could be a good match with a Daw

old Fm synthesizers sounds dirtier
with more space would take a DX11 (as then, however, lacks the speaker, battery power, usb and the practical Midi cable whip)
but the slightly hard basic sound of the DX has also attracted my attention, like it

 

Damn I'm really close to buy


Edited by random, 13 August 2018 - 21:15.


#16 gimmeapill

gimmeapill

    Super Advanced Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 August 2018 - 16:01

What sold me was the form factor and overall convenience: it is completely portable and relatively unobtrusive on a desk (it fits in a 7cm high keyboard sliding tray), yet is still playable with both hands:

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

I was also eyeing the volca FM, but like you I wanted a decent keyboard and a bit more polyphony for noodling around on the couch (or in the cottage, since my studio time is now severely limited...).

For the price, I was more or less expecting a glorified midi controller with a cheap vst sound, but it's actually a good quality musical instrument on its own: It works just fine for putting my kids to sleep with ambient pads, and once plugged into decent speakers it has a surprisingly detailed sound (even with the onboard effects turned off).

Still, I wouldn't pit it against a vintage DX, but it does what it does very well if you are aware of the limitations.


Edited by gimmeapill, 14 August 2018 - 16:05.

  • random likes this

#17 random

random

    Chief Above Chief Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:X
  • Interests:Babylon by Bass

Posted 14 August 2018 - 20:40

Thanks for the Pic
With the Pad controller and the Beer Bottle in comparison, I get a good idea where I can place the DX on my desk.

 

It works just fine for putting my kids to sleep with ambient pads,

 

Congratulation, nice to read :)

 

When I started playing the bass again a few years ago,  i saw a teaching DVD from David Ellefson, He talks there also about practicing:
Most importantly. i like to have the instrument always availability to me
Dont take your Instrument out from case, cleaning it, plugging in, turn in your amp.
Keep it in a place we see it, We don't always have Time
Better to ply everyday 15 Minutes or more with fun as one Day in the Week with Frustration

 

Find thats a very good tip, can be transferred to Electronic Music, Synthesizers

Believe these are about your good experiences with the Reface DX (plug and play)


Edited by random, 14 August 2018 - 20:42.

  • gimmeapill likes this

#18 niNja_pWn3d

niNja_pWn3d

    Big GrandDaddy Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 470 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tha' 204!
  • Interests:..:: My kids - Music - Production - Promotion - 8bit - amen - Hax0r ::..

Posted 15 August 2018 - 00:51

Hello everybody.I am thinking to buy a synth so i can have something to put my hands on and create music cause i dont like using the keyboard and mouse so mutch.I am looking towards the novation ultranova and the roland jd xi.What are your thoughts about these two?What else would you recoment?Have a nice day

 

 

Hey bud! I use eurorack modular synth's, they're AMAZING and you dont have to be limited by a certain synths routing and makeshift.. If you need some tios for modules let me know! 


Youtube!
Soundcloud!

"The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When such pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together." -Epicurus

#19 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:49

Hey bud! I use eurorack modular synth's, they're AMAZING and you dont have to be limited by a certain synths routing and makeshift.. If you need some tios for modules let me know!


Thanks friend.I think i am close to making my desicion.The Roland jd-xi is probably what i am going for.Dont like the mini keys but for what it has to offer i can always connect me 49 controller and jam away.It is very begginer friendly in my eyes so i think l will start with that.
  • gimmeapill likes this

#20 niNja_pWn3d

niNja_pWn3d

    Big GrandDaddy Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 470 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tha' 204!
  • Interests:..:: My kids - Music - Production - Promotion - 8bit - amen - Hax0r ::..

Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:25

Thanks friend.I think i am close to making my desicion.The Roland jd-xi is probably what i am going for.Dont like the mini keys but for what it has to offer i can always connect me 49 controller and jam away.It is very begginer friendly in my eyes so i think l will start with that.

 

 

Have you looked into Eurorack Modular Synthesis? 


  • stoiximan likes this
Youtube!
Soundcloud!

"The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When such pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together." -Epicurus

#21 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 16 August 2018 - 08:16

Have you looked into Eurorack Modular Synthesis? 

Yep way to complicated for me.Maybe at a later time when i feel more comfortable with synthesis i will give it a try.



#22 Jalex

Jalex

    Big Masta Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 549 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 August 2018 - 13:08



#23 random

random

    Chief Above Chief Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 274 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:X
  • Interests:Babylon by Bass

Posted 14 September 2018 - 10:41

After this detailed interview with a Yamaha Designer I must to buy the Yamaha DX today

https://www.dropbox....G_0029.JPG?dl=0

 

@gimmeapill

Thank you for the many tips, seriously :)


Edited by random, 14 September 2018 - 10:48.


#24 ffx

ffx

    Composes without Wires burns Directly from Brain to DVD that is already in Store Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3490 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 14 September 2018 - 12:15

If find this interesting, the recent synth when it comes to FM, now with affordable prices: https://www.gearnews...er-gets-leaked/

 

Seems to be marketing crapware. Not the state-of-the-art FM synth, but a crippled, multilayer performance keyboard for pads and plucks only or something, very raw average joe sound. Sorry for this link.

 

EDIT: Now it turns out that the MODX has exactly the same engine as the Montage, and now there are much better videos with demo sounds available. It sounds very good. Crappy marketing campaign, though. In deep videos still are missing. But the reference manual now is available:

 

https://usa.yamaha.c...dx_en_rm_a0.pdf

 

So it is 64 voices of FM-X, which is capable of all of DX7 + a lot more, 128 voices AWM2 sample/synth engine, 2 insert fx per timbre, triple master fx section and a vocoder.


Edited by ffx, 21 September 2018 - 13:51.

Test system: macOS 10.13.4, HFS+. Firewire Audio, i7 4770, 8GB Ram, GTX1050 2GB, 48kHz
GUI Automation RecorderNative DSP Context MenuTuned ShortcutsUnified Value Shift And Transpose | Jump To From Send Modified (Docs) | Quick Template | Nisanmol's Groove Tool FixedThemes


#25 stoiximan

stoiximan

    Member

  • Normal Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greece

Posted 14 September 2018 - 13:18

I have a feeling that this winter we will have more synths.I am going to wait and see