Getting back into Synth's after 25 years - recomendations


Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi All, Hoping for some advice.

To cut the long story short I used to be into Syth's / drum kits and owned a Korg M1 Workstation.. if anyone is old enough to remembers those. It's taken me 25 years to realise that something has been missing in my life and and want to get back in to my music creative side, if anything would be more constructive than watching tv.

I envisage a lot has changed since then so need some help choosing some software and a workstation - it doesn't have to be brand new however the best bang for the buck as I don't want to have to keep on upgrading.

My current budget is £1500, and already own a high spec pc and was recently given a novation 49 impulse barebone midi keyboard just a few days ago - not sure if that is going to be any use.

The type of music I would like to have a go with creating is newage, i.e. enigma style , so looking for recommendation of a workstation and software that have a wide collection of high quality sound banks, strings, voice, orchestra pan flutes etc - and reasonably easy to use. It's purely home studio kit I'm after - too old to gig and certainly lacking skills.

Any suggesting would be much appreciated.

Thanks
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
8,430
Reaction score
3,595
Location
GTA, Canada
You have an important decision to make here.

Do you want to go the controller/soft synth route or do you want to start investing in a lot of expensive hardware gear that is definitely not obsolescence proof but does hold its resale value?

If you want to go controller, then how many keys and what sort of action are you looking for? Some recommended controllers are Akai MPK series, Arturia Keystation series and A few choices from Studiologic.

Then you'd have to look around for DAW software and free and commercially available soft synths.

If you're looking at hardware workstations you can splurge your entire working budget on a single keyboard and then some. Used and new take a look at the Roland Juno models or the Korg Krome or Korg TR models or maybe a used Yamaha Motif or a used Kurzweil PC361 just to get you started.

If I were starting out these days I'd go with a good quality controller and start collecting various rack modules to expand my soundset as time and money permits.

Personally I'm not a big fan of soft synths. They are memory hogs and prone to crashes at the worst possible times. Also, sooner or later your OS software will become obsolete and hence so will your soft synths.

A good MIDI controller and a collection of rack modules is the optimum setup to avoid obsolescence and maintain resale value should you ever wish to upgrade.

That's my $0.02

Gary ;)
 
Last edited:

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
8,430
Reaction score
3,595
Location
GTA, Canada
Just to give you a few specifics to look at if you want to go the controller and module route, take a look at the Arturia Keylab 88 (new) and a Korg Triton Rack (used) and/or a Roland Sound Canvas or Integra7 and/or a Yamaha Motif Rack (used or newer models)

This setup would give you the most bang for your buck :)

Gary ;)
 

Fred Coulter

Collector of ancient keyboards
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
825
Reaction score
427
Location
Central Florida
If you're not planning on playing out, I think you'll find the computer workstation route will be much cheaper. Buy a decent MIDI controller keyboard and do everything else on the computer. There's an amazing amount of free instruments out there. Heck, now a days you can connect directly from the keyboard to the computer using a USB cord, so you don't even need a MIDI interface.

If you're planning on playing out, then ignore my previous statement. (I'm not a fan of computers on stage.)
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
92
Reaction score
26
If you're not planning on playing out, I think you'll find the computer workstation route will be much cheaper. Buy a decent MIDI controller keyboard and do everything else on the computer. . . .
+1.

Another question:

. . . Do you want to play with sounds (that is, design your own, or make significant modifications to "stock" sounds)?

If so, you'll want a real programmable synth (or "virtual synth"). In hardware, those start around the Korg microKorg (and microKorg XL and XL+), and go up from there. They are _not_ M1 substitutes.

In software synths (not free), check out:

https://www.applied-acoustics.com

There are lots of freeware software synths -- Google will help, there. Add "VST" to your search.

If you want to work with libraries of sampled sounds, there are lots to choose from. Or, in that case, one of the many "ROMplers" (keyboards with lots of sound samples) will work. Korg Kross (I think), or the Yamaha Motif "budget models" -- "MM" and/or "MX" series. Those (more-or-less) _are_ M1 substitutes.

. . . If you want to compose, rather than play live, mini-keys might be a good choice.

. Charles
 
Ad

Advertisements

Fred Coulter

Collector of ancient keyboards
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
825
Reaction score
427
Location
Central Florida
If you want to compose, rather than play live, mini-keys might be a good choice.
Probably depends on how much of a keyboard player you are. The more you play traditional keyboards, the more your muscle memory will fight you on the micro keys. On the other hand, if you're just imputing individual parts into a sequencer, you don't need 88 or 61 keys.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top