Need help purchasing a synthesizer


Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hey guys how is it going? Well I need a bit of advice! I own a Yahama keyboard that has an LCD screen that shows you which notes to play and such. It's a great, cheap beginners toy, don't get me wrong.

Honestly, I never used the screen helper or read much music. I learned half of Fur Elise just by ear. I already play the guitar. My background in musical instruments is mainly guitar, however I can play a bass and I have a mandoline that I like to play around with. Also, I know how to read sheet music, however I am slow and it takes me a few minutes to get what I see on the keys. Besides that I know basic music theory like chords, modes, scales, etc.

However now I am ready to buy a synthesizer. I am not really looking for a better keyboard or to learn how to completely play the keyboard. I'm looking for a good synthesizer for special sounds, sound effects, and other uses (messing around with various waves, oscillators, filters, etc.) My main goal is to create some good sound effects to complement music I create on my guitar. Examples of what I mean can be found in Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Flaming Lips, etc., type of music.

I'm looking in the $400 - $600 price zone. I was truly wanting a modular synthesizer, because that would be interesting to learn and would steer more in the direction I want. However, those are usually expensive, and I'm sure a keyboard synthesizer could accomplish the same or greater results. Also, I've been looking at analog synthesizers, and they seem to be almost a combination of the two.

What brand and model synthesizer would you guys suggests? Also, is there any other advice, books, references or information that could be useful? Thanks in advanced!

Edit: I'm aware that keyboards with the ability to manipulate and create sounds are more on the expensive side. If you guys know of any good (and expensive) keyboards, let me know. However I am hoping I can find a decent synthesizer for my needs on ebay in the $400-600. I hope this clarifies my wants a bit better. Thanks!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
154
Reaction score
0
Location
Toms River,N.J.
Hello,

Before I delve into details about what brand of keyboard & for what purpose,I would first like to mention the topic concerning buying used versus new,especially with regard to eBay.

I personally never felt comfortable with the idea of getting involved with eBay,as unlike any other source,it's really quite a big mystery as to what you will end up with in the mail.

Of course,there are legitimate sellers on eBay,but's also a haven for scam artists.

Aside from that though,just in general,when your dealing with something electronic that inheritantly is subject to more defects & has a limited shelf life,it's far better to by new,as you buy a warranty & product support along with it.

Even though you only plan to spend a few hundred dollars-it's still an investment & the largset risk you will ever take is buying from an anonymous seller online.

That being said,& in accordance with what you are seeking in the budget range,I cannot think of a better synth for you than the Roland SH-201.

Brand new,it goes for $595.00 and it's an analog modeling synth.

I am a keyboard workstation and performance synthesizer psycho and in all my research,I have never seen so much capabilties & features for this price range.

It has plenty classic performance synth-style sliders,knobs & wheels to tweak & mangle sounds,along with a moderate amount of effects.

I think the most intriguing feature that you will discover about this synth,is that it has a external audio input-meaning that you can connect any audio source such as a cd player for instance and tweak that sound with the controls!

Theoretically you could plug in a guitar & tweak your guitar sounds,but I suspect that you will need a pre-amp box to achieve this.

Another piece of critical advice I can give you,is that in all of my experiences in retail music store purchases,the one common denominator was always that most of the time,I walked into a store with more product knowledge than most or all of the salesman there.

It is this reoccurring & frustrating theme,that has lead me to do the bulk of my business with Sweetwater.com

Being that you are a novice to pro synths,I think it would be ideal for you to puruse thier site,as they have the most comprehensive website,offering articles featuring gear reviews-as well as user-product reviews and buying guidlines & tutorials.
They also have an onsite discussion forum.

Additionally & even better still,they have the most knowledgable sales staff I have ever come across and there is always someone available to talk to you-either via email or phone(toll free).

They're really amazing about product replacement in the event something is defective or damaged and thier customer service is unrivaled.

Of course,I still shop at SamAsh,GuitarCenter & BHphotvideo.com here & there occasionally,but only for products that Sweetwater does not carry.

I am not in any way,affiliated with Sweetwater,but rather,I am just a very happy customer & I am just throwing out a suggestion for you to check them out for yourself.

Truth be told,one of the reasons I buy from them as well,is that it's an out-of-state purchase for me,so there's never any sales tax and I don't pay for any shipping on most stuff also.

They solely deal with FedEx,which is a major plus!!

As far as "expensive" synths go(since you mentioned it),I am absolutely in love with Clavia synthesizers,as they have the most raw,organic,innovative & versatile synths on the market today with incredible sound quality(in my opinion)!!

The Roland SH-201 is still the best synth for what you want for just under
$600 bucks,but if you really want to get crazy & compliment your guitar work to the extreme,then the Clavia Nord synths are for you.

I myself have the Korg Triton Extreme & it's a motherf**kin' beast & I love it to death,but the Clavia Nord Lead 2X is a whole nother world of synthesis that has the most unique features & sound quality I have ever heard for a grand and this board is most definately the next purchase on my list.
The Nord Lead 2X is Clavia's most inexpensive synth in thier line of products,but it is the most potent virtual analog synth you could possibly buy for a $1,000.

If you really want a really insane & incredibly powerful & versatile version of the Roland Sh-201 and you are willing to take the time to set aside enough dough to grab yourself one,then you may want to seriously consider the Nord G2 or the Nord Wave.

If you really want to have fun getting to know Clavia keyboards,then check out www.clavia.se or type in "Clavia Nord Wave" in the Google search box to get thier alternative web page,which specifically addresses the develpoment of the Nord Wave(which is due to arrive in stores the week of 11/18/07)

Hope my input helped you out.

Cheers,

Thom(aka Elwood)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Wow man, thanks a bunch for that advice!!! That Roland SH-201 would truly fit what I want right now! It seems to have a bunch of different wave forms and options for manipulating sounds!!

I think this would be a good started synthesizer. Now I am anxious for Christmas to get here so I can purchase one! My fiance likes to mess around on the keyboard, and she even recommended we get a synthesizer for christmas for the both of us.. I cannot wait.

Of all of the synthesizers that I have been looking at, this one seems the most suitable for my desires as the moment. It's especially cool that you can manipulate CDs and MP3s; I bet that would be fun! I could imagine free-styling on some old Pink Floyd tunes, lol.

Anyways, thanks again for all of the help. You have shown me the door, now I have to walk through it!
 

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