Too add to what I just posted. Here's a few good examples of what I mean when I say you should have at least a good understanding of synth basics before buying a pro synth/workstation.
I've had people contact me on the Zone on many occasions because they've wanted to do something to a particular voice. For example: If a person says "Squeak this piano sound is too dark. I want a more brighter sound, and EQ'ing isn't working." I respond by saying "No problem, you can do this by opening up the filters". When I then get a reply back saying "how do I open the filters?".., folks that's a red flag right there. When someone says "open the filters" that's a simple yet basic synth technique.
I had another person contact me because they purchased a synth and wanted to create a bass patch that was similiar to the Yamaha Fusion Bass. Again I say.., "What you need to do is create a patch that consists of two elements. You then need set and adjust a velocity curve between these two voices. You'll then need to fine tune each elements parameters to balance out the overall sound between the two so that once you reach the velocity curve, and trigger the actual velocity switch the sound will compliment the other.
Again that's basic voice program work there. Getting a response back saying "I have no idea what the hell you're talking about..., please help!" is yet another red flag.
So these are just two small examples of what a person needs to understand prior to taking the plunge into a pro synth/workstation. The manuals will go into some basic detail about the parameters and what they do. Whether you the owner can comprehend that is another story.
Keep in mind that the transistion from arranger to synth/workstation can be VERY steep for some. They're almost two different animals IMO. Recording platforms are different, Voice editing is way more in depth, and so on.
HOWEVER, and I strongly suggest this to any arranger player wanting try the synth/workstation. Your arrangers have BASIC voice editing tools... USE THEM.... LEARN THEM. GRASP THEIR CONCEPTS. Doing this will greatly reduce the "headache" once you make the transition.
Plus I and others here are always willing to help and answer those questions you have. Just keep in mind you need to be an "educated buyer". Understand there is a definitive line between the arranger and synth in terms of operation, and terminology.
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.