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#6635 - 03/12/05 05:47 PM Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 34
Loc: lisle,il,usa
Guys,

I'm contemplating purchasing a new synth. The problem is, I don't really have much experience in this realm, so I don't know which brand to buy.

So far, for around the same money, I see the Korg Triton, the Yamaha Motiff ES6 and the Roland X7(not sure about the model).

I liked the Roland because it had the seemed to be a bit more advanced, and I really thought the piano sound beat the other two.

I am a software engineer so I envision doing a lot of work thru the computer. I'm also in my mid 30's, so you know my favorite type of music to play is 80's, Bon Jovi, etc. I currently own a Kawai K3, but it is a bit dated and limiting for my tastes.

I plan on spending no more than 2500 bucks for the purchase.

Can someone please make a few suggestions? Maybe, I don't even need to spend 2500? I did play around with a Korg Triton Le, however, I didn't think the piano sound is where it needed to be for my tastes.

Thanks all very much for your help.

Dave

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#6636 - 03/13/05 07:51 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
If you don't want to pay more than 2500 $US you will not get a Kurzweil synth...
If you only want to get a good piano sound you may want to have a yamaha e-piano. I've heard their good piano abilities.

Hey cool! I'm a hard- and software engineer in the mid 30's too. I'm also loving the 70's rock and the 80's metal. I had also played a Kawai but in the version K1 before I went to Yamaha V-50 and Kurzweil K2000.

Roland's and Korg's synths are also smoothable I think so...
Good luck on your quest!


------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

[This message has been edited by Sheriff (edited 03-13-2005).]
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#6637 - 03/17/05 06:11 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Pennywizz6 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 434
Loc: Shakopee, MN, USA
For 2500 your choices are near anything. If i had the money i would get a Roland Fantom-X, 76 key if you would like. IMO that is the best workstation to date. I just love the thing. It also has an incredible grand piano mode, the sounds are excellent.

The motif is very orchestrial, huge wav rom. Although the screen is petite, and as I have heard the sequencer is difficult to learn.

The Fantom is great for synths and pads, along with good orchestrial. Sweet sampling and sequencing modes. The LCD is huge, and the color is great. Very vivid lcd colors, you could watch tv on the thing!

I dont know much about the Triton, the touchscreen is cool. And of course the CDRW is awesome. Look at the black triton. 175mb of wav rom, it looks sweet.

Phil

[This message has been edited by Pennywizz6 (edited 03-17-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Pennywizz6 (edited 03-17-2005).]

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#6638 - 03/17/05 11:32 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
"Best synth for the money is a software synth"
Hi!
FIrst about the hardware.
This should give you a broader perspective: http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum1/HTML/003296.html

I don't know what made you decide that Roland Phantom X is more advanced. but than again, appearance and big displays can be deceaving.
Number one thing to look for is software support, ease of use and expandability. Roland uses only sampling and sample playback synthesis. It is hardly more advanced than Triton or Motif.
The samples that you get with ROland Expansion cards aren't exactly fantastic and hard to use in the mix (actually this one goes for all ROland sounds). They sound alright by themselves but in the mix they basically "walk all over each other" if you know what I mean. If you don't, than do not find out the hard way!
My personal preference is the MOtif ES 8. Mostly for keyboard feel, plug-in boards that add polyphony and independant synthesis engines.

Here's my main point though. You have mentioned that you are new to this and that you used to working with computers. You have also mentioned that you find the quality of piano sounds very important. I think you should expand in that direction as in oppose to face eventuall disapointment of having to deal with limitations of Roland, Korg and Yamaha workstations.

Truth is, software synthesis and software sampling is far ahead of what any today's workstation has to offer. For example something like Steinberg's "The Grand" and Ilio/Spectrasonics "Ivory" deliver gigs and gigs of full length superb quality piano samples instead of some misarable 32 or so megs of short, looped and stretched piano sounds found on Roland Phantom X.
The pianos on Phantom X could sound very impressive at first, but once you get into playing and using tons of sustained notes and different velocity ranges you will find that the cross-fades are actually quite cruide and that the loop points are more obvious than they seem originally.
But really, instead of me trying to explain you the difference between something good and something crappy, check it out for yourself: http://www.ilio.com/synthogy/ivory/

The best thing about software instruments is price. They cost a fraction of what workstations go for.
My advice to you is this. Get a decent controller (something like Yamaha S90 will be perfect. It has the same keyboard feel as the MOtif ES8, good sounds that work well together and even takes the same plug-in boards as the Motif ES series). Than get some decent software plug-ins for your computer and rock on!

OF coarse if you prefer pain and suffering of using Roland Phantom X which will eventually seem like real nightmare GO AHEAD!
See, workstations have their place. SOme guys who play live obviously can't take their entire setup on the road and so they choose to get Phantoms and Tritons. They are cool synths, but really limited in comparison to software instruments. Again, if you want to learn it the hard way it is your choice.

Good luck on your decision. Hope you choose something that will meet your needs.
-ED-
_________________________
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
- - - Oscar Wilde

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#6639 - 03/17/05 11:46 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 34
Loc: lisle,il,usa
Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate member 3351 for your insight. This is exactly why I posted my message. I think you may have found exactly what I am looking for, by suggesting using a controller with software. I guess if I really thought about this I should have known this would be the best option for me, but I haven't been paying much attention to the synth world over the past 10 years, or so.

You guys rock, thanks!!!

Dave

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#6640 - 03/17/05 01:26 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Pennywizz6 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 434
Loc: Shakopee, MN, USA
Dave, im glad you found whatcha needed. One thing though, software synths means non gigging, and very hard to transport. Well unless you just use a rack and a controller. Let us know whatcha gunna pick! As for a controller the M-Audio 88 hammer action is lookin pretty good, although heeeeavy!

Phil

[This message has been edited by Pennywizz6 (edited 03-17-2005).]

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#6641 - 03/17/05 02:43 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 34
Loc: lisle,il,usa
Penny,

I don't anticipate doing any gigging, unlesss I get real good, real quickly.

It will probably be a while before I purchase because I rarely spend significant money without doing much research.

Thanks again.

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#6642 - 03/19/05 10:20 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Quote:
Originally posted by Pennywizz6:
Dave, im glad you found whatcha needed. One thing though, software synths means non gigging, and very hard to transport. Well unless you just use a rack and a controller. Let us know whatcha gunna pick! As for a controller the M-Audio 88 hammer action is lookin pretty good, although heeeeavy!

Phil

[This message has been edited by Pennywizz6 (edited 03-17-2005).]


I gig all the time with software synths and it works just fine. Of course, I have a laptop and an external soundcard. I wouldn't bother if I had to lug along my PC.

I use the Motif ES as my controller, mainly because I have a Motif ES, and it sounds great to boot on it's own. Otherwise, any decent controller would do.

I use Xlutop Chainer as my virtual softsynth rack. I simply save my vst instrument and effects combinations as chainer files, and then call them up instantly, like I would on any hardware board.

AJ

And now... because I can type very quickly and very poorly, all at the same time, once again.....

[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 03-19-2005).]
_________________________
AJ

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#6643 - 03/20/05 07:51 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 34
Loc: lisle,il,usa
Bluezplayer,

I've been doing a little reading on the M-88 and have to say it seems like a very good package for the money.

I read a review and was hoping you could either confirm or deny one of the author's observations. He wrote about the noticeable "lag" from the time you press the key until the time you hear the note play. Is this the case and if so, have you found anything that will eliminate the latency?

Thanks!

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#6644 - 03/20/05 11:15 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
I'm actually not assured that soft synths reaches toward the posibilities af hard synths. There was a little discussion between ED and me about this theme in another thread. Do you remember, ED?
I remember that ED and I agreed in that point that it would be a good idea to combinate this two elements in studio ambiances.
You need a KBcontroller for your soft synths? What about using a real synth with a weighted keyboard doing this job? You can expand your posibilities if you check out for a synth with an onboard sampling option. This will give you the ability to re-sample your sounds from one machine to the other.
IMHO at the and you will see that soft synths and hard synths aren't really different. For example: I'm using the Kurzweil's 'old' K2000RS with - the name reveals it - an onboard sampler. This sampler creates '.WAV' files. Your PC is also working with this file type.
Where is the difference? They both need AD-/DA-converters with high quality. My hard synth does it have! But my sound card...? Better use an high quality audio card...

To avoid latency under Windows OSs you still need a standard called ASIOdirect.
1. make sure that you don't use a mainboard with VIA's chip set which won't support the PCI interface in that way it used to be
2. make sure that you use an audio card which also supports ASIOdirect

The only software for this job that I know is Steinberg's Cubase (MX or SX). This program provides the advantage that it is available for Mac OS too (many professional studios are using Mac OS instead of Windows). So you can interact with them.

EDIT: Cubase is a sequenzer software. For this program it makes no difference wether you're controlling a soft or a hard synth. And if this won't be enough you can mix down and record all external sounds and wave tracks as one - a hifi stereo wave track. This will longing for burning them down on CDs.
Hey, isn't it your own label?

------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

[This message has been edited by Sheriff (edited 03-20-2005).]
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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