SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#6645 - 03/23/05 11:01 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
hauschild,

Yes, you can reduce the latency by using an ASIO compliant soundcard. In my system the avrerage latency is approx 5 to 6 ms. It is generally agreed that anything under 10 ms is barely perceptible if perceptibe at all.

Even if your soundcard doesn't have asio drivers, you can try the freeware ASIO4ALL drivers, which to date, has worked fine with every vsti host and sequencer / music production app that I use, and every soundcard I have including the cheap internal ones on both of my computers

Cubase is fine too btw. I use Cakewalk Sonar, which is a similar product. Each interface approcahes things in somewhat different ways, and since I "learned" on Cakewalk Express, it was a natural progression for me to move up to Sonar. At the end of the day, you can accomplish pretty much the same things with either.

AJ


[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 03-23-2005).]
_________________________
AJ

Top
#6646 - 03/25/05 02:49 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 34
Loc: lisle,il,usa
-ED-(or, anyone for that matter,

I've been some research over the last week. I'm currently looking at an S90, which you suggested. This may be the synth I end up going with.

I'm also mulling the 76 key Korg Triton Extreme and the Yamaha Motif ES7. Can you provide some more insight into these two synths?

From what I've seen on ebay, the bid prices for the ES7's are significantly higher than the Trtiton extremes, while sam ash has these two priced nearly the same. Am I reading too much into this, or are the Motif synths a little more in demand; basically better?

Feature-wise, I perceive them to be nearly the same. However, I'd like any opinions on which synth may be more advanced, upgradeable, etc.

Again, I hate to bore you with my pedestrian questions, but sometimes I spend a lot of time on the net researching things for which answers are difficult to find. So, thanks!

Top
#6647 - 03/25/05 07:55 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
Pennywizz6 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 434
Loc: Shakopee, MN, USA
The Motif series (along with other yamaha instruments) it does great with orchestrial sounds. In return the synths, ambient and other sounds well, kinda suck. If you plan on doing heavy piano and not much exsperimenting with straightforward sequencing it may be right for you. If you dont need that much wave rom, look into the original Motif, 85 rom instead of the 120 (i think) of the ES. The original is basically the same thing, you can research the differences and added stuff on the ES. It will save you around 800 if not more for the used earlier version. However as you know the screen is very disapointing with the Motif's. Its small, but easily navigational. I dont believe the Motif series is exspanable.

The Triton Extreme is really cool. Packed with huge amounts of wave rom (165). Unlike Yamahas the Triton is great with synths and other ambient or electronica sounds. They still do good orchestrial sounds, but they could be better. One thing I hate about Korgs is the keys! They have the worst key feel of any board ive felt, the are weak, and compress with no effort, almost making velocity useless. However they are built solidly. From personal opinion I rather dislike the OS, its rather confusing, kind of hard to exsplain, its best for you to try one out.

I know you have your eyes set on these boards but id strongly reccomend the Fantom-X series. I have a Fantom-S on the way myself Everything that the others fail in the Fantom surpasses. The Key-feel is fantastic, synth and pad sounds are unsurpassed, highly acclaimed studio accoustic grand, incredible OS, color screen 128 mb wave rom (exspandable to 640!!!) and exspandable sampling memory. Im only basing this little review on the times ive spent playing with it at GC, i will be able to provide more insight when I get mine.

Good luck with whatever you choose I hope I was able to help ya. With any of these fantastic boards you wont be disapointed! Im way jealious you get the opportunity to get one of these suckers

Phil

[This message has been edited by Pennywizz6 (edited 03-25-2005).]

Top
#6648 - 03/28/05 08:53 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
Hi Sheriff!
As a former K2000 and K2500 owner I can only confirm. Even though I have spent lots of time complaining about Kurzwell’s reliability and odd power related problems (LFOs slowing down, patch storage corruption, unit not responding to program changes properly etc) I have to agree with you a hundred percent. They are indeed a good investment. Both as synthesizers and samplers.

Regarding your uncertainty on wether the software instruments reach toward the possibilities of hardware instruments or not:
Even though you may realize this already, it all depends on what you mean by possibilities.

If we are speaking about sampling, than the software is far ahead. It allows you to load and store samples faster, process them in almost any way that you want and pretty much load as many samples as your computer can handle. Another major advantage is that the software instruments stream wav (or many other types of audio files) directly from a hard disc, so they do not require 10 gigs of RAM to load 10 gigs of sounds. A few workstations capable of streaming audio directly from the hard drive use that feature for hard disc recording, but not sampling. So sadly, if anyone tries to load a 1.5 gigabyte piano sound on their Triton, Motif or Phantom, they are pretty much screwed. A plug-in like “Ivory” will do it on a fly on a 400-600 (and higher) machine. PC or Mac, whatever. They’ll handle it better then any hardware workstation.

Speaking of synthesis and versatility of different software instruments in that respect will take at least a two hundred page essay that I am not willing to write unless somebody pays me to. LOL
But just to summarize that unexisting essay, I have to point out the obvious. Software synths not only provide any form of synthesis that ever existed, but they often take it further. Such is the case with soft instruments like FM7, Pro 53, CS80 V, Moog Modular V, Minimoog V, Oddity, Absynth, Ultra Focus, Ultra Analog etc.

Using a totally different engine, the emulations surely lack some of the tone characteristics of the original analog, wavetable, FM synths etc ; in return they provide tone qualities and features that make them more useful in a context of today’s styles of music and certain expectations as far as sound is concerned.

As I have pointed out before, the little differences in tone are something that most users are not necessarily aware of. As far as 80 percent of users are concerned, they are playing the Minimoog when they use Arturia’s Minimoog V and the Odyssey when they use Gmedia’s Oddity.

Honoring the habbit of having agreed with you so many times I have to yet again do the same. Yes, it is always good to mix hardware and software instruments. Especially if you have understanding and awareness of their differences. That way you are able to create the right context for both to be used at their best.

Surely this also applies to the hardware workstations of today. There are environments and contexts where their use is absolutely indispensable. My studio is just one of those environments.

Dave(AKA Hauschild),

You were pretty accurate in your observation. The Motif synths are more in demand. For a good reason too.
They deliver a lot for the money. My ES8 with its weighted piano action keyboard and external controls makes an ideal master controller in my studio. I am also a piano player so I prefer the heavy and slow key action as in oppose to the light and semi-weighted feel found on Roland and Korg 88 note workstations.
Its external controls allow for easy real time control and editing of the software instruments as well as real time control of the parameters of audio tracks.

As a synth the Motif is very versatile. Even without the plug-in boards added it is a state of the art synth. Using its features I was able to create pretty convincing emulations of some of my favorite synths like the Wavestation, O1/W, Waldorf Microwave, E-mu Morpheus, Roland’s JD800, D50, JX3P, Yamaha CS80, DX7, FS1R and the list goes on.

SO as a synth junkie, a programmer and a producer I strongly disagree with anyone who claims that the Motif is only good for orchestral sounds. Either they haven’t explored the Motif as a synthesizer or we are talking about different things.

As I said before, with the plug-in boards added it is a monster instrument. Mine is expanded with AN1x Analog modeling board (that models analog and analog modular synths and allows for some really complex programming and is capable of making some really convincing analog textures), DX board (which adds good old FM synthesis as we know it and love it) and a VL Phisical Acoustic modeling board (which uses Physical modeling to generate very realistic acoustic sounds and some unusual and complex synth sounds as well). I use both BC (breath controller) and a WX (A controller that resembles a wind instrument) to control the sounds on the VL board and the results are just amazing.

Something like Roland Phantom is limited to only sample playback synthesis. It is not at all capable of producing sounds that the Motif can. Korg’s equivalent of analog and acoustic modeling is quite interesting and allows for some really creative programming but it is somewhat limited comparing to VL and N1x synth engines.

Since you are planning to explore the software side of things I recommended an S90. Think of an S90 as a Motif ES 8 but without certain features. Features that you will not miss if you will have a decent audio card and a good audio/sequencer software like Cubase SX, or Sonar.
In fact most Pros go for the S90 for that very reason. They do not need an on-board sequencer, on-board sampling and other bells and whistles that are better done with software.


You have mentioned that you are a piano player on a few occasions so I naturally assumed that the weighted keys will suit your needs best. SO that leaves out the Phantom, Phantom X, Motif ES6 and ES7. simply because they use light plastic keys.

The Roland Phantom 88 (or whatever the 88 note Phantom workstation is called) uses semi-weighted fast action keys. They do not match my style of playing as a piano player ). They do not really match my style of playing as a synth and organ player (for that I use controllers with light action.
Of coarse it is very individual. So obviously you will need to make that choice for yourself.

Even if you decide that Phantom is right for you (sound wise and keyboard wise) it will be the right choice for you. The reason why I am pushing the software side of things is because it costs less and delivers more in a long run. The only things you will need to update will be the software itself. Eventually you will need to replace your computer too , but we all have to do it anyway. Something like an S90 or a Phantom (or any other decent workstation-controller) will last you for as long as USB and MIDI will be around.
_________________________
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
- - - Oscar Wilde

Top
#6649 - 03/28/05 09:21 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

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

You are the man!!! I appreciate your thoughtful responses to my questions. It really helps understand the not-so-obvious.

I have another question that I thought about the other day. I am currently on the road in Mexico for a few weeks and I won't be able to actually get to any stores to find out for myself the following question:

In addition to piano, I really enjoy messing around with the vintage synth sound such as the sound you hear in Van Halen's "I'll Wait", or Whitesnakes "Here I Go Again", etc. Now, hopefully I can explain this properly.....if I go with a weighted keyboard, do these types of boards affect the blending of notes together such as what I currently do with my Kawai K3?

To be more specific, with my K3 when using certain types of sounds, I am able to slide my fingers on the keys and make notes sound blended...you can't hear any type of note interrupt. Does this make any sense? If so, would a weighted keyboard affect my ability to play in this manner?

I hope I don't sound like a dumb-ass with this question, but I have a feeling a weighted keyboard may affect some types of music I will want to play.

Thanks guys!

Top
#6650 - 03/28/05 12:56 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
Okay,
They seem like very different songs. The Van Halen one has a classic 70's-80's brassy arpeggio-type lead with some chords in between. I can play that kind of stuff on any keyboard. It makes no difference if its weighted or not.

Now, the other track by Whitesnake has very different type of sound (very digital in nature. ALmost D50 like). The only fast leads in that track were guitar leads. The synth stuff was pretty slow and straight forward.

I am now a bit confused as to what you meant by the notes blending together. Originally I thought that you were talking about B3 type organ leads. After that I thought that you meant brassy Van Halen OB-x type stuff. Having Heard the track by Whitesnake it appears that you could be talking about layering.

Wich brings me to my main point. WHatever I heard in the two songs that you've mentioned can be played on ES8 or S90 without a problem.

My main concern is that you have mentioned being used to playing K3, which has very light keys. I must warn you that the conversion from light to heavy weighted hammer action will take some getting used to.

The only thing that you will not be able to play on the weighted action keyboard of your choice is classic B3 organ leads. Swiping and sweeping up and down a weighted action board can hurt.
I use my DX7 as a controller when I do that.

FOr the type of music and sounds that you are after an S90 wil be ideal. THe PHantom will do nicely as well, but mostly with DIgital type synth stuff and acoustic samples. Unlike the Triton or MOtif it lacks an analog modeling engine so needed for accurate analog emulations.
That's why an S90 expanded with AN1x sounds like a good solution to this delema.

But hey, by the same token a Phantom X with somehthing like the Nord Lead, Novation's Nova or Korg MS2000 doesn't sound bad either.

I'm sure you'll make the right choice.
Good luck.

Regards,

-ED-

[This message has been edited by 3351 (edited 03-28-2005).]
_________________________
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
- - - Oscar Wilde

Top
#6651 - 03/28/05 09:48 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

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

Again, thanks for your input. I think I'm just gonna have to spend some time messing around with the Triton, ES and S90. I'm not sure Sam Ash had an S90 on display, but then again at the time I don't think I played any of the synths with weighted keys.

You mentioned that the S90 would be an ideal controller, as would the ES. What will be the limiiations of using the Triton as a controller, if any? I don't want to go in any direction that limits what I might want to experiment with down the line.

Also, to add more to my "blending" theory, I think a better example to use would have been the instrumental 1984 by Van Halen. I'm sure a lot was done in the studio to get that effect, but I can reproduce the sound fairly well on my K3.

I'll bet you can't wait for me to make a decision, huh? It might sound corny, but I find the research mode of a pre-purchase to be awfully intriquing, ya know?

At any rate, as soon as I'm back in the states, I'm going into research-overdrive, baby!!!

Top
#6652 - 03/29/05 08:11 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
The only downside of using a Triton as a controller and your main workstation is it's front end user interface and Operating system. The two are not congruent. It's as if they were designed by different teams and than put together at the last minute.
IN overall the mixture of the two results in some very confusing crap, that can slow down the creative process. For example, the FX setup in the sequencer mode needs to be setup from scratch every time you will want to create a new multitimbral arrangment (song). You will of coarse be able to store that setup when you save the song. BUt the process of figuring out all the routing, buses and algorythm matrixes will kind of take time to get around.

Roland and Yamaha allow you to setup the FX in the Multi (or sequencer) modes inn such a way that the FX used with certain patches will be called up automatically.

Again, this is a really small example. It doesn't affect Triton's performance as a controller.
Its keys do though. As it was pointed out by one of the guys, it has a really crappy keyboard feel. Very light and plasticy. Bad for pianos, bad for orchestral stuff ; good for organ and synth leads though.
I wasn't that impressed with its external controls either. Definite cut back on the quality of hardware. ALthough

I've owned a ton of Korg workstations and just at around 1997 or so I noticed that they were beginning to use cheaper hardware components. First I kind of didn't pay much attention ; having checked out the first Triton when it came out confirmed my suspicions. Comparing to the Trinity and even older O1/W it was a heavy, bizarre beast with odd problems. Mind you the
Trinity was no feather either but at least it felt like it was worth a few grand when I played it. Z-1 was another bastard child. Heavy, sluggish and full of bizarre and confusing limitations. Sounded great though.

Again, just because the Z1 and the first Triton were that way doesn't at all mean that the new Tritons are that way as well. I'm sure Korg have fixed old bugs and added a whole bunch of new problems!

regards,

-ED-
_________________________
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
- - - Oscar Wilde

Top
#6653 - 03/29/05 08:43 AM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

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

I am going out on a limb and assuming if it were your money, you would steer clear of the Triton, and focus on the S90, the ES series or Roland Phantom series.

I don't have a problem with this at all. I just became a bit giddy when I researched what I could buy a Triton for on ebay, which put Korg first on my list as a result.

At this point, it would appear that the S90 is first on my list, although I am going to have to find a store that has one on display so I can get a feel for the weighted key action of the board.

The new price for an S90 is around 2k. What would be considered a reasonable price to pay for a used S90 on, say, ebay?

Thanks!

Top
#6654 - 03/29/05 07:48 PM Re: Best Synth For The Money ...
hauschild Offline
Member

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

I found an ES8 for sale. Would you be at all suspicious about a brand new, still in-the-box Motif ES8 selling for 1700 bucks??? It seems too good to be true. Any thoughts?

I promise I won't ask you anymore of these types of questions, but you've probably seen 'em all by now and I was curious about what this board should actually sell for.

Thanks.

Top
Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Admin 



Help keep Synth Zone Online