Ultravox.org.uk Extreme Voice Official Ultravox Website

Current Ultravox promotional banner, click here for exclusive bundles


Topic Options
#66673 - Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:47:00 First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
I've always loved listening to synth based music. Recently considered buying a synth to mess around with. As a complete novice could anyone advise me as to where I should begin? Which models/specifications? Hard or soft synths best? Second hand usually ok to buy? Any help much appreciated. Thanks, Andy.

Top
#66674 - Thu, 17 Nov 2005 03:14:00 Re: First synth
Si_W Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 20:00:00
Posts: 4056
Loc: UK
As another complete novice, albeit an infrequently playing novice (yeah, alright, I'll plug in that SS30 before you start Sleepy...), I'd start off with a decent but cheap keyboard like the Yamaha PSR-275 and get a decent Beginner's Guide to playing. I also bought a load of cheap songbooks by OMD, Queen, Duran, Ultravox, etc from eBay and learnt to play some of the hooks - although I've forgotten them all now...

At the weekend I had a free catalogue that contained a Jools Holland range of DVDs for all sorts of instruments that included piano/keyboard. Was about 12.99.

Any decent music shop should have a decent library you can browse through...

Top
#66675 - Thu, 17 Nov 2005 04:07:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Thanks for that Si. How much are talking about for the likes of a Yamaha PSR-275 ? What sort of price range would get me a reasonably adequate synth?

Top
#66676 - Thu, 17 Nov 2005 05:04:00 Re: First synth
Si_W Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 20:00:00
Posts: 4056
Loc: UK
Two years ago the PSR-275 set me back approx. 150, should be less by now. Will leave the proper hardware to the experts, although I got an SS30 for about 175.

Top
#66677 - Thu, 17 Nov 2005 05:56:00 Re: First synth
Nils Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sun, 01 Sep 2002 20:00:00
Posts: 1535
Loc: Bremen, Germany
When it is quite obvious that You'll keep in touch with Your keyboard then I would say don't buy a so called "portable keyboard" like the PSR. But if You are more than unsecure about this then such a keyboard is the cheapest "mistake" You did for exploring selfmade synthmusic.

But I think a cheap but real synthesizer would do it more, because if You keep on playing You have something You can still use properly in future. The synths I have in mind are "small" allrounders like the Yamaha SY35, Yamaha S03, Korg X3, Roland XP-10 and so on. I don't know the actual prices, but I suppose somewhere between 100 and 150 or 200 (the newer ones) pounds when bought 2nd hand.

But maybe the best choice would be a MIDI- or USB-Keyboard, a PC and softsynths which You can also get as freeware. But I don't know too much about softsynths... .

Top
#66678 - Fri, 18 Nov 2005 06:44:00 Re: First synth
Nige K. Offline
Pass level: Promoter

Registered: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 20:00:00
Posts: 230
Loc: East Yorkshire
The Modern day approach is laptops/desktops with softsynths, plug-ins etc, myself I've tried but I can't get into them, although the Novation X-station is an interesting piece of kit and Reason. So hardware I'd suggest something like a Yamaha SY85 synth/workstation second hand in the region of about 250-350. Maybe for testing the water and something more recent Novation K-station or Korg Microkorg small synths for about 230-250. If you go for the older analogue stuff be careful because there are some crazy prices being branded about. Hardware synths are far sexier than their software counterparts as well.

Top
#66679 - Fri, 18 Nov 2005 23:34:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll have to do some research and see what's available and how much I'm willing to spend. Must admit that the idea of soft synths is a real turn off, although perhaps they are the future or maybe even the now. Andy

Top
#66680 - Sat, 19 Nov 2005 01:31:00 Re: First synth
thethoughtcriminals Offline
Pass level: Green Room

Registered: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 163
Loc: down in the park
Korg Poly61

Dammm i put on note on this battered japenese import in a shop when I was a kid and this rich powerfull sound of oscilattion hit me in the ear... Still got it buts its in retirement like my Ensonique Sq80

Top
#66681 - Sun, 20 Nov 2005 18:09:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Thanks for all that info guys. I'll see what I can find out there and make a choice. Andy

Top
#66682 - Mon, 21 Nov 2005 21:17:00 Re: First synth
Sleepwalker Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 20:00:00
Posts: 4579
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Where's me post gone??? eek bemused confused2 shock

Top
#66683 - Mon, 21 Nov 2005 21:34:00 Re: First synth
Cerise Offline

Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 20:00:00
Posts: 4394
Loc: Bristol, UK
Hi Sleepy,

The server went down over the weekend again. Basically we've been with Easynet since they started almost 10 years ago, and we're still on the original server from back then which is now a bit doddery. They're supposed to be moving us to a newer server, but in the meantime when it goes down they restore the site from backup, and consequently we sometimes lose a few posts.

Sorry about that... frown

Top
#66684 - Tue, 22 Nov 2005 04:44:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Sleepy,

I did read your post when you first replied. Thanks for the info. I did take some notes re synths that you, and the others, suggested. So although your post has vanished I did note your advice.

Cheers ! Andy

Top
#66685 - Tue, 29 Nov 2005 08:39:00 Re: First synth
Sleepwalker Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 20:00:00
Posts: 4579
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Yup, cheers matey wink

175-300 quiders should get you a decent 8 to 16 voice synthesizer excited

Top
#66686 - Mon, 09 Jan 2006 20:28:00 Re: First synth
Sleepwalker Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 20:00:00
Posts: 4579
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Hi YS!

Do you manage to get yourself a synth?

Top
#66687 - Tue, 10 Jan 2006 02:40:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Hi Don,

I opted for a Korg Microkorg. Still having fun playing with the sounds. It's like having a fantastic new toy ! Some of the sounds are amazing. Going to have to learn some chords as well but still exploring it's capabilities at the moment.Thanks again for your advice. I'm considering buying a drum machine next and a basic four or eight track recorder just to get some of my ideas down. Any advice on what to purchase? Andy

Top
#66688 - Tue, 10 Jan 2006 20:20:00 Re: First synth
Sleepwalker Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 20:00:00
Posts: 4579
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
YS
MicroKorg is a wee beastie of a machine! I've heard one of these through a 5K rig & it's a window blower alright!

Alesis SR-16 is a great drum machine, you'll be able to pick one of these up S/H on ebay for around 70 quid or so.

As for the recording side on a budget try looking at ebay or www.sospubs.co.uk for the likes of Tascam or Fostex for a wee cheapy 4 track.

8 track recorders are as you've probably realised. more expensive, but for the that extra bit of hard earned cash my money's on the Yamaha AW16G, our Mike L has one & they are fantastic, you should be able to pick one of those up for around 350 quid or so, no messin or splicin' tape it's all on hard disk! wink

Top
#66689 - Wed, 11 Jan 2006 02:15:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Cheers Don,

As ever, advice much appreciated. I'll have to work out how much cash I can spare and then look into getting a drum machine and then a 4 or 8 track recorder.Still having loads of fun with the synth at the mo! Andy

Top
#66690 - Wed, 11 Jan 2006 06:54:00 Re: First synth
Nige K. Offline
Pass level: Promoter

Registered: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 20:00:00
Posts: 230
Loc: East Yorkshire
Good choice on the synth. Another option for the drum machine would be the Korg Electribe ER1-MKII, brand new for about 149-00. Although now you're into a nice expensive hobby, hardware 8-tracks are not too bad on price nowadays, a Tascam DP01 - it records onto it's own 40GB hard disk, and then with USB connection you stick your recordings onto your computer - I don't think it has any effects but brand new it's about 249-00 - I've seen it on sale somewhere though for about 225-00. To think the first 4-track I ever bought was about 200-00, recorded onto cassette tape, all that rewinding, forwarding, no midi, how times change. You could however, try computer software for recording however this does mean having a decent soundcard etc. Regards Nige.

Top
#66691 - Wed, 11 Jan 2006 14:36:00 Re: First synth
Your Shadow Offline
Pass level: Access All Areas

Registered: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 20:00:00
Posts: 685
Loc: Liverpool
Cheers Nige,

All advice appreciated. I'll have to work out my finances and then check out what's available out there at what prices. If I'm not careful this could turn into an expensive hobby ! Andy

Top
#66692 - Wed, 11 Jan 2006 16:39:00 Re: First synth
casm Offline
Pass level: Press

Registered: Sun, 16 May 2004 20:00:00
Posts: 59
Loc: Birmingham, England
you could try software for yer drums too, theres plenty to choose from. i dont use hardware drum machines at all now.

Top