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Best Synthesizer for Beginners   

  1. 1. What is the Best Synthesizers For Beginners?

    • Aturia Microbrute 25mini key (I have small hands)
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    • Korg Volca keys
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    • moog Werkstatt-01
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I'm looking for a good beginner synthesizer.

I have a poll set up so you can answer me there or in the comments if you have another suggestion! 

 

 

My top three choices are,

 

Aturia Microbrute 25mini key

UnknowAA.jpg.f61407c3f630538e2928ea8685de944f.jpg

Pros:

  "Ultrasound waves"

  Step Sequencer

  MiDi/USB connectivity

  1/4” audio output AND a headphone jack

  Steel Base

  Small keys for small hands

  5 octave Range  

Semi modular

Cons:

   No batteries

 

 

Korg Volca keys   

Unknown2-1.jpg.76f3709d8a14f649096492a260dde78c.jpg

Pros:

  Small

  Runs off of 6 AA batteries

  Can be linked with other “Volca” Korg synthesizers

  MiDi input

  Uses 3.5m headphone jack (normal jack)

  sequencer built-in

 

 

Cons:

   No MiDi out    (easy to add)

   Not actual Keys (Buttons)

   to preform best it needs to have other synths in the “volca” series

 

 

Moog Werkstatt-01  

Unkn1own.jpg.99a2425b76bf7886052f3b443e1179e7.jpg

Pros:

Build It Your-Self

easy to modify

 

Semi modular

Cons:

  Not actual Moog circuits

  Not keys (uses small button)

  No battery slot

 

 

Credit to sweetwater.com   for all the images I used. 

 

Also If i get any facts wrong please let me know in the comments (oh crap, I sound like a you-tuber!)  

 

Anyway  Thank you for reading this forum 

 

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What's the purpose - for recording or playing live?

If it's for recording, I'd recommend a keyboard with MIDI/USB and velocity sensitive.  You can use VSTi's (virtual instruments).  There are a ton of free synth programs available. You can get an M-Audio 61 key MIDI controller for $169.  A 49 key for $99.

If you want a keyboard that has built-in sounds, there are lots of choices that include MIDI capability.

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Let me be the first to tell you...your post looks suspiciously ad-like :blush:

I'm sure you were trying to be thorough, but including the costs & link to Sweetwater really didn't help.

If you're not a spammer, you may want to accept this advice in the spirit it's given.

 

Tom

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Ok thank you, Tom.  I am truly sorry for the "ad-like" quality of my forum post. 

I but the costs in because it was directly copied from TextEdit as a personal pros/cons list.

 

Once again, I'm sorry for the "ads"

 

 

(also i didn't want to get in trouble with the FBI for using someone's images and not giving them credit)

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My apologies...I'm prone to being overly suspicious these days. :)

Hope you get some useful feedback.

 

Tom

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Go Sweetwater! I'm a fan of those guys :) 

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For the 25-key mini synth, I think you should have put "5 octave Range" under "Cons" instead of "Pros," because the only way a musician would ever believe that a board having fewer than 49 keys could have a true five-octave range, is if they've fallen prey to the manufacturer's advertised "cojob."  :)

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Hardware synths can be really cool. The guys going modular and building their own synths have my respect, even if I think it's pretty old school. 

 

But... if you have a decent computer, software synths are a no-brainer. Even if you want something for a "newbie". There are many basic software synth packages that can easily handle everything all the hardware models you listed can do. Plus, they're portable in a laptop!

 

There are some good modern MIDI keyboards that have a good feel to them and are programmable. I personally like the Alesis VI line

 

For software, if you have a Mac, Logic Pro X comes with tons of synths from the basic to the complicated. And LPX is only $200, which is an absolute steal. 

Hobo above is a big fan of Reason, if I remember correctly. It too comes with tons of synths, including build-your-own setups, and runs on both Mac and Windows. It can also record and mix. So, it's also a combo DAW plus production suite, similar to but different from LPX. Reason I think is currently about $300. 

 

 

There are many, many other options, but the above will give you lots of tools to love, learn, and create, without hitting your wallet too hard. 

 

 

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Thank you Moso!  I am  currently using a mac... unfortonetly  it is an old mac book from 2010,I do not think using a synth program is going to be useful idea.  Any Thank you for your advice!

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Well, you may already have in mind what you want, but regarding software, the system requirements aren't that bad. Both will run on only 4GB, for example. The biggest requirement is probably your OS version. The newest LPX requires OS 10.12 and Reason requires OS 10.7. 

 

There's even a free 30-day trial version of Reason.

 

 

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There are plenty of virtual synths for mac users even those who don't use logic or reason.  Personally I find the virtual ones stunning to work with.

 

From an investment perspective.  A new mac or even a windows tablet makes more sense than an otb synth.

 

There is no be all end all synth.   Synths can be subtractive, additive, Frequency Modulation(FM), wavetable and more.

When you get a hardware synth you have to choose one based on it's method.  The method of synthesis does not change.  If you wanted to explore a different method you would need to purchase another.  Hardware synths have a habit of breaking especially the old ones.  It used to be that 30% of a touring bands budget would go to keeping the synths budget.  In these days many will simply throw away a broken unit and get another as there are no techs anymore who can open up the unit and repair it.

 

 

Let's talk about computers and keyboard controllers.

You can get a new windows tablet that is more than fast enough for your every day recording and performing for about 200 plus shipping.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA22275R7903&cm_re=windows_tablet-_-9SIA22275R7903-_-Product

 

You can also get a very nice 61 key (5 octave) midi controller with lots of bells and whistles for about $249

The thing about modern keyboard controllers is they are sold with lots of extras,  Like a limited but highly useable version of Abelton Live as well as other daws.  They also can include sample based and synth vsts.  

 

Between the computer(tablet) and the keyboard and the free add-ons that come with the keyboard you'll get a much more powerful complete system and... you'll get to collect more plugins for free or pay to expand on you system.   Together you are talking about $450 US with shipping (many offer free shipping.  Yes there are less and more expensive computers and keyboard controllers.  

 

Lets talk about Standalone Synths

The new big boy synths are no where in your or my league like the Korg Prologue (1500),  Dave Smith Prophet12 (2000) minimoog voyager XL (3000)

The cheapest new fully enclosed synths that are both inexpensive and popular. 

 

Back to reality The Reface series specifically the DX as it's a throw-back to the popular FM synths of the 80's The DX7.  It's $299.   It's based on FM synthesis.  That's all it does.

It has a 37 key (three octave) keyboard.  The controls are kind of a pia to work with (as were the original)  So on the surface you might think you are getting a good deal.  Trust me you're not.  When buying you should want more bang for your buck.  Better keys, more keys, more features.  Otherwise it's just a bobble that looks pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 09/07/2018 at 08:17, Tapper Mike said:

There are plenty of virtual synths for mac users even those who don't use logic or reason.  Personally I find the virtual ones stunning to work with.

 

From an investment perspective.  A new mac or even a windows tablet makes more sense than an otb synth.

 

There is no be all end all synth.   Synths can be subtractive, additive, Frequency Modulation(FM), wavetable and more.

When you get a hardware synth you have to choose one based on it's method.  The method of synthesis does not change.  If you wanted to explore a different method you would need to purchase another.  Hardware synths have a habit of breaking especially the old ones.  It used to be that 30% of a touring bands budget would go to keeping the synths budget.  In these days many will simply throw away a broken unit and get another as there are no techs anymore who can open up the unit and repair it.

Yes! Hardware synths are limited in many ways. The "reason" (har har) why I brought up LPX and Reason is because they have many, many synths included, from simple to complex -- additive, subtractive, FM, wavetable, physical modeling, granular, phase distortion, formant, sample based.... (LPX definitely has all of these and more. Reason probably does as well, but I haven't used it for many years.) 

But of course no one has to get an all-in-one package. There are so many to choose from! 

 

(Of course, I would totally recommend the NI bundle -- it's gorgeous and deep, but that is probably out of the price range and study depth of the OP, at least for now.) 

 

 

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Btw, a REALLY fun synth that is not very complicated is iZotope's IRIS. I love this thing. 

 

If you want one mega-synth, Spectrasonic's Omnisphere is a work of art. But, it's not exactly a "newbie" synth, if that's what the OP wants. 

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