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if you had to pick just ONE budget synth?


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Qualifiers are: 

A. You need to be able to make patches on the synth itself, editors don’t count

B. Could be a stand-alone synth or a groove box, as long as it has synthesis.

C. I envision most people are using gear alongside a DAW, so something that has audio over USB would be a consideration.

D. $400 max

the two that come to mind for me right now are the reface CS and a model cycles. Both are super cheap and can do a ton of stuff. Honestly if I had to pick one cheap piece of gear, it would be cycles, but something like a CS would be really cool to just have as a quick way to build patches and record.

Edited by sheatheman
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fucking hell what a horrible person. I kinda want to get a microkorg now just to spite them. 

I feel like the MicroKorg is a really neat little package that has a lot of cool features and I have had many cool jams along with some friends just playing the thing. It's probably one of the most ve

Esq1 🙌

buy some form of ipad and get Drumbo. 

or perhaps save $400 more and get the korg OpSix. for $400 you can find waldorf Blofeld's used all day long. no KB though. 

i bought a yamaha DX11 for $100 though so you could go the vintage route and find all kinds of heavy big synths. 

also the small cheap korg Volca things or the roland series of classic little things like SH01.. some of those are pretty affordable and they do sound good. 

novation circuit? elektron model cycles? used DSI Evolver? korg monologue is a great little monosynth that's in yoru price range though i don't think you can save patches. Korg MicroKorg?

Novation Bass station MK2 is in that range and used you can find it for less. 

arturia micorfreak - recently added nois eengineering firmware to the possibliities for synthesis. 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, xox said:

save a bit more a get a used digitone

or just get a Model:Cycles

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19 minutes ago, xox said:

save a bit more a get a used digitone

Good call.  Save a bit more and get an Analog 4.  I'm seeing mk1s  in the UK for £500, so I suspect you could find one for $500 usd.  Possibly Elektron's best drum machine as well.

Having said that I may sell my A4 this year as it is not seeing as much use, but the sheer amount of stuff (4 monos or 4 voice poly or combo, elektron sequencer, external sequencer over both midi and cv, excellent drum machine, overbridge) for the money is making me reluctant.  

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Forgot to add, should be poly. Cycles is mono but has 6 voices so yeah I don’t think it’s the same as a mono synth.


I have plenty of synths reaching up into the $2500 range, this thread is not about saving up for something better, it’s for what can be had for that price.

person I’m getting it for used to have a Roland gaia, which is a criminally underrated synth from before the digital  synth boom of the late 2010s. Roland has since gone in a terrible direction imo.

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7 minutes ago, kakapo said:

Good call.  Save a bit more and get an Analog 4.  I'm seeing mk1s  in the UK for £500, so I suspect you could find one for $500 usd.  Possibly Elektron's best drum machine as well.

Having said that I may sell my A4 this year as it is not seeing as much use, but the sheer amount of stuff (4 monos or 4 voice poly or combo, elektron sequencer, external sequencer over both midi and cv, excellent drum machine, overbridge) for the money is making me reluctant.  

MK1s go for about €650 over here.

But really, what around $400 is actually worth the money? So save. Or get software.

Also, Blofeld might be cheapish and very good, but in the end it's just a VST in a not very knobby box. Get Largo instead and save up for an A4.

 

Edited by rhmilo
Saying this from the experience of having spent money on lots of cheap synths and sold all of the ones I didn't ruin the resale value of by putting a soldering iron to them (ie the Volca Keys)
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i think the basstation 2 would be useful. has the afx mode or whatever so seems really programable. 

would also look for the model cycles. they sound good and are fun. a friend has one and loves it.

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Casio SK-1 maybe, although technically not a synth. Or Korg Electribe SX maybe (which does in fact have $400 price tag).

Idk, my synth knowledge is at best amateur level. Either way though, I can't help my Korg bias. There's probably still a ton of stuff my Minilogue XD can do that I've yet to try.

Edited by ambermonke
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7 minutes ago, sheatheman said:

Yeah I have a cycles and it’s freaking crazy for $300.

wat

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1 hour ago, sheatheman said:

Forgot to add, should be poly. Cycles is mono but has 6 voices so yeah I don’t think it’s the same as a mono synth.

can use it like a 6 voice poly if you want to (poly hack section should be queued up, 34:25 in)

 

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Ehh, depending on the priority order of your list, you can go for a JV/XV module, poly-800, DX7 or roland boutique (d-05 is pretty solid), some MPC1000's with pimped out hard drives and JJOS can be had for 400ish and is probably the most bang for buck besides a ROMpler. Audio over usb is a meme since interfaces are so cheap. 

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I think cycles might be the winner, which I kind of already decided before I started this thread. I would LOVE a d05 but they seem hard to come by.

sorry if I wasn’t clear but I really just wanted to poll y’all. I have a cycles, and it’s probably the best thing for the price by far. It’s honestly cooler than the DT.

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If second hand counts to rate the price - I'd go for a Korg Minilogue. They go as low as 350 on the local market here. Other options:

Zynthian - very obscure opensource raspberry pi synth. I use the zynaddsubfx engine only and it sounds terrific. While making patches is possible, it's very limiting and not too much fun I have to say.

Modal Skulpt - Haven't gotten it yet but it sounds absolutely beast. 169 EUR at Gear4Music.

Microfreak - Never was a big fan of it's sound character, but it is a lot of fun to edit and play for a very very cheap price.

I used the have reface cs. Can't say why, but I never got friends with it. The engine totally lacks character for me.

 

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For some reason I think I would pick the Axoloti Core actually. It really depends whether I want quick hands on results or I want something where sky is the limit.

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I'm very interested in the Arturia Microfreak - anyone got one? I think there's quite a few decent budget synths these days that are either in the market or coming to.

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52 minutes ago, sheatheman said:

I have almost no clue what the axoloti is.

Kind of like a next-generation Nord Micromodular, except with no UI at all (so you need to use an external controller or wire up your own ots and switches or both).

They go in and out of stock pretty frequently though.

http://www.axoloti.com/product/axoloti-core/

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A friend of mine has a setup that's based around two Axoloti Core boards and a Launchpad.  Between the two of them they cover

-sequencing

-Subtractive polysynth

-Live-sampling and looping

-Some pretty complex delay based effects

-sample-based drum machine

-Reverb

 

Probably some other stuff at this point, we haven't played together for a while because of Covid.

 

Definitely not the sort of thing the original post is describing, though.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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16 hours ago, kausto said:

I'd pick used NordRack2

This would be my choice. 4-part multitimbral, very nice architecture, plenty of patch storage, multiple outs. 

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17 hours ago, TubularCorporation said:

A friend of mine has a setup that's based around two Axoloti Core boards and a Launchpad.  Between the two of them they cover

-sequencing

-Subtractive polysynth

-Live-sampling and looping

-Some pretty complex delay based effects

-sample-based drum machine

-Reverb

 

Probably some other stuff at this point, we haven't played together for a while because of Covid.

 

Definitely not the sort of thing the original post is describing, though.

axoloti is really cool even awesome. i regret that i gave one to my brother and another one to a good friend and they dont use it (fkn bitches).

really useable little thing

http://community.axoloti.com/t/reverbs-creation/1071/28

Edited by kausto
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