Where to start?

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Geddhinadi
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Where to start?

Post by Geddhinadi » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:47 pm

Hello everyone!

As the title says, I'm new to the topic of synthesizers, at least mostly. I know basic stuff, but I can't get into too much detail. Anyway, know-how is something that's free for everyone, so I can work on that. If you are reading half through this and you think:
"God, this guy talks nonsense! You better go off this forum and play videogames again"
I am, except watching like two thousand videos and listening to hundreds of songs, new to the topic of synthesizers. Not to the music, but to the system, to the instrument and to the way to play.
If you catch any grammatical or spelling mistakes, please be tolerant, english is not the language I grew up with :mrgreen:

My question to you guys is: Where do I start investing?
In the previous year I've been looking at synthesizers more and more, specially at Moog machines, and I was impressed from the beginning. I was fascinated of fiddling knobs and pressing switches since I was a little kid (my granddad was an electrician), so I keow exactly when I saw my first modular, this is it, this is what I want.

So I love minimoogs, like the Voyager and of course the Model D (correct me if those aren't minimoogs?), because like all Moog synthesizers they are awesome instruments. But what really hit me from the beggining where the modulars, especially the Model 15, system 35 and system 55. The Voyager XL is a great compromise between a minimoog and a modular, because it has patching options, what is really great I think. Doe the digital display is kinda bothering me, because you know... I don't know what it is, but it kinda doesn't fit (just my two cents!) Another option would be the Moog Mother 32, or even more Mothers! Three mothers in a stack, together with a nice wooden keyboard to connect (I don't know which one tho!), would at least give somehow an modular feeling to it. My dream, a real modular, like a System 35/55 stands in the stars. I'm 16 years old, I don't have 22 grands (or more) to spend on a synthesizer. Even if I had, my parents would scream at me to use them for an instrument! They would force me to get a car, although I would prefer the moog. and if it would mean to live at my friends house, I would get it anyway^^

So what's your thoughts on my problem? I have birthday soon. An option would be to fire all my savings, together with my birthday money, into an iPad and then getting the Model 15 app, which seems to be great for beginners. Do I miss something out? Should I inform myself more? Do I make any major mistakes that are maybe commonly for beginners to commit? I could also save all my money, wait for christmas, search for a weekend job and make the money for more than just an App. The thing is, I doubt I would use the iPad for more than watching videos and using the Model 15 app. And the question is, is it worth to spent 480+30 bucks on an app? Anyway, what's your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

EricK
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Re: Where to start?

Post by EricK » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:24 pm

You’re only 16 so you have a long time to figure out what you are going to to.

At this point, something like a used Sub Phatty (less than 700), with a knob-per-function interface is a good place to start learning synthesis.

You might be able to find a vintage Micromoog (which is what I learned on) for around that same price.

But if modular is the direction you are headed in, then you really need to think about a long-term path to lead you to that. I wouldn’t suspect that a lot of young people are heavy into modulars, surely a lot of 20 somethings are, but you might not really be in a position to make that kind of investment until you are in your 30s.

When you think about a beginner’s musical instrument costing in or about the 300 dollar range, modulars can cost you several thousand dollars. You will spend 300 bucks just getting a cabinet and power supply sorted out unless you learn electrical engineering and get handy with a soldering iron and a parts list (which is something you could get into now and have the edge of youth working in your favor).

For right now, I’d try to find a synthesizer that has a knob-per-function interface so you don’t have to mess around with menus.

The Arturia Minubrute, the Korg Odyssey, the Korg MS-20 mini, are some good alternatives to Moog.

synthesizers.com has a pay as you go program to build a modular synth for 155 dollars per month for 11 months (cancel any time) and their quality is decent.

But something like a used Little Phatty or especially the Sub Phatty will teach you synthesis. From there you can expand.

I didn’t start building my modular until about 2007-2009 and here we are today and It still isn’t complete. You have to really think about what you want to do musically and think about where you want to be when you are 25. In 20 years you will have a badass studio if that’s what you want.

Good luck!
Eric
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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Where to start?

Post by stiiiiiiive » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:14 pm

Hi Geddhinadi, welcome to the forum :)

First of all, you are not missing anything.
Second, Erick is a great forum-mate... I'll second what he said.

To be more specific, as money is a seious criteria and modular desire is another one, I'd suggest you start trying a Korg MS20 Mini (indeed) or a Mother 32. Maybe an Analogue Solutions Telemark. Bascally, a semi-modular synth will give you both the immediacy of a ready-to-use instrument and the pleasure of patching. The Arturia MicroBrute has a tiny modular bay. Tiny but hey, you can start messing with modulation :)

One more thing: for synths with no keyboard, consider getting a MIDI one, unless you are planning to sequence it only.

Keep us informed :)

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HookedOnSonics
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Re: Where to start?

Post by HookedOnSonics » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:19 pm

What do you prefer now? Keyboard Synths or Modulars. A cool combo to "START" with could be the "NEW" Korg Arp Module and MIDI connect it with one Mother32 via a MIDI Solutions Quadra 4. With that setup you would also have CV options just need to be sensitive to sending anything over 5Volts to Mother CV inputs. Another thing to look into is effect pedals that enhance the outputs. What do you have currently setup to receive audio out? You could also take a look at the Korg Minilogue or the Phatty's
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Geddhinadi
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Re: Where to start?

Post by Geddhinadi » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:25 pm

About the price:
Where I live I'm allowed to work wherever I want if I have the qualification, and working in a factory for a month would make a loan of about 1000-1200€ (taxes free!). Also I have a little bit of money (around 400 bucks), besides the money I will spend on a car, so (and here I can move to the next thing) I can buy at leastone Mother x32, or even two. I could also go with a Mother 32x, a DAW and a good Midi Keyboard, so what do you think? I know a real modular like the System-Line of moog is FAR out of my range, but still, Mother 32x would be considerable, although I would really want to play it with a keyboard. Can I play a Mom 32 with a Midi keyboard? The keyboard should be as minimalistic as possible, a modulation wheel, a pitch wheel and like 25 or 49 switches... But a Mother is a great start I guess because:
-It's a relatively "cheap" Moog
-It can do awesome sounds that can compare to many other moogs
-It's patchable!
-I can expand the rack in the future adding more Mothers

So what do you guys think? Is a Mother 32 a good start? I also read your suggestions on the Korg Arp Module and stuff like that, but I should have told you that I don't even have a DAW or something :( I tested Ableton Live Demo and it was pretty hard to use but Fruityloops was pretty OK when I used the free version (many people recommand Pro Tools?). Synthesizer.com is USA only I guess? But all in all I really want a moog. Because the other synthesizers are pretty cool too, like a Korg MS-20 Mini looks pretty cool, sounds pretty cool AND has patching options! But a moog is just a dream and the Mother 32 seems to be the best start I can think of.

So, what do you say?

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_DemonDan_
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Re: Where to start?

Post by _DemonDan_ » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:06 am

Geddhinadi wrote:But a Moog is just a dream and the Mother 32 seems to be the best start I can think of.
So, what do you say?

Hi Geddhinadi,
I'd say trust your instincts. Your most telling statement was about not liking a display screen.

The Mother-32 is a beautiful fit as it's reasonably priced, yet packs many of the most important tools in a single place.

And... It's so easy to add more to it over time.

But your second purchase should be a good delay, because a synth with a sequencer into a delay will provide copious amounts of sonic joy for a long, long time.

Everyone here has their favorite delays. Here are some of mine High to Low $:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/H9

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TimeLineDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MemoryMan1100

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Demora
(Lots of CV jacks for interaction with Mother-32, plus 31 additional virtual sub modules!)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BrigDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DigDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ELCapistanEcho

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KWSDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Avalanche

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RE20pedal

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MFoogerDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Flashback
(Best Bang for the Buck - I use this on most of my analog synth demo videos.)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DlxMemoryBoy

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EchoShift
_ :twisted: _DemonDan_ :twisted: _

Geddhinadi
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:04 pm

Re: Where to start?

Post by Geddhinadi » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:17 am

_DemonDan_ wrote:
Geddhinadi wrote:But a Moog is just a dream and the Mother 32 seems to be the best start I can think of.
So, what do you say?

Hi Geddhinadi,
I'd say trust your instincts. Your most telling statement was about not liking a display screen.

The Mother-32 is a beautiful fit as it's reasonably priced, yet packs many of the most important tools in a single place.

And... It's so easy to add more to it over time.

But your second purchase should be a good delay, because a synth with a sequencer into a delay will provide copious amounts of sonic joy for a long, long time.

Everyone here has their favorite delays. Here are some of mine High to Low $:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/H9

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TimeLineDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MemoryMan1100

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Demora
(Lots of CV jacks for interaction with Mother-32, plus 31 additional virtual sub modules!)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BrigDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DigDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ELCapistanEcho

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KWSDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Avalanche

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RE20pedal

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MFoogerDelay

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Flashback
(Best Bang for the Buck - I use this on most of my analog synth demo videos.)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DlxMemoryBoy

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EchoShift


Thanks for that information! Many people say that a good delay is a major when it comes to newcomers. I would go for that. So I have a Mother 32 now, a delay, but no keyboard or DAW? Oh yeah, and only medium decent speakers...

EricK
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Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:09 pm

Re: Where to start?

Post by EricK » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:24 pm

If you are really hungry for modular and moog, the most inexpensive alternative is a moog clone modular. The moslab system 15 is 3800€. You don't have to buy that all at the same time.

I see mos-lab just discontinued their 1700€ "system 8." But look at the module selection, buy what you can and put it in an ikea bookshelf with an $80 power supply.

If you paid the first 8 months of the Synthesizers.com entry level system that would be quite a bit more gratifying than 2 mother 32s. When you get more experienced with modular you will begin to see that the mother 32 is a nice 1-osc voice to add to an existing system, but not necessarily in my opinion the best entry point to modular OR Moog.

When you get down the road a bit and you get to the point where you can buy something like a Sub 37 or a used Voyager or a Model D, that is when you should invest your money in some Moog gear.

I spent YEARS chasing the moog dream, and bought a lot of stuff that, had I had it to do over again, I might have just invested that in a modular. I had people for years telling me I was foolish for trying to get a real Moog system 15 when for that price (at that time, $14,000) a dotcom system would have been a much better deal. When I finally got my modular going, I realized that they were right.

I don't think a Mother 32 will satisfy your modular lust because there are a lot of things that it just doesn't provide that a fully patchable module will.
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Geddhinadi
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:04 pm

Re: Where to start?

Post by Geddhinadi » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:40 am

EricK wrote:If you are really hungry for modular and moog, the most inexpensive alternative is a moog clone modular. The moslab system 15 is 3800€. You don't have to buy that all at the same time.

I see mos-lab just discontinued their 1700€ "system 8." But look at the module selection, buy what you can and put it in an ikea bookshelf with an $80 power supply.

If you paid the first 8 months of the Synthesizers.com entry level system that would be quite a bit more gratifying than 2 mother 32s. When you get more experienced with modular you will begin to see that the mother 32 is a nice 1-osc voice to add to an existing system, but not necessarily in my opinion the best entry point to modular OR Moog.

When you get down the road a bit and you get to the point where you can buy something like a Sub 37 or a used Voyager or a Model D, that is when you should invest your money in some Moog gear.

I spent YEARS chasing the moog dream, and bought a lot of stuff that, had I had it to do over again, I might have just invested that in a modular. I had people for years telling me I was foolish for trying to get a real Moog system 15 when for that price (at that time, $14,000) a dotcom system would have been a much better deal. When I finally got my modular going, I realized that they were right.

I don't think a Mother 32 will satisfy your modular lust because there are a lot of things that it just doesn't provide that a fully patchable module will.


Thanks for the tipp, I appreciate every information I can get from people with experience. But others in this thread told me that a Moog 32x seems like a good start? This or that way, having a non Moog synthesizer would bring me kinda down. I know that there are many, many, many good synthesizers out there, alternatives and stuff like that, but I really want a Moog kinda. I mean if you all tell me that a non moog synthesizer would be a better start, I would trust you and go with that. But I really don't know,... because...I know it sounds stupid and stubborn but I really want a Moog. And I don't really know what a dotcom system is, when I googled it I only got links to the synthesizers.com page. They seem to make pretty cool stuff, but can someone tell me any experiences with their products? I mean that's 1000$ for a pretty large box. You would send out 5000+ for something like that at Moog. 3800 bucks for a reissued Model D? I don't know. I'm not an expert; but I really don't know if that's a good start. A Sub37 maybe but it doesn't have patching options. I had a great view on the Mothers but now I'm a bit confused because you told me that those are not a good entry...

EricK
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Re: Where to start?

Post by EricK » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:32 pm

There's a micro for $875.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Moog-Micromoog- ... 2309425243

It looks like you heave your heart set on the mother 32 though. Get one and try it out and you can always sell it later. Or even get one used and see if you like it.
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Bald Eagle
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Re: Where to start?

Post by Bald Eagle » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:33 am

You may want to consider an iPad and get the model 15 app for starters. There are also many other good synth apps you can try out like the Korg iMS20. Of course nothing beats hands on with real knobs.

Geddhinadi
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Re: Where to start?

Post by Geddhinadi » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:24 pm

hmm, still don't know. I've read through the whole forum and still can't decide what do go for. I guess I will keep searchin :o

EricK
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Re: Where to start?

Post by EricK » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:08 pm

That Arturia Matrixbrute is looking nice also...
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