The Synth Thread...

All instruments that aren't guitars (or bass guitars).
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mackerelmint
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by mackerelmint » Sat Feb 05, 2022 10:59 pm

Anyone taken notice of the Minikorg 700 reissue?

Now with patch memory and a pitch/mod stick. Not really the sort of synth that's for me, but at the same time, it's pretty glorious. As a company, Korg has really been cranking out good stuff consistently for a long while, and most of the synthy stuff I find myself buying these days ends up being Korg. Their "small synth" ecosphere, as it were, is just totally inspiring and great sounding and cool. I got a couple of Volcas and a NuTekt, and they're just so much fun...
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Mon Feb 28, 2022 12:52 pm

How do some of you fine folks amplify your synths at home?

I've been using my bass amp (Ampeg BA-115, newer style with the wedge shape built into the back), but it's only mono, and I'd love to have a stereo sound.

Would a good pair of studio monitors be enough, or would a PA be preferable? I'd love to keep it simple, and not too expensive. I've got a mixing board already, so theoretically, I could hook up any speakers to that output.
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by eggwheat » Mon Feb 28, 2022 4:54 pm

Probably want some decent studio monitors for the best sound at home. Have to be decent though…easy to blow speakers and tweeters up with a synth.

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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:02 pm

I just use KRK headphones.
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by Telliot » Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:04 pm

My monitors at home don’t handle sub frequencies well, so it’s headphones for me too.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by mackerelmint » Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:19 pm

Telliot wrote:
Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:04 pm
My monitors at home don’t handle sub frequencies well, so it’s headphones for me too.
It's funny you mention sub frequencies, and I never actually gave it a lot of thought, but playing synths to play your synths and putting them into a mix is 100% two different deals. It makes perfect sense that (many) mixing monitors would come up short.

I had some with 8" speakers that did fine with synths but I never really got on with for mixing as well as I do with smaller monitors. So now I'm really curious about who makes a decent sounding, cheapish, and compact keyboard amp that's good for just bedroom kinda playing. :mellow:

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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Tue Mar 01, 2022 6:18 am

mackerelmint wrote:
Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:19 pm
Telliot wrote:
Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:04 pm
My monitors at home don’t handle sub frequencies well, so it’s headphones for me too.
It's funny you mention sub frequencies, and I never actually gave it a lot of thought, but playing synths to play your synths and putting them into a mix is 100% two different deals. It makes perfect sense that (many) mixing monitors would come up short.

I had some with 8" speakers that did fine with synths but I never really got on with for mixing as well as I do with smaller monitors. So now I'm really curious about who makes a decent sounding, cheapish, and compact keyboard amp that's good for just bedroom kinda playing. :mellow:

You switched a light on in my head.
That's very interesting. I hadn't thought about that much either. Someone has got to make a set of mixing monitors that would handle sub frequencies. Studios have to be able to hear that stuff to mix it...
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by mackerelmint » Tue Mar 01, 2022 3:41 pm

Oh, there's no shortage of monitors that do that. They're just not monitors that are particularly useful to me in terms of trying to mix, because I don't make bassy music.

A cheap set of amplified 8" monitors will totally get the job done.
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:38 pm

mackerelmint wrote:
Tue Mar 01, 2022 3:41 pm
Oh, there's no shortage of monitors that do that. They're just not monitors that are particularly useful to me in terms of trying to mix, because I don't make bassy music.

A cheap set of amplified 8" monitors will totally get the job done.
Oh I see. I misunderstood. The idea of mixing an album is great, but I'm just looking for something to play through, so I can loop some guitar or bass on top of synth, without needing headphones.
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Mar 02, 2022 6:19 am

What you are asking about can be surprisingly complicated. Synths are line level. Well, modern synthesizers are. Some reissues have instrument level output. I can't run my Grandmother or MS-1 cleanly into pedals, but my Juno 106 can be knocked down to instrument level. I do have a reamper and sometimes use it with the Moog when I want to run it through my pedalboard. Were I to want to run a live synth/guitar looping rig I'd probably want to have two separate chains with an A-B pedal at the end before the looper pedal. Chain A would be guitar -> fx -> amp modeler; Chain B would be synth -> line level fx. AB'ed into looper then out to a powered PA speaker or a neutral bass amp or such.

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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by mackerelmint » Thu Mar 03, 2022 12:18 am

So, Behringer has been announcing a bunch of mini synths, that people have dubbed "bolcas". They've got the same type of capacitive touch metal keybeds, and are small and are supposed to cost $100 or less.

They've announced a prophet VS thing, a jupiter-8 dealy, a JP-8000 for anyone who wants to make uninspired 90s trance, and an Oberheim matrix type of dude.

So, I used to have a matrix 1000, and it sounded great but MIDI implementation was goofier than Sgt. Schultz, and programming it was nigh impossible. So this is kind of intriguing to me. I also really enjoy the Volcas and Korg's miniature synth ecosystem in general, since it's such a cheap and cheerful way to just get to making music without menus or computers or too many features to have to think about. The only thing is... it's Behringer announcing yet more stuff when there's a global chip shortage with no end in sight and they're years behind on their releases already. It's a bit of an eyeroller.

But, kinda cool.
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Thu Mar 03, 2022 6:26 am

redchapterjubilee wrote:
Wed Mar 02, 2022 6:19 am
What you are asking about can be surprisingly complicated. Synths are line level. Well, modern synthesizers are. Some reissues have instrument level output. I can't run my Grandmother or MS-1 cleanly into pedals, but my Juno 106 can be knocked down to instrument level. I do have a reamper and sometimes use it with the Moog when I want to run it through my pedalboard. Were I to want to run a live synth/guitar looping rig I'd probably want to have two separate chains with an A-B pedal at the end before the looper pedal. Chain A would be guitar -> fx -> amp modeler; Chain B would be synth -> line level fx. AB'ed into looper then out to a powered PA speaker or a neutral bass amp or such.
Unfortunately, in that case, both of my synths are modern (Moog Matriarch and a UDO Super 6). I love your idea of the separate signal paths for both guitar and synth. At least for jamming at home, that's what I'd like to do.

I've got a Gig Rig Three-2-One, and I'll have to look into if it can knock down signal to line levels like that. If not, how do you like using your re-amp boxes for that duty? Does it kill any low-/high-end on synth? I found an article years ago where someone recommended making some dedicated cables for synths, where you've got a resistor soldered in-line inside the jack ends, and I've always thought about doing that (partially because I could use some more cables for my synths anyways), but honestly, the re-amp idea for pedals is so much simpler. I would probably use a little mixing board, so I could play both synths (without swapping cables or turning one off to turn the other on), and could use a re-amp box or two to send the sound into my pedals, but that still leaves me with how to amplify my synths for jamming at home...
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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by wooderson » Thu Mar 03, 2022 1:48 pm

Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Mon Feb 28, 2022 12:52 pm
How do some of you fine folks amplify your synths at home?

I've been using my bass amp (Ampeg BA-115, newer style with the wedge shape built into the back), but it's only mono, and I'd love to have a stereo sound.

Would a good pair of studio monitors be enough, or would a PA be preferable? I'd love to keep it simple, and not too expensive. I've got a mixing board already, so theoretically, I could hook up any speakers to that output.
Relatively cheap studio monitors are shockingly good now. The Kali Audio IN-8 V2s are 3-way concentrics for $800ish (per pair) and will handle anything you throw at them. Cut that budget in half and you're still going to have good options.

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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by redchapterjubilee » Fri Mar 04, 2022 5:38 am

Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Thu Mar 03, 2022 6:26 am
How do you like using your re-amp boxes for that duty? Does it kill any low-/high-end on synth?
Not that I've noticed. It mainly just serves to knock the levels down to something the pedals like better. I use one of these as my reamper. It works great for taking wavs of dry guitar and running them through my amps, and it makes that Moog behave with delay pedals better.
http://orchid-electronics.co.uk/Amp_Interface.htm

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Re: The Synth Thread...

Post by Singlebladepickup » Fri Mar 04, 2022 6:40 pm

That new Ob-X1 is like $50... might have to wait until it's $25 on the used market.

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