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Thread: What is a good synthesizer for a beginner?

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    What is a good synthesizer for a beginner?

    hey guys, I'm really new to making music and I was wondering what a good synthesizer is for beginners? I want one that I can put my own sounds onto and in the 100- 200 dollar range. I can't play piano so I'm not sure if what kind to get. Please help!

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Making your own sounds is what a synthesizer is. I played some of the first Moog synthesizers in the early seventies.
    You've got a lot of catching up to do, if you want to play a synthesizer as a band instrument.
    Most of modern music is electronic, coming from synthesizer technology, after Korg's "The Wave", for example.
    So I recommend what could now be seen as a beginner synth, the Roland Juno, uh, 45 or 90.
    That should be available as a used instrument in your price range.
    After that, it's how much you know about plugging it in that will take you wherever you want to go.
    I don't think the first models had weighted keys, something you should watch out for,
    so you can always play a piano and any other modern synth with the same range of feel.
    For me, you're looking at around $15,000 in a synth system to be up there.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    The big question for you is "what sort of synthesis"? Are you after traditional analogue synthesis (subtractive or additive), digital (FM), sample-based or sample playback ("ROMplers" or workstations)? Do you want something with lots of presets that you can scroll through and hope to find the sound you're after, or do you want to spend time creating sounds by shaping and manipulating waveforms? There are a great many options.
    My favourite starter synth (which I still have) was the Roland Juno 6. It's possible you could pick up one of those in your price range, but you might have to look around for a bit. If you are after an analogue synth, try to find one that has plenty of knobs and/or sliders (ie, individual control for each parameter) - it will give much more flexibility in your programming and enable a more intuitive approach to synthesis. If you're after a "classic" analogue synth, you'll need to add a zero to your budget!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    I'm going to update my answer.
    A sign customer with a buy and sell shop has a keyboard intended for computer use.
    It had two computer cord inputs and a midi input, with no power or sounds of it's own.
    You plug it in and download for sounds and use it to record with CD's.
    He's asking $40.
    He's also got a digital antenna, looking like a four foot tall, thin column, with a television antenna style cord,
    so you avoid cable TV charges. That's $80.
    This little keyboard had only four octaves, but the keys had a nice feel.
    Ric's Buy and Sell, Main Street, Welland, and he might have them on St. Catharines Kijiji, Canada.

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    Hi declanharkin,
    I bought my first synth in the mid-80s: a Casio CZ-1000. In 2001 I bought a Yamaha Motif 8.

    Today, I use a computer with KXStudio as my operating system, and I have more than 200 synths. All for free. (I also have wav/soundfont/gig players, drum machines, DAWs, samplers...)

    You can find many VST instruments for free on websites like VSTplanet. Some are better than others, but it's a good place to start to learn what sound synthesis is all about.
    There's a whole world of musicmaking to be discovered!

    brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by briandc View Post
    Hi declanharkin,
    I bought my first synth in the mid-80s: a Casio CZ-1000. In 2001 I bought a Yamaha Motif 8.

    Today, I use a computer with KXStudio as my operating system, and I have more than 200 synths. All for free. (I also have wav/soundfont/gig players, drum machines, DAWs, samplers...)

    You can find many VST instruments for free on websites like VSTplanet. Some are better than others, but it's a good place to start to learn what sound synthesis is all about.
    There's a whole world of musicmaking to be discovered!

    brian
    I forgot to add, that all you need to buy is a midi controller with USB connection (about 80-100 dollars is sufficient) to control all the synths I mentioned. (Many of these synths emulate historic models, like the moog, Juno, etc..)


    brian

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