Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:46 PM   #1
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Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

I have a question that I'm assuming a lot of people on here will have an opinion or an answer to..

I'm thinking of purchasing a few new things to add to my productions but I'm not really sure what way to go. I use Reason so my options are somewhat limited to Rack Extensions or hardware which I'm fine with.

Now where I'm torn is which way I should go. I don't have much room so If I go hardware way it would have to be small (biggest 25 key since that's what I use now and i'd be putting it in it's place) and looking not sure what ones would be decent (read the thread on synths under $500 and got a few ideas).

My real question kind of is is it worth it to grab an inexpensive hardware synth or would there be more value in getting two RE instruments and a few RE effects. Obviously it may seem at first look the virtual one is more bang for your buck b.c more things but from my understanding hardware synths have a different "feeling" or "sound" , is this really true? (I've never had the pleasure of using one)

Any thoughts?

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Old 07-10-2014, 10:56 PM   #2
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

All synths--digital, analog and VST have their own "tone" (feeling, sound, etc). Inexpensive hardware synths tend to be inexpensive for a reason (outdated, hard to program, crappy sound engine).

What is you budget? Around 500USD since you were reading that thread? My suggestion for a hardware beginner is usually to get something as close to a knob per function as possible. In your price range you've got some good options. MicroBrute, MiniBrute, Bass Station II, a used Nord Lead rack if you watch for a deal, an Korg MS2000, Korg EMX or EA1.

I use a hybrid setup. I tend to buy "tactile" hardware that has very little menu diving and preferably none. I use it to jam on, record live takes, loops etc. Usually if I do an all hardware track its me doing a lot of stuff live and recording a single track. Otherwise I keep my "studio music" in the box. But I totally use my hardware as sound sources sometimes.

Realistically you are probably going to get more for your money buying a couple RE instruments and FX.

Also, is your setup prepared to record any hardware? What kind of audio interface do you have?

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Old 08-10-2014, 12:44 AM   #3
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

I don't have the best audio interface but I can record instruments, vocals, midi I'm pretty sure. The presonus audioboc usb [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
It's just not the best so perhaps low quality going into low quality isn't that good .... Yeah my budget will most likely be around there maybe a little higher a little lower that's why I looked there.. I figured if I saw something I loved and I thought I could save a little extra for I would, you know so I would get more enjoyment out of the purchase theoretically

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Old 08-10-2014, 02:32 AM   #4
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

Yea. You should be good to handle hardware with that interface : ) PreSonus probably have decent preamps.

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Old 08-10-2014, 03:37 AM   #5
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

microkorg

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Old 08-10-2014, 03:57 AM   #6
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

I know that's an option I saw a few used on eBay for decent prices too

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Old 08-10-2014, 04:58 AM   #7
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

While you're at it, there are some awesome free soundfonts that work great with reason. I just used a violin one I found, added a reverb and was blown away. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


As another side note, I found the reverb built into reason to sound to metallic for my tastes. U-he makes a really good one that I've been using lately. (still not as good as TAL reverb 2 though).

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Old 08-10-2014, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

With Reasons rack extensions you'll get more bang for bucks.

If you do go for a hardware synth, you need somewhere to put it (maybe have to buy a stand) you need a midi cable to connect to your interface (potential issues there), stereo 1/4'' jack plugs (potential issues with noise, hum and decent jacks not cheep) and then your'e going to record it into Reason (issues with setting levels) when you could have saved a whole lotta time by starting in Reason to begin with.
And then - Does Reason 7 even sequence external midi kit? (i'm still on Reason 4 which doesen't). If not you then have to buy Logic, Cubase or Ableton.

Not trying to put you off hardware, these are things you need to consider.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

They added it in 7 I think. Although it doesn't really support msb/lsb or parameter controls properly yet. I doubt they fixed it in 8.
But to be honest, if you're going to buy a synth, buy one that does something that you can't already do. I don't really see a point in buying most additive synths, especially as plugins, because thor can do most anything you would want it to. If you're going to get something, get something truly different, like an additive synthesizer (plugins are probably much better here), or... you know... I really have no idea other than that. There aren't that many synthesis techniques. Didn't roland and korg make some physical modeling synths at some point?

If you're going to get outboard gear, I would highly recommend a good microphone.

But hardware synths are pretty cool.

So are drum machines....

I guess you could go for one of those too. I think they sync to midi.


I should buy some weird hardware...

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:20 AM   #10
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

Take small steps, start with Reason, get to learn it well and then see what you would like to add to it.

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Old 08-10-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

Yeah reason could do it but like a Few said not sure of how well it does with input of hardware if anyone knows from experience please shed some light .. if I get an RE synth I'm thinking I'll get one that's different than what's in the box, perhaps a px7 to make fm synthesis easier than using a bunch of thors together, an obvious plus I just thought of with REs is that I can try before o buy
On the microphone subject I do have an ok one with a stand and things so I think it may not be needed

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Old 08-10-2014, 09:00 PM   #12
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

just keep in mind that you can't sell REs, so if you don't like it, you're stuck with it. You do get a demo, though, so hopefully that won't become a problem.

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Old 08-10-2014, 09:31 PM   #13
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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just keep in mind that you can't sell REs, so if you don't like it, you're stuck with it. You do get a demo, though, so hopefully that won't become a problem.
Yeah I would hope after a Month of trying something out I would know if I'd use it or not

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Old 08-10-2014, 09:31 PM   #14
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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Originally Posted by TheWizar View Post
I don't really see a point in buying most additive synths, especially as plugins, because thor can do most anything you would want it to. If you're going to get something, get something truly different, like an additive synthesizer (plugins are probably much better here)

If you're going to get outboard gear, I would highly recommend a good microphone.
Bold section = wut?!


Why on earth would you "need" a good microphone to use a hardware synth? While I agree reamping a hardware synth is somewhat an advanced technique a first time synthesizer owner need not worry about.

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:39 PM   #15
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Bold section = wut?!


Why on earth would you "need" a good microphone to use a hardware synth? While I agree reamping a hardware synth is somewhat an advanced technique a first time synthesizer owner need not worry about.
well my audio interface does have a pre-amp if that helps like if some require it

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:45 PM   #16
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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Originally Posted by bass&moddedFreq View Post
well my audio interface does have a pre-amp if that helps like if some require it
I was purely responding to @[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
...that one doesn't need a microphone to record a hardware synth. I was questioning his suggestions in general ;p

Reamping (to me) = sending the output of a hardware synth to an amp and recording the amp with a microphone. Which IMO is not something a hardware newbie needs to worry about : ) I think hardware synths sound better recorded through a preamp, but that isn't even a requirement.

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Old 08-10-2014, 11:02 PM   #17
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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I was purely responding to @[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
...that one doesn't need a microphone to record a hardware synth. I was questioning his suggestions in general ;p

Reamping (to me) = sending the output of a hardware synth to an amp and recording the amp with a microphone. Which IMO is not something a hardware newbie needs to worry about : ) I think hardware synths sound better recorded through a preamp, but that isn't even a requirement.
Ok so if i get into hardware I'll look into that or ask you haha no need to get more specific if I don't go that way

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Old 08-10-2014, 11:05 PM   #18
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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Originally Posted by bass&moddedFreq View Post
Ok so if i get into hardware I'll look into that or ask you haha no need to get more specific if I don't fo that way
Drop by the Original Mega Hardware Thread anytime man ;p

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Old 09-10-2014, 01:47 PM   #19
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Bold section = wut?!


Why on earth would you "need" a good microphone to use a hardware synth? While I agree reamping a hardware synth is somewhat an advanced technique a first time synthesizer owner need not worry about.
Whoops, meant additional or subtractive synths for the first one. Little dyslexic I guess.
Also, I wasn't saying to use the microphone for a synth, that's just nincompoopery, I was just thinking that if you don't have one, it adds a whole lot more capability than a hardware synthesizer.

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Old 09-10-2014, 02:32 PM   #20
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Re: Getting REs or grabbing inexpensive Hardware Synth?

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Originally Posted by TheWizar View Post
Whoops, meant additional or subtractive synths for the first one. Little dyslexic I guess.
Also, I wasn't saying to use the microphone for a synth, that's just nincompoopery, I was just thinking that if you don't have one, it adds a whole lot more capability than a hardware synthesizer.
Cool man. Was just curious on both counts ; p

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