The Hardware Megathread


I wouldn’t get a mono synth as a first hardware synth tbh. I feel like a poly with a good range of capabilities will be more versatile. You can get great mono modes on most (all?) polys.


I think I saw it listed for $50 somewhere. Not bad at all if you need that sound, and I could see it being a good addition for beginners and FX collectors alike.


Even up to $100 if you really wanted that sound it would be worth it. Every other hardware Juno chorus I’ve seen has been quite expensive. If I recall Mode Machines made one for a while and someone had a 19" rack version that was more expensive.

Again, I use the free version of the TAL Juno chorus all the time. It just sounds so damn good on anything.


That Tal version is all over everything I’ve made since I discovered it a few years back. I’d love to get that pedal.



All you need is monosynths. Just used a healthy dose of delay and a generous helping of reverb.


I only just got it, but I can’t speak its praises enough…it is one of those rare plugins that basically makes everything sound better…I can’t say if the nailed the Juno sound or not…but for my purposes I don’t care <3


So a quick update on this. The cables totally work. Now the Kastle can play together with all the other kids, yay.

All the demos of Volca Modular has been pretty underwhelming so far, so not really in a hurry to grab it when it comes out. Might still pick one up once the used market is flooded with them.



Well. I feel like Ive been lying to you guys. I was going to wait until I had a demo recorded but I did end up getting myself a TR8S.

I have to say Roland really upped their game w this offering. It wa literally plug and play…Windows 10 installed it flawlessly and a few trials on audio and midi settings and got it cozy w FL Studio 20.

I haven’t abandoned the Akai Fire…I think that the two will work great together for live jams. But the fire just wasnt really scratching the X0X bix itch for me.

I did take the time to consider the Digitakt but I have never got on w Elektron for live use. The TR8S has fewer functions and more dedicated controls. Way less to wrap my head around while also keeping track of two CDJs.

I think if I keep samples mono Ill have plenty of space to fit 10-12 house beats in it. 600 seconds of mono 16 bit wavs.

On my phone or I might say more but for me this was worth every penny.


Very cool box. I love the color coding on the LEDs (as opposed to some of their mercilessly green stuff these days). Does it have a master output for the mix or do you have to use independent channels per sound?


Over USB you can get all 11 channels. It has plenty of phsyical outs as well. Edit–YES! Being able to control the color the sliders is quite useful for live–I’ll be deciding on a color code for “types of sounds”. I do have to say though the start/stop button is WAY too bright even with the LED setting turned down low. In the studio I may end up putting some kind of tape over it as it blinks in stop mode and is really distracting. First time I’ve ever bitched about something like that, but it is stupid bright.


Looks like this will be the year I buy a keyboard synth, compact one.
Thinking about Skulpt, Monologue XD or Arturia Freak.

Leaning towards the Monologue.

I do not really need polyphony, but might come in handy and the Monologue seems a great all-rounder, but the other feel like they could have a more in-your-face sound, which is a bonus for me…



Monologue is an all around excellent synth. Granted the only one :point_up: I have.

But I have seen the Sculpt in person and quite simply, it is too small for my barely above average male human hands to easily use. If you want one so small for some reason, check out the Uno Synth.

Micro freak, that def is a more versatile one. If I didnt have a Sub Phatty, which I use often for its filter on digital soft synths, I would be eyeing it.


I have to say the Minilogue XD is probably what I would go with if I was going to pick only one. On paper it looks like the most diverse. I like Arturia’s offerings, but for myself I have found the sound palette on the one’s I’ve owned–MicroBrute and DrumBrute-- to be pretty limited even with a very good feature set (the DrumBrute is a fantastic drum sequencer if only the drum sounds could be changed more…they voices need about double the range on parameters or more parameters).

I think in a larger setup the other two synths could probably find a nice place. Also, not to be “that guy” but personally nothing about the Skuplt is exciting enough for me to bother with it since it is digital. I’d have to listen to more demos. I think some digital synths are worth it for their particular sound–just for example the sound of the new Electribe (blue) synth engine is gorgeous clean, bright digital I wish came in just a regular keyboard synth or module (I think it might be the King Korg engine?). And the UltraNova just sounds delightfully 90’s unless you really try to make it not sound that way.

Anyway, for me, I’d rather use my softsynths than Skuplt (taking it at face value).

The Arturia looks cool-ish, but I’m not sure how I feel yet about the way they used that creative commons synth engine and left the creator out of it even though they don’t technically owe him anything legally.


I had the Skulpt for about a week until I came into some money and had the ability of upgrading my intended setup. It sounds great. Build quality is only so / so but what can you really expect from a synth in that price range. I agree, the keys are not really suitable for playing. But if you’re sequencing it from MPC the keys are a non issue. For the money it’s great but if you can afford the next step up you’d probe happy you could.


Ah man. I’m just a gearhead fan boi…but the fucking TR8S really is brilliant if you want something simple for live and the challenge of coming up with tunes with only the drum voices, onboard samples, 600 secs of your own samples, basic (but good) fxs and only a few sample editing possibilities, and finally just 11 instruments.

Like you aren’t going to do complex IDM on this thing, but for raw ass dance grooves thing is the shit. I just discovered a new parameter. There is a Shift+ function that lets you speed up and slow down the whole pattern momentarily to help you beat match the TR8S with CDJs or turntables w/o using some kind of hard tempo sync function. It also has Shift+ tap tempo and of course the tempo knob.

I have to hand it to Roland that they really kept DJs–and not just producers or life performers/hardware jam folks–in mind with this piece of gear.


The reason why I want a keyboard synth vs a module is the keys. I like step sequencing but more and more often I feel the need for an integrated instrument. The setup I’m aiming for is MPC Live and possibly minilogue XD, if I sell a game, Mpc Force.


Hey guys, I’d like to pick your brains on drum machines. In the next few months, I’d like to pick up a drum machine (or sampler) to be able to make all the sounds I need without having to interface with a PC because my doc says that between work and music I’m spending too much time on computer screens and it’s doing a number on my eyes. I mostly do house-y stuff, and I usually can get the sounds I want out of a 808 or 909 emulation. So I thought the TR-8S would be perfect for me, but it apparently won’t do much of anything without quantizing it, and I do like a bit of looseness in my beats. TBH, the Tempest looks really cool, but I imagine all this time later that it’s possible to get close to the functionality of that for less money.

The Digitakt looks cool too, and the sampler is a plus, but it’s a bummer that there’s no velocity sensitive pad on it like the TR-8S has. But then the Digitakt CAN nudge the timing per step fairly easily. Is there something out there that can give me the expressive playing of the TR-8S with the timing freedom of the Digitakt that isn’t a full-on MPC Daw-hidden-in-a-drum-machine? Top end of the budget is tentatively the Digitakt - TR-8S range.


Honestly, you’ll be quite happy with the Deluge. No screen, rather nice workflow, sound mangling, micro timing, and probability based triggers.
Synth comes built in, as does a battery. You can make a full on house track with only that box.


I kinda hated the Deluge, but I was trying to use it as an do-it-all machine, as a drum sampler with bits and bobs of synthesis, it’s great.
Analog Rytm (MKI is still perfectly fine) has it all and second hand could be in your price range.
I will own a Tempest one day…
If you already have a sequencer, Nord Drum 2 or 3, you can’t go wrong.