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recommend me some shitty synths (casios and the like)
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Nick
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:21 am    Post subject: recommend me some shitty synths (casios and the like) Reply with quote

I bought a realistic 660 (a rebranded CT360) the other day, and after running it through delay and achieving the exact sound of the intro to Grandaddy's "he's simple he's dumb he's the pilot", I realize I have been missing out.

Unfortunately I started out with Yamahas, which just don't seem to have that special sauce that casios have. Also casios are still pretty cheap for the most part. So I'm making a list, and will probably add some to my collection soon. Don't really mess with sampling or midi, just want some good sounds or at least ones that lend themselves to creative pedal use.

Right now I'm thinking I want a CZ-1 and a 1000p. Are these a good starting place and are there others I should consider? Only looking at models with larger keys.
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dezb1
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stylophone - fun and costs about a tenner for a new one.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Already have a stylophone. It's fun and gimmicky and I've actually recorded with it, but what I'm looking for here is a full featured synth or tonebank keyboard with full size keys. Something made in that late 70s-mid 80s window after keyboards were consumer grade but before they got to the point where the built in presets actually started to resemble the instruments they're named after. They have a special unique sound and IMO lend themselves to creative use more than many professional grade synths.
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lorez
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a sk1 which is great fun through my pedal board. Flute through a big muff!
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Mages
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

any of the casio CZ synths. the 4op yamaha DX synths (actually not "shitty" at all). roland D-5, D-10, D-20 (dont' actually like them but might suit your purposes).
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laterallateral
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep an eye out for old Roland transitional control surface DCO analogs, like the Alpha Junos and the JX line.
You can generally snatch these up for cheap (I payed $230 for my Alpha 2) because they were pretty popular in their time, meaning that there's tons of them out there but they fell out of favour because they aren't as easy to program as the knob-per-function type synths. If you're willing to put in the effort, they can sound amazing. They also tend to have really good quality keybeds, making them excellent main controllers for modules/softsynths.



Link

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Nick
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, I'll definitely keep an eye out for one of those, I also remembered the Yamaha SY77 which is basically a DX7 with other stuff also that sells for less than a DX7.

What makes a Juno Alpha 2 better than a 1? I notice the 1s are much cheaper on the whole.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better keyboard (extra octave and touch sensitivity IIRC). There might be other differences too.

You can get a knobby programmer for them too (PG something, can't remember which one off the top of my head). They can be pretty pricey though.

Edit: it's the PG-300. And it's slidey rather than knobby but the principle's the same.

There was also a more home keyboard version (HS-80) of the Alpha Juno 2, which tend to be cheaper.
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laterallateral
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I chose the Alpha 2 over the 1 is because it supports both velocity and aftertouch, making it better suited as a master controller, in my opinion.
Other than that, the Alpha 1 has 49 to the 2's 61 keys and I think that it's MIDI implementation is more robust. Their engines are supposedly identical.

I have no experience with the SY77 but from what I can read, it's like a rompler, a 16 track sequencer and a DX7II in the same board. It would actually be a pretty amazing buy for a person that is looking for a computerless setup.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for yamaha DX stuff I highly recommend looking at the 4 operator ones, the DX21,27,100, and the DX11 (which is really powerful actually - it's a keyboard of the TX81Z). Also orginal Yamaha DX7s can be found for affordable prices, I bought one last year for $200 at guitar center. The DX synths are great for guitar players because they work great with pedal effects. They are complicated to program though.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Educate me.....what makes those more desirable or different than an sy77? They look cooler for sure but also seem to have less features yet more expensive.

Edit....dx21 looks cheap, under $100 in some cases, will research.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't say they are better, I'm just shooting out some more options. Usually SY77s run around the same as DX7IIs as far as I've seen. If you find one for a good price though go for it yeah.

I've seen DX11s go for very cheap on ebay because no one knows what they are. DX100s are way over hyped so are usually stupid expensive. DX21 and DX27 can be found for $100 - $200 if you keep your eyes open. DX21 has a nice chorus and can be split into two instruments. DX27 and DX100 are the exact same keyboard just the 100 has minikeys. If you can find a very cheap DX9 go for it, otherwise they are literally just the exact same thing as a DX7 except with two less operators.

Why I say the 4 op yamahas are good is because 4 operators is plenty enough to get the characteristic FM sound and it simplifies the programming quite a lot. FM programming is notoriously complicated.

also, the Casio CZ synths are supposed to be similar and run at comparable prices. might be easier to find at good prices actually.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm drawn to the sy77 just because the rompler and maybe even the sequencer aspects may actually come in handy for my uses. Of course if I can find a cheap enough dx I may just go that route, I like the look of the 21.

Also still very interested in the Casio 1000p I think. Maybe a Juno Alpha 2. May set a goal to get all 3 for ~$500 over the rest of the year.
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laterallateral
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mages wrote:
Why I say the 4 op yamahas are good is because 4 operators is plenty enough to get the characteristic FM sound and it simplifies the programming quite a lot. FM programming is notoriously complicated.


If you want an 'easy mode' of sorts, you can always get a software editor, like Herr Mueller's DX7, which I believe is compatible with most DX type engines. I find that once you've thrown away everything you know about tone generation and harmonic shaping in subtractive synthesis, the biggest hurdle in becoming functional at programming FM is the opaque interface that you usually have to work with. I still agree that 4 operators is plenty, in order to achieve what is considered 'musically usable' patches.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, that looks like a cool editor. I will have to try it out. I'm using this one right now. the DX7 interface gets a lot of flack but I think as digital synths go, it's one of the better interfaces. there's no menu diving. you just press the button for the parameter and move the data slider. the only thing you have to scroll through is the envelope rate and level. DX21/27 have simplified envelopes and are button per function.

I think what makes it complicated is just FM synthesis itself. subtractive synthesis gives you 1-3 oscillators using a triangle, square, or saw wave plus a low-pass, high-pass, or band-pass filter. it's simple enough to learn what every one of those things sounds like and what they sound like when they are combined. FM on the DX7 has 6 operators, modulating each other (or not) in 32 possible algorithms, by factors of virtually any frequency you wish to set them to. this gets really complicated really fast and is hard to understand exactly what configurations make what sounds exactly. the 4 operator synths have only 8 algorithms! and yet you can do almost everything you'd want to do with an FM keyboard. the DX21 can actually layer two sounds so it actually out-classes the DX7 in some respects. So can the DX11 (among a bunch of other versatile functions. look up the specs it's a pretty cool keyboard).

I don't have a DX7II but from what I can see, they moved to more of limited interface involving a lot more scrolling through parameters. I find this style of interface to be quite tedius to use. I really can't say much about the SY77, it looks pretty cool. I have a TG33 and actually don't like it that much but that's a different animal entirely.
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laterallateral
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be worth your consideration, provided that it sticks in line with the pricing of the other Volca units ($150-200 range).
No English captions yet on the vid, sorry. Here's the breakdown:

3 voice, 6 operator polyphonic FM synth
16 step Volca style sequencer with new features such as Warp, Active Step and Pattern Chain
MIDI in, Volca sync in and out
Onboard Chorus
LFO
32 patch addresses
16 sequence addresses
Not sure if this supports keyboard expression or not (velocity, aftertouch)
LOADS DX7 PATCHES


Link

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Mages
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I think they are $159 like the other volcas. Very much tempts a "why the hell not" kinda purchase.

If it had full MIDI In/Out/Thru it would be a really good companion to a DX7. It only has a MIDI In as it is so you can't save your patches on the computer or dump them to a DX7 (although you can dump them from a DX7 to a Volca). What would be cool is if Korg releases an editor like they did for the Volca Sample. I'm really crossing my fingers for that because it could result in a burst of activity in DX7 patches on the internet.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've acquired some more keyboards this summer...I found another SK-1 at a yardsale so I bought that, I sold my last one in the classifieds but I'll probably hold onto this one...also found a Yamaha PSS-80 and a PSS-470. All 3 keyboards were under $25...the casio was $10, the pss470 $5 and the pss80 $7. I really like the 470, and for what it is, it does THE 80'S very well, the primitive custom synthesizer functions mixed with the vibrato and "stereo symphonic" make for some dumb improved STRANGER THINGS sounds even if they're on the thin side compared to a DX anything.

I'm playing keys in a new band I'm starting with current bandmates and needed a stage keyboard that has a variety of sounds. Deciding to go with warm fake sounds instead of sampled sounds I just won an auction for a Casiotone CT-202...very excited for it
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Thomas
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go rack mounted that's where all the real bargains are. Things like the Waldorf Pulse or Oberheim Matrix 100, fully analogue and only around £150. If you don't mind VA synths things like the Novation A-Station rack are great. It even has an FM control so that you can dial that tone in. They're found for sub £100 and you can dial in just about any sound on it.

I sometimes mis my old DX100. I sent it to Tim cos he was looking for a synth to mess around with and I hadn't touched it in a while. You can snag them for not too much moolah.

Cheap old synths tend to respond really well to chorus pedals. The chorus is the main thing that made the old Junos sound good.
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laterallateral
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up ditching my Virus KC for cash and a Minilogue, over the summer. I'm not a keyboardist but the slim keys on the Minilogue still managed to annoy the shit out of me and the way the envelopes cycled made it not play nice with the rest of my gear, so I ditched that for a DSI Mono Evolver Keyboard, which I am starting to like more and more, now. I don't have any polys anymore. I've come to accept that I am not a poly kind of guy.
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