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Man I'm TELLING you... I know synths, have a nord lead 2 and a micro Korg (both are great) but nothing compares:
This little sucker sounds AMAZING and has so much variation and stuff you can do with the sound. I'd buy this for $2k. More. And it's $800.
All you need is a MIDI keyboard (or software) to play it with.
For $800, you're most likely looking into digital analog, if you want something newer. And you can't do much better than the Nord Lead 2(x). I did months of research before buying my synth, and this was the conclusion I arrived at. It mimics just about any sound you can possibly imagine. The only downside is no effects, so I got an external effects unit to play through.
Do you have a music shop you can go to, and experiment on some gear? Get a feel for for the different models. Also, you can do research here: http://www.vintagesynth.com/
Good luck man, it's not easy narrowing it down to just one.
autoflavour, how can novac music sell them so cheaply? Have you bought stuff from them in the past? Will I get raped on import tax to the UK?
Thanks for the info guys, I'll be running ProTools and using the Rack 003 interface. I've been recording for years but just never got into synths.
softsynths have their place, but physical hardware has much more fun. knobs over mouse clicks any day.
audio interface definitely important.
and platform for composition.
ableton, protools, reason and logic..
i was playing with a microkorg the other day and they sound dope
^^ Of course if you're making music with it - you should have a decent audio interface to record these synths with. Apogee duet or a smaller Motu will do you fine.
Otherwise, go softsynth. You could do a lot worse than NI Massive / NI Kontakt for sounds.
My advice, buy a full-size hardware synth.
If you want a broad range of sounds, try the Korg x50. I have the smaller one, the MicroX and the range it has is amazing. Great synth sounds, but usable semi-realistic type sounds as well.
If you want synth only, pick up an older Nord Lead 2.
Either will run you anywhere from $500-700. Buy it second hand, ebay is great.
Korg ms2000. I don't think they still make em, but they go for not-too-much on ebay. It's a digital analog modeler with a ton of knobs to twiddle. it's like that microkorg, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better and more easily tweakable.
this ones a winner
get a Juno 60 and some DMT
oh yeah the godfather of synths - dave smith, that dave smith dude is right up there with moog and korg man... LOL
definitely buy a decent controller.
anyone who argues software over synths just havent owned a good synth, but yes, software are like the heart of everything..
for $800 you should be able to pick up a Dave smith tetra..
those things are amazing.
dont bother with Roland gear, unless its old analog stuff.. the new digital stuff is junky crap.
in order of preference.
1) access virus snow
2) dave smith tetra
3) waldorf blofeld.