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Mini synth love?

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by JWDubois, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. JWDubois

    JWDubois Member

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    I have been checking out some of the various mini boards and modules lately, being inspired by some of the faux analog VSTs I've been messing around with lately.

    The local GC doesn't have many of these, but they did have a Roland JD-Xi on the floor. That is a pretty fat sounding little board for the price.

    I wish they had some of the other ones, particularly a Korg Minilogue, to try. Any love here for these little guys?
     
  2. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    Minilogue is a great example of why people still want analog synths. I love some vsts, virtual analogs, and still probably use them more, but the richness, the subtle imperfections of the minilogues sound, hard to beat.

    Fun with a Kaoss pad. Again, such a rich sound, I run the Kaoss as a send to leave analog signal unaffected.

    And hello East, TN. Grew up in Oak Ridge/Knoxville. Miss yall.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Yeah, I have a fondness for small, limited use synths. I do better with them than the big all-in-one workstation types. These include:

    Arturia Microbrute - With its easy-to-use sequencer and little patch panel, it's a great value for a new analog synth. Can also serve as a USB MIDI controller.
    Korg Volca Keys - 3-note polyphony in an analog synth that sells for like $150 new is another great value. Also has onboard sequencer.
    Bassbot TT-303 (original model) - A Roland TB-303 clone. Doesn't sound exactly like a TB-303 (filter doesn't squeal quite as aggressively) but it does have that recognizable acid house sound.

    Minisynths I don't have but think about sometimes:

    Korg Monologue - apparently a TB-303 clone in disguise - which alone is enough to pique my interest. ;). I like the OLED screen for showing parameters as you edit - very useful! The microtuning support and Aphex Twin presets are also intriguing. BTW, the keys range from E to E, clearly a guitarist/bassist friendly range.

    Moog Mother 32 - Went to a workshop at Chuck Levins', where a Moog expert showed us how he got snare drum, bass drum, and synth line all going at the same time with just one "monophonic" Mother 32. The 32-point patch panel allows you to use the LFO and filter as extra sound sources - I think he had the LFO doing the bass and snare drums. Had an acquaintance say a lot of the same tricks can also be done on a Make Noise 0-Coast, but me and my buddies who were at the workshop are suckers for that Tangerine Dream sequencer-driven sound, and that's easier to do on a Mother 32.
     
  4. Alan Dunn

    Alan Dunn Member

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    [​IMG]

    Casio CZ-101 is where it all started for me with mini keyboards. The programming features on these was insanely good with eight step envelope generators, and they used phase distortion to simulate analogue sound because they were digital synths.

    They were cheezy sounding but you could get great bass tones and even some quite useful though cheezy lead sounds from them.
     
  5. thecornman

    thecornman Member

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    Just got into synths last year after just being a guitar player forever! I wanted to go all hardware, because I like the feel of having a real instrument in front of me so I looked into what was out there for small affordable synths and there seems to be a lot of great options right now.

    My small synth setup I have been building up consists of a Korg Volca Beats, Bass and Sample, Roland Boutique JX-03, Roland A-01 Controller and K25 keyboard! All of them have sequencers and are in sync.

    I love these little units and the hours of time I can lost in all of them creating music. Will be adding more as time goes on.
     
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  6. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    I have a Volca bass...Arturia Microbrute...Moog Mother-32...Yamaha Reface DX...Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano and an Anode Meeblip. I love my tiny synths!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  7. big jilm

    big jilm Supporting Member

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    I have a MicroKORG that I love and use live - it's what got me into keyboards. I traded a bass for it on a lark, as my band had started doing some Pink Floyd songs, and I had decided to try my hand at keyboards for those tunes.
    A lot of fun, and some really great sounds are in there.
    It's easy to tweak, too - the menu (?) is printed directly on top of the body of the unit itself.
    Now it rests on the top rack of a two-tiered stand - my Juno DS handles organs, pianos, etc. while the MK gets weird noises and strange effects duties. Great little unit and a ton of fun!
     
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  8. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    Cool. I have been tempted to get one a few times.
     
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  9. Triton76

    Triton76 Member

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    I have a Novation UltraNova with a DSI Mopho on top. Mopho audio goes into Novation and thru it's FX. Loads of fun.

    both can do those one finger beat type sounds because they have multiple oscillators + noise/syncable lfos/envelopes etc.
     
  10. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Member

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    Minis?

    I have, and enjoy abusing the following:

    MicroBrute
    Volca Sample
    Volca Kick
    Teenage Engineering OP-1
    Teenage Engineering PO-16
    Teenage Engineering PO-20
    Roland A-01k/JU-06

    And I guess you could count the Moog Mother 32 and the Make Noise 0 Coast as minis.

    Come to think of it, most of my synths could be considered minis, as I didn't even list any of the small desktop modules.
     
  11. Mr. Satchmo

    Mr. Satchmo Member

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    I was using the JD-Xi for a long time, until I got the system 8 that is. I will get a minilogue one day
     
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  12. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    How do you like the System 8?
     
  13. Mr. Satchmo

    Mr. Satchmo Member

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    I absolutely love it. A lot of people were worried it would be bad but the synth capabilities and the juno plug outs are so good and sound warm
     
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  14. p.j.

    p.j. Member

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    Awesome!
     
  15. Mr. Satchmo

    Mr. Satchmo Member

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    The system 8 plus big sky is magical too
     
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  16. blackjaw

    blackjaw Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    Mini synth? Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano. 7 synth sounds in the little box, perfect for learning synths. Also sounds great with pedals! Only downside is no midi in the standard version and with no midi then no keyboard controller.

    But if you want something to learn and make music (as many pros are using one) and something that weighs less than a pound to travel with, this is it!
     
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  17. 909one

    909one Member

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    I have a Minilogue and a Mother 32. It really covers a lot of ground and they compliment each other very well. They are really a perfect pair. If you are looking for experimentation get the Mother, if you are looking for convenience of patch saving get the Korg. The Moog has the classic filter sound but the Minilogue is definitely not as juicy sounding, its filter is a little boring but itself but there's a lot of other tone shaping options. I've been wanting a No-Coast as well, to get some West Coast vibe. Thinking of selling a guitar to get one! Ha. Shhhh don't tell the other forums.
     
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  18. sven karma

    sven karma Member

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    Given your name (and your location) I really hope you're running them with an actual 909 :)

    How do you have them midi'ed up? Or, gulp, CV'd? I ask because I now have a similar set-up - Monologue (they fixed the filter) and desktop Mopho - w. Korg Microsampler for drums n samples. Using the Monologue's knobbage to control the Mopho didn't work out, the assignations as is are kinda random, and the slider assigns that responded wouldn't reset to zero on the centre detent. -29 on Osc2 detune grows old real quickly.

    I guess I'm wondering which you have controlling what :eek:
     
  19. 909one

    909one Member

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    So, my current setup combines these synths with guitar looping stuff. I'm using the Minilogue as the master, the C/V sync out goes into the Mother mult in, split to the tempo in and another output goes to the trigger in on a Malekko Sneak Attack pedal, through which I have an Electro Harmonix Super Ego. I also have the Midi Out from the Minilogue going to a Midi Input on a Ditto X4 looper. So, I've got the potential for 5 voices all going at 1 time, all synced up: the Mother 32, the Minilogue, the Super Ego sustaining a chord through through the Sneak Attack which is pulsing in the exact time of the whole system, any loops I've created on the Ditto X4 and then live guitar. Here's a photo, I don't think everything is fully hooked up here but you get the jist.
    Also, there's a mixer and direct box which is a must to avoid ground loops.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. mattymel

    mattymel Member

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    I've been eyeing a System 8 for a while. Finally got a chance to play one. Unfortunately the same place had a Prophet 6, which I think put a significant damper on the S8. Also, the version I played didn't have the Juno plug outs, which I am still curious about.

    But I will say that the Prophet 6 kind of made me want to save up the extra $1k for the analog equivalent.
     
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