feel like i'm stuck, so i'm looking for a new hardware synth or sampler

Discussion in 'Production' started by djdizzy, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. djdizzy

    djdizzy Active Member

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    i'm about to get a bonus from work and am frothing at the mouth over the thought of getting a hardware synth. i have a roland jp8000 and a few softsynths but they're not giving me the sound i'm looking for. i divided this up into easy to read paragraphs so someone can skim if it's TLDR

    my current line-up (roland jp8000, massive, sylenth, fm8):
    opinions may vary but i truly love the jp8000, it has a large warm sound IMO and has a wide range of possibilities in variations of the stereotypical anthemic trancey leads but also the saw/supersaw/feedback oscillators pump out some surprisingly great, gritty basses but the synth is incredibly limiting in trying to get some movement in the sounds - its lfo and filters suck and are actually noisy. so to get movement in the jp8000's sounds i have to apply filters to the bounced audio and that just doesn't ever sound as good as being able to apply the effects to a VST synth or from using a VST synth's own effects for whatever reason. for my softsynths, i've spent about 2 years working tirelessly to get them down pretty well. ni massive does exactly what i want in a synth between the wavetable, envelopes, modulation, i can get it to do anything i want but i really don't like its sound quality. to get massive to sound in any way decent it requires a ton of plugins and EQ'ing that is exhausting, most of the time the sound it puts out just isn't impressive to me IMO. i know Mind Vortex and others pull off great results by layering massive with other bass sounds but i think it's their amazing mixdown skills that separates their great results from my unimpressive results regarding the sound coming out of massive. sylenth is great for trancey/housey leads and i'm very happy with its sound quality for those type of sounds but it seems very limiting, its envelope and modulation possibilities don't come close to ni massive and sylenth's detuned, gritty basses are lacking. fm8 is amazing and i spent a ton of time learning it. the possibilities of coming up with dynamic, moving sounds is wonderful due to its envelopes and modulation which are way different than massive but just as effective. unlike massive, i'm very happy with the sound quality of fm8 but the problem with fm8 is the actual sound design. i have a hard time cuz frequency modulation is all trial n error for me when it comes to me trying to make a specific sound. so fm8 is great for coming up with new, unique, unexpected sounds but i need to stick with subtractive or additive synths for times when i want to make a specific sound cuz frequency modulation is really difficult when trying to nail a specific sound i have in mind.

    what i'm looking for in a new hardware synth:
    i really want a do-it-all workhorse synth for dnb (although i use trancey, atmospheric, liquid, techstep elements on different songs so i'm looking for a well-rounded synth). i'd love to be able to make old skool atmospheric dnb (good looking) type leads, twisting gritty basses, and melodic leads. but also a synth that has the envelope/modulation capabilities of ni massive or fm8. unfortunately the guitar center near my house has a limited selection so i've played with access virus ti2, moog little phatty and a couple novation synths. it sucks that i don't have the ability to get hands-on with synths and decide based on that. instead i read as much as i can, listen to demos/etc on youtube and listen to opinions from others online. i hear great things about the dsi tetr4 but don't know much about it. i see a lot of masterclass dnb producers using virus ti synths and the virus ti synths seem to have the great versatility i'm looking for (large wavetable, great envelope/modulation possibilities) and seems to have the dnb stamp of approval. my budget is around $1000 US. unfortunately the virus ti polar seems to run $1500 where i can find it, so that puts the virus ti snow around my price-range. the main thing i'm looking toward pursuing is more liquid basses, some atmospheric (think phasey ltj bukem sounds), and twisting grimey basses.

    maybe getting an emu or akai sampler instead of new synth?
    i've even thought of getting an emu sampler and just sticking with what i currently have. i have no experience with hardware samplers but the idea there would be that i could sample a simple bass from massive or fm8 and turn it into something interesting but that's an ignorant assumption since i only have experience with software samplers. because i love the 90's sound, i read that the atmospheric sounds of ltj bukem/photek were from sampling with akai, then the great techstep basses from ed rush & optical and other greats were from an emu sampler. that's putting a lot of faith into the fact that i can get good enough at using the hardware sampler to achieve those results, but i'm a damn determined individual and i'll put all my effort into trying to succeed.

    sorry for the long post, but i've been going around and around in circles over this for awhile and put a crazy amount of time into my current setup but just feel like there's a roadblock. i'm sure there are people on this board that can pull off what i'm trying to pull off by using my setup. but i've put in so much time without getting past this roadblock that i think i need some help finding some direction. i'm definitely being nit-picky about my sound cuz i can pull off everything i want, just not to my satisfaction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  2. IV4

    IV4 Currently a newt.

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    Don't count your chicks before they have hatched. A little country wisdom about corporate bonuses.

    From the want "what i'm looking for" and "maybe getting an emu" section of your post you most likely want a top notch sampler. Not a an all inclusive synth.

    If you are old like me, and want those outrageously warm, full, controlled reece bass sounds, you might want to get a sampler. However before you blow your money on a thousand dollar sampler. Check out my favorite tut on the net. This bass sound can apply to so many great basses.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
    Sulihin and Ran like this.
  3. djdizzy

    djdizzy Active Member

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    thanks for the reply and yeah i definitely love the old sounds. i got into drum & bass in the late 90's and absolutely loved its sound, from the techstep to atmospheric. i'm definitely entertaining the idea of a sampler but my main problem is getting movement in my sounds via envelopes and modulation. all my great sounding synths just don't pull off the level of movement i'm looking for. to summarize it into one sentence, i'm looking for something like ni massive (you get so much control over the sound) but that sounds 100x better (i just think massive's sound quality isn't up to par). i want to stay away from slapping on a dozen plugins to try to get it to sound decent. i've definitely been down that alley and i'm hoping there's a synth out there with the capabilities of massive but with warm, professional sound quality. based on reading it seems like the access virus ti sounds like a good option (all the filters, envelopes, modulation, wavetable options, all the selling points of ni massive) but i'd be stuck with a virus ti snow due to my $1000 budget. i wouldn't miss the keyboard but i'd be concerned whether it has enough power/polyphony to do nice pads and basses basically, plus to run the new OS5 which has some nice new features.

    i looked at emu samplers for $300-400 that can work wonders on samples. i had always wondered how my favorite techstep producers made their basses/reeses back in the day and after asking on here, i got the answer. a dnbforum member replied with a link of fracture using an emu sampler to turn a 808 bass drum into a old skool-sounding warped reese. knowing that the likes of photek, bukem, adam f, etc, used similar techniques for pads is another selling point. but at the end of the day i'd prefer a synth because i tend to try to work in a lot of melody. i'm stuck with what direction to go though because i'm uncertain of the virus ti snow's capabilities, the virus ti polar is out of my reach financially. too bad there aren't music rental places around to try them out first-hand. i've been mad broke for a long time so i'm really excited at the possibility of getting something that might be the answer to my problems. i'm just not skilled enough at mixdowns to make massive sound as good as some people are able to. i'm decent at synths in general but all the mixdown/mastering needs work. in the meantime i'd like to get a quality piece of equipment for quality sound ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  4. IV4

    IV4 Currently a newt.

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    So what you are looking for is a conformation on virus? Do not know, I don't have it. However, I am sure it would be a splendid piece to your studio. One that could be envied by many.
     
  5. Ran

    Ran Member

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    That sampler crossfading trick tut is a top video ! Thank you for sharing
     
  6. Creda

    Creda New Member

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    If your heart is set on getting a hardware synth for example why not look into these new "Mini" synths that are out ?
    they all come with software editors and have a great new sound to them.
    Novation Mini Nova / Micro Korg XL .
    You could get both for your budget and maybe even a software sampler like Kontakt or Halion

    I love the JP-8000 too but why not upgrade it ? sell it on eBay and get a SH-01 Gaia .


    Just some ideas for you there