Wicked little analogue synths.

Discussion in 'Production' started by Surplus, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Surplus

    Surplus Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    8
    As much as I love a lot of the software synths the new analogue synths are surprisingly good value for the fatness they offer, after I sold my Juno and Moog many years ago I wanted something to replace them that didn't cost a fortune. I just got hold of the Arturia Microbrute and the Korg Volca Bass and I love them. They are so much fun and both have a lovely fat sound, as close as virtual synths come you just can't replicate those grungey screeching blines and leads or phat squelchy basses. Both have midi and onboard step sequencers which are a lot of fun and quite easy to program. I especially like the volca for the money I bought it unused for £75 and though it;s lacking in knobs and faders and is very basic the sound is lovely and very similar to a TB303, it also has plenty of bottom end and I've used it for a sub and it got on fine you can also put batteries and in it and carry it round as it's tiny (be prepared to get some funny looks if you mess around with it on the tube). The Arturia is more expensive and I would say it's not quite as savage as the Korg for bass, it's great for leads and crazy sounding effects and has a lot more knobs and faders which being that neither synth has any presets is quite handy. As I said the only down side is there are no preset sounds, the Arturia only has a card showing the position of the knobs and faders, I suppose this does force you into being more creative as you are more inclined to program your own sound. If you want to try your hand at synthesis but don't want to spend lot's of cash you can pick up a Volca Bass or the similar keys (not as phat but with more features) for £99 new, this is cheaper than most soft synths and much simpler to program than most of the most popular ones, which are in my opinion overloaded with features. In terms of the Arturia this starts at £240 up to £450 for the mini brute, probably not worth buying unless you've got some experience in synthesis as it involves patching and routing which take a while to get your head round, still a lovely synth if you haven't got a tight budget. Saying that if you've got money to burn probably go for the bass station. I had the original which in truth was a cheap and quite temperamental bit of kit, this one is far better put together and has a number of great features like a delay effect, presets nice semi weighted keys and is probably the best quality for the cheaper end of the market. Obviously there are a number of other available with the moog being my favourite but unless you have about £800-3000 these are not an option, fun to go play around on in West End DJ and piss of the staff. Here is a picture of the two little babies in action and this is the latest track I made using them, with Massive and Kontakt using Steinberg and NI plug ins, I actually routed some of the tracks through the Arturias VCF and you can hear how grimy it sounds (listen to the vocal), you can actually do this on both synths which is a nice effect if you want some nice distortion and grit.If anyone else has one of these and wants to trade patches message me, I'll upload a few samples in the next couple of days, probably a reese or two and some lead sounds.
    https://soundcloud.com/surplus1/dark-volca-wip
     
    Howitzer likes this.
  2. SubMix

    SubMix Mastering Engineer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Derby, UK
    I've owned a couple of Moogs, and they have both been stunning. The Arturia MiniBrute is worth checking out though as it has some lovely sub and bass sounds that you can't achieve with it's little brother, which you have. The MiniBrute is my go-to synth for simple, compact, and textured bass sounds when it comes to balancing out everything (including price).
     
  3. Howitzer

    Howitzer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Derby, UK
    I wish I'd seen this thread a couple of weeks ago, I've been torn between these two synths and ended up going with the volca bass after hearing the sound.
    I've been mightily impressed with the ease of operation and sound I've gotten from it. It's literally an instant reece machine and I love it! The filter is ace, the connectivity is perfect and the price point is nuts; 100% recommended from me.
     
  4. wingz

    wingz everyones fav austrian

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    3,304
    Likes Received:
    435
    Location:
    Austria
    what would you need to get it into a computer? would i have to buy a midi interface to plug it in? really got me thinking of getting the volca bass
     
  5. Surplus

    Surplus Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    8
    Yeah, you need a midi interface for the volcas, the other synths I use all use USB but unfortunately no USB on the Korg Volcas, you will also need some sort of audio cable to go into your computers sound card input. I really like the Korg synths, they are great for generating waves, have a great little step sequencer for making cool arpeggio patterns and make some lovely phat sounding fx, you may want to test out the keys as well, as this is fine to use for bass lines but is a bit more versatile than the bass. The new Korg sampler is also alot of fun and I think you can buy it for like £80 and use your phone as an interface which is super cool, I haven't had time to really get stuck into it, but for the money it really is a cool bit of inexpensive hardware.
     
  6. djdizzy

    djdizzy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    i just bought a Waldorf Pulse 2, i love it.