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Thread: Queries regarding Synths! (Serious noob in need of help~)

  1. #1

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    Queries regarding Synths! (Serious noob in need of help~)

    Hey all!
    Hopefully I'm posting at the right thread and would really hope to have your kind assistance as I don't have any friends at all who plays the Synth.

    Been playing the classical piano for a long time, but my interest has always been pop/rock music.
    When I play accompaniment for songs it'll be pretty much the 'classical' way, ie. broken chords, arpeggios, scales, etc. And it would fit nicely for the genres I play.

    However lately, I have been listening to alot of songs that actually consist of a synth, and I heard of this local band by the name of Quick Quick Danger and am deeply intrigued by the cool sounds they could generate with it.

    So am pretty much wondering, on a few factors:
    • Would there be alot of difference in playing pop piano compared with the synth?
    • Are there any recommended brands/models if I would like to venture out exploring this aspect?
    • What are all the needed accessories I would require to purchase along with a synth?
    • A friend of mine said something about using a computer or DJ mixer to synth stuff, along with enveloping filters and stuff and it sounds really complicated, issit meant to be that complex?
    • Are there any physical outlets to recommend me to take a look and learn more from?
    • Any where I could read up to find out more about it?
    • Are there any music schools to recommend teaching synths?
    • I saw this certain Micro-korg XL intro by a japanese guy on youtube, issit any good?
    I know it's really quite a mouthful, hope you guys could help me out on this! ((:
    Didn't know who to approach.

    Thanks so much~

  2. #2

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    Would there be alot of difference in playing pop piano compared with the synth?
    Yes and no. You might focus a lot more on manipulating the sounds being produced, rather than just playing the right notes. In simple terms I'd break down modern synths into two uses:
    1) electronic and experimental music using analog-style synths where you directly control different components of a circuit that is generating sound/noise (you'll come across terms like LFO, VCA, has to do with actually altering the voltages and other properties of the signal) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesizer#Components
    2) just using a keyboard to emulate other instruments (strings, guitar etc.) using sound samples or digital modelling, which will be more like pop piano

    Are there any recommended brands/models if I would like to venture out exploring this aspect?
    I like Roland synths (the Juno series has several models at different price points), the other big brands are Korg, Nord, and of course the legendary Moog. You also have the option of software synths (using a midi keyboard controller with your computer as the "brain" or database of the sounds).

    What are all the needed accessories I would require to purchase along with a synth?
    A friend of mine said something about using a computer or DJ mixer to synth stuff, along with enveloping filters and stuff and it sounds really complicated, issit meant to be that complex?

    All modern synths are pretty self-sufficient, they generate, manipulate and output the sounds. There are some modular products such as addon units that only contain the sounds but you need a keyboard to control it, can get very complicated. Anyway, no matter how complex the jargon, if it's on a knob or slider, just play with it and learn with your ears. Other equipment, you'll know when you need it, then it's a neverending gear chase.

    Are there any physical outlets to recommend me to take a look and learn more from?
    CityMusic carries Korg, Keyboard Theatre has Nord, and I believe Swee Lee has Roland. There is also a shop at Sunshine Plaza (can't remember the name) with synths and midi controllers. I'm sure others can recommend more shops.

    Any where I could read up to find out more about it?
    A cheap (free!) way to learn about synths is go to a public library and borrow an issue of Computer Music magazine with the accompanying DVD. It includes free versions of software synthesizers and other audio/midi programs. Some of these software synths emulate the controls on physical keyboards quite closely so you can easily see how the different parameters work. These free software are usually modular -- one program acts as the controller (using your mouse, keyboard etc) to send the signal, one program receives the signal and translates it into actual sounds, another one acts as the host to link everything together etc. The DVD should include instructions.

    That was quite a mouthful... welcome to the world of synths
    Last edited by carboxymoron; 31-10-10 at 09:08 PM.

  3. #3

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    Actually, it is not that difficult to understand sound synthesis if you are able to see various part of a synth and see how they link together. But it take a lot time to play with setting and come out a sound for your music.

  4. #4

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    Go over here and wonder around.
    http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/

    There are quite a number of stuff like these out there
    http://www.dancemusicproduction.com/?q=node/6

    Before u drop money on an Access Virus , look around at soft synths first.
    http://www.synthprograms.com/10573.html


    U might enjoy this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqx8tAdID9w
    No Hook, No Replay!

  5. #5

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    wah, that sure is a lot of info. haha!
    thanks so much! ((: will need some time to digest these.

  6. #6

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    Another question. :X
    I'm planning to venture in this particular aspect,

    I'm looking for effects like those of pop, alternative rock, punk rock songs on synths.
    But I'm pretty much also a beginner in synths so, any recommended brands for me to purchase? ((:

    Thanks for help once again!

  7. #7

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    There isn't any one synth effect/sound any more than there is one guitar sound. Like all the brands of guitars/pickups/amps -- they sound different but all produce a sound that you'll clearly recognise as a guitar, and any of those sounds could be applied to any genre. So what are you looking for exactly? Maybe some example songs or bands. One of the more prominent synths in a mainstream pop/rock band I can think of is the Moog used by Motion City Soundtrack. But any brand/model will have similar basic sounds like sine and saw wave leads and pads.

    Anyway to keep things simple, you could just look at Roland and Korg synths. What's your budget like?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by carboxymoron View Post
    There isn't any one synth effect/sound any more than there is one guitar sound. Like all the brands of guitars/pickups/amps -- they sound different but all produce a sound that you'll clearly recognise as a guitar, and any of those sounds could be applied to any genre. So what are you looking for exactly? Maybe some example songs or bands. One of the more prominent synths in a mainstream pop/rock band I can think of is the Moog used by Motion City Soundtrack. But any brand/model will have similar basic sounds like sine and saw wave leads and pads.

    Anyway to keep things simple, you could just look at Roland and Korg synths. What's your budget like?

    wow okay.. hmm, pretty much anything around 1k or smth would do fine. ((:
    it'll be a plus point if it's light-weight. haha

  9. #9

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by carboxymoron View Post
    those two looks pretty cool!
    wad about the ps60, hows it to the x50?

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