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Old 09-23-2018, 08:44 PM
TomberVII TomberVII is offline
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Default Synth / MIDI Controller

Hey everyone,

I've written using notation before and am starting to get into ProTools First (and other DAWs) to record/produce music too. I'm looking to get a polyphonic synth that I can record sounds from (and use live) but I also want to use as a MIDI controller.

Two questions; one as a knowledge builder, the other as recommendations

1) Will I be able to use the sounds from the synth via the USB cable when it's connected as a synth? Does this depend on synth?

2) What is a good polyphonic synth (looking for something with natural feel) that will also act as a really good MIDI controller (transport / track controls, etc if possible)? Preferably sold in Australia but could import if a perfect one gets suggested.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:59 PM
BScout BScout is offline
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Default Re: Synth / MIDI Controller

For 1, depends on synth. However, if using usb audio to get sound from the synth, most likely it is also an audio interface. Which means (for ProTools) it’ll be required to be your playback engine. (Unless it is being routed as a plugin). Usually easier to use analog or digital outs into your audio interface. (Btw, midi triggering over usb is completely independent of audio issues; there is no issue of midi over usb)

For 2, what is “natural feel”? Usually keyboards are classified as “piano feel” or “synth feel”. And each feel is good for different things.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:44 PM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: Synth / MIDI Controller

And price is pretty iportant here as there are soo many synths that does what you are asking on the market.

I would check youtube as there are a LOT of tests and demos for all synths ever built and you can listen to how they would fit into your needs.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:47 PM
TomberVII TomberVII is offline
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Default Re: Synth / MIDI Controller

Thanks for that. Obviously I don't know what synth I want yet but ultimately, I'd like to be able to use it's inbuilt sounds as well as trigger MIDI in my DAW without having to unplug the USB and plug it into my interface. So anything with that functionality would be good if it exists.

By Natural feel, I guess kind of closer to a piano feel as opposed to plasticy keyboard feel. I went into a store the other day and played on some but I didn't like them. Maybe you could give a better recommendation.
https://djcity.com.au/product/moog-subsequent37/ - This one felt amazing but I hated that it was only mono (or two notes... doesn't really help with chords though).
https://djcity.com.au/product/novati...a-synthesiser/ - This one felt rubbish (compared to the Moog) but I liked the polyphony and the sounds were ok too.

Is there anything that has the best of both worlds?
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:52 PM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: Synth / MIDI Controller

Check out the synth series from Nord Lead as they are wel represented both live and studio and not to mention sounds very very good.

Also Roland FA series and look at their other offerings aswell.

Korg has some great stuff and so does Kurtzweil. Look up those manufacturers on the youtube page and see what you like. My money is on Nordlead. The Korg SV-1 73 is one we use quite often as a master keyboard thanks to the great keyboard feel. They have a 88 key version too.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:08 PM
TomberVII TomberVII is offline
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Default Re: Synth / MIDI Controller

The Nord Lead 2X looks phenomenal. I'll have to see if there's anywhere around here that has one I can try out. Thank you so much.

I had a look at some Korg stuff but it didn't really do it for me. My housemate used to have on of their RK100 keytars, too, and I just didn't love it. The SV1 looks a step up from what I've seen before so I'll look into that too; love the idea of the valve.

Kurzweil seems a bit harder to come by in Victoria (where I am) so I'll look at the others and if I'm still not happy, I'll look into them too.

Thanks again so much. Very fast responses and great help.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:45 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Synth / MIDI Controller

Particularly being that you're looking for piano-feel (usually referred to as weighted keyboard) in a synth you really should try them out in a store - it'll be worth your while. I've demoed some in stores and they were quite horrid for my playing and I've been playing keyboards in one form or another for 58 years (piano/organ/accordion) so I think I have pretty darn good technique. On the Roland and Korgs I kept getting double notes where I should only have gotten single note hits; just couldn't get on with the feel of the Nord.

The two best were a Kurzweil PC3K8 and a Yamaha Montage. I have no doubt other 88 key Kurzweils will be as good to the touch as the big boy I tried. They've always had a good piano touch to them going back to the old K series. And Yamaha finally got the piano action right on their 88 note 'boards.

Understand that these are what worked for me and my technique. At my age I shouldn't have to adjust to the feel of a keyboard.
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