Your beginning in synthesizers

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

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Post by Panason » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:46 pm

SH-101. I liked it but I really wanted a 303 which I could not afford so it was a doomed relationship.
Then an original MS20, same problem. The MS 20 always sounded kind of angry and grungy. I figured out it was easy to remove the keyboard and use it as a module with some wood panelling.... I stupidly sold it and now it's worth a ton :bang:

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Post by NightGoat » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:57 pm

Spent my student loan on an Akai S01 and a midi keyboard. 15 seconds of pure Mono samples. I still have it somewhere. The rest of my money went on an Atari 1080ste which, to my horror, would only run cubase if you had the mono monitor sm124. That broke the bank!

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Post by lumenk » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:50 pm

At the age of 13 I worked all summer at a construction job, saved up my dollars, and marched into the local music store to buy a brand new Roland JX3P in 1985. My dream was to be Thomas Dolby or Gary Numan. Thought a synth could do anything. Quickly learned otherwise. Acquired a Korg 770 for peanuts. Then a Ross portable four-track. Finally picked up a TR505 and borrowed a semi-functional Polymoog. All this in high school. Then I sold it all and had to build back up.

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Post by tarmoog » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:49 am

Started using tracker software on computer first time 1995, couple years later found out Buzz tracker and got interested in synthesis and especially analog synthesizers (since that software had like 303 clones and stuff).

First real synthesizer i got was used Roland SH-101 I bought in 2002.
Sold it couple years later, it had tuning issues with kenton midi-cv box I was using it with, kinda wish now I had kept it.

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Post by chiasticon » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:10 pm

Nord Lead 2 borrowed from a friend was my first synth. used to spend hours and hours and hours with it, completely mesmerized with what I was able to do, while also being completely ignorant as to what the hell I was actually doing. recorded directly to minidisc and would listen to them on bike commutes to campus.

eventually discovered midi, bought a Roland MC50 to sequence multiple parts at once and mute/un-mute them while playing live drums over top. then I discovered the Machinedrum...

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Post by jensenluxvid » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:22 pm

Tape recorders. Assorted cheap keyboards marketed to kids. Casio PT 1.

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Post by Unborn Gore » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:31 pm

Didn't get into it until I was 30. Bought a Waldorf Micro Q keyboard in 2003.

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Post by mutierend » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:23 pm

I bought my first synthesizer, a Roland Gaia, in 2016. I was 41. Eighteen months later, I no longer have the Gaia but I do have lots of other great stuff.

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Post by Madrayken » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:06 am

Casio SK-1, then C64 SID programming, then a Roland D-50. That last utterly ruined my notion of synthesis. It took an Arp2600 plugin to retrain me properly, blow my mind, and put me on the path to actual synthesis.
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Post by DeanG » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:09 pm

In 1982 I bought a sequential Pro One and a tascam 244 mutitrack . Was my only synth for, over 10 years. Later added a Roland mc-202 to sequence more complex melodic rythmns and sync tracks.
I am my own source of uncertainty.

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Post by cscairney » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:33 am

mome rath wrote:hello, old thread

rebirth, then VAZ and HAMMERHEAD, and BUZZ and STOMPER, and then a JP8000 that's still in my closet

my goodness that's a while ago, isn't it :woah:

My friend and I cut a couple of tracks when we were 16 yo using this and Acid (DAW) and a microphone. "Cry of the Fetus" It got pressed on Beat to Death Records on clear red vinyl... sounded horrible.

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Post by paranoidmoonduck » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:03 am

An old dilapidated Serge in the corner of a mostly poorly equipped school music studio. It was love at first sight.

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Post by vromr » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:08 pm

Rebirth & NI Generator (which later became Reaktor)!
A Kawai K5000s, Roland SuperJX/MKS-70, and Roland JV-880 followed shortly afterwards.

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Post by HerrX » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:54 am

1999, I was 33, Juno 106, LinnDrum from a pawn shop, sequenced the Juno with a TR-505. A Jupiter 8 followed shortly thereafter, $1200 seemed like a lot for a JP-8 back then. Recorded it all with a Yamaha MT8X. I miss the simplicity of it, and the intoxicatingly fresh inspiration of being new to it all.

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Post by locust_locust » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:54 am

My first two synths were not great- I bought a JV1080 and then an Alesis QSR.

Then I bought an SH-101, Juno 6, 60, 106 and then a Novation Supernova.

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Post by BenA718 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:30 am

Short story::

My first synth was purchased when I was in high school (in the 80s): a Casio CZ-101.

Slightly longer story::
Traded it for ... something ... and then began a long period of no synths and lots of guitar playing until about 2004 when I bought a Roland GR-30. Then I got a Yamaha QY-70 (sequowith built in synth sounds).

My ‘modern’ era of synths began in 2013. I bought a Dave Smith MOHPO followed by several 90s ROMplers, a Mother-32 and then Eurorack.

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Post by calaveras » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:59 am

I forgot to mention that my talented neighbor with all the synths was Art Neville. Keyboardist of the Meters and the Neville Brothers.
He isn't doing too well right now. And with Charles recently passing (one of the other Neville Brothers) I am recognizing that I ought to give Artie his due. Shit why does time keep moving in one direction so much?
Anyway, he was like my other uncle, and had a house full of every kind of Roland, Yamaha, Korg etc synth and keyboard. You don't really hear it on any of their records though. On those it's just all piano, B3, Clavinet and Rhodes.

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Post by Geflackt » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:28 am

Was just talking about this with someone yesterday....

Mid-80's in high school, listening to The Church, New Order, Depeche, Erasure, and then from a Belgian exchange student who brought in Front 242. Worked at Sam Goody, so I was exposed to a decent amount of new music. Around 1988 or so, my parents helped me buy a Pro-One($200 with stand, amp and hard case). Combined with a friend's CZ-1 and SHS-10(?) for drum patterns, we started writing electronic alternative music with 3 of us on guitars, vocals, and keyboard. Around 1990 I got my first PC and immediately started running Cakewalk under DOS. My parents also bought me the high-school’s drum machine, a Korg DDD-5 which we named Isaac. Although we only did a few stage concerts around 1990 at the end of high school, we had a decent stage setup of 1 or 2 PC’s, a MAC, (2) CZ-1’s, the Pro-One, the DDD-5, and a collection of guitars and pedals. After college, the one friend and I had a small recording studio and did our own music, collecting a bunch of gear in the process, but that all took a back seat.

I’ve recently gotten back into the synths, setting up a small synth “lab” of various new and vintage synths(still have the Pro-One and DDD-5!). Currently in the process of developing an interesting hardware MIDI/CV sequencer(I’m an embedded eng and product developer during the day).

This is also my first MW post but have been reading for a little while!

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Post by Panason » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:44 pm

Welcome. I wish I could develop my own hardware MIDI/CV sequencer... Please keep us posted!
a Pro-One($200 with stand, amp and hard case)
:waah: :waah: :waah:

well done for keeping it all this time!

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Post by samplebias2 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:31 pm

Played saxophone since 3rd grade, was a jazz/classical snob of sorts, but syths and electro always attracted me, like forbidden fruit. That synth breakdown in Van Halen "JUMP" was so electrifying

Was going to college in 1993 to be a music teacher, took a MIDI class that had a JUNO 106 in it and I was hooked. At the time most current synths were ROMplers and I got lost in digital submenus trying to get "that sound" till I got my own Juno 106, JX8P

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Post by legionhwp » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:24 pm

The first synth I ever played was an Arp Odysessy in Mr Terry’s 7th grade music class in the 70s. How cool was that teacher? I would go in after school and he’d let me mess with it in one of the practice rooms while other kids were playing sax and trumpet.

When I graduated college and started working decades later I went out and bought the first synth I saw on sale used at my local Mom and pop shop. A Yamaha dx27. Then came a Juno 106 and a SCI Pro One. I think my first drum machine was a dr550. Soon I got a tr606 and eventually a tb303 from another ma and pa music shop’s basement pile. You could do that in the 90s.

Some releases from that era:

1993 - Altruistic Suicide “Industial” with Ensoniq EPS too:

1994- Music For Isolation Tanks first full length with all the above synths plus ESQ1:

Making the Extraordinary from the Ordinary
Creative Electronic Instruments and Art:

Streaming and Downloadable Organic Electronic Music From the Past 20 Years:


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Post by Flexyflier » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:08 am

My first synth was a brand spanking new wasp in 1978!
"Drowning...................not waving!"

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Post by Geflackt » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:43 pm

legionhwp wrote:The first synth I ever played was an Arp Odysessy in Mr Terry’s 7th grade music class in the 70s. How cool was that teacher? I would go in after school and he’d let me mess with it in one of the practice rooms while other kids were playing sax and trumpet.
Reminds me - in addition to using synths on my own and in a band, our high school also had a 2-part Electronic Music class. This was in the late '80's and I'm not sure how long it lasted(since my parents bought the drum machine!). But we started learning about synthesis on an ARP Odyssey and Moog Sonic Six. The teacher brought in his own Korg DS-8 and M1, plus the school had a DX7. There was a hardware sequencer as well. At the time, the M1 and DX7 were the go-to instruments, but now I wish I had paid more attention to the ARP and Moog! Spent a lot of study halls with that equipment.

I'm still amazed we had such a class. Funniest moment I'll never forget is during the class, which was held just a few doors down from the admin offices, a friend was doing a microphone test as part of the class and with the volume cranked on the amp said(very good impersonation) "I'm Robin Leach and I talk so loud even the animals go 'oo the F are you!?'" That Williams bit had as all laughing except the teacher who quickly shut off the amp and gave us all a bit of grief!

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Post by Easterner » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:06 pm

I started out with a Korg Monotron when they first came out. Stayed up all night discovering the joys of tweaking the filter cutoff and resonance... that soon led to a Little Phatty, then Moog Prodigy, then Juno 6, and many synths bought and sold until now, including a love of analogue but also digital synths.

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Post by 1986Bowler » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:22 pm

My mom got us a Bontempi organ- I know, it's not really a synth, but hey- it was a set of keys that made noise.

At some point, I ended up getting a Concertmate 500, the Radio Shack version of the Casio SK1.

I bought a Yamaha synth from Sears after that- can remember the model, but I remember it had speakers and a weird kind of angled ridge.

Then I bought my buddy's Juno-60 off him for 100 bucks, which was ridiculous. Even more ridiculous when I sold it like 10 years later to my buddy for the same price- oh, well- payin' it forward...

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