Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

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Matthew D
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Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by Matthew D » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:23 am

Hello,

I am brand new to synth except for a month of internet research. I have put together a basic idea of what I want to get started. But as someone who has never played a synth I am hoping for a basic critique to see if this will do what I want. I am thinking of starting with the Model D from Behringer so my setup would look like this...

-Behringer Model D
-Spring Reverb (probably Doepher)
-AI006 Eurorack Stomp Box Adapter
-Distortion Pedal, bass preamp pedal etc (I already have a full compliment of pedals)

I am wondering if it is possible to add (at a later date) extra modules like and extra filter or envelope generator to this setup. I have heard that the Model D is limited in terms of patching ability, but as a beginner I can't determine by how much.

My goals with synth can be described in two words… Rock, and Funk.
For rock sounds I would love to recreate some of these tones…

For Funk sounds I am aiming for this ballpark…


Perhaps I should ask my question another way… would I need more add on modules to get this range of tones?

P.S. spring reverb probably isn't essential... but I used to own a tube amp with spring reverb so lets just say... I'm getting spring reverb.

Thanks,
Matt.

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Kent
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by Kent » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:54 am

I think that you are going down a mistaken path.

I have a huge anti-Behringer bias, so keep that in mind. I will never recommend, support, nor use their products.

With that said, just get the Moog and invest a ton of time in it. That's what the guy in the 2nd video did. Also, as it has patch memory, you can continue exploring from any point and save iterations of what you discover and like. Patch memory is also great for live use. I used to play in a band with a Voyager and I would switch between 4-6 sounds within a song.

You already have pedals and you can connect them directly between the Moog and your audio interface, speakers, or within the Moog itself.

In short, invest in a quality instrument and work with it for quite some time and master it. Shove pedals into it and see what happens.

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numan7
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by numan7 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:20 am

i suggest that you also take a serious look at the moog grandmother - a fully featured semi-modular synth that actually presents its functions as modules (similar to what are called 'serge panels' in some ways, but considerably more affordable). although being fully analog means it doesn't have patch memory like sub37, the gm does provide a very nice sounding spring reverb among its 'modules'. many around here seem to :love: it.


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Fog Door
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by Fog Door » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:52 am

Hi Matthew D, is there a specific reason you want to go semi/modular? You could achieve the sort of sounds you are looking for with a standard hardware synth, then you don't need to worry about patching/case/additional modules. I concur with Kent's advice and the Sub 37 is great, if that is more than you wanted to spend, for sheer versatility at cheaper price points you could look at the Korg Minilogue XD or the MicroKorg (not the XL+!). I personally, have not got any beef with Behringer but all those synths would seem to be better suited to your purposes than the Behringer Model D, unless your heart is set on the modular route :)

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hamildad
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by hamildad » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:48 am

most of the best music made by synths within the Funk/Rock genre is all about the keyboard playability..

get something with a nice keyboard, add pedals... practice....

personally, I'd look for a grandmother in good condition and get that... sub37 would be good but I feel a 25 key keyboard is likely a bit to small to actually be worth investing in...

anything without a keyboard will need a good keyboard to do pitch bends, vary modulation within a run etc... then you are having to plug everything together, and work on MIDI mapping, then remember power supplies, work out that the buzz is from the USB connection.... lose a connector... etc.etc.

TLDR: type "Moog grandmother, lisa Bella Donna" into Youtube... watch.....get your credit card out...
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Matthew D
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by Matthew D » Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:30 am

Thanks for the replies,

I will give a bit of background to help answer the questions...
I used to play keyboards back in the 90's (before children and guitars)!, so my chops will be terrible but I do have a slight headstart.

I had basically convinced myself to go full modular, as I already have some euro rack drum sounds (which I am planning on keeping separate from the synth)

So I guess I though semi modular would be a good compromise solution that would allow me to expand later if needed. It sounds like I won't need to expand later... if I am hearing you guys correctly the tones/ patches I am looking for are nothing exotic and most synths should get me to where I need to get (with practice), so I am seriously considering a hardware synth like the Grandmother providing. But I am also wondering about other hardware synths like the Korg MS-20 mini.

It's interesting to find out the "boog"(I just discovered this term) isn't well liked due to the 4.8 star rating on amazon! It really feels like I need to try out some of these so I can feel the difference.

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Fog Door
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by Fog Door » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:13 am

This is just my opinion, but yes, I would say you are better off with a hardware synth for your funk/rock stuff, considering the sounds you are looking for, fancy synthesis is not required :) Its just way more convenient to not have to patch from scratch every time and if you get a synth with memory its even better. Although semi modular can be the best of both worlds, depending on what you are trying to achieve it can also be the worst of both worlds (imo). You can always expand your euro setup once you have more experience with synthesis, IF you feel you are missing something.

The MS20 mini is one of my favourite synths, I love it, tons of character, great for leads/bass lines, but it does sound quite raw, so it won't easily get you to some of the smoother sounds in the sub 37 vid you posted, and you cannot store your own sounds either. To touch on what numan7 said about keyboards, the Sub 37 keyboard might not be ideal if you are a half decent keyboard player but it is significantly better than the MS20 mini, the keyboard on the MS20 is really not great, though I am only a rudimentary player myself. I do own both, so my opinion does have at least some basis in reality :)

Edited to add - Yes, you should try a few out, there are a ridiculous amount of fantastic synths out there for funk/rock at every price point imaginable

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Blingley
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by Blingley » Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:50 am

hamildad wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:48 am
most of the best music made by synths within the Funk/Rock genre is all about the keyboard playability..

get something with a nice keyboard, add pedals... practice....
This, 150%. You can get there with a single wave and VCA if you just play it well, but a badly played patch will sound bad no matter how it's programmed.

Since you already own a bunch of pedals, you can definitely supplement whatever you get with those. As such, get a good and playable keyboard.

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black_label
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by black_label » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:54 pm

I’ve always thought that a Minimoog is a great place to start learning synths. Everything is laid out in a way that’s easy to find and understand. The Behringer has limited patching and isn’t as immediate because of the size and placement of the knobs and a Moog Minimoog is going to cost you a lot when you’re just starting out.

The Grandmother is a great alternative. It’s got a layout that just makes sense like a Mini but has way more patching functionality than a Boog so you can expand your knowledge a lot faster. Plus it sounds great and you won’t outgrow it.

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thelowerrhythm
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Re: Wanted: A critique of my (proposed) first semi modular synth

Post by thelowerrhythm » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:39 am

I feel like what you're after is going to be more effortlessly captured with something non-modular, and for far less money. Possibly even if you're talking about the robustly-priced land o' Moog.

Expansion could look like adding another synth, rather than shelling out tons of cash for an envelope here, an LFO there.

The Behringer Poly D sounds like it might be up your alley, but I can't comment on the keyboard. Like many others noted, for a musical application like this, that keyboard is going to be make or break.
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