Advice wanted for new mobile hardware setup

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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Zac
Posts: 1663
Joined: 19 May 2016

Post 30 Jun 2020

I've recently sent back an IKM Uno Synth as I found the battery life way too short (and they got very hot 🔥)

So I thought this time I'd try and get some advice before spending any cash... 😎

What I want is a fun live sequencable set up that if I can get good enough at I could maybe busk with or play at parties.

I haven't got much money and I prefer synth programming/playing to drum stuff so I'm fairly set on the Teenage Engineering PO-12 for drums.

I've gone through many iterations of the rest of the configuration but here's where I'm at today...

Splashing big (for me) on the centre piece synth with the Korg monologue. Bit fancy for busking but a proper synth, battery powered, sync in and out for pocket operator sync and would add to my Reason sessions very nicely too.

I plan on using a cheap £25 analogue battery capable mixer.

The rest I'm less sure about. I think the monologue will sound great through some fx so I'm leaning towards the korg nu-tect build your own synth with modulation, delay and reverb. But it has no sequencer unlike the volcas.
So it might limit me to running the same sequence as the monologue?

I'd also love to incorporate my android tablet as well but think I'll probably run into sync issues.

Anyway, just venting before I make any firm decisions. Would be good to hear from anyone with experience of this sort of thing.

PhillipOrdonez
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Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 30 Jun 2020

Heard the circuit is great and cheap from a thread on this site.

What about the cheaper elektron devices? Aren't they battery powered?

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Zac
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Post 30 Jun 2020

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
30 Jun 2020
Heard the circuit is great and cheap from a thread on this site.

What about the cheaper elektron devices? Aren't they battery powered?
I have glanced at those two, I'll dig deeper and see what they would be capable of replacing.

DaveyG
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Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 30 Jun 2020

Choose from iPad, iPad or iPad
And an active speaker

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Zac
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Just checked out the Novation Circuit, perfect in theory, I just haven't heard any video yet (from a half hour listening) that the sound really grabbed me. Definitely gonna look into more though, thanks.

As for the ipad, thanks but I've been put off by stories I've heard about buying 2nd hand ones then not being able to install latest apps cause the ios isn't update able. I'm looking at £350 max here so couldn't get a new one. And really I'm looking for something tactile and playable. So, probably not.

PhillipOrdonez
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Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 30 Jun 2020

I think you can use it as a sequencer for other stuff, and if I understand correctly, it is an analogue synth and a sample player? I don't know much about that unit though, so I might be confusing more than one device into one... But I think if you search for a thread here on this site you'll find posts by an user called "cognitive" (I think) where he describes how he uses it on live sets.

NDKay
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Location: Suite 11

Post 30 Jun 2020

If it doesnt have to be analog you could take a look at the Arturia Microfreak. It has a great variety of sounds you can make, because of many different oscillators.And it has a ModMatrix. And it´s paraphonic with polyphonic aftertouch. And so many other things to consider .....just take a look at Loopops Video about it. It has no Battery itself, but it´s USB powered, so a Powerbank will work.
I´m interested myself in it, but i think i will wait for a good deal on a used one.

The Circuit is a nice machine. Its very fast and versatile. For that you can also take a look at Loopops Video.
BUT, if you are interested in creating sounds the circuit is not the best. You can make your own Patches but you will need a computer for that or you map a different midicontroller to the Synth Parameters (like the Lauchcontrol XL). It´s not Sounddesigner friendly, but to be fair that was not its intention.

edit: its paraphonic
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PhillipOrdonez
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Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 30 Jun 2020

Yeah the microfreak is fun, and also works as a midi controller or sequencer if you don't have a better one. It is very light too. If you don't mind the keyboard, it is great. I don't mind it, in fact it is an advantage for certain types of lines, but not great for others, but there are other keys to take care of that, it has midi in and out and CV gate out which I haven't used yet cause I don't know what standard it is using, and if someone knows of I can connect it to the neutron that's be awesome, yeah so 4 note paraphony and a bunch of oscillator types it really has a broad range of sounds, but you better listen to reviews or test it before you buy it to see if the sounds it makes work for you.

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Zac
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Post 30 Jun 2020

Thanks guys. I have skipped over the microfreak for some reason, I'll have a listen.

The Circuit is great in so many ways but even with the latest updates and synth editing I've just not heard it make any sounds that inspire me.

Glad I posted, I'll keep listening and thinking... 😎

DaveyG
Posts: 442
Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 01 Jul 2020

Zac wrote:
30 Jun 2020
Thanks guys. I have skipped over the microfreak for some reason, I'll have a listen.

The Circuit is great in so many ways but even with the latest updates and synth editing I've just not heard it make any sounds that inspire me.

Glad I posted, I'll keep listening and thinking... 😎
I've heard that they are working on a new version of Circuit. I'm hoping it will include a small display. The one reason I did not buy the current one is that there is no indication of what the controls are doing. You either need a superb memory, a handwritten page of notes for each song or you have to use The Force. :cry:

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Zac
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Post 01 Jul 2020

After a lot more listening I think I'm going to get the Elektron model cycles!

I was going to start with the Arturia Microfreak but I want to do some DAWless music and the cycles will do that all. I will then reassess and see if I want to save and get the microfreak to expand my sound options.

I'm really surprised I'm going down an FM route because I barely use FM in Reason but this thing makes some tasty sounds and having delay and reverb sends helps to soften things up.

I just couldn't see me doing any sound design on the circuit and if I got the microfreak my full song building ability would mainly have to wait so the Cycles it is.

Just want to see if I can get a deal now. Product returns or the like.

DaveyG
Posts: 442
Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 02 Jul 2020

Zac wrote:
01 Jul 2020
After a lot more listening I think I'm going to get the Elektron model cycles!

I was going to start with the Arturia Microfreak but I want to do some DAWless music and the cycles will do that all. I will then reassess and see if I want to save and get the microfreak to expand my sound options.

I'm really surprised I'm going down an FM route because I barely use FM in Reason but this thing makes some tasty sounds and having delay and reverb sends helps to soften things up.

I just couldn't see me doing any sound design on the circuit and if I got the microfreak my full song building ability would mainly have to wait so the Cycles it is.

Just want to see if I can get a deal now. Product returns or the like.
The Microfreak is a really neat synth (unless you are a keyboard snob!) and offers a huge variety of oscillators and sounds for the money. It will run happily off a powerbank but I'm not sure I'd call it mobile, and yes, you'd need a sequencer to go with it. The Elektron is a superb sequencer and drum machine but sort of FM-lite in the synth department. It is FM and it makes some great sounds but the scope for editing the sounds is severely limited. That may be a blessing in disguise given that there are only about 6 people on the planet who truly understand FM synthesis! The Elektron plus Microfreak would give you an astonishing arsenal of sounds for the money. (BTW, have you looked at the Model:Samples?)

Sterioevo
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Joined: 02 Apr 2015

Post 02 Jul 2020

sounds like you need a wheelie bin solar/battery powered sound system
https://sunnybins.com

Image

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Zac
Posts: 1663
Joined: 19 May 2016

Post 02 Jul 2020

DaveyG wrote:
02 Jul 2020
Zac wrote:
01 Jul 2020
After a lot more listening I think I'm going to get the Elektron model cycles!

I was going to start with the Arturia Microfreak but I want to do some DAWless music and the cycles will do that all. I will then reassess and see if I want to save and get the microfreak to expand my sound options.

I'm really surprised I'm going down an FM route because I barely use FM in Reason but this thing makes some tasty sounds and having delay and reverb sends helps to soften things up.

I just couldn't see me doing any sound design on the circuit and if I got the microfreak my full song building ability would mainly have to wait so the Cycles it is.

Just want to see if I can get a deal now. Product returns or the like.
The Microfreak is a really neat synth (unless you are a keyboard snob!) and offers a huge variety of oscillators and sounds for the money. It will run happily off a powerbank but I'm not sure I'd call it mobile, and yes, you'd need a sequencer to go with it. The Elektron is a superb sequencer and drum machine but sort of FM-lite in the synth department. It is FM and it makes some great sounds but the scope for editing the sounds is severely limited. That may be a blessing in disguise given that there are only about 6 people on the planet who truly understand FM synthesis! The Elektron plus Microfreak would give you an astonishing arsenal of sounds for the money. (BTW, have you looked at the Model:Samples?)
Yes I've checked out the samples and seen it for £220! But I want to keep away from my computer and am not really confident with sample based stuff. I was tempted for a while.

I know what you mean about the limited fm editing but I've seen enough videos now to know it makes sounds I like.

The microfreak is a monster for the price and I love the diversity of what it can do. I didn't like the capacitive keyboard on the Uno and so I'm sure I'll probably want to use a midi keyboard with it. I also didn't like the amount of travel in the osc knobs, seemed too much to me in the videos. But yeah I think I'd still get it over a monologue now. Best get saving!

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Zac
Posts: 1663
Joined: 19 May 2016

Post 02 Jul 2020

Sterioevo wrote:
02 Jul 2020
sounds like you need a wheelie bin solar/battery powered sound system
https://sunnybins.com

Image
Nice Mon :cool: :lol:

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bitley
Posts: 1369
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Location: sweden

Post 02 Jul 2020

So everything except Reason and you ask this in a Reason forum :) I will say get a second hand Macbook and enjoy life as a reasoner :)

DaveyG
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Post 02 Jul 2020

bitley wrote:
02 Jul 2020
So everything except Reason and you ask this in a Reason forum :) I will say get a second hand Macbook and enjoy life as a reasoner :)
Sub-forum title: "Hardware and Other Software"

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 1108
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 02 Jul 2020

Zac wrote:
01 Jul 2020
After a lot more listening I think I'm going to get the Elektron model cycles!

I was going to start with the Arturia Microfreak but I want to do some DAWless music and the cycles will do that all. I will then reassess and see if I want to save and get the microfreak to expand my sound options.

I'm really surprised I'm going down an FM route because I barely use FM in Reason but this thing makes some tasty sounds and having delay and reverb sends helps to soften things up.

I just couldn't see me doing any sound design on the circuit and if I got the microfreak my full song building ability would mainly have to wait so the Cycles it is.

Just want to see if I can get a deal now. Product returns or the like.
Great choice. I'm considering one myself, only thing keeping me from getting one is the lack of individual outputs/overbridge.

Does it have midi outs so you can sequence other pieces of gear? That's another thing to consider. Does it have midi through?

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Zac
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Post 02 Jul 2020

It has midi out/thro via a 3.5mm jack. I'm guessing it'll be spread across midi channels? It also has USB midi and audio.

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Zac
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Post 02 Jul 2020

bitley wrote:
02 Jul 2020
So everything except Reason and you ask this in a Reason forum :) I will say get a second hand Macbook and enjoy life as a reasoner :)
You are a glutton for punishment aren't you?!

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Zac
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Joined: 19 May 2016

Post 02 Jul 2020

Didn't look like many are getting returned so I ordered one at £297. Coming tomorrow hopefully 🤞

PhillipOrdonez
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Location: Colombia

Post 02 Jul 2020

Zac wrote:
02 Jul 2020
Didn't look like many are getting returned so I ordered one at £297. Coming tomorrow hopefully 🤞
Exciting! Congrats on your purchase!

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Zac
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Post 02 Jul 2020

Thanks :D

NDKay
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Location: Suite 11

Post 02 Jul 2020

DaveyG wrote:
01 Jul 2020
I've heard that they are working on a new version of Circuit.......
would you share a little bit more information please ?

*curious*
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NDKay
Posts: 256
Joined: 04 Jul 2018
Location: Suite 11

Post 02 Jul 2020

Zac wrote:
02 Jul 2020
Didn't look like many are getting returned so I ordered one at £297. Coming tomorrow hopefully 🤞
Congrats, too!

For me it doesnt look that inspring........not that i could or would say anything bad about it. Just a "taste" thing i guess.

But maybe tell us a bit how it is going for you :cool:
This is a SmartAss. Really nothing more than that !

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