Your first Hardware Synthesizer & Reason!

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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Post 09 Apr 2021


Looking for some opinions / insights about your choice of your first synth hardware:
( I don't own one, but I'm looking @peak or @minilogueXD )

1 ) What compelled you to own a Synth hardware ?
2 ) Did integrate well with your Reason workflow ?


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Post 09 Apr 2021

I have always had hardware synths.
The only synth I actually use together with Reason is my old Moog and I just record it straight into the soundcard.
I have a few hardware synths none is modern so I use MIDI to sequence them.
I use my Kurzweil K2600XS when I play a pianoplugin due tot he fact it is 88 keys weighted and sometimes I use the Kurzweil when I have need for many the cool controllers in the K2600 while playing a plugin...

But I always find myself to think that it takes too much time to use the hardware and not worth the effort. But that´s me.

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Post 09 Apr 2021

I have a small modular synth and a module that allows it to communicate with Reason, I don't use it for serious music making, more for experiments and fun or drone sounds. No it didn't integrate with my Reason workflow but others may find that different. I agree with drloop it's a lot of setting up and you could see it collecting dust. You should really be sure about why you want hardware and if you can see yourself using it a lot in future.

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Post 09 Apr 2021

Agreed with above. Make sure it’s what you really want. The workflow is different. Separate audio and midi tracks... Latency when used alongside soft synths is another factor. MIDI going out and the audio coming back in from the synth is a noticeable delay. Personally if I ever decided to incorporate, I’d only do it if I were recording the audio directly.

I bought my keyboard for live performance use, but decided to try it out with midi sequencing. Didn’t care for it.

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Post 09 Apr 2021

Since now I have the SL MKIII, I'm thinking make some use of the CV / Midi output it offers. It's very possible I will only record the audio source directly, I guess the delay there would be minimum.

I'm beeing very conscious in this situation of hardware Synths. Watching a youtuber and he said it like this, "hardware synths are a luxury", and he was comparing the lead instrument in track he made, using the Korg Prologue Analog and the free plugin TyrellN6. To be honest, I heard the difference and on the spot I knew what was the plugin and the real synth (both were fine). But again, I hate the word "luxury" and buying "luxury" items it's not for me. I want to know, if this really made a difference in your "artistic" work. Thanks for the input so far.

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Post 09 Apr 2021

I basically did the opposite - I integrated a DAW into my hardware setup. I’ve been recording MIDI through a computer since the mid 80s, so that’s nothing new for me. As sequencers added audio (Studio Vision, early 90s), I just kept on going. Latency is always an issue but I’ve dealt with it successfully for decades now! I monitor all hardware (Peak, MiniBrute 2s, EuroRack modules) via a mixer/interface and then “print” to audio tracks fairly early after building a basic arrangement. I love how the SL mkIII integrates into my setup, both as hardware and software controller.
Selig Audio, LLC

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Post 09 Apr 2021

After many years of fiddling "in the box", I finally bought a Minilouge XD.

I think time will hold, and it will have great resale value.
Built in effects, you can really get lost in it.

Maybe a pro, but practically it feels like having a hardware Subtractor. Not like there's any special 'sound' behind hardware.
Chrossing between hardware and a computer can be quite jarring. I actually set up my midi controller to control my minilouge just to sit and control everything from one place

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Post 09 Apr 2021

my first was a microKorg, which has done a lot of work in my band’s live set, and a slight amount of recording. it sounds okay, and has a weird UI, but I learned most of what (little) I know about synth basics on that plasticky little guy.

most of my synths are always done in the box, because you can get better sounds using software than with the microKorg. I picked up a Behringer Deepmind 6 last year to have some better live sound options, and love it, but still find myself using REs/VSTs most of the time, out of sheer convenience (or call it laziness). 😅

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Post 09 Apr 2021

I have two workflows.

One in the computer and another in hardware.

Sometimes I combine them by sending stems from the computer to my hardware for processing and then bring the results back.

The hardware only stuff always ends up the box for editing and mixing. I feel I can write a track faster in hardware but that might just be me. Fewer options, straight to the point. 🤷‍♂️

Plus being on the computer all day, when it's finally time to work with music, and if I feel like starting a new song, I just need to press a button and the hardware is ready to go.

There have been instances where I've replaced a bass line I wrote in hardware with a monotone or legend, but then again the same has happened the other way around 🤷‍♂️
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Post 09 Apr 2021

The only reason I have a hardware synthesizer is that I found a Roland JD-Xi at work and was allowed to take it with me for free.

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Post 10 Apr 2021

Volcas i started with then the GAS set in
Reason 11 suite ,modular rack ,squarp hermon ,nektar aura ,editerkeys reason keyboard
hear scince reason 2.5

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Post 10 Apr 2021

A Korg Mono/Poly and a Sequential Circuits Pro One.
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Post 10 Apr 2021

There you have a professional piece of equipment and absolutely yes, but mostly like Selig, it was Reason that had to get in somehow, or roundabout... :)

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Post Yesterday

Using Bass Station II, Peak, OP-1 and my modular system together with Reason 10 here. I have everything synced up bit when producing tracks I mostly use the DAW ti record the synths. I also use my Keystep Pro when I want to get off the screen completely which is a lot of fun, too. Most of the time I end up with some recordings in Reason either way. If you still haven't decided, I recommend both Peak and Bass Station. I love both but if it was your first synth I'd say get the Peak. It's much more versatile than the BS. Oh, I also use BS II to remote control my software synths which makes life much easier. You could do similar stuff with Peak if you can get your hands on a remote map for it.

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Post Yesterday

First synth I ever bought was a Korg MS2000. I wanted something with plenty of hands on control, that had interesting sounds and was affordable. The MS2000 ticked all the boxes. Extensive MIDI capability so played will as a MIDI controller for Reason. But back then Reason did not have MIDI out. I sold it before it did. Would have been like using it as an RE if Reason had MIDI out back then. I miss it. But these days these kinds of synths are everywhere. Not so back then. To play well with Reason you want something that has decent MIDI control beyond just triggering notes. If you can control the synths parameters over MIDI then you can go to town from Reason.

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Post Today

Warning; long description of my experience :)

My synth music passion started with hardware, after I build a basic hardware synth but had no skills in playing it (basically built the synth around a game chip called the Texas Instruments SN76477N). It was super limited which sent me out for something more useful. So I started with a Yamaha CX5 music computer that had sequencer, built-in FM synthesizer. Then added Roland MT-32 which was awesome for both multi-timbral voices plus PCM samples (= drums). Expanded the synth collection with Roland W-30, Korg M-VS1, M3R, EMU ProteusFX, Casio CZ5000, Korg Wavestation EX and upgraded the sequencer to Atari STe running CLAB Creator (that has evolved to Logic Audio now on Apple).

Moving house and country caused me to sell all the hardware and move to the developing in-the-box set up and Reason was fantastic for this.

Made a lot of music using Reason but I really missed my synthesizers - looking at them, the tactile playing with them, the feeling of playing an instrument rather than a computer, etc.

I was very lucky to find a second hand Roland JX-8P which was my dream synth. This was before Reason had MIDI-out which was unfortunate because I'm a poor player and my performances need correction. But it was so good to be hands-on with a real synthesizer, and I like it every time I turn it on and watch the warm-up cycle begin. Same with my Moog Sirin, that doesn't stabilise until 15 minutes after power on. Something about the randomness in analog circuits really appeals to me. The fact that my synths might sound a bit different to someone else's due to some oxidisation in the electronics, or a power fluctuation, or some other weird factor. I like the perfection that is imperfection.

Digital electronics can't create random numbers; algorithms create pseudo random numbers. Analog electronics can be truly random (depending on your view of the physical world). Frankly the end result with the music is equally fantastic using software or hardware and nobody would ever tell.

But for me it's the tactile user experience and knowing what goes on behind the scenes that makes it worth the substantial overhead in effort of producing using hardware synths.
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 11 | Reaper | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin

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