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Wiesty

Roland GAIA

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Anyone have any experience using these things?

http://www.roland.com/products/en/SH-01/

They look pretty sweet for what they cost, which is next to nothing for a 3x oscilator synth. From what I've heard, the oscilators arent the cleanest sounding, but they sound pretty decent, not to mention the keyboard gives you a TON of options for wave editing with things such as lfo's. filters, effects, etc. etc.

Beats the hell out of paying 4k for a moog ha

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Virtual Analog... I don't know, man, unless I was a gigging musician, I wouldn't really buy it, I would rather buy a VST for less with more flexibility (like Zebra2), since, afterall, it's just Virtual Analog, eh?

I also, I mean, in the studio, I am really a control freak, I like controlling parameters like a mofo, and when it comes to a hardware interface that is not automated, I don't know, it's just... they never keep track of the changes I make in the box.

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The Gaia is one hell of a synth, let me tell you. A buddy of mine got it recently and its fantastic. It sounds great, and its really easy to use and program your own sounds with. I'm really into hardware, and hands a hands on approach to synthesis, so if thats what you want, this synth is for you.

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Yeah, I would not recommend getting a hardware synth in this day and age unless any of the following are true:

1. You're familiar with the range of software synths and samples available, and you know there are sounds in a specific hardware synth or workstation that you CAN'T get in software.

2. The hardware synth is analog (not virtual analog.)

3. You perform live a lot.

4. You don't have a keyboard controller AND you don't have a pool of bread & butter sounds that are ready to go anytime.

I personally have two hardware synths, and I'm quite good with programming. That being said, I use them maybe 3% of the time, whereas my software synths are used almost all of the time. Now, some people find hardware inspiring, and I can understand that. To me, it breaks my workflow too much as I have to record tracks in, make sure my interface is set up properly, and so forth.

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I agree with Zircon 100% but I tend to use my hardware synths a bit more. I'm pretty much of the camp that a synth is going to be analog if I buy a piece of hardware. Probably the best analog monosynth out there that doesn't cost an arm and leg is the Dave Smith Mopho. That little yellow box is quite awesome considering it's only $400.

If you really want a virtual analog hardware synth that also doubles a decent MIDI controller, the Novation Xyosynth is the way to go. I had one for a while and it was quite fun to play with and it had a pretty good feel to it. I think they're going to stop making them, though.

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Ya, see I do quite a bit of live performances so the need to have a hardware synth is kind of essential. That being said, the keyboard has so much built into, it would be great in a studio situation. I was also looking at some stuff from Paia.com, They send you complete module synth setups and you put them together. They sound pretty good, and its only like 500 bux.

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I'm a hardware guy too. If you think 3x osc is impressive than you prolly have messed around with the Alesis Micron (or aKAI mANIAK). It has 3x osc, more filters, an actual sequencer and setup maker, and drum editor all on board for only 300

Only downside is it doesn't have the amazing panel of easily tweaked encoders.

I own an alesis micron (and a Juno Gi which I also Highly recommend) it helps me tremendously sketching out songs.

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Beats the hell out of paying 4k for a moog ha

What kind of world do you live in that you pay 4K? They're cheaper than that, and it's easy to pick up a secondhand Voyager.

Ya, see I do quite a bit of live performances so the need to have a hardware synth is kind of essential.

No. The need to have a compact and rock solid setup that can be easily taken with you is essential. This does not necessarily involve hardware.

That being said, the keyboard has so much built into, it would be great in a studio situation.

If it weren't for its sub-par keyboard, that is, so if you plan on getting this as a controller (or for that matter any low-budget synthesizer, nowadays), think twice; you may be off better with an older machine that was top of the line back in its day.

I was also looking at some stuff from Paia.com, They send you complete module synth setups and you put them together. They sound pretty good, and its only like 500 bux.

Yes, and putting them together involves quite a bit of soldering. If you don't have a scope and haven't put together succesfully smaller electronics projects, then save yourself the trouble and go for a Synthesizers.com starter set.

Which is nearly 3 times as much, but with the guarantee that it works - and you can pay $120 per month in a 12-month plan, with the option to pay more at once if you have a windfall.

It's only cheaper if your time is cheap.

Is the novelty of a hardware synth worth the price?

There's absolutely nothing novel about it.

Let me count the ways.

- top of the line workstations and synthesizers usually come with a really fine keyboard - great feel, great response. On the other hand, lots of mid-budget digital pianos do too if you want weighted keys. When you play a lot, you don't want mushy, clacking plastic POS keys; they need to feel awesome and that alone is already able to make you play better.

- switching presets on a sample-based machine is virtually instantaneous compared to say, Kontakt. Of course, the numbers change when you put in an SSD, but even then, loading speeds are generally a lot faster, which makes it more suitable for gigging. Of course, part of that is because you have to load several playing methods at once with several samples per velocity zone in a decent library - but chances are people are not going to hear that on a PA anyway.

- knobs and sliders are grouped and spaced (this of course won't work for workstations that also have 4 or 8 generic sliders/knobs).

Compare this to any controller which has a generic grid of 'm - whee, 8 rotary encoders on a row! Gee, I wonder what the filter cutoff was and what the oscillator pitch was. Labels don't work. Schemes don't work. The fact that you can identify what you're editing by blindly grasping gives it a lot more potential for expression, and it makes it far more fun to play with.

This still leaves an enormous amount of room for a laptop and controller. Forget finding anything like Omnisphere in hardware; it just doesn't exist.

If you don't care about on-board sequencers (and why should you, in a studio environment - that's what your DAW is for) then by all means skip workstations.

If you need versatility and a small light-weight footprint, don't drag along the Moogs, modules and whatnot but use a laptop. Voyagers are bloody heavy, Little Phatties are better, but that's still a lot of weight and room for a single voice.

If you want lots of memory to play back samples, computers are a dozen times more functional than the last great samplers; and cheap enough to buy two of 'm so you're guaranteed a backup.

Anything can go wrong. Blindly trusting a single piece of equipment to keep functioning is foolishness; always have backup.

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DAW based synths used through midi keyboards is always an option, but not the most practical for regular touring musicians. To begin with, I would need to purchase a laptop capable of running the hardware at absolutley 0 latency, and that would be reliable enough to not mess up (i.e. crashes, clicks/pops, glitches etc. etc.) Not to mention, that also adds more equipment to the hauling list (keyboard,laptop,extra cables, more stands etc.) On top of that, any moog voyager I have ever seen even used is at least past the 2k mark. more than i want to spend

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But I think you want some pianos, organs, strings - i.e. bread & butter sounds for gigging, which would rule out a Voyager in the first place ;).

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Well im actually going to be going with a 2 keyboard setup here, ill be purchasing a keyboard (roland 700nx or yamaha cp5) as just the keyboard with all the good bread and butter sounds. However, I want a secondary synth for some variation/soloing/just cause ive always wanted a synth which has fully programmable sounds down to the sine wave.

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Well im actually going to be going with a 2 keyboard setup here, ill be purchasing a keyboard (roland 700nx or yamaha cp5) as just the keyboard with all the good bread and butter sounds. However, I want a secondary synth for some variation/soloing/just cause ive always wanted a synth which has fully programmable sounds down to the sine wave.

Thats where the Gaia comes in. Like I said, Ive gotten to play with it many times at a buddies house and let me tell you, its so easy and fun to program. You can get almost any sound you want out of it, from vintage analog brass to modern edgy leads.

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To begin with, I would need to purchase a laptop capable of running the hardware at absolutley 0 latency

I've used a laptop on stage a number of times running at something like 19ms total latency within my DAW and it stood up perfectly.

That said, if you don't already have a laptop or audio interface or the right software or anything else, and you don't want to buy a laptop for other reasons too, you're probably better off with something like the GAIA for live use.

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