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July 8, 2011 1:03 PM   Subscribe

SynthMania - The internet premiere resource for keyboardists

Previously, but with a great many updates since 2006.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (20 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
When I needed album art for my Survivor mp3s, I found no images of either the band or its record sleeves that I would care to see repeatedly. So, as a generic image for 80s Album Oriented Rock Hit, I used a picture of the Yamaha DX-7.
posted by Trurl at 1:16 PM on July 8, 2011


I prefer VintageSynth for my general synth perusing (and a big double-plus for their SynthFinder) but SynthMania definitely has the broadest set of sound examples, per instrument, that I've been able to find.
posted by lekvar at 1:17 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dang... thought this was going to be about how to pimp out my IBM Model M.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:19 PM on July 8, 2011


One of the interesting things, I find, about SynthMania is that they manage to present the cheapo synths in a really positive light. DX7? Yeah, it's a great pice of synth history, but check out the Casio Rapman! Does the DX7 have a scratchpad or a microphone? Didn't think so! Yeah, your Ensoniq Mirage might be pretty sweet with its analog filter, but get a load of the Yamaha DJX! It's a sampler with a whole sweet suite of built-in effects!

Seriously, if a website can give me deep-down gearlust for the biggest lemons of the synth world, they're doing something right.
posted by lekvar at 1:37 PM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seconding the superiority of vintagesynth.com; for sound samples, I usually just hit up YouTube.

The major drawback of VS, though, is that they post the estimated dollar value of each synth. This can be great if you're shopping for something new, or selling something old, but it has made finding bargains virtually impossible.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:05 PM on July 8, 2011


And VSE prices are all outdated, making it an even worse "feature"
posted by readyfreddy at 2:07 PM on July 8, 2011


Indeed. I doubt they've budged in ten years.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:09 PM on July 8, 2011


I follow Matrixsynth and Synthtopia for my daily fixes of synthesizer and keyboard news!
posted by philquadra at 2:27 PM on July 8, 2011


I really like miniorgan. This page is totally fun.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:56 PM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


There isn't really a good authoritative source of synth information. VintageSynth and SynthMania are good starting points, but my next step is either EBay for prices or the manufacturer's website for a PDF manual. Roland has the most impressive archive of manuals for vintage gear. Yamaha is a close second. Korg is good for recent stuff, but they don't have a manual for something as recent as the Z1. (There is a 3-part scan of the Z1 manual floating around, but it would be nice of Korg stepped up)

SoundProgramming has been turning up in my searches for obscure gear lately.

Electronic Music 411 looks promising, but I haven't spent much time there.

The Emulator Archive is a nice resource for EMU gear and related technology.

Vintage studio FX are deeply under served on the web. The best source I've found is the Valhalla DSP blog.

SoundOnSound is a good resource for general synth stuff, their Synth Secrets series is particularly amazing.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:25 PM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't need another synthporn page. They make living without unlimited financial resources hurt.
posted by Zerowensboring at 5:55 PM on July 8, 2011


SynthMe(Synthesizer Music and Electronics) is very active with a deep archive.

• Also unspoken as yet today is Create Digital Music, a major player, always SOTA.

Wire to the Ear may be worth checking out.

Retro Synth Ads is certainly worth a mention, also deep archive.

Failed Muso shares experience and depth.

• I'll second b1tr0t's remarks on SOS; classic synths (and synthesis) are covered in amazing (and technical) detail. First go-to if you're considering major investment in a classic.
posted by Twang at 5:59 PM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


for those in the softsynth realm, kvr audio is it - and for other, more hardware oriented things, gearslutz and harmony central deal with just about everything that has to do with music

i also like the sound of reason - lots of reason tutorials - and the boss gt central page - if you have a boss gt series guitar fx processor, you really must go here

i've also been lurking on the all about jazz music theory forum and the international music score library project is full of many, many things in the western compositional tradition*

*by which i mean "classical music" - but i don't think that's a very good term
posted by pyramid termite at 7:11 PM on July 8, 2011


OK, so I'm going to favourite this post and enjoy the audio-porn everyone has so kindly linked. /bows out
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:38 PM on July 8, 2011


> They make living without unlimited financial resources hurt.

There is a lot of really good stuff that is still very cheap. 909s may be sky-high, but a Korg Z1 is vastly more powerful than the best virtual analogs, yet costs less than a Juno 106 in good shape. There is a lot of good stuff still out there.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:33 PM on July 8, 2011


Heh. Indeed. The only synths I can afford are mid-eighties hybrid synths, because the folks at VSE apparently don't like them or something, so they are cheap. The ESQ-1 was $200, and the K3m was $150. They are both completely excellent.

(The fact that 303s are still ridiculously pricy can only be a testament to the brain-eating properties of ecstasy.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:08 AM on July 9, 2011


> They make living without unlimited financial resources hurt.

Despite the big collections people like to show off, I think most of us have one or two pets we hold onto, and the rest we play with for a year or two and then trade off.

Modulars look grand (and cost many grands), but the charm of patch cords wears off before you know it.

A few knobs, buttons and blinkenlights are wunderbar, but if you focus on sound rather than hardware, really the quality and versatility of today's softsynths is great. Team with a decent MIDI controller and lose the blues!
posted by Twang at 1:31 PM on July 9, 2011


Disclaimer: My husband restores vintage synths. Seen a lot of cool ones in my day. :)

Neat site, but no Moogs or Buchlas? ;-)
I like Synthtopia, but I have very personal reasons for not liking Matrixsynth.
posted by luckynerd at 1:43 PM on July 9, 2011


Wow. I've just learned that old K2000 I have sitting in a bedroom is well regarded.
posted by bz at 9:52 PM on July 9, 2011


Disclaimer: My husband restores vintage synths. Seen a lot of cool ones in my day. :)

posted by luckynerd at 1:43 PM on July 9 [+] [!]

epolyphonicysterical
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 12:38 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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