8 August 2009


I've just bought my first hardware synthesizer, a second hand Korg N1R from the late 90's. Obviously I don't have much experience with it yet, but it seems pretty cool. It's a rack module style synth, i.e. it doesn't have a keyboard of it's own and needs to be hooked up to a midi keyboard. (As it happens, we have an old Kawai keyboard in the house, dating from the mid-90's, with midi features, which seems to work fine for the purpose.) There are hundreds of preset sounds to explore, and lots of potential for editing sounds, if I ever get around to learning the art of synthesizer programming... Okay, it is more than ten years old, but some of the sounds are still impressive, and I'm not sure a vintage sound is often a bad thing in general, either.

Earlier I've used pure samples, with tracker software, for similar purposes, and experimented with software synthesizers (such as ZynAddSubFX), though I haven't really done much with those as of yet. (Oh, and there's that old Kawai of course. I used that on a couple of old four track recordings back in the 90's, although it's own sound is rather inferior.) It's nice to actually own a physical synth, though. I have a large selection of at least decent sounds available in one straightforward package, no need to mess around with a variety of software. And it's a name brand, of course. With my ESP guitar (albeit from their cheaper LTD line) and Korg synth I'm almost starting to feel like a real musician.

If only I was a little better at playing keyboards...

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