CHOOSING A SYNTHESIZER: PART 1.
It is not an easy task among the many proposals to choose a tool that ideally suits the ratio «price – quality». When the user is faced with questions: which synthesizer should be preferred for home use, and which one for studio arrangements; which is for teaching and which is for live performance in public – they can be taken by surprise and create uncertainty about the correctness of the choice.
The examples and recommendations collected in this article are intended to help you deal with these common dilemmas..
Let’s abstract and speculate. Music can rightfully be attributed to a very special and unsurpassed means of communication in the history of human culture. Much has been said about this in the works of outstanding philosophers, historians, and culture experts, and even futurists and science fiction writers willingly agree with them. Remember the blockbuster directed by S. Spielberg «Close Encounters of the Third Degree»? According to the plot of this sci-fi film, the alien mind enters into a fateful contact with the inhabitants of the Earth through a certain set of tonal sounds, i.e. thanks to music!
Music – it is a kind of universal language that does not require translation. Songbirds communicate on it, and from time immemorial people have been talking to the Universe on it, inventing new musical instruments to help themselves. One of the most recent and perfect – it is, without a doubt, a synthesizer that combines the familiar keyboard row and a carefully thought out system of options that provide the instrument with impressive versatility.
Faced with a synthesizer for the first time, we are somewhat confused by this abundance of all kinds of buttons, screens and switches. We automatically catch ourselves thinking that to deal with such «sophisticated technology» it will be long and serious. However, believe me – it’s not that difficult! But first you need to focus on the basic guidelines..
Objectives and functions.
You should start by being as clear as possible about the goals that will be set for the audio synthesizer. Agree, there is a big difference between the task of initial mastering of the instrument and its use in intensive concert activities (varying degrees of wear). Another example – the tool is needed for hosting friendly parties or for editing author’s creations with impeccable sound purity and reliable preservation (different quality requirements).
The most correct approach to choosing a synthesizer involves defining functions that you definitely cannot do without. And only after that you should proceed to consider the functions that may be useful. Otherwise, an expensive purchase threatens to turn into an ordinary entertainment that does not use its full potential. Perfect technique must demonstrate the full range of its rich capabilities.!
By functionality, synthesizers can be divided as follows:
– Educational. Their menu includes a Chordbook, touch highlight mode, rhythm feed, a set of training programs, the ability to download musical parts from the Internet;
– Interactive. These are synthesizers with automatic accompaniment, which independently reproduce the rhythm pattern. On the created musical background, the performer plays his melodies.
– Concert. Ideal for live keyboardists. This category of synthesizers has eliminated its own acoustic system, which makes the instrument lighter, simpler and more compact, while maintaining good sound.
– Digital pianos. In their characteristics, they are as close as possible to the classical piano, up to the imitation of hammer action, which requires equal efforts to produce sound..
– Workstations. They are hardware and software systems with excellent sound quality. Thanks to its versatility, the workstation will give a lot of possibilities for a creative person. The complex provides a high speed of the game with accelerated switching modes. Unlike its classic version, the interactive workstation allows the musician in real time, with the press of just a few buttons, to move on to work on the basis of a future composition.
Overview of leading manufacturers.
A number of corporations have established themselves in the global music market today, producing reliable equipment with excellent acoustic capabilities..
Products from brands such as « Casio » and « Yamaha ». Perhaps they are the ones who produce the best synthesizers for home use. It is noteworthy that the concern «Yamaha», famous all over the world for his luxurious motorcycles and snowmobiles, he once started his business with the development of a unique organ. Those. it was audio products that became the springboard that allowed the corporation to rise to the heights of universal recognition. Of interest is the fact that metal and plastic used in the production of keyboards and digital equipment undergo the same technological cycle of processing as materials for the production of legendary motorcycles..
High-quality synthesizers for work in concerts and in the studio are supplied to the world market by such well-known companies as « Roland », « Korg », « Kurzweil ». Many users prefer Chinese-made models « Medeli » – they are probably attracted by the acceptable ratio of audio quality to cost.
All of these companies guarantee the high quality of their products, and yet if we make a rating of the acoustic perfection of the synthesizers offered, then the first three lines, according to experts, should look like this:
1st place: Korg, Kurzweil;
2nd place: Casio, Yamaha;
3rd place: Medeli.
Is it worth buying «used» synthesizer?
A similar question is most often asked by users who want to save money on a purchase. We have to admit that synthesizers from world famous companies are very reliable and durable. Therefore, do not rush to discount the option of purchasing the so-called «used» synthesizer, especially if this is your old dream, and there are not enough funds to buy a new instrument.
Take a closer look at the firms «Yamaha» and «Roland». Their electronics fail very rarely. The mechanical part fails much more often, but it is easier to repair.
Carefully check the functionality of the used tool according to a simple diagram: pressing – sound – rebound. Defects found will serve as a fair reason to lower your asking price.
After completing the transaction, all responsibility for eliminating the identified problems will fall on you. What kind of repair is most likely to be needed? As a rule, they are more likely to suffer from wear on the rubber bands of the keys. You can replace them yourself using a flat and Phillips screwdrivers..
How much does a good synthesizer cost?
Conditional price threshold, which will help you navigate what to count for real «good» tool, and what «middle» quality – 1000 $. Below this line are synthesizers aimed at the amateur category, above – for professionals.
Also, audio synthesizers are divided into:
– Specialized. These include concert and stage equipment, workstations, digital pianos, modulators;
– Universal. Arranging and interactive synthesizers, equipment with auto-accompaniment.