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My Fave 5: Digital Synths

#1. Roland D50

I’ve always had a soft for this synth. I think the metallic bass patches are what I gravitate towards. This is one of the hardest to program synths I’ve ever owned. I was blessed to have owned an original and a reissue/clone version (D05). Though tedious to program, the effects section is money and the sounds have a harsh yet warm feel. This is the early 90s soundtrack synth.

#2. Yamaha DX7

What can I say that hasn't been said about this thing. King of the FM synths, this one had a home in my setup for a year or so a few years back. Sadly I sold after prices starting shooting up. Sold it to buy a Waldorf Blofeld of all things. Wish I would've kept it. The piano patches were worth it alone. Some of the basses are great also. Though I never had the stomach to program my own sounds I always liked the way it gave me something a little something out of the norm that sat well in my production.

#3. Korg Wavestation

Although this one was rebooted and released earlier this year (Korg Wavestate), the original is still a pretty good synth. Two reasons: Vector Synthesis and Wave sequencing. Back when I had it, around 2006, I didn't really understand what it was doing or how to program it but I knew it was great. I always recorded my performances into my Tascam 1082 (wow!) and Cubase Rig. I never tried to sequence it with my MPC because it never recorded my joystick movements the way I wanted it to. Was a great experience and I had it for a short while. I was actually in a bid on eBay the week the reboot was announced. Didn't win the bid but I'll definitely be getting the Wavestate now that I can harness that power!

#4. Waldorf Blofeld

This cool little synth was bought on a whim and sold on one too. I bought this one off of eBay after I won an auction I stumbled upon that was ending. I liked the sounds but hated the way the settings were programmed The 4 button/4 knob layout of the synth made it a breeze to program. I don't know if it was a defective unit but I could never get the midi clock to sync. Making arps almost impossible to play around with. The sample import was kind of clunky also. I'm pretty sure they have addressed these issues because this is the only synth on this list that is still in production.

#5. Novation Nova

I met a guy on a bicycle in a Walgreens parking lot in Burbs to buy this one. Was one of the best deals I ever made and one of my favorite synths to date. This one was a dream to sequence with my MPC 2500 (that I also bought under weird circumstances months earlier). Nova is one of the most intuitive synths I ever programmed. I loved the fact that it was multi-timbral. Though only 12 voices, it was all I needed at the time.


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