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Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? #2606713
01/21/17 07:47 AM
01/21/17 07:47 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 71
UK
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markalien Offline OP
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markalien  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2012
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UK
I'm looking into buying a synth and can't quite make my mind up.

After playing these I can appreciate them all. I think the Korg has the best synth sounds and sound control, however it doesn't have a built in drum machine or access to drums such as the Roland and Yamaha. The mx49 seems a good workstation with loads of different sounds and drums, however I found a lot of the sounds on it a little fake and cheesy. The roland has the best drum sounds and lovely pads and synths however when i played it next to the korg it sounded a little flat by comparison. Ideally I would like a small workstation with great drums, synths and other instruments sub £500. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great.

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Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2606792
01/21/17 01:20 PM
01/21/17 01:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,788
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
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Richmond, BC, Canada
The MicroKorg XL is _not_ a "workstation", in the conventional sense.

Speaking for the XL+ (which I own), it doesn't have the range of "standard sounds" that you'd expect in a workstation, there's no sequencer, there's no built-in rhythms (there is an arpeggiator, 16 steps, several options). And it has a polyphony of 8 (with "single-timbre" voices) or 4 (with "double-timbre" voices).

What it _does_ have is a fully-programmable, flexible synth engine. You can do whatever you want, to modify the stock patches, and make entirely new ones. PCM-based, or from the raw "virtual analog" circuit components. As my salesman said:

. . . "It's a pro synth, in a very small, inexpensive package."

On-board editing is through deeply-nested menus -- not easy. There's a PC-based patch editor which is much easier to use.

The XL+ has, basically, no drum patches. And there's nothing like a "GM drum kit" that gives you 88 different sounds, depending on which key you press. The XL might be different, though.

The XL and XL+ -- I think -- have the same synth engine, just different factory patches (and different PCM samples).

I really like the XL+. But if it were my only instrument, I'd be frustrated. It's more "player-friendly" with a larger keyboard (61 or 88 keys) driving it. But once you have both hands playing, the polyphony limit will hit you in the face.


The MX49 (I think) is a sample-based (PCM) player, with limited control over its sounds. I don't think it has a full-scale synth engine. It _does_ have a full gamut of "workstation" sounds, and I bet its polyphony is higher than the XL.

As I remember, it doesn't have a built-in sequencer, so if you want to do multi-instrument compositions, you'll be working with a PC.

I can't speak to the JD-xi.




. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2607095
01/22/17 04:45 AM
01/22/17 04:45 AM
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UK
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markalien Offline OP
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markalien  Offline OP
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UK
Thanks Charles, the Microkorg XL + was my favorite sounding synth of the three and I don't want really want to compromise on sound so I'm leaning towards getting that.
A friend suggested I get a drum app on my phone, so who knows that might be a solution. Glad to hear you enjoy the Microkorg XL+.

Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2607134
01/22/17 09:06 AM
01/22/17 09:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,788
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,788
Richmond, BC, Canada
I never complained about the XL+ tone quality. If you don't like the sound of a patch, you can change it. I recently bought a whole new sound-set for it, from "psalm37", via eBay. Lots of really nice basses and pads, around $20.

There's a microKorg section on "korgforums.com", if you want to dive into the deep end.

I keep forgetting that a phone is actually a reasonably-powerful computer! Drum-loop software should be easy to do.

If you have another keyboard available, and it has built-in "drumkit voices" (C = snare, D = bass drum, etc), you could just produce MIDI on the phone, and feed it to the keyboard. That software would be quite easy, and you'd get the (hopefully) better samples from the keyboard. [I don't know the details of a phone-to-MIDI converter -- have to think about that for a while.]

But mostly, just have fun !







. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
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Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2607183
01/22/17 11:38 AM
01/22/17 11:38 AM
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UK
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markalien Offline OP
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markalien  Offline OP
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UK
Thanks for the tips. I will check out some forums and add more sounds if need be.

I think I'll try out some drum apps on my phone as I don't have another keyboard. A blue tooth speaker might also come in handy for the invisible drums.

Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2607184
01/22/17 11:42 AM
01/22/17 11:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
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login Offline
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If you want to go a little more deep into synths I wouldnt recommend any of those. They are not very friendly to learn.

Honestly I would get synth and drums in different units, I would go for the Korg Minilogue (much better user interface than the korg) and Novation Circuit.

The minilogue has all the controls on the front, no menus, it has arpegiator and sequencer, it is a lot of fun. Its polyphony is limited to 4 voices since it is analog but the microkorg doesn't have that much eaither.

The circuit can do drums and synths and has a very intuitive interface.

Also I would take a look at the novation Ultranova, has a very powerfull synth engine (excelent pads in a wide range of sounds) and more polyphony. The user interface is also better since all parameters are just one button away and the screen helps a lot.

The Roland system 1 is also a nice option since it has all the controls in the front, also limited to 4 voices.

Or maybe look for a Nord Lead 2x second hand, they go very cheap these days. If you are in europe you can get a Waldorf blofeld keyboard new from thomman.de quite cheap to.



Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2607311
01/22/17 06:33 PM
01/22/17 06:33 PM
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Posts: 71
UK
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markalien Offline OP
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markalien  Offline OP
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UK
Thanks Login, I have tried the Ultranova and was quite pleased with the sounds, I just preferred the overall range of sounds on the Microkorg and the fullness of them. I've seen some of the Minilogue online and it doesn't fit the bill for what I'm after(a wider range of preset sounds that don't require endless fiddling). I have tried the Novation circuit and was very impressed, especially for the price, I'll probably add that to the expanding wish list for a later date.

Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2607344
01/22/17 08:42 PM
01/22/17 08:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 252
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login Offline
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Well the ultranova has a wider sound palette because it has much more features in its synth engine than the microkorg: wavetables, PCM waveforms for more common sounds, more filter models, more modulation. It is the better synth technically. It is also newer with more up to date algorithms. It has more polyphony (20 notes). And more effects.

Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2614207
02/14/17 06:42 AM
02/14/17 06:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 71
UK
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markalien Offline OP
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markalien  Offline OP
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Posts: 71
UK
Before going ahead with a Microkorg XL plus purchase I just wondered if anyone owns a Roland Gaia? It's the only other budget synth that really impressed me. It seems to be capable of a wide range of sounds.

Re: Synth decision Yamaha MX49, Roland JD-xi or Microkorg XL? [Re: markalien] #2614220
02/14/17 08:05 AM
02/14/17 08:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,273
Belgium
johan d Offline
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johan d  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,273
Belgium
If you have something with dance music, techno etc... I can advise you a Novation Circuit. it's not a piano, not a synth (well it has 2 synths on board) and has 4 drum patterns, lots of effects. It is more intented to make music on the spot. If you have a small midi keyboard, you can connect both and use the keyboard to assist. It has a fast learning time and is quiet cheap.

I have a lot of fun with it. Check it out!
[video:youtube]SdpRFaBs7jc[/video]

Last edited by johan d; 02/14/17 08:13 AM. Reason: Circuit was mentioned before

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