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Versus other synths

Talk about anything related to the Roland Gaia.

Versus other synths

Postby RockyMM » Mon May 23, 2011 3:39 pm

Hello all! This is my first post! :)

I'm a hobby (or part-time) musician on a budget (I won't bother you with why and how ;)).

I saw Gaia first time when Jordan Rudess (of Dream Theater) tweeted about it and I though that it would be perfect for me as a introduction to the world of "real" synths. For a long time I wanted to express myself sonicaly better than my trustworthy Korg X5D could ever allow me to. And the price is just about what I could afford for a new synth.

But last week I learned about Akai Miniak, Novation Ultranova and M-audio Venom. Former two being in Gaia's "weight category", while Venom is more of a rompler with really cool samples and a lot of ways to tweak the sound.

I did not had a chance to sit with them "in person" but I plan to since there is a store in my city where I could try out all three synths.




Which brings me to my dilema. Can anyone give me some insights into Gaia compared to these three synths. I'm generaly interested in to progressive rock/metal/industrial and even some electronic (dubstep/Prodigy-esque) music. if that's of some help. In a perfect world I would buy all four, but... I just don't have that kind of money.


Thank you very much for any comment, I appreciate it.
RockyMM
 
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby analyzer » Tue May 24, 2011 10:57 am

RockyMM wrote: I'm generaly interested in to progressive rock/metal/industrial and even some electronic (dubstep/Prodigy-esque)


i love roland gaia , but for all above music styles let's say , i think novation ultranova is more closer to you.
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby rodan » Tue May 24, 2011 10:44 pm

I think it's all up to the user tbh.

I loved how the gaia sounded and how easy it was to program. But the lack of a screen is sort of a pain in the butt. I always have to keep the manual close by. But I like the screeching sounds it makes so it doesn't matter.

I was really interested in the ultranova, but wasn't so sure as there was no place to try one here where i live. The online demos really suck and there is only one that sounded good to me so I skipped it, but it is on my list to buy.

The venom I decided against purely because it was ugly and had few knobs. I wouldn't want it on my desk. I also watched the reviews that said is sounded good so I may consider it someday.

Finally the miniak has way too few controls for me and I really didn't like interacting with it. Plus it has a tiny keyboard.

So in the end i decided on the gaia because I got hands on time with it and I loved the filter and sound, the ease of programing, and the sexy looks. Plus it could be used as an audio card, a midi interface, and a midi controller which allowed me to replace my axiom. (the ultranova can do this as well).
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby RockyMM » Wed May 25, 2011 10:18 am

OK, this helps a lot!

So I kind of crossed out Minak. The thing that I realised yesterday is that while Venom does have good sound, it is not exactly a synthesizer - which is not that an issue - and it does not have that much controls on it. It relies on desktop software to control all the parameters of the sound, which is kind of let down because I often come up with interesting sound while I'm away from my computer.

Which leaves me with Ultranova and Gaia. I will try to find a place where I could try out Ultranova, and I will get back here with impressions.

Thanks again! :)
RockyMM
 
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby oxygen » Thu May 26, 2011 6:17 am

It's a Gaia users forum. Hundreds of us would say just buy the Gaia.
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby RockyMM » Thu May 26, 2011 10:05 am

oxygen wrote:It's a Gaia users forum. Hundreds of us would say just buy the Gaia.

I'm aware of that. But posts from rodan and analyzer are exactly the type of advice I've been looking for.

At least it's nice to see that synthesis is back "in the fashion". :)
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby samatron » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:48 pm

I was facing the same choice.
Wanted to go for the Ultranova because of the Vocoder.
Like the touch controller's too, and there are plenty of decent d+b/dubsteppy presets.
Music shops said the Gaia sounded better as more money had been put into synth + sound engine part, as opposed to the Ultranova where the money had been spread around more with the screen, the vocoder and the synth.
Like that the Ultranova has a really good PC based editor/librarian. Grauw's is available on this site of course, but the official Roland one seems to be hard to find.

Ultimately, I don't think you can make a wrong decision. Just get one and start programming patches.
They are both entry level synths that are pretty good, and you'll be able to work effectively with either.

I ended up getting a Gaia only because one came up cheap 2nd hand!
Didn't regret it...
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Re: Versus other synths

Postby Grauw » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:13 pm

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