Which Hardware Synth/s do you use ?


Which Hardware Synth/s do you use in your productions ? and which one/s are your favorites ?


I use lots of hardware synths, but I’ll single out the Roland D550 (D50 rack), as one that gets used most often.

And of course there is my secret weapon, but that’s secret so I’ll keep quiet on that one!

Nord Stage Classic 88 as an instrument and as a controller.

Aloha guys,

Roland GR50 (which is really a D-50/10 made for guitarsynth) (+ guitar controller)
Korg 01/Wfd (+controller)
Alesis QSR
Roland SC880
Roland GR33(+ guitar controller)
Proteus 2
Korg M3R
Oberheim OB-Xa
Memory Moog/plus

All in perfect working condition and ‘ready to go’
(I have even changed the ‘ten year internal batteries’ in some)
but I hardly ever use them anymore.

The SC880 and the OB get the most workout.
The Alesis has a wonderful piano.
The GR50 has a deadly clav and non-Leslie ‘lower manual’ B3 sound.

But I now have all these sounds as software.

Alesis QS 7.1 keyboard
Roland JV-1010 module
Roland XV-5050 module
I want a Yamaha Motif module at some point.

I packed my hardware synths up. They are now in storage. I have essentially everything I need in software.

If I were to play keyboards live, however, I’d bring them back out:

Roland D-50
Roland XP-50
Roland XV-5050

I like the number 50. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Somehow I’m reminded of the Woody Allen film ‘Sleeper’, where they have this machine called the “orgasmatron”…where in the future, there’s no need for human sexual contact :mrgreen:


Pretty soon, we’ll be able to walk into a hollowed out water heater like that, and come out with an orgasmic hit song! :laughing:

Awesome ! :wink:

Got um back in the early 80’s. (and still have an original Roland 808)
Also had a Prophet V but it stopped working.

Alesis QS8 (controller)
Roland a-70 with Vj-jv1 (controller)
Akai ax80
Moog Prodigy
Yamaha tx81z
Roland u110
Roland jv1010
Korg 05rw
Korg n1r
Emu audity 2000
Alesis DMpro (drum machine)
Korg Oasys Pcie card (my sleeper synth on a card)


Interesting how some feel HW-Synths belong in their storage, or sell them all, while others still have their HW-Synths and use them on a regular basis, and still add more HW-Synths. :smiley:

I find that having both HW and SW synths works best for my needs, and don’t feel they are a waste of space.

I doubt I will go purely ITB (No HW Synths, or Outboard Gear such as HW-Compressors/Reverb/ …etc) at this point or in the next few years.


Hardware synths are very useful, and I plan to expand what I have…anyone who say’s otherwise is just a lazy piece of dung wanting it all ‘in the box’…imo :wink:

As far as I’m concerned, ALL ITB is limiting yourself. I prefer to have the best of all worlds, an ITB & OTB hybrid system, and even a system within a system… with a master/slave DAW, or DAW’s playing in sync, as with syncing other gear. basically, I’m interested in taking as much load off my main DAW machine as possible, and externalizing with hardware synths, and even a VSTi slave DAW are my answers.


Talking about HW-Synths. Do you think YAMAHA will introduce a new Synth or Workstation at the upcoming Summer NAMM 2014 Show ?

It is sad that YAMAHA has not released a great Synth. for quite some time now. They have focused more on Workstations (Motif Line), but imho. they are missing out on the Synth action these days.

It would be great if they release a new Synth. with top of the line new features, various synthesis options, great built-in effects, VST-Integration… etc. (How likely they will do this ? … Slim Chance :unamused:

If they release the next generation Motif Workstation this Summer NAMM it would be interesting to see what they offer. i.e. Tight integration with Cubase/Nuendo, and full control surface functionality, multiple synth models to work with, powerful sampling, sample editing features, improved, and more ROM waveforms, …etc. etc.

Your thoughts on new generation of YAMAHA Synth and/or Workstation would be interesting !


Waldorf Blofeld and Korg Wavedrum are my main hardware synths. I use my MO6 a lot as well but it’s a pain to program and it’s got LOADS of nice presets so I usually stick to those…

My active-use synths: Waldorf Blofeld, Pulse 2, and Rocket. Working on a track that uses all three right now.

I have two racks full of Roland rack synths (all of the MKS units except for the sampler and the MIDI monitor, plus a D-110 and a couple SoundCanvases) but I’m likely gonna sell that stuff. I also have a Yamaha SY85 under my bed. It’s too enormous for any of the surfaces in my current work space. I’d like to sell it, but I don’t like craigslist, and if I sold it on eBay, the shipping costs would be more than I could sell the synth for.

I’m not totally ITB, but if I use a hardware synth I’m preferring modern hardware. (Less maintenance, better automation.)

I use a Roland RD-600 as my main keyboard in my studio, and I use a Roland XP-50 with the cover band I’m in.

I also own the following hardware synths, but I hardly use them:
Yamaha DX7-II
Roland D-50
Roland Alpha Juno 2
Korg MonoPoly
Moog Satellite
Roland MKS-20
Roland U-220
Roland MT-32

Access Music Virus TI
Alexis DMPro
BOSS DR-202, DR-880
E-MU Audit 2000, E-Synth, Proteus 2000, Virtuoso 2000
KORG Karma, O1/W, WaveStation A/D, Z1
Moog memorymoog (plus)
Notation Drum Station, SuperNova II
Roland D-50, Jupiter 6, JX-3P, TB-303, TR-707, TR-727, TR-808, TR-909, V-Synth, VariOS
Sequential Circuits Pro One
Waldorf Q
Yamaha TX816

I am not using some of these devices unfortunately (too much to remember anymore), and I do have a number of other MIDI modules/machines, which I use on rare occasions.

One year, for example, I made my version of “Happy Birthday” to my daughter, that was actually influenced by one of the Rocky movies (a robot was playing some tune and said/sung “Happy-birthday-Paulie” or something like that). I made an electronica (which was the style she liked at the time) song, and only used Robot-style voices from vocoders (MAM VF-11, Electric WarpFactory) made with her own voice (she and her friends used to spend hours in my little studio, playing and recording, so I have a lot of recorded sound) and a mod of “Speak & Spell” with MIDI. She love robots, that’s why! :slight_smile:

Anyways, some of the vintage gear is showing wear, simply from age. I used to fix them as they had issues, but me getting older (unfixable) and spending more time with the grandkids leaves that on the backburner. I don’t ever sell anything anymore, which I used to do at times, but I regret selling some vintage units, that cannot be found anymore.

Currently the most actively used are probably V-Synth, Z1, TI, DR-202 (love the sounds of this BOSS drum machine, which I have also have resampled for availability in VSTi’s), but I do use the others too.

My absolute favorite keyboard of all time must be the J6. I’ve tried to recreate some favorite sounds using HALion/Retrologue. There is a thread with a few “Jupiter” programs for Retrologue.

I’ve been thinking lately of getting a Roland Gaia (SH-01). Anyone have any experience with it?

Korg MS2000
Korg Triton Le
Nord Lead II
Mini Moog Model D
Dr. Rhythm DR-55

Have traded and sold many synths over the years.
The only ones I miss are the Z1 and the Juno 106.
I get tempted to pick up another Z1 every now and then.

I use the HW in most of my projects. I’ve made my own midi device panels
for the Korgs and the Nord. So they kind of act like plugins, best of both worlds.
Nothing like being able to tweak HW sounds while sitting in the sweet spot of the monitors.

Roland TR-8
Roland TB-3
Novation Ultranova

I recently bought these. I haven’t owned a hardware synth since my SH-101 back in the 80’s, sure wish I kept it. Might have to get the Roland System-1, still on the fence about that one.

Korg Triton
Virus Ti
Nord rack 3
Roland XP 80
Roland V-synth
Motif ES rack
Roland XV 50-80