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Full Version: what synths to get for a new ndlr?
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Hi...I will be ordering a ndlr soon

I am a singer (baritone and deeep bass) and player of various acoustic instruments. But I never learnt to read music

My skills are in toplining...if I have a nice melodic/rhythmic groove I love to create a melody and a vocal and then lyrics

I have always found hardware stompbox loopers to be my best partner to make new songs and have fun. I am adhd and oddly resistant to software...preferring to stomp or press a button or two every so often and then go to my happy creative place 

You can see why I am hoping the ndlr might be my friend - although I do recognise I will need to engage with the software element of it!

I am hoping to have a set up where a drone note is complimented by me changing the chordy loveliness as I work out where the song could go...and possibly leading to performing long ambient (actually I think that may not be the best word) sets live

But I am not in that demographic of “you already have loads of synths”

I do have a Protools studio and a midi keyboard..and an ipad or two

So...there is lots of potential there and I am interested in recommendations for software synths - thank you

And I’d also like to know what hardware synths you’d recommend 

And perhaps especially ones that are super simple for non keyboardists...maybe usb or battery powered would maximise ndling pleasure? Or should I start with ipads and see how it goes?

As always I am assuming that start small and cheap is the wisest option

Thank you for any help and advice you can offer
Something low cost, ambient and hardware, immediate and relatively easy to use? I'd look at a second hand novation supernova version 2 or Access Virus. These are both multi-timbral, well endowed with effects and knob encrusted.

Some of 90's ROMplers are very good value and underrated, albeit they can be tedious to programme which might be an issue for you, and without programming will sound a little dated, however the Roland JV1080 is an excellent synth.

There is a fair amount of internet positivity for the Roland JDXi, which has a mini keyboard, inbuit sequencer and little drum machine.

Effects are a big part of ambient music and they can transform the blandest of sounds. For proper money the Strymon or Eventide effects are gorgeous, Zoom do a nice pedal, the MS 70 that pays homage to some effect classics.
Thanks Tim...I have just checked out ebay for all the hardware synths you've kindly listed and I am learning more - much appreciated

With the price and size of those...I think that might be a direction I should go in when I have more understanding of what works for my music...after maybe a few months with the ndlr

Perhaps I should learn the ndlr using some cheap software apps on two ipads..just to get started?

At this stage I know just how little I know

Although...I do actually need to buy a small usb midi keyboard for my mixing desk (for friends to use to trigger drums and indeed synth plug in sounds)

so if there was a small usb midi keyboard that also does even an OK/barely acceptable synthy job when unplugged from protools?

then that would be something I could justify right now...and I'd be happy to start with lo-fi and bland - just to help me map out this new terrain

Apologies for the open-ended + low-information nature of my request
There are so many great ways to get into synths without spending a lot of money. Since you have an iPad, there are many free synths and some inexpensive ones that sound great! Some I've tried are Moog Animoog, might be great for your drones. Sunrizer Synth by BeepStreet, a classic and straight forward interface. Getting more complex is LayR a massively polyphonic synth which works great for NDLR PADS which can play a lot of voices.

As for hardware, a really straight forward and affordable analog poly is the Behringer DeepMind 12. You can get it in desktop form, without a keyboard for under $500 USD. I use that and a Waldorf Blofeld for poly synths. You can find the Blofeld used for under $400, and its multi-timbral so you can use it for all the NDLR parts. Like the Access Virus, but cheaper, though it doesn't have the punch or knobs that the Virus gives you.

Another option for multi-timbral poly synth is known as a "Rompler". Notoriously difficult to program, but they have tons of presets you can use right out of the box. Check out the Roland VX line like the VX-3080 or 5080, and JV line like the JV-1080 series, or JV-880. I am fond of the E-mu Orbit or E-Mu Proteus 1000. They can often be found used for a reasonable price, under $200. Lots of bang for the buck if you are patient to learn to set them up.

For a hardware monosynth, there are so many good ones. A phatt mono synth is perfect for NDLR motifs. Pretty much any Moog sounds great, I have a Sub 37, Multimoog, and a Slim Phatty. Roland SE-02 has a lot of features for the price and very compact size. Novation Basestation 2, is inexpensive and fun to play if you want a keyboard, and it has presets. Dreadbox Erebus is an awesome sounding quirky boutique synth from Greece, one of my favorites, no presets.
Thanks Darryl and Tim

Have now bought my ndlr so will get busy with all of this info so I can hit the ground running when it arrives in a few months (aaaargh patience is not my special skill...but there is plenty to learn in the meantime eh)

Maybe try the Deepmind 12D too, it can create amazing pads. Full of lovely analog goodness with great built in FX too. Not badly priced either.
many thanks Goon, will look at that too

Right now I am concentrating on the ipad synths to get started

And will resist buying hardware until I know where I am headed

I can justify a cheap and small midi keyboard though (needed for other reasons) if there is a cheap small midi keyboard that ALSO is a baby even low grade synth of any type??
For IPAD, I recommend Caustic. That's what I mainly use with the NDLR.
I like to see the note evolving on the keyboard.

As a small poly hardware synth I'm waiting for the Buzzzy! but the idea to use rompler is a good advice.
Korg Micro-x, M-audio Venom can also be found for a correct price.
Thanks so much yes my noodler is on its way and I have been studying the Loopop video on a huge screen as a tutorial

I am practicing with Sunrizr and will also look at the others recommended

I have also been looking at what I can do through my Protools + Logic Pro X studio...

(My next question will also reveal my ignorance, apologies.)

But can the ndlr do the auto arpeggiation ndlr loveliness that it does with Synths...with something like a virtual instrument ie a real instrument deep sampled into something like Kontakt?
(05-08-2019, 06:07 AM)MrPipes Wrote: [ -> ]... can the ndlr do the auto arpeggiation ndlr loveliness that it does with Synths...with something like a virtual instrument ie a real instrument deep sampled into something like Kontakt?

Sure thing! Most all virtual instruments can be played with a MIDI keyboard, so they receive MIDI notes from whatever MIDI device is sending them, including The NDLR. You will need to configure your virtual instrument for the MIDI Port and Channel for the NDLR part you want it to play. For instance, if you want it to play the PAD part from the NDLR, set up Kontakt for the MIDI Port and Channel you assigned for that NDLR part.

Here's a link to how to configure Kontakt's MIDI parameters.

The NDLR USB MIDI has 4 virtual MIDI Ins/Outs, so you could assign the first NDLR port to one virtual instrument, and the next to another and so on. We did this so you could drive four separate virtual instruments without a DAW.
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