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  • JP8080/SH-201/Gaia

    I just sold a Yamaha MO8 because I felt stifled by the menu diving and lack of creative input. It felt like I was using a bunch of cool preset sounds that had already been created for me, and the ability to tweak them for what I wanted was basically non-existent in that machine. Obviously it was incredible sounding, but I found I wasn't using it the way I wanted, and I got frustrated with it. I was using the grand piano, the cheesy orchestra sounds, and the pre-baked synths and that's it, and it was impossible to edit stuff and you couldn't switch from sound to sound in real time and I was just fed up with it. So, I picked up a Casio PX800 because it's a brilliant digital piano, and now I need those synth sounds back. 

    I'm a rookie to the synth game, and I can get my hands on any one of these three for 500 bucks. I want ability to tweak knobs and slide sliders, and I don't want menus. Therefore, I feel like these three are my best options.  

    And yes, my budget is 500 dollars. I can't spend a penny more, and no, don't tell me to save money for something else!

    I know this has been done to death in the past, but I'm new to the forums, the searches I found were from years ago before the Gaia, from when the SH-201 was still new, and because **************** you I want an answer now

    Right now, the JP has my vote because of the sound quality and portability (it's rackmount, obviously), and also because of the input for a mic or instrument, plus the vocorder. BUT, I have two issues with it--no inboard effects, I won't have access to a pitch bend wheel--I'll miss the **************** out of that--and it seems like there's not a lot of space on it for patches. I'll use the PX as the midi controller, obviously, which is great because 88 terrific feeling keys is always, always better than 30 or 40 plastic ones. 

    I love, love, love the interface of the Gaia, and I've demo'd it, and I think it sounds great. It's definitely not an analog machine--I used it alongside a Minibrute for comparison--but in my opinion the charm of it's sound quality is in it's digital-ness. It's like a DX7 you can tweak the **************** out of. Nice. Also, come on, has there ever been a more user-friendly interface for noobs and people who want to be creative in editing their sound? Obviously I'd also like it for the pitch bending wheel, but the lack of a vocorder is kind of a bummer.

    TBH, I'm torn between those two the most. 

    I've almost said "never mind" on the SH-201 but I wanted to hear some other opinions on it in case I'm missing something.

    Tell me how to spend my money!


  • #2

    i have a gaia and like it, sounds good for some synth duties and a little lacking for others but that's made up by the total hands on U.I. which is excellent.

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.cresshead.com" target="_blank">http://www.cresshead.com</a><br><br><a href="http://soundcloud.com/cresshead-1" target="_blank">http://soundcloud.com/cresshead-1</a><br><br><br><br>Korg Volca Bass, Logic Pro 9, Arturia Mini Brute, Roland sh-01 - korg electribe emx - Blofeld - Nanozwerg - yamaha RX5 - CS1X - Korg DDD1 - Trackman -ipad3</div>


    • zoink
      zoink commented
      Editing a comment
      I'd take a JP8080 over the SH201 or Gaia any day of the week. The waveforms of the Gaia are not modeled, and the limits of working with sampled waveforms really become apparent when you sweep the filter. The 201 is more of a genuine analog modeler than the Gaia and it sounds better, but I never really liked the control surface of the 201. So as a contest between true VAs, it really comes down to the 201 and the JP8080. The 201 just didn't excite me when I played it. The JP8080 has a great control surface, it does excellent analog emulations, and it also can sound digital and complex if you want it to. The JP8080 also has a true vocoder with separate inputs for a carrier and a modulator signal, while the 201 and Gaia have no vocoder at all.