OK...so I admit it...I am a guitar player, not a keyboardist! I do have a Yamaha digital piano with a midi setup that I use to control VSTi's. I keep thinking that I need to get a synth or maybe just a synth module (until I can afford the whole new keyboard). I realize that the feel of a synth is different than the weighted keys on a piano, but I feel more comfortable with the piano feel since I have played one since early childhood...OK, enough of the preamble...
I saw an ad for the Roland JV-1010 module for pretty cheap (USD399), and it includes the Roland House collection expansion board as part of a promo. Sounds pretty cheap to me...what can I expect from this thing? Is it decent enough for a guitar player who "thinks" he can play some keys? I realize that it is not a Triton (or I guess in this case, a Fantom), but remember that I am just an amateur when it comes to synths...
It claims 64 note polyphony, and 16-part multitimbral...(I understand the polyphony, but what is the multitimbral part? Different voices simultaneously???).
Comments? Suggestions for another module in the same price range?
I will be using it for some basic pads, and maybe for some basic string/horn patches. I already have the following VSTi's:
Plus most of the freebe analog synths (A1, Triangle, CM-101, etc.)
Do I really even need a module??? It is hard to play in real-time with VSTi's, and as cheesy as they are, I have no GM sounds either. A real basic synth module is probably a necessity...
Thanks in advance!
(Remember, please be gentle with me!)
To answer your general question, I think that unless you have a couple of computers dedicated to running softsynths, its good to have at least _one_ hardware synth with bread and butter sounds. Hardware synths are less latent, more portable and, as a whole, cheaper than a computer + softsynth + host application + D/A + MIDI interface.
Multitimbrality (is that a word?) is the ability to simultaneously play two or more different instruments. Since each MIDI cable supports up to 16 channels, you often find instruments that are 16 part multitimbral.
An example of this is having piano on channel one, bass on two, strings on three, etc...up to channel 16. Another example is you have 16 multi-instrumentalists sitting there. Whatever instrument you tell them to play, they'll play it.
As far as what you buy goes, only you can decide. If you like the way something sounds and how it works (this is most important) then get it. Unfortunately, its hard to get a feel for how it sounds let alone how it works in a music store.
Let us know how it turn out!