How Many?

How many synthesizers does one person need?

I’m in my studio, planning out a patchbay. I went from one patchbay to three, just to get everything connected. Maybe I have too much stuff.

Maybe I don’t need four analog polys, or seven samplers, or five monosynths, etc. etc. Maybe I should sell most of it and just get the best of each type of instrument, even if it means giving up a few options.


You don’t have to much stuff. You have not enough Patchbays.

Like most things in life you need 2 of each…

Cyclists talk of needing n + 1 bicycles, where n is the number you currently own.

Only thing I can tell further is that you need at least N MIDI cables for N Synths……

Actually more like N+2.2 midi cables, one for in, one for out or thru, and 0.2 so that in the end, you have enough cables to replace any you somehow can’t find, even though you know there should be a stack of them somewhere…

“Need.” Great word, often misused. In this context, I think “want” might be more appropriate. This is why I can no longer understand the mindset of collecting. “If I can just get that one more synth my collection will be complete.” Complete for what? So that after you die, your wife and kids can get more money at the garage sale?

I only need an acoustic piano to make music and be happy. The rest is gravy.

I’m at a point where I mostly have what I want now. I thought I didn’t need the modular stuff, but have to admit that it’s a really, really nice addition.

I did build and buy a lot more than I own now, but I found that the only way for me to figure out if something works well for me or not is to use it for a while and then sell it on if I’m not entirely happy with it.

@piscione: Yup, it’s decidedly more of a want. The good thing is hat these days I have enough gear to make the want more of a quiet, reasoning kind of curiosity. In my older days of gearsluttery it was more of a brash: I gotta gets me one of these! YMMV, but a delay effect, maybe an arpeggiator and - nope. Just a piano will do in a pinch :slight_smile: Add a TTSH for some extra salt.

You are so old school piscione. But after all you are right.

I can be old school 'cause I’m old! Not quite old enough to take my own advice unfortunately.

I don’t know how many synths I need, but I’m pretty sure I have too many.


If there are N synths that I want to have, my maximum is N - 1 because I don’t want to be in the situation when there is no synth that I want to get.

Always too many, yet never enough.

Just use an old trick of mine: store the ones you don’t actually use in the attic. "Oh, i have a MS-2000 BR??"
This way you are never in the situation you have N because you don’t know about the value of N :wink:

@fcd72 – where i live attics are so hot that all the plastic parts will be melted down, and basements do not exist :wink:

Here’s a great little gem that helps: Rolls RM203 – it’s a simple cheapo 10 x stereo input 1U line mixer with level, aux and pan controls for each channel, mono send, stereo return. The circuitry is very basic so if you replace op amps with the decent ones of your choice/budget and throw away all elco caps replacing them with wire jumpers, it sounds really well. Nice thing about it is that all op amps are socketed, at least on both boxes i got from ebay.

I use these in pretty much every rack as a sub mixer where suitable. It has 8 Stereo INs that - in good old manner - also can act as MONO in when only the Left channel is used. You can easily change the Monitor Send from post (who needs a Monitor Send from a Rackmixer???) to pre fader.

What about some of these ?

Cool. A Patch cable with integrated Voltage Drop via Diode clipping……exactly what i want :wink: I use this to see whats going on in my modular, albeit it doesn’t touch the CV :wink:

As far as i understand, they’ll only work with buffered outputs, or else they stay dark, so i guess this won’t really harm the signal…