Remix/ReMangle" Challenge is Closed. Now to work on the file management, uploading, playlist, voting thread, etc. Thanks to all that participated. Get ready to vote!

Prizes generously donated by:
ADDAC System (Eurorack 3U)
Endorphin.es (Eurorack 3U)
Fred's Lab (DIY Paraphonic Synth)
Northern Light Modular (Buchla-format h-series OR Eurorack3U)
Rattly and Raw (Wiggler Approved Kontakt Instrument)
Studio.h (Buchla-format 4U)

Challenge rules and format thread is here.

Let's talk about travel synths (lots of suggestions in the OP!)

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, Joe.

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flx
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Let's talk about travel synths (lots of suggestions in the OP!)

Post by flx » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:33 pm

EDIT: Thanks for all the suggestions! Further down you'll find a long list of links to cool portable instruments. Fell free to chime in with your opinions and travel setup ideas and I'll keep updating this post :)

----
I’m currently on a business trip again, which means I’m staying in some hotel somewhere and I’m exhausted after a long day of work. I would like to just flop down on the bed now and play some synth-thing which ideally ...

- can make a variety of expressive, ambient and experimental sounds
- does not require elaborate setup
- does not require much thinking to operate
- does not have a screen
- can be touched or played expressively (very simple keyboard or some some tactile, pressure, proximity or gesture input)
- is small and lightweight
- runs on USB or 9V power

Oh boy :mrgreen:

Now, I have something like a Ciat Lonbarde Plumbutter in mind, which I have owned already once and which almost combines all these things. It does require elaborate patching though and my ideal instrument here could also be a bit smaller and would also be more affordable. It can be weird and “boutique” and doesn’t need to be a typical “synth”. In fact if it isn’t a Microfreak or something like that, it would even be a plus :razz:

The ultimate goal would be then to record these half-asleep, hotel room noodlings (I have a small, portable audio recorder) and make something out of them when I’m back home.


P.S. I do have an iPad with tons of apps and I even made three vacation albums on it. It’s cool, but sometimes I’d just like to get away from the screen, the tons of apps and the “complexity”.


EDIT: Thanks for the replies so far! :yay:

Here’s a list of your suggestions and other devices I found, that seem to fit my requirements mostly and/or have piqued my interest:

- Monome Norns (800$) + Grid Controller (700$)
- Monome Norns Shield (DIY, ca. 250$)
- Teenage Engineering OP-Z (550€)
- Plinky (no price yet, probably DIY only)
- Eowave Quadrantid Swarm (559€)
- Manecolabs Grone Drone Synth (465$)
- Korg NTS-1 (110€)
- Modal Craft Synth 2.0 (134€)
- Bastl Softpop (300€)
- Ellitone Multi Synth (85€)
- Ellitone E64 (250€)
- Bastl Kastle (100€)
- THC Recursive Machine (DIY, ca. 300€?)
- Dreadbox Typhoon (350€)
- Haken ContinuuMini (935€)
- Error Instruments Radio Sputnik (300€)
- Error Instruments Cloud Busting (230€)
- Moffenzeef Stargazer (560€)
- The Peeps Music Box (800€)
- Elmyra Drone Synth (280€ built, 160€ DIY Kit)
- Gotharman Tiny LD (920€)
- Axoloti (DIY, 100€+)
- Synthrotek Nandamonium (180€)
- Rebel Tech Magus (500€)
- Ouroboros Alea (650€)
- Nozoid MMO-3 (500€)
- Grendel Drone Commander (440€)
- Critter & Guitari Organelle M (600$)
- Tilde Elektriske Kretser Fjaerlett (250$)
- Bug Brand Board Chirper (190£)

Super simple stereo WAV audio recorder:
- Reloop Tape 2 (140€)


EDIT 2:
later in this thread, I started to build my own DIY travel synth with the Axoloti DSP board:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... 0#p3347080

EDIT 3:
I bought a Gotharman TinyLD and made a travel album with it:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... 2&t=241198

EDIT 4:
And then I threw my initial requirements from this post out the window and started coding with an iPad and Norns:
viewtopic.php?p=3537262#p3537262
Last edited by flx on Mon May 31, 2021 7:34 am, edited 30 times in total.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by kvmet » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:38 pm

I assume an iPad mini is off the table? That's what holds me over while I'm on business trips. Also really comfy to play with on planes. I do a bit of noodling on the iPad using AUv3 instruments and then swap them out for my hardware synths when I get home if I come up with something I like.

Edit: oh... "Does not have a screen". Sorry.
Last edited by kvmet on Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by CliffordMilk » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:39 pm

Monome Norns + Grid? Yes it has a screen but it isn’t really necessary once you have something loaded up. You can DIY the Norns.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by th0mas » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:17 pm

OP1. Put some tape over the screen, after a week it's unnecessary

Or the OPZ

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by sleestack808 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:04 pm

Ipad
with apps

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Dave Peck » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:16 pm

sleestack808 wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:04 pm
Ipad
with apps
... and a Sensel morph.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by 22tape » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:17 pm

this might not be released in time, but worth a look anyway—

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=236086&p=3343468#p3343468
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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Harko » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:32 pm

Have you checked out Quadrantid Swarm from Eowave?
It doesn't run on 9v nor USB, but it might fulfil your other needings.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Northward » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:43 pm

Maybe a tad dark after a long day away from home, but if you stay in nice hotels and you’re into vintage sci-fi horror film drones this sounds excellent. No batteries it seems. I sure want one.

From Gearnews:
MS20 style lowpass filter. An eight-mode LFO. Mutable Instruments Clouds loaded with all the usual controls for freeze, texture, density and so on.

https://manecolabs.com/detalle/pedal-grone-drone-synth/

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by sleestack808 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:13 pm

Dave Peck wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:16 pm
sleestack808 wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:04 pm
Ipad
with apps
... and a Sensel morph.
I own a synthi. A REAL one and the vcs3 app for the iPad is really close . I mean not really. You don't get the non linearity or the soft lovely saturation but the character is there. It's a fun app. Really fun. Also the Wilsononic app is great. And I love Suggester for playing with chords. Really intuitive app.Those are my recommendations. Id buy more but I have actual synths. ID Love to get the fairlight one

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:25 pm

elektron digitone
hydrasynth desktop
ipad + apps
novation mininova

not sure if these meet or exceed your requirements but they’re options
TOO FAR GONE

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Koekepan » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:25 pm

Roland Boutique D-05 with the attached keyboard.

Wide range of sounds.

Runs on battery.

Can be as expressive as you want it to be.

Folds up nice and small - but you can always use a larger keyboard if you have one over MIDI.

I think it might have a tiny screen, but ... probably close enough.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by ATW » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:39 pm

The Korg Nts-1 might fit the bill, albeit with the addition of an Sq-1 or some kind of ipad/control surface. Sq-1 and Nts1 are usb powered.

Oh yeah, check out the Massive Midi Modulator as a usb-powered way to control a TON of midi parameters on a device like the nord drum 2, NTs-1, or anything else that’ll take a bunch of cc values simultaneously. No screen, tiny, blinky pads, can
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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by tim gueguen » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:27 am

Modal Craftsynth V2.0? Runs on batteries, has a built in touch keyboard, no screen, and is cheap.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by depth20 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:35 am

OP-Z as stated earlier. It's a really nice synth and sequencer.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Muzone » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:11 am

Bastl Softpop is what I use for long journeys/overnight stays.
The wires aren't the best after a long day but if you get a set of the more flexible patch wires that Tangible Waves it's a lot easier to use

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by Power Mic 3K » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:24 am

The Ellitone Multi ticks those blocks and costs less than $100.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by jdkJake » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:37 am

Might be a bit big, but a Lyra 8 might fit the bill (save for the +12V power wall wart). You can get a nice carrying case for it as well.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by mor4sso » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:47 am

OPZ ticks all your boxes. amazing little machines.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by meska » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:06 am

I mouve withe the ld3 on baterie, + amplified mic (work in the in of the ld3 ;) ) + joué midi controleur and it very fuuuuun +
tremblap wrote: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.
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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by ludotex » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:10 am

OPZ is great

Model:Cycles also

(but not sure these 2 tick that box: "- does not require much thinking to operate")
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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by flx » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:47 am

kvmet wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:38 pm
I assume an iPad mini is off the table?
sleestack808 wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:04 pm
Ipad
Dave Peck wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:16 pm
... and a Sensel morph.
sleestack808 wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:13 pm
I own a synthi. A REAL one and the vcs3 app for the iPad is really close .
Thank you! I do have an iPad loaded with music apps, but sometimes I use that thing all day and want to get away from it in the evening.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by flx » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:49 am

th0mas wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:17 pm
OP1. Or the OPZ
depth20 wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:35 am
OP-Z as stated earlier. It's a really nice synth and sequencer.
mor4sso wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:47 am
OPZ ticks all your boxes. amazing little machines.
ludotex wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:10 am
OPZ is great
I've owned an OP-1 a few years ago and it was my travel synth back then. Good times :) I somehow did not like the OP-Z though. Had it too, but didn't like the interface and the icons that one had to learn by heart.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by flx » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:52 am

CliffordMilk wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:39 pm
Monome Norns + Grid? Yes it has a screen but it isn’t really necessary once you have something loaded up. You can DIY the Norns.
I've been checking out Norns and the controllers every once in a while for the past few years(?). They seems really cool, but at that price I don't think I'd get everything out of it I would hope for, since I'm not a good programmer and would not really want to spend time to learn more coding.

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Re: Recommend me a travel synth that fits my very special needs :D

Post by flx » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:54 am

Power Mic 3K wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:24 am
The Ellitone Multi ticks those blocks and costs less than $100.
Thanks! That does indeed look like what I'm after. Wishlisted! Also, that Ellitone E64 seems cool: https://www.etsy.com/listing/813442285/ ... -sequencer

I'm also kind of waiting for the Nanoloop handheld, but the E64 might be even better for me.
Last edited by flx on Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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