hi guys,

so there's probably a lot of different threads on this subject but I wanted to get some opinions about synthesizers and Midi controllers. So until now I've been playing guitar and a little piano but slowly but shurely wanna get something to play synth stuff since a lot of bands I listen
to use synthesizers (like Radiohead, Muse, MGMT, a lot of indie bands..). I've talked to lots of friends of mine who play music, and I have a friend who owns a microKorg which I've played on and liked but I kinda wanna go in a different direction, but I'm really open to anything really.

If I'm informed correctly there's also the possibility of using a midi controller keyboard with my laptop and sofware to make those kind of sounds too. What my question is, is what's the big difference between synthesizers and midi controllers, I know that the controllers have to run over a software to make sounds and synths have the sounds integrated in their interface but what other differences are there, like soundwise, possiblilities, user friendliness ect...
Like I said I'm trying to find something very versatile as my musical taste is very broad, but I'd love to make some muse sounding stuff or Radiohead (I know they use top of the line stuff but still..) sounding stuff and of course self-composed stuff.

Would be very thankful for any helpful contributions on this subject, as i have had good expieriences with UG. My budget is about up to 700 bucks about, best be between 300 and 600 buchs, but its flexible.

Thanks in advance
With a MIDI controller and software, your sound creation and manipulation will be limited by the software you are using. Analog synthesisers tend to have full capacity for sound creation and (imo) the sound quality is better. Some synths come with presets, but you'll need some knowledge of how to build sounds to use one to it's full potential. If you have no experience with this then I recommend a software synth.
A great hardware synth is the Roland SH-201, it's user friendly and you don't need a massive knowledge of sound manipulation to use it.
Software wise, I'd recommend Spectrasonics Omnisphere, it's one of the most powerful available. A good preset based one is ReFX Nexus.
On my profile I've done 2 clips with both software synths, Streetlights is with Nexus and Beneath the Exterior is done with Omnisphere.
ohai little sig.
Ok thanks for the quick reply, I've been looking at the Roland SH-201 and it really looks great, especially the user friendliness and the fact that I can hook it up with my computer. It's been classified by a lot of people as a beginner's choice, just to play around with less complicated sounds, which doesn't sound too good.. Can you confirm this or is it just some people comparing this to a 2000 dollar synth? What would be the main difference between this and the MicroKorg beside the price? Thanks
It's aimed at beginners because it's simple to use, but by no means not professional. It doesn't compare to those £2k synths, but then that's appropriate. It's a great synth and I wouldn't consider it limited, everything you need to create and manipulate sounds is there.
Compared to the MicroKorg, it's easier to use in terms of creating sounds, and the MK only has a couple of octaves on the keyboard which I find quite limiting. Both are great however, and if you feel a vocoder could be useful, then the MicroKorg is for you
ohai little sig.