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I've been looking for an old DX7 synthesizer for a while now, but not yet found one with price & condition (& not too far away to collect) that I'm happy with. Also, I worry about the practicalities of buying a machine that is possibly around 35 years old.

It occurred to me that an alternative might be to get a midi keyboard controller and use it to control Dexed (and maybe other software synthesizers). I'm not sure how/whether I could do that though, and if so, what the pros & cons would be?

Does anyone know about this kind of thing?


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Software synths all the way, particularly soothing like the DX7 FM should be almost indistinguishable.  What made a lot of the old analogue synths sound so lush / full of depth was that they were hardly in tune to begin with and the slight detune provided far richer sound, modern soft synths are starting to replicate that well now. 

In comparison if you have to buy the hardware it now costs an absolute fortune and a repair and ownership headache, I've owned an SH101 and OBX in the past, wish I had them now as worth around £6K probably if in good condition and fully working, but first thing I would do with them if I did  is flog them on.

The choice on the software side is whether to go Mac/PC or iPad route - quite impressive what the iPad can do (Soundtestroom on YT covers that side well). Personally have Arturia and a Small keyboard, interested in the MC101 or 707m but cannot justify the price but like the idea of a small all in one keyboard / sequencer - there is a new Arutria multitrack sequencer / keyboard out that looks good but only mini keys, which might put some off, other think that would make a great starting point together with the software.

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