I just recently ended a metal band I've been in for a while and am wanting to get back into the synthesizer world.

Anyone know good places to look or suggestions for under 1k synths?

I'd love to say fuck it and withdraw my 401k for a MOOG but I'm going to show restraint.

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Get AbletonLive and play around for a while or sell a kidney for a Roland or a Yamaha...

I've been looking at the Korg microkorg and the op-1

Is it worth it to at around with software first?

OP-1 is nice

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It's just 800 dollars for something that small and limited.. And the vocoder is a nice bonus on the korg

software synthesizers are where it's at now, and a good controller isn't very expensive.

Propellerhead is pretty nice, also Native Instruments, both are not that expensive for what they have to offer.

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Good recommendations there. I used propellerhead in '07 and I had Traktor because it came with my controller, but AbletonLive is just special. The intrument rack is amazing.

any good suggestions on learning AbeltonLive?

I'd suggest to start with Ableton + a bunch of free VSTs. Ableton is a great place to begin with, I've done a few shitty songs there and it's pretty intuitive... The thing is: the learning curve can be huge, so take baby steps.

Ableton's reddit is great for resources and quick questions, you'll find there all the info you need. And if you still want hardware synths, the Micro Korg is a really cool option. For less than 1k if you are lucky you can buy a Korg MS20 mini (which is awesome) and a couple of other synths. What I suggest you is go to your local music store (or to their website), find the synth section and read/listen to the synth on YouTube. IMHO, Roland's Boutique stuff is amazing and as far as I know it's less than 400 bucks.