I don't know music theory or sound engineering, but I wanted something to toy with. A while back, my brother got Korg DS-10 for his DS. I played it with for hours, and I realized that making and controlling rhythmic noises is fun (and sometimes very funny!)
Instead of buying my own copy of Korg DS-10, I investigated into full-fledged synthesizers.
My investigation told me that software sequencing and synthesis is the way to go these days, but software still benefits to have a MIDI keyboard controller. I decided to go for an affordable mini synth keyboard, which could be used both as a soft-synth controller and a musical toy. Except for a toy harmonica, my household has no musical instruments.
It was a tough decision between a MicroKorg and the Xio. Both are small, battery operable synthesizers, which can be used to model wonderful stereo sounds. Both could also be used as good MIDI compatible controllers for software.
The MicroKorg seemed to have a lot of what the old school synths had to offer. I really fell in love with the Korg brand because of the DS title. The MicroKorg also looked really fun to use, especially with the voice changing Vocoder. Tom Lee Music had it for only $80 CAD more than the Xio during the boxing week.
The Xio however seemed to fit my needs better: Its USB interface can be used to power the Xio and use it as a low-latency audio interface, as well as a MIDI interface. Had I gone with the MicroKorg, I would have had to buy a MIDI-USB cable and maybe a new soundcard, if I found the onboard sound on my to PC to have poor key-to-sound latency.
I purchased the Xio online from Tom Lee Music, and I received it yesterday.
I'm having plenty of fun with the Xio's synthesizer, the presets are all very good and varying the sound is easy with the 2D joystick. Next, I'll go through the video tutorials and learn more about the basics.