... I want to get something to replace it, but on everything I have touched - cheap or expensive - the built in instruments seem to me to sound cheap and tinny compared to the YS200. Therefore I want something I can construct my own voices with.
What you have is an aalog synth. It is a "real" instrument. All of the digital sampers are really trying to emulate a real instrument.
3. So far anyone I've talked to thinks I've lost my mind when I say "construct my own voices."
The current term is "sound design". This is where you think of what a hollow metal ball might sound like if you struck it and it rang and then you create that sound.
I've stumbled across the term "patches." I haven't found a definition for "patches" yet, but I'm wondering if patches aren't the hand constructed (or edited) voices (or sounds) I want.
In the old days you contruct the sound with a set of short audo "patch" cords. cabling the oscilator to the filter and so on. Kind of like and old telephone switchboard
If I've made any sense so far I can now ask for advice. What kind of keyboard do I want - with lots of "fixable" voices/sounds - within the $500 to maybe $1200 range
two ways you can go. (1) Buy an analog synthesiser. or a digital version that tries to emulat and old analog. Mogg still makes them.http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PhattyStage2/
Or most people today are doing this on conputers. There is software that lets you create patches and mix this with sampling. It is much more flexible and complex then any analog synth ever was
You'd buy a MIDI keyboard or other kind of controller and then hook it up to software. For an example of the software
Go to this URL can scroll down to "Studio Instruments" and then you can click "sculpture" or "synth" and then try out the blue buttons on the bottom to get a feel for what can be donehttp://www.apple.com/logicstudio/plug-ins/
Most people will play the sounds using a keyboard. A few will use a drum pad. But must will buy a control surface with sliders and knobs so they can control the software with something more natural than a mouse