Why don't they remake cult instruments?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:10 pm

jonny72 wrote:
thelike5 wrote:Also, how would they market it? Let's say they came out with an exact replica. They would need to promote it as a "groove" product for "dance" which is exactely the opposite of how they marketed it when it was first released!
Why would they need to promote it? I reckon 99% of people that own a DAW or synth know what a TB303 is, i reckon a lot of other people will have heard of it as well.

They just need to say "TB303, exact replica" and that's their marketing campaign sorted.
I hear what your saying (and I have thought about this myself for many years) but understand that a company the size of Roland doesn't care.

In terms of enginering, Japanese business is constantly looking to the future. I guarantee that if this proposed reissue 303 came out a Japanese designer would kick, bite and scream his way to making sure the re-issue had the god awful d-beam all over it somehow. They just couldn't reissue it and be done with it.

8O
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Post by 8O » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Yeah, +1 for Tenori-on!

And I kinda agree with Robert's comments about new synths. I'd buy one of these...
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...if there was a knob for each parameter instead of a screen/menus. Even if that was 50 knobs...

Sorry, back on topic, I got one of these for Christmas:
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...Chinese-made, and apparently doesn't sound as good as the original, but it's great fun!
Image

Khazul
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Post by Khazul » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Robert Henke wrote:Yes, right, i always overlook this one! And (as far as I know) the company does well with it, and they deserve it.

Robert
And you guys *NEED* to talk to them more - Next time your up near dortmund get marc (of Access) out for a beer and persuade him he needs to use Live instead of Logic ;)

Im sure some good little things could come out of giving each other a little bit of support and a natter over a beer or two and perhaps thinking about a few minor feature tweaks to hugely improve use of Live and a TI together :)
Last edited by Khazul on Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:12 pm

Khazul wrote:
Robert Henke wrote:Yes, right, i always overlook this one! And (as far as I know) the company does well with it, and they deserve it.

Robert
And you guys *NEED* to talk to them more - Next time your up near dortmund get marc out for a beer and persuade him he needs to use Live instead of Logic ;)

Im sure some good little things could come out of giving each other a little bit of support.
I'm with you on this one; although the TI instructional video for the new OS 3 at NAMM showed Ableton as the host instead of Logic this time!

rikhyray
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Post by rikhyray » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:38 pm

Robert Henke wrote:Why does no hardware manufacturer build a new interesting synthesizer anymore?
What about Dave Smith. Mopho is ridiculously cheap and I would take it anytime over Blofelds and TIs, G2s, definitely inspires me more then units that cost couple of times more. The drum machine he works on with Roger L. might be THE DRUM MACHINE. Evolver is still interesting, so is poly.
The fact that Mopho is sold out and on backorders should teach something other manufacturers, also that they dont have to be priced like Hartmann or rather cant, if you want to sell any.

Khazul
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Post by Khazul » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:59 pm

rikhyray wrote:
Robert Henke wrote:Why does no hardware manufacturer build a new interesting synthesizer anymore?
What about Dave Smith. Mopho is ridiculously cheap and I would take it anytime over Blofelds and TIs, G2s, definitely inspires me more then units that cost couple of times more. The drum machine he works on with Roger L. might be THE DRUM MACHINE. Evolver is still interesting, so is poly.
The fact that Mopho is sold out and on backorders should teach something other manufacturers, also that they dont have to be priced like Hartmann or rather cant, if you want to sell any.
Well its an analog monosynth and everyone beleives analog is better.
As it happens the mopho is a very good bass synth, but being sold out all the time doesnt mean its good - it just means someone is being very careful with how many they produce. Access do this is well - it keeps the price up.
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Hidden Driveways
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Post by Hidden Driveways » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:15 pm

thelike5 wrote: Also, how would they market it? Let's say they came out with an exact replica. They would need to promote it as a "groove" product for "dance" which is exactely the opposite of how they marketed it when it was first released!
If they were smart, they would re release it (with a few mods - MIDI, USB 2.0 plug-in capabilities, etc) and market it the same way they did the first time. It would be clever and appreciated by many, and bought by me.

Hardware isn't going away.

Hidden Driveways
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Post by Hidden Driveways » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:20 pm

Imagine the same packaging + marketing of the TB-303, the whole virtual bassist goofy stuff, you open it up and the default preset is a face-melting Acid line from hell. People would eat it up.

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Post by mikemc » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:32 pm

Robert Henke wrote:Why does no hardware manufacturer build a new interesting synthesizer anymore?
With a new synth technology, I think it has something to do with the ability to convey the model of the technology effectively so that it maps to a set of desirable and intuitively sensible controls. The granular synth you describe, you need to convey the notion of 'grains', how do you do that? Not that it is impossible, but it requires some thought to build a model that sticks as well as "ADSR" with four slider-type controls.

The hardware interface 'idiom' for most of synths at this point is dependent on LCD reaadouts to the point where you may as well be staring into a computer screen.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:40 pm

UKRuss wrote:Must be a cost and components issue.
yep.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

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Khazul
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Post by Khazul » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:12 pm

Hidden Driveways wrote:Imagine the same packaging + marketing of the TB-303, the whole virtual bassist goofy stuff, you open it up and the default preset is a face-melting Acid line from hell. People would eat it up.
And then 10 minutes later they would get very very very bored of it and the market for such a thing would suddenly shrink to nothing.

Dont get me wrong, I still like a good bit of 303 abuse (memories of the m25 field/warehouse raves and all that), but like anything you can equally get very sick of something thats get overused again.
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gp23
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Post by gp23 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:29 pm

As far as Roland are concerned, they already re-issued the TB-303. It was called the MC-303. To Roland the original 303 was a failure, regardless of the icon it became. Didn't the original designer of the 303 dislike what was done with it by the acid pioneers?

It's the same thing with the rarer early Boss pedals such as the VB-2 Vibrato and SG-1 Slow Gear. Would be easy for Boss to just start making them again (Behringer have). But if they did, they would undoubtedly have to be new 'updated' COSM versions.

They (Roland/Boss) just don't want to be seen to admit that their old gear is more desirable and 'better' than the new stuff they come up with.

They could do it, but they won't.

djsynchro
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Post by djsynchro » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:59 pm

Robert Henke wrote:Why does no hardware manufacturer build a new interesting synthesizer anymore?

It seems the days of hardware are counted, but hey, there are reasons why an affordable hardware synthesizer that is really inspiring could still sell. And who had more resources than Roland,...

Probably in terms of synthesis all you could want is there, implemented in the V-Synth. But it could not be less appealing to me. If they would release a synthesizer that is not a collection of 100+ concepts but offers one cool newer synthesis technique with great haptic control - i might be tempted to buy it, because sometimes I do not want to stare in a computer screen.

I imagine for example something like a granular synthesizer, where every parameter has its own knob, where the sample import come from a usb stick, or via usb to a host, and only a little display to show preset name and the most basic info.

Turn it on, find an interesting point in a sample, turn up density and spray, add some reverb and a filter plus a simple ADSR envelope and spend endless nights creating great morphing atmospheres. I think the key to the success of such an instrument would be that it shall not have more controls than say a Jupiter 8.
Enough to achieve complexity, and not too much to make it too expensive and incomprehensible. But i assume this will never happen anymore, because not enough people would buy it to pay off for the development and manufacturing cost.

Hm...

R.
Since this is manipulating sample data and the hardware aspect is only controlling what is a software process, that could also be a good controller (Future Akai pro?) to a piece of software (Live?)

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:07 pm

it comes down to 2 things in my mind.

1) analog machines have a terrible profit margin compared to digital

2) everyone wants to offer more features than the next guy, they have probably many times thought that each mc-x0x box was a 'clone' of the concept but with "lots of awesome features that everyone wants" and they were painfully mistaken

now, to further analyze why companies aren't making a lot of analog stuff to clone their old school best sellers I'd say we could take a look at future retro 777. why didn't that work out for them? It's a major cult classic and I've heard that there were only about 700 made. if it worked out for them I'm certain they would have made more.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:15 pm

Johnisfaster wrote:1) analog machines have a terrible profit margin compared to digital
not true. profit margins are generally set as part of a corporate philosophy. upper management says "we want a profit margin of 40% on ALL our products and a rate of return less than 1%." (cost vs. quality.)

it's a matter of parts. look at the guys building kitted synths, there are classic synth chips that are no longer available. in the industry it's difficult to keep making the same thing for more than 7 years. on top of that there was the RoHS/lead free initiative where leaded parts had to go bye bye, a lot of IS manufacturers took that opportunity to slim down their product line.

I also agree with the comments regarding old synths as a *yawn* from the manufacturer's viewpoint.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

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