Analog and Virtual analag hardware synths

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Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:13 am

honestly I think patterns and filter sweeping would have way different results in what people think made it than just single notes. neither way are we gonna get all of them right, but I think it would be slightly more accurate if you gave it a pattern context
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leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:34 am

making the choice to use a "real" analog synth is not about the sound of one note.

if that were the only reason, i'd be 100% software. Software is doing a pretty damn good job of sounding tough these days.


the real reasons to pick a legit analog?

immediate and 100% smooth control of all parameters.

smart design and signal flow.

(i can easily program any sound in the SH101's range in less than a minute. You tell me what sound you want, i'll dial it in, very very quickly. I prefer that for some applications to having a much larger palette of sounds available with obfuscated signal flow and overly complicated programming)


and finally, the best reason- They are fun to use. Try saying that about most hardcore softsynths. good god.


but, whatever.





BTW - you do know that bringing up this topic in any electronic music related situation will always end in this sort of clusterfuck, don't you?



.lm.
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Post by glitchrock-buddha » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:36 am

leisuremuffin wrote:making the choice to use a "real" analog synth is not about the sound of one note.

if that were the only reason, i'd be 100% software. Software is doing a pretty damn good job of sounding tough these days.


the real reasons to pick a legit analog?

immediate and 100% smooth control of all parameters.

smart design and signal flow.

(i can easily program any sound in the SH101's range in less than a minute. You tell me what sound you want, i'll dial it in, very very quickly. I prefer that for some applications to having a much larger palette of sounds available with obfuscated signal flow and overly complicated programming)
But that exact same benefit is true of a hardware/software combination like the Novation SL with simple VA clone like the TAL-Baseline (SH-101 emulation). Same immediacy of hands on sound creation. I'm not saying it sounds exactly the same, but the process is the same.
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sherman
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Post by sherman » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:42 am

glitchrock-buddha wrote:I'm not saying it sounds exactly the same, ...
I read a quote (From Deadmau5 I think :S) along the following lines, and I couldn't agree more.

No one is going to say 'that's not a real Moog!' when they hear a track of yours. If it sounds good, then thats great.

Remember, instruments are tools...
--sherman

Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:20 am

leisuremuffin wrote: BTW - you do know that bringing up this topic in any electronic music related situation will always end in this sort of clusterfuck, don't you?
:lol:


The point isn't even that analog synths aren't consequential, or don't have their own sound etc. or have reasons beyond the sound. I do think it's easier to dial in pleasing to me sounds on analog gear that goes beyond the interface, but I'm well aware that it's a sum of the parts, and that analog gear is no end all, it's a tool that isn't even really necessary for making great music.

There is a lot of silliness around it though, like this kid knocking digital synths etc. without knowing that a digitally controlled oscillator is identical to a digital osc sonically in almost every case, (no random tuning movement) or that the benefits of a real analog are simply not there in a preset DCO synth like the Matrix 1000, they sound good, but it's all Oberheim's synth design skills, it has almost nothing to do with the analog nature (which it lacks) of the synth. Shit the thing responds to SysEx only and requires a computer to program it???

Even with that, a single note played on any of a number of synths has so little sonic difference it's not even funny, and analog gear that people (including me!) love, is mainly monophonic.

Point is I'll take a hardware PPG Wave over a Roland Juno 106 any day, and the Wave is a digital synth. Good design is good design, whether it's hardware or software.

Anybody else that wants to can try the test, so far not a single 100% right reply back. :lol:

Walkingmachine
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Post by Walkingmachine » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:07 am

i think the most important part of having a hardware synth is having the hands on control....

I Haven't messed around w/ the virus much, but it doesn't really seem to make sense:

1) its expensive
2) it doesn't have one control per function so your not getting the hands on control
3) its not a real analog synth

I just don't see why you would pay so much money for this, when there is so much good software out there.....

I own a moog voyager, and its great don't get me wrong, but if you have a budget, i would say go with soft synths (there's a million out there - arturia, vanguard, ni, whatever) and the remote sl zero so you can get the hands on control

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Post by adhmzaiusz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:25 am

Machinesworking wrote:I made a little test
Lets see... my guesses: Tube, analog, analog, soft, hybrid, soft

:o

some are hard to tell, but the tube is totally obvious!! how did i do??

if i could hear the filters in action i would be able to tell right away whats what
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Post by xh9o » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:41 am

Machinesworking wrote:that a digitally controlled oscillator is identical to a digital osc sonically in almost every case

ha ha ha. hell get a life, what a fuckin bullshit. the sound is still generated by analog circuitries and elements, only the control of these is numeric. they sound more static in dynamic modulations along that, but their basical sound is pure analog butter. everyone with at least one working ear knows that. and its not just my oberheim preset thrower, its same with the jx8p etc.
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Post by xh9o » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:43 am

Machinesworking wrote:There are literally thousands of analog MONO synths, a pad is not the issue here, you're backing away because you know you backed yourself in a corner, PERIOD!

no, the point is you wanna put me in the corner with what a mad effort. now with a faked test - if such effort, why not making it real? with quick and slow patterns, some parameter changes (cutoff and resonance) - they way these beasts are used and therefore the reasons for selections are given. if i´d lose the real test, hell you were all right and i was a joke. but entering a faked test... why should anyone?
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leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:33 pm

Machinesworking wrote:or that the benefits of a real analog are simply not there in a preset DCO synth like the Matrix 1000, they sound good, but it's all Oberheim's synth design skills, it has almost nothing to do with the analog nature (which it lacks) of the synth. Shit the thing responds to SysEx only and requires a computer to program it???

:
ever use one?

It's one of my go to synths. I got it super cheap, made all of my own patches for it, and love it. yeah, it sucks to program, and there is not much ability to use real time control. (there is some, all of my patches use mod wheel and aftertouch in unconventional ways) the design is really slick once you get in there with an editor. (i use motu's unisyn on my OLD imac to program it. I keep that computer only for that task. there are free osx editors out there for it, but they aren't that good as far as i can tell.)


anyway, yes, it doesn't have the advantages that i listed as the real reasons for getting an analog synth, but it is pretty awesome in its own right.


also, please don't say DCO like it's a dirty word. There are a lot of digitally controlled analog synths that are simply amazing. remember, it's digitally CONTROLLED not digitally generated. but, like i said, i think software has almost caught up in terms of sound anyway.


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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:59 pm

So I guess I'm a little late to the party here but I thought I'd add my own thoughts, despite the lack of any particular point.

1st off, I went and listened to Neb and X-HO's music and it seems really clear who has ears for sonic subtleties and who doesn't. I actually prefer X-HO's stuff in a stylistic sense, not his stuff in particular, but if I have a bias, it's more towards the weird side than the more straight ahead stuff Neb does. That being said, Neb's stuff sounds large and pro and like the sound of someone who knows what he's doing. Like someone who knows a thing or two about having ears. X-HO's stuff sounds sonically like garbage. This is not a judgement on either one's artistic merit, but come on dude, Neb is destroying you on the sonic side of things, so why are you acting like you have these golden ears? Even if you don't have the gear you want and can't do the analog recordings you want, if you're going to come on a forum and tell everyone they can't hear with the clarity and precision you can, you should at least be able to show a halfway decent mix on your own stuff.

But, conversely, I still kind of think analog stuff sounds better, at least for analogish sounds. I do use plenty of digital gear, and I don't have any claim to having an opinion more important than anyone else's, but I have heard softsynths going out of great gear, through great gear and back into great gear (for example, out of a rosetta AD into an OG 1176, thermionic culture vulture, tape echo,Neve 8068 board, back into the rosetta) with a great engineer and we couldn't get it to stand up next to the actual analogs we had (prophet 5, jupiter 4, korg ms-20 and juno 60 in this case) in terms of that sort of magic sound that we were after. I'm not trying to say that nobody can do this, but we certainly couldn't. This isn't to say that digital synths and vst's don't have their own sound that is useful and equally valid, but I personally have had no luck in getting them to sound convincingly analog, that's all.

And the final turn around is of course that I do most of my personal synth work on the Nord G2 these days, because the sound and workflow is perfect for me. I have no pretension to think that this is capable of anything a vst can't do, so basically I have nothing important to add to the conversation.

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Post by Machinesworking » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:10 pm

leisuremuffin wrote: ever use one?
Messed around with one briefly, I went with the Xpander instead. Heavier bass sound, easier to program, I have no impulse control, etc.
It's one of my go to synths. I got it super cheap, made all of my own patches for it, and love it. yeah, it sucks to program, and there is not much ability to use real time control. (there is some, all of my patches use mod wheel and aftertouch in unconventional ways) the design is really slick once you get in there with an editor. (i use motu's unisyn on my OLD imac to program it. I keep that computer only for that task. there are free osx editors out there for it, but they aren't that good as far as i can tell.)


anyway, yes, it doesn't have the advantages that i listed as the real reasons for getting an analog synth, but it is pretty awesome in its own right.
Totally, never questioned that, but it's IMO definitely a hybrid. Hybrids are not instantly useless for being hybrids, like I said I would take a PPG Wave over dozens of the 'true' analogs out there.

also, please don't say DCO like it's a dirty word. There are a lot of digitally controlled analog synths that are simply amazing. remember, it's digitally CONTROLLED not digitally generated. but, like i said, i think software has almost caught up in terms of sound anyway.
Look, the main reason analog has any sound that is different than digital is because of the unstable tuning in analog. You take that away, and make it digitally perfect, and the fact is it becomes that much closer to software, it doesn't take away from the fact that the Matrix 1000 is an Oberheim and has a particular sound that no soft synth has, or that analog filters are sweeter, more buttery etc. My point if there is one to this thread is that being a purist about analog is redundant in general, it's a sound in a sonic pallet, it can be accurately replicated in a song by soft synths if a person knows what they're doing, and it's not so obvious that you can pick it out of a line up with obvious soft synths. Had I picked VA style soft synths, (Moog Modular etc. and EQ'd etc. with a filter sweep it would be the same. Once a song is recorded and layered with all the sounds you use, picking out which is analog VS digital becomes even harder.

I spent the money on analog, I like it, I think in the end there are subtle differences, things like 6 analog notes ringing against each other are pretty obvious, but even then it's possible to take a good soft synth VA and get close enough to where the listener wouldn't be able to tell. There's no reason to be a snob about it. Analog is in vogue, and it's expensive compared to software, no doubt about that. Even the Matrix usually sells for $300+ My memorymoog without the recession kicking people down is easily 4K+. People can get a whole studio with a great laptop, controller, couple thousand dollars in software, soundcard etc. for that.

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Post by hoffman2k » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:24 pm

I'm building an analog modular from the ground up and not once have I wondered or cared if it would be sonically different to other people's ears.
You can't really recreate the chaotic nature of the Filter Sherman banks with software.
Sure, you can make it sound virtually identical. But "Order" is only a click away in the form of a preset. Its nothing like hooking it up, thinking everything is fine, only to realize too late its going from subsonic to all hell breaking loose on your speakers.

Software is basically designed to be idiot proof. There are no real happy accidents like you would get by plugging a jack into the wrong hole of a module. There are no batteries dying, voltages leaking or real live bugs crawling around in your synths.

Analog vs Digital...
Are we talking about sound characteristics? Are we talking about chaos vs order?
Define warm sound.. Define those soft transients you get on Oberheim pads.. Define the sound of bad A/D conversion..
And I'm not talking about wiki pages. If you can find a warm sound, you're qualified to find an equal example of a sound that is not warm. What is not warm? Flat? Cold? Clean?

I was on the "Software can emulate all hardware" bandwagon for long enough.
I even swear by some hardware emulations over the real thing. Like Audiorealism's 303/909/808/606 emulations and their virtual modular.
The mindfuck you can skip by not having to sync multiple Tb303's alone is worth it.
But in the end, nothing beats some quality time with the real thing.
In my case, I came to a point where I have to beat my inner musician out of my inner technician. I'm sure there's a little technician in all of us.

Although Max for Live could potentially be the final nail in my inner musicians coffin... the modular synth should keep me on the right track. Especially with Live's new Looper. Funky loop at a weird tempo? No problemo...
And hack the APi in a way so i never have to look at Live again.

Which begs the question. If working with Live would be like working with a nice piece of hardware, would that be equal to the analog experience?
The analog experience... There's another "myth"...

Bah, its official. This thread is going to make me write a letter to the Mythbusters :lol:
Dear Adam and Jamie,

Here are links to 6000 threads discussing Analog vs. Digital sound.

Nuff Said!

- Bjorn

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Post by djsynchro » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:48 pm

Analag is batter than dagatal

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Post by aisling » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:09 pm

:cry: I wish my analog tv was better than it's digital counterpart
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