i trust the live forum crew to recommend a synth!

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Moody
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Post by Moody » Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:54 pm

Korg Legacy Collection with the MS-20 controller and impOSCar. I personally don't care to ever own a hardware synth again unless it is a true analog piece of gear and with that said I would say start off with the Korg MS-20.
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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:11 pm

I've got a mono-poly and a couple of MS20's and they are good thats for sure, but my favourite true analogue (that I could possibly afford) is the Jupiter 6 .. I never owned one though as every other bastard re-realised that analogue was good back when I was trying to buy one and the prices went through the roof (1990) . I used to hire one when I recorded in a small studio near me, great sound - I prefer it to the jupiter 8.

I got my MS20s for £30 each and the Monopoly for about £80 around 15 years ago.

they all could do with a service though.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:55 pm

I should mention why analogue synths are still better acoustically than their DSP cousins I suppose.
If you are even slightly interested in the subject of 'digital vs analog' this is pretty basic stuff.

If you ring modulate two notes together , like for example : two sawtooth oscillators playing c3 and f3 respectively. The ring modulation process is a simple multiplication , in this case 130hz * 146hz =18,980hz

the problem is that sawtooth waves are made of harmonics of the fundamental , the second harmonic is twice the frequency of the first, the third is three times that of the first ... etc. The sawtooth without these is just a sine.

so you can see that the first harmonic gives us - 260hz * 292hz = 75,920hz !!
Already wa are waaaay over the nyquist frequency, with only the first harmonic.
the 4th harmonic ring modulates to 303,680hz !!!
It takes around 32 harmonics to make a simple sawtooth, just imagine what is going on to try and control this in DSP. Oversampling even by 8 times (IE 352.8 khz = 8 times 44.1 khz) , even that will produce aliasing, where an analogue circuit will not due to inherent properties of the materials.

this effect is not limited to ring modulation, but to waveshaping, FM , phasing, filtering .. basically all the base elements of synthesis.


try making a sawtooth
http://www.earlevel.com/Digital%20Audio ... igraf.html

explaining nyquist
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist-Sh ... ng_theorem
Last edited by Angstrom on Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:59 pm

Ah! I had actually never thought of that... thanks for the explanation Angstrom...
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noisetonepause
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Post by noisetonepause » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:46 am

Angstrom wrote:If you ring modulate two notes together , like for example : two sawtooth oscillators playing c3 and f3 respectively. The ring modulation process is a simple multiplication , in this case 130hz * 146hz =18,980hz

the problem is that sawtooth waves are made of harmonics of the fundamental , the second harmonic is twice the frequency of the first, the third is three times that of the first ... etc. The sawtooth without these is just a sine.

so you can see that the first harmonic gives us - 260hz * 292hz = 75,920hz !!
Already wa are waaaay over the nyquist frequency, with only the first harmonic.
the 4th harmonic ring modulates to 303,680hz !!!
Err. Ring modulation continuously multiplies the AMPLITUDES of two signals. It's just a fast tremolo. A digital ring mod is working with values between -1 and 1 and as such the output will always be an amplitude between -1 and 1. So you're just good old fashioned wrong, really. Since the frequency of the signal isn't 'in the signal' as such, I can't really think of any process where the calculations you describe would take place outside some heavy FFT and Max/MSP wankery - and also, you can't seriously be claiming to be able to hear, much less reproduce, frequencies like 75 kHz?

The reasons analogue synths 'sound better' than digital is merely, only, solely cos they're technically worse in a way that our ears tend to like. That's that.

-Paws

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:00 am

sorry, the example of multiplication (above) is relevant to cross modulation, ring mod actually produces the sum and difference of the factors.
I have been stuggling with anti-aliasing a softsynth implementation of cross-mod recently that will not alias horribly - so my mind was fogged with it. Damn.
the frequency of the signal isn't 'in the signal' as such
Erm, yes it is.
in ring mod the amplitude modulates from -1 to +1 at the frequency of the wave product (which for ring mod is the sum and difference of the two waves with their harmonics).The frequency of the wave IS in the amplitude across time. Amplitude is not a static calculation of +1 or -1 , it has frequency when applied to a wave. Just look at an oscilloscope for a clear example
This could indeed be called merely a fast trem for ring mod ... but dont go discounting aliasing of ultra high frequencies in synthesis altogether!

Sampling is a classic case where aliasing occurs, where most waves in synths are samples these days - thats bad.
Analysis of aliasing of popluar soft-samplers

Also
A nice example of aliasing as a Java Applet this demonstrates the limitations of nyquist as you even aproach the nyquist freq. in this case 4khz. The red dots represent the 'samples'
I can't really think of any process where the calculations you describe would take place outside some heavy FFT and Max/MSP wankery
I do this all the time, on my MonoPoly it uses Cross modulation.
Cross modulation, when the pitch of one oscillator modulates the other in the way that I foolishly called ringmod above - it is also sometimes referred to as Frequency Modulation , or FM - although the DX rage of synths actualy used phase modulation, all of these produce aliasing. Operator advertises this as a feature.
http://www.ableton.com/index.php?main=o ... -usability

so although 'ring' mod won't be as extreme as what I said above (the sum is never going as high), many other synth processes can easilly produce aliasing. Distortion, waveshaping, sampling, etc.
you can't seriously be claiming to be able to hear, much less reproduce, frequencies like 75 kHz?
I can neither hear nor reproduce 75khz of course - but I can produce and hear the aliases of those frequencies with very basic synth techniques ... not anything weird and outlandish.

here's a link to a demo synth that will happily produce lots of aliases of x-mod harmonics up to 75khz .. in fact I have spent a few months trying hard to stop it.

>>DOWNLOAD ANGSTRO2 DEMO SYNTH<<
1.2 meg rar file, PC only


Try the preset 51, near the end of the list ..called "Aliased mess" .
Notice the master oscillator is at a high pitch, osc 2 is normal - yet all you hear from osc 2 is distorted artefacts.

Of course you dont hear the high pitches of 75khz, just the folded down rubbish from the multiplication (the xMod slider)

As you can guess, the same operation/patch performed on a mono-poly will not produce that audio result.

clipperer
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Post by clipperer » Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:34 am

cool synth angstrom, let me quess, its done with synth edit?

mimesis
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what about the virus ti?

Post by mimesis » Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:18 am

what about the virus ti?
www.myspace.com/imimesis
live 6.0.5, Logic 7.1.1 OS X 10.4.8, minimoog voyager EB, MF-104Z Analog Delay, MF ring mod, Machinedrum SPS-1 UW, Virus TI desktop, PMG5 2.0DP/1.5GB, Mackie Control/XT/C4, MOTU midi express 8X8, AKAI MPD 16, MOTU TRAVELER.

glitchrock-buddha
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Post by glitchrock-buddha » Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:51 am

this getting a bit OT, but I'm not sure the guy who originally posted the question is paying attention anymore, so whatever.

Some of you were discussing the SIAC. The Synth-in-a-case, I think Machinate posted a picture. I don't know if any of you use Reaktor, but did you know there is a emulation of that in the user library? It's fittingly called SIAC. Looks just like it, case and all. I haven't yet gotten into programming with it, but it got some great reviews and comments by some of the reaktor folk, some of whom I believe gave it praise in sounding like the real thing.
Some great Arp and Juno emulations in the UL as well.

Good ol' reaktor eh. I dont' know crap about building synths with it, but I tell ya,that program is just an endless synth parade.

Of course it's not analog but damn it's got mojo.

grb
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tribalogical
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Post by tribalogical » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:50 pm

Surprised there's no mention of the Motif.... I had (and loved) both a Korg Trinity and a Triton..... sold the Triton some time ago, and finally sold my Trinity late last year. I replaced those with a Motif ES7.... amazing sounds, expansion card slots, mLAN.... great controller as well. Easy enough to setup for working with soft synths and DAWs....

Downside, you practically need to be a rocket scientist to initially learn & operate the interface (it just doesn't compare to the wonderfully intuitive, *touch screen* interface on the Korg synths.... those will spoil a person)...... Yamaha's software editors help, and are included with their free mLAN tools. Once learned, it isn't too bad though...

I'm extremely happy with the Motif. Broad range of sounds, styles, good sample base...... and the arpeggiator is pretty close to amazing.

Motif has my vote. Maybe that's cos I haven't played an A6 yet... ;)

peace,
tribalogical
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interceptor
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Post by interceptor » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:18 am

What about the Studio Electronics range of synthesizers?

I'm personally thinking of getting a ATC-1. For a demo model I will have to pay between 800-900 $. Real analog circuitry but with midi. Its called the Tone Chameleon. Don't know if it satisfies all your synth needs though.

Looks like basic fat synthesis. I believe its big amongst hip-hop producers like Dre and snoop.

Expensive maybe if you look at Arturia Minimoog V.

But if you can't live without the fattest basses you will have to go with real analog.



Peace

andrew_
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Post by andrew_ » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:13 am

Wow thanks for all the suggestions! Narrows it down a touch. Just a touch. :P

I'd love to go analog (MS-20! Mr. Oizo alone has made that a must-buy further down the road) but at this point in my music-making the 'bang for buck' of it won't do. I'm really drawn to the Ion. Also had a lot of fun with a friend's JP8080 (or 8000, not sure...whichever the rack mount one is). So it's time to get to the music store and play. Thanks again all.

thump
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Post by thump » Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:59 pm

andrew_ wrote: I'd love to go analog (MS-20! Mr. Oizo alone has made that a must-buy further down the road) but at this point in my music-making the 'bang for buck' of it won't do.
i've got a frostwave resonator, which is a (quite faithful, apparently) recreation of the ms20's filter module, one of the features that makes it so highly regarded.

i've had some success running my softsynths out my soundcard, through the resonator, and back into live, beefing them up a little and giving me a little bit of analogue love that my all-soft studio is often missing. i'm eagerly awaiting the next free $200 i come up with, as i'm going to invest in an fmr really nice compressor, and start exploring this kind of treatment more in depth.

is anyone else using these kinds of techniques to get more out of their software synths (or samples, for that matter)? i'd love to hear what and how and who and all that, if you are.

cheers!

dirtystudios
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Post by dirtystudios » Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:37 pm

My biggest gear regret was selling my Nord Lead 2. That thing was a beauty.

True there may be synths out there that have more features, and may even sound better, but the simplicity of working on that this was unparalleled. Having a knob for every parameter was a godsend. I never got burnt out on tweaking that thing.

k

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:41 pm

thump wrote:i've had some success running my softsynths out my soundcard, through the resonator, and back into live, [...]
is anyone else using these kinds of techniques to get more out of their software synths (or samples, for that matter)? i'd love to hear what and how and who and all that, if you are.
I play a Roland SH2 into live, adding effects, and using an Roland re-150 space echo as a send, feeding it back into itself with filters in the chain and such. With some looping going on I can really see my hardware_analogue come together with software_digital. It's grrreat fun, too.
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