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Tomás Mulcahy
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #543676 - 09/11/07 11:24 AM
I think it' a mistake to assume that analogue is better. There are plenty of analogue synths that are just not very good- Korg POly 800, Polymoog, Akai AX60, Teisco 100F, Jen SX1000 etc etc. It's the designer that makes the difference- the Virus, Kyma, Kurzweil k2000 series, Nord Lead, Alesis Fusion are all great modern designs. Just play any of them, it's a joy. Dave Smith is a great example. Analogue or digital, or a mixture of both- he makes great instruments. That's where the soul if the machine comes from, the love and care that the designer puts in.

--------------------
madtheory creations
Synths and pianos for Kontakt


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Arpangel
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Tomás Mulcahy]
      #543692 - 09/11/07 12:24 PM
This is "one of those threads" that could run for ever, I think the bottom line has to be that it's horses for courses, every synth, be it analogue, digital, or "digilogue" ! has it's own sound, and will find a use somewhere, to say that any one type is "better" is a mistake. It depends what type of music your involved in, and what type of player you are, and how you compose your music, there are just far too many variables to warrant using the word "better" in this context.

Take care,

Tony.


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thejazzassassin



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dave B]
      #543703 - 09/11/07 12:59 PM
Quote Dave B:

Having tried the Voyager and Little Phatty at the show on Sunday, I'd happily own one now. I'd just multitrack it through nice digital equipment rather than noisy tape!!




I've got a Little Phatty, and it's the first analogue synth I've owned.

It's amazing.

I also have a Nord Stage, and its synth section (whilst not comprehensive by any means) is also very good, versatile, and sounds great. There are certain things that merit using the Moog, and vice versa.

Modern synths are by no means rubbish - the Phatty proves that - and nowadays we get the best of both worlds as we're seeing great modern analogue synths that are easy to maintain and programme, and we're also getting great modern digital synths that have some serious clout under the bonnet.

We should all be laughing!

--------------------
www.mikeandersonmusic.co.uk


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Dameo



Joined: 08/10/05
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Loc: sheffield.
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #543711 - 09/11/07 01:10 PM
It is a hard question to answer,
but i would say that hardware synth design has changed,
and not for the better in my experience.

I can use new synth's and do like the sound of v-synth etc,
but most new synths i hear, dont have much character and
tend not to have any real presence in the sound, at a generated level.

There has allways been good and bad stuff about, but i dont see any great sounding instruments around, what i am moaning about is the general trend, as with all the main manufacturer's to stuff more and more features in, without concentrating on the Sound generation part of the instument, it could also be the kind of technology now in use that cause this too.

A prime example is nord G2, why does it sound worse than my nord modular ?, why does the triton sound worse than my trinity?, a bit back i bought another mpc2000xl to replace an old one, even this had a thinner sound (they must have changed the sound amplifier chip they use,i have a good sound system and good ears,so i notice these things!).

You would expect that newer synths would be an improvement , but they seem to be going backwards.

Im sure its is something to do with the technology used for generating sound, obviously this will not be true for everything but generally for most new synths. It may be controversial but I have one word for it - rubbish!

Edited by Dameo (09/11/07 01:32 PM)


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #543727 - 09/11/07 01:41 PM
A lot of people here seem to be confused as to what constitutes a 'good' synth.

If we are talking about features, accurate sonic representation, editability, expandability, reliability, flexibility etc then it's a no brainer, the modern synths will win.

Now, if you are talking about the 'sound' then that is a different issue entirely.

Let's take an old analogue synth: the random fluctuations caused by rated op-amps, harmonic distortion, voltage controller modules, hard wired circuits etc all accounted for the sound that was output.
When my Memory Moog would actually warm up enough to work, and stayed in tune on a good day, it sounded amazing.

The distinct sounds of certain synths were attributed to both the above and the chips being used.
A Curtis chip had it's own 'colour' and the Prophet 5 is a good example of that colour.

I could go on all day about design, circuitry etc.

Today's synths are rock solid in terms of sonic representation, better chipsets, better converters, better everything.
But is this what I like?
Nope, I like the randomness of vintage gear, I like the harmonic distortion, I like all the oddities that made those synths what they were.

Sure, I would have loved reliability, USB, S/PDIF, more memory, stable tuning blah blah. But it's a compromise I have always endured as the sound of certain synths simply cannot be replicated with algorithms.

We have exceptions today, of course.

It's always a balance and ultimately comes down to taste and workflow.

I know what I prefer.

--------------------
Samplecraze
Stretch That Note


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hollowsun



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #543767 - 09/11/07 02:41 PM
Quote Dameo:

You would expect that newer synths would be an improvement , but they seem to be going backwards.



Yes and no.

The Phatty and Voyager are an improvement - true but more reliable analogue, stable tuning, MIDI, velocity, programmable and better specs than the original MiniMoog - possibly better made too. Likewise with the Evolvers and the new Prophet08. But Moog and Dave Smith cater for a niche market and can sell at a premium price for a market that knows it wants those particular instruments. Those instruments as well stay pretty much unchanged for a long period of time - an 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' kinda thing.

'ROMplers', however, are for a constantly evolving mass market where the manufacturers need to sell large amounts of units to recoup development costs and vying for market share in a highly competitive market. As such, they tend to go for the 'bang for the buck', stuffing the instruments with gobloads of features and cramming them with more and more sounds to attract a mass market. And in order to stuff a quart into a pint pot (and to hit a certain price point), something has to give in the compromises required.

So, for example, the Korg M1 came out with (what?) 256 sounds in 2MB of ROM. To get that many sounds in ROM, the samples have to be short and tightly looped - compromised in other words - with deficiencies made up for with layering and effects. And it worked.

Then memory became cheaper so you could buy 8MB for the same cost as the old 2MB of ROM. As a sound designer, my immediate reaction would be to have better, more detailed samples to service those 256 sounds. But no - the bean counters and marketing step in and say "Four times as much memory? Let's have four times as many sounds"! But the sound designers naintain "But I can give you BETTER sounds... the same 256 but higher quality" to which the marketing bods retort "But Roland's new XYZ has 800 sounds - we can beat them". So now you have 1,000 compromised sounds.

In the meantime, Roland see this competing product come out and the marketing bods there say "We need more sounds". So Roland develop a data compression system to effectively get twice as many sounds into ROM. Their next product comes out with 2,000 compromised and data compressed sounds. And so on. But they sound great in the store with oodles of effects piled on and layered to hell and back and combined with really impressive onboard demos, for a lot of people, that's fine ... so they buy one and will, in general, be perfectly happy with it.

Unfortunately, compromises are the order of the day to get products out with certain features at certain price points. Moog and Smith don't have to apply such compromises - their monophonic synths sell for the same price as Korg, Roland and Yamaha's 128-voice workstations with sequencers, arpeggiators, multi-FX, etc..

So Korg up the ante with the Oasys where compromise is less evident thereby giving those who want a quality sounding product something to achieve that. And almost everyone goes "£6,000?! F'ck off - I'm not paying that! They're having a giraffe!!!"

Can't have it both ways!

But to call all modern synths 'rubbish' is a bit silly IMO. Anything is only as good as the person using using it and I have heard crap made on a Moog modular and some truly great stuff made on a modern workstation.

Personally, I favour the old stuff for its sound and also its hands-on user interface but I also appreciate the new stuff for the facilities it offers even if means that sound quality and the user interface are compromised.

To compare modern synths with, say, cars, cars are a thousand times better than they ever used to be in almost every respect - features, reliability, cost-effectiveness, safety, etc.. But they are arguably a bit bland, 'me-too' and soul-less compared with, say, a Jag MkII and maybe not as much fun to drive. Doesn't make them 'rubbish' however - far from it.

--------------------
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ZukanModerator
Zukan


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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #543777 - 09/11/07 03:17 PM
Quote hollowsun:


Then memory became cheaper so you could buy 8MB for the same cost as the old 2MB of ROM. As a sound designer, my immediate reaction would be to have better, more detailed samples to service those 256 sounds. But no - the bean counters and marketing step in and say "Four times as much memory? Let's have four times as many sounds"! But the sound designers naintain "But I can give you BETTER sounds... the same 256 but higher quality" to which the marketing bods retort "But Roland's new XYZ has 800 sounds - we can beat them". So now you have 1,000 compromised sounds.





This brings back so many memories my friend.

--------------------
Samplecraze
Stretch That Note


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hollowsun



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Zukan]
      #543805 - 09/11/07 04:19 PM
Quote Zukan:

This brings back so many memories my friend.



Oh yes!!!



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hollowsun



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #543810 - 09/11/07 04:26 PM
BTW...

Not having a pop at Korg, Roland, Yamaha, whoever, here - just using those names at random to make the point. The same scenario exists in almost every company vying for market share.

Personally, I find it quite astonishing that these guys can cram so much into so little space and have it STILL sound pretty good.

And I should point out as well that many times, WE are to blame for wanting/expecting ever more sounds and ever more features for less and less £££ and it could be argued that manufacturers are simply responding to market demands.

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thenaturallevel



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #543831 - 09/11/07 05:07 PM
Quote hollowsun:

BTW...

Not having a pop at Korg, Roland, Yamaha, whoever, here - just using those names at random to make the point. The same scenario exists in almost every company vying for market share.

Personally, I find it quite astonishing that these guys can cram so much into so little space and have it STILL sound pretty good.

And I should point out as well that many times, WE are to blame for wanting/expecting ever more sounds and ever more features for less and less £££ and it could be argued that manufacturers are simply responding to market demands.




Absolutely. As you said before the bean counters see BlahBlah company has produced their latest synth with 5000 sounds, step sequencer, etc etc and demand at least equal if not more from their product - for little money.


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table for two
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #543868 - 09/11/07 07:22 PM
I'd love to be able to do some work on an Arp2600, Elka Synthex, Yamha CS80.

But my compositional & playing ability would not do them justice.

So I am sticking to my humble pc & sample banks ... many thanx to Hollowsun for Zero G Nostalgia


Here's someone





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Arpangel
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: table for two]
      #543872 - 09/11/07 07:33 PM
I once had a couple of people here form a record company, they listened to my music and really liked it, and were very enthusiastic. They then asked if I used any analogue equipment in my music (for what reason I don't know) I said of course, I was a big analogue fan, "we thought so" they said. Those particular tracks that I played were all done on my MK1 DX7, and a Yamaha TX802........I just say what people want to hear these days.

Take care,

Tony.


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silver finish
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: table for two]
      #543921 - 09/11/07 10:19 PM
wow - what a performance.
The sound improves on here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fND-Q8w_AcE
[quote/]

Here's someone








Edited by silver finish (09/11/07 10:24 PM)

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jacqueslacouth



Joined: 15/07/05
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Loc: Sydney Australia
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #543971 - 10/11/07 07:05 AM
OK, I'm expecting a solid flogging for my views here, but what the hey? My boss has been giving it to me all week too.

firstly, I have to be honest , that piece of Vangelis and mates bit, simply bored the tits off me. I'm assuming I'm just not arty enough to get it.

The triton seems to cop a fair bagging but God knows how many bands over the years I've seen using it to some decent effect.

The SH101, jeez, it was my first synth, I couldn't believe the money I got for it, 20 years later. When I listen to my old tapes it clearly shows that the instrument does not make the man. I was well able to make it sound like starving mozzies floating around a turd.

does it really matter if modern synths need to use a lot of effects to get the sound you want. After all, as long as you get the sound in the end. And lets face it, a crap song will sound no better on a bank of vintage collectables worth a motza.

And is anyone really trying to say that the minimonsta sounds thin?????? C'mon, it can sound fat as all get phuked.

I aplogise if I sound too amateurish or uneducated in the intricacies of all this but maybe I represent the punters we hope to flog our music too. I'm sure they just like a good tune....

Peace Folks

Jock The Simp


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Arpangel
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: jacqueslacouth]
      #543980 - 10/11/07 08:42 AM
Quote jacqueslacouth:



does it really matter if modern synths need to use a lot of effects to get the sound you want. After all, as long as you get the sound in the end. And lets face it, a crap song will sound no better on a bank of vintage collectables worth a motza.






Thank you,

Tony.


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table for two
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: jacqueslacouth]
      #544014 - 10/11/07 11:37 AM
Quote jacqueslacouth:


lets face it, a crap song will sound no better on a bank of vintage collectables worth a motza.....

Peace Folks






Aye ....

Wot oi sed

Quote table for two:

I'd love to be able to do some work on an Arp2600, Elka Synthex, Yamha CS80.

But my compositional & playing ability would not do them justice.







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Dameo



Joined: 08/10/05
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544021 - 10/11/07 12:17 PM
` And lets face it, a crap song will sound no better on a bank of vintage collectables worth a motza. `

LoL - now i know why, its my songs that are sh*te not the synths!

--------------------
A gentleman is a man who can play "jump" on keyboards, but chooses not to


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themajorblip
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: jacqueslacouth]
      #544025 - 10/11/07 12:30 PM
Quote jacqueslacouth:



does it really matter if modern synths need to use a lot of effects to get the sound you want. After all, as long as you get the sound in the end. And lets face it, a crap song will sound no better on a bank of vintage collectables worth a motza.





True-but thats not the point thats being argued here. The point that is being argued here is that the same song was played with old vs new instruments-would it be nicer/sound better?

Granted - good music IS the most important aspect at the end of the day. And better instruments dont neccessarily make better music-but all things being equal-better instruments WILL make better music...


My 2 cents:

Modern synths are rubbish? Quite extreme. However I would only consider Dave Smith/Moog/other boutique analogues new these days. I tried VA and dont like it. The build quality of many new synths these days often is very plasticy and dont feel like a real instrument should.

I wonder if there is a fair amount of 'rose tinted' nostalgia looking back to the older analogues....however if I think of any old analogue synth-I cant think of any that are really crappy. even the cheaper Rolands IE JX3P were nicely built and sounded like they had character. You can pick one of those up for £100 these days!

I guess when synths first started being made the impetus was to make them good.

Now the impetus is to make them sell.

Turnkey is like Tescos-its about bargains-not quality.

The problem is I guess only a niche amount of consumers are knowledgeable enough to tell and demand the better quality-so manufacturers can get away with it. And you get the niche manufacturers catering for the disillusioned higher end.

Either way-Ill keep on supporting the niche manufacturers who do things well and hope their business grows. Perhaps that will turn things round.


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Arpangel
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: themajorblip]
      #544124 - 10/11/07 06:59 PM
Analogue is still beyond most of us price-wise, and that's the bottom line. VA's do a great job for the money. I'm now firmly in computer land, with Reason etc, and the mighty Audiomulch. I guess that makes me even more of a tart, can I possibly stand the embarrassment ? Plus, I don't even own one analogue synth, I guess that makes my music, me, and my keyboards worthless, I may as well just crawl into my bed and not come out, ever.

Take care,

Tony.


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themajorblip
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Arpangel]
      #544138 - 10/11/07 07:57 PM
Quote arpangel:

Analogue is still beyond most of us price-wise, and that's the bottom line. VA's do a great job for the money. I'm now firmly in computer land, with Reason etc, and the mighty Audiomulch. I guess that makes me even more of a tart, can I possibly stand the embarrassment ? Plus, I don't even own one analogue synth, I guess that makes my music, me, and my keyboards worthless, I may as well just crawl into my bed and not come out, ever.

Take care,

Tony.




Funny people always think when you mention analogue you are refering to Minimoogs and Arps. There are a whole lot of affordable analogue synths out there-your Waldorf Pulse/Bass Stations/Roland Sh. True-when you want polyphony-it does get a bit more pricey...but hell-you can get a second hand Andromeda for the same price as a second hand Virus TI.

That said-if you want a more electronic sound-I wholeheatedly support Reason and some other softsynths. The ones that push the envelope are great (Reaktor etc). There would be not much point making electro house with a Minimoog if you wanted it to sound current-although it would still prob sound cool! Softies/VA arent right for my music-but are great for some styles.


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jacqueslacouth



Joined: 15/07/05
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544142 - 10/11/07 08:12 PM
I also think that much of this is about fashion. Thinking back to the early 80's when anything shiny new, and digital was a major selling point due to its superiority over old unreliable analogue stuff. Even albums were coming out with big stickers on the sleeve proclaiming digitally mastered.

Its all a bit like Reubens compared to Dolly ideals of femininity.

And before anyone gwets their knickers in a knot, I'm not saying that the boutique manufacturers don't build with love and care unlike the nasty big manufacturers (boo hiss). It's just as Tony says, the price is beyond most of us and the VAs for that matter are still beyond me in cost. But thanks to software I am still happily producing music nd in fact, it sounds far superior to anything I did when I had my SH101, Juno 106 and what was that little Radio Shack jobby made by moog?

I guess though, if enough people do support the boutique companies, they will grow and eventually outsourse their PCB manufacture and componentry to China and before u know it, they will be big and evil too.


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jacqueslacouth



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544146 - 10/11/07 08:18 PM
Hey, I just realised, I do have an analogue synth. I completely forgot about the Roland GR 700 sitting gathering dust in the corner. I really never got to grips with that thing


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table for two
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544151 - 10/11/07 08:41 PM
I wish someone would dump a few of these modern rubbish my way

The last hw synth I bought was yammy an1x in 2002 ... cute little machine,
quite easy to get near some classic vangelis, jmj sounds.


Sold it a few months later.


I like the workstation concept, to get ideas, whole tracks down fast.
Sounds can then be replaced, parts played live.

This is how Courtney Pine does a fair amount of his stuff.




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Neo-Classical Guitar...
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: leafy productions]
      #544229 - 11/11/07 01:41 AM
Quote sqeaking tamborine:




Digital is death in many ways, although the early digital synths had flaws and character!

Perfection is death . . . perfect production is sterile and lifeless often and perfect code /synths and design is not where people should be looking to go . . . the beautys in the flaws in all things.






I really agree with what I have quoted of your post and pretty much all of your original post. This is exactly why I will hopefully never part with my beloved Kawai K1r, Yamaha SY55, Yamaha PLG100-DX, PLG150-AN and others. The Kawai is so gritty and noisy compared to modern synths, but it has NEVER failed to rescue my music when my feature rich, super clean modern synths have failed miserably to help my music come alive or blend properly. When I play my older gear people sit up and take notice, but when I use my modern stuff they only remark, "oh yeah....yep, that can do a lot".

I suppose the bottom line is not how good something is, but whether it sounds musical and has character. So long as the quality is reasonable enough, you can do much more with synths that inspire you and become the first thing you reach for above all else.


NCGM

--------------------
Footloose and fancy free...gizz a job!


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Snailzer
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544242 - 11/11/07 05:08 AM
Personally I prefer having most of the synths I use for music production as actual physical items positioned around the workspace in my room. Better than a load of manufacturers software boxes and cd's. The sound ITB and out out of the box can be substantial, but the fun for me is in having a real life instrument, surely than can be appreciated... imagine you were a singer/songwriter for guitar but only had Steinberg Virtual Guitarist to use in your compositions. No chance of that happening imo, so why should I have to compromise?

And yes, I feel that the major players in the commercial synthesiser market at the moment have been lackadaisical. Even the most cutting edge Roland V-synth GT is far from a prefect incarnation of fluid unbounded usability, which is what I look for in a modern synth.

My interest in old synths is a certain 'returning to the inception stage' fascination, back when it was more inventive. But inventive in a way that made it more musically accessible and playable. 64 track multi-sequencers with an arpeggiator for each voice, programmable via a combination of raw sysex / nrpn tables / triple held keys / quadrouple d-beams and a facial recognition pitch bender may seem good on paper, but try playing it in the dark.... drunk.

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ThunderBall



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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544254 - 11/11/07 09:30 AM
I think the Trouble with new synths is that they are trying to Mimic far too much the Traditional sounds,for instance a Violin or a Double bass,If you look at the Old analogs,yes they were able to replicate certain sounds of your typical traditional instruments it was merely an Impression of that sound rather than a true emulation but at the same time they were able to replicate unique unheard weird and wonderful sounds,and because they weren't stuffed full of 3000 Variations of the same String PCM data,they allowed you to create something your own.

Nowadays a Rompler contains on average well into 100mb+ of PCM data which on the onset 80% is pretty much never used by the User,add to that 50 Billion presets that lets face it are never gonna be used to full effect,nobody ever takes the time to program anything.or learn the fundementals of sound make up,simply because they no longer have to think for themselves,they easily buy a rompler with a Million sounds and never give it a thought,For me part of the thrill of a synth is in the knowing how to make it work for you rather than letting it do the work.Taking time to know its strengths and Limits learning how to make the most of its abilities and progamming options

More emphasis is placed on trying to get as close to a violin or a Acoustic bass,no matter how realistic the PCM data is and how much of the sample data contains all the impurities and nuances of the Strings being plucked,sucked or whatever, its still never gonna be the real deal.Swamping them with the glitter fx to make them sound Huge only really highlights how far removed it actually is from the replication.

For me a synthesizer should allow you to create something organic,something thats not essentially never been heard but your own doing,Thats why I love the analog stuff,you patch a sound in,and a few movements here and there its something totally alien,you've already drifted it away from the make up of its parameters you can replicate it time and again,and a simple tweak here or there and again its moved to something completely different.
One of my favourite more moderns synths is the Nord Lead,no fx a pretty easy to interpolate with Front panel and a raw and sometimes grungy sound,easy to tweak to your own liking,even the Presets,sadly they seem to have slightly Killed that concept now with the Newer Wave model,kind of trying to keep up with the demands of the typical Synthesizer generation of today.


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Arpangel
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Joined: 12/07/03
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: ThunderBall]
      #544278 - 11/11/07 11:55 AM
Quote ThunderBall:

I think the Trouble with new synths is that they are trying to Mimic far too much the Traditional sounds,for instance a Violin or a Double bass,If you look at the Old analogs,yes they were able to replicate certain sounds of your typical traditional instruments it was merely an Impression of that sound rather than a true emulation but at the same time they were able to replicate unique unheard weird and wonderful sounds,and because they weren't stuffed full of 3000 Variations of the same String PCM data,they allowed you to create something your own.



Nowadays a Rompler contains on average well into 100mb+ of PCM data which on the onset 80% is pretty much never used by the User,add to that 50 Billion presets that lets face it are never gonna be used to full effect,nobody ever takes the time to program anything.or learn the fundementals of sound make up,simply because they no longer have to think for themselves,they easily buy a rompler with a Million sounds and never give it a thought,For me part of the thrill of a synth is in the knowing how to make it work for you rather than letting it do the work.Taking time to know its strengths and Limits learning how to make the most of its abilities and progamming options

More emphasis is placed on trying to get as close to a violin or a Acoustic bass,no matter how realistic the PCM data is and how much of the sample data contains all the impurities and nuances of the Strings being plucked,sucked or whatever, its still never gonna be the real deal.Swamping them with the glitter fx to make them sound Huge only really highlights how far removed it actually is from the replication.

For me a synthesizer should allow you to create something organic,something thats not essentially never been heard but your own doing,Thats why I love the analog stuff,you patch a sound in,and a few movements here and there its something totally alien,you've already drifted it away from the make up of its parameters you can replicate it time and again,and a simple tweak here or there and again its moved to something completely different.
One of my favourite more moderns synths is the Nord Lead,no fx a pretty easy to interpolate with Front panel and a raw and sometimes grungy sound,easy to tweak to your own liking,even the Presets,sadly they seem to have slightly Killed that concept now with the Newer Wave model,kind of trying to keep up with the demands of the typical Synthesizer generation of today.




I have a couple of requests for VA manufacturers, don't fill it up with any pre-set's at all, leave it blank, but if you must include some, please don't fall into that trap of imitating something, it's totally pointless, who really needs another Moog Bass imitation or DX EP.

Take care,

Tony.


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ThunderBall



Joined: 15/11/06
Posts: 146
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544293 - 11/11/07 01:07 PM
Again thats another reason why I like the Nords,Ok they have there Moog type Bass or lead emulations,that shows its abilities and is always something by which we judge the sound or familiarise ourselves with a newer instrument,for a VA thats perfectly feasible,because its pretty much the same makeup and interface but on a Rompler its not really convincing.We're dealing in sampled data rather than Waveforms.

Part of the problem with most of the newer generation,is that we are visually stimulated into thinking they sound like the real deal,because the LCD says something which gives us a representation of the sort of sound were dealing with,The LCD Name say something "To be or not TB",so we are already thinking that it must be an emulation of the acid bass machine before we've even heard it,whereas the Nord (well MK1/2)only have the LED program number so sometimes a preset may sound like something youve heard before be it a Moog bass,but your not partly duped into thinking it must be a typical emulation.

On the Preset front,I do think far too many of them are crammed full of past references,rather than totally unique programs I would welcome a totally blank synth or at least the Ability to be able to totally initialize the whole program memory globally,There are few synths which allow you to completely overwite all the program locations,However I don't really think a Synth with no presets would really sell too well,or at the least be only bought by your total enthusiast,I would buy such a synth,but I would need to have at least a few sound references on the demo purpose to see what its capable of.When you look back to the days when things like the EMS gear or ARP2600 or even Minimoog had no memories,they weren't swamped by alternatives that had banks and banks of sounds,so they were bought to be experimented with and there was no alternative you had to program them.

Too many people focus on having banks upon banks of sounds,most of which They'll never use,when you look back at the limited memory locations synths had an in some cases,even some of the digital synths of the Mid 80s they actually forced you to be more creative


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Arpangel
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: ThunderBall]
      #544324 - 11/11/07 02:57 PM
This is interesting, I can remember when I got my Multi-Moog, I programmed it in a certain way that was "me" we all do. I can remember taking it to a guys house, and he just started to fiddle around with it, he was getting some really amazing sounds, his approach was completely different to mine, and it was the absence of pre-sets, and being presented with a blank canvas that helps you to do that type of programming. I think it's a positive thing, and something that we should maybe go back to now. And it also promotes originality as well, as you have to make a new sound every time you fire up your machine. Your knowledge of programing analogue subtractive synthesis has to be there, even a little bit, but you have to learn any instrument, the synthesiser is no different in that respect, and we mustn't rely on presets to give us a sound in the first place, it's a bit lazy really.

Take care,

Tony.


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5582
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Arpangel]
      #544435 - 11/11/07 09:18 PM
Quote arpangel:

I have a couple of requests for VA manufacturers, don't fill it up with any pre-set's at all, leave it blank



That ain't ever gonna happen with the trend to always have more than you've offered before and/or more than your competitors.

Quote arpangel:

who really needs another Moog Bass imitation or DX EP.



People who want/need those sounds but don't know how to make them.

Part of the problem with modern synths (esp. ROMplers) is that they have to sell to people who don't have the first clue how to program. It's easy to dismiss this market when you know how to program but Korg, Roland, Yamaha and others sell a LOT (maybe even the bulk) of their products to musos in cover bands doing the Friday/Saturday night hotel/club/pub gig, whatever, and/or the 'one-man-band' with sequenced backing tracks. Whatever. Great players who can play anything you throw at them but who wouldn't know an oscillator from a poke in the eye. They want/need to sound like Michael Jackson one minute and Elton John the next, Billy Joel the next (whatever, whoever). There's also the 'dabbler' who's just fooling around with toons at home for fun. These people just need gobloads of sounds and in those circumstances, whilst the 'purists' might throw scorn on the sounds, they suit the job perfectly. And they suit many real pro applications as well hence the number of Tritons, Fantoms and Motifs you see on-stage at gigs and in studios.

If you really want to go the creative and experimental route with modern hardware synths, there are real boutique players such as Synthesizers.com if you want a 'real' hardware synth with no presets. You can specify your own configuration exactly as you want it and they even have entry level systems that arten't that expensive to start you off (which you can expand over time).

It just seems strange to moan about modern synths sounding "rubbish" just because they don't suit one's particular standards/requirements - find one that does... there are plenty about.

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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leslawrenson



Joined: 14/03/06
Posts: 2509
Loc: Outside Mothercare
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Arpangel]
      #544486 - 12/11/07 12:29 AM
Quote arpangel:



I can remember when I got my Multi-Moog... I can remember taking it to a guys house, and he just started to fiddle around with it, he was getting some really amazing sounds, his approach was completely different to mine, and it was the absence of pre-sets, and being presented with a blank canvas that helps you to do that type of programming. I think it's a positive thing, and something that we should maybe go back to now. And it also promotes originality as well, as you have to make a new sound every time you fire up your machine.







My programming on my Andromeda A6 took a leap up the quality ladder when I purchased a ROM card. When the A6 formats the card it creates several banks of 127 blank spaces, all initialised. It means that when you dial up one of these spaces (or memory slots) you have to start programming the synth in order to create something. I love it because it forces me to epxeriment. And slowly but surely I have been filling up the slots with original patches. They may not be good, but the pleasure I get in using them is immense, since I feel that I have added something extra to the music.

It's the same reason I love my SH-101. There are no memory slots so every patch has to be programmed.


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The Elf
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Neo-Classical Guitar Man]
      #544507 - 12/11/07 08:38 AM
Quote Neo-Classical Guitar Man:

This is exactly why I will hopefully never part with my beloved Kawai K1r...



(Wipes a moist eye...)
Aaah, my K1r. It had to go (I've still got way too much gear and not enough space!), but I do miss that little fella (sniff). A K1r string over any lush pad sound and somehow it all seemed to come into focus. That synth taught me the beauty of adding just a little nastiness to anything nice.

I sampled the K1r flute and strings and they still get added from time to time. If it had a built-in power supply instead of yet another annoying PSU it would probably still be in my rack!

You hold into it, man. There aren't many that truly ever understood the charm of that little synth - not even the guys that made it I suspect.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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jrbcm



Joined: 13/05/05
Posts: 954
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #544527 - 12/11/07 09:58 AM
I seem to remember the K1 having some fairly tasty Fairlight type vocal sounds - the holy grail back in the day.

Well in the name of seeing if analog synths really are better than I remember them, I've just won an auction on a Moog Source for 360 squid, which I reckon is a pretty good price. Looking forward to a little A-B ing, and if it's that much better than my soft-synths I'll probably get a JP6 or Prophet 5 or something next.

The problem I find with soft synths is finding sounds that are strong enough to carry a tune. I'm hoping a little real analog will mean fewer sounds/tracks and more simple, elegant arrangements. I guess it's a bit like a sampled violin vs a real one - when you have recorded live instruments you just need fewer tracks to get a full sound...


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table for two
active member


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Posts: 5902
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: leslawrenson]
      #544612 - 12/11/07 01:23 PM
Quote leslawrenson:



My programming on my Andromeda A6 took a leap up the quality ladder when I purchased a ROM card. When the A6 formats the card it creates several banks of 127 blank spaces, all initialised. It means that when you dial up one of these spaces (or memory slots) you have to start programming the synth in order to create something. I love it because it forces me to epxeriment. And slowly but surely I have been filling up the slots with original patches.






Quote arpangel:

I can remember when I got my Multi-Moog, I programmed it in a certain way that was "me" we all do. I can remember taking it to a guys house, and he just started to fiddle around with it, he was getting some really amazing sounds, his approach was completely different to mine,

Take care,

Tony.





One of the first things I did on the Yammy AN1X ... which I would buy again ... was overwrite all the factory presents
with

1. Patches similar to stuff of my synth heroes
2. Patches that fitted my music and said something about my musical personality.


When I sold it on,
it was interesting that the guy who bought, was creating his own patches,
different from mine and refelcting his musical personality



But I DO like presets as I can lay down an idea really quickly,
then later change the sound if necesary.


Also if someone's doing semi acoustic, workstations are ideal as a sound source.


I think software presets like Arturia Anlogue Factory, Zero G Nostalgia sampe bank of classic synths from 3 decades
are well worth the small £ outlay and kind of provide a neat middle ground.







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silver finish
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Joined: 06/05/03
Posts: 8
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #549370 - 23/11/07 11:10 PM
have to say I've never found that full satisfaction with software, (or VAs).

Edited by silver finish (23/11/07 11:10 PM)


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Peter Conz Connelly
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Tomás Mulcahy]
      #549371 - 23/11/07 11:14 PM
Quote Tomás Mulcahy:

There are plenty of analogue synths that are just not very good- Korg POly 800, Polymoog, Akai AX60, Teisco 100F, Jen SX1000 etc etc.






The Teisco 110f is one of the most underated synths... EVER, which are extremely rare to come by these days. They're amazingly PHAT and I know an analogue god who has 3 Teisco variants (amongst many other classics) and swears by them. I can't vouch for any of the others mentioned above, but the Teisco has one hell of a punch.

Cheers,
Peter

--------------------
Composer, Songwriter, Producer, Sound Designer
www.peterconnelly.com


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Arpangel
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Posts: 5527
Loc: London
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Tomás Mulcahy]
      #549387 - 23/11/07 11:58 PM
They said far worse things about the Moog when it first spoke to the world.

Tony.


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jellyjim
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Posts: 2998
Loc: uk
Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: SecretSam]
      #549396 - 24/11/07 12:36 AM
Quote SecretSam:

SH1000




The SH1000 has always been rubbish and has little in common with the remainder of the SH series.

--------------------
Original artwork and unique devices inspired by vintage technology http://www.thisisobsolete.com


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Arpangel
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: jellyjim]
      #549397 - 24/11/07 12:40 AM
Jelly, it's late at night, and I'm sure we could both make great music if the SH1000 was the only keyboard at our disposal.

Take care,

Tony.


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SecretSam
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Joined: 29/10/02
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Re: Modern synths are rubbish? new [Re: Dameo]
      #549434 - 24/11/07 09:20 AM
Just a tiny bit OT:

Have any of you tried the Creamware ABS series ?

Do they capture the mojo of the originals ?

(I ran into a bloke who has an original ARP and says the creamware sounds pretty much the same but is far more usable. But he imports them and sells them, so I took that with a bag of sodium chloride.)

--------------------
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.


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