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Why is analogue bass SO fat??

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Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:05 pm

I am in the pre production phase right now for a single I will be releasing in the synthwave (specifically, darkwave) genre and though most synthwave guys use a Poly 6 or similar plugin for the bass, I thought, hey, I have these monosynths here, I should try to use those!

As these songs are also being played live, my main live synth engine is the JV-1080 in Performance mode. I am stacking sounds for most of the voices including the bass and it sounds punchy and is certainly not lacking in low frequencies. However, basic bass patch that I made using my Mother-32/Studio Electronics/Doepfer Eurorack SMOKES it.

When I compare them on an analyzer there isn’t a significant difference below 100Hz but the analogue synth sounds much more visceral. I am guessing that it has to do with harmonic content?
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby BJG145 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:12 pm

That, and the sight of those patch leads...
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:23 pm

BJG145 wrote:That, and the sight of those patch leads...
Ha, yes, that must be it!
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Dave B » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:38 pm

It may not be properly scientific, but my belief it is that the oscillators in a real analogue synth throw out more frequencies than a digital synth. This is especially so with stuff like the JV as it has 32k bandwidth samples so they will have very heavily filtered the raw waves. I suspect that subtly distortions and other wobbles that are inherent in analogue circuits help.

One of the more interesting examples of 'huge old synth' is Chevytraveller's Oberheim Two Voice (an old original). So far, it's sounded bigger and better than any other equivalent and one of the suspected reasons is that the components in the circuits are very slowly failing due to age - but in a good way.

But hey - if we actually find out then where's the mystery and romance ?? ;)
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby MarkOne » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:02 am

I saw the late, great Keith Emerson at the now long demolished Astoria. And when he played the outro of Lucky Man on his custom Moog modular, it was like a seismic event. Truly astonishing.
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:13 pm

Using the Eurorack patch as a reference I dove back into the JV-1080 and was able to come with something that, while not a duplicate, at least captured the spirit of the analogue bass. There is a patch called 101 Bass and by stacking two them and adding some modulation to one of them I was able to get a sound more in keeping with an actual analogue bass patch. It transformed the bass from just kinda being there to having a weight and presence of its own.
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Smellthevalve » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:40 pm

The JV1080 has an ‘analogue feel’ setting which i think is supposed to simulate random pitch drift?
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:54 pm

Smellthevalve wrote:The JV1080 has an ‘analogue feel’ setting which i think is supposed to simulate random pitch drift?
Yup. Sounds like a job for Patch Base! :D

The thing with the Mother-32 is that its drift isn’t really random, its dependent on how far the note you are playing is from your tuning reference. The SE Oscillation is rock solid and doesn’t exhibit any noticeable drift. However, it has a fine tune knob so it’s easier to detune the SE slightly than the Mother in terms of getting them in tune. When you layer up multiple takes it has a wondrous sound! :)

I find it easier to simulate using modulation over Analog Feel but will try it and see how it stacks up (pun intended).
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby feline1 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:05 pm

I dunno if anything's quite a deep as the MOOG BASS like when in 'Performance', Anthony Valentine stomach freezes as he realises James Fox is gonna fcking murder him and it goes all MOOOG. :angel:
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Enjoy Malc » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:02 pm

Dave B wrote:It may not be properly scientific, but my belief it is that the oscillators in a real analogue synth throw out more frequencies than a digital synth.

Agree with this. I dont have any scientific evidence at all, but simulating the pulse sound of a JP8 on the PC3, the same harmonics are present but just much quieter on the pc3. The filter wasn't the issue (or rather the cutoff wasnt the issue, though granted the lowpass filter design of the pc3 could be). It wasn't a super fair test but I've since noticed this with other examples as well. I really need to get an analog synth at home. And get out more. :)
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby desmond » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:44 pm

The differences are, I think, less scientific, and more emotional.

I'm pretty sure that, even if the sound produced was 100% identical, I'd *feel much better* about it playing a real JP8/CS80/DX1/etc under my hands, than loading one up on my laptop...

There is more going on using a real synth than just the sound produced - the whole experience is very different, which leads you to make different judgements...
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Re: Why is analogue bass SO fat??

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:42 pm

Totally. It’s the Copenhagen Interpretation.
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