You are here

How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby BillB » Fri May 04, 2018 6:56 pm

Well, I can give you a clue, in fact a spolier... mine is the one that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how to get the master volume to an acceptable level. Thought I had it touching 0db on the meters of the stereo mix, but it's about half the volume of anybody else's :headbang:

What I will say is that it was great to be pushed to use gear that spends too much time being thought about and not enough time being actually used. The voluntary deadline was just enough to make it happen, without any pressure spoiling the fun of doing it. And comparing against "the pro's" - there are a lot of lessons to be learned :beamup:

Good fun, let's do it again! ...In a little while.
BillB
Regular
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:00 am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby arkieboy » Fri May 04, 2018 7:30 pm

There was a time when I could have named all the synths used in a challenge like this, sadly I'm completely flummoxed now - been playing guitar too long ...

Lots of interesting and diverse stuff here.

I love the bass sound on East German Boogie - there's something about the drum claps that reminds me of 'Arpegiator' from 'Concerts in China' ... no idea who or what though. It ought to be a moog with a bass like that. Mother 32?

If I had to hazard a guess then I would say that 'Ghost Train Remix' was on something Waldorf-ish because of the HF content. But there's something that says 'Prophet' to me too. I guess that's shown up just how out of touch I am.

And I think DaveB's track is Sweet Chance, but I have no idea what its recorded on. I thought I might have a slight advantage in that I have been in his studio, but he turns over so much gear that its no advantage worth mentioning!!
User avatar
arkieboy
Regular
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordish
arK music

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Fri May 04, 2018 8:52 pm

Dave B wrote:I can bin it if you want Chris, but I'd say leave it there. Like you say, it gives a flavour of the synth. And I thought it was another synth...

:)

Yo,

I PM'd u mate. U may or may not get it as it seems to a) not send or b) stay in the outbox. I don't get it. Anyway, I just said leave it no probs altho I deliberately picked a crap sound so it don't really show the synth off very well :)

On reflection it was the Matrixbrute not the Sub37.

CS
ReadySaltedChris
Regular
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:59 am

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 04, 2018 10:02 pm

Ok, I reckon EastGermanBoogie is Dave B and Sweet Chance is Folderol. I have no idea about any others.
But we can also assume that arkieboy didn't write EastGermanBoogie, GhostTrain Remix or Sweet Chance.
Because he's a gent and would never praise his own submission in such a way, we can also assume that Folderol didn't write New Black Moon or X air on a C synth.
Similarly Jumpeyspider probably didn't write EastGermanBoogie. New Black Moon or X air on a C synth.

It's like one of those logic puzzles...

In conclusion, Mrs Peacock, in the library, with the candlestick! :)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5115
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Dave B » Fri May 04, 2018 11:41 pm

arkieboy wrote:... DaveB's .... I thought I might have a slight advantage in that I have been in his studio, but he turns over so much gear that its no advantage worth mentioning!!

In fairness, quite a lot of it stays and it's rare that things come and go quickly. At least quickly on my timescales .. ;)

Someone has got the right person to the right track. Nobody has got a synth right yet. In Chris's case, initially even he got the synth wrong for his own track! :D

I'll post the results after the weekend. I think that there may be a couple of surprises. I guess it shows the breadth of sound from modern kit - only 1 'vintage' synth in the whole lot. And I think I'm right in saying that there is no moog - of any kind - in here. Mini or otherwise.
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4687
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Folderol » Fri May 04, 2018 11:59 pm

I've given up trying to guess, but am thoroughly enjoying everyone else's attempts :bouncy:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7072
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: Rochester, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Logarhythm » Sat May 05, 2018 2:22 pm

Haven't got a clue who made which track or using what synth, but really enjoyed listening to the various entries and some very impressive stuff :clap:
Sincerely hope work/life quietens down a bit so I can have a proper go at the next one, although a little unnerved by the high standard of peoples' efforts this time :blush:
Logarhythm
Frequent Poster
Posts: 533
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:00 am
Location: On an intergalactic voyage to collect fresh electrons

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Richie Royale » Sat May 05, 2018 3:06 pm

I'll leave a clue that mine is the unnamed modern analogue monosynth. And that synth is a Studio Electronics .. .... :tongue:
User avatar
Richie Royale
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4564
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, England.
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Folderol » Sat May 05, 2018 5:16 pm

Well I don't know about leaving clues. I suppose I could say I used a synth I've mentioned a few times before :)
However, which track it is? No hints there :lol:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7072
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: Rochester, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Logarhythm » Sat May 05, 2018 6:08 pm

Folderol wrote:Well I don't know about leaving clues. I suppose I could say I used a synth I've mentioned a few times before :)
That's really helpful Mr F - would never have guessed :lol:
Logarhythm
Frequent Poster
Posts: 533
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:00 am
Location: On an intergalactic voyage to collect fresh electrons

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby MarkyC » Sat May 05, 2018 8:19 pm

Sorry not great at naming the synths but can I just say how much I enjoyed giving this a go.

I learnt more in a month than I have done in ages! And not just synths, listening to others and then thinking why does my mix/master sound so bad. I had never even heard of an LUFS before let alone what the impact was (In fact it was a response the Hugh gave to another query that really helped).

With some of the tracks up I'm still thinking how did he make that sound so big and clear. Obviously I still have a lot to learn and this was a great way of doing it.

Many thanks :thumbup:
User avatar
MarkyC
Regular
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:00 am
Location: London

'One Synth' challenge - RESULTS

Postby Dave B » Mon May 07, 2018 9:24 am

OK gang, it's time for the results. Hopefully this was fun for people both taking part and just having a listen. Now you can listen again but know what to listen out for!

(drum roll ....... ta-dish!)

So :

* Are Friends Electric was by Jumpeyspyder and was performed on a Crumar DS2. I'll let JS explain the hell involved in creating that!
* Cars is by ArkieBoy. There were some sampled drums from Addictive Drums, a couple of SDS5 samples, but all of the synth parts were created using VRM modelling on the Roland VG99 guitar processor!
* EastGermanBoogie was by me! This used Linndrum samples from Addictive Drums2, the inbuilt Logic vocoder and an Analogue Solutions Leipzig
* Ghost Train Remix was by Folderol using Yoshimi for everything!
* New Black Moon was by Marky C. He used a Roland TR8 for drums and Access Virus for the synths.
* One Synth Project Master was by Richie Royale. The entire thing was done on an SE Boomstar 3003 - the TB303 filter one.
* Sweet Chance was by BillB and used a Nord Rack 3
* Temple of Gatedom was by Ready Salted Chris and was a MaxiBrute
* X-air on a C synth was by blinddrew and used Air Xpand!2 for everything

Wow. Bet there's some raised eyebrows for that lot. From my point of view, once you know you can start to listen out for the tell-tale signs, but it's still tough. Top marks all round for the programming and arranging.

As for my own offering, I can only go on the record as offering a truly heartfelt apology to the whole of Germany and hope they saw the funny side. Best thing I've seen recently is The Elf's reaction to the track - he laughed so hard I thought he was going to hurt himself.

:D
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4687
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Folderol » Mon May 07, 2018 2:30 pm

Quite a few surprises there, although i should have guessed yours would be the er... 'unusual' one :bouncy: I would never have guessed any of the others, ether the composers or the synths used.


My totally inexpert impressions:

Are Friends Electric -> I think it needs more movement for that length.

Cars -> Strongly reminds me of something much older but can't remember what it was (an age thing maybe). Liked it.

EastGermanBoogie -> Nuff sed :tongue: (actually the music itself is not bad at all).

Ghost Train Remix -> Moving swiftly on, but delighted no one seemed to cotton on.

New Black Moon-> I really enjoyed this one. We'll have to keep an eye on this guy! Should probably be played at 11, driving an open-frame kit car across a mountainside.

One Synth Project Master -> Some nice details in this. I'm guessing it's aimed at the Trance genre, so I found it a bit repetitive from a listening point of view.

Sweet Chance -> Quite a smoothie here - but I'm a sucker for pad sounds :)

Temple of Gatedom -> This sounds extremely 'modular' - so I would have got that quite wrong. Oh well.

X-air on a C synth -> Ah yes, the guy who says he's new to all of this casually knocks out a class performance. Will be keeping an eye on you too :lol:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7072
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: Rochester, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.

Re: 'One Synth' challenge - RESULTS

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Mon May 07, 2018 3:13 pm

Dave B wrote:* Are Friends Electric was by Jumpeyspyder and was performed on a Crumar DS2. I'll let JS explain the hell involved in creating that!
:D

Once upon a time.... there was an idiot :)

OK, time to explain/ (Make excuses ;) ), since I had so much help and support repairing the DS-2 from this forum, it seemed fitting to use it for this challenge.

Thinks: "this will be great,, but Oh dear, I'm not a keyboardist (I just love making sounds and programming.)

"not a problem - I 'll sequence it.."

OOpps forgot DS-2 only has a Gate in - NO CV :o

Ok, I'll make a start and use the gate, to trigger the drums parts individually to keep them tight (like people did, before drum machines), and later try to learn the keyboard parts...

Pleased with Drums - shame I can't make a decent Hi-Hat I'll just have to use a metallic sound and hope no one notices ;)

Try to play/ learn Key parts - Oh dear - talent/ memory deficit - No joy....

OK this is going to be tough .. but, I'm not giving up here,
I think, I could use the gate to sequence each individual note just like I did with the drums parts.
80 ish track later :-
Image

What I learned !!

a/ Do not use this method, unless you are slightly deranged - or want to be ! ;)
b/ Unfortunatly, I didn't pay enough attention to minimising signal path / ground loops.

Was thinking this is just a bit of fun - It doesn't have to be perfect - which meant I had to put a low end filter to get rid of a nasty hum during mixdown. - (lost a lot of the meat from the overall sound)

c/ having to put sounds together without knowing how the end result will be is very hard. eg My strings sound was sounding good in its lower registers but only discovered how piercing it was up high after I'd spent hours putting it all together.

d/ Dont try to fake portamento by bending notes with a pitch bend - that doesn't always return exactly to zero. :blush: must get that fixed

All in all, Its not perfect but apart from my rather poor/rushed mix, I'm rather proud of it !
User avatar
Jumpeyspyder
Frequent Poster
Posts: 989
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 'One Synth' challenge - RESULTS

Postby Folderol » Mon May 07, 2018 3:23 pm

Jumpeyspyder wrote:
Dave B wrote:* Are Friends Electric was by Jumpeyspyder and was performed on a Crumar DS2. I'll let JS explain the hell involved in creating that!
:D

Once upon a time.... there was an idiot :)

OK, time to explain/ (Make excuses ;) ), since I had so much help and support repairing the DS-2 from this forum, it seemed fitting to use it for this challenge.

Thinks: "this will be great,, but Oh dear, I'm not a keyboardist (I just love making sounds and programming.)

"not a problem - I 'll sequence it.."

OOpps forgot DS-2 only has a Gate in - NO CV :o

Ok, I'll make a start and use the gate, to trigger the drums parts individually to keep them tight (like people did, before drum machines), and later try to learn the keyboard parts...

Pleased with Drums - shame I can't make a decent Hi-Hat I'll just have to use a metallic sound and hope no one notices ;)

Try to play/ learn Key parts - Oh dear - talent/ memory deficit - No joy....

OK this is going to be tough .. but, I'm not giving up here,
I think, I could use the gate to sequence each individual note just like I did with the drums parts.
80 ish track later :-
Image

What I learned !!

a/ Do not use this method, unless you are slightly deranged - or want to be ! ;)
b/ Unfortunatly, I didn't pay enough attention to minimising signal path / ground loops.

Was thinking this is just a bit of fun - It doesn't have to be perfect - which meant I had to put a low end filter to get rid of a nasty hum during mixdown. - (lost a lot of the meat from the overall sound)

c/ having to put sounds together without knowing how the end result will be is very hard. eg My strings sound was sounding good in its lower registers but only discovered how piercing it was up high after I'd spent hours putting it all together.

d/ Dont try to fake portamento by bending notes with a pitch bend - that doesn't always return exactly to zero. :blush: must get that fixed

All in all, Its not perfect but apart from my rather poor/rushed mix, I'm rather proud of it !

Ah! Didn't realise just how much effort was involved. I doff my hat to you sir!
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7072
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: Rochester, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 07, 2018 3:44 pm

Whereas I cheated extraordinarily and knocked mine up in a weekend. :mrgreen:
By cheating I mean that all the sounds come from Xpand!2 but I used some questionable methods to create the triggers.
The drum track was created by taking some grooves from the Manda Audio power drumkit, muting that and sending the midi signal to an Xpand track.
The bass was interesting. I played it initially on my upright with a DI signal in, with the intent to apply jamorigin's midiguitar software - but it can't cope with a bass signal. So I then re-did it with a guitar, which worked fine. Again, muted the original and sent the midi to an Xpand track.
The organ tracks were just straight from one of the XPand presets, the chords were played into a keyboard (hence it's in C :D ) with the lead part via a guitar and jamorigin again.
Same trick for the guitar parts.
I also tried using jamorigin on some sung parts, wasn't much cop but sort of works for long oohs and aaahs (with a bit of autotune).
There's then a pad that ascends throughout where I automated the levels of the various parts throughtout the track.

Learnt a bit and had fun. Top work for suggesting and organising Dave B. :)
And thanks to everyone who took a bit (or a lot!) of time to play along.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5115
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Dave B » Mon May 07, 2018 4:30 pm

Me? I learned an important lesson : always check out the capabilities of a synth before trying to use it for everything!

The Leipzig is a monster in every sense of the word. I can't listen to it with headphones on as it feels like something is mugging your ears - the sheer power it puts out (even at low volumes) is incredible. For bass parts it is unequalled. You don't get the 'brassy' kind of sound you get on a moog but it's got the sheer weight of sound to really push it forward. Chevytraveller once described it as a 'Pro One killer' and he has a point. The Pro One really excels at bass, but this thing just dumps on even that from a great height. It has a cool 8 step sequencer which can be triggered a couple of ways - including when a midi note is played. So I faked sample and hold that way. That's something that I feel more synths should have.

Where it tripped me up was in a couple of areas. The filter is brilliant (as The Elf points out, high resonance doesn't clog the low end) but I really do feel that it needs a HPF to tame some of the earth shattering-ness of it. The oscillators don't have octave skipping and the 2nd oscillator detune is quite fine / narrow. And I just could not get a square wave out of it - a 50% pulse should be a square, but I just couldn't find the sweet spot. The 'sub' was perfect though, so it could be my abilities at fault. I had planned on trying to subtly throw in some Roland 'square + sub' type sounds to see if that might throw people, but I couldn't get close.

Like I said - a monster. :)

So what's on the track is pretty much just the raw synth - no eq or dynamics, although I flanged the 'chords' using the stock Logic flanger. And I think that I had my usual stuff on the mix bus (brickwall eq, compressor, exciter, limiter, meter) but I don't think it was working hard.

I did learn a couple of things :

1. I'd picked a great synth, but if I were to do a track properly, I'd pick at least one other one with a very different flavour and architecture to allow me to get sounds in my head down

2. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that if I was forced to just use one of my (analogue) synths, I think that it would be the Odyssey. That isn't perfect, and I'm still not completely sure how to tune it ( ;) ) but it's simple, yet flexible, and sounds great. And that's from a dedicated Oberheim man!

But in general, I'm glad I have access to a few different colours of synth. Next time (!!), I'll do a bit of experimenting before settling on one I think. I do have a few options.... ;)

Oh .. and for Desmond's benefit : No Kurzweils were harmed in the making of this track!
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4687
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Folderol » Mon May 07, 2018 10:04 pm

Hmm. Didn't realise everyone was going to reveal the dirty secrets :)

Oh well, here goes. Mine was rather more than a remix... more like a saga. First of all, I've always been a stickler for keeping records - just as well!

The original composition was in 1993 using a Yamaha SY22 and a rather obscure sequencer on the Acorn Archimedes. That basic 3 note rocking background was a nightmare to play for an entire track, so I took a step to the dark side and recorded just one verse, then quantised and duplicated it. The Bass was (I think) purely edited and also quantised. Most of the other tracks were played through and timing-wise pretty much the same now as they ever were.

Not long after that I lost the SY22 when some unpleasant people decided to do their Christmas shopping in my house while I was away :(
Some years later I got hold of a second-hand SY35, which had almost (but not quite) identical sounds, but this and a few other tracks sounded reasonable-ish.

Time passes...

In 2007 I'd moved across to Linux, and was starting to get to grips with the amazing new soft-synth, ZynAddSubFX. Ghost train was one of the first tracks I though about converting, and yes I do mean 'converting'. You see, the original files weren't quite standard MIDI, so when ported I ended up with bits of tracks dotted over several channels :(
Also, I'd only just started to develop voice patches, and didn't have any suitable for the main lead and harmony tracks, so it ended up a mixture of Zyn, and SY35.

Fast Forward to now, and it's totally Yoshimi. The whole mix is much clearer than it was - most 'instruments' have been changed, and there are a couple of completely new tracks including the percussion that fades in on the last verse. That 'drum kit' is courtesy of one of Yoshimi's little band of helpers and is mostly filtered noise in the SubSynth engine. Total number of tracks is now 15.

What I've learned:
Spread instruments across the audio spectrum more evenly.
Be careful about over-use of reverb.
Try different sounds even when you think it's OK.
Music is never 'finished'.

For anyone interested I put the 2007 version up on SC a few years ago. If you're really interested I still have a flac copy of the original!
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7072
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: Rochester, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Tue May 08, 2018 12:35 am

Finally got around to listening again

* Cars - ArkieBoy. - Roland VG99 guitar processor!
Wow! would have never guessed VG99 - Great sounds and a strong mix :)

* EastGermanBoogie DaveB!- Analogue Solutions Leipzig
Knew it was DaveB from the voice! perfect sounds for the genre - well put together and a lot of fun to listen to :)

* Ghost Train Remix- Folderol - Yoshimi
Guessed, Folderol would use Yoshimi - but couldn't recogise it - some beautiful sounds - and a great sense of a journey :)

* New Black Moon was by Marky C. - Access Virus
I like the way this builds with new parts appearing throughout the track, especially like the mix of tasty bass sounds and wild leads - wonderfully orchestrated chaos :)

* One Synth Project Master - Richie Royale. SE Boomstar 3003.
Not heard of this synth till today - sounds great, love the way this is put together rhythmically! :)

* Sweet Chance was by BillB and used a Nord Rack 3
nice lush strings and rounded bass - you could have told me it was a vintage Roland - nice work :)

* Temple of Gatedom - Ready Salted Chris - MaxiBrute
Wow thats a hell of a sound, proper growly in yer face :)

* X-air on a C synth - blinddrew -Air Xpand!2
The most rounded , but least synthy sounding track , it sounds like a group of guys playing - lots of feel in this track.
User avatar
Jumpeyspyder
Frequent Poster
Posts: 989
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Yorkshire

Re: How about a 'One Synth' challenge?

Postby Guest » Tue May 08, 2018 11:17 pm

Hmm, I might come back, Folderol needs to sort 'is sounds out, 'tis da sounds dat are making it naff, already a very competent and very decent work though, was gonna say dat about last one you uploaded lad, like all of these here, amateurish (ish) yet all within a potentially more acomplished 'professional' finish, def gonna consider working wiv the gruesome D-B and you sir need to grab a boss vo1 methinks, your vox nearly cuts it, but you need to find the right processing, your synths are awesome but still could be mixed wotever a bit better...

almost top marks all round, you all need to eliminate the amateurish aspect, the ability is more than there, are you dat stupid? all or perhaps most of da work here deserves better, no bod's gonna do it for ya...
Guest

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lowlines