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One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

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

Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Dr R » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:50 pm

Running this playlist on repeat while reviewing design documents for work.
Keep stopping work as another sonic gem catches my ear :D

Man, there are some clever folk out there :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Folderol » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:37 pm

Just had another listen. One that really sticks out is track 4. There are multiple changes there done in a way that (to me) suggest someone classically trained - even though it's all unashamedly synth. Looking at the list of names I can't think who that might be. Tentative possibilities:

Logarhythm
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Richie Royal
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Dave B » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:02 am

In the spirit of fair play, and wearing my 'mod' hat, it's worth pointing out that not all tracks are original compositions. One is actually a piece of Wagner arranged for synth. But the other 9 are all original AFAIK.

As for the gear, there's a good selection. I think at least one will raise eyebrows - I was quite surprised at least.

Oh, and track 3 needs to come with a warning - don't listen loud if you have a sub. Or over headphones. The low end on this track is insane!!

:)
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:25 am

Was going to say that the standard has seriously raised sine the first 'OSC'

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=61004&hilit=CHALLENGE&start=120#p554455

But I'd forgotten how good OSC 1 was, but OSC2 still has the edge.

All the tracks show skills - some in unexpected areas
Time to make a fool of my self (again) and try to comment....
I'm really enjoying them.

Track 1 - should be an end of film outro - hero walking into the sunset - great feel!
Track 2 - has a humourous slant - but very solid construction
Track 3 - revelation - had no idea that you could make Reagae with a synth - suspecting 40% + chance this is Dave B
Track 4 - Switched on bach vs The fairground - Amazing soundscape - something analog ???
Track 5 - Nicely complementing soundscape - to short - virtual analog ??
Track 6 - Heavy on the drums, yet light on the pads but great - could do this easily with (talent) on many different synths! (my daughter loved this one!)
Track 7 - Beautifully paced, driving home at night in the eighties - Loved this one!
Track 8 - Track builds in a great way - Crystaline clear but warm! Great - intrigued to know what was used!
track 9 - Intricate and very inteligent arrangement - love the 'tuned singing filter' - suspect this is my favourite - On the basis that the ending sounds very similar when I switch off my kenton attatched to my CS this may be a real analog ?
Track 10 - A bit quiet compared to the others, I particularly like the intro and outro, maybe sounds a bit 'Rolandy' ??
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Rich Hanson » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:40 am

Track 1 - chilled, maybe needs more variety in the melody. Like the final hold on the 7th on the melody line.
Track 2 - playful and silly but in a good way. Excellent 'amen' ending!
Track 3 - oh my god, the sub bass! Shook my stomach and I'm listening on ear buds :-D Nice summery weekend reggae feel to it. Me, a bottle of ale, a deckchair and this on the stereo would be a great way to spend four minutes and twelve seconds :bouncy:
Track 4 - dramatically orchestrated. Puts me a little in mind of Wendy Carlos. Nice filter work.
Track 5 - starts out a little reminscent of schools tv theme tunes in the 80s and then gets down into a great groove. I wanted this to go on for at least another minute or two.
Track 6 - great dramatic percussive opening (bit of 2012 Olympic opening ceremony influence perhaps?) Again, I wanted this to go on a little longer, in my mind it develops into an absolute monster!
Track 7 - this one wouldn't sound out of place on Propaganda's A Secret Wish album (which is one of my favourite albums so that is meant as high praise!) I can also imagine driving to this, windows down, wind in my hair. Nice!
Track 8 - this follows on nicely from track 7, the car windows are still down. Nice minimal melody, good bright sound. Loving the arpeggios that start around two minutes in.
Track 9 - hypnotic introduction, I can see this going down very well in 'alternative' nightclubs. This is right up my street :-)
Track 10 - good sparse arrangement, lots of space. Another effective minimal melody line, and more lovely arpeggios (I'm a sucker for arpeggiators!)

We could probably nit-pick things in all of them, but the quality is high in all of them. There's a nice variety of styles and sounds.

If I had to choose a favourite it would be track 10 with track 6 a very close second. Do I have to choose though?

(Now you've got to guess which one is mine from my minimal reviews!)
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Dave B » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:27 pm

I did warn everyone about the sub-bass on track 3. Hopefully, when all is revealed the perpetrator can let us know just what he did to abuse a poor synth into sounding like that ...

:)
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Rich Hanson » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:35 pm

Dave B wrote:I did warn everyone about the sub-bass on track 3. Hopefully, when all is revealed the perpetrator can let us know just what he did to abuse a poor synth into sounding like that ...

:)

Then we'll know who to send the dental bill to for when we need our fillings replaced :mrgreen:
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Dave B » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:42 pm

Jumpeyspyder wrote:Track 4 ... something analog ???
Track 5 ... virtual analog ??

So hats off to Jumpey for being the first to try and spot what's what.

Without giving too much away, both of the synths used in these tracks are relatively recent (a few years is the max) and to my ears both sound very clean, clear and warm. I am interested to know why you went with the choices you did though - is there a 'tell' for real vs VA? Or is it just a gut reaction?

Everyone else feel free to chime here - I'm not trying to put him on the spot.

And I'm hopeless at guessing - nowadays, the gear is just so damn good that I don't think that I could tell the difference between, say, a vintage Pro One and the uHe Repro1 ..
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:08 pm

Dave B wrote:I am interested to know why you went with the choices you did though - is there a 'tell' for real vs VA? Or is it just a gut reaction?

Both sounded great - mostly gut reaction - it's so hard to tell the difference !!

Track 4 put me in mind of some mad modular at some points and a Juno 60 in other parts.
hedged my bets and guessed analog

My only basis for thinking track 5 was more likely to be a VA was the some of the sounds reminded me a little of some of the sonic character of my Ultranova

So assumed its a more modern synth, therefore VA seemed more likely :)
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Logarhythm » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:09 pm

Dave B wrote:I did warn everyone about the sub-bass on track 3. Hopefully, when all is revealed the perpetrator can let us know just what he did to abuse a poor synth into sounding like that ...

:)
Yes, but you didn't warn us until after it had been posted for a little while and had already had time to damage the foundations of nearby buildings as we worked our way through the playlist :lol:

Not sure I could tell real analogue these days; as you say, so much good gear that we've got to a position of "doesn't matter what it comes from if it sounds good". Although obviously analogue is still arbitrarily superior and as a general rule more knobs = better*

FWIW I want track 3 to be analogue...

*The exception to this rule is of course political party conferences ;)
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby BillB » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:13 pm

Logarhythm wrote:as a general rule more knobs = better*
*The exception to this rule is of course political party conferences ;)
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
True, but unavoidable. Who knew there was an inverse correlation between analogue synthesis and political parties?

I'm really stuck on both the what and who. The only hint of an idea I have is that track 2 may be Folderol - it seems to suit his style, based on other tunes of his that I have listened to.

Track 4 has more than a hint of Tomita about it (that's a compliment!) so I would love to think it was analogue...

Loving the whole list - what a great effort on everyone's parts - and well done Dave for making it happen.
:clap:
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby BillB » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:20 pm

Ooh, Ooh! Listening to the set again, so one more wild guess. DaveB was pretty keen on the "end of summer" theme - so maybe the atmospherics at the start and end of Track 8 are a nod to that..
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby MarkyC » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:26 pm

Hmm I'm thinking track 9 is definitely knob twiddling, so must be analogue! (and I like it very much!) I think you are correct Billb track 8 intro and outro speak of summer. Having said that track 2 certainly has that end of pier feel to it!
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Folderol » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:21 pm

I'm going to plump for Jumpey Spyder doing track 1, and something analog (maybe).

DaveB for track 9 - no clue what on - he's seemed a bit fickle with his synth preferences :lol:

Track 6 possible IAA - must be a sample based synth. I can't see those drums being synthesised that well.
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Dave B » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:54 pm

So another FYI : out of the 10 entries, 4 are pure analogue...

And 4 of them are plugins.

I can also safely say - assuming those with plugins were using man-sized controllers - that there isn't a minikey anywhere at all!

:D
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby blinddrew » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:51 pm

Just had my first listen to the tracks. Strewth there's some work in there. :)
The ones that grabbed me initially were:
Track 8 - can't say why but it seemed a bit French to me! Maybe a bit of AIR in there?
Track 9 - sounded like a very modern production.
Track 10 - i just really liked the melody on this. :)

I won't make any guesses about the origin other than to suggest that maybe 8 and 9 were soft synths?
But i really don't know anything about synths so i'd take that with a pinch of salt.

Good game everyone. :)
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Rich Hanson » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:16 am

Maybe after another day or so you should say which are analogue and which are plug-ins, some us might be able to have a better attempt guessing the synths. Right now I wouldn't even know where to begin!
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:01 am

I think even with an exact list of synths it will be very hard to match up to each track!
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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby IAA » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:04 am

Right here is my attempt to determine which synth - in doing this I realised that despite the fact I have both good analog and VA - in a mix and with good structure and balance its practically impossible to tell - In my view anyway.

So take what follows with a bit of a pinch of salt in - most are guesses but I've tried to say why I've guessed VA or analog.

I've not done track 5 since I actually know for certain which synth was used on that!

Track 1

Lovely fat bass and nice lead tone – sounds analog – possibly a VA analog – maybe NI stuff? Some nice pads developing

Track 2

hee hee – the almost 8 bit tones made me smile – the lush chords are nice sound and complement the simple opening almost Solina-ish – dx like as well in later parts – thinking VA - Waldorf?

Track 3

Sub Bass is something else! Great filter sounds - interesting Vox continental like break Might be VA – mostly I’m saying that because of the sub

Track 4

a nice intro motif and almost classical development – I’m thinking of a real analog – Moog or DSI? Mainly because of that high lead synth towards the end sounds like a classic moog filter As it develops I really like the wall of sound!

Track 5

Couldn’t possibly say -

Track 6

those Easter island hits make me think VA and the developing pads sound omnispheresish/Alchemy

Track 7

Nice chord sequence – with a lovely 80’s bass feel – I think this might be a VA too – and I’m saying that because of the FM type bells at the end – or maybe something like a novation peak?

Track 8

FX into is nice – simple motif - I’m wondering if they are samples so – thinking VA – the bass is a nice sequence and overall feels more digital -sounding - like the almost Tron like flutes before the break

Track 9

sequence start sounds quite organic to me so I’m thinking real analog – the developing voices also say similar – main beat and sub Something Korg /ARP ish? Sounded a bit lamb lies down on Broadway towards the end – lovely

Track 10

A nice sequence - a bit John carpenter-ish – so I’d say real analog – a nice bass line under the lead lines and chords – ARP? – That resolved chord series is very nice.

Anyway it was great to go through them again and appreciate such diversity -= if we can make such music with just one synth........


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Re: One Synth Challenge II - The Filter Strikes Back

Postby Dave B » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:45 am

I think I'll do a grand reveal sometime tomorrow. If only as one of you is still torturing me by not revealing the exact synth and it's killing me not knowing ....

:D
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