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Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

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Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby TheStarvingAnteater » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:46 am

Hello!

I would much like to create the effects produced by the EMS VCS3 synth and I am thinking if there is any modern synth that could do that, perhaps the novation peak or something like that?

I can create the sound pretty good manually sweeping the LFO frequency by hand, but I would like for an envelope (doesn't have to be trapezoidal really) to modulate the LFO frequency.

Also, the LFO should have reverse square form to get the correct sound.

Preferably the system should be analog, but it is not an absolut must.

Oh, and here's a chap who demonstrates just the sound I am looking for using a VCS3:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB0izUE ... Og&index=2
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby The Elf » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:40 am

There are a lot of potential answers to this. Much will depend on budget, but also what other uses you may want to put this synth to.

Ideally you'll be looking at something that offers a flexible modulation matrix of some kind.

I would suggest that the Behringer Neutron might be a good candidate at the budget end of the market. It offers a great deal of flexibility with its patching system such that typical ambient bloops and swoops would be fairly simple to create.
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby TheStarvingAnteater » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:10 pm

Thanks for the tip Elf. Apart from being tremendously ugly, this seem like an interesting alternative. For sure I will try to find one at a music store and see if my use case is possible.

Are you suggesting that there are pricier options as well?
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby The Elf » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:19 pm

TheStarvingAnteater wrote:Thanks for the tip Elf. Apart from being tremendously ugly, this seem like an interesting alternative.
Yep, it ain't the neatest spanner in the toolbox, that's for sure! I question the sanity of a design team that deems large knobs are required for the two oscillator tuning knobs and the LFO waveform, and a small knob for filter cut-off! :headbang:

But I like quirky synths, and this is certainly one of those.

TheStarvingAnteater wrote:Are you suggesting that there are pricier options as well?
Quite a few. Korg's Odyssey is a synth I turn to for bleeps and swooshes, though it's not as open-ended with modulation options as the Neutron. I'd also suggest a quick look at the Novation Peak and Behringer Deepmind. Both of these have extensive modulation matrices, and are also very nice synths, but the price is rising with every letter I type! There are oodles of options, so hopefully you'll get a few others chipping in with ideas for you.
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby BillB » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:25 pm

I might have missed something in the VCS description, but isn’t the gist of this sound:
envelope decay/release modulating LFO speed modulating oscillator pitch? In which case the only part that is not commonplace is Env > LFO speed.

As Elf says, anything with a mod matrix (where LFO speed is a destination) should handle this, eg Blofeld, most DSI synths (mopho, tetra, Prophet), KingKorg...
But, casting around my hardware synths, the majority couldn’t do this - it is not a common routeing, unlike say Env or LFO to pitch/filter/amp. But you could research through online manuals (looking for mod matrix destinations) to find out which are the contenders.
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby TheStarvingAnteater » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:50 pm

Thanks for the comments Elf and BillB!

Looking at the video it does seem he does "EG -> LFO Speed -> OSC Pitch" as you suggest, but the only way I get this sound is through "EG -> LFO Speed -> LPF Cutoff" with the LPF self oscillating (In my case I have to do the EG by hand though, as it were).

But you're right, it's not really that complicated and looking at some manuals and panels I think the Blofeld is a nice option, both functionality and form factor wise, and that the Moog Mother-32 probably could do it (it is a bit similar to the neutron previously discussed but is much prettier).

I also turned to my own synths and managed to produce the routing setup with my old Korg M50. However, it sounds quite terrible as the synth is not really made for this kind of things. What surprised me was that not even the Korg MS-20 can do this (no way to modulate the LFO, or modulation generator as they call it).
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby Chevytraveller » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:03 am

Worthy of a mention if you are after those "other worldly" EMS type sounds is the Kilpatrick Phenol..
A fantastic little tabletop modular with everything you need to create those Forbidden Planet, Radiophonic workshop JMJ wobbly alien sounds..
unlimited modulation possibilities(including modulation speed as a destination), built in delay and built like a tank.

Have seen a few popping up second hand for sub £500 prices

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZwl9khJUrg


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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby TheStarvingAnteater » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:59 am

Hi Chevytraveller!

While the Phenol sounds awsome it appears to me that it is not possible to modulate the LFO speed with an envelope. (Look at the LFO-section, there is no input)
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby Chevytraveller » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:28 pm

TheStarvingAnteater wrote:Hi Chevytraveller!

While the Phenol sounds awsome it appears to me that it is not possible to modulate the LFO speed with an envelope. (Look at the LFO-section, there is no input)

What you can't tell simply from looking at the front panel is that both envelope/slope generators are very complex and have looping so function as additional LFOs and are modulate-able

The Envelopes are the Phenol's secret weapon and really open up the sonic and modulation possibilities.
Here is a video demonstrating the Envelopes specifically..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72OenYQbl5U


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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby TheStarvingAnteater » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:07 pm

Ah, you're right Chevytraveller, I missed that.

That is actually quite nice!
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby nathanscribe » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:30 am

Another cheap option is the Moog Werkstatt. It allows modulation of the LFO speed using the little patch header.

Ropey demo here: https://synthnerd.wordpress.com/moog-werkstatt-o1/
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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby Kwaidan » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:05 pm

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Re: Modern synth to create JMJ-style filter oscillations and other effects?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:44 pm


Ooh - now I could seriously be tempted by that one, if only for 'educational' purposes :beamup:


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