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One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

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

Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:38 pm

About time for the big reveal, I think.
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Folderol » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:19 pm

Richie Royale wrote:About time for the big reveal, I think.
I agree. It's all gone rather quiet.
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:26 pm

Agree :)
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:36 pm

Go on Dave, show us what you've got. And when you've done that, tell us who did what and with what in the OSC :tongue:
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Dr R » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:39 pm

They are all excellent, but who did the second one? And can I use it in a presentation at work?

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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Dan LB » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:17 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Go on Dave, show us what you've got. And when you've done that, tell us who did what and with what in the OSC :tongue:

:lol:

+1
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Folderol » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:54 pm

Well this is a bit spooky. He seems to have gone very quiet all of a sudden. I'd wonder if he just took the money and ran... only, there's no money :tongue:
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Dave B » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:58 pm

OK, let's put cards on the table ...

(drumroll please)

So we have :

  • Track 1 : Winters End by Rich Hanson - using a Walforf Rocket no less!
  • Track 2 : Reboot by Marky C - which was a Novation Peak
  • Track 3 : Still Dreaming by Jumpeyspyder - used an Novation UltraNova
  • Track 4 : A Progressive Rainforest by IAA - was done on the Roland Cloud JV1080 plugin
  • Track 5 : Renewal by BJG45 - using a Yamaha VL70
  • Track 6 : OSCIII was by Fruitcake - using a vintage Yamaha CS15
  • Track 7 : Well Really! by Folderol - once again, he's fooled you by using Yoshimi again
  • Track 8 : Zoinkadelik by Richie Royale - was a Nord Lead 2
  • Track 9 : Swansong by Eddie Deegan - used his beloved Korg Trinity (inc MOSS board)
  • Track 10 : Only You by Dave B (originally Yazoo) ... hang on ... that's ME!! - used a DSI Tetra and a very talented niece
  • Track 11 : Renew by Keiransi - all done an trusty DX7
  • Track 12 : Spring Cheese by Rich Hanson (again) - was his freshly restored Korg Delta
  • Track 13 : Open Window by Dan LB - lots of lovely DSI OB-6 there
  • Track 14 : {something improvised and I don't know the name} by The Elf - done on a Mellotron (I think a 4000 or memotron) and a Boss RC505 looper pedal

Thanks to Dan and Rich for putting me out of my misery and telling me what they used. The OB6 does somewhat blow my 'affordable' comment out of the water, but it's an Oberheim so I'll forgive it pretty much anything up to (and including) armageddon. But generally, I think everyone should be incredibly proud of their achievements - proving, once again, that you don't need rooms full of gear to produce greatness.

Err ... unless you wives / partners / husbands / significant others are listening, in which case it really is absolutely essential that we spend some more of our hard earned on another one. Or two ... maybe a bit on plugins ... you know the drill by now ...

;)

Right, let the discussion on our 'process' commence. I've certainly learned loads - will do a big post later...
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:06 am

Dave B wrote:Track 14 : {something improvised and I don't know the name} by The Elf - done on a Mellotron (I think a 4000 or memotron) and a Boss RC505 looper pedal

At the risk of speaking for Mr. Elf, you're 99% right there - it's called 'The Bridge Of Ply' (at least I believe it is) and was done using a Mellotron 4000D through a Line 6 Helix pedal and a Boss RC-505 looper.

Don't ask me how I know, but I'll just say that track has possessed me in a way that no other has, apart from 'En Attendant Cousteau' by Jarre. For me It's totally epic, I love it to bits and can't stop listening to it on repeat and I badgered him until he gave in and spilled the beans ;-)

I'd also like to give special mention to 'Track 7 : Well Really! by Folderol' - Apart from being a delightful refrain I think this really shows what Yoshimi can do, and to me it sounds better than a lot of pricy plugins. I will be trying to find ways to incorporate it into my workflow despite the fact it's not a conventional plugin.

Track 4 : A Progressive Rainforest by IAA is also a lovely, lovely piece of work.

Having picked out my special mentions, there wasn't a single track on the entire playlist I didn't like. Really, really well done, everybody. Dave, my compliments to your niece - I thoroughly enjoyed the piece.

I look forward to your observations from the co-ordination side, thank you very much for doing it, and I can't wait for OSC 4.0 :thumbup:

PS: In case anyone was wondering why my track had a different icon in the playlist to everyone else's, it's because I got caught up in work commitments and ended up doing my track from scratch on Sunday, the day of submission. After 12 hours of working on it I submitted it to Dave, only to wake up the following morning and realise the original mix was terrible. A classic case of 'never release the same day you mixed'. I remixed it in an hour or so on Monday morning early, and Dave graciously re-uploaded it, and I guess that at that point it defaulted to some new graphics he'd put into Soundcloud.

Last minute, for sure but I enjoyed every moment of that Sunday with a fierce joy I can't even begin to describe.
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:07 am

Nice one, Roland Boland. ❤️
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:37 am

Great to listen to everything again - with knowledge what was used!!

Track 1 - Highly impressed with the Rocket - great sounds from a small box + talent !

Track 2 - Great Track - dance style sounds threw me completley, loving the hollow bass sound at 1,54 had you started the track at 2,35 where it sounds much more 'Peak' I probably still wouldn't have guessed!

Track 4 - Amazing sounds - pinned my meters - was a bit worried about my monitors - but was worth it !

Track 5 - Folk turns to Jazz and back again - very expressive and joyful

Track 6 - powerful - this is a monster !! Obvious now I know - I should have recognised the CS sound! - I'm still (very slowly) getting used to my CS

Track 7 - Yehaww! always a joy to hear Will and the expressivne depth of Yoshimi !

Track 8 - Zoinkadelik - great title ! Some really great sounds I wouldn't have expected from the Nordlead2

Track 9 - Love that bass arp at the beginning (I would love to hear what chord / voicing thatis) digging the crescendos and skillful piano!

Track 10 - One of my favourite oldies - didn't listen to this very hard - too busy singing along! bang on with the voicing!

Track 11 - The DX bass is fairly obvious, but the bell sounds really gave the game away! This one sounded very 'played live' which is why I initially assumed DX21 (which had keysplit)

Track 12 - That delta sounds so smooth - I can listen to this for hours!

Track 13 - Polysynth sounds I'll never tire of and a clever arrangement that is somehow is both detailed and sparse at the same time - this track breathes really well!

Track 14 - I knew it was Elf - I couldn't concentrate on which synth as I kept getting lost in the music!


Track 3 - Still Dreaming (Mine)

I've been having so much fun jamming this track 'live' at home since about christmas,

Beatstep pro kicks out drums and synth bass to SK88pro, (also used for 'gliching' the drum patterns)
D5 provides 'rolandy' strings
Deepmind ready with a PWM patch for the main chord riffs,
Ultranova with its cheeky Arps at the same tempo as BSP (but not synced)
then my monos with various effect sounds (with long releases) to add extra interest
CS01 - whitenoise swoosh
DS2 - Jarre type modulated lazer filter sounds
CS30L - Big Bass grunge


Since Deepmind 12 was really the basis of my track (and the fact that I am really enjoying it) I started using it for OSC3

Everything went well till I tried to program the arp sound on the DM12!
I couldn't get it programmed / balanced right, it was either way too weighty and dominant of too feeble.
After about 6 hours I gave up! (I'm certain DM12 can do the sound, I just don't know all its 'hidden features well enough yet!')

Anyway logical thing to do was restart using the Ultranova...

Ultranova isn't too hard to program, so I recreated most of the sounds required without too much trouble and found I didn't need / have space for the 'FX' from the mono's.

This time around I worked harder with the drum programming (SK88 providing TR707 sounds) and had a lucky accident whilst shuffling drum fills / glitches around and accidently left two clips overlapping.

It was late in the day and although not perfect (really needs a fine edit) I really liked the effect - so repeated the mistake and left it in!
I didn't notice the minutes silence till after Dave had posted it - I hadn't realised Sonar had rendered all the recorded audio including some muted spare drum clips!

My bass sound disapears on small speakers and my intro was poor / not required!

But this is still my best OSC so far, Next time, I hope to start earlier and submit something truly finished ! ;)
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Rich Hanson » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:38 am

This all shows two things:

1: how hard it is to identify a synth in a full production, even if it is all the same device

2: what a talented bunch of people there are around here

As for mine, the first one on the Rocket was sequenced for the bass and percussion, I recorded the MIDI for the chords which I used to drive the arpeggiator on three tracks. The Rocket has a few different patterns on its arpeggiator so naturally each arpeggiator track used a different pattern while I manually manipulated the filter cutoff. The rest was all hand played. Although it sounds like there is reverb , there is none at all. All ambience done with long releases and delays.

Although the Rocket doesn't have an attack control, as it has a VCA you can use the sustain switch to do swells - when sustain is off, if you keep the notes held and switch the sustain on it will then build back up to full volume at the rate of the Decay/Release setting.

As for the second one, I put down a bass line on Saturday evening before bed. When I listened back to it in the morning, it sounded like it had been played by someone who'd had one too many whiskeys (which indeed it had) but there was a usable idea there. I laid down the bass drum - I quantized the audio there, just to give me a nicer metronome compared to Studio One's usual woodpecker. Of course everything else was hand played as there is no external control on the Delta!

So that one was put together starting properly at 7am Sunday morning, finishing about 8pm, with about a three hour break while I went to visit my daughter. So all written and recorded and mixed in about 7 hours. I can work fast sometimes!

I had been wandering around Canterbury later that day with an alternative bass line in my head which I was going to do when I got back. Until I realised what was in my head was nicked from Propaganda's Dr. Mabuse! So I left it alone.

What sounds like a sequencer line that becomes prominent in the second 'chorus' is just me playing the notes A-G#-F#-G# as crotchets, put through Studio One' XTrem tremolo set to a square wave at 16ths followed by a delay also set at 16ths followed by a second delay set at 8ths. I only put the tremolo in because as the filter was opened, the release was too long for the individual notes and repeats to be separately articulated.

A few other more subtle delays here and there, and some IK CSR Hall reverb.

Ok, I'll shut up now!
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby BJG145 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:31 am

...fascinating to listen back through these while reading up on the devices used; some more gear for the wish list there. Thanks again to Dave for organising the challenge, and a great selection of tracks. Well done all!

I tend to collect MIDI controllers rather than synths so it was a chance for me to mess around with some of these, and explore some VL70 sounds that I wouldn't normally use. (Flute/sax were played in on an Akai EWI, the bass on a Yamaha G10, drums on Maschine and some simple drones on keys. I defaulted to the styles I'm most familiar with, which is jamming around with folk/jazz/blues ideas.)

Look forward to OSC IV...
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:54 am

Once again I made mine using only the Nord for everything including the drums. I synthesised the kick, clap and hi-hat and then later on realises that there were ready made kits in the percussion banks, so added the crash and ride from there with an overlaid clap.

I programmed all of the sounds except the organ; the Nord has a number of organs in performance mode and they are quite usable. I added a rotary effect to give it a bit of movement.

I have had the Nord for years and it is still one of my favourite synths. It can do so much.
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:59 am

I haven't had a chance to listen to all the tracks properly yet, but well done to everyone for submitting something. They all sound very good from the tiny amount I have had a chance to hear of each.
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Dave B » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:02 pm

So splitting this into two :

1. The synth. I was stuck for an idea until I noticed my Tetra. I've been under the impression that it's basically 4 Pro Ones in a box. It's not. It's 4 Mophos in a box. The Mopho is to the Prophet 08 what the Pro One was to the P5, so it's a similar idea - one voice, tweaked a bit. And (as Elf rightly worked out), I'd seen the patch charts that are floating around, so I thought 'it's pretty much the same sort of thing ... how hard can it be?'.

The answer is : quite hard. The oscillators are great (but missing the ability to mix waveforms in the same way) and the mod routing is much improved. I also have the plug in editor which, despite some wierd midi issues, is a godsend for driving it. But the envelopes are just _so_ snappy - I see why people use this for spikey sequenced parts. And the filter - I think it's the resonance mainly - responds _very_ differently. I just couldn't get the opening sequence sound right. It still bugs me.

But, the rest of the sounds were pretty much bang on. So much so that I couldn't believe that the bass was so blippy so I backed it off and was shocked when I listened back to the original. Guess I really do like a very big bottom (fnar fnar)

Overall, for such a small box, the Tetra is a real find. I picked mine up s/h for under 500quid - so just over a ton per monosynth. Wow.

My OCD (and love of Yazoo) keep bugging me, so I'm tempted to dig out the Prophet 6 I have and see if it can get closer to the original. But that's not a priority. I nearly gave in and bought the Repro1 plugin but was strong. I may have to spring for the real thing though...

2. Vocals : Did I mention that I have various gorgeous and talented nieces? This was Chloe who a) is only 18, b) is a stunning guitarist, c) kept pointing out that her elder sister had a better voice. Lol. She listened to the track, sang the first half once, re-sang it, did the second half and then did two takes of the harmony which I comped, copied and pasted. A couple of quick bits of the 'scat' parts and we were done in under half an hour. No autotune, melodyne, etc - just the usual compression, eq, a little de-essing and then reverb and delay.

At this point, I am feeling quite a smug and proud uncle. :)
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:09 pm

Jumpeyspyder wrote:Track 9 - Love that bass arp at the beginning (I would love to hear what chord / voicing that is)

It's actually a simple 1-bar repeating riff comprised of 8th notes with a dotted-8th delay (ie: the delay is three 16th notes long) inserted on it, with the delay set to a wet/dry ratio of 40/60.

B-flat (up to) B-flat (down to) A-flat (up to) B-flat (up to) D-flat (down to) B-flat (down to) A-flat (up to) B-flat (then down to the first note again to start over)

Works best with a sound with a fast attack and quick release played in a staccato fashion - the one I used was a simple 'FM Bass' preset on the Trinity.

:thumbup:
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:17 pm

Dave B wrote:At this point, I am feeling quite a smug and proud uncle. :)

Quite rightly so mate, I thought it was great!
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:24 pm

Much of my track was inspired by fragments of ideas and other snippets of test sequences that I had lying around on floppies. Sadly, the floppy drive on the Trinity died ages ago and a few months back I finally bought a USB emulator to replace it with but hadn't gotten around to installing it. That took me most of Saturday afternoon which left me a little short on track creation time!

After I'd got the USB emulator working on the Trinity I went through the data on the old floppies (which are DOS format and easily read by a USB floppy I have for the PC) and rediscovered something I love, which is the distorted lead that comes in about 40 seconds into the track and does interesting things just over a minute later. That distorted lead is created by the virtual modelling monophonic MOSS solo card in the Trinity and it's incredibly expressive to play due to the way it responds to the joystick controller movements.

The rest of the track basically emerged from the sequence with that distorted lead on it. Much like Dave rediscovering the Tetra, I've always loved the Trinity but it had been languishing in the corner of the room and I hadn't turned it on for probably 3 or 4 years. As I got it set up in a position to use it for the OSC it's staying put now and I'll certainly be using it more. Especially as it looks kinda mean now with a bright 3-digit red LED display and a USB stick where the floppy used to be!
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Re: One Synth Challenge III - This time it's personal

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:52 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:It's actually a simple 1-bar repeating riff comprised of 8th notes with a dotted-8th delay (ie: the delay is three 16th notes long) inserted on it, with the delay set to a wet/dry ratio of 40/60.

B-flat (up to) B-flat (down to) A-flat (up to) B-flat (up to) D-flat (down to) B-flat (down to) A-flat (up to) B-flat (then down to the first note again to start over)


thanks Eddy that is very kind of you to share :thumbup:
Can't wait to play with this :bouncy:
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