You are here

Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

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

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:47 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
.... that said, maybe Behringer will prove me completely wrong with their upcoming VCS3 alternative... :lol:

I hope not.

:-|
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7227
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby tea for two » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:15 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
tea for two wrote:We are not in the 70s. A reworking reimagining should have had "total recall" of parameters.

With any hardware product, there's a wish-list of 'wouldn't it be nice to have' features, but that normally has to be reigned in to meet the marketing department's target selling price point to ensure they can sell enough to make it worth their while, and also to fit in with what the engineering realistically allows in the real world.

To provide 'total recall' of all parameters, every user-variable element in every circuit has to be digitally-controlled and every rotary control has to be an encoder. Often that's just not technically possible. But even where it is, it often involves making changes to the intended circuitry which alters behaviour, characteristics, and sound in ways which might not be deemed acceptable in the overall product.

Moreover, that kind of 'modernisation' on a product clearly inspired by vintage technology will also add considerably to the technical complexity of the unit, and thus the R&D time to create a production prototype and so, inevitably, hike up the end price.

So while certainly a nice-to-have feature, on a product like that I humbly suggest it's highly impractical in the real world.

.... that said, maybe Behringer will prove me completely wrong with their upcoming VCS3 alternative... :lol:


We should consider work arounds
instead of just accepting things as unfeasible in "real world" .
After all medical technological advancements inventions tend to occur because someone(s) didn't accept things as they were.

With Syntrx
We can consider whether it is feasible to have a digital overlay of the numbers on every dial.
Thus the corresponding number on every dial lights up on "total recall"
whilst the dials themselves don't physically move.

Thereafter it is easier enough for the user to manually move dials to the lit up number.
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 878
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:23 am

I suppose this recall thing depends on what you do, if you’re playing gigs, of music that your audiences want to hear repeated many times over then it’s essential, but then again, you wouldn’t be using one of these.
I’ve always struggled with the idea of memories in synthesisers, some synths are so simple, why would you want memories? Plus, the whole philosophy behind synthesis is experimentation, to make new sounds, so the idea of repeatability is a complete contradiction of the whole concept.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7227
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BigRedX » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:41 pm

When I first started using synths in 1982, I couldn't wait for the moment when I could finally afford something with patch memories.

Up to that point when I used the synths live most of the songs had long intros to allow us enough time to manually change the controls to produce the correct sound. No particularly easy when one of the synths was a Korg MS20 with patch leads as well. Often the first time you got to check if everything was in the right place was when you needed to start playing. Luckily there were only a few occasions when what was produced was obviously completely wrong and out of tune.
User avatar
BigRedX
Frequent Poster
Posts: 983
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:00 am
RockinRollin' VampireMan

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:38 pm

BigRedX wrote:...when I used the synths live most of the songs had long intros to allow us enough time to manually change the controls to produce the correct sound.
It was just part of the performance - you played with one hand while setting the controls for the next sound as you went. I actually enjoyed the challenge.

As much as it was a great step forward, I do think we lost something when patch storage arrived. I well recall one of the guys at an 80s trade show telling me that most of the P5s they had in for service still contained all of their factory presets.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16556
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby nathanscribe » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:36 pm

I find it too easy to fill synth memories with patches, can spend hours just designing presets – but never use most of them. I had a Juno 6 and 60 alongside each other for 20-odd years, and in the end sold the 60, kept the 6, precisely because it forces me to start again for every project. None of that "I'll just poke my favourite strings patch in again" thing.

It also strikes me as interesting that there's a lot of monosynths out there with no memories, but not very many polys. And almost all polysynths are a bit too cluttered for manual panel mode all the time. Another reason I've always loved the JU-6. It'd be nice to see something new that went back to those basics, I think, but horses for courses and all that.
User avatar
nathanscribe
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1274
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Wakefield, for my sins.
I have no idea what I'm doing.

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BigRedX » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:45 pm

I do remember one early gig where I was hurriedly setting up the patch for the next song on the MS20. When I hit the first note instead of a fat bass drone, it just went "weeeeeeee" with a slow drop in pitch, due to one patch chord being in the wrong input jack. Of course in the panic it took me twice as long to find what was wrong as it would normally.

I never understood the mentality of people who bought a synth and just stuck to the pre-programmed sounds, especially in the early days when there was an physical control for every parameter and not a massive amount overall. The whole point for me was to make my own sounds. When I finally got my first synth with patch memories (a Casio CZ5000) the first thing I did was to go through all the programmed sounds to see if any were remotely suitable for the music I was making. There weren't any. Then a programmed up sounds for all the songs in our current set and blanked the rest of the patches.
User avatar
BigRedX
Frequent Poster
Posts: 983
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:00 am
RockinRollin' VampireMan

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BigRedX » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:52 pm

nathanscribe wrote:It also strikes me as interesting that there's a lot of monosynths out there with no memories, but not very many polys. And almost all polysynths are a bit too cluttered for manual panel mode all the time. Another reason I've always loved the JU-6. It'd be nice to see something new that went back to those basics, I think, but horses for courses and all that.

IIRC once you had the computing power to do keyboard scanning and voice allocation which was needed for polyphonic operation, it was cheap and trivial to add user programmable patch memories.
User avatar
BigRedX
Frequent Poster
Posts: 983
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:00 am
RockinRollin' VampireMan

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:59 pm

I am playing around with it today and trying to get some interesting sounds and texture. I did purchase this purely on the basis of it giving me a lifetime slow burn of of discovery but I just can't make my mind up if it will fulfill that need, especially at the price. I get that it is like owning a modular system (can't afford the Moog Model 15) without the patch leads but as it is so hard to get used to (for me at least) in such a short window before I can send it back. I just can't decide. I suppose it will become a sought after classic when production stops so I won't have any problem selling it on but I just don't know.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BJG145 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:18 pm

Marbury wrote:I just don't know.

It's OK. We've already made up your mind. So play one more tune for old times' sake and then go and find the parcel tape.

Worst case scenario, you can reminisce about it later on.
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5018
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:21 pm

Marbury wrote:I suppose it will become a sought after classic when production stops so I won't have any problem selling it on...
Unfortunately I think that the Behringer version is likely to scupper that angle. There aren't many people, even die-hard hardware synth-heads like the ones right here, that would be prepared to pay that kind of money for a copy of the 'real thing'.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16556
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:53 pm

To be fair it isn't marketed as a copy, more of a different take using the same architecture. It just doesn't do it for me anyhow so it's going back and I will reassess my options. The Pulsar 23 is a def cert as I have heard some amazing demos of what that little monster can do. The ARP 2600 clone by Behringer also looks tasty.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby BJG145 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:16 pm

Attaboy. The best way past a bad relationship is a fresh interest. Sounds like you’re on the right path.
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5018
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:01 pm

Is it time to fish out that definition of 'enabler' again?
;)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14176
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Erica Synth Synthx dilemma

Postby Marbury » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:15 pm

In all honesty I feel really quite depressed about it as I was excited when it was due to arrive. These darks times and never ending dark Winter gloomy days don't help but that's another post in another place.
Marbury
Frequent Poster
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
 

PreviousNext