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Any synth that really sounds different

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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby desmond » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:03 pm

Arpangel wrote:It doesn’t really matter to me what synth I have, sure, I’ve got my preferences, I’ve owned a VCS3, and a DX7, for example, but the sounds I got from them were always in the same emotional ball park, two completely different instruments, but the same musical and emotional results, both synths "would have done"

I understand, and providing a user is not just picking presets, you *always* shape synth sounds to your personal preferences, it's part of making music. Few people choose all the notes they *don't* like... ;)

Arpangel wrote:What sounds do you have in your head? what do you want to do with them? Synthesisers, effects, modular, combining things, anything is possible these days.

Yep. I think really the reason that new synths don't really excite me that much is that, nice objects/instruments/fun though they might be, they're not really adding anything significantly different to what I can already do...
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:54 pm

desmond wrote:Yep. I think really the reason that new synths don't really excite me that much is that, nice objects/instruments/fun though they might be, they're not really adding anything significantly different to what I can already do...
I really wish I could reach that stage! :headbang: :lol:
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:28 pm

The Elf wrote:
desmond wrote:Yep. I think really the reason that new synths don't really excite me that much is that, nice objects/instruments/fun though they might be, they're not really adding anything significantly different to what I can already do...
I really wish I could reach that stage! :headbang: :lol:
Just... need... one... more...
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Folderol » Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:18 pm

blinddrew wrote:
The Elf wrote:
desmond wrote:Yep. I think really the reason that new synths don't really excite me that much is that, nice objects/instruments/fun though they might be, they're not really adding anything significantly different to what I can already do...
I really wish I could reach that stage! :headbang: :lol:
Just... need... one... more...
{cough}Never said a word {cough}
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:03 pm

The Elf wrote:You have to see beyond 'String Pad 04' and look deeper into instruments to find what they can do and how they can help you express the music you have in you.
This is where the rubber meets the road, in my opinion.

There is a (dangerous) mindset that synths are not ‘instruments’ in their own right. Any performer on any instrument worth their salt has spent countless hours developing their own sound, resonance, tone, whatever you choose to call it. Synthesis is no different.

I got into synths and synthesis seriously 5 years ago. And I just started, really, to dig into the synths I have. And it’s changed my music as a result.
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Dave B » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:00 pm

clarkio wrote:Given it's digital and not exactly new and some might even say it's actually a ROMpler, I might get shot down in flames, but, for my money Korg's Wavestate is one of the most interesting and different modern synths.

No argument here. I'm holding out for the proposed 'pro' version that's in the pipeline though.

But ... according to the OP's criteria, it doesn't give you anything that sounds _different_ - it just gives you a much more interesting way of combining sounds that exist already.

And that's not going to change really - we've had decades of development. In some respects I agree with the OP : many reviews of the mainstream manufacturers are basically 'more of the same' machines. Don't get me wrong - they are great. But they are incremental changes and number bumps.

:)
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:48 pm

Hasn't it always been so? After a certain amount of evolution anyway. If you look at the traditional instruments in an orchestra, they have broadly stayed the same for well over a century but you don't hear people wistfully wishing that orchestras could produce different sounds.

And so it is with synthesizers. To me, the beauty of synthesizers is that one can make any number of sounds but when combined with other synths you rapidly enter limitless territory.

I regard the synthesizer as one of the most amazing inventions ever made. I absolutely love them as objects as well as musical instruments and have regarded myself as much a collector as a user for some time now.

I've put a temporary hiatus on buying new synths, pending the completion of two albums in the new studio but once that's done I will undoubtedly be acquiring more in short order!
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:21 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:I've put a temporary hiatus on buying new synths, pending the completion of two albums in the new studio but once that's done I will undoubtedly be acquiring more in short order!
Hope that works out for you! ;) :D

I also thought I'd done for a while and then this was pointed out to me...
https://www.audiothingies.com/product/micromonsta2/

Image

Mine is due to arrive any day now... :lol: :angel: :beamup:
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:40 pm

The Micro Monsta is a great synth!
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby pilot-wave » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:54 pm

So many observations here that I'd agree with. To add - lot can be achieved at the user end.

There's so much that an imaginative synth programmer can do to reach a sonic destination even with a comparatively simple synth. Take the old Korg 700s for example and listen to the gulf between what Daniel Miller did with it as "The Normal" and, say, Kitaro's approach in revealing the breadth of possibilities in one device.

Quite a lot of distinctive sounding records where done on quite simple and low budget equipment... as another poster mentions... whatever was to hand at the time. After several decades of synthesis I went back to my old SH-101 to see how far I could take it beyond the expected results... an exercise in thinking outside the box of self conditioning if you will. A little bit of that also applied to more sophisticated instruments can get you well on the way to your own sonic fingerprint.

On so many online synth demos I see the demonstrator quite casually and overzealously 'wiggling' away at the controls and often overshooting 'sweet spot' opportunities staring them in the face. Sometimes slow, focussed and subtle with an awareness of interactions is where it's at.

Sometimes a synth may seem a bit of a disappointment at first. This happened recently with a Modal Argon8m (after some time of being away from deep synth programming in general), but I persevered, applying a bit of the above, and it started to reveal some really nice, distinctive and very musically usable qualities that I haven't found elsewhere, usefully complimenting my other instruments. A bit of a zero to hero experience within 48 hours.

I'd agree with others that something like the Hydrasynth or PolyBrute are good current candidates if you're wanting to push even further with their strong modulation facilities giving almost modular levels of control. Even then I might turn to the modular when all else fails in the realm of, for instance, monophonic sounds.

It can be most rewarding to put this 'instant gratification' world aside with the application of a bit of programming elbow grease and imagination.
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Folderol » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:05 pm

This is why, when someone proudly claims to have produced an 'awesome' track in just one hour, my response is usually 'Meh'.
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby desmond » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:07 pm

Folderol wrote:This is why, when someone proudly claims to have produced an 'awesome' track in just one hour, my response is usually 'Meh'.

Especially when they spent the first 40 minutes of that working on the kick drum part... :think:
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:30 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:The Micro Monsta is a great synth!

Wow - I'm impressed by the great character in the sounds I'm hearing! 8-)


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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:03 am

The Elf wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:I've put a temporary hiatus on buying new synths, pending the completion of two albums in the new studio but once that's done I will undoubtedly be acquiring more in short order!
Hope that works out for you! ;) :D

I also thought I'd done for a while and then this was pointed out to me...

Mine is due to arrive any day now... :lol: :angel: :beamup:

It's a nice looking thing... I cried all the way to my PolyBrute :-)

In all seriousness, I've no problem buying any number of synths but there is that little thing called 'music' that needs to be done with them once in a while so on completion of the new studio I shall be prioritising that, hence the self-imposed 'two albums' moratorium on buying more of them.

The collector in me is currently satisfied (and we all know that's temporary) but the musician portion is champing at the bit and there is much to gnaw down on here once the space is sorted out so that'll be the order of the day for a while ;)
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Re: Any synth that really sounds different

Postby Arpangel » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:44 am

The MicroMonsta only goes a long way in confirming what the OP is saying here, very underwhelming, very conventional, with loads of effects, and the usual Techno sounds.
Changing the shape, size, colour, knobs, does not make an interesting synth.
I’m having trouble, big trouble, that thing called an orchestra is a bit of a pain isn’t it? I wrote something for it the other day, but the sounds haven’t changed for over 400 years, how tiresome is that?

:)
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

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