Originally Posted by Pym
Not disagreeing with your point here, but wanted to clarify some of the "whys" that you mentioned:
It doesn't really have anything to do with the parts being SMD or not, just the quality of what's inside. Surface mount caps and resistors for example shouldn't affect the sound too much.
depends .. not much.. but a little.. Nichicon muse do sound better than surface mount subminature electrolytics.. and ther are no surface mount foil caps..or?
In any case the often "better" parts of today give a more neutral sound and the circuits are often "better" designed to dont do distortions.
We dont know how much of the internal distortion of roland drummachines is planed or just the result of budget choices. Just.. the foil caps roland uses are not the standard green drops.. they use transparent green drops.. and these actually give a finer sound than the regular type.. So Roland was not always going for the cheaper part. In some points they use bipolar caps even when the audible difference to polar ones at that position is only minimal.. but fine.
Or i ve heard that the power supply of the old moog modular is intentionally made more noisy ..by design.. to give the synth circuits a richer sound.
And that people that replaced the original powersupply with a more modern one also "modernised" the sound of the whole synth in a bad way..
So it is a good question whether a synth should be designed as clean or as dirty as possible.. Really a matter of taste ..
But i think its interesting that in instrument design the technical better part or circuit is often the less interesting sounding.. Dirt is sometimes what makes a sound rich.
Look in some old phasor designs.. like the Schulte compact phasing A for example..
This is based on 741 op amps.. When you use something more modern, the "jet" sound is gone.. the filters need their own dirt to sing.. as soon they get cleaner they just do clean phasing.. and you dont hear that anymore.. as cleaner the phasing gets as less sound it has to itself. So the distortions are actually giving the feedback loop the flesh it needs to sing..
Anyway.. On a modern serial product you cant use ancient components..
And you target also customers that want it to be like an mpc with extras and not a lofi sampler...
I personally dont think that a drum machine needs to be transparent on samples as long it makes them fatter as they are ..like an old emu...
Is it allowed to ask what op amps you use inside the tempest?
Anyway.. i am sure you made the best possible out of the tempest.. sorry to hear about the software troubles.. But at least you work on it and dont leave it for years as it is, as some other companies did in the past.. good luck