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anyone else underwhelmed with modern poly synths? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 29th December 2016
  #481
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robotunes's Avatar
This thread is hilarious.

If an artist says to you, "I need this old-fashioned shade of purple and it sucks that I can't find it anywhere," how would you answer? (Pick only one)
  1. I saw a bunch of color swatches on YouTube. I couldn't tell the difference.
  2. Just use purpura and add more blue. People won't be able to tell what color you used in the final painting.
  3. There are TONS of shades of purple around today. Just pick one.
  4. What are you talking about?! Purple is purple. Stop fretting over imaginary details and get to work.
  5. Oh, whatever. Artists who say that are just trying to justify the amount of money they spent on that out-of-stock shade and are trying to make all modern artists look like fools. Well they're the ones with the problem!
  6. Well, I've never seen that shade of purple but this new shade just came out and it says it's an old-fashioned shade of purple so just use that one.
  7. Oh, so you're too good to use modern colors? Will fukc you and everybody who thinks like you!
  8. Hmpf!!! Well I guess I should just throw away my color palette then, huh, Mr. Smarty Pants?!!!
  9. Do you think if I took this modern purple back to Van Gogh he wouldn't be able to make "Starry Night"?
  10. Yep. Getting just the right shade makes all the difference. Hope you find the right shade.
Old 29th December 2016
  #482
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Zoolook's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
So what is missing that would make them sound more vintage?

As an electrical engineer I'm very curious as what you think the secret sauce is in vintage analogs. You mentioned "built to different specs" in an earlier post, care to elaborate?
It's the unique character of individual instruments, which you don't get now. One ARP 2600 will sound as different from another, as a VST will sound from either. It's one of those things that makes comparing modeled synths to the originals pointless, when all the originals sound different from one another. The precision of electronics now makes that rarer even when you have 100% analogue path. My Mini Brute probably sounds identical to yours, etc.

Anyway, that's usually what people mean. When variations in heat a humidity can make your instrument sound different, that gives it a more organic feel - like when your guitar sounds different in the summer than winter.
Old 29th December 2016
  #483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
I guess I'm trying to say that if people embrace the capability of their modern instruments and equipment, and push them in ways others haven't, the reward will be similar to when Jarre used tape-delays and phasers to make a very ordinary organ sound like a synth from the future. There are more opportunities to do that kind of thing now than ever before, and yet people choose to whine that they can't quite capture that evasive sound of yesteryear... the fact is, they never could.
Exactly! Although the thread title is somewhat loaded, so maybe we shouldn't participate at all and leave it to the backpatters.

Thing is I've seen almost too many analog vs. VSTi simulation comparisons and debates. The oscillator sound of synths like Jupiter 4 or OBX is great, no doubt about it. But they are also extremely boring synths. How about a comparison of really cool digital synth patches vs. analog synth patches? My Kurzweil sounds absolutely heavenly, swooshing and swirling away with deep and rich sounding filters while my Juno 60 is buzzing boringly with its only LFO and cliche chorus sound. There is no comparison, since in this case a digital synth sounds undeniably better. Of course the programming is different but also more rewarding.
Old 29th December 2016
  #484
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonInAustralia View Post
This is a discussion about the classic vintage analogue poly synths, not any vintage analogue poly synth, and certainly not a DX7.

LOL, so a Code and a Sunsyn are what is required to sound as good as the vintage classics?

Is the Sunsyn even available any more, and what prices are they selling for?

That sort of invalidates your argument that seems to be saying that you have to pay so much $ for one of those classic vintage analogue poly synths, when these modern options you use as alternatives probably cost more.
Well, they also offer a lot more, feature wise.
Old 29th December 2016
  #485
Lives for gear
 

This thread has amused from the start; it's typical GS.

If OP had simply said, "I like the Oberheim 8" -- which is all he's really said -- end of discussion. Maybe a few people chiming in with, oh, I like it too, or more GS style.... no it's crap wait until you hear Diva, etc. etc.

But no, since it started with The Cubs are better than The Yankees, we've now had 17 pages of virtual sport with the subject, with no greater understanding, clarity of interest or knowledge about anything attained at all in the process.

I think this pretty representative of what human beings are capable of these days, so..... it's all good.
Old 29th December 2016
  #486
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
So what is missing that would make them sound more vintage?

As an electrical engineer I'm very curious as what you think the secret sauce is in vintage analogs. You mentioned "built to different specs" in an earlier post, care to elaborate?

I liked your comment about amp reissues. I do think most mfrs play fast and loose about adherence to vintage specs. For instance Fender sells "custom shop" amps that supposedly sound better than their generic reissues. If both are truly to spec, they would have identical components, right?
In my opinion, it's the frequency balance coming out of the synth, especially the mids and high end. The older gear seems to have a frequency spectrum that's weighted differently. Personally, I find most modern gear "too harsh" in that the top end hurts and is biting rather than clear. Just dropping the cutoff doesn't always solve the problem since the rest of the spectrum that's left doesn't sound the same. But that's just me and my old ears and what I grew up listening to back in the day.

Being an engineer, you can analyze a dual saw sound from a JP-8 and compare that to a modern version and likely EQ it to match. The trick would be to get that EQing to happen across all the notes played to match what the older gear did by default.
Old 29th December 2016
  #487
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
Oh man, I have met so many people like you and with your perspective... I am not challenging your perception and experiences, oh no. Maybe think of a time when you went to a recording studio and the engineer spent hours and hours fiddling with this and that and the resulting mix was less than the original tracks you gave them. Not an unfamiliar situation to many I am sure. Maybe you have found yourself in such a situation. What's going on is that there are maybe one or two things in the mix that are creating issues, but since the damn engineer doesn't nail them, he creates all sorts of holes in the mix trying to work out everything around them. Next time you catch yourself doing this you'll know exactly what I mean.

I am just trying to share experiences, not blanket the issue. I am not working with bad cluttered material, I am working with good material tracked through high end gear.

As to what affects the average listener, a muso or engineer who thinks that they have a superior ear to the average person they are-- I was going to say something offensive, um. Most people might not think 'oh, that sounds frequency limited' for example but you bet they will react emotionally to the sub bass and airy highs when something isn't. They aren't always picking subtitles out but they do react to them.

Here's another experience: my first job at a small studio that had recently given away its Pultecs and Studers and bought the first versions of Pro Tools, which sounded horrible. In that case I was the newbie, an untrained listener and I was shocked at how bad the DAW sounded in comparison, but -- the head engineer was convinced it sounded so much better. Listening for the wrong things. Egotistical.

Maybe I am too burnt out by people whose crusty ears can't hear above 12k anyway shoving basics in my face for so many years. Apologies, that wasn't necessarily directed at your hearing, which I am sure is fine. The differences with these vintage synths have been obvious to me since I started playing synths in the late 90's, experience has confirmed that, and there have always been people saying what you say, so - OK.
While I agree with you, I think that we're getting lost in conversation about the minutiae of "sound quality/character" and forgetting about other equally important aspects of musical instruments. Functionality. Take amps, as you've mentioned. I love a good vintage tube amp. I also think there are a lot of great modern ones too, but for how I currently play, non of them would work for me. First off, I rely heavily on audio loopers. This can become problematic as many vintage amps don't have effects loops. Using a mic has too many feedback problems. Being able to switch quickly between very different sounds is also important. So, I compromise and use a Kemper Amp Profiler. While I know it's not the same, or as good in many aspects, it affords me a way of making music that is impossible with any traditional tube amp set up. I feel it makes my music more interesting and I enjoy it more, therefore the end product, or at least my experience of it, is better.

Same with synths. Is Legend just as good as a Model D? No. Can a Model D give me 24 voices as a 4 voice unison x 6? Can any analog? No. Does the Prophet 6 sound exactly like the 5? No. Can the 5 do aftertouch or full midi implementation? No.

That's all I'm saying. I think a lot of modern synth fans feel this way. Everything involves compromise, but it's up to the artist to decide what those compromises are. For me, if some degree of vintage flavor has to be sacrificed for the sake of a musical technique, I say "so be it."
Old 29th December 2016
  #488
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
This thread is hilarious.

If an artist says to you, "I need this old-fashioned shade of purple and it sucks that I can't find it anywhere," how would you answer? (Pick only one)
  1. I saw a bunch of color swatches on YouTube. I couldn't tell the difference.
  2. Just use purpura and add more blue. People won't be able to tell what color you used in the final painting.
  3. There are TONS of shades of purple around today. Just pick one.
  4. What are you talking about?! Purple is purple. Stop fretting over imaginary details and get to work.
  5. Oh, whatever. Artists who say that are just trying to justify the amount of money they spent on that out-of-stock shade and are trying to make all modern artists look like fools. Well they're the ones with the problem!
  6. Well, I've never seen that shade of purple but this new shade just came out and it says it's an old-fashioned shade of purple so just use that one.
  7. Oh, so you're too good to use modern colors? Will fukc you and everybody who thinks like you!
  8. Hmpf!!! Well I guess I should just throw away my color palette then, huh, Mr. Smarty Pants?!!!
  9. Do you think if I took this modern purple back to Van Gogh he wouldn't be able to make "Starry Night"?
  10. Yep. Getting just the right shade makes all the difference. Hope you find the right shade.
Brilliant
Old 29th December 2016
  #489
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
I think this pretty representative of what human beings are capable of these days, so..... it's all good.
Well, it's everywhere today. Things were better when people were young (no, it's not delusional) so let's make things like they used to be. I want more transistors and tubes and tape! Let's kick those computer nerds out of Silicon Valley and start a new Radio Tube factory instead!
Old 29th December 2016
  #490
Gear Maniac
 
fadein's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
This thread is hilarious.

If an artist says to you, "I need this old-fashioned shade of purple and it sucks that I can't find it anywhere," how would you answer? (Pick only one)
  1. I saw a bunch of color swatches on YouTube. I couldn't tell the difference.
  2. Just use purpura and add more blue. People won't be able to tell what color you used in the final painting.
  3. There are TONS of shades of purple around today. Just pick one.
  4. What are you talking about?! Purple is purple. Stop fretting over imaginary details and get to work.
  5. Oh, whatever. Artists who say that are just trying to justify the amount of money they spent on that out-of-stock shade and are trying to make all modern artists look like fools. Well they're the ones with the problem!
  6. Well, I've never seen that shade of purple but this new shade just came out and it says it's an old-fashioned shade of purple so just use that one.
  7. Oh, so you're too good to use modern colors? Will fukc you and everybody who thinks like you!
  8. Hmpf!!! Well I guess I should just throw away my color palette then, huh, Mr. Smarty Pants?!!!
  9. Do you think if I took this modern purple back to Van Gogh he wouldn't be able to make "Starry Night"?
  10. Yep. Getting just the right shade makes all the difference. Hope you find the right shade.
0."Paint yellow, yellow sells pictures!"
Old 29th December 2016
  #491
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
This thread is hilarious.

If an artist says to you, "I need this old-fashioned shade of purple and it sucks that I can't find it anywhere," how would you answer? (Pick only one)
  1. I saw a bunch of color swatches on YouTube. I couldn't tell the difference.
  2. Just use purpura and add more blue. People won't be able to tell what color you used in the final painting.
  3. There are TONS of shades of purple around today. Just pick one.
  4. What are you talking about?! Purple is purple. Stop fretting over imaginary details and get to work.
  5. Oh, whatever. Artists who say that are just trying to justify the amount of money they spent on that out-of-stock shade and are trying to make all modern artists look like fools. Well they're the ones with the problem!
  6. Well, I've never seen that shade of purple but this new shade just came out and it says it's an old-fashioned shade of purple so just use that one.
  7. Oh, so you're too good to use modern colors? Will fukc you and everybody who thinks like you!
  8. Hmpf!!! Well I guess I should just throw away my color palette then, huh, Mr. Smarty Pants?!!!
  9. Do you think if I took this modern purple back to Van Gogh he wouldn't be able to make "Starry Night"?
  10. Yep. Getting just the right shade makes all the difference. Hope you find the right shade.
11. Looks like you will have to make it yourself out of the colors that are available then.
Old 29th December 2016
  #492
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
So what is missing that would make them sound more vintage?

As an electrical engineer I'm very curious as what you think the secret sauce is in vintage analogs. You mentioned "built to different specs" in an earlier post, care to elaborate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
It's the unique character of individual instruments, which you don't get now. One ARP 2600 will sound as different from another, as a VST will sound from either. It's one of those things that makes comparing modeled synths to the originals pointless, when all the originals sound different from one another.
I find this a kind of strange beside-the-point answer. Yes, old synths maintained or not will have their electronics vary over time, giving them subtle differences. I've used this same tact in arguments myself, though more as a devil's advocate. But there is still a 2600 sound, a Minimoog sound, an OB Four Voice sound, an SH-7 sound, a Prophet sound etc. Out of whack, "in whack," those textures will remain true.

I don't know whether enossified will come along with his own conclusions soon, but vintage synths definitely have their own electrical characteristics from those old components and manufacturing techniques. Internal frequency response, output impedance etc. The filters won't be remotely the same as far as electronics go. The old chips haven't been made for decades. This will manifest in some sort of sonic signature unique to each. But how noticeable? Some will insist that it's plain as day, but not everyone agrees.

Taste and druthers matters a lot. Soothing Sound posted an SH-2 vid which frankly, I don't care for. The patches are simple and uninspiring to me, the recording flat and sounds strongly frequency limited. And yet to him, this may be exhibit A of that vintage sound. oldgearguy seems to agree with this, stating,
Quote:
it's the frequency balance coming out of the synth, especially the mids and high end. The older gear seems to have a frequency spectrum that's weighted differently. Personally, I find most modern gear "too harsh" in that the top end hurts and is biting rather than clear.
Sometimes this is the case, but the old Moogs, particularly the Model D and modulars used high performance discreet components also used in high end electronics like stereos and studio processors. They have an internal frequency response of better than 40khz. But often, the wide open sawtooth for me sounds more spitty than silky. Old Moogs aside, I could go along with the assertion that vintage synths in general have a smoother, maybe darker high end, ocassionaly dirtier, and modern synths have a shiny, happy sound like the Radias VA. I could see the JD-XA fitting this description. But as I stated some time ago, its easier and more sonically satisfying to darken and dirty up a clean bright synth than to clean and polish up a dark, gritty one, if it's even doable.

AudioSoundzz posted what to many of us is a jaw dropping list of synths that got sold because the clients didn't want them and they just didn't work in the music being done for whatever reasons. I have to question just what "not working" means. What styles of music? What kinds of patches? What "worked" instead? Why did clients not like them and why did they prefer something else? Did they even bother to spend much time with them or merely poke presets? In the case of the 8 Voice, just gape at it and move along?

I was going to post almost exactly what Zoolok said here, in my essay I deleted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
Does anyone think that if you went back to 1982 and took a Modal 008 with you, or a MacBook Pro and Komplete 11 or a Prophet 12 that Rick Wakeman or Peter Gabriel or Edgar Froese would have been 'underwhelmed'?

As someone already said, this is the best time to be an electronic musician ever - you can literally do anything - limitless tracks, limitless digital fidelity, limitless storage (for all practical purposes) and yet... "ohh... it doesn't sound the same as..." (read that with the whiniest cartoon voice you can image).

The irony is that many musicians who used these instruments back in the day, were sometimes striving for sounds that they simply could not make. How many mellotron choirs or violins do you think would have been replaced by samples had the technology existed then?
Tony Banks said some surprising things in interviews, particularly that he disliked the Hammond Organ and Mellotron. The Mellotrons were cranky and unreliable, and the organs he just didn't care for. He wanted more synthesizers, but these two were the most available polyphonic instruments around, so he used them till he didn't have to.

I was going to posit that if Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim could have manufactured the Prophet~6 and OB-6 back in the day, I think they would have without question, and musicians would have gone crazy buying them up. The sound is very close, the synth architecture was much more powerful, the MIDI implementation was so much more capable, they were more expressive with velocity and pressure sensitive keybeds, had good on board effects which would have outclassed a number of outboard units, reliability was much greater... the other synth makers would be scrambling to keep up or face having to bow out of the market. And aside from Moog, they would have the sound which would define the 80s and be coveted today, because in almost every case, the first of anything defines the genre.

So I think we're down to predilections and preferences and tastes on this subject, which is fine. You want your vintage synths, save up a lot of pennies and one can be yours, or an old digital synth is there for a good price. Want something new for sale right now? There are no shortage of options, including some cheap, good sounding software. Are any of them irreplaceable? I would say no, but that's a personal decision, and I'm all about personal decisions. All my protestations may not have seemed like it, but they were meant to open minds. I would prefer we musicians have minds as wide open as mine, a guy who loves everything. But then a track done with a JP-8 or Memorymoog might be a lot rarer, and that would be kind of sad.
Old 29th December 2016
  #493
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robotunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
11. Looks like you will have to make it yourself out of the colors that are available then.
That's the same as #2 : Just use purpura and add more blue. People won't be able to tell what color you used in the final painting.

OP is looking for a partciular shade of a color we're familiar with. Suggestions such as "Try Diva; it has a bunch of components you can mix and match to get close to what you're looking for" are very helpful. But most of the posts are about people trying to make their views heard, not trying to help answer the question. So much easier to say, "I get it. Hope you find what you're looking for."

This thread is so amusing to me because it's just so predictable. No intent to offend anyone. Carry on, all!

Old 29th December 2016
  #494
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
OP is looking for a partciular shade of a color we're familiar with. Suggestions such as "Try Diva; it has a bunch of components you can mix and match to get close to what you're looking for" are very helpful. But most of the posts are about people trying to make their views heard, not trying to help answer the question. So much easier to say, "I get it. Hope you find what you're looking for."
Yeah but you're not suggesting any real solution either, you're just in it for a chat. But what about if I started a subject called "I just tried to like an analog synth but liked a digital synth instead"?

That's what actually happened recently to me. There's a certain synth company that manufactures both analog and analog/digital hybrid synths (not DSI). I first listened the hybrid synth demos thinking "this sounds f*ng awesome" and after finding out they also have pure analog synth in their catalogue I was really excited!

After listening to countless demos, their own factory demos included, I had to conclude that the digital hybrid synth sounded better than the analog one. Digital beat analog in this case but I'm not going to make a provocative thread about it.
Old 29th December 2016
  #495
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Westlaker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee View Post
Digital beat analog in this case but I'm not going to make a provocative thread about it.
ANYONE ELSE UNDERWHELMED WITH THE 008?

Old 29th December 2016
  #496
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
ANYONE ELSE UNDERWHELMED WITH THE 008?

That is purely your opinion.
Old 29th December 2016
  #497
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Westlaker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee View Post
That is purely your opinion.
Old 29th December 2016
  #498
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
I find this a kind of strange beside-the-point answer. Yes, old synths maintained or not will have their electronics vary over time, giving them subtle differences. I've used this same tact in arguments myself, though more as a devil's advocate. But there is still a 2600 sound, a Minimoog sound, an OB Four Voice sound, an SH-7 sound, a Prophet sound etc. Out of whack, "in whack," those textures will remain true.

I don't know whether enossified will come along with his own conclusions soon, but vintage synths definitely have their own electrical characteristics from those old components and manufacturing techniques. Internal frequency response, output impedance etc. The filters won't be remotely the same as far as electronics go. The old chips haven't been made for decades. This will manifest in some sort of sonic signature unique to each. But how noticeable? Some will insist that it's plain as day, but not everyone agrees.

Taste and druthers matters a lot. Soothing Sound posted an SH-2 vid which frankly, I don't care for. The patches are simple and uninspiring to me, the recording flat and sounds strongly frequency limited. And yet to him, this may be exhibit A of that vintage sound. oldgearguy seems to agree with this, stating,

Sometimes this is the case, but the old Moogs, particularly the Model D and modulars used high performance discreet components also used in high end electronics like stereos and studio processors. They have an internal frequency response of better than 40khz. But often, the wide open sawtooth for me sounds more spitty than silky. Old Moogs aside, I could go along with the assertion that vintage synths in general have a smoother, maybe darker high end, ocassionaly dirtier, and modern synths have a shiny, happy sound like the Radias VA. I could see the JD-XA fitting this description. But as I stated some time ago, its easier and more sonically satisfying to darken and dirty up a clean bright synth than to clean and polish up a dark, gritty one, if it's even doable.

AudioSoundzz posted what to many of us is a jaw dropping list of synths that got sold because the clients didn't want them and they just didn't work in the music being done for whatever reasons. I have to question just what "not working" means. What styles of music? What kinds of patches? What "worked" instead? Why did clients not like them and why did they prefer something else? Did they even bother to spend much time with them or merely poke presets? In the case of the 8 Voice, just gape at it and move along?

I was going to post almost exactly what Zoolok said here, in my essay I deleted.

Tony Banks said some surprising things in interviews, particularly that he disliked the Hammond Organ and Mellotron. The Mellotrons were cranky and unreliable, and the organs he just didn't care for. He wanted more synthesizers, but these two were the most available polyphonic instruments around, so he used them till he didn't have to.

I was going to posit that if Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim could have manufactured the Prophet~6 and OB-6 back in the day, I think they would have without question, and musicians would have gone crazy buying them up. The sound is very close, the synth architecture was much more powerful, the MIDI implementation was so much more capable, they were more expressive with velocity and pressure sensitive keybeds, had good on board effects which would have outclassed a number of outboard units, reliability was much greater... the other synth makers would be scrambling to keep up or face having to bow out of the market. And aside from Moog, they would have the sound which would define the 80s and be coveted today, because in almost every case, the first of anything defines the genre.

So I think we're down to predilections and preferences and tastes on this subject, which is fine. You want your vintage synths, save up a lot of pennies and one can be yours, or an old digital synth is there for a good price. Want something new for sale right now? There are no shortage of options, including some cheap, good sounding software. Are any of them irreplaceable? I would say no, but that's a personal decision, and I'm all about personal decisions. All my protestations may not have seemed like it, but they were meant to open minds. I would prefer we musicians have minds as wide open as mine, a guy who loves everything. But then a track done with a JP-8 or Memorymoog might be a lot rarer, and that would be kind of sad.
I agree with you, but you're not totally taking into account the power of nostalgia. For instance, one could be a 66 Ford Mustang, or, for less money, a 2016 that blows it away in terms of every characteristic that's important in a muscle car, but that doesn't matter. The 66 will always retain a status that the 16 will never attain. Even if they made a 66 reissue that was as close to the original as technology allowed, any difference, no matter how small, would be unacceptable. Hell, maybe even an exact new copy made with freshly machined parts wouldn't be acceptable. (Surely not street legal)

I hang onto a G&L Skyhawk guitar. Is it a great example of a stratocaster style guitar? Yup. But that's not really it and I know it. I really hang onto it more because it's a totem. I got it in 1983. I'd just moved out on my own. Started playing in what was maybe my first decent band. Started f'n regularly for the first time. I was discovering a world of music that went far beyond what I thought "progressive" (King Crimson/Yes) was at the time. I got a job working for Laurie Anderson. John Lennon had just been murdered a few years ago. I soon dragged that guitar out to California. It was magic times, I tell ya, and no guitar, would ever be able to express the significance of that time for me as my Skyhawk.

I think I don't have that feeling towards synths because I didn't give a s about them during that time in my life. Not as an instrument to to play, or as one I heard a lot in my favorite music. It wasn't until much later, when I was much more developed as a human, that I got bitten by the synth bug and analog was already going out of fashion and digital was coming into fashion. I bet if the music I fell in love with first was made with old Prophets, Oberheims and Moogs, I'd probably be firmly on the "modern synths suck" side. As it is not, I just think they're different.
Old 29th December 2016
  #499
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
That's the same as #2 : Just use purpura and add more blue. People won't be able to tell what color you used in the final painting.
Almost, but not exactly.
Old 30th December 2016
  #500
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robotunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee View Post
Yeah but you're not suggesting any real solution either, you're just in it for a chat.
True. I found the thread funny and my sole contribution was to hold up a mirror so everyone could see what I saw. No offense intended.

Quote:
Digital beat analog in this case but I'm not going to make a provocative thread about it.
Yep. Everybody's different.

Old 30th December 2016
  #501
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The thing I keep running into with vintage is that I try to convince myself to get into it, try an Old Thing out, then always end up thinking,..."but I could do this, and so much more, with digital hardware/software!"

My personal cross, I guess.
Old 30th December 2016
  #502
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
So what is missing that would make them sound more vintage?

As an electrical engineer I'm very curious as what you think the secret sauce is in vintage analogs. You mentioned "built to different specs" in an earlier post, care to elaborate?

I liked your comment about amp reissues. I do think most mfrs play fast and loose about adherence to vintage specs. For instance Fender sells "custom shop" amps that supposedly sound better than their generic reissues. If both are truly to spec, they would have identical components, right?
I could go out on a limb about it, but you're the EE, you tell me!

Keep in mind, I was speaking about polysynths, not monos. What it is not is aging and magic dust, I know that much.
Old 30th December 2016
  #503
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy View Post
Old Moogs aside, I could go along with the assertion that vintage synths in general have a smoother, maybe darker high end, ocassionaly dirtier, and modern synths have a shiny, happy sound like the Radias VA. I could see the JD-XA fitting this description. But as I stated some time ago, its easier and more sonically satisfying to darken and dirty up a clean bright synth than to clean and polish up a dark, gritty one, if it's even doable.
Funny you mention the JD-XA in that context. My go-to "happy, shiny" synth as of late has been the SN-VA engine on the Integra 7, same VA engine in the JD-XA.
Up until then the Blokey was the leader of the pack but more I worked with it I found that it can also get dark and a bit gritty too.
Old 30th December 2016
  #504
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
While I agree with you, I think that we're getting lost in conversation about the minutiae of "sound quality/character" and forgetting about other equally important aspects of musical instruments. Functionality. Take amps, as you've mentioned. I love a good vintage tube amp. I also think there are a lot of great modern ones too, but for how I currently play, non of them would work for me. First off, I rely heavily on audio loopers. This can become problematic as many vintage amps don't have effects loops. Using a mic has too many feedback problems. Being able to switch quickly between very different sounds is also important. So, I compromise and use a Kemper Amp Profiler. While I know it's not the same, or as good in many aspects, it affords me a way of making music that is impossible with any traditional tube amp set up. I feel it makes my music more interesting and I enjoy it more, therefore the end product, or at least my experience of it, is better.

Same with synths. Is Legend just as good as a Model D? No. Can a Model D give me 24 voices as a 4 voice unison x 6? Can any analog? No. Does the Prophet 6 sound exactly like the 5? No. Can the 5 do aftertouch or full midi implementation? No.

That's all I'm saying. I think a lot of modern synth fans feel this way. Everything involves compromise, but it's up to the artist to decide what those compromises are. For me, if some degree of vintage flavor has to be sacrificed for the sake of a musical technique, I say "so be it."
I use modern gear every day. Including synths. I guess that would make me a... fan of them! Yesssss! 'Cause I am. Including a few you don't like.

Vintage synths too! I like that they don't sound exactly the same.

As for amps... I just plug straight in to my amps. Maybe once I master all the tonal options there I can graduate to loopers and a big pedalboard. But seriously, with a big pedalboard and all that crap mushing up pure tone, why bother with vintage, I get it, I wouldn't either, not nearly as big of a difference. BTW, G&L's are fantastic guitars, it's not just nostalgia and you know it.

My MO is generally minimalist - so small differences in tone pop out more. No chains of 6-8 plugins here either. Same applies as what I said about amps.
Old 30th December 2016
  #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
....
Anyone else underwhelmed with the modern options? .....


No.
Old 30th December 2016
  #506
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I agree with you, but you're not totally taking into account the power of nostalgia. (nostalgia follows)
Cool story. Must have been one heck of a ride.

You are absolutely right. "You can never go home again" may not be as true as the cliche states, but almost all of us want to. Nostalgia is usually a strong influence. But I would expand past mere nostalgia to something like fascination. Boutique sports cars - for some, old supercars - luxurious living spaces, high end stereos, studio gear and synths, etc. Vintage synths are solidly in this kind of arena. Hard or harder to come by, more expensive, historic pieces of music history and so on. Who wouldn't want to own Thomas Dolby's, Howard Jones' or Nick Rhodes' Jupiter-8? Or dare I say it, one of Vangelis' CS-80s? Properly maintained of course. Won in some sort of sweepstakes, I can't imagine anyone saying "Naah."

But how many would be able to make it through a prank recording done with some other synth or softie in a track as an example of what had been done with it? A very few of us have spent any quality time with these venerable pieces of history and have all but a passing firsthand knowledge of their real sound. Most of us know them from albums in which they have been recorded through a wide variety of signal chains, endured all manner of production techniques, compression, EQ etc, and tuned to taste by musicians and producers alike, all with their own opinion of what a proper recording sounds like. Audiophile attitudes like mine are rare. Many albums, I intend to port into my DAW of choice and essentially remastered as best I can.

With many people, perception is reality. With subjects like this one, there really isn't all that much reason to be hard nosed with some stubborn poster who has their minds made up on one side of the divide. None of us own a company that makes these synths, I doubt that many own stock in them. We feel our toes are being stepped on, that our perceptions are the RIGHT ones dagnabit. Or in my case, I love everything and want everything to be loved pretty much equally by all.

The muscle car analogy is a good one. Their fans love how rough and rowdy and downright Murican they are. You have to be on top of them when you drive them, taking them to the limit in a turn. Their suspensions are tall and wobbly. They feel loose. It's wild and erratic and you have to know what you're doing if you want to push it. In contrast, a new sports car is low, tight and precise, like a new racecar but comfortable. It's tame and honest, communicates well and you can manhandle it without much fear. Two different styles. Refined or a handful: which one is better?

Vintage or new... which one is better? I would say "both," because reliability aside, there is no danger in playing either. I know some beg to differ, and that's okay. Just don't tell me I have to choose sides. It's not an election.
Old 30th December 2016
  #507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CfNorENa View Post
ANYONE ELSE UNDERWHELMED WITH THE 008?

YES IT IS SO DISAPPOINTING got I can't get THAT overdone sound out of it.

WHY CANT COMPANIES SYNTH LIKE THEY USED TO??
Old 30th December 2016
  #508
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three elements to sound creation.
pitch, timbre, volume.
vintage makes them.
so does modern.

is someone underwhelmed to how modern polys process pitch, timbre, and volume?
And if so, is it not usually a person controlling such elements?
Old 30th December 2016
  #509
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synthguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
is someone underwhelmed to how modern polys process pitch, timbre, and volume?
And if so, is it not usually a person controlling such elements?
There's a truism I've been refraining from using, but I'll turn it inward.

If I can't make a good sound with a synth, it's almost never the synth's fault.
Old 30th December 2016
  #510
Gear Addict
 
Steam Shield's Avatar
Eurorack poly.
Topic:
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