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Is it harder to clone digital or analog? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 18th March 2017
  #1
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Thread Starter
Is it harder to clone digital or analog?

It might be that cloning analog circuits turns out the be "easier" or more feasible for a big company to do than cloning good code.

Good luck reverse engineering Spectrasonics or UHE. Even something like a Hammond clone VB3 could be super time consuming and not practical to replicate.

So maybe flooding the market with analog clones will encourage more innovation in or appreciation for digital synthesis.

Perhaps something like the Solaris or even Zebra will be the true classic synth of our generation.
Old 18th March 2017
  #2
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..a great topic, but do we really need yet another thread with "Behringer" in the title...
Old 18th March 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM3310 View Post
..a great topic, but do we really need yet another thread with "Behringer" in the title...
Agreed. Should have called the thread "Is it harder to clone digital or analog?"
Old 18th March 2017
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
It might be that cloning analog circuits turns out the be "easier" or more feasible for a big company to do than cloning good code.

Good luck reverse engineering Spectrasonics or UHE. Even something like a Hammond clone VB3 could be super time consuming and not practical to replicate.

So maybe flooding the market with analog clones will encourage more innovation in or appreciation for digital synthesis.

Perhaps something like the Solaris or even Zebra will be the true classic synth of our generation.
All it takes is one good programmer to create an outstanding digital synth. Go back and read through the credits sections of manuals from the high end VA's from the late 90's or early 2000's, i.e. the golden age of digital hardware super synths. Even the Solaris is essentially the work of one person. If Behringer doesn't have someone in house to do the coding, they can always hire a contractor/consultant to do it for them. Guys like Wolfgang Palm and Wolfram Franke are probably available.
Old 18th March 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
All it takes is one good programmer to create an outstanding digital synth. Go back and read through the credits sections of manuals from the high end VA's from the late 90's or early 2000's, i.e. the golden age of digital hardware super synths. Even the Solaris is essentially the work of one person. If Behringer doesn't have someone in house to do the coding, they can always hire a contractor/consultant to do it for them. Guys like Wolfgang Palm and Wolfram Franke are probably available.
If he were to license UHE or Spectrasonics and puts it in a synth..... forgettaboutit
Old 18th March 2017
  #6
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Really ... Asking for a temporary moratorium on the creation of new Behringer threads ...

Just incorporate into an existing one please ...
Old 18th March 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diametro View Post
Really ... Asking for a temporary moratorium on the creation of new Behringer threads ...

Just incorporate into an existing one please ...
Forgive me Gearslutz... for I have sinned
Old 18th March 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
If he were to license UHE or Spectrasonics and puts it in a synth..... forgettaboutit
I'm surprised this isn't happening already. My TB-03 is great on its own and I also use it ironically as the controller for ABL3. So I thought someone could have done a hardware box and licensed ABL3 into it, proudly branded as ABL3 because it has a great reputation. So yeah, bring on the hardware synths which are genuine licensed VSTs. I'd buy 'em.
Old 19th March 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
If he were to license UHE or Spectrasonics and puts it in a synth..... forgettaboutit
Uli doesn't seem like he's in a position where he would want to or need to pay someone licensing fees to use their code in a synth. It would be much cheaper for him in the long run to pay a good engineer about 6 months worth of freelance wages than to have to pay, possibly in perpetuity, an outside company to re-use their code.

For example, look at the recent development in regards to him rolling his own CEM chips. He could have purchased the ones currently in production, but he chose not to, likely because it would cost much less in the long run to produce his own.

In regards to Urs Heckmann of U-He, I don't think that it's necessarily his programming ability which makes him or U-He special. It's more the fact that he is both technically capable and savvy as a businessman. That's a rare combination. It's not rare to come across extremely talented programmers, those even more talented than Urs, who have trouble getting dressed in the morning, let alone running a successful business. In fact, I'd be shocked if Urs wasn't employing people at U-He who are much better programmers than he is.
Old 19th March 2017
  #10
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Don't get you hopes up for a VA synth from Behringer.
Mr. Behringer posted on sequencer.de today.
He clearly stated that he doesn't believe in VA at all and he thinks it can never sound like real analogue and that his company will specialize on analogue synthesizers.
(The last part of his posting is about that)

https://www.sequencer.de/synthesizer...29022#p1429022

Google translated version in English : https://translate.google.com/transla...022&edit-text=


Personally I like for example the JX-03 and can imagine buying similar products for live-sessions. Sufficient sound, portable, hands-on sound sculpting and digital (no tuning issues in live environment).

But I guess such a device won't be coming from the Behringer company.

Last edited by acealive; 19th March 2017 at 12:47 AM..
Old 19th March 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acealive View Post
Don't get you hopes up for a digital synth from Behringer.
Mr. Behringer posted on sequencer.de today.
He clearly stated that he doesn't believe at all in VA and thinks it can never sound like real analogue and that his company will specialize on analogue synthesizers.
(The last part of his posting is about that)

https://www.sequencer.de/synthesizer...29022#p1429022

Personally I like for example the JX-03 and can imagine buying similar products for live-sessions. Sufficient sound, portable, hands-on sound sculpting and digital (no tuning issues in live environment).

But I guess such a device won't be coming from the Behringer company.
Interesting post over on sequencer.de, thank you for sharing. Hopefully that won't preclude Behringer from producing some digital/analog hybrids akin to the PPG Wave. I'd kill for a modern day PPG Wave, complete with SSM filters.
Old 19th March 2017
  #12
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Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
Interesting post over on sequencer.de, thank you for sharing. Hopefully that won't preclude Behringer from producing some digital/analog hybrids akin to the PPG Wave. I'd kill for a modern day PPG Wave, complete with SSM filters.
His Chip manufacturer CoolAudio is not about to refuse sales or contracts to other companies. Economics doesn't work that way.
Old 19th March 2017
  #13
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Old 19th March 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
His Chip manufacturer CoolAudio is not about to refuse sales or contracts to other companies. Economics doesn't work that way.
Yeah, Uli made it pretty clear in his post that other manufacturers would be free to use his chips. I was just hoping that Behringer would do their own take on a modern day PPG Wave.
Old 19th March 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
Interesting post over on sequencer.de, thank you for sharing. Hopefully that won't preclude Behringer from producing some digital/analog hybrids akin to the PPG Wave. I'd kill for a modern day PPG Wave, complete with SSM filters.
Uli has mentioned he wants to doing something with wavetables and PPG like, that says to me he is interested in Digital and analog, not digital VA of analog, I can see the clear differences and logic too..
Old 19th March 2017
  #16
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The analog sound stays the same, the digital sound constantly improves.
Sooner or later digital synths will kill ALL analog synths, including whatever Behringer will make.
Old 19th March 2017
  #17
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Competition is healthy in promoting new development. The industry needed a shakeup.

Waiting for that discrete poly with ladder filter(s). They wouldn't be able to keep those on the shelves.
Old 19th March 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
For example, look at the recent development in regards to him rolling his own CEM chips. He could have purchased the ones currently in production, but he chose not to, likely because it would cost much less in the long run to produce his own.
Until CoolAudio (ie. Behringer) started remaking the 3340 last summer there weren't any CEM chips in production to purchase. The CEM chips DSI use are exclusively made for them.
Old 19th March 2017
  #19
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It would be a shame if Behry ignored digital synthesis. Digital subtractive does not have to be VA. Whole nother world of sound in digital. A 8 op, knob ladden FM synth would be tits as well.
Or, a PD synth. Full digital.
Old 19th March 2017
  #20
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Softube and many others do or did programing jobs for NI and DAW-makers.

I doubt Urs Heckmann or Eric Persing would be available. Thu both would be more than up to the task. Urs said already he wants to make new synths instead of recoding stuff thats already done by him for another platform.

In one of his posts Uli already ruled some german digisynth legends like Wolfram Franke and Wolfgang Palm out and asked to give his crew and their visions a chance.

So be it. I am looking forward what they come up with
Old 19th March 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveman View Post
Until CoolAudio (ie. Behringer) started remaking the 3340 last summer there weren't any CEM chips in production to purchase. The CEM chips DSI use are exclusively made for them.
MATRIXSYNTH: Curtis CEM3340 VCO Chips Re-Issued
Old 19th March 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
Uli has mentioned he wants to doing something with wavetables and PPG like, that says to me he is interested in Digital and analog, not digital VA of analog, I can see the clear differences and logic too..
If it sounds anything like the original then count me in!
Old 19th March 2017
  #23
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I think where the hypothesis falls apart is in the fact that a lot of people prefer to use software, and even to those who'd use either, how many synths can one have? So, for instance, even at $399, I'm not going to buy Behringer's D. I don't really have room for it, and Legend will give me more voices, functions, instances, etc. Right now I have 4 analog monos, 3 ploys and a digital wavetable 8 voice. I already feel I've got to get rid of a mono. (Anyone want a Boomstar SEM?). So, I'll buy a good plugin simulation, but not another hardware synth.
Old 19th March 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discopotato View Post
His Chip manufacturer CoolAudio is not about to refuse sales or contracts to other companies. Economics doesn't work that way.
Please allow me to provide some facts around IP (Intellectual Property) and Coolaudio.

In 2000 we acquired the Coolaudio business from the US semiconductor company Intersil, which included a large amount of patents and other IP.

Since then the company has focused on offering design services around analog and mixed architecture semiconductors for external customers.

For more than a decade Coolaudio has also specialized in reissuing legacy chips and components mainly for the audio industry, chips that are used by customers such as DSI, Boss (Roland), Elektron, and many more.
Coolaudio's mission is to make legacy semiconductors available to everyone in order to enable manufacturers to create products - even if they compete with us.

Coolaudio has now become a major source for BBD (Bucket Brigade Device) chips which can be found in effects pedals and audio equipment of many reputable companies.

Around 7 years ago I announced on the German magazine amazona.de that we are embarking on a journey to build analog synthesizers and with it we would be starting the process to reissue Curtis and SSM semiconductors.
https://www.amazona.de/top-news-synt...von-behringer/

6 years ago we then successfully launched the first SSM clone, the 2164 VCA. Recently we also introduced a replica of the 3340 VCO, and the 3320 VCF will soon follow. We are also considering to reissue more of the legacy Curtis and SSM portfolio.

All patents expire after around 20 years and hence the 40 year old Curtis and SSM technology is now public domain, which also includes all mask designs etc. This means everyone is allowed to create exact replicas of these legacy chips.
In fact there are other companies who have successfully reproduced Curtis chips – in this case the 3320 VCF.

Shop

If you want to understand how common clones are in the semiconductor industry, have a look at the famous TL074 opamp, which has been produced by almost every known semicon company.

OnChip/Curtis have registered the trademarks Curtis and CEM which means they have exclusivity over those trademarks, just in the same manner as Coolaudio or Texas Instruments marks are protected.
However, everyone is allowed to replicate the chips and offer them for sale, provided they use a different brand and product name.

The limited lifespan of a patent allows an inventor to enjoy the commercial benefits for around 20 years before the technology becomes public domain.
This is for the purpose of allowing others to use the technology after the patent expiration and for society to progress.

This is good news as it allows manufacturers to build the highly desired analog synths again and for people to get replacement parts to maintain their old synth jewels.

Uli

Last edited by Uli Behringer; 19th March 2017 at 08:13 PM..
Old 19th March 2017
  #25
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Old 19th March 2017
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensory View Post
Competition is healthy in promoting new development. The industry needed a shakeup.

Waiting for that discrete poly with ladder filter(s). They wouldn't be able to keep those on the shelves.
Totally agree about your first sentence. Competition can be a very healthy thing for catalyst for creativity and development.
With that said, I would really like to see Uli Behringer's company do a collaboration with Waldorf and Access Music and Radikal Technologies. Make the new affordable all German Super Synth to make the perfect marriage hybrid of analog and digital.

Utilize:

1) Behringer's DM12 analog/digital tech.
2) Waldorf's wavetable and analog tech.
3) Access Music's build quality and make Total Integration work on USB2/3
4) Radikal Technologies' analog and digital tech and sequencer ala Spectralis.
5) The name "Wave 2" seems available.
6) Within $3000. for 61 keyboard synth
Old 19th March 2017
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Agreed. Should have called the thread "Is it harder to clone digital or analog?"
<done >
Old 19th March 2017
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlosacosta View Post
It would be a shame if Behry ignored digital synthesis. Digital subtractive does not have to be VA. Whole nother world of sound in digital. A 8 op, knob ladden FM synth would be tits as well.
Or, a PD synth. Full digital.
Indeed, and.. why clone? There are so many different ways of synthesizing sound to explore.
A knobby FM or PD synth with it's own character (maybe some interesting filter and FX added), patchpoints, I'd buy that without hesitation.
The Malekko Heavy Industries BFF looks interesting. From the specs it's my kind of box. Not sure about the sequencer yet.
Old 19th March 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uli Behringer View Post
Please allow me to provide some facts around IP (Intellectual Property) and Coolaudio.

In 2000 we acquired the Coolaudio business from the US semiconductor company Intersil, which included a large amount of patents and other IP.

Since then the company has focused on offering design services around analog and mixed architecture semiconductors for external customers.

For more than a decade Coolaudio has also specialized in reissuing legacy chips and components mainly for the audio industry, chips that are used by customers such as DSI, Boss (Roland), Elektron, any many more.
Coolaudio's mission is to make legacy semiconductors available to everyone in order to enable manufacturers to create products - even if they compete with us.

Coolaudio has now become a major source for BBD (Bucket Brigade Device) chips which can be found in effects pedals and audio equipment of many reputable companies.

Around 7 years ago I announced on the German magazine amazona.de that we are embarking on a journey to build analog synthesizers and with it we would be starting the process to reissue Curtis and SSM semiconductors.
https://www.amazona.de/top-news-synt...von-behringer/

6 years ago we then successfully launched the first SSM clone, the 2164 VCA. Recently we also introduced a replica of the 3340 VCO, and the 3320 VCF will soon follow. We are also considering to reissue more of the legacy Curtis and SSM portfolio.

All patents expire after around 20 years and hence the 40 year old Curtis and SSM technology is now public domain, which also includes all mask designs etc. This means everyone is allowed to create exact replicas of these legacy chips.
In fact there are other companies who have successfully reproduced Curtis chips – in this case the 3320 VCF.

Shop

If you want to understand how common clones are in the semiconductor industry, have a look at the famous TL074 opamp, which has been produced by almost every known semicon company.

OnChip/Curtis have registered the trademarks Curtis and CEM which means they have exclusivity over those trademarks, just in the same manner as Coolaudio or Texas Instruments marks are protected.
However, everyone is allowed to replicate the chips and offer them for sale, provided they use a different brand and product name.

The limited lifespan of a patent allows an inventor to enjoy the commercial benefits for around 20 years before the technology becomes public domain.
This is for the purpose of allowing others to use the technology and for society to progress.

This is good news as it allows manufacturers to build the highly desired analog synths again and for people to get replacement parts to maintain their old synth jewels.

Uli
Oh cool thanks for the specifics. I know pharmaceuticals is about a 4-6 year window for patents because medicine is obviously more essential for people.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, CoolAudio can be contracted to manufacture chips by an owner of a valid or new patent (including a competitor to Behringer-branded products) to supply those chips exclusively to the owner. Or if that owner prefers, can outright sell you the patent and then you/CoolAudio can distribute as that design as you see fit?
Old 19th March 2017
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlosacosta View Post
It would be a shame if Behry ignored digital synthesis. Digital subtractive does not have to be VA. Whole nother world of sound in digital. A 8 op, knob ladden FM synth would be tits as well.
Or, a PD synth. Full digital.
Any modern CPU and DAC can pull that off in the digital domain quite easily. Now replicating that programming into a stable analog signal path... (Early, stable DCO's start at an inverted-Saw/Ramp) would be quite the accomplishment and I imagine sound different but better.

However if the vintage/used market shows enough demand for the original digital examples (after the analog form is available) down the road, who knows we might see old DACs be reissued (Akai s950 or one of the MPC's when or if the patent expires/has expired would probably be the first ones but that's my view...).

Last edited by Discopotato; 19th March 2017 at 06:50 PM.. Reason: Last paragraph
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