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Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 20th April 2018
  #301
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monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by neonrider View Post
if i play one note on a prologue, ob-6, p-6, it's OK--maybe it even stands the test. but if play two, three, a chord, two chords, three chords, on those, versus a classic VCO synth--there's no mistaking new for old. one is nasty, aggressive, biting, sharp, shrill--and the other is warm, it sings, it roars, it pulses.
Yeah, that's funny because i ditched a Pro One about 20 years ago because it sounded nasty, biting, shrill, etc... to me.
Old 20th April 2018
  #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddever View Post
At what point are you willing to bless a newer design as sounding decent?
When it sounds decent

Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddever View Post
And what are these examples?
The Vermona stuff sounds nice.

Although it's not one big sweetspot, the Matrixbrute is able to sound VERY decent IMO.

The BS2 doesn't sound half bad either. I'm sure there are other examples

BTW, I think this proves ones and for all how little of the vintage sound has to do with things like aging components:

Old 20th April 2018
  #303
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
So what is the answer, do you have something to contribute?

A few posters have mentioned that Dreadbox' synths seem to have the old school flavor. I have never used one, but coincidentally I just read this in the Abyss thread:


So that's one qualified opinion.
There is only speculation and biasing unless someone has something we can listen to?

Some years back there was a quite interesting VCF and VCO blind test on muffwiggler. Everyone was expecting the Macbeth to sound the best since it was based on old no cost cut vintage magic components and design. It actually come last in the VCF test at least. I dont think the audio is still there but here is the thread.
MUFF WIGGLER :: View topic - Low Pass Filter Blind test (Modcan, Oakley, MOTM, MacBeth)
Old 20th April 2018
  #304
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daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post
Yeah, that's funny because i ditched a Pro One about 20 years ago because it sounded nasty, biting, shrill, etc... to me.
Interesting, inasmuch one of the remarks made in the TORAIZ AS-1 vs. Pro-One comparisons thread was that the AS-1 (discrete oscillator, SSM-style OTA filter implementation, software envelopes) lacked the bite or top-end of the vintage Pro-One (2x CEM3340 oscillators, CEM3320 VCF, 2x CEM3310 hardware envelope), though they were very close.

In theory, that same comparison should approximately map back to the DSI Prophet-6 (on which the AS-1 voice is based) vs. Sequential Prophet-5 (same for Pro-One) shootout as well.
Old 20th April 2018
  #305
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daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HUBA View Post
When it sounds decent



The Vermona stuff sounds nice.

Although it's not one big sweetspot, the Matrixbrute is able to sound VERY decent IMO.

The BS2 doesn't sound half bad either. I'm sure there are other examples

BTW, I think this proves ones and for all how little of the vintage sound has to do with things like aging components:

Then it also proves that new VCOs and old VCOs (and some VA models) can all sound decent (at least in a monophonic context).
Old 20th April 2018
  #306
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BassX's Avatar
Because of SMT.
Old 20th April 2018
  #307
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SMT capacitors have less equivalent inductance and equivalent resistance,
which in my books is a good thing. I used to relish in the old religion
but my faith is renewed in the new gospel!
Old 20th April 2018
  #308
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod Betamax View Post
SMT capacitors have less equivalent inductance and equivalent resistance,
which in my books is a good thing. I used to relish in the old religion
but my faith is renewed in the new gospel!
Agreed. Only the faithful can make the deficiencies of old components that were a pain-in-the-rear into marvelous vintage features.
Old 20th April 2018
  #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddever View Post
Then it also proves that new VCOs and old VCOs (and some VA models) can all sound decent (at least in a monophonic context).
Well, the Behringers D is not exactly a new design. Otherwise I agree that new VCOs CAN sound good.

Many find most new analog synths to sound less convincing than the classics. I don't have a huge amount of first hand experience but tend to agree.

Another question is whether new designs can sound "vintage", but if they sound good/convincing, then I guess it's not really important.

I think there's a widespread assumption that people that like vintage tone, whatever that is, necasserily don't like any modern synths, and it's just not true.

In any case, there are some good reasons why many people like vintage tone over the typical modern sound. It may be somewhat exaggerated in some cases, and it's not an issue that concerns everyone, but all in all, the mocking of those people is pretty stupid if you ask me.

It's not all nostalgia and snobbery
Old 20th April 2018
  #310
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01rsa's Avatar
I don't know about VCO's since I'm not into modular and what I hear comes through filter, VCA.. but I agree many modern VCO based analog synths don't sound as good for me as my Juno 60 even though it's a single DCO.
I don't know why but I guess they're technically more achieved than old designs, better signal/noise ratio..etc.
I prefer the old sound personally but I believe it's just a question of design and not SMT or ageing components. My Trax Retrowave R1 has that old sound I like and it's new. As well it seems the SMT Boog has this authentic Moog sound to it, Karp odyssey..etc
Now some prefer the new designs but for me if I wanted a newish styled sound I wouldn't even bother with analog synths and go VST.
p.s.: I love to use VST's and romplers also.. but that old dusty sound I can't find there like mellotron vs JV1080 it depends the music you reach for
Old 20th April 2018
  #311
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This thread fails the Turing test. Try again!
Old 21st April 2018
  #312
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autoy's Avatar
Korg did an amazing Job on the Odyssey, much better than on the MS-20 mini. But even with crappy youtube quality you notice the difference in fullness and thump, specially on sequenced parts where the attack is more evident, besides other stuff like the ring modulator just sounding nicer and more musical on the older unit. Ok so this might not matter to you personally, as most analog reissues perfectly reach that "good enough" level, but disregarding price I know which sound I would pick.

Old 21st April 2018
  #313
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daviddever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
Korg did an amazing Job on the Odyssey, much better than on the MS-20 mini. But even with crappy youtube quality you notice the difference in fullness and thump, specially on sequenced parts where the attack is more evident, besides other stuff like the ring modulator just sounding nicer and more musical on the older unit. Ok so this might not matter to you personally, as most analog reissues perfectly reach that "good enough" level, but disregarding price I know which sound I would pick.

It'd be helpful if the output levels were set the same.... not your fault, though.
Old 21st April 2018
  #314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddever View Post
It'd be helpful if the output levels were set the same.... not your fault, though.
Exactly he is always biased towards the vintage. I remember recording that odyssey comparison to my DAW and match the volume and they sounded extremly close which surprised me, apart from a patch in the end where the detune amount is set different.
Its very hard to do a comparison there are so many variables. For example if you don't tune each oscillator to the exact same pitch you will get a different sound and you will always be biased towards the vintage, at least that's what I was when I did comparisons.
Old 21st April 2018
  #315
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The sugar....I smell it....

Old 21st April 2018
  #316
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So the P6, OB6, Rev2, AS1, Sub37, aminitaur, Dominion 1 all suck now?????

everything by MFB everything by Moog eveeything new sucks? I need old synths now for a good sound? and even my friend who works in advertising knows this?

Fack!!

I just spent $15,000 on **** sound. And the music I’m making actually sucks worse than than a toothless hooker on 2nd ave in Brooklyn and will eventually shut down the sex because of audio herpes?

I thought it sounded good! I bought the latest converters ... no the oldest ... not the special edition of the sorta older ones. And I got the .... and the ... and the ... and it’s still the that will make the ...


I remember this happening in High End as the entire boutique outboard thing took off.

The PSU thing was a huge selling point for about 5 years.

Then it was converters.

Then it was mic placement and ROOM TREATMENT.

Then they started telling you to stop buying and to rent. And then are you crazy???? Go to a studio and stop buying gear. Write music.

Old 21st April 2018
  #317
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
So the P6, OB6, Rev2, AS1, Sub37, aminitaur, Dominion 1 all suck now?????

..
Perhaps according to the OP, not according to the majority of poster, I believe.

Looking at the genuine replies, it seems that some hear the difference and prefer the old (noizy, drifty, saturated), some hear the difference and prefer the new (less noise/less drifty/take up less space in the mix).
Old 21st April 2018
  #318
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Speaking for myself, I write and produce in a range of genres.

For instance, I do some 70ies style ambient/soundscape/psychedelic stuff mostly initially improvised with a poly or just a stringer. The colorful, washed out and unhyped sound of the old gear is exactly what I need, I'm not sure I really could do it the same way without (soundwise). Also, as a musician you are working with an instrument, hence the phrase 'noone will notice it in the mix' is pretty irrelevant to me. Albeit the new SEM fits in naturally with the old synths, with a bit more in your face sound, less noise, but it still has that rawness to it, besides just sounding biiiig.

I also do some more contemporary funky/urban electronic stuff that has a lot of stuff going on. There, the new analogs seem to work well, they don't seem to take up as much space. And indeed, sometimes I want to use an instrument that sounds less dusty/dateable, in that way, new analogs are able to sound more precise and controlled, some have expanded modulation/capabilities onboard or external control etc.

So I think there's room/need for both, but in general, if one wants the old sound, pick an old instrument, I think. I'll have to get a Dreadbox at some point. Also, looking forward to hearing Brashears labor of vintage OB love. I think the new River sounds sweet.

I think the old sound is mainly due to old amplifier circuits, just like an un-maintained 70ies 'hi-fi' set can sound wolly and dusty. A synth is full of amplification stages, just like any other piece of audio gear. Fwiw, as a guitar player, I prefer tubes! Besides euphonically pleasing VCO drift, old synths are full of old amp stages. Not least the VCA of course. For instance, I think the identifiable DSI sound has a lot to do with using the same modern amp stages and VCA over a range of synths. Just speculating, but seems reasonable..

Several threads over the last couple of years have touched upon this, makes sense when we're using adjectives like noise/dust/saturation/warm/cold/round/hard.
Old 21st April 2018
  #319
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autoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by daviddever View Post
It'd be helpful if the output levels were set the same.... not your fault, though.
Already considering the difference in level there’s a difference in dynamics too and how the sound is blended in a less defined, more pleasing way on the older unit. It’s the little things really, I wouldn’t pay 3 o 4 times for such difference, but disregarding money I think it’s evident.
Old 21st April 2018
  #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
The colorful, washed out and unhyped sound of the old gear is exactly what I need, I'm not sure I really could do it the same way without (soundwise).
For certain styles, I believe this is how many others feel as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
Also, as a musician you are working with an instrument, hence the phrase 'noone will notice it in the mix' is pretty irrelevant to me.
+1000
Old 21st April 2018
  #321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decoder23 View Post
I actually lied, imho gearslutz is for people, or at least it has been like that for me over the last years, who do care if synth A sounds "better" than synth B or just different and I like that. It's gear talk, not music talk and gear talk includes to talk about quality of gear with positive and negative aspects.
But lately it seems that people start to care less if a machine sounds really good or if it's "ok for the money" and people who talk about differences just get hit by the "in the mix hammer" and similar things.. of course it is true that talented people can make good music with literally everything and less talented people won't even make more than an average track in a studio which is full of high end gear..
I know......I see all the "hey bro' just shut up about the "....." and MAKE MUSIC" copy and paste responses, and wonder........who the f**k is so dumb that they would come to a forum dedicated to discussing the nuances of gear and say "Who cares about the gear MAAAAN"?

If discussing the minutiae of gear doesn't interest you.......F**K OFF! You're in the wrong neighborhood.
Old 21st April 2018
  #322
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Oh.......and people hate the OB6 now?! Is that a "Thing"?? HAHAHAHA

Seems like just yesterday the OB6 was hailed as God's sonic ejaculatory discharge, shot directly into your ear
Old 21st April 2018
  #323
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Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
So the P6, OB6, Rev2, AS1, Sub37, aminitaur, Dominion 1 all suck now?????

everything by MFB everything by Moog eveeything new sucks? I need old synths now for a good sound? and even my friend who works in advertising knows this?

Fack!!

I just spent $15,000 on **** sound. And the music I’m making actually sucks worse than than a toothless hooker on 2nd ave in Brooklyn and will eventually shut down the sex because of audio herpes?

I thought it sounded good! I bought the latest converters ... no the oldest ... not the special edition of the sorta older ones. And I got the .... and the ... and the ... and it’s still the that will make the ...


I remember this happening in High End as the entire boutique outboard thing took off.

The PSU thing was a huge selling point for about 5 years.

Then it was converters.

Then it was mic placement and ROOM TREATMENT.

Then they started telling you to stop buying and to rent. And then are you crazy???? Go to a studio and stop buying gear. Write music.

This! I've spent good twenty minutes trying to find a way to cancel my gs account.
Old 21st April 2018
  #324
Gear Nut
 

LMAO wow, whatever.
"I don't want to debate *if* they do. That much is obvious."
You many not want to debate it, but it is most certainly NOT "obvious."
To begin with, such a judgement is ENTIRELY subjective. There is absolutely 100% ZERO objectivity there. That alone makes your entire blather moot.
Whatever. No skin off my ass. .... still, it's just a ridiculous and snobbish opinion. Not worth my time, so why did I even bother responding? ... just bored, I guess LOL
Old 21st April 2018
  #325
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But I read thread after thread how P6 was the hit maker?

The greatest synth ever made ... no no no Deepmind is ... no no no only 12 old Moogs chained together are.

UAD is every bit as good as Neve hardware ... but only old Neve, not new Neve. That CAPI is so much better than Api .. even old API!

Tape and only tape. Digital is cold and brittle. Nope! UAD!! Nope, not now ... it’s Forsell ... nope that’s brittle ... it’s Burl. Apogee sucks but the AD8000SE ... that’s awesome.

And then I’ll read how a Berhinger ADA8000 is every bit as good as the Prism Orpheus.

So how do samplers fit in?
Do I have to sample the vintage synth?

This thing with PSU is what cracks me up. SSL has fabulous power supplies but their gear is at the bottom of THE MOJO list.

Unless it’s a 4000 board.



Is it ok to use a sampler? Can I buy an MPC X or do I have to buy an old EMU or Ensoniq for it to sound good?
Old 21st April 2018
  #326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artao View Post
LMAO wow, whatever.
"I don't want to debate *if* they do. That much is obvious."
You many not want to debate it, but it is most certainly NOT "obvious."
To begin with, such a judgement is ENTIRELY subjective. There is absolutely 100% ZERO objectivity there. That alone makes your entire blather moot.
Whatever. No skin off my ass. .... still, it's just a ridiculous and snobbish opinion. Not worth my time, so why did I even bother responding? ... just bored, I guess LOL
I see you're kinda new here with only 15 posts, but with that attitude of yours you should be able to feel like home in a blink of an eye
Old 21st April 2018
  #327
Deleted User
Guest
What you might be describing is how the synth-du-jour becomes cold like a soup, some lose interest, and it becomes the synth-duh-bore.



Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
But I read thread after thread how P6 was the hit maker?

The greatest synth ever made ... no no no Deepmind is ... no no no only 12 old Moogs chained together are.

UAD is every bit as good as Neve hardware ... but only old Neve, not new Neve. That CAPI is so much better than Api .. even old API!

Tape and only tape. Digital is cold and brittle. Nope! UAD!! Nope, not now ... it’s Forsell ... nope that’s brittle ... it’s Burl. Apogee sucks but the AD8000SE ... that’s awesome.

And then I’ll read how a Berhinger ADA8000 is every bit as good as the Prism Orpheus.

So how do samplers fit in?
Do I have to sample the vintage synth?

This thing with PSU is what cracks me up. SSL has fabulous power supplies but their gear is at the bottom of THE MOJO list.

Unless it’s a 4000 board.



Is it ok to use a sampler? Can I buy an MPC X or do I have to buy an old EMU or Ensoniq for it to sound good?
Old 21st April 2018
  #328
Here for the gear
 

I think when you get into polysynths is where the question about VCO’s really starts to make a huge difference.

New Odyssey, old Odyssey? Who cares just get the Syntaur Sub-Oscillator mod on either one and learn how to use it.

But for a polysynth? I’ve played a memorymoog an OB-X a P6 and an OB6 all on the same day side by side and the memorymoog and OB-X absolutely put everything else to total shame.

I’ve owned a Juno-60 and a JP6 and a polysix. Out of all of those I think the polysix completely sucked.

So I think there’s something here that cuts across vintage vs new and I personally am interested in which application certain analog synths are more musically pleasing than others and vice versa.

I think the framing of this post was a bit um. Flawed for certain but there’s an interesting gem buried in the question.

I’ve played a 16 voice prologue for hours, it is immediate and sounds pretty damn good for a specifically charactered analog poly. But that said to me the OB-X as a specific character poly synth just absolutely wins hands down without any question. Why? And why does the P6 not even register at all in the same ballpark of kicking ass like an OB-X does? What makes the OB-X so special and why haven’t we figured out how to get that sound into more affordable gear that the masses can afford?

That said we have to also find joys in the flawed character of our gear, there is something to be said about working within the flaws of your equipment and finding something magical. For instance I find both the JP-6 and the prologue to have weird limitations that personally make me wrinkle my nose and think “why the ****?” And in the end it just comes down to workflow and your expectations and how you want to struggle with your equipment.

But that said the OB-X is as close to I have ever come to a synth that just did everything brilliantly with immediacy and complexity and I would love to have a cheaper alternative.
Old 21st April 2018
  #329
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
You're not getting it. A post does not consist of merely the thread title. Read the entire post content again and you will see these words:

"Is it clocking, pitch control, amps, signal chains? All the above?"
By constantly reposting this one line, You're working awfully hard on neonrider's behalf to fend off what you see as logical fallacies in other's posts, but you ignore the one, central and important logical fallacy right there in line one of the OP, right after the misleading thread title; just to refresh your memory, this was what neonrider wrote:

Quote:
"I don't want to debate *if* they do. That much is obvious. Every non musician I have over to my house I do a little test with. Play a key on a new VCO synth (P6, OB6, "D" etc). Then play a key on a classic."
... since you're such a student of the logical fallacy, let's "be honest", the entire OP is a logical fallacy because it includes, in its premise, the author's subjective conclusion as fact; this is how a logical argument is supposed to work:

A premise is a proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn.

In other words, you don't present a premise as a conclusion, you argue it out and form a conclusion.

Which "begs the question", why are you wasting so much effort and time defending this guy's poorly formed and written "premise"????
Old 21st April 2018
  #330
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by datacicada View Post
I think when you get into polysynths is where the question about VCO’s really starts to make a huge difference.

New Odyssey, old Odyssey? Who cares just get the Syntaur Sub-Oscillator mod on either one and learn how to use it.

But for a polysynth? I’ve played a memorymoog an OB-X a P6 and an OB6 all on the same day side by side and the memorymoog and OB-X absolutely put everything else to total shame.

I’ve owned a Juno-60 and a JP6 and a polysix. Out of all of those I think the polysix completely sucked.

So I think there’s something here that cuts across vintage vs new and I personally am interested in which application certain analog synths are more musically pleasing than others and vice versa.

I think the framing of this post was a bit um. Flawed for certain but there’s an interesting gem buried in the question.

I’ve played a 16 voice prologue for hours, it is immediate and sounds pretty damn good for a specifically charactered analog poly. But that said to me the OB-X as a specific character poly synth just absolutely wins hands down without any question. Why? And why does the P6 not even register at all in the same ballpark of kicking ass like an OB-X does? What makes the OB-X so special and why haven’t we figured out how to get that sound into more affordable gear that the masses can afford?

That said we have to also find joys in the flawed character of our gear, there is something to be said about working within the flaws of your equipment and finding something magical. For instance I find both the JP-6 and the prologue to have weird limitations that personally make me wrinkle my nose and think “why the ****?” And in the end it just comes down to workflow and your expectations and how you want to struggle with your equipment.

But that said the OB-X is as close to I have ever come to a synth that just did everything brilliantly with immediacy and complexity and I would love to have a cheaper alternative.
I think you are right about polysynth I think most of us are very sensitive to even small variations in sound. Holding down more notes at a time should sound better if there is a little variation between them, like an orchestra. I like the musicality of imperfections that vintage synths have, cause that's the kind of music I like.
But I can also admit that I have never owned any of the new polysynth, so Im also biased of what Im reading.
What Im tired of is the misinformation spread all the time. I mean hold down one key on a vintage synth and goosebumps appear. He obviously never owned any of the classic or he cant program them, cause Ive compared Minimoog, D and reissue myself.
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