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Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 23rd April 2018
  #421
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by magikroom View Post
Whether they sound better or not, I know one thing...Since getting rid of most of my old gear, I don't have the cost's associated with keeping them running anymore. I'm happy with the newer gear and the only older stuff I have now is a Juno 6 and JX-3p...DCO's and happy with them...Oh...and a Cheetah MS6 sitting in a box with a broken voice.
Ah, but given that you could eke out a vintage sounding blade runner patch from a Casio calculator, you're cheating!
Old 23rd April 2018
  #422
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
All the synths on this are Korg Polysix:
Which goes to show, with enough reverb, layering and chorusing, it isn't about the oscillators - anything can be made to sound good.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #423
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autoy's Avatar
So for all of you asking for more evidence and proof, there's lots of nice videos to explain what some of us have been trying to put into words. Here's one:



The mini is just brighter and has a less nice (to me) low end, less presence and more hype. This is common to all modern recreations I've played with. Also consider that discrepancies in real life listening are even more evident but you still notice them with crappy YT quality and a pair of iPhone earbuds.

This other is not a straight A/B necessarily but a good comparison between characters of fellow GS member did. The difference is staggering, and this is just the 3.2 (a very stable and precise version of the P5s). Again, not a thing of one better than the other but clearly supports my preference of one over the other.



Of course the DM is not exactly a 1:1 recreation but in the process of being inspired by the Juno it lost all the magic somewhere (not only in the chorus but also in a few more places):



The DM12 will however serve its purpose as another type of synth with another type of sound that fits better other things. Do they sound the same? No, one can't really replace the other. Which sounds nicer and more musical to you? Again, I know my answer.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #424
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magikroom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulletproof View Post
Ah, but given that you could eke out a vintage sounding blade runner patch from a Casio calculator, you're cheating!
Haha...I've been getting a bit of heat with that sound, some moaning at me for doing it and some saying it's great to hear it over different synths for comparison...I can't win
Old 23rd April 2018
  #425
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
... and it was crap even when new, a budget synth that sounded thin and wheezy, like te jx3p I owned at that time.
Yet the fact that you're capable of recognizing that the Polysix and JX3P sound different shows that you don't even need to agree with someone's tastes to acknowledge a difference in sound between old and new synths and surmise factors which may have contributed to that difference in sound.

Likewise, for years the Evolver and P08 series have been criticized by many for not sounding enough like classic analogs. By now some of the influencing factors are pretty well known, and even if you're a fan of those synths, if someone who doesn't like them asks why it doesn't sound "as good" you can guess that the CEM3397/PA397 filter sound and general oscillator stability is simply not their cup of tea.

You can make this determination regardless of the particular tone of amount of vitriol they use to voice their opinion. The physical makeup of early DSI synths doesn't magically change depending on how a user voices their opinion, so odds are that the same components which have been cited as causing a marked sonic difference for other critics are causing the displeasure this particular person has with the synth.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magikroom View Post
I can't win
Just please yourself and don’t worry about others. Personally I think it’s a valid datum to see how the saws interact with each other. You can get a good idea of how much oomph the synth has too with a naked patch like that, IMO.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #427
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The VCOs on my MiniMoog sound pretty bad right now because one of them has taken to drifting around randomly. Its not temperature-dependent, it will just slide down down as much as a quarter tone without warning Moving the waveshape and octave knobs don't seem to make it better or worse.

Before I hit the circuit diagrams and start monitoring CV lines, any of you sound experts ever worked on a Moog oscillator with random drift problems?
Old 23rd April 2018
  #428
Gear Head
I have an old Elektor Formant.
I love the vco sound. I’ve heard modern recreations and they definitely don’t sound as good.
The modern ones replace the uA726 with “better” ones as the former are hard to get.
That component is used in later Minimoogs. This link is a demo tape in German from that time. Very simple patches but there is definitely an old school sound there. Mind you the tape could have added something too!
YouTube
I’ve done some work with Melodyne and Symbolic Sounds Kyma.
If you move the note into tune it still sounds great. If you mess with the vibrato it’s ok.
But if you remove the minuscule pitch deviations the character is gone.
Equally bad resynthesis removes the magic as well.
The pitch jitter that the old synths had definitely gave them character.
Plus distortion, phasing etc.
The human brain doesn’t like perfection.
It like the sound to be right in an imperfect way.
Just my opinion.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #429
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post

Before I hit the circuit diagrams and start monitoring CV lines, any of you sound experts ever worked on a Moog oscillator with random drift problems?
No, but I've had other analog oscillators that have developed a random drift.
It's a leaky cap (or something). Anyway, it's just a small part trying to fail. Generally an easy and relatively cheap fix.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #430
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
you don't even need to agree with someone's tastes to acknowledge a difference in sound between old and new synths and surmise factors which may have contributed to that difference in sound.
It’s not that they have a different kind of sound in isolation, of course they do - it’s that people are vehemently stating that those differences make the sounds better - which they clearly do not as sound quality / tastes are purely subjective and relative to the listener.

One simply cannot categorically state that one sound is better than the other, only that it’s better for them. For those people to carry on down this rabbit hole of defence is utterly futile because neither side will give in because both sides are in the right.

It’s all relative and I have no idea why I’m still contributing and reading this pointless thread. More fool me.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #431
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
So for all of you asking for more evidence and proof, there's lots of nice videos to explain what some of us have been trying to put into words. Here's one:



The mini is just brighter and has a less nice (to me) low end, less presence and more hype. This is common to all modern recreations I've played with. Also consider that discrepancies in real life listening are even more evident but you still notice them with crappy YT quality and a pair of iPhone earbuds.

This other is not a straight A/B necessarily but a good comparison between characters of fellow GS member did. The difference is staggering, and this is just the 3.2 (a very stable and precise version of the P5s). Again, not a thing of one better than the other but clearly supports my preference of one over the other.



Of course the DM is not exactly a 1:1 recreation but in the process of being inspired by the Juno it lost all the magic somewhere (not only in the chorus but also in a few more places):



The DM12 will however serve its purpose as another type of synth with another type of sound that fits better other things. Do they sound the same? No, one can't really replace the other. Which sounds nicer and more musical to you? Again, I know my answer.
That prophet 5 vs 6 sounds like a joke. He is not even trying to get them to sound close. The mini ms-20 is louder so it sound much more upfront and harsh. I'm not saying these sound the same but you cant judge from these examples and thats my point, how many here that are good programmers have actually done real comparisons between vintage and new?
Old 23rd April 2018
  #432
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autoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSM2030 View Post
That prophet 5 vs 6 sounds like a joke. He is not even trying to get them to sound close. The mini ms-20 is louder so it sound much more upfront and harsh. I'm not saying these sound the same but you cant judge from these examples and thats my point, how many here that are good programmers have actually done real comparisons between vintage and new?
No, in my case I have done real life hands on comparisons and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to do so. I think this videos don't really try to A/B match synths, to me that is not an interesting comparison at all. The interesting stuff comes when you try to listen with your ears and grasp the character of each. You will lean towards one or the other probably and whatever you pick it's probably your best personal choice.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #433
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markodarko View Post
It’s not that they have a different kind of sound in isolation, of course they do - it’s that people are vehemently stating that those differences make the sounds better - which they clearly do not as sound quality / tastes are purely subjective and relative to the listener.
Yes, but this is so obvious to most people that it's not even worth addressing, and as you admitted, you will never change the mind of someone who insists on stating their preference as fact anyway.

Thus, why would you choose to waste your time arguing with someone's subjective tastes rather than address their question regarding what parts of the synth are causing the differences they favor?

Even if we believe that it was the OP's intention to focus on their opinion of the sonic differences rather than their cause, it's not worth anyone's time giving them what they allegedly want, and instead far more constructive choose to address the more constructive subject of what is causing the differences.

Worst still, even if you wanted to argue with someone over their subjective taste or their wording of it, why would you instead choose to misquote them on an irrelevant technicality in their post, and then argue with others who point out you misquoted them? All in all it's the dumbest possible way to handle the situation.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #434
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
No, in my case I have done real life hands on comparisons and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to do so. I think this videos don't really try to A/B match synths, to me that is not an interesting comparison at all. The interesting stuff comes when you try to listen with your ears and grasp the character of each. You will lean towards one or the other probably and whatever you pick it's probably your best personal choice.
I agree with that and that can only happen if you play them yourself. I'm pretty sure its possible to make them sound as good today. Have you played sunsyn?
Old 23rd April 2018
  #435
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autoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSM2030 View Post
I agree with that and that can only happen if you play them yourself. I'm pretty sure its possible to make them sound as good today. Have you played sunsyn?
I haven’t unfortunately. Of course the modern synths can sound perfectly fine, as many of my favorite musicians use them but this is not the question in this thread I think.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #436
Gear Maniac
 

If we only count polysynths what do we have apart from DSI? Omega 8, Sunsyn, Baloran the River, Deckards Dream, Modal Electronics 008, The abyss. So all vintage vco polysynths sound better than them?
Old 23rd April 2018
  #437
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Yet the fact that you're capable of recognizing that the Polysix and JX3P sound different shows that you don't even need to agree with someone's tastes to acknowledge a difference in sound between old and new synths and surmise factors which may have contributed to that difference in sound.

.
No kidding ...

Sometimes a bad sounding synth is exactly what's needed ... I've used my share of even worse-sounding electronic keyboards on many film scores and tv shows.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markodarko View Post
It’s not that they have a different kind of sound in isolation, of course they do - it’s that people are vehemently stating that those differences make the sounds better - which they clearly do not as sound quality / tastes are purely subjective and relative to the listener.

One simply cannot categorically state that one sound is better than the other, only that it’s better for them
No s**t Sherlock. Please explain why you think this could possibly be news to anyone. And why on earth would you even bother debating someone with such a position anyway? They would have to be next to braindead to not understand such a position to be somewhat subjective in a strictly scientific viewpoint now wouldn't they?

It's like pointing out that my favorite color is not everyone elses favorite color. I could possibly point to some statistics that show that my favorite color is slightly more popular than any other color, but stating that say blue is the nicest color is off course subjective and it goes without saying.

And if there was any indication that blue was the generally prefered color, wouldn't it be a tad more meaningful discussing why that could be, than pointing out that some people find other colors more pleasing, which is blindingly obvious?
Old 23rd April 2018
  #439
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arglebargle View Post
Yeah, I suspect that the friends are getting helped along ala 'Clever Hans'

Clever Hans - Wikipedia


Although in his own way, that was one clever horse.
True, but the horse has an advantage. We want to believe.

A while ago, some videos went around of elephants painting. Now, it's one thing to train an elephant to pickup a brush and slap paint on a canvas, but these elephants were painting representative images. That's huge. My first thought was, "if elephants are doing this, why isn't this on the front page of every newspaper?" Symbolic language like this hasn't ever been really found in the animal world. It's really what sets humans apart, so for elephants to be doing it would mean that we're not so special.

But we are. Elephants have no ability for abstract visual language. They do, however, have very sensitive ears, and if you watch closely (often obscured in the videos) the elephant handler is gently guiding the elephant by touching the ear. But we're so fixated on the painting and the idea that an elephant can paint, that we're really not paying close attention to the trainer who's manipulating the elephant and us. We don't because it's super fun to think it's true. When I went to Thailand, I did see this elephant trick, but because I knew what to look for, it was clear what was happening.

In the same way, I know that the "trick" of a Prophet 5 is that when you turn the filter cutoff all the way up, it's not producing an unfiltered waveform. Dave is holding that elephant ear to make sure it never fully opens unless other modulation is used. Because I have the knowledge of that trick, I can easily make my Prophet 6 sound vintage by not pushing the filter too hard, dialing in about 25% slop, not putting the amp ADSR values to zero, and keeping the filter cutoff knob at about 1:00 I can get it to sound very "vintage" and nearly identical to the magical Prophet 5 VCO. I've learned how to touch the ear.

But maybe the difference between identical and nearly identical is that extra oomph that makes the panties fly off. I'll have to take the OP's word for it, as I've never gotten anyone's panties to fly off using any musical instrument, vintage or modern. I suspect my panty removing abilities are hampered by other factors.

Old 23rd April 2018
  #440
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSM2030 View Post
That prophet 5 vs 6 sounds like a joke. He is not even trying to get them to sound close. The mini ms-20 is louder so it sound much more upfront and harsh. I'm not saying these sound the same but you cant judge from these examples and thats my point, how many here that are good programmers have actually done real comparisons between vintage and new?
Beyond that, he's completely ignoring the fact that the parameter ranges are vastly different between the two instruments. If you tune the filters exactly you get results that are far closer. This is how the internet spreads misconceptions and fake news. There's already a demo that shows how someone got the 5 and 6 to sound super close, but people post that demo because they want to believe the vintage instrument that they paid so much for is profoundly better than the new one that anyone can buy for half the money. Not everyone wants to touch an elephant's ear.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #441
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUBA View Post
And if there was any indication that blue was the generally prefered color, wouldn't it be a tad more meaningful discussing why that could be, than pointing out that some people find other colors more pleasing, which is blindingly obvious?
Sorry, I guess that is subjective and therefore an invalid point. My mistake
Old 23rd April 2018
  #442
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof_Tea View Post
I just bought some crayons for my son.
New box.

Then i remembered I had this old box from when I was a kid.

I found it in an old shoe box with some hot wheels cars a star wars cards. It was worn faded and dog eared, some were missing and worn down to stubs.

As soon as I opened it - wow - memories smells old card board just an amazing rush of feelings ... when I opened the new one, it smelled like shrink wrap and hard plastic.

I could probably color the same picture with both, but mine was so inspiring... the look the smell everything ...

The new one was cheap and forgettable.

But ... maybe if my son keeps the new one for 40 years and gives it to his son...

What's this thread about again?
How the emotions brought on by nostalgia taint one's ability to make untainted decisions.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSM2030 View Post
That prophet 5 vs 6 sounds like a joke. He is not even trying to get them to sound close.
Exactly.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #444
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Beyond that, he's completely ignoring the fact that the parameter ranges are vastly different between the two instruments. If you tune the filters exactly you get results that are far closer. This is how the internet spreads misconceptions and fake news. There's already a demo that shows how someone got the 5 and 6 to sound super close, but people post that demo because they want to believe the vintage instrument that they paid so much for is profoundly better than the new one that anyone can buy for half the money. Not everyone wants to touch an elephant's ear.
There's all sorts of programming tricks you can use to make totally unrelated synths sound similar, but at the end of the day, you may not want to have to research, revise, or implement additional tricks to get the sound you want when other synths can get that sound more readily.

For example on a DCO or wavetable synth there's all sorts of ways you can attempt to imitate slop which may approximate the sound of a VCO to some degree. Likewise analogs like the Alpha Juno intentionally provide waveforms to imitate the era's popular digital synths. Newer digital synths like the Prophet 12 and Xfer Serum allow you to bitcrush/alias the oscillators to capture the sound of older digital synths.

Depending on your tastes and interests, these sorts of programming tricks may be perfectly adequate, or at the end of the day you may be better off with a synth that will capture these sounds readily out of the box without applying any special programming tricks.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #445
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by magikroom View Post
Haha...I've been getting a bit of heat with that sound, some moaning at me for doing it and some saying it's great to hear it over different synths for comparison...I can't win
Pfft. If you're tired of blade runner you're tired of life. I'd let all such criticisms roll off and disappear... like tears in rain.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #446
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
So for all of you asking for more evidence and proof, there's lots of nice videos to explain what some of us have been trying to put into words.
I don't disagree with your post, but did you see this?

Old 23rd April 2018
  #447
Here for the gear
 

A deckards dream and an SE CODE would make for a pretty bad ass modern analog studio.

I want a JP6 because I’m stupid. I have an old Odyssey because the thing can’t ****ing break and it sounds good and has incredible routing capabilities.

There’s plenty of new analogs that are brilliant. There’s plenty of garbage vintage analog too.

I just wanna know why Tom makes the SEM and a P6 but won’t create another OB-X.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #448
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autoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Exactly.
Exactly what I stated in the first place, it’s not meant as a direct comparison but as a way to taste the character of each unit. Listen with your ears and decide which would you prefer just by sound alone. There are some obvious benefits from modern instruments of course, but we are talking strictly sound in this thread. Sadly YT videos are some of the worst listening experiences one can have but even then, might be enough to make a broad preference statement.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #449
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HUBA View Post
No s**t Sherlock. Please explain why you think this could possibly be news to anyone.
It certainly seems news to some, evidently.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #450
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autoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HUBA View Post
I don't disagree with your post, but did you see this?

Sure I have, as well as other comparisons. Behringer have done a tremendous job on this one, I’d really like to see the PCB in detail and what have they used for some parts cause they’re head and shoulders above competing analogues 3 or 4 times the price. However I do have noticed a slight lack of low end compared to the minimoog reissue you can also appreciate in other video analysis (again, not the best quality). But I do trust the voice of some friends who do happen to have both the moog reissue and the behringer and confirmed this very slight difference. No doubt mostly no one will care and given the price considerations it will become even more minor. It’s my absolute recommendation for a first monosynth each time I get asked.
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