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Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 10th April 2018
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
QFT.
A better sound oft inspires better music.
Old 10th April 2018
  #32
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
@string6theory - it's "Quoted For Truth"

...
I know, just having a little fun.

The OG’s were badass. I could have gone that route, but very truthfully believe my new VCO synths (in general) sound in-phucking-credible and are in no way lesser synths sonically compared to their predecessors. Just the opposite, in fact.

I wouldn’t trade my Prophet and OB 6+6’s, Mini D reissue, ARP Odyssey MK3 reissue, Korg MS-20M reissue, TVSP reissue, Slim Phatty, Voyager Select, RME, Sub-37 and Minitaur for any other synths. Well, except maybe the Minitaur for a Taurus 3.

These new VCO synths ALL sound KILLER, just as the OG’s did. The Prophet and OB were never meant as exact replicas and I for one and glad for that. They give me all the analog mojo juice I crave and more.

Would I still love two of the sexiest synths ever made, a Prophet-5 and OB-X? Yes, I absolutely would, just for the sonic diversity and variation (...and, if I felt it at all necessary and had the space). But, not in place of my current, new 12-voice VCO Prophet and OB’s. I very deliberately chose these new VCO synths for their sonics, not despite their sonics, and got so much more in return.

But, pontificating over why the OB-6 sounds “worse” than the OG OB used on the album for VH’s Jump (for eg) is just silly GS fodder. “Different” is the word.

Old 10th April 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
linear PSUs influence the whole circuit current. Today's power sources are switched, much more power efficient but have ripple effects that ultimately affect the sound. To know more: Linear Regulated vs. Switch Mode Power Supply | EAGLE | Blog
Interesting. Roughly how would you think swapping between these types of PSUs affect the way a modern synth sounds? Would it work like that, or would it have to be implemented from the beginning of the design to have a positive effect on the sound?

Sorry if this was a stupid question. I don't know the slightest about electronics.
Old 10th April 2018
  #34
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pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
@string6theory - it's "Quoted For Truth"


What makes the original SEM have the "right" capacitors?

You launch something and you hope it'll be a success. If it's not, then you might be wrong? Or you may be right, just not that great at marketing. Or right for a specific subset of people whose taste matches yours.

The ability to make a "musical" design has not been lost; that is not the issue. Perhaps this is just all a matter of taste (or even hearing loss related to age). If your high frequencies are attenuated, you might design in such a way that you add more HF.


But making music is scary, it's easier to talk about your tools.

*looks at own postcount*

oh, crap



JX8P was the first thing I thought when I heard this as well. Must be the glassy sync-patches.
It's about UHF and not about HF ... the comparison to the original is like putting a raw chicken in the line and enjoying the dull sound .. in good old German .. it's like day and night.
because the vco best intentions rich overtones and other stuff have, if everything gets stuck in the filter, it does not matter
Old 10th April 2018
  #35
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pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOYZ View Post
You (or perhaps it was someone else) have said that before, I think it was in the UB-Xa thread. But has anyone ever tried replacing those caps with the silver mica caps you're no doubt referring to? Looking at the voices boards it doesn't seem too difficult.
Yes i did this shameful thing with my jp8, ju60, ms404, ml303 and a few others, do not regret it. they're all in tht, much easier to solder.
If I have to pay more money for the name DSI, then I expect something from the factory, additional costs of about 50 - that should be acceptable.
I can only speculate why Tom stopped doing that. will probably have been economic reasons, that came suddenly the dx7 and has him ready .. like so many others too .. bad dx7 lol
Old 10th April 2018
  #36
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthstrategy View Post
A better sound oft inspires better music.
I'm sure our resident xanderbeanz would disagree.
Old 10th April 2018
  #37
Gear Nut
 

The difference is just in the frequency drift and square wave pulse width not being exactly 50%, maybe some slight asymmetry in the triangle wave.

I think there are just a LOT more opportunities for fatness downstream:
- OTAs in the osc mixer (soft clipping)
- OTAs in the filter (lots soft clipping, makes high resonance a lot more usable, very sought after, hard to emulate)
- Other weird frequency dependent effects in the filter
- OTAs in the VCA (soft clipping)
- HPF in the output stage
- Other filtering in the output stage (bass boost, phase change etc)
- Noise in any of those parts
- Differences between stereo channels (look at how many people plug Jupiter 8's in stereo - it's NOT a coincidence! ;3 )
Old 10th April 2018
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
1 - PSU: linear PSUs influence the whole circuit current. Today's power sources are switched, much more power efficient but have ripple effects that ultimately affect the sound. To know more: Linear Regulated vs. Switch Mode Power Supply | EAGLE | Blog
I'm a little skeptical of this. I wouldn't be surprised if they're using switching supplies at the power inputs, but I highly doubt they are running any analog circuitry directly off of one. Surely downstream of the switchers they are filtering and using linear regulators with decent PSRR.
Old 10th April 2018
  #39
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Here's how consumerism works (or worked, btw; it's over if you hadn't noticed):

Advertising (aka "propaganda") brainwashes you into being constantly unhappy with whatever you have, especially if there are more expensive things out there you can be seduced into spending money on.

You -- not just your things, but you yourself -- are told that you are ugly, stinky, crippled and worthless unless you buy Product X. HOWEVER. IF you buy Product X, you will become King of the World! All it takes is money! Look at Trump!

If you don't buy into this, you are constantly bombarded, online, on Facebook, wherever you go, with further propaganda that will eventually sink in.

Then you will impulsively spend money to fix your inadequacy.

Except it never will. Welcome to the world of GAS. of MOAR.

Teens and male nerds are especially susceptible to this propaganda, as they exist in a state of uncertainty about the value of themselves, and so are EXCELLENT propaganda targets.

I'm sorry to say, it sounds like you and your friend are already lost. My condolences!
Old 10th April 2018
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by decoder23 View Post
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..
The trouble is - what's good for you might be bad for me.
It's all subjective.
Old 10th April 2018
  #41
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These threads are SO tired and hackneyed at this point. Everyone has the right answer so no one has the right answer

Anyway, for what it's worth, I have seen increased tolerance on vintage parts mentioned more than any other variable, and that makes sense to me--lower tolerance = more stability = less oscillator movement = less of the mid-rangey phasiness that is really the hallmark sound of "vintage" VCOs/amps. This applies to all parts of the signal chain as well, so probably has the single largest effect.

Pretty any "vintage" synth that has been well-maintained can be perfectly in tune while retaining that natural oscillator movement. The problem is that tuning/tracking accuracy as become synonymous with oscillator stability, and it seems that many modern makers are largely catering to those who are primarily concerned with the former.
Old 10th April 2018
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
3 measurable factors that explain why the topic title has a fair amount of right and why many musicians, short of technical knowledge, describe it as mojo or vibe:

1 - PSU: linear PSUs influence the whole circuit current. Today's power sources are switched, much more power efficient but have ripple effects that ultimately affect the sound.
Nope.
Many people think STS Serge Systems are some of the best sounding analog synths ever made, and they use highly rated modern PSU.
One of the main upgrades for a vintage Arp 2600 is to replace the dodgy PSU with a more modern one. It doesn't change the sound other than to reduce noise in the system as a whole.... and it makes the synth more reliable.
Old 10th April 2018
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
These threads are SO tired and hackneyed at this point. Everyone has the right answer so no one has the right answer
What do you want people to do....just agree with the OP?
The entire premise of the thread is wrong. The OP is claiming old VCOs sound better than new VCOs when both are embedded in hardwired synths with a ton of other factors going on.
If you compared the raw output of a vintage modular oscillator with the same in a modern modular oscillator you might have a sensible debate.
Old 10th April 2018
  #44
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

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..
Exactly. This is not a music theory or mixing/mastering forum; people come here to talk about synths. Answers like "you can still make music with bad gear" and "can't hear the difference in a mix" could be leveled at ANY discussion on the forum yet are really just off-topic. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to use them as an excuse to avoid addressing any topic they personally aren't interested in.

"Is the thread painting my favorite synth in a favorable way? Yes yes yes, talk about its huuuuge advantages till the cows come home. But if the thread is painting my pet synth in a negative light, or just praising something I'm not interested in? OMG WHO CARES? YOU CAN'T TELL IN A MIX. YOU PEOPLE NEED TO MAKE MUSIC INSTEAD OF OBSESSING OVER GEAR!"

People really need to ask themselves if that's the pattern they're falling into before they trot out the same old self-defeating adages. It's so transperant and tired and we see it at least once in every thread.
Old 10th April 2018
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
What do you want people to do....just agree with the OP?
No, I wish the threads wouldn't get started in the first place!


Quote:
The entire premise of the thread is wrong.
Agreed.
Old 10th April 2018
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The trouble is - what's good for you might be bad for me.
It's all subjective.
it's not about good or bad, and it's not if someone prefers one machine over the other, that's subjective indeed and might have different reasons. If you prefer for example the sound of the tb3 over the sound of the tb303 it's totally ok for me, it's your choice and your ears prefer its sound, fine. But if you call them sounding the same we'll have a problem, no matter if it matters in the mix or if people make even better music with the tb3.. after all, different doesn't automatically imply that it's worse.
Old 10th April 2018
  #47
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mekanik's Avatar
 

As chrisso already said it impossible to compare oscs when your listening to mixers/vcas/eqs/filters/output stages and so on.

With that being said I think almost all new synths sounds weak/sterile and lifeless.

you need to distort the osc wavefoms pretty severely to even hear a differene at all.
However many oscillators have different functions and behaviour and therefore uses.

I have a karp tabletop and at first i thought it was pretty killer sounding. I guess it still is. but compared to a similary specced modular its very weak sounding. and limited.

I think most of the "good sound" comes from the other parts.
Like mixers, vcas and filters. its always the whole chain that makes the sound.

i suggests the OP gets a modular
mixers of interest: stg mix, manhattan dtm (these all distort and intermodulate)
vcas: malekko dual, xaoc tallin, wmd/ssf amplitude, erica fusion vca
filters: too many to mention, there is almost no boring ones.
oscs: too many to mention, anything analog will probably do.

the cool part is that you can overdrive/distort any part of the chain how much or little you want.
Old 10th April 2018
  #48
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
Not completely convinced of the truth of this - my moslab 5U oscillators sounds plenty amazing compared to even vintage synths
Ditto. My old DotComs blew even my Pro One away as far as hugeness. Those were hard to find a replacement for in Euro. Pittsburgh Waveforms comes pretty damn close, though. But that Boog...
Old 10th April 2018
  #49
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Derp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
I'm sure our resident xanderbeanz would disagree.
That's extremely subjective. Those old digital synths he uses sound amazing so long as you're not looking at them thinking it's going to sound and behave like a CS80. A lot of good music has been made with the synths he uses.
Old 10th April 2018
  #50
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EvilDragon's Avatar
As if he's only using digital synths.
Old 10th April 2018
  #51
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
I personally think it comes down to Dave Smith’s taste. He likes to start precise and add slop back in with a knob. And he has a general flavor he goes for. It was evident back to the Prophet 600 and T8.

There is something similar happening with the Moog Phattys.

Since so much new analog is focused on DSI and Moog I think you get this idea that it’s all new VCOs that sound that way.

As mentioned, the Minimoog D reissue, Boog, Boomstar, Dreadbox, Dominion, lots of modular, even the MS-20 and Odyssey reissues... they all sound fairly vintage.

So I don’t think it’s necessarily new vs old, just that some manufacturers have embraced a certain sound.

Last edited by Rufuss Sewell; 10th April 2018 at 09:23 PM..
Old 10th April 2018
  #52
its an interesting question but because this is a producer forum not an electrical engineering forum, few around here really know although many hear it...people like Jacob Brashears (who I spoke to about it eg OB6 vs his synth) know about it, electrical engineers who have had a real reason to track it down, and the ears to really hear it...

Its correct what others say in that there are some modern implementations which can get it right...sometimes found in the modular domain, and there the only real difference is age of parts/tolerance of components...
Old 10th April 2018
  #53
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
I personally think it comes down to Dave Smith’s taste. He likes to start precise and add slop back in with a knob. And he has a general flavor he goes for. It was evident back to the Prophet 600 and T8.

There is something similar happening with the Moog Phattys.

Since so much new analog is focused on DSI and Moog I think you get this idea that it’s all new VCOs that sound that way.

As mentioned, the Minimoog D reissue, Boog, Boomstar, dreadbox, Dominion, lots of modular, even the MS-20 and odyssey reissues... they all sound fairly vintage.

So I don’t think it’s necessarily new vs old, just that some manufacturers have embraced a certain sound.
Right. It took me some time to come to grips with it, but there is absolutely room for that sound in a producer's palette. So long as there are other options. And there are- I'm sure we'll see more too.
Old 10th April 2018
  #54
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
The noise source sounds better on my vintage synth and a square wave sounds better on my vintage synth. The main reason is NOT the oscillators.
Old 10th April 2018
  #55
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Bach666's Avatar
 

The reason that new VCOs don't sound as good as old VCOs is because this is a stupid thread.
Old 10th April 2018
  #56
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j3rk's Avatar
 

I think this sums up a thread like this:

Quote:
Look out the window
Look at all that bull**** going on down there in the street
What's all that **** floating out in the water?
I'm gonna get- we gotta get out of here
We gotta go to some island
Grab your shopping cart, grab your cane
Let's get the heck out of here
We gotta move closer to the equator
When are they gonna start showing those Mr. T re-runs?
I used to love that guy
Remember how you used to watch
Mr. T... wrestling?
Y'know, Coca-Cola doesn't taste the same as it used to
Remember when a bowl of soup was a nickel?
All that bass is gonna break my ears
Old 10th April 2018
  #57
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I think many vintage synths were designed almost exactly for the scenario you describe, press one key, and wow goes the live audience. Go to a music shop, press one key, and wow goes the customer.

Recording was a task usually handled by a dedicated professional, home studios weren’t common, deep parameter editing was not a common skill or major selling point, the electrical component values were less precise, and the power consumption was probably quite a bit more.

Modern synths are more designed for use in mixes made in a home studio by a person who has been programming synths for some time already.
Old 10th April 2018
  #58
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Jamie munro's Avatar
 

Blaming modern vco when there's thousands of components involved in the actual output that reaches the ear, priceless.
Old 10th April 2018
  #59
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Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The OP is claiming old VCOs sound better than new VCOs when both are embedded in hardwired synths with a ton of other factors going on.
Without a doubt. I kind of ignored this VCO claim with my first response. But yeah it’s certainly not just vco’s making vintage synths sound the way they do.

Come to think about it... too bad that’s not the case.
Old 10th April 2018
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonrider View Post
Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs?
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