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Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 12th April 2018
  #121
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtrance View Post
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 12th April 2018
  #122
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
You bring up a great example with Brashears and the Relic though, and perhaps he’s done his own contextual testing which helped him form his own conclusions.
I was wondering that same thing. If it really makes as big a difference as he's suggesting, perhaps he should do a demo to let prospective customers hear the difference for themselves.

And yes, modern analogs can sound wonderful. The OB-6 might not sound like an OB-X but this OB-6 pad sound gives me shivers:

YouTube

and the one just before that is awesome too, reminds me of Queen:

YouTube
Old 12th April 2018
  #123
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
That’s affirmative!

You can setup the 6+6 to have the keyboard panel control every parameter of the module (in Global settings) - which is awesome for 12-voice polychaining.

You can also set them up to behave completely independently, so the keyboard panel has no effect on the module panel - which is fantastic for creating living & breathing sonic layers between the two. I absolutely love this!

I really need to start a 6+6 thread with all the things I love about them - with examples. Number one is that they simply sound more sonically rich, lush & powerful - like I feel there supposed to - which to my ears makes these pairings simply unbeatable. Sonic masterpieces greater than the sum of their parts.

Where a 6-voice OB might sound a little less lush & lively compared to a classic 8-voice, I’m here (& hear) to let y’all know that the new 6+6 (or 12-voice) OB sounds soulfully alive and sonically kowtows to no vintage synth, OB or not OB (there is no question).

I personally don’t think it’s even a fair comparison with a Prophet 6+6 and OG Prophet-5. Sorry OG. Now, with the P-10 that’s a fairer matchup!

Something I love to do is work each of the LFO’s to slow-sync saws & reverse saws against each other (so they sonically offset and compliment), w/filter, etc, to get the sizzle going, set polymod or xmod variations between the two, different keyboard tracking, pan the keys slightly out from center and pan the module wider, detune each to taste, then slowly sweep the mod wheel.

Another is jamming to sequences - and being able to use the pitch bend wheel on the keyboard while playing lead - without it pitch bending the entire sequence playing on the module.

Or, sync-offsetting two rhythmic sequences playing at the same time on keys and module by simply slowing down the BPM on the keyboard (and leaving the module BPM the same) until I here a syncopation that I like. I can’t even imagine trying to do this by recording parts separately and shifting tracks around in PT.

In conclusion... the new Prophet and OB VCO’s absolutely DO

So, do the Moog, ARP, Korg and Tom Oberheim VCO’s, thank you very much.

Sounds amazing, but before you even polychain two of those babies together, they already offer some amazing features that breath life into the sound that their ancestors didn’t have. Oscillator drift? I control my own oscillator drift via polyphonic aftertouch.
Old 12th April 2018
  #124
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Klonfocius's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
As an electrical engineer, I really love these threads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOYZ View Post
I'm an electrical engineer as well. Regardless of what I think about this, it seems to me you are contradicting yourself to some extent. You write and then you say
This is fantastic, two electrical engineers contradict themselves on GS.
Old 12th April 2018
  #125
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Engineers are always right, unless they're not.
Old 12th April 2018
  #126
Trolled again by neonrider. You guys will never learn will you?

I gotta give him credit. He drops the highest quality sh1t bombs I have ever read. Turns this place into a friggin meme.
Old 12th April 2018
  #127
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Me me me is that all you kids ever think about?!
Old 12th April 2018
  #128
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Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

We don’t think about you all that often.
Old 12th April 2018
  #129
Deleted User
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With 2 CS-40m's at your disposal, you are at the top of the aural heap, in regards to VCOs, IMO.



Quote:
Originally Posted by synthRodriguez View Post
>> Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs? Or rather, why do old VCO's sound better than new VCO's?

I don't know why, but they do. I've performed the same uber-scientific test as the OP of having non-musician friends listen to both, and the results are always the same. Usually there's an "Oh wow." response; no one has ever said they don't 'get it'.

I made the decision last week to go full-vintage for all my analog stuff. A guy is coming by at noon today to buy the P6 and that's fine. What made me pull the trigger was the Memorymoog I got the week before, there's just no comparison. The Prophet will end up sitting in the corner with the MM in the room. I probably wouldn't go all-vintage if I wan't a tech as with vintage comes the associated problems, but since I can work on them, giddy-up.

And there's the old argument that no one will hear the difference in a mix. That may or may not be true, but the music is for me not someone else. I'LL hear the difference, and that's what counts.
Old 12th April 2018
  #130
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klonfocius View Post
This is fantastic, two electrical engineers contradict themselves on GS.
Where did I contradict myself? Perhaps you meant each other? In which case please note I'm not even really contradicting him as I'm not decided on the issue, I was just pointing out to him how he was contradicting himself somewhat in that one single post of his.

Anyway, glad you got a laugh out of it
Old 12th April 2018
  #131
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raffor's Avatar
 

I have to admit, I thought there is something special going on with these old VCOs and their organic sound. I did buy myself a MiniMoog Reissue and it sounds great. But it was not until I bought myself a Dreadbox NYX/Erebus that I know, you can get a vintage sound from modern components.
Old 12th April 2018
  #132
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robot gigante's Avatar
EE's are humans too.

There have always been synths with "vintage" character in production from one set of companies or another, especially if we don't forget modular. There was no dividing line where one sound stopped and the other began due to components being available or the rise of SMT. It's a continuum. You could always find a new analog synth that matched or competed with vintage.
Old 12th April 2018
  #133
This question is so odd, and is based on a false premise that the OP even acknowledges in his post - that old and new VCOs sound different. Maybe you and your friends think so, but can you really know what a VCO sounds like based on your experiment? Or could it just be an all-analog signal path vs. low-quality D/A converters in your synths?

If you're playing a key for your friends, you're not just listening to the VCO. You're hearing the entire synth. Any, and all of those elements could be making a difference in sound quality. Just a simple, snappy EG makes one analog synth sound better than another...so does a great filter.

You could have just asked: 'Why do old analog synths sound better than new ones?' I'm not sure it's true - Ken MacBeth (and Tom Oberheim) would probably argue with you about that - it all depends on the design. Many older synths were made by a small company of engineers and experts that specialized in synths - they knew what they were doing, and hearing; and how one component from one supplier sounds different than the same value from another supplier. Now, most synths are made by large corporations, and designed to meet a specific profit margin, by tin-eared contract engineers that make all different kinds of consumer products.

OTOH, Many of those modern synths that are designed and built by engineer/musicians sound every bit as phat as the predecessors they seek to emulate. Especially the reproductions. The new Moog Modulars are no less, sound quality-wise, than the old ones; the new Oberheim 2-Voice sounds like the old one, etc...they are the same synths, circuit by circuit, component by component.

Does a new Pro 6 sound like a Prophet 5? No, because as a synth designer, Dave Smith made different design choices once he learned about digital circuits. If he tried an analog, circuit by circuit reproduction of the Prophet 5, I'm sure it would sound exactly the same.

FWIW, as an example, the Korg Arp Odyssey really nailed the sound of the original. It's hard to listen to a comparison of those two old and new synths and say one is better than the other. Korg really did a nice job with the Arp, and they even hired the original designers to help them do it. As reproductions go, it's one of my favorite examples of how to do it right.
Old 12th April 2018
  #134
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I just want to meet the mythical human who drops their panties for a vintage VCO.
Old 12th April 2018
  #135
Can't hear anything "bad" with Dreadbox or Dominion 1 VCO's.
Old 12th April 2018
  #136
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

If Gearslutz were a car forum:
OP: "I've been getting bad gas mileage lately. Could it be because of the fuel injectors, spark plugs, air filters, or all of the above?"

50% of replies: "Your question is invalid because you blamed the gas without ever considering the fuel injectors, spark plugs, or air filters."
If Gearslutz were a restaurant forum:
OP: "I noticed the chicken sandwich doesn't taste as good lately. Could it be because of the lettuce, tomato, the bread, or all of the above?"

50% of replies: "Your question is invalid because you blamed the chicken without ever considering what's in the rest of the sandwhich."

Last edited by Gnalvl; 12th April 2018 at 07:39 PM..
Old 12th April 2018
  #137
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Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I just want to meet the mythical human who drops their panties for a vintage VCO.
Don’t be pretending you wouldn't.
Old 12th April 2018
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Mitch View Post
We don’t think about you all that often.
Well that's a relief!
Old 12th April 2018
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
If Gearslutz were a restaurant forum:

OP: "I noticed the chicken sandwich doesn't taste as good lately. Could it be because of the lettuce, tomato, the bread, or all of the above?"

50% of replies: "OMG your question is invalid because you blamed the chicken without ever considering the lettuce, tomato, or bread!!!!1!1!11111"
"But how real is the chicken? Is it organic?"

"Organic chicken sucks! Full of disease, stringy, not enough fat on those free-ranging monsters' bones!"

"What?! You've got to be kidding me! Processed chicken tastes like stale frogs! It's full of all sorts of artifacts, and the zippering noise you hear when you pull open the container just gives the whole thing away!"

"You think organic is great and you can taste the difference, go ahead; but I want to see a piece of organic chicken next to a piece of processed chicken in a taste test before I'll even listen to you! Give me KFC, any time. Good luck not dying on that "natural" crap. Did you know organic chickens while free-ranging might be sucking up plutonium from the soil? No worries about that with digital.... er, I mean processed chicken. The food it eats has been carefully processed and everything's been wrung out except the specific ingredients needed to grow the chicken, so you're always safe! Then, they bleach the chicken before putting it in a bag, so no bacteria, none! Perfection."

"You're full of it..... organic evolved over a long time and just has a flavor and texture that can't be emulated, no matter how good the processing. Give me a chicken, free, happy, eating what Mother Nature provides and oblivious to its imminent demise until The Final Moment any day!"

.... and so on.... Gearslutz Chicken: You Know it's Got to be One, or the Other.
Old 12th April 2018
  #140
MIDI killed the CV/GATE star.

I do agree that listening to a vintage synth "in person" compared to some newer machines can reveal subtle differences in the VCO/DCO sound which don't translate across a recording as easily. I also can't quite understand WHY from a technical standpoint. I'm not savvy enough.

I think the Erebus is the most unexpectedly "old school" sounding synth I've bought in a long time. I'd love to try an Abyss. Dreadbox is onto something. Maybe the saw core VCO's have something to do with it? I honestly don't know.
Old 12th April 2018
  #141
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Arglebargle's Avatar
The premise is far too genericized: Older synths often don't sound the same between identical units. Some have parts that weren't always standardized inside the model ranges. Etc. Much ado about not much.

Like what you like.
Old 12th April 2018
  #142
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raffor View Post
I did buy myself a MiniMoog Reissue and it sounds great. But it was not until I bought myself a Dreadbox NYX/Erebus that I know, you can get a vintage sound from modern components.
Old 12th April 2018
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I just want to meet the mythical human who drops their panties for a vintage VCO.
I'm not sure I would
Old 12th April 2018
  #144
Kja
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmey View Post
This question is so odd, and is based on a false premise that the OP even acknowledges in his post - that old and new VCOs sound different. Maybe you and your friends think so, but can you really know what a VCO sounds like based on your experiment? Or could it just be an all-analog signal path vs. low-quality D/A converters in your synths?

If you're playing a key for your friends, you're not just listening to the VCO. You're hearing the entire synth. Any, and all of those elements could be making a difference in sound quality. Just a simple, snappy EG makes one analog synth sound better than another...so does a great filter.

You could have just asked: 'Why do old analog synths sound better than new ones?' I'm not sure it's true - Ken MacBeth (and Tom Oberheim) would probably argue with you about that - it all depends on the design. Many older synths were made by a small company of engineers and experts that specialized in synths - they knew what they were doing, and hearing; and how one component from one supplier sounds different than the same value from another supplier. Now, most synths are made by large corporations, and designed to meet a specific profit margin, by tin-eared contract engineers that make all different kinds of consumer products.

OTOH, Many of those modern synths that are designed and built by engineer/musicians sound every bit as phat as the predecessors they seek to emulate. Especially the reproductions. The new Moog Modulars are no less, sound quality-wise, than the old ones; the new Oberheim 2-Voice sounds like the old one, etc...they are the same synths, circuit by circuit, component by component.

Does a new Pro 6 sound like a Prophet 5? No, because as a synth designer, Dave Smith made different design choices once he learned about digital circuits. If he tried an analog, circuit by circuit reproduction of the Prophet 5, I'm sure it would sound exactly the same.

FWIW, as an example, the Korg Arp Odyssey really nailed the sound of the original. It's hard to listen to a comparison of those two old and new synths and say one is better than the other. Korg really did a nice job with the Arp, and they even hired the original designers to help them do it. As reproductions go, it's one of my favorite examples of how to do it right.
Its posts like this that scare me.. The prophet 6 has nothing more digital in it then a prophet 5. They both use a microprocessor to recall settings, Dave said that they were built in very much the same way, he even loaded all the original patches from a prophet 5 to show they are the same, the main difference is that he increased all of the parameters because the microprossecor is much better now so it can read much more values. He also increased the polymod to include two sources now instead of just vco 2. Have you played both? You seem so sure that just because the prophet 5 is older that it can't use the same tech, but mostly not much has changed, the oscillators are better regulated now but it is still a new synth, in time you will see phasing issues and tuning instability like the older ones.. The prophet 6 is two years old! Its still a baby, its hard to compare it to a synth from 1974..
Old 12th April 2018
  #145
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Mr Knoch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kja View Post
Its posts like this that scare me.. The prophet 6 has nothing more digital in it then a prophet 5. They both use a microprocessor to recall settings, Dave said that they were built in very much the same way, he even loaded all the original patches from a prophet 5 to show they are the same, the main difference is that he increased all of the parameters because the microprossecor is much better now so it can read much more values. He also increased the polymod to include two sources now instead of just vco 2. Have you played both? You seem so sure that just because the prophet 5 is older that it can't use the same tech, but mostly not much has changed, the oscillators are better regulated now but it is still a new synth, in time you will see phasing issues and tuning instability like the older ones.. The prophet 6 is two years old! Its still a baby, its hard to compare it to a synth from 1974..
I agree. Below is my buddy Ken's stack of Prophets in his studio. Notice the 6 just above the 5. Just after this photo was taken he and another friend and I were in this studio using these Prophets. My pals had their backs turned and while I was playing the original patches on both instruments, for the most part could not tell which of the two synths I was playing. We have been writing and playing synth music since the mid-80's. I will grant you that there are differences in the sound of the two but there were three gear heads in the studio and we could not (with regular accuracy) tell which was which. The photo can be seen on Dave Smith's facebook page.


You can also see the Jupiter 4 trying to elbow his way in there.
Old 12th April 2018
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arglebargle View Post
The premise is far too genericized: Older synths often don't sound the same between identical units. Some have parts that weren't always standardized inside the model ranges.
I would be interested to hear one of those suffering from having a typical modern sound.
Old 12th April 2018
  #147
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John01W's Avatar
"OB6 doesn't sounds like and OB-X" (it's clearly derivative IMO).........

an OB-8 or Matrix 12 doesn't sound like an OB-X either but they still sound awesome, and very much like an OB
Old 13th April 2018
  #148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kja View Post
Its posts like this that scare me.. The prophet 6 has nothing more digital in it then a prophet 5. They both use a microprocessor to recall settings, Dave said that they were built in very much the same way, he even loaded all the original patches from a prophet 5 to show they are the same, the main difference is that he increased all of the parameters because the microprossecor is much better now so it can read much more values. He also increased the polymod to include two sources now instead of just vco 2. Have you played both? You seem so sure that just because the prophet 5 is older that it can't use the same tech, but mostly not much has changed, the oscillators are better regulated now but it is still a new synth, in time you will see phasing issues and tuning instability like the older ones.. The prophet 6 is two years old! Its still a baby, its hard to compare it to a synth from 1974..
I have, and I don't recall a digital reverb or sequencer on the Prophet 5. Other than that, I think we agree completely. There's no big difference between old and new, besides Dave's enhancements (which are what make it sound different). Old synths and new synths rule!
Old 13th April 2018
  #149
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markodarko's Avatar
 

Why Don't New VCOs Sound as Good as Old VCOs?

A: Because... Vangelis.
Old 13th April 2018
  #150
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shreddoggie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
If Gearslutz were a car forum:
OP: "I've been getting bad gas mileage lately. Could it be because of the fuel injectors, spark plugs, air filters, or all of the above?"

50% of replies: "Your question is invalid because you blamed the gas without ever considering the fuel injectors, spark plugs, or air filters."
If Gearslutz were a restaurant forum:
OP: "I noticed the chicken sandwich doesn't taste as good lately. Could it be because of the lettuce, tomato, the bread, or all of the above?"

50% of replies: "Your question is invalid because you blamed the chicken without ever considering what's in the rest of the sandwhich."
The chicken ate my sandwich - who is at fault? I have nothing to detune now...
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