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Best Synths of the Decade
Old 1 day ago
  #121
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tricera's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Wave View Post
The whole question of what started the analog revival is an interesting one. Historians will often point out that movements and changes rarely tie to a single event or watershed moment. It tends to happen in fits and starts. This is undoubtedly true of the analog renaissance.

Analog's comeback gained steam with the revival of Moog and the underground persistence of small companies in the late 90s and early 2000s (Doepfer, Jomox, Future Retro, etc.). Then Dave Smith got back into the game and started DSI, creating a new affordable price tier with sub $2k polyphonic hardware (Poly Evolver, Prophet 08, etc.) and eventually sub $1k options (Mopho, Tetra, etc.). As Korg and others found out, breaking the $1k barrier and eventually the $500 barrier with new analog synth designs was key in gaining commercial viability.

Meanwhile -- and this is also important -- virtual analog hardware and software continued to get better which (somewhat paradoxically) created even more of a demand for new analog synths. Analog was what purists considered authentic, real, gritty. But VAs and VSTs were affordable and accessible in the late 90s and early 2000s, and they enabled a whole generation of synthesists to learn subtractive synthesis. This also ensured that current genres of music would utilize those types of sounds.

In general terms, digital synths went in two directions. Some converged on the classic analog sound, starting with hardware like the AN1X and culminating more recently with software like Diva etc. Other companies like Waldorf, Access, Quasimidi, Native Instruments, Propellerhead, etc. went heavily in the digital direction and explored other types of synthesis altogether (wavetable, granular, advanced FM, additive, etc.).

But again, the better that virtual analog technology became, the more those people hungered for real analog synths. Along the way, Korg, Roland, and to a lesser extent Yamaha -- more so than any other companies -- continued to stoke interest in analog synthesis by issuing relatively low cost VA hardware that had a retro analog look and feel to it. This included not only the AN1X, but also the Z1, Prophecy, JP8000/8080, MS2000, MicroKorg, the original Electribes, the Oasys, the AN200 (and PLG cards for the Motif), etc. So in a strange way, the return of analog owed a lot to Korg's and Roland's efforts to produce affordable virtual analog synths.

And then there's the flip side of the story, which has less to do with public sentiments and popular culture and more to do with the nature of industrial production in the digital age. The ramping up of analog synth production is a story of time and capital allotment. It parallels other developments in the relationship between European/American/Japanese innovation and Asian factory production. Consider how much a flat screen LCD television cost when they first debuted. A 32 inch TV retailed for something like $8000 because the components were so rarefied and expensive to produce. Once factories were set up to mass produce the specialized chips, circuit boards, and especially LCD/LED screens in high volume, the process became streamlined and cheaper. Retail prices came down and demand went through the roof. Like it or not (I happen to like it), Behringer headlines that next chapter, though Korg, DSI, Moog, and Roland are still major players now that there's an established market.
Or we could simply thank the executive who took a punt on Tatsuya Takahashi.
Old 1 day ago
  #122
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draig's Avatar
 

One of the top synths of the decade for me would be Pittsburg Modular’s Voltage Research Laboratory
Old 1 day ago
  #123
Gear Nut
 

P6 for sound and usability.

Behringer Model D as bang for the buck entry. How can something so cheap sound so good?

We live in blessed times, never before could we buy this much quality with this little money.
Old 23 hours ago
  #124
Gear Head
 
Dequadix's Avatar
PC...?
Old 22 hours ago
  #125
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Wave View Post
..But again, the better that virtual analog technology became, the more those people hungered for real analog synths. Along the way, Korg, Roland, and to a lesser extent Yamaha -- more so than any other companies -- continued to stoke interest in analog synthesis by issuing relatively low cost VA hardware that had a retro analog look and feel to it. This included not only the AN1X, but also the Z1, Prophecy, JP8000/8080, MS2000, MicroKorg, the original Electribes, the Oasys, the AN200 (and PLG cards for the Motif), etc. So in a strange way, the return of analog owed a lot to Korg's and Roland's efforts to produce affordable virtual analog synths..
Maximum hunger was there, right from the beginning we started in the mid to late 90's or early 2000's. Also the never ending battle versus virtual analog and real analog was already there. Most of the people demanded analogs, it just took awfully long from manufacturers to deliver them, so long many forgot what they want and need.

There never should be revival because they never went off from being in fashion. It's horrible thing we got hyped and feed all that crap between.
Old 22 hours ago
  #126
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unease's Avatar
For me personally it's the Pro-2. Finally a synth that works with me and inspires me instead of leading me in directions that I'm not intending to go (Virus TI, I'm looking at you!) and is vast enough to cover a lot of my synths needs but still hands on and fast enough.

More in general I would say that the modular world or the table top mini synths/boxes were probably more defining the decade. Pointing out specific models from these is hard but I'd say some manufacturers are worth to mention:

Modular: Makenoise, they just seem to be really good at designing systems that are exploring the modular aspects and still have a sense of a coherent instrument.

Tabletop synth: Elektron, I think they were really early into this and helped to define the work flow of the typical table top gadget setup.
Old 20 hours ago
  #127
Gear Head
 

Going to have to go Deepmind 12 for:

- Sound
- Features
- Value for money
Old 20 hours ago
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowkast View Post


The wolf howling logo is priceless
Old 19 hours ago
  #129
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerbkrawler View Post
For me, the Quantum. In addition to signaling the return of my favorite company, it delivered on all features I would never had hoped for in a flagship synth (a particle engine with analog filters?) . How can it not be a future classic? I will be sampling and exploring this thing for the rest of my life.
+1 definitely.
Old 17 hours ago
  #130
Kja
Lives for gear
I don't want markodarko to yell at me but I think the prophet 6 was there most influential analog synth as well.. although, as far as what sounds defined the past decade for modern music released at the commercial level, would be Moog... Not including software, modern moog's like the sub and Voyager, the grandmother, have created a huge portion of popular electronic music in studio's. Prophet rev2 probably the most used live but I'm not sure.
Old 15 hours ago
  #131
PES
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PES's Avatar
Add to this advances in computer/DAW tech, and how easy it is to record and edit/process audio at home now vs around 2000. A simple analog mono makes more sense now vs then, when multitimbrality and polyphony (which is easier to do in VA) was more in demand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Wave View Post
The whole question of what started the analog revival is an interesting one. Historians will often point out that movements and changes rarely tie to a single event or watershed moment. It tends to happen in fits and starts. This is undoubtedly true of the analog renaissance.

Analog's comeback gained steam with the revival of Moog and the underground persistence of small companies in the late 90s and early 2000s (Doepfer, Jomox, Future Retro, etc.). Then Dave Smith got back into the game and started DSI, creating a new affordable price tier with sub $2k polyphonic hardware (Poly Evolver, Prophet 08, etc.) and eventually sub $1k options (Mopho, Tetra, etc.). As Korg and others found out, breaking the $1k barrier and eventually the $500 barrier with new analog synth designs was key in gaining commercial viability.

Meanwhile -- and this is also important -- virtual analog hardware and software continued to get better which (somewhat paradoxically) created even more of a demand for new analog synths. Analog was what purists considered authentic, real, gritty. But VAs and VSTs were affordable and accessible in the late 90s and early 2000s, and they enabled a whole generation of synthesists to learn subtractive synthesis. This also ensured that current genres of music would utilize those types of sounds.

In general terms, digital synths went in two directions. Some converged on the classic analog sound, starting with hardware like the AN1X and culminating more recently with software like Diva etc. Other companies like Waldorf, Access, Quasimidi, Native Instruments, Propellerhead, etc. went heavily in the digital direction and explored other types of synthesis altogether (wavetable, granular, advanced FM, additive, etc.).

But again, the better that virtual analog technology became, the more those people hungered for real analog synths. Along the way, Korg, Roland, and to a lesser extent Yamaha -- more so than any other companies -- continued to stoke interest in analog synthesis by issuing relatively low cost VA hardware that had a retro analog look and feel to it. This included not only the AN1X, but also the Z1, Prophecy, JP8000/8080, MS2000, MicroKorg, the original Electribes, the Oasys, the AN200 (and PLG cards for the Motif), etc. So in a strange way, the return of analog owed a lot to Korg's and Roland's efforts to produce affordable virtual analog synths.

And then there's the flip side of the story, which has less to do with public sentiments and popular culture and more to do with the nature of industrial production in the digital age. The ramping up of analog synth production is a story of time and capital allotment. It parallels other developments in the relationship between European/American/Japanese innovation and Asian factory production. Consider how much a flat screen LCD television cost when they first debuted. A 32 inch TV retailed for something like $8000 because the components were so rarefied and expensive to produce. Once factories were set up to mass produce the specialized chips, circuit boards, and especially LCD/LED screens in high volume, the process became streamlined and cheaper. Retail prices came down and demand went through the roof. Like it or not (I happen to like it), Behringer headlines that next chapter, though Korg, DSI, Moog, and Roland are still major players now that there's an established market.
Old 15 hours ago
  #132
Lives for gear
 
mutilatedlip's Avatar
+1 for the Pro 2.

Beautifully built, sounds wonderful, is a multitasking box of delights, and interfaces with any kind of set up.

I never come away from it having failed to find what I want.

I've also got a massive soft spot for Intellijel's Atlantis. It sounds fatter than nearly anything I own, and if you are ih influenced by 90s dance, then this is the thing for basslines. Brilliantly versatile, but a killer for low end.
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