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Analog vs Digital...the last word Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 17th September 2011
  #151
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In the end even our apparently continuous and solid cosmos is made up of 1|0 +/-, electron states can only change in quantized amounts.

When you flatten any multiple-source event (behavior of sound attenuation and the thermodynamics of kinetic particles in a realistic model) in air (which itself is a highly variable and flowing medium) into a single source replication of an audible pattern you have a copy of performance.

It is true that one should always strive do something to the best of their ability and make something the best it can be.

Alas when it comes to subjective things - art appreciation -> which is why musicians make music not sound. Ever wonder why test tones - especially the oh so popular and ubiquitous 440 Hz are not topping the charts? Why concert halls are not packed so that the masses can be exposed to my personal favorite the 250 Hz continuous tone played inside a pressure controlled atmosphere of exactly 1.01325 Bar containing an exact mixture of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% Carbon Dioxide, continously filtered and resupplied at multiple points by diffusive scrubber so as no create a little air current as possible while maintaining the integrity of listening media. Why are high grade Oscilloscopes not flying off the shelves at Wal-Mart so that we can all be sure we are getting 440Hz or 250Hz and not 442 or even (god forbid) 219Hz when we were promised the full 250.

People like what they like, and different fall in and out of fashion at different times. This is the way of the world we create for ourselves and have to live in (because honestly there is no other place for most of us to go and still be social creatures.) Men used to wear panty-hose, cod pieces, fat women used to be hawt, it once acceptable to choose your wife by dragging her from hair kicking and screaming after you just bludgeoned her parents and most of her living relatives to death all the way back your hovel. Some of these things will probably never be in fashion again and some of them might become cool again someday, but it remains that things change and nothing is ever really that terrible that sticks around for too long.

People can argue all they want over A/D and even tough digital sampling rate is a limiting factor so are the physical characteristics of tape and the frequency response curves of many different available media and recording heads, on vinyl or wax the rules of flow plasticity apply as well as ambient vibrations / temperature and a much greater sensitivity to low frequency environmental oscillations and flow back replacement. That is all just physics.

People like what they like, throw your two cents into the ocean if you must but absolutes do more to hinder something better coming along than they do promote positive forward movement.

Lamarck vs. Darwin comes to mind, not the two men themselves but all the hordes of other people sitting in ivory towers pointing fingers at each other each one certain down to the core that he was right and the other was wrong.
Old 17th September 2011
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
Along the chain the sound has been converted from a 'natural' format (electricity/electro magnetism/sound waves) to a wholly artificial format where everything is broken down to discreet points, then put together again by connecting the dots.

~ versus .l.l
Ding Ding Ding!!!

100 points for George

Old 17th September 2011
  #153
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Digital

digital audio is some clever people figuring out a way to chop up an analog signal and then put it back together again though all sorts of algorhythmic tom foolery. I don't care how they slice it, I have serious doubts they can faithfully replicate the deviant and sporadic qualities of a constantly shifting analog signal. There's just too much going on. Sure they can dissect anything and alter it making it smaller (MP3) but at what cost. Digital was great when they wanted to make clear transmissions to the International Space Station of voice data streams....It sort of works ok with film & video...sorta (I'll get flack over this I'm sure)....But can anyone convince me that the actual attack speed of say a Massenburg limiter can be duplicated by an algorhythm ? I'd really like an explanation. My technical experience tells me no f....way. a plug in performance of a digital limiter will never equal what the analog device does all day long. Please somebody out there enlighten me with the math. I do want to be wrong about this as I'm about to buy a new DIGITAL recording rig....sucker that I am. It is easier and more predictable ...I'll give it that.,
Old 17th September 2011
  #154
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANTARAVE View Post
digital can from to 0 to 1 instantly. analog can't.

so when a speaker is reproducing a digital signal there is wasted energy.
holy crap.. There's a model of speaker that feeds a digital source directly to the drivers without any digital to analog conversion taking place? That's amazing!
Old 17th September 2011
  #155
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Bob Moog may have had the last word on Analogue V Digital. But I'm having the last laugh - I use both!! Muuuaaahhhhhh!! heh
Old 17th September 2011
  #156
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogboy73 View Post
Bob Moog may have had the last word on Analogue V Digital. But I'm having the last laugh - I use both!! Muuuaaahhhhhh!! heh

No one carries the DogBoy!



Regards,
Frank
Old 17th September 2011
  #157
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Everything advanced because of digital.

Computers, machines can do it all.

Haven't you guys noticed?

Put a porn dvd on and grab some lotion, no conversion needed.

Just clean up the "real" mess you made afterwards.

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 17th September 2011
  #158
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RRCHON's Avatar
These threads never go anywhere because they loose focus so fast and because this is akin to beating a dead horse and then burying it, then digging it back up just to beat the living daylights out of it again, taking a tea break and then going back to work on it.

Argument 1 (OP): Subjective vs Objective difference of an analog signal path producing sound in synthesizer as opposed to a modeled signal path in a DA synthesizer or plugin synthesizer.

Argument 2: Subjective differentiation between recoding media and methods with regards to faithful and appealing reproduction of a performance.

Argument 3: Objective difference between analog effects processors and dynamic control units vs in the box plug-in effects processors and dynamics control units.

Apples / Oranges / Pineapples

Honestly, use both to not limit yourself, use what you like, and in the end use what you think sounds best (TO YOU) and if people who pay you agree with you then you've come out a winner.

Your selling point for your work should be the sound you make, and not you got there.

Here is some old info on how the modeling is actually done - You do not get the same sound and TBH that does not matter as long as you get something you LIKE.

Plug-in Modelling

A lot of the formulas and algorithms are trade secrets of the people who produce them so you are not going get people spilling their maths on this forum or any forum for that matter.

You need to understand Fast Fourier Transforms, entire text books are written on FFT and FFT applications.

Some light reading on the principles DSP.
Dynamic range compression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some heavier reading and sources DSP.
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/overview/dsp.html

Source code for an open source compressor.
https://trac.handbrake.fr/browser

All these questions are pretty loaded questions because to get to the actual point where one can make objective one to one comparisons requires so much front loaded mathematical and physical models and understanding of the fundamental behavior of sound (vibrational oscillatory forces in media) which involves mathematical models of those phenomena and then the reproduction of those mathematical models in a computational device with an aim to replication deviations created by deviance due to the imperfect behavior of circuitry and phenomena of circuit board induced variance from perfect models.

Have fun with it man - like I said some people write entire text books on any one aspect of each one of those topics.

The scotch is wearing off am going to bed, cheers.
Old 17th September 2011
  #159
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"You get a smooth waveform that's more natural and more of what our ears expect than what you get out of digital circuitry"

This just sums it up. Although I find some plugins manage to emulate this natural sound well: Gmedia Imposcar, minimonsta...
Old 17th September 2011
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by styx77 View Post
"You get a smooth waveform that's more natural and more of what our ears expect than what you get out of digital circuitry"

This just sums it up.
Except for the fact it's completely wrong and shows a monumental ignorance of what digital audio is.
Old 17th September 2011
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stackatrack View Post
digital audio is some clever people figuring out a way to chop up an analog signal and then put it back together again though all sorts of algorhythmic tom foolery. I don't care how they slice it, I have serious doubts they can faithfully replicate the deviant and sporadic qualities of a constantly shifting analog signal. There's just too much going on. Sure they can dissect anything and alter it making it smaller (MP3) but at what cost. Digital was great when they wanted to make clear transmissions to the International Space Station of voice data streams....It sort of works ok with film & video...sorta (I'll get flack over this I'm sure)....But can anyone convince me that the actual attack speed of say a Massenburg limiter can be duplicated by an algorhythm ? I'd really like an explanation. My technical experience tells me no f....way. a plug in performance of a digital limiter will never equal what the analog device does all day long. Please somebody out there enlighten me with the math. I do want to be wrong about this as I'm about to buy a new DIGITAL recording rig....sucker that I am. It is easier and more predictable ...I'll give it that.,
So in essence you don't have a clue how digital audio works but that won't prevent you from making all kinds of claims of what it can and cannot do ?
Old 17th September 2011
  #162
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And as an extra bonus the quantum mechanics "Hey everything is quantized" brigade has arrived like clockwork. Every bloody time. Like quantum mechanics has anything to do with digital audio.

Have we had the "more pixels is better" brigade yet ? They've been strangely quiet lately. Can't wait for the Obama image to surface.
Old 17th September 2011
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B View Post
Apparently he doesn't understand that the signal out of a DAC is 100% analog, and completely free of the supposed "steps." The reconstruction filter takes care of that.

Folks, there is no stair case effect in the signal reproduced through a competently designed DAC.

-Ben B
Ok, but that is not the point.
Is there a difference between a karplus strong guitar model (reFX Slayer)and a strat played through a soldano amp?
Is there a difference by the sound of ****talker vst and the sound of your mom?
IS there a differnece between a minimoog and the arturia minimoog vst?
They all end up like analog signals played through a speaker
Old 17th September 2011
  #164
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now imagine a guy who doesn't know much walks in on this thread and tries to learn something... funniest **** ever
Old 17th September 2011
  #165
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Susceptor's Avatar
 

Even tape and analogue circuits have finite resolution, not to mention our ears.

PS: think about the Planck Constant
Old 17th September 2011
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susceptor View Post

PS: think about the Planck Constant
we use psychoacoustic filters to smooth aout the steps
Old 17th September 2011
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANTARAVE View Post
digital can from to 0 to 1 instantly. analog can't.

so when a speaker is reproducing a digital signal there is wasted energy.
I understand there is a big confusion about numerical representation on this forum. 0 and 1 means dead or alife, yes or no, good or bad. Digital IS musical, just like we say this is a good song or bad song. If that explanation is not enough, read the IEEE 754 standard and how those little 0s and 1s groove to the waveform.
Old 17th September 2011
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter8 View Post
Except for the fact it's completely wrong and shows a monumental ignorance of what digital audio is.
That may be true, but speaking specifically of analog synths vs their digital emulations, wouldn't you say that describes what many people hear?
Old 17th September 2011
  #169
WDM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stackatrack View Post
digital audio is some clever people figuring out a way to chop up an analog signal and then put it back together again though all sorts of algorhythmic tom foolery. I don't care how they slice it, I have serious doubts they can faithfully replicate the deviant and sporadic qualities of a constantly shifting analog signal. There's just too much going on. Sure they can dissect anything and alter it making it smaller (MP3) but at what cost. Digital was great when they wanted to make clear transmissions to the International Space Station of voice data streams....It sort of works ok with film & video...sorta (I'll get flack over this I'm sure)....But can anyone convince me that the actual attack speed of say a Massenburg limiter can be duplicated by an algorhythm ? I'd really like an explanation. My technical experience tells me no f....way. a plug in performance of a digital limiter will never equal what the analog device does all day long. Please somebody out there enlighten me with the math. I do want to be wrong about this as I'm about to buy a new DIGITAL recording rig....sucker that I am. It is easier and more predictable ...I'll give it that.,

In two words, digital audio appeared as a result of efforts to overcome the limitations of analog circuitry. And it's not just for audio.

The thing is: “The bandwidth of an analog system is limited by the physical capabilities of the analog circuits and recording medium.” (Wikipedia)

Another thing is: When you’re really want something extra from “analog circuit” it quickly becomes expensive…

Your beloved Massenburg limiter has a price tag of $6000.
It’s roughly the price of two new “mac pro” super computers, or five windows based super audio workstations built by GS members.
The number of algorithms that these computer monsters could handle 100s times more than it requires beating your limiter by speed to death.

The problem is: Intel, Microsoft and Apple, etc... doesn’t make a living out of audio limiters.
They need to provide the power and speed to calculate the “whole world”.
But when the “whole world” calculation will be over, they’ll do “small fry” as a nice desert.

But… I don’t like any of that either.

I am waiting for some genius to appear who will merge analog and digital technology in one box at its best and create something really extraordinary and affordable... to impress both freaks at the same time: analog and digital. That should be main direction
Old 17th September 2011
  #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by styx77 View Post
That may be true, but speaking specifically of analog synths vs their digital emulations, wouldn't you say that describes what many people hear?
Well since the difference between an analog synth and a digital recreation isn't that the analog one has smooth waveform how could i possibly say that, that is the difference ?

The difference isn't in the waveforms because then an analog synth recorded to digital media would have the same non-smooth waveforms and they don't. The notion that digital audio is "steppy" is completely and utterly wrong. It doesn't work that way.

The reason they don't sound the same is they haven't emulated it good enough,end of story. Emulating an analog synth is a monumental task. To begin with you need to know what to look for,there are complex interactions between stuff that's hard to imagine.
Old 17th September 2011
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter8 View Post
The reason they don't sound the same is they haven't emulated it good enough,end of story.
Exactly. It has nothing to do with digital audio vs analog audio. The difference is due to programmers not having enough knowledge and/or processing power to do it right.

I repeat, no one in this thread has suggested that current digital synths can faithfully reproduce the sounds of analog synths. But the amount of bull**** explanations on this matter from people who don't understand the technical issues involved is insane. You don't even need a degree in math to grasp these concepts, just basic first-year college level calculus. I don't know why some people bring quantum physics and stuff into the matter. Go read a discrete signal processing book like Oppenheim's or Proakis'.
Old 17th September 2011
  #172
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I'll never understand why digital is compared directly to analogue and then looked down upon when it doesn't sound the same. Can a Moog do wavetables or 80 voice polyphony? What about sampling and mangling, or even granular synthesis? You'd think for $3.5K a voyager could atleast modulate playback speed of an air conditioner sample while i sample my voice going "ahhh" then time stretch that and blend both into a nice pad. You'd think for $3.5K you'd get an envelope for each function, and an LFO that you can hand draw the waveform for each parameter.


apples and oranges.
Old 17th September 2011
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
Exactly. It has nothing to do with digital audio vs analog audio. The difference is due to programmers not having enough knowledge and/or processing power to do it right.

That is just speculation.
I think -maybe- the Clavia VA line ends at N3, now they could triple the processing power, but N3 is still the Clavia flagship VA.
Props 303 from 1996 is still, by many, regarded the best emu.
They now have tons more experience and CPU, but does not put a better 303 in Reason

A plain ramp lookup table oscillator through some serial onepole filters sound actually close to an analog synth, but that does not mean you can make software sound exactly like a minimoog
Old 17th September 2011
  #174
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Before i appear here as an all digital hater...

i actually love the DX7..TX7 TX816.. and my nord modulars..and there are certain digtal sound processors that are just ..wow

There are digital cool plastic 3d moddeling crunchy crispy shiny attractions..

But there is a lot of digital cheap vanilla i byte your ear off szzzzzzz technology out there.

Digital Audio has its attractions but in hard and soft-ware reality?

When you listen to weiss and jünger processors and theire good algos and converters, with solid analog frontend, you dont really get the idea that digital is evil.
But than you go to a club.. and wonder was has happened to the sound.. that is often all too artificial and ear piercing these days .... look in the rack...and.. dbx driverack... again

Will need some more years to pass the medieval times of digital audio.
all the consumer grade DA´s and involved dsp algos are just not good enough yet.

44,1 k and cheap filter algos are not good enough for multi KW soundsystems. We Need Weiss and Jünger grade quality in any little Rack...

Even an RME multiface or fireface 400 DA´s are actually not good enough. Ableton live is not good enough.. and so on.
All the low and midrange digital gear adds up to a sound enviroment in public that makes it difficult to embrace digital audio.

And that applies to digital synths too.. my nord modulars with better converters and an analog frontend like in an old moog?

Wow..that would be something... I actually run them thru vintage preamps..with benefits, but i cant do that on stage...
Old 17th September 2011
  #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3phase View Post
We Need Weiss and Jünger grade quality in any little Rack...
They will always be expensive, as its good craftamship.
Good clocks did not jitter 15 years ago.
UA 2192 will be a cool piece of gear 30 years from now
Old 17th September 2011
  #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disco judas View Post
That is just speculation.
I think -maybe- the Clavia VA line ends at N3, now they could triple the processing power, but N3 is still the Clavia flagship VA.
Props 303 from 1996 is still, by many, regarded the best emu.
They now have tons more experience and CPU, but does not put a better 303 in Reason
No, it's not speculation. If you recorded a minimoog in a digital medium (say, at 24-bit, 96 KHz). Then played the same line live in the minimoog and played back the recorded sound (in random order) through the same amplification system for a blinded test subject, making sure the levels are matched, the subject would have a hard time to reliably distinguish which is the real mini and which is the recorded version.

Speculation is making assumptions about what Clavia could have done if they had continued the Nord Lead line. The fact is that Clavia has been working on organ and electric piano emulations and such, and from what I've read, their Nord Electro does some of the best Rhodes emulations and pretty good organ sounds.

Moreover, you chose a bad example. First, show me the poll where Rebirth's 303 is considered the best 303 software emulation, among modern software. Second, the NL3 has nothing to do with this since it does not attempt to emulate any other model, particularly not a 303. And finally, in a recording, I think very few people (and I mean people in general, not just electro musicians) would distinguish an actual 303 from an emulation. This means, many emulations are quite capable of reproducing the basic characteristics of the 303 sound. They may break at some extreme settings, but that does not mean they cannot emulate a good range of the target sounds. Only to some people, the emulation will not be good enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disco judas View Post
A plain ramp lookup table oscillator through some serial onepole filters sound actually close to an analog synth, but that does not mean you can make it sound exactly like a minimoog
The problem is, a minimoog doesn't sound exactly like a minimoog. There may be considerable differences between two different minis, so it's impossible to achieve anything such as "the perfect minimoog sound". To me, something like Minimonsta does sound like a minimoog.... not a particular minimoog, and certainly not analog, but the general characteristics of the minimoog sound. The problem is when people start performing stupid comparisons... usually against a particular minimoog... and record waveforms and whatnot only to say the waveforms are different, or that the synths behave differently when their parameters are set to similar values, without taking into account something so basic as the tolerance ranges in the analog components of said instance of a minimoog.

I think that softsynth developers have succesfully modeled the general behavior of many analog synths... now the issue is how to make any instance of such softsynth have its own personality... how to add controlled uncertainty to the parameters. I believe this requires both knowledge and more processing power than what is available today... for example, imagine you could modulate each parameter with a low-amplitude smooth random LFO... if your synth has more than 30 parameters, these micro-modulations may require more CPU than the basic architecture itself.
Old 17th September 2011
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3phase View Post
my nord modulars with better converters and an analog frontend like in an old moog?

Wow..that would be something... I actually run them thru vintage preamps..with benefits, but i cant do that on stage...
In my last album I used my analog modular for most sounds, but there was a particular track that was mostly based on my Nord G2, which as many have said before, is as cold and digital as can be. In an attempt to warm up the sound a bit, I decided to run the G2 through my Electrix Filter Factory... no filtering was actually done but the preamp and some mild distortion really made a difference. Just imagine if I had a high-end preamp.
Old 17th September 2011
  #178
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this thread is one of the most typical examples of an online penis vortex I've ever seen.
Old 17th September 2011
  #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainchild View Post
this thread is one of the most typical examples of an online penis vortex I've ever seen.
Is that good or bad?
Old 17th September 2011
  #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
If you recorded a minimoog in a digital medium (say, at 24-bit, 96 KHz). Then played the same line live in the minimoog and played back the recorded sound (in random order) through the same amplification system for a blinded test subject, making sure the levels are matched, the subject would have a hard time to reliably distinguish which is the real mini and which is the recorded version.
If you are able to record a vocal performance or some guy playing drums
ie digitize it, does not mean you are able to synthesize it.
No convincing Elvis Presley or john lennon synthesizer exist
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