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VA or real analogue
Old 30th September 2006
  #1
Gear Addict
 

VA or real analogue

is there really THAT big of a difference between the 2?? I'm thinking of selling my Access Virus C and Waldorf XT, and replacing them with a couple of real analogues.. possibly a Studio Electronics SE 1X or ATCx and something else. The problem that I am facing is that I am trading 42 voices of polyphony with fx for probably 2 voices with no fx, if I decide to buy a couple mono's.
does anybody think that this is smart decision?? I consider myself to have pretty fussy taste, and I'm listening to producers that use analogue, but I can't seem to replicate it with the digital synths. I also have a hell of a time trying to get nice thick, deep basslines. I'm hoping switching to analogue will fix this.
cheers
MIke
Old 30th September 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Def real analogue. There's no comparison.

Of course you can get really interesting sounds from soft synths and VA but if you want it to sound analogue... (ie like most records)

You can get around polyphony limits by recording tracks so long as you dont play live. And you probably dont want to take vintage analogue on the road.

If you are looking for polysynth with ballsy bass the memorymoog is the best sounding synth on the planet. They are also unreliable as hell unless you get the LAMM upgrade, and then they are expensive.

But plenty of folks round here really like the Alesis Andromeda and these are a bargain second hand at the moment (in the UK they have dropped from £2600 new to around £1000 s/h). I was talking to a tech the other day and he was telling me the andromeda was very well made; to the extent he'd never heard of one with a problem that needed more than a software reset.

Being a synth slut I have both of course :J
Old 30th September 2006
  #3
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Dr.Wu's Avatar
 

Instead of getting an SE-1x and a ATC why not get an Omega 8?
It can be run in multimode so you get 2 monovoices for bass and lead and still have 6 voices for pads!
Old 30th September 2006
  #4
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7 Hz's Avatar
Hmm... so you are replacing two VA polysynths with two analog monosynths?

Sounds too drastic to me.

You should replace ONE of them to start with IMHO. Or even just forget about replacing, just add a nice monosynth. Either that, or look to getting an analogue polysynth as well.

Replacing a poly with a mono is like replacing a piano with a sax, you see?

After saying all that - I dislike VA and love real analog, so if it was me, I would chuck both of them and get a prop-one and a polysynth

Also, not all analog is born equal. Some analog synths sound quite plasticy.
Old 30th September 2006
  #5
Gear Addict
 

I wouldn't buy an SE-1X AND a ATC.. I would only get one(for bass), and possibly something else to go with it. I guess computers are so bloody fast now that they could easily replace my VA's. Maybe the polyphony issue isnt as big a deal as I originally thought.
thanks for the comments everyone.
Old 1st October 2006
  #6
Firstly, I don't think your SE or ATC choices are as real analogue as you are looking for. I would go for an OB1, SCi ProFive or Arp Odyssey. Something with real character.
However, I've been using 70's analogue for years. I've lived with a bit of technical unreliability, I've spent ages refining patches, spent ages recording and layering up parts. At the same time my partner has dialled up a preset on a VA in 30 seconds, recorded the part and moved on. The client has not noticed any difference. So I feel like a chump.
Real, old analogue is a beautiful thing to behold though. More satisfying than modern emulations IMO (like VA or SE and ATC).
So, as has been advised, before burning any bridges, why not try a vintage synth for size first before you dump your current working methods.
Old 4th October 2006
  #7
what kind of bass sound are you trying to get ? I own both a virus c and a microwave XT and can try to program something for ya if you like, there are a zillion patches for the virus you can try as well ...

I wouldn't sell the microwave XT, that synth is amazing and is not to be considered VA in my opinion, it is not a go to synth for basslines for me though
Old 4th October 2006
  #8
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dlmorley's Avatar
Being a total synth slut I have a room full of modulars and analogues...
Basically I think they are both valid. Nothing will seperate me from my vintage synths, but some of the new synths are great.
I think the Nord G2 is exceptional and the Virus are very good BUT, they do always have a signature sound that is hard to get away from. Not a big problem, but worth mentioning. I find with my older stuff, it has character but no underlying sound you can't get away from.
My fav new synth is the Waldorf Q+ though. Fabulous.
Old 4th October 2006
  #9
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

You happen to own the only two VA synths I like (and use)!

That said, Q+ may be the ticket.

But my poly analogue fave is Matrix12 thumbsup



ruudman
Old 10th October 2006
  #10
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teknosmoker's Avatar
 

I've been through MANY synths (including an Access Virus) and can say with complete confidence that I MUCH prefer the sound of true analog vs. the emulators. If I don't want to compromise sound quality, why would I buy something that just emulates something else that is readily available?

That said, be prepaired to deal with the problems (repairs, tuning, troubleshooting, etc.) that a vintage analog synth will bring. The virtual's are much more stable and most almost never need any kind of maintanence. They just don't sound as good and will take more work during your mixdown to get a sound with girth.

Personally, I'd only use software (Reaktor & some other hybrid plugs) if I HAD to use VAs, with the exception of somthing like a Nord Modular.

Why limit yourself though? Use the best of both worlds - incorporate an analog in your VA setup and see if it give you what you are looking for. I'm not an analog snob. I use a mixture of analog and digital synths in the studio - no VAs though.

By the way, if you like the sound of your XT, try out a Microwave (the original, not Microwave 2 or XT). It's got nice analog resonant filters that you can overdrive - You can also distort the amps and then wrap them with a creamy analog filter. Make sure you get one with software rev. 2 though.

Best of luck and have fun!


-T
Old 10th October 2006
  #11
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecook View Post
is there really THAT big of a difference between the 2?? I'm thinking of selling my Access Virus C and Waldorf XT, and replacing them with a couple of real analogues.. possibly a Studio Electronics SE 1X or ATCx and something else. The problem that I am facing is that I am trading 42 voices of polyphony with fx for probably 2 voices with no fx, if I decide to buy a couple mono's.
does anybody think that this is smart decision?? I consider myself to have pretty fussy taste, and I'm listening to producers that use analogue, but I can't seem to replicate it with the digital synths. I also have a hell of a time trying to get nice thick, deep basslines. I'm hoping switching to analogue will fix this.
cheers
MIke
i would look at it like this; suppose you went to see a top flite performance of a violin concerto; you would have 35 or so ensemble musicians sawing away, and you would have one soloist;

the soloist would probably be playing a $1.5 million dollar stradivarius, while the rest of the orchestra players would be getting along with mere $35k instruments.

the point is there are some parts of an arrangement where no substitute can be acceptable, and other parts where it's not as important.

for my music, i could not be satisfied by anything but real analog for bass, and i've been very happy w. an se1... i don't think you can get really warm, satisfying bass on a va...

BUT, for other parts of the track, pads, fx, etc., a virus c (or some such) gives you alot of options that an all-analog monosynth won't. there are even times when i use vsti's... (minimonsta, minimoog, prophet53, etc)...

i think you need both... i don't know what sound your after, but if it was me, i'd sell the waldorf and pick up an se1 and keep the virus...

nice combo...
Old 10th October 2006
  #12
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ShaneFontane's Avatar
 

woo hoo... DO IT... just don't buy 2 mono synths... doesn't make much sense... maybe look into an Omega 8 2 or 4 voice version...

THERE IS A IDFFERENCE between VA and Analog for sure... and i will tell you this... I just bought a Virus TI and Moog Little Phatty and the Virus lasted me all of 5 days before I have decided to return it and get my balls up to get an Omega 8 6 voice... the virus will also loose vaue... jeez, i bought mine for 1500 (desktop version) and you figure if that was the price new - then used it's worth like 1100 maybe and in a year or two maybe 700 or 800... thats a huge loss over short time...

the SE stuff will hold better value and will age wiht you gracefully and you will be quite happy
Old 10th October 2006
  #13
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dlmorley's Avatar
That is my main issue with VA.
There is so much that the power they have can do, that to replicate analogue seems silly.
KYMA is absolutely stunning sonically for example and they flexibility something like a Nord G2 has means you can do loads of interesting stuff, but your average VA seems to be aimed at being an analogue replica.

But, it's a different flavour and one they can coexist very nicely..
Old 10th October 2006
  #14
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guitoffee's Avatar
 

Alesis Andromeda. 16 voice REAL Analog. It's mega phat and has midi. Not a fan of the presets, but you can super deep and get some amazing results. People are unloading these synths pretty cheap, because I think they are too lazy to get past the mediocre presets. Also, most people don't know how to use analog synths. Tweaked just right, it will blow away the Virus and Nord.... I know some hard core analog syth guys/ producers swear by these synths and use them as their secret weapon.
Old 10th October 2006
  #15
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Hi Mike.

First, the Waldorf XT is a wavetable synth, not a VA. With that said the Virus and the XT is one of the best in there class. But to answer your question: it really is a big different between VAs and real analog synths.

I would be glad to have a Virus or an XT and I'm a guy that love my analog synths. On the other hand I could not live without my analog synths, they do sound better!

/Cojo
Old 2nd February 2007
  #16
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analogbass's Avatar
 

Agree with the idea of combining the two-keep one of the VAs and get a vintage analog mono that's easily adapted to midi. The combo will give a great range of sounds without much cost. The mono will give you plenty of ballsy sounds while one VA gives excellent sounding & flexible polyphony that sounds more contemporary than just using analog for everything. Using vintage sounds on everything creates the danger of sounding dated, which won't happen if you mix new and old sounds. Personally i think the XT's the best VA-type synth.

Get a vintage analog rather than a Studio Electronics, and midi it. A Pro One, an SEM, Multitrak, Rogue, etc. are all easily midied without mods using an inexpensive Kenton box or similar. If you get a multiple output Kenton you can use several monos at once. Or use a Little Phatty.

Memorymoogs aren't as unstable as claimed, i've owned several. If they're the later midied Plus versions and are/have been taken care (no gigs, not moved anywhere) they'll be ok. I don't think a poly analog synth's necessary though, the configuration i mentioned is more flexible, less problematic regarding repairs, provides a great range of sound options and is less expensive.

Andromeda and Omega 8s are overkill-expensive. Also, they do *not* sound like vintage analog, regardless of what some say.
Old 6th February 2007
  #17
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecook View Post
iThe problem that I am facing is that I am trading 42 voices of polyphony with fx for probably 2 voices with no fx, if I decide to buy a couple mono's.
does anybody think that this is smart decision?? I consider myself to have pretty fussy taste, and I'm listening to producers that use analogue, but I can't seem to replicate it with the digital synths. I also have a hell of a time trying to get nice thick, deep basslines.
MIke
The real problem you are facing is not having the right synths to get the sound you want. The VA's could have 1000 voices of polyphony but it wouldn't matter if you aren't getting the sounds you need to create!

I remember all of the time I wasted trying to tweak the Moog modular soft synth from Arturia (or any other nuber of soft synth Moog wannabes). I could never get the sound to be quite right.

Now that I own a real Moog I am no longer wasting time trying to emulate the sound, I have the sound.
Old 6th February 2007
  #18
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rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teknosmoker View Post
I've been through MANY synths (including an Access Virus) and can say with complete confidence that I MUCH prefer the sound of true analog vs. the emulators. If I don't want to compromise sound quality, why would I buy something that just emulates something else that is readily available?
-T
Exactly! VAs are stil good for VAish sounds, but if you want analog, there is no replacement. I have the ATCX and love it. Fantastic mono! Similar architecture to the Omega series. The SE-1 is more Minimoogish, or so I've heard, but has it's own character. I'd like to try the ATC and SE1 side by side to see which one I like. But what made me buy the ATCX was the fact that it has 4 different filters to choose from. Very versatile synth. I think the SE1 was used a lot on Deleriums albums from Karma and on.

The Waldorf Xt definitely has character. I would personally sell the Virus, just because I don't care for it's dark VA sound. The Xt has lots of digital character that sounds really fresh. That's one digital I think is cool and unique that couldn't be done on a computer. I own the MW1 also and won't sell it. Sweet sweet sound with the Hybrid engine.

Omegas and Andromedas are top of the line since they are Poly. The Omega does sound different than the ATC from listening to demos. The A6 has a kinds of Hybridish sound to me although it is a sound that I know is analog when I hear one. It sounds more clean than older analogs and I always think the sound it produces has a 'sheen' to it. Doesn't have the character those have, but it does have a character all it's own.
Old 6th February 2007
  #19
Gear Nut
 
Luko's Avatar
 

interesting..

i love my analogue synths, especially the arp (its out of tune and unpredictable)

but recently picked up a nord lead2 (VA) and just love how i can program a bass sound and it just fits in the mixc 90% of the time, the VA's are cleaner and crisper therefore cut thru better...depends what you are after

i guess i am just loving the nord as its the new toy!
Old 6th February 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 

do not sell your waldorf MWXT. i have a mixture of analogs, Va's and digital stuff adn nothing can do all the nice things a microwave XT can do. you'll miss it. i know. i had one a long time ago adn sold it then missed it too much and got another one. it's a unique instrument to my ears and i love all the knobs. it just has a really different tone/character than a lot of other stuff out there.

i 2nd the vote for anord lead 2. nice synth adn sounds great to my ears. i love that it has no FX in it. just the sound of the synth itself.

but a real analog will always sound different. not better or worse just different. i find it very satisfying to have some analog oscilaltors and filters. they just do some things i really like and haven't been able to reproduce convincingly w/other non-analog synths. a waldorf pulse is a cool synth but i thin kit's really smooth sounding.. more buttery or something. it doesn't quite have the richness of a pure analog monosynth. can't explain it. i guess it's subjective.

you may get a lot of what you are after w/just a good filter box like a mutronics mutator or sherman filterbank. very different but they can really turn your synths inside out or fatten them up.

the DSI evolver is a good bet for an analog synth though it does have a digital side to it and may not qualify as a "pure" analog to some purists out there. whatever. it's an awesome synth and new so you get a warranty and its got more modulaiton routings than just about anything.

use what is satisfying to your ears. you can find some good analogs on the cheap if you look. i have a technosaurus micronII and it has one of the fatest oscillators i've ever heard. just super round. it was cheap and it's really small. very basic synth though.

for simple basses a roland SH-101 can do that all day long. but it wont do all the killer modulations a pro one or MS-20 will do and certainly won't sound like an arp.

bottom line is if you want a vintage anlog synth get a vintage anlog synth. keep the XT though. it's just too dope not to hold on to.
Old 6th February 2007
  #21
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Syki's Avatar
 

Hey.....come on this is Gearslutz........Own them all!!!!
MUWAHAHAHAHA
Old 6th February 2007
  #22
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecook View Post
I consider myself to have pretty fussy taste, and I'm listening to producers that use analogue, but I can't seem to replicate it with the digital synths.
MIke
I think you pretty much answered your own question.
Old 7th February 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 

It depends on your target medium -- if it's CD, then yes, I think going analog is silly. If it's vinyl, then no, of course it's not silly.

But if you're having trouble getting bass out of your VA synths, then you need to rethink -- because I have no trouble.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy No View Post
Being a synth slut I have both of course :J
What he said.
Old 7th February 2007
  #24
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk View Post
It depends on your target medium -- if it's CD, then yes, I think going analog is silly. If it's vinyl, then no, of course it's not silly.

But if you're having trouble getting bass out of your VA synths, then you need to rethink -- because I have no trouble.What he said.
Doesn't matter if he's going to CD or not. If the sounds he is trying to replicate are from analog synths and he doesn't want it to sound like he is just replicating analog synths then he needs to buy analog synths.

Ok, threads over
Old 7th February 2007
  #25
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crufty's Avatar
A thing to consider is that you can't layer an analog synth into cubase et al like the virus ti can. At the same time, a moog voyager is going to wipe the floor of the virus w/the moog filters etc in certain areas.

Like someone else said--this is gearslutz! WE WANT THEM ALL!

Of course, I can't have what I want but that is a different thread.
Old 7th February 2007
  #26
Gear Addict
 

thanks for the feedback everyone... I received my new Studio Electronics SE-1X Nova Edition about one month ago. I dont regret selling the Virus one bit!!
Old 7th February 2007
  #27
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecook View Post
thanks for the feedback everyone... I received my new Studio Electronics SE-1X Nova Edition about one month ago. I dont regret selling the Virus one bit!!
Congrats!
Old 7th February 2007
  #28
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Syki's Avatar
 

Good for you! Let's hear some SE1x tracks soon!
I've had my Se1 since 1997, curious to know the major differences between the two ( Se1 / Se1x)
Old 7th February 2007
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syki View Post
Good for you! Let's hear some SE1x tracks soon!
I've had my Se1 since 1997, curious to know the major differences between the two ( Se1 / Se1x)
main things (the ones that matter) are expanded memory, midi sync on LFOs, and the optional audio input is now standard. i think you can upgrade to X for around $400.
Old 7th February 2007
  #30
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Syki's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by synth.ignition View Post
main things (the ones that matter) are expanded memory, midi sync on LFOs, and the optional audio input is now standard. i think you can upgrade to X for around $400.
Thats not a bad deal! I've loved my SE1 and the way it sounds , I have this "IF IT AINT BROKE DON"T F#%K WITH IT" attitude. but who knows.
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