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What is the most organic sounding synth?
Old 23rd October 2013
  #1
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
What is the most organic sounding synth?

'Organic' is a word that will probably mean different things to different people. To me it means the end of the synth spectrum that is the opposite of the clangy PPGish wavetable type synthesis. Synths that often don't sound like synths at all, or if they do, they sound smooth, soft, rounder than something harsh and digital.

Though I don't simply mean analog, as of course there are digital waves very capable of that type of sound, and plenty of analog that doesn't sound that way at all. The Virus C is a good example of a digital synth that gets there, in its sweet spots (listen to most any Tycho song).

The guys in my avatar, BoC, are masters of coaxing this type of sound out of synths. To me the most emblematic synth of this type of sound is the Model D, it sounds so sweet and round and alive (this demo starts to get there around the 2 minute mark):






What synths would fit into whatever your definition of 'organic ' is?
Old 23rd October 2013
  #2
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Well, to me, "organic" in sonic terms means "complex, rich and evolving," because that is what characterises natural sound.

Synthesized sounds are interesting because they aren't natural; yet at the same time they can be "complex, rich and evolving" in their own way.

The most I've gotten in that way is the Moog Voyager, but that's just personal experience... I would guess that modular synths would take you even further down this avenue.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #3
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Of the stuff I own, the most organic sounding gear is modular. The Voyager sounds plenty rich, and the Sunsyn sounds like a force of nature (or a swarm of insects). Even the Microwave XT can churn out some convincingly realistic harpsichord sounds. But there's some real magic in the modular... the highlights being:

Synthtech MOTM 440 VCF: woody / reedy sounds, as well as beautiful acoustic overtones
Synthtech MOTM 480 VCF: brassy CS80 sounds
Oakley Diode Superladder VCF: liquid / chirpy sounds
Make Noise QMMG: percussion LPG/VCA/LPF... bongos
Make Noise DPO: prismatic animated FM harmonics
Synthtech E340: swarmy, chaotic Trent Reznor beehive sounds

There's a lot more that are arguably very organic sounding, (Doepfer Xtreme/Wasp filters, Sherman Filterbank, Harvestman VCF, Livewire AFG get honorable mentions) but the ones above get my top vote for organic sound quality.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #4
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secretmountain's Avatar
 

Definitely Nexus2
Old 23rd October 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveFromKyoto View Post
'Organic' is a word that will probably mean different things to different people. To me it means the end of the synth spectrum that is the opposite of the clangy PPGish wavetable type synthesis. Synths that often don't sound like synths at all, or if they do, they sound smooth, soft, rounder than something harsh and digital.
Given that description of 'organic' I'd say Voyetra 8.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #6
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I recently got the chance to play about with an sh7, that really sounded "organic" to me.

In the digital domain, Aalto and reaktor's Spark really have impressed me by their ability to create tones that cover a huge variety and have that sense of being "alive", especially aalto as it has great scope for unpredictability.

Nexus on the other hand is about as organic as a big mac
Old 23rd October 2013
  #7
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24dB's Avatar
I think the OSCar can sound pretty organic
Old 23rd October 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveFromKyoto View Post
What synths would fit into whatever your definition of 'organic ' is?
When using the term "organic" to describe the sound of a synth, I think of a combination of the standard meanings "relating to or derived from living matter" and "denoting or characterized by a harmonious relationship between the elements of a whole". In other words, the sound feels "natural -- alive -- harmonious -- complete".

Among the synths I own, I would say the Jupiter-4, SH-2 and SEM sound the most "organic" to my ears. Subtle oscillator instability definitely plays a role in creating this illusion -- much like the illusion of "perfect balance" in a ballet dancer on pointe. In reality, the dancer is making (ideally) imperceptible adjustments (shifts in weight) to maintain the illusion of perfect balance. Were the balance to be absolutely perfect it would appear lifeless and robotic -- not unlike the sound quality of a perfectly stable (i.e. "static") oscillator.

Nothing (that I can think of at the moment) is static in nature -- so the more movement there is in something, the more "natural" it will seem.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #9
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Hey, maison is back! Welcome back to the addiction, mate.

Entries for organic in my estimation would include Chroma Polaris, Korg mini700s, Korg DSS-1 (I know, a sampler, but really more a synth with variable waveforms....and PLENTY organic sounding), Roland System 100. Also old Sequentials have something very organic, although they can glisten, too, like P5, P600, ProOne.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Hey, maison is back! Welcome back to the addiction, mate.
+1
Old 23rd October 2013
  #11
after fiddling about inside my Pro5 R2 for a week... i'd have to say: Pro5 R2
Old 23rd October 2013
  #12
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dswo's Avatar
Thanks for sharing that D demo, LiveFromKyoto. Thanks, too, praxisaxis and maisonvague, for sharing your ideas about what makes a machine "organic."

Nature never builds in straight lines, but that doesn't make nature random. What seems random is usually obedience to a more nuanced law.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #13
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Yoozer's Avatar
In Tycho's stuff I think the organicity is achieved by a slow tape warble; often it seems to be the overemphasized detuning that would otherwise occur in a synthesizer. But LFO doesn't mimic slight tuning differences between the keys - most LFOs can't be set in such a way that they just add/subtract a random number of cents consistently per key.

The bass of the Solina Strings is pretty organic, even with the modulation turned off.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #14
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Organic sounding synth, probably one of these would fit that bill.

Old 23rd October 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 View Post
Organic sounding synth, probably one of these would fit that bill.

He said organic, not untuneable.....
Old 23rd October 2013
  #16
Old 23rd October 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Hey, maison is back! Welcome back to the addiction, mate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
+1
Thanks, guys. Nice to know I've been missed. I've spent the last six months or so contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything, and have come to the conclusion that it's not about the gear, but about the gear!

Feels great to be back!

Cheers
Old 23rd October 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Thanks, guys. Nice to know I've been missed. I've spent the last six months or so contemplating the meaning of life, the universe and everything, and have come to the conclusion that it's not about the gear, but about the gear!

Feels great to be back!

Cheers
Instant addition to profile quotes...



R.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #19
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inthere's Avatar
 

Roland Jx 8P
Old 23rd October 2013
  #20
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Yamaha CS-80
Old 23rd October 2013
  #21
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probably one of those wooden ones that weird bloke makes
Old 23rd October 2013
  #22
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Well if we're talking "organ"-ic...I personally love this one...

Old 23rd October 2013
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimjaw View Post
probably one of those wooden ones that weird bloke makes
anything run through my cocolase instantly becomes more natural in a beautifully unpredictable way. most "organic" sounds i've ever heard.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #24
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Can only state of what I own.

Juno 60
JX8P
DW8000
Juno 106
Yes my DX7IIFD
Polysix
ESQ1
Korg Monotribe
Korg MS20
Pro One
Moog Prodigy

They all feel alive to me.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #25
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I'd have to agree with the comment on the modular. I had a decent sized modular some time back that really seemed like it was alive. The sounds that I heard come out of that thing... It was as if it was trying to communicate some secret message.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveFromKyoto View Post
'Organic' is a word that will probably mean different things to different people. To me it means the end of the synth spectrum that is the opposite of the clangy PPGish wavetable type synthesis. Synths that often don't sound like synths at all, or if they do, they sound smooth, soft, rounder than something harsh and digital.

Though I don't simply mean analog, as of course there are digital waves very capable of that type of sound, and plenty of analog that doesn't sound that way at all. The Virus C is a good example of a digital synth that gets there, in its sweet spots (listen to most any Tycho song).

The guys in my avatar, BoC, are masters of coaxing this type of sound out of synths. To me the most emblematic synth of this type of sound is the Model D, it sounds so sweet and round and alive (this demo starts to get there around the 2 minute mark):




What synths would fit into whatever your definition of 'organic ' is?
Interesting question.
I'm currently fooling around with a little idea in Audiomulch, using an instance of Reaktor and a user contributed ensemble called Aero the output of which I'm running through some Michael Norris filter fx, some LP filtering, adding some bit of fake vinyl white noise, etc.
And I'm definitely in that BOC zone.
And being v. happy to be there btw :-)

Cheers

Paul
Old 23rd October 2013
  #27
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Rust Creep's Avatar
 

Yamaha vl1

Sent from my HTC6435LVW
Old 23rd October 2013
  #28
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Ljudterapi's Avatar
 

Beside the obvious ones; Minimoog and CS-80 (who are the winners in my book of organic sounding synths), I don't find that sound quality in many synths. The SH-101, TB-303 and the Prophet 5 rev 2 have some of that vibe to them and also some of the string machines - Logan String Melody comes to mind as does the Solina String Ensemble.

There are even a few digital synths that have that - D50, JD-800/990 and TG33.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #29
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Old 23rd October 2013
  #30
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Septik's Avatar
For pure organic, I would have to go with my prophet5 rev2. OBX can also do some very organic sounds, but can also go very electric very fast depending on how you use it. That's not a bad thing at all, but given my definition of organic, that it was created by living matter, rules a lot of these sounds out. Digital is the last way I'd ever describe them though. Prophet 5 just sounds very woody and earthy and reminds me of the forest whenever the filter is closed... Mmmmm...
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