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Analogue vs Digital - Diva and OB8 test Keyboard Synthesizers
View Poll Results: Which synth is First in the 8 bar cycle?
Diva
92 Votes - 51.11%
OB8
88 Votes - 48.89%
Voters: 180. You may not vote on this poll

Old 23rd July 2014
  #451
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Haven View Post
Aficionado of analog, Hans Zimmer moved to software many years ago folks!

Analog is history. Digital is the future.
That's what they said in 1985. And I bet Zimmer still has his analog synths.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Haven View Post
Aficionado of analog, Hans Zimmer moved to software many years ago folks!

Analog is history. Digital is the future.
Yes, I use them in my flying car


Thanks to SWAN808 for the shootout...nicely done!

I thought the Diva was analogue (based on my limited experience and notions of what analogue should sound like) - also I preferred the sound of the Diva as the OB8 sounded flatter by comparison...interestingly Urs wrote earlier that he'd worked specifically on the dimensionality of the sound ("less boxy, more 3D"). Excellent job...but will still be purchasing a hardware Moog.

Be great to see a Uhe synth in Reason though...
Old 23rd July 2014
  #453
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
No games heh

There definitely is a difference - but again, guessing was just a huge part of this test.

Because this test doesn't show that 50% of people here can reliably distinguish between a and d but rather that people have just been guessing more or less randomly*.



* The most fun part of this thread is to see those that guessed wrong try to explain why they didn't get it heh heh
thats not neccessarily true. What you can take is that a random sample on GS cannot distinguish. However - it does not mean that the people who got it right actually had guessed. It also doesnt mean a selected sample would get the same 50:50 result. I may test this on another test.

For instance your JP4 Miniak test - it was fairly easy for me to get that one right. I didnt see the results to test myself but they had been released - so I admit thats not really solid enough.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #454
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
(emphasis added)

I'm not sure if I understand this correctly but are you saying Diva actually sounds better than the very synths it's designed to emulate -- that it has moved beyond "as good as real analog" into the realm of "better than real analog?"
Yes, in any one on one comparison we did here, Diva sounded better than its analogue counterparts. Subjectively evaluated by the peeps that were around at the time, during a period of one year or so of tweaking.

That said, many people then missed a bit of that muffled character of aged analogue gear. This was less prominent in the machines we had around at that time, it was more audible in audio examples. Which I then mostly attributed to recording techniques (tape?), which then led to the development of a tape saturation plug-in. So, well, maybe one day we'll add that muffled sound back into Diva as an option.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #455
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
The "analogue is by definition superior" crowd has just lost their last leg to stand on, and what we are seeing in this discussion is the analogue defenders equivalent of monty pythons black knights insistence on continuing a lost fight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Haven View Post
Aficionado of analog, Hans Zimmer moved to software many years ago folks!
...and then couple of months ago he bought a dozen of MACBETH modules and a Minimoog.

He mentioned something about sound on his FB profile...

...but he must have bought it for decoration i guess.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #456
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lune View Post
We are not talking a minor price difference here, we are talking over 4K for an analogue synth vs. $100-200 for a soft synth (or less in the future)-
You're completely ignoring the entire modular market.

Quote:
The only reason analogue has sold at all recently is that it is very cheap mono gear- this is called a fad and fads come to an end. I would not consider a long term career at Moog.
Yet what has not ended is that a big stack of equipment nobody can mistake for anything else than meant to make music.

Quote:
And before anyone replies I have one question- are you typing your reply on a typewriter?
Yes, typewriters are completely comparable to computers. Typewriters also connect to the internet, check Facebook and are used as DAWs!
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #457
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
But it's still not capable of some analogue sounding PWM as you can see by those who were able to tell which is which by listening to that PWM sound.
Why would a PWM sound be impossible to model digitally? - Like Oscillator Sync, this is the least difficult to emulate effects of an analogue synthesizer. All it needs is careful observation.

If of course a software developer doesn't get the phase relation between VCO and Subosc right, then I wouldn't expect a proper implementation of PWM either.

In case of Diva I don't think that it takes much effort to do an A/B test for PWM that's indistinguishable, e.g. using a Minimoog (saw + ramp detuned) or any Roland. (Speaking of latter, a freshly switched on Jupiter 8 doesn't go to 0% PW, one has to let it sit for an hour, at least as far as we could observe)
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
However - it does not mean that the people who got it right actually had guessed.
Actually, seeing quite a number of self proclaimed experts guessing wrong, i'd say that those that happened to be on the right side of the poll are pretty likey to only be there because of sheer luck

heh

..and fwiw, apart from the last clip, my test/comparison was easier than this one
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #459
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Actually, seeing quite a number of self proclaimed experts guessing wrong, i'd say that those that happened to be on the right side of the poll are pretty likey to only be there because of sheer luck
thats a theory - one we can test.

Your test was 'easier' - what does that mean? The differences that are in fact present weren't so concealed?
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #460
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Haven View Post
Aficionado of analog, Hans Zimmer moved to software many years ago folks!
I even sold him my first piece of software

And used that money to buy hardware
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #461
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Haven View Post
Digital is the future.
And yet he stated that the sound of his Moog modular "became the sound of batman/the movie" (I'm paraphrasing here) when discussing the latest Batman flick... If you thought all the synth sounds used in that film could be purchased for 99 bucks at Urs' site you were probably wrong, at least if you ask Zimmer himself.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #462
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Your test was 'easier' - what does that mean? The differences that are in fact present weren't so concealed?
No, not only concealment by background music but also the fact that the miniak simply is based on a 10 - 12 year old VA engine.

I wouldn't expect that to be able to do an accurate analogue emulation in the same way that a freshly programmed processor-hungry softie can do it.

I was pretty surprised at the results myself, but will freely admit that the miniak is not completely convincing as an analogue emulation if you listen closely, and that many of the criticisms aimed at VA's apply to it.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #463
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Actually, seeing quite a number of self proclaimed experts guessing wrong, i'd say that those that happened to be on the right side of the poll are pretty likey to only be there because of sheer luck

heh

..and fwiw, apart from the last clip, my test/comparison was easier than this one
Don't be a sourpuss. :0) there was a reason I guessed what I did, as I'm sure, everyone who voted had a reason. Unless you didn't listen to the example, and stabbed in the dark, you had a valid reason for choosing the way you did. So, instead of saying everyone just guessed, why don't you acknowledge that there are some astute people who actually got it?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #464
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urs View Post
That said, many people then missed a bit of that muffled character of aged analogue gear.
Depends who supplies you with synths.

TBH i don't hear much of the muffled sound out of my vintages, and i have some 20-25 or so of them around. But i do know one of the most common reasons behind muffled sound are dying capacitors. Given these machines were designed to last 15-20 years, by now most of the capacitors have dried out and the sound becomes quite ****ty. First step is to bring the synth to factory specs. That means a)replacing old capacitors preferably with audio grade ones b)calibrating all the voltages to factory specs c)tuning the machine according to documentation.

To give an audio example my Polysix had extra muffled sound, after completing the full procedure, machine became sounding razor sharp. i.e.:

Korg Polysix after full refurb

To add a bit of irony, this was actually recorded thru friend's Behringer effects processor which i would NEVER use again (but i was young and naive back then) and it actually degraded the sound. However, i guess some of the raw tone survived here and there.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #465
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what a stupid comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Haven View Post
Aficionado of analog, Hans Zimmer moved to software many years ago folks!

Analog is history. Digital is the future.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #466
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urs View Post
Why would a PWM sound be impossible to model digitally? - Like Oscillator Sync, this is the least difficult to emulate effects of an analogue synthesizer. All it needs is careful observation.

If of course a software developer doesn't get the phase relation between VCO and Subosc right, then I wouldn't expect a proper implementation of PWM either.

In case of Diva I don't think that it takes much effort to do an A/B test for PWM that's indistinguishable, e.g. using a Minimoog (saw + ramp detuned) or any Roland. (Speaking of latter, a freshly switched on Jupiter 8 doesn't go to 0% PW, one has to let it sit for an hour, at least as far as we could observe)
Hey Urs, I'm stressing the PWM because it was the reason how I was able to tell which is the analogue synth and which is DIVA (without ever touching DIVA)

Without that PWM sound I would not have been sure which is which one (as I don't own any of the sound sources - I just have been able to tell which one had been generated digitally by the sound of the PWM)
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #467
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
thats a theory - one we can test.
Next test should have A/B B/A B/A A/B and then you have to get each and every one of 'm right heh

That eliminates lucky guesses for a good part.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #468
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
I even sold him my first piece of software

And used that money to buy hardware
Come on, spill the beans!!

Which software and which hardware.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Next test should have A/B B/A B/A A/B and then you have to get each and every one of 'm right heh

That eliminates lucky guesses for a good part.
Im not sure. The thing is - I think the judgement should be made on a number of sounds...so having a fixed order I was considering for the next test...

In terms of lucky guesses - you can eliminate that I think by replication? So N=10...9 people have to get it right to be significant. And N=15 - then 12 people and so on...there is a table somewhere...
Old 23rd July 2014
  #470
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Ever since statistics were invented.
(I know, you are a musician, so you don't need to know this )

But statistically speaking a 50/50 outcome between two choices means that the results rely on pure chance.

I.e. 100% of people were guessing or in other words 0% got it right. heh
In a way, you're right. Referring to the other comment you made about it being funny watching people explain why they got it wrong....its even more funny watching people try to explain why they got it right.

The results were basically 50/50. This means that people were not able to distinguish a difference.....and most certainly, we can say that with very strong confidence, aka statistically significant.

This isn't directed at you grumphh, but everyone.

Let's go back and count the number of people who cited "dodgy" PWM as their reason for picking out Diva first......BEFORE the reveal, shall we?

It astounds me that this thread has turned into the same old, software sucks so bad it can be spotted a mile away. I have to go to work, but I'm going to revisit the thread BEFORE the reveal this evening and find who exactly, in a very cock-sure manner, labelled Diva first because of poor software performance.

The fact that a piece of software running on any PC/Mac, for only $200, can make sound even remotely close to beloved, "like no other", vintage hardware.....in virtually a 50/50 manner, is incredible. Do you know what 48/52 means? Or maybe 53/47? It means people couldn't tell.

IF YOU COULD TELL, if just 15 of you could tell, and the other 85 are idiots.....then the rest would be guessing, or 50%. This means the results would have been 57/43, or 58/42....but they were not, were they? It was absolutely, positively, statistically insignifigant that anyone could differentiate the two. I'd wager a hefty sum that if we had 1000, or 10,000 votes, it would be the exact same results. And this, of all places, here....on an electronic music forum full of analog enthusiasts from around the world.

Again, if so many of you knew, then why do the results not demonstrate that? Basically, you are all saying that it was by chance, that just as many people who didn't know just happened to guess OB wrong, just as many times as the people who were certain and answered correctly. Not likey, not ever actually.

Numbers don't lie....but people do, and usually to themselves first, and then others in an effort to protect their oh so fragile ego. What's even more sad is the they have no idea they are doing it.

I'm not even in either camp (sw vs hw) and use both but damn, have some class. This thread is a literally a social psych case report.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Depends who supplies you with synths.

TBH i don't hear much of the muffled sound out of my vintages, and i have some 20-25 or so of them around. But i do know one of the most common reasons behind muffled sound are dying capacitors. Given these machines were designed to last 15-20 years, by now most of the capacitors have dried out and the sound becomes quite ****ty. First step is to bring the synth to factory specs. That means a)replacing old capacitors preferably with audio grade ones b)calibrating all the voltages to factory specs c)tuning the machine according to documentation.

To give an audio example my Polysix had extra muffled sound, after completing the full procedure, machine became sounding razor sharp. i.e.:
yes I had my OB8 recapped recently and its much cleaner now. Almost new sound IMO. Not muffled - bright - but 'not' harsh. The high end of each (Diva and OB8) is something Im looking into atm...
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #472
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
I guess a lot of people voted for what they liked better. And I think in the future we well see a trend towards the soft synths being liked better than raw analogue synths in such tests, simply because the raw analogue synth will not sound as polished out-of-the-box as the soft synth.
I picked the first one to be the Diva, because it sounded better.

If I had to chose the Diva over an OB8, I probably would. I'm not a big fan of the Oberheim sound. If I had to choose Diva over a MiniMoog, I probably wouldn't. As I don't think the Diva is quite there.


However, I'd take the Diva over a slim/little Phatty as I don't think they are there either, but the Diva is more versatile & probably get more use. As it stands, I have other softsynths that are equally as close or not already, no reason to add another.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #473
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Buddha View Post
And yet he stated that the sound of his Moog modular "became the sound of batman/the movie" (I'm paraphrasing here) when discussing the latest Batman flick... If you thought all the synth sounds used in that film could be purchased for 99 bucks at Urs' site you were probably wrong, at least if you ask Zimmer himself.
I have no illusion that he uses Zebra mostly or practicality. One can't transport a Moog Modular back and forth from one studio to the other, let alone from continent to continent.
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Old 23rd July 2014
  #474
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
yes I had my OB8 recapped recently and its much cleaner now. Almost new sound IMO. Not muffled - bright - but 'not' harsh. The high end of each (Diva and OB8) is something Im looking into atm...

So did you make the recording for this thread with the recapped unit?
Old 23rd July 2014
  #475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
I'm not even in either camp (sw vs hw) and use both but damn, have some class. This thread is a literally a social psych case report.
That made me laugh out loud. This was actually exactly like those tests where you thought you were just to evaluate something but the test was about something completely else.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #476
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderkyss View Post
If I had to choose Diva over a MiniMoog, I probably wouldn't. As I don't think the Diva is quite there.


However, I'd take the Diva over a slim/little Phatty as I don't think they are there either, but the Diva is more versatile & probably get more use. As it stands, I have other softsynths that are equally as close or not already, no reason to add another.
My thoughts exactly.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #477
Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
Well, I never said anything else. Search this forum. Analog a priori sounding better is a straw man.

If you delve into the technical details, you'll find reasons why those modern synths sound so mediocre, and why the sound doesn't reflect the potentiol of "analog". And yes, better has real relevance here - check out the examples I posted in the other thread. The modern output op amp produces a more even sound, but add reverb and the recording using the technically inferior one works much better.

The things I find desireable in analog sound (be it processing or synthesis) somehow don't appear in emulations, probably because their complexity and nonlinear behaviour is far to complicated for current processors. After all, it still takes about 10 minutes to calculate one second of audio to simulate a fairly simple electronic circuit in-depth.
I'd love to have that technical discussion with you...I'd be very interested in your perspective. In terms of education and vocation I'm an electrical engineer and you seem to be stating that there is math to prove this assertion. From a DSP point of view, we are in agreement...the processing power to run the audio equivalent of SPICE in real-time is simply not available to the individual consumer yet....however if we're talking analog (you mentioned the Prophet '08 earlier) I think you'll find that you're mixing mathematical proof of significant differences with empirical observation....i.e. Modern operational amplifiers tend to run clean with very high slew rates right up to the rails where they fall apart gracelessly...There are all sorts of pitfalls in just that single issue alone! I am not being sarcastic here: I would actually welcome the discussion.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #478
VST
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VST's Avatar
SWAN808: Try this on your next test. Put a single osc on both synths at their lowest footage (64' or 'low' for example) and set the pitch bend to it's lowest and hold the lowest key. Lets see if we can tell them apart from the pulses that occur at these very low pitches. Filter to taste. Try it at the highest possible pitch too.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
The results were basically 50/50. This means that people were not able to distinguish a difference.....and most certainly, we can say that with very strong confidence, aka statistically significant.
For what its worth, I was standing with my back to the dartboard on this one and I got it right. This approach has also won me a giant stuffed minion at the fairground in the past so I strongly advocate it.

But, no, I couldn't possibly have said with any certainty which was which.
Old 23rd July 2014
  #480
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Next test should have A/B B/A B/A A/B and then you have to get each and every one of 'm right heh

That eliminates lucky guesses for a good part.
IMO that would not be a good test. The final "hit or miss" would depend on a single sound alone. It is always possible to dial in sound which is show one of the sources more or less beneficial than the other one. However, a large amount of separate tests could work & even tell us, which sources show larger and which show smaller differences. But the (recent) test itself failed, as the majority of answers outweighs those who were most likely able to tell which is which in the poll. So let's get the test itself right first before we think of making it more complicated.
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