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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 25th July 2014
  #781
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
My apologies if I come across like that.
no problems here. At some point you want to defend your position. You came here as URS not hiding behind some other username, so we take it as we may.
Quote:
I think we've done something really cool, and it's a total of 7 people worldwide that follow us around and post the ever same nonsense
I have been very vocal that I hear the difference in this tests and many others, but I don't think anyone in this thread has said anything bad about Diva. Quite the opposite really. I actually quite like what I heard from Diva in this demo compared the majority of others analog vs software showdowns and I'm intrigued even though I knew which was which. Those of us that have our panties in a bunch aren't against Diva, we're just stating our strong opinion that in many cases digital emulations of analog synths do not sound the same, or better.. and there's some people here that are stating that this is the case... and it's preposterous to anyone who has experience with both analog synths and software.
Old 25th July 2014
  #782
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianboyd View Post
Urs, be so kind and answer my question about the triangle vs sawtooth core, do you seriously believe the final discrete VCO design of Roland and a Curtis chip sound pretty much the same ???
I posted that somewhere else... I think the differences in quality VCO designs are neglectible when comparing waveforms such as sawtooth and square. When you hook up an oscilloscope right behind the VCO and before the resistors/buffers/capacitors that decouple them from the following circuitry, pretty much all synths from Moog, Roland and Oberheim have perfect sawtooths and perfect square/pulse waveforms. The difference is usually in a perfect triangle vs. a triangle with a tiny but audible saw component, or - if present - a sine that has certain subtle or not so subtle overtones. The other differences include phase of the suboscillator, phase of the sync reset and overall volume relations between those waveforms. Lastly, another major difference is the drift due to heat dissipation (or no-drift due to a digital clock)

However, sawtooth vs sawtooth and rectange vs rectangle there won't be any audible difference between the VCOs alone. Any further difference is introduced by the circuitry that follows, e.g. the capacitance of the DC-blocker that acts as a highpass filter and creates the "belly" of a sawtooth (which is often falsly attributed to the "analogueness" of an oscillator). And of course, the filter and how it's driven by different input gains.

Nevertheless, there's exceptions. The MS-20 for instance produces waveforms that look pretty off.
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Old 25th July 2014
  #783
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Nope. This isn't about preferences but objective differences.

It is pretty simple - even the most ignorant listeners still have a 50/50 chance to hit the right result, as they just have to vote what they think is analogue.

...again, for those that don't get it - if you can't identify the analogue synth, the answers will be evenly distributed - just as they are in this test.

The only ones who could (but didn't heh) make a difference in a poll of this nature are the people that truly can identify the analogue synth, and thereby alter the poll results in favour of the correct answer.
Sorry but now you are way off. The way a question is asked always influences the result, just like any person always is biased and can't do nothing about that.

There is no chance you can argue that a one test, analyzing one group can lead towards assumptions concerning subgroups within that group, without collecting any data which might even identify such a subgroup.

Maybe just another example: Within the KZ's of **** Germany the group of newborn kids was too small to be significant. A substance which was later known as "Contergan" was tested on those people (at the time as an antidote to chemical weapons*). Later, when the war was over, some company was marketing this substance as medicine (for other purposes). However, their product qualified for an accelerated approval test, as that company could declare the substance as "already tested on humans". The fact that the number of newborn kids was too small to change the numbers during initial testing did not change the fact that the substance caused horrible harm to newborn kids, when there were enough to contribute significantly to the numbers.

*as two different groups of historical scientists from two countries found out from old archives naming this substance in documents
Old 25th July 2014
  #784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Without any kind of listening education it would not even be possible to identify any synth as some kind of synth!
The degree of listening education needed to distinguish, let's say a 303 from a Minimoog, is even larger as you need to know what they are ought to sound like. There is not a single other way to learn this than training to hear the differences! With this example there was even the attempt to have one synth mimic the sound of the other one, pushing the degree of training needed to hear the difference to an even further level.

Basically what you were saying is well-described by the wording you were throwing out at the end of your post.
No, training is required to say "this is a 303", "this is a minimoog", not that there is a difference in sound between them (Although "training can literally just be getting your hands on either and realising that its that making those sounds). Any listener can tell a synthesiser sounds different from a trumpet, even if they don't know what a synthesiser or trumpet is.

What you're describing is pure outright elitism. Actual reality, many people recognise a sound before a name is put to it and that these sounds differ from another, even without names being put to it.
Old 25th July 2014
  #785
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Hi Urs - you mentioned in a previous post you tweaked the sound of Diva to become less 'boxy' - can you describe what you mean/did in this process?
Well... we had those 50 or so knobs to tweak. I think what we mostly did was, we added more 2nd harmonic on a few wave shapers, or we would just generally add a tad more brightness without going into unpleasant territory. This was a long process that happened three to four years ago...

With the Uhbie it was clear early on that the sonic difference between the existing multimode filter in 12dB-mode and State Variable Filters in both OB-Xes, the SEM and the ATC-Xi would not justify another module for Diva. Hence we compared the harmonic distortion between those and the Jupiter-6 / Alpha Juno and we then exaggerated those. IIRC the Uhbie has a whole lot more 2nd harmonic now than it "should have".
Old 25th July 2014
  #786
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urs View Post
I can't say that for every detail, but the sound examples of the early 12 bit Jupiter-8 I have heard sound nothing like our very late model. I then talked to some guys who have both and they said that it's a different filter architecture. After I checked that out yesterday, Roland's service manual doesn't support this claim, but the sonic difference is obvious to me (and anyone who hears the difference to Diva). To me, the examples of the early JP-8 filter with resonance cranked up sound more like the Jupiter-6 we have.

The difference could be just as much as a different resistance in the feedback path. Maybe Roland "tamed" the resonance in later models. I surely can't get the same juiciness out of this as is heard in many of the examples. I most certainly get it out of my Jupiter-6.
Oh ok. I thought you refereed to the oscillators as well, so i was like Butthead... staring at the screen with disbelief for a few minutes. JP-6 comes with that characteristic CEM sizzle in high registers due to 3340s (also heard in P5, OB-Xa, OB-8), while JP-8 is all silky sound with some thanks to full discrete VCO design, night'n'day soundwise for us synth freaks...

Anyway i have one of the early JP8s (385-th produced unit) while friend has one of the last JP8s (don't have serial in here but i can request, i know no doubt it was highest jp8 serial i've ever seen). Sonically they're practically identical. One little difference, newer version is slightly better tuned. I got this in a way confirmed by Tom Moravansky who used several JPs side by side (new vs old) to pick best. It took him quite some time, which just confirms all revs are almost identical sounding. So, one should never exclude the possibility of a failed component or unit simply not being calibrated properly.
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Old 25th July 2014
  #787
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Originally Posted by nectarios View Post
For me personally, coding and CPU are 95% there nowdays. I am a hardware junkie and always will be, but I welcome this advance of software.
Yes, programming and playing a physical object with a certain interface and not clicking on a screen with a mouse, is more inspiring to me. I proved this to my self with my old Polar TI and then selling it to fund other gear, but also bought a Virus C. I was forced to program the C using its interface, instead of the Virus plug in and I got much better sounds from the "lesser" Virus, than I ever did on my old Polar TI.

I'll keep buying eurorack modules, they do great things and I love patching cables in the real thing and programming it. But I can now take this brilliant sounding software with me, outside of the studio and write music in some nice location with my headphones, or take it on stage without worrying about carrying heavy analog synths with me, worrying about flight cases, damage, etc.

If you see past the typical analog VS digital debates on forums, it is actually a win/win situation for everyone who loves using a nice sounding synth.

Its all great, we live in great times and although I've only been into the synth music thing for about 15 years, I don't recall ever having it so good.
I think part of the debate, at least for me is, when people go on about trying to validate a response, such as, analog is obsolete. I do not believe that for a moment.
And it is not because I am living in the past, refusing to let go of archaic technology, as some may suggest, rather, trying to embrace the future, understanding there is a place for both. I, also, realize, that I may be part of a dying breed, a dinosaur, if you will, since, the future will undoubtedly, belong to software based music systems.
It's only a matter of time, hardware is expensive, people are lazy, they want easy, the want cheap, they want portability, they want to push buttons, not play keys, that's what inevitably is happening, flat control surfaces that do a myriad of things, not only music, but controlling light shows and video clips. How we view synthesis is evolving, the tools we use, to shape and play sounds, are evolving, and while we go through this transition, it is uncomfortable. We are at a crossroads of trying to hold on to what we know vs where we are going, there is a generation that understands the past, afraid of the future, there is a generation that is trying to forget the past, while jumping head first into the future. Let's all remember, though, that we even though there is such diversness happening, we are all joined by the common thread of a love of music.
That is, and always will be, the goal, enjoying music. Don't lose sight of that.
( stepping off the soapbox)
Old 25th July 2014
  #788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
What you forget to mention is that we did also get nice and correct descriptions of the differences between the synths from people who voted for the wrong answer.

.

We will have to assume that all of the people that voted started out with more or less the same ability to discern (some fine ears in here did get it wrong as well, remember that) and that the results indeed confirm that the problem is not in the test but in the fact that people really couldn't tell which was the actual analogue synth*.

As i said before: For every guy who now thinks he got the answer right because of what he heard, there is a guy who while voting thought he got the answer right because of what he heard, but didn't.

So to recap, you can't use these numbers to say that 50% know what they hear, and the other 50% are tone deaf
Btw, ironically i would love to support this, because it would be right up my alley, being a truly insulting statement, but i can't.

The only thing these numbers show is that Diva does analogue so well that people just as well could have flipped coins to come up with the poll results we see.
Pure chance.



...now the real problem in this discussion is of course that the analogue defender league simply can't accept that in this particular clip there are no differences between the sounds that indicate whether the synth playing is digital or analogue - despite the fact that the numbers clearly have demonstrated that.
50/50 - it doesn't get much clearer than that.



* Yes, there are differences between the sounds - but the differences are clearly not differences that relate to whether a given sound can be perceived as coming from analogue rather than digital equipment.
The poll shows this clearly.
Why vote if you think you're wrong? Makes no sense. Why stop there? Whenever you vote, and have a choice of two "items", isn't it always going to be 50/50, no matter what the outcome, it will be a guessing game? At least, that is what you are implying.
Old 25th July 2014
  #789
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by azone2 View Post
I have been very vocal that I hear the difference in this tests and many others, but I don't think anyone in this thread has said anything bad about Diva. Quite the opposite really.
Yup, we pretty much all hear the differences, they are undeniable - and as far as I'm concerned - they are absolutely desired.

The statements (not yours) that turn me off are those who put "analogue" into the superior category. They talk about "give aways" that are in the sound of the software. However, quite often those give aways are in the sound of the analogues, ranging from noise, VCA bleed-through, the 60Hz humm, and whole lot of other artifacts that we did not model in Diva because we don't think they're desirable.

So, most often called out "shortcomings" of the software are actually the things that we deliberately left out, and where we think that we have improved upon analogue.

That said, I'm absolutely fine when people want those things. I'm however not fine when people say that having those is per se a superior experience. Because quite frankly, in a countless practical situation they're not.

So, when they bluntly say "software will never sound analogue" in fact they should say "software usually doesn't have the artifacts I find desirable". That would leave it open to others to decide what to think about it, rather than claiming objective authority in something that's arguably a matter of subjective taste.
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Old 25th July 2014
  #790
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Oh ok. I thought you refereed to the oscillators as well, so i was like Butthead... staring at the screen with disbelief for a few minutes. JP-6 comes with that characteristic CEM sizzle in high registers due to 3340s (also heard in P5, OB-Xa, OB-8), while JP-8 is all silky sound with some thanks to full discrete VCO design, night'n'day soundwise for us synth freaks...

Anyway i have one of the early JP8s (385-th produced unit) while friend has one of the last JP8s (don't have serial in here but i can request, i know no doubt it was highest jp8 serial i've ever seen). Sonically they're practically identical. One little difference, newer version is slightly better tuned. I got this in a way confirmed by Tom Moravansky who used several JPs side by side (new vs old) to pick best. It took him quite some time, which just confirms all revs are almost identical sounding. So, one should never exclude the possibility of a failed component or unit simply not being calibrated properly.
Thanks, that's good to know.

Would you then say that your Jupiter-8 sounds rather Diva-ish or rather like the one used in the sound examples that were posted earlier?

We had our JP-8 calibrated to specs, but I can't crank up resonance high enough for that juicy sound.
Old 25th July 2014
  #791
Urs
Lives for gear
(I'll bite my ass if our JP-8 is somewhat broken)
Old 25th July 2014
  #792
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
They talk about "give aways" that are in the sound of the software. However, quite often those give aways are in the sound of the analogues, ranging from noise, VCA bleed-through, the 60Hz humm, and whole lot of other artifacts that
very true and most likely the first thing I listen for before the tone. For me though there are still several synths for which I have not heard software that can recreate the raw tone (for lack of a better word) that I find desirable. Specifically this would include the Roland JP-4, Oberheim OBX, Minimoog Model D, Prophet 5, and TB-303. There are numerous other analog synths that don't really have a favorable tone or an especially raw analog tone or ballz as we say - and I would have no problem using software instead. This would include the JP-6, Prophet 08, and SH-101 for example (101 sounds good but very steady/static).
Old 25th July 2014
  #793
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by haze015 View Post
No, training is required to say "this is a 303", "this is a minimoog", not that there is a difference in sound between them
That actually was my point, as someone stated, that he was under the impression there had been differences perceived (he was under that impression due to what people were writing) and he thought that maybe just the attributes were not linked towards the specific instrument. I thought this was clear by quoting the other guys post above my statement... However, if there is a perceived difference it possibly could be learned to connect the differing attributes correctly. But since the model is not exactly after the analogue synth used those attributes possibly may not even refer to something which is related to "analogue" or "digital" - it may also have to do with the different kind of synth model.

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by haze015 View Post
What you're describing is pure outright elitism
Maybe this claim is somewhat correct. But it's just as correct as saying: Putting your kid to school is pure outright elitism. It's really no difference at all. Some learn basic writing, some learn rocket science, some are eager to learn if a specific task might be learned or not. Everyone has the right to learn what he or she wants without being discredited as some sort of elite snob.
Old 25th July 2014
  #794
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dougt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urs View Post
Gosh. So much for being honest.

The schematics are *similar*. They show the same architecture. Yet the sound is obviously different.
Are you just not able to admit you are wrong? Are you really going to keep insisting there are 2 different versions of the JP-8 filter or early JP-8s are the same as a "JP-6 with hardware envelopes"?
Old 25th July 2014
  #795
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougt View Post
Are you just not able to admit you are wrong? Are you really going to keep insisting there are 2 different versions of the JP-8 filter or early JP-8s are the same as a "JP-6 with hardware envelopes"?
I admitted I'm wrong regarding the architecture. I have never opened an early JP-8 or even played one.

Yet I find that our JP-8 does not sound as juicy as those certain examples that were posted over and over, again and again. If find that the examples sound as juicy as our JP-6.

There is nothing to admit about. This is plain truth.
Old 25th July 2014
  #796
Urs
Lives for gear
Also, if it helps, I prefer the sound of our JP-6 over the sound of our JP-8. It's a subjective choice.

I don't like the artifacts caused by the digital envelopes of the JP-6, and I don't like the VCO master/slave concept of the JP-8


I do think that the examples of JP-8s that were posted sound better than ours. After asking some guys I was convinced that it's an architectural difference. Obviously, according to service manuals, there isn't one, so there msut be something else causing the sonic difference. Maybe it's just a calibration issue, but then we had ours calibrated twice over the years.

What more do you want from me?
Old 25th July 2014
  #797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Nope. This isn't about preferences but objective differences.

It is pretty simple - even the most ignorant listeners still have a 50/50 chance to hit the right result, as they just have to vote what they think is analogue.

...again, for those that don't get it - if you can't identify the analogue synth, the answers will be evenly distributed - just as they are in this test.

The only ones who could (but didn't heh) make a difference in a poll of this nature are the people that truly can identify the analogue synth, and thereby alter the poll results in favour of the correct answer.
I understand what you are saying grumphh and in some ways it is a variation on what keyboardwizard said when he asked how many people who responded have ever played an analogue synth and were responding out of ignorance.

But here is the counter argument- and it is a very strong one: if "the public" can't tell the difference- and if you are making music for "the public" then it doesn't matter if experts can tell the difference because your listeners can't!

Remember- the whole point of buying analogue synths is that they were supposed to "sound better" so that musicians could make better music for "the public"- what exactly is the point then if that is no longer true?

If you are making music entirely for yourself and if it takes an analog musician to hear analogue music then we are talking about a very tiny market- there no need for live performers to buy these instruments. There is no need to see analogue machines on stage or to use them in recordings for others to listen to. And remember- Swann's great A/B test included only pure sounds of one instrument- yet most could not tell a difference. What happens when you add reverb and drums? Would the sound difference even be noticeable by anyone?

Are analogue instruments only appropriate to use for the owners of those instruments? Do I need to play a Juno 60 for a while to be a able to hear the difference as a listener?

Here is another thing to keep in mind- digital technology is not stopping- it will get even better next year, and the year after that. Analogue technology, however, has no more room to grow, it is static. The whole argument that analogue sounded better was partly rested on the idea that nothing is as smooth as pure electric current- but we aren't inventing new forms of electricity are we? So while the design of circuits and resisters may improve- the sound of analogue is in its final form.

I believe that digital has proven that it can successfully copy analogue today- but even if you disagree with this (and the poll results showing others cannot tell a difference) then surely you must admit that digital will keep on improving rapidly so that it will be a short time before there is no difference. Either way- I see no future for the analogue instrument industry. The costs of analogue are simply far too high (in initial purchase price and repairs) to justify buying it once more and more people come to realize that they can get the same sound far cheaper. We are not still listening to vacuum tube radios- economics is a powerful force. I think the clock is now ticking on the industry.

I do believe that it is OK for a person to love a piece of gear. If a person simply loves their analogue synth as A THING that is completely legitimate. I have a Xiosynth that has traveled so much with me and my family that it now seems a part of the family- I will never sell it. I also believe that the love of analogue synthesis can have a psychological effect that actually changes what a person hears so that it sounds better. IOW- believing your Jupiter sounds great actually has that effect (on you).

But it is another thing to say that the sound cannot be imitated- that is not correct.
Old 25th July 2014
  #798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Maybe this claim is somewhat correct. But it's just as correct as saying: Putting your kid to school is pure outright elitism. It's really no difference at all. Some learn basic writing, some learn rocket science, some are eager to learn if a specific task might be learned or not. Everyone has the right to learn what he or she wants without being discredited as some sort of elite snob.
Not at all. Nothing to do with the right to learn at all. You're going off in a different direction there, what you said was outright elitism, simple as that.
Old 25th July 2014
  #799
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Im sorry if you felt attacked by my post - to be honest Im quite tired of people calling out others on confirmation bias.
No problems on my side- you are still one cool guy and I respect what you have done- may have been a little harsh on you myself so I apologize too.

I do want people to realize that the confirmation bias effect is very powerful and can overcome differences as great as 23% in products. Experts who were fooled simply gave more detailed explanation for the wrong answer. In fact many of those who voted incorrectly in your A/B test gave detailed reasons.

Here would be a fun variation of your test- tell people you are giving them two sounds- a soft synth sound and a analogue sound (identify each as such) and then ask them to explain the differences. Then reveal that the sounds were actually from the same source- you will have tons of fun reading the detailed analysis of how the sounds were different.

Belief is the most powerful agent in the human mind- but it doesn't mean that people can't be objective if they try. And many who responded in this thread were objective.

In any case- good job!
Old 25th July 2014
  #800
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payt's Avatar
 

Just to add to the analog vs digital battle: here's Roland's SH101 plugout in action. I don't know about you guys, but I think it's pretty convincing. If all their plugouts are going to be of this quality, well then bring on that SH 2 and a Jupiter 6/8 please

Old 25th July 2014
  #801
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by haze015 View Post
Not at all. Nothing to do with the right to learn at all. You're going off in a different direction there, what you said was outright elitism, simple as that.
Let's get back to facts instead of making the debate too emotional, just like someone proposed before (towards me, I guess ).

I have re-thought the argument that more of these tests would be pretty much pointless. I have to say, I agree. The software does not even model the same device, so there are differences. With those differences it is more than likely that they can be learned. But this would be pointless as it would not be clear wether they originate from the difference between a certain synth and its (somewhat, but not exactly close) digital model or if they are caused by the differences which also are there between two different analogue or two different digital synths.
Old 25th July 2014
  #802
Urs do you think it would be a reasonable comparison to make Diva vs Moog Source? Seeing as Diva is a late Mini, I would take a guess at saying its Osc are similar to the source? Also - I can use the analogue adsr env on Diva same as the Source. Ive done some brief comparisons and it seems pretty similar...
Old 25th July 2014
  #803
Urs
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Urs do you think it would be a reasonable comparison to make Diva vs Moog Source? Seeing as Diva is a late Mini, I would take a guess at saying its Osc are similar to the source? Also - I can use the analogue adsr env on Diva same as the Source. Ive done some brief comparisons and it seems pretty similar...
I've never had a Source... I'd be interested in a comparison too!

From what people tell me, Diva sounds more like a Voyager than a "typical" Mini.

Unfortunately I had to stop my Gearlust, I wouldn't know where to put another hardware synthesizer. Otherwise I think we might have done another variant for Diva already.
Old 25th July 2014
  #804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Let's get back to facts instead of making the debate too emotional, just like someone proposed before (towards me, I guess ).

I have re-thought the argument that more of these tests would be pretty much pointless. I have to say, I agree. The software does not even model the same device, so there are differences. With those differences it is more than likely that they can be learned. But this would be pointless as it would not be clear wether they originate from the difference between a certain synth and its (somewhat, but not exactly close) digital model or if they are caused by the differences which also are there between two different analogue or two different digital synths.
Well I have a MS20 here is you wanted to compare with a synth that is modelled.

The other problem with these A/B tests is that the synth has gone through A/D conversion. So are these tests showing that when listened to through a digital medium, that the differences between more about the qualities/flaws of the synths rather than an analogue/digital difference? What would a test that tried to eliminate this and was more about the differences for users of synths rather than audiences show?
Old 25th July 2014
  #805
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by azone2 View Post
...and it's preposterous to anyone who has experience with both analog synths and software.
With all due respect, I'd be surprised if anyone involved in this discussion DIDN'T have experience with both analog synths and software. I learned synthesis on an EML-101 in the mid-70's. I played an ARP Odyssey, Quadra, and Oberheim OB-1 in the late 70's and early 80's; and a Moog Rogue, Korg Poly 61, and Korg Lambda in the mid-80's. I worked in a store in midtown Manhattan in the 80's selling Jupiter-8's, Memorymoogs, Roland SH-101s, Mono/Polys, etc. In recent years I have played a Prophet 08 and my wonderful Moog Little Phatty. I have been playing software instruments for nine years now, and am of the opinion that there's little reason to go out and spend countless thousands of dollars on hardware synths, especially vintage analogs, unless you're a collector, or want the tactile experience without using a MIDI controller.

For those who are really really finicky listeners, and have $8,000 to spend on a Jupiter-8, knock yourselves out. Personally, I don't find enough difference between it and a plugin that costs $179 to justify the additional ~$7,800. To me, it's like spending an extra $500,000 for a car that maybe, under certain circumstances, gives you an extra 12 horsepower. I have more important things to do with my money, and am thrilled that technology (and people like Urs) are bringing us great sounds at a fraction of what it used to cost to have them.
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Old 25th July 2014
  #806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lune View Post
I understand what you are saying grumphh and in some ways it is a variation on what keyboardwizard said when he asked how many people who responded have ever played an analogue synth and were responding out of ignorance.

But here is the counter argument- and it is a very strong one: if "the public" can't tell the difference- and if you are making music for "the public" then it doesn't matter if experts can tell the difference because your listeners can't!

Remember- the whole point of buying analogue synths is that they were supposed to "sound better" so that musicians could make better music for "the public"- what exactly is the point then if that is no longer true?

If you are making music entirely for yourself and if it takes an analog musician to hear analogue music then we are talking about a very tiny market- there no need for live performers to buy these instruments. There is no need to see analogue machines on stage or to use them in recordings for others to listen to. And remember- Swann's great A/B test included only pure sounds of one instrument- yet most could not tell a difference. What happens when you add reverb and drums? Would the sound difference even be noticeable by anyone?

Are analogue instruments only appropriate to use for the owners of those instruments? Do I need to play a Juno 60 for a while to be a able to hear the difference as a listener?

Here is another thing to keep in mind- digital technology is not stopping- it will get even better next year, and the year after that. Analogue technology, however, has no more room to grow, it is static. The whole argument that analogue sounded better was partly rested on the idea that nothing is as smooth as pure electric current- but we aren't inventing new forms of electricity are we? So while the design of circuits and resisters may improve- the sound of analogue is in its final form.

I believe that digital has proven that it can successfully copy analogue today- but even if you disagree with this (and the poll results showing others cannot tell a difference) then surely you must admit that digital will keep on improving rapidly so that it will be a short time before there is no difference. Either way- I see no future for the analogue instrument industry. The costs of analogue are simply far too high (in initial purchase price and repairs) to justify buying it once more and more people come to realize that they can get the same sound far cheaper. We are not still listening to vacuum tube radios- economics is a powerful force. I think the clock is now ticking on the industry.

I do believe that it is OK for a person to love a piece of gear. If a person simply loves their analogue synth as A THING that is completely legitimate. I have a Xiosynth that has traveled so much with me and my family that it now seems a part of the family- I will never sell it. I also believe that the love of analogue synthesis can have a psychological effect that actually changes what a person hears so that it sounds better. IOW- believing your Jupiter sounds great actually has that effect (on you).

But it is another thing to say that the sound cannot be imitated- that is not correct.
Actually, the poll does NOT state that people can't tell a difference....the poll states that these people were not reliably able to ascribe those differences to their proper source! There is a significant the two concepts. The takeaway here is that many of us, enthusiasts and experts, were unable to say that the sharper, brighter attack of Diva actually WAS DIVA before we were given the results. I heard the differences, but I guessed wrong due to assuming what I liked more for this song MUST be the $4,000 analog synth!
Old 25th July 2014
  #807
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urs View Post
I've never had a Source... I'd be interested in a comparison too!

From what people tell me, Diva sounds more like a Voyager than a "typical" Mini.

Unfortunately I had to stop my Gearlust, I wouldn't know where to put another hardware synthesizer. Otherwise I think we might have done another variant for Diva already.
I suspect I'd rather pick a good Model D digital emulation as "Model D" than the Voyager in a double-blind test (as analogue enthusiast and Voyager owner). I am always under the impression that the VCOs are relatively far away from the sound of a Model D. "Relatively far away" = possibly recognizable in a double-blind test, not "Steinberg Model E vs Minimoog" far away
Old 25th July 2014
  #808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urs View Post
...in fact they should say "software usually doesn't have the artifacts I find desirable"
Very well then: software usually doesn't have the artifacts I find desirable.

"Defects" are an important part of the character of an analog instrument -- just like "defects" are an important part of our own characters as imperfect human beings.

It's your right, of course, to do whatever you like with your synth and decide that such things as noise, VCA bleed, hum etc are "silly to emulate" because they are "undesirable" and do not sound "good." But it's precisely those small details which make an analog instrument and the analog experience what it is: imperfect... and unique!

Ah, the Beauty of Imperfection!
Old 25th July 2014
  #809
Urs, the little saw on top of a tri waveform is caused by voltage bias. And is something that a correctly calibrated synth should not output. I think all analogue synths have a trim pot for this
Old 25th July 2014
  #810
Urs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Very well then: software usually doesn't have the artifacts I find desirable.

"Defects" are an important part of the character of an analog instrument -- just like "defects" are an important part of our own characters as imperfect human beings.

It's your right, of course, to do whatever you like with your synth and decide that such things as noise, VCA bleed, hum etc are "silly to emulate" because they are "undesirable" and do not sound "good." But it's precisely those small details which make an analog instrument and the analog experience what it is: imperfect... and unique!

Ah, the Beauty of Imperfection!
I would counter that with the statement that whenever I think of analogue what comes to my mind is "precision". The problem with digital implementations pretty much always boils down to

- aliasing
- steppyness / quantisation
- a sample of latency

and numerous opportunities to do something wrong of course.

To me it's the digital paradigm that's flawed, while the analogue domain is continuous, completely parallel, with instantaneous feedback - and therefore gifted with precision. To me the beauty lies within the perfection of analogue!

The objective when building Diva was getting rid of problems introduced by processing audio in discrete time steps. As a result we have a more precise model of reality than what's commonly used in DSP. This is what IMHO brings Diva a step closer to analogue than a lot of other digital synths.

I'm not denying the existance of imperfections in analogue gear. What I'm saying is, to me they are less important than modeling the aspects in which analogue is more precise than digital. And of course, we put a lot of those imperfections back in, most prominently tuning issues and a bunch of slops.
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