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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 22nd July 2014
  #211
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nectarios View Post
Well, with a real OB8, you'd still have to record one patch at a time.
With my current analogue synth setup I even have to record one voice at a time
Old 22nd July 2014
  #212
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
I did not make any general statements and for others like yourself, the $4k may make sense.
Sorry if this was not entirely clear. I guess I'm trying to say two things at once.

The first thing is that tests like these are never a "well now you can sell off your stuff if you can't hear it anyway". That was meant in general.

The second thing is that tests like these even if you can't hear the difference should not deter you from buying the gear anyway. That was to you specifically.

Yes, 4K is steep, but it's not likely to lose value (nobody's cloned them yet!), and if you don't mind the whole buying/shipping/selling/shipping stuff it's a good way to find out whether it matters to you in person.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #213
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaumont View Post
Awesome test. Diva does sound quite good. Still prefer the OB8 though.

Awesome choice for what track to use as well. One of my faves. He used and Emax for most of the synth sounds on this. And the Pat Benatar sample..

Yeah its a classic. Lifelike always has a great feel of poignancy in his tracks. I think it was A-Juno on bass and cant remember the brass/keys...I know the lead sound was Reaktor...The Emax was only the kids sample at the end...
Old 22nd July 2014
  #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Sounds like a challenge to me....

So the soft synthnes was disguised by PWM and a software filter? If that's all it takes.....
Load up Diva and choose whatever you like, but basically you want two VCOs and the filter wide open and keep the VCA's sustain full.
Now create whatever sequencer for a loop you like, can just be a single note for a bar, but keep it the same note just to make things really obvious.

Then play, you'll notice the sound varies hugely, like the phase is changing every time the note is triggered, causing huge variations in the sound every single time. Can try detuning the oscillators slightly to replicate the non-perfect nature of two VCOs not quite in tune, but its still there.

Even the most temperamental analogues don't behave like that.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #215
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
...with Urs having made Diva and HS having had a hand in it I think...
Howard Scarr is patch designer extraordinaire... He created many of the sounds that Diva comes with, and ALL of the "factory presets" for Zebra. He also created many of the presets for the Virus, and lots of other instruments. Very talented fellow.

By the way, did you use a factory preset for your comparison track?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee
one thing to remember is that it takes a 12 core server to play a 4 note chord on diva
Urs makes no bones about the fact that Diva is very rough on the CPU, although newer versions are better about this than the original. I have a quad core i5 iMac and it runs perfectly, in the highest audio quality, at 128 ms. Yes, I do typically bounce Diva tracks to audio, but this just takes a click of the mouse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D
I like the uHe sound and think Diva and Zebra are the best sounding software I have, and the most frequent I use.
I'd have to agree with that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace Clef
I'm seriously impressed with Diva here. I'd love to hear a Jupiter 8 - Diva test.
By the way, you can download a demo version of Diva here.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Dude, no offense, but weren't you saying the first one was the OB8? While it was really easy to tell that the first one is DIVA - listening just over the macbook speakers (and internal macbook converters?).
I'd say anyone picking the first as "OB8" should really NOT invest big money into converters. Several double-blind studies have been conducted showing only that the differences between "good" (=cheap) converters and the best converters do not account for a significant difference which can be perceived even by a majority of "experts". In contrast to this any expert can easily tell which synth is which in this example because of some side effects related to the digital domain of the first synth in the example.

Read my first post, I made specific statements regarding the differences. Since I don't know from first hand experience how an OB8 is supposed to say, I am not in the position to definitively judge in this regard. And I won't go into the converter discussion, believe what you want about it. This is something I have extensive first hand experience with.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Im going to do some more tests which aim to look at the differences on individual sounds...does anyone have requests for types of sounds?

Its great that everyone thinks they are very close. There are some differences to my ear in the high end and tonal balance...also the resonance...the interesting thing is if you set it very carefully you can make the differences much smaller. It would be easy to do an unfair comparison with Diva but Im not interested in that.
I'd say make some snappy percussion sounds with self-resonating filter. One interesting sound is an "drum machine cymbal or hihat percussion" type of sound one can get when modulating VCO frequencies by noise. Generally I think that e.g. all VA-emulated 808 cymbals sound somewhat different than the real deal and I found that this somehow seems to be the case with all "cambal/ hh" type sounds which include VCOs. However, my old soviet Minimoog clone seems to be able to produce such sounds much better than my Minimoog Voyager so I doubt that all analogue synths are equally capable of producing such sounds.
One sound where Diva actually might excel is a "high tuned percussion". During one session I was playing some kind of tuned percussion on a Kurzweil PC3 synth, the vibe was there... But way to much aliasing for my taste (on a simple preset sound, played in the high frequency range). So I created that sound on the Voyager - sounds as "precise" as the Kurzweil but does not introduce any Aliasing - perfect. I would expect DIVA to be much better on this type of sound than my Kurzweil as it should introduce much less aliasing.

IMO the sounds really to focus on are PWM and FM sounds as extra tricks by the software developers are needed to prevent aliasing with these modulations and as analogue FM tends to be somewhat unstable - while anything "somewhat unstable" tends to be tough to replicate in the digital world.
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #218
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I knew I got it right. I did something a little bit different though.

I ONLY listened to the first 8 bars and i just tried to decide if it was a soft synth or not. I don't care what an OB sounds like as I do not have one. So, in the begining I knew it was software BUT of course it does sound just fine. Probably the best softsynth out according to those that use plugins. Now that I listen to it all it doesn't sound much different, so what I learned mostly is that i probably do not want an Oberheim OB8 lol. Good programming too and of course a classic Lifelike beat. FYI he breaks down that beat in his Future Music video.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #219
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I'm sure someone else will post another thread soon, showing where DIVA sounds less than analogue at times. But that's how these things work.

The argument that Diva is too limited for lovers of analogue should probably rest on the physicality of hardware. Hardware control of ITB needs someone to give it the same kick up the ass that Diva did for synths.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #220
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Interesting. I changed my mind on which was which BTW, but I still prefer the sound of Diva here.

I once again wonder how much of the sound we like in hardware synths is really due to slew rate limiting and other signal degrading effects (that can make things more interesting).

I just made this little test with the output stage of my Polaris. It has nothing to do with the sound generating part of the synth, but the difference is still very obvious:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...l#post10279168
Old 22nd July 2014
  #221
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
Tells me personally there is no need to spend $4k on an OB-8
Haha! Sure. As we all know OB-8 is capable of producing one single sound. Those knobs on the top of the hood are for aesthetics purposes only.
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FubarSnafu View Post
Hardware control of ITB needs someone to give it the same kick up the ass that Diva did for synths.
Well, we need someone to mass produce this:



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Old 22nd July 2014
  #223
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Fun part is, that even though i don't give a rats ass about whether a synth is digital or not, i still want an OB-8...
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
Read my first post, I made specific statements regarding the differences.
Read any scientific work concerning this topic, the specific statements can not be of any interest to the whole picture as there are no differences which are significant. A difference only is significant if a majority of persons (which even may be experts!) is capable to tell (in double blind tests - no tricks allowed), while the size of the majority must exceed the size of the minority by a certain (pretty low) percantage. This (pretty low) percentage is determined by the variation which could be introduced into the end result by pure guessing (which reaches a boundary value for large N as chaos theory tells us that with guessing there will always be an "almost-equal" amount of opposite votes).
Science already has proven again and again that any Prosumer-level converter surely won't clutter such a test as conducted in this thread by Swan808.
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #225
VST
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Im going to do some more tests which aim to look at the differences on individual sounds...does anyone have requests for types of sounds?
Resonant dive bombs, self oscillating laser type noises and FM and sync sounds. Maybe some with long release times.
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #226
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I wish someone could just plonk these soft synths in a hardware unit with lots of knobs and stuff. Don't care if its VA,real analogy,digital,etc etc just be great to have them not taking down my MAc pro and logic x and also have some proper hands on dedicated fiddling stuff. I know you can you use midi controllers to map it, and i do, but its not quite the same as a dedicated synth.

Diva in its own device doing all processing would be ace as would Omnispshere. Id love a hardware version of Omnisphere as an alternative to a mix of a roland module and virus marriage.

Great stuff Swan. I got em back to front only because the first synths sounded a touch louder and had more presence/sounded better, which blindly and stupidly led me to believe, after frequenting GS for so long, that it was the hardware.

Ben
Old 22nd July 2014
  #227
sounded close enough for me... both were great!
Old 22nd July 2014
  #228
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Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Haha! Sure. As we all know OB-8 is capable of producing one single sound. Those knobs on the top of the hood are for aesthetics purposes only.
What's good for you isn't necessarily what's good for me. I've got better uses for $4k than buying an OB-8. Maybe Diva won't give you the same satisfaction when programming, but maybe I'm the type of person who probably wouldn't even get into all the Page 2 stuff anyway and would go for more basic sounds. Some of us are more musicians than programmers and often in these cases software works fine. I'm also the type of person who doesn't have room for tons of synths, nor is willing to deal with the maintenance issues many vintage synths are prone to. Again, my needs are probably different than yours, and Diva works for me.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #229
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
...does anyone have requests for types of sounds?
1/16th all the way, KLF style. Saw tooth, single VCO, set env amount to 30%, resonance to 50%. Short envelope around 30-50ms decay, sustain and attack at 0. Disable other 7 voices on OB-8 to make it a 1 voice synth. Press record and start tweaking cutoff from 0-70%. As a poly synth, OB-8 doesn't saturate much in single voice mode, so this shouldn't be hard to emulate.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #230
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It was tough, at first, where I was able to pick it out was when the melody comes in, the second had more artifact, or inconsistency, so, I assumed that was analog, as analog would sound less stable than digital.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #231
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
Listening again today I think I still would have picked the first as the OB8 with my DT-990s, while - again- with the Adams (P33A) the difference in separation and the higher frequencies (harsher in the first) are more obvious, and makes me lean toward OB8 being number 2.

I do think I'll get it right next time, and it'll be easier the more open the filter is.

Still very impressed not just with the Diva, but how similar to the Oberheim Swan managed to make it sound. Awesome stuff.

BTW, when I first listened to the file yesterday... within a couple of seconds I was thinking "well, this is obviously an analog synth, so the next one has to be the softsynth." .... heh
Old 22nd July 2014
  #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digital 1010 View Post
I wish someone could just plonk these soft synths in a hardware unit with lots of knobs and stuff.
I believe that these have been marketed in the past 15 -20 years as VA synths heh
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #233
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I'm feeling so cool right now for having it right. whahaha.

But honestly, the difference in sound was minimal. And my first thought was also the OB8 first, but then I thought: It's a psychological effect when you hear the first notes of a synthesizer, the first notes of songs always sounds 'better' to your mind, you think it sounds fat and awesome the first few seconds and it gets duller the more you listen to it. I think maybe this had something to do that a lot of people thought it was the OB8 in the first few bars.

But I think it was very difficult to hear the difference. I listened on AKG K171 MKII Studio headphones.

Thanks for doing this test and taking the time..!
Old 22nd July 2014
  #234
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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. This may affect some synths more than others. E.g. a Bass from the Minimoog Voyager won't directly sit in the mix when it comes out of the device and it misses the strong "VCO phasing" type effect which is rather overdone in DIVA. However, if one needs a high pitched, clean sounding (almost software-like in this respect), aliasing-free VCO the Voyager might be one of the better choices for this - despite the fact, that a sound example of this sound alone would most likely not find a lot of love on GS if the sound was just the final element of some percussion group it blends in fine (but not that interesting when heard alone). So I guess such tests never can tell you the full story, one always needs to focus on certain elements to find out something interesting to himself.
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #235
Again ; thanks SWAN ... waiting for others tests like this from u ... very good work ... From this A / B ; i m decided to buy DIVA ... the difference was there in between the 2 but for " clean " sound it s the deal ... was very good ; clean and powerful ( so very good if you ve got load of layering . will have the character but easier to mix in a real busy part .... ) OB 8 you could tell was very good on the test when everything was layered ... there you could hear the pwm and the real organic character it was inparting ...was a bit mushy ; phasing alsoon the lows ... i ll say when sound designing and just little tracks on your song ; OB8 will be unbeatable ... May be one day i ll be lucky to own those Oberheim beasts ( just using MATRIX 1000 for now and i ll say it should be in every rack as it s a f****n piece of gear ) ... Gotta buy DIVA pretty soon ....


We should have at least one of those test on the board every week !!!!!


PEACE


MORDICUS
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
So the order cycling through is:

Diva -> OB8
Are you sure?
Old 22nd July 2014
  #237
Quote:
Originally Posted by haze015 View Post
Load up Diva and choose whatever you like, but basically you want two VCOs and the filter wide open and keep the VCA's sustain full.
Now create whatever sequencer for a loop you like, can just be a single note for a bar, but keep it the same note just to make things really obvious.

Then play, you'll notice the sound varies hugely, like the phase is changing every time the note is triggered, causing huge variations in the sound every single time. Can try detuning the oscillators slightly to replicate the non-perfect nature of two VCOs not quite in tune, but its still there.

Even the most temperamental analogues don't behave like that.
Ya see, whenever its a raw waveform against raw waveform test though, everyone claims you can't tell because there is no filtering and no resonance. People always claim that with a little filtering its a dead giveaway. Seriously, I'm not trying to argue, just go look at any number of threads around here that are like that.

So when the excuse is either no filter or too much filter as to why you can't tell a difference, as I've seen both claims here numerous tmes, I'm calling b.s. Because, that comment is entitely dependent on the test.

Diva is just pretty damn good.

Yoozer, you still got that Diva vs Model D wide open filter, saw riff in your Soundcloud?
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstace View Post
Resonant dive bombs, self oscillating laser type noises and FM and sync sounds. Maybe some with long release times.
…and something with stronger PWM, filter sweeps, fast runs (with short env-times), ring/cross mod, distorted and saturated sounds.
Old 22nd July 2014
  #239
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstace View Post
Resonant dive bombs, self oscillating laser type noises...
What, do you do sound effects for vintage-like video games?
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Old 22nd July 2014
  #240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post
Are you sure?
LOL
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