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Why does older analog synths sounds better than newer? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 27th July 2014
  #121
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
I find the Minitaur to sound very much like a vintage mono synth.
so true love that little synths's sound
Old 27th July 2014
  #122
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Ever smell your grandmother's pasta sauce or fresh bread baking? It may have been twenty years since you last smelled that scent, and couldn't describe the smell if someone asked us to, but when we finally do, you get a massive rush of emotion, good or bad. It is a subconscious process that we can't control. In the US the smell of a turkey roasting is most likely associated with a sense of family, or our childhood home during the Holiday season.
I totally get that.. I have a pretty bad case of synesthesia.. probably from all the pleasant damage I've done to my brain.
Old 27th July 2014
  #123
Gear Maniac
it's likely that street cred comes into play and matters just as much as the sound.
On some level, we all want to be professionals and I can see where professional tools make us think we're at least halfway there.
Just because a synth is analog, or is as old as you... doesn't guarantee results.
Take one synth, any synth... and lock yourself in until you know it inside and out. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish when you are in a sandbox.
Old 27th July 2014
  #124
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
Of course it isn't just nostalgia, and I think we need to be clear what nostalgia is. Its simply a factor, small for some, maybe larger for others.

Our brains have neurons criss-crossing all over the place. In the human brain, in particular, more so than any other animal, the emotion centers (which are huge in human brains) are particularly close to the memory centers. It is this reason that disorders like PTSD are so difficult to treat. Our senses, particularly the olafactory (smell) and auditory (hearing) cortex exist just lateral to these subcortical emotion and memory centers as well.

Ever smell your grandmother's pasta sauce or fresh bread baking? It may have been twenty years since you last smelled that scent, and couldn't describe the smell if someone asked us to, but when we finally do, you get a massive rush of emotion, good or bad. It is a subconscious process that we can't control. In the US the smell of a turkey roasting is most likely associated with a sense of family, or our childhood home during the Holiday season.

I love the sound of a Moog trumpet type patch. Either a saw or pulse, maybe both with that really soft, swelling sound that has a good bit of release. It reminds me, vividly of when I was discovering Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here) at the age of fifteen, driving around in my friend's mom's car doing what teenagers do (puff,puff, pass) when they listen to Pink Floyd.

Its not a defect of thought, but a wonderful demonstration of how powerful our brains are, even though I can't find my keys I set down five minutes ago.

Not at all the reason those synths sound better, but definitely a factor that helps us form our opinion.

Sorry to get all neuroscience here. It is my life's work.
Hehe, sound like rap lyrics to me. Even if I don't understand what you are saying I'm sure you have a good point as it sounds very nice and poetic in my ears
Old 27th July 2014
  #125
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_apprentice View Post
Nostalgia...
Most of the people that i know, including myself prefer the sound of (THIS synth) versus the sound of (THAT synth).

When did DSI Mopho came out? In 2008.
When did Elements came out? In 2014.

So it definitely must be nostalgia then. Wait. My nostalgia for what? 2014?

This whole synth nostalgia thing is somehow an insult to people who decide to choose better sounding gear (of which lot happens to be old) basically saying they are deaf, but very nostalgic. (??)

Beside being disrespectful towards other people, the idea is a total nonsense.
Old 27th July 2014
  #126
Lives for gear
 

I'm one of the ones who think modern synths are better than vintage synths. And by far.
Old 27th July 2014
  #127
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massimo's Avatar
 

I've almost been on a time machine during the last five years, regarding synths. I have never been a snob about synthesizers, and when I bought my Proteus in 1992, Virus B in 1995 or so and my Nord Modular in 2003, I simply thought they sounded good, and put them in use along with my trusty old Xpander and Studio Electronics SE1. Didn't know much about virtual analog or whatever- just used my ears. Thanks to gearslutz I have been learning a lot on synthesizers during the last decade, and have found myself hunting for hidden gems I had missed: take the ESQm and K3m for example. In the process I noticed that some of the "beasts" I couldn't even have considered touching back in the day here in Italy, now were affordable. Great: got myself the mighty Emulator 3 and 4. More recently, the Arp Avatar and Solus, and the Minimoog, the latter in the form of Studio Electronics' Midimini.

Short story long:
1. the old Rolls Royce's (e.g. E-mu 3, Xpander) are still today luxury items in terms of pure quality of sound, of "presence" their sound comes out with from the PA system. A Rolls Royce doesn't become a Fiat only because it ages.
2. the old monophonics are their own beasts- nothing can touch them, at least for "those" sounds. Nothing. The razor-sharp quality of the Arp tone, and the mercyless punch of the Midimini (very different from the SE-1) must be experienced in person to be believed.
It doesn't have to do with nostalgia (but, see my signature...)- when you turn the Arp or the Mini mixer channels on, the other musicians just stop and say: what's this thing now playing?? Those old synths breath. This is not a cliche: it is the honest truth after my personal journey. Not surprisingly, some of the modern creations that today are known for reviving that jaw-dropping experience, are very expensive: take the GRP4 or MacBeth. This makes perfect sense to me, as much as those older machines were bloody expensive in their time....that said, I believe what I heard from the Mono Lancet was surprisingly good...

best regards
Massimo
Old 27th July 2014
  #128
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tyler477's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
I also think aged capacitors makes quite a big impact. After I had my OB8 recapped - it was much cleaner...more modern...

Surpsingly - I find the tone of the Xenophone hypersynth to be one of the most vintage sounding modern analogue Ive heard...I actually quite rarely like the tone of modern analogues...but also the modular and macbeth stuff sounds good...
Ah, this makes sense as to why your OB8 sounds like Diva!!

Old 27th July 2014
  #129
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robot gigante's Avatar
As we all know, not so long ago, some of those Roll Royces were relatively inexpensive too, thanks to trends and the hype/allure of new gear... Maybe it's often natural to assume that new technology makes older gear obsolete. But when we're talking about instruments I don't think that is the case.

For those of us who took advantage of this back then, using a modern piece of gear that is built to a much more inferior spec is just not the same experience.

I love how inexpensive and compact modern gear can be, you get a lot for your $$$. But still...
Old 27th July 2014
  #130
142977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Beside being disrespectful towards other people, the idea is a total nonsense.
Calm down, I never said it's because of Nostalgia. I just said it conjures up images for people. Humans are pattern recognizers, we constantly compare everything new to our past experiences. Just basic psychology and communication theory.

I do own vintage and newer synths, btw. All just colors to me.

P.S.: Be more moderate, moderator. I'm just trying to make sense of it and have a discussion. Feel free to share your views and findings. No passive aggressiveness from me
Old 27th July 2014
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Most of the people that i know, including myself prefer the sound of (THIS synth) versus the sound of (THAT synth).

When did DSI Mopho came out? In 2008.
When did Elements came out? In 2014.

So it definitely must be nostalgia then. Wait. My nostalgia for what? 2014?

This whole synth nostalgia thing is somehow an insult to people who decide to choose better sounding gear (of which lot happens to be old) basically saying they are deaf, but very nostalgic. (??)

Beside being disrespectful towards other people, the idea is a total nonsense.
Don, I think your choice of videos works against you here.
As far as I can tell you pitted a $300 IC-Based monosynth vs. a $3,000 limited-run boutique discrete monosynth. I'll say that the osc and filters did sound pretty beefy on the Macbeth, but I'll bet you your Macbeth I can match that sound with a single voice of my prophet tied into my Moog....I still have the $2000 left to buy another toy. Also, the Macbeth demonstrator loves alien squid FX along with eighth note sequences and odd time sigs....so much for modern.

Now, that Mopho video OBVIOUSLY sucked. We all know this guy was flipping through factory presets using the same sequence for all of them. But other than as a sledgehammer to prove your point, I'm not sure why you'd compare the two instruments.
(I'd take the Macbeth if given a choice of either for free, but would never buy it)
Nostalgia is simply a FACT OF LIFE. It is real and affects every one of us in different ways. Nobody is saying that you're a fool for overpaying for that JP8 or Memorymoog simply because you think it sounds better...I've overpayed for my original Gates Sta-Level, because that's what I learned on and I know when I want the bass(any bass) to stay put and kick @ss it does the job perfectly. I don't think its offensive to imply nostalgia has an effect on our purchases.
If you're paying somebody else interest for a synth, perhaps you should closely examine your reasons and need for buying. For ME, the old synths (and I still own a few older ones) are not THAT much different than what I can achieve here in my studio with the tools at hand. I feel equipped to match almost any sound as long as I know how it's made, and thus don't need each and every vintage synth that is out there (and I can afford them, so not an issue)
Old 27th July 2014
  #132
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Most of the people that i know, including myself prefer the sound of (THIS synth) versus the sound of (THAT synth).

When did DSI Mopho came out? In 2008.
When did Elements came out? In 2014.

So it definitely must be nostalgia then. Wait. My nostalgia for what? 2014?

This whole synth nostalgia thing is somehow an insult to people who decide to choose better sounding gear (of which lot happens to be old) basically saying they are deaf, but very nostalgic. (??)

Beside being disrespectful towards other people, the idea is a total nonsense.
Yes, Elements sounds great, and older synths are definitely not just nostalgia for all, in same way as a good grand piano or a gong from, say 1979 is nostalgia. Well, with time comes memory, that's true, and in that case is everything past nostalgia, such a book should be nostalgia just because it was written some decades ago and have a special vibe that appeal some. I don't call that just nostalgia, but simply 'a good book'. Good instrument are good instruments regardless if the are from 2014 or from the early days of synths and I simply consider them as 'good instruments' if they are good instruments and appeal to me.
Old 27th July 2014
  #133
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_apprentice View Post
P.S.: Be more moderate, moderator. I'm just trying to make sense of it and have a discussion. Feel free to share your views and findings. No passive aggressiveness from me
Well that wasn't towards you. I've seen this nostalgia factor repeated for quite some time and it's kinda irritating to hear for all of us who weren't even born when many of the classic albums went out and were playing on radio. Wendy Carlos, ELP, Rick Wakeman, never heard, never cared for them.

FSOL, Coldcut, The Orb, KLF, early Shamen, this is where's at for me, so that's 1987-1993. Nostalgia? Well a bit, for the old sample masters (Emilio Pasquez, Simon Harris, Tim Simenon, De La Soul), the sound of Akai S950 and TX81Z.
Old 27th July 2014
  #134
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D_Davis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniDX View Post
I'm one of the ones who think modern synths are better than vintage synths. And by far.
Same here. Out of all the monos I've owned, my favorite is the Bass Station II (compared to a MicroMoog and Arp Odyssey), and I have a feeling that the Analog Keys will soon be my favorite poly Analog.

This is especially true in the near future when Elektron releases Overbridge. A fully integrated modern analog synth, with the best sequencer in the world, full MIDI implementation, a great synth engine, 4 independent tracks of audio transmitted via USB, a MIDI controller and Audio Interface all in one unit, for $1800, a unit that is light, portable, and built with quality. IMO, that makes a $7 Jupiter 8 look like a huge waste of money.

But then again, I don't really have any kind of nostalgia or love for vintage analog gear. I got tired of dealing with the limitations and headaches when I had vintage gear.

The only old stuff I'm interested in is Casio and Yamaha from the 1980s, but that's pure digital.
Old 27th July 2014
  #135
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When ppl say nostalgia is that supposed to be a bad thing?

Music is about feeling and emotion. If you can use a certain instrument in your productions whose sound evokes a nostalgic feeling/emotion from the listener, that is a good thing, not bad.

Regardless, vintage instruments aren't just for nostalgia. To some they just prefer that sound over the new stuff. There is no "better or worse". Its all subjective.
Old 27th July 2014
  #136
142977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Well that wasn't towards you. I've seen this nostalgia factor repeated for quite some time and it's kinda irritating to hear for all of us who weren't even born when many of the classic albums went out and were playing on radio. Wendy Carlos, ELP, Rick Wakeman, never heard, never cared for them.

FSOL, Coldcut, The Orb, KLF, early Shamen, this is where's at for me, so that's 1987-1993. Nostalgia? Well a bit, for the old sample masters (Emilio Pasquez, Simon Harris, Tim Simenon), the sound of Akai S950 and TX81Z.
So in the case of the samplers at least there are positive memories attached to that sound. An open mind will of course pick more and more new sounds over time. But our sub conscience will always compare it with everything else.

Another possible reason why older synths 'sound better' is the cost of market-entry: in the 70s when you made a synth and brought it to market, you better made sure it's 100% the best thing you can do or else you'll be broke. Not a lot of people could afford synths then and because of that the market was comparatively small, parts were more expensive and building was labour intensive. That only really changed recently when SMT came along and made things easier and cheaper to mass-produce. So a lot more people came through, maybe not exactly the next Bob Moogs, Peter Zinovieffs or Dave Smiths and build synths because they could. No real time or effort put into choosing the right parts, making sure everything sounds really pleasing to a group of people and maybe some inexperience. Same in the software world, just more extreme. Actually, that can be said about music production as well heh
Old 27th July 2014
  #137
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robot gigante's Avatar
Don brings up a good point.

Interesting that some of those old schoolers who would logically be most prone to nostalgia because those were the sounds that they listened to when they were young are the ones who are not fans of synths from that era.

In contrast, I hated most of that stuff when I was young and still do. Rick Wakeman - ugh, completely irrelevant to my generation. But I like the synths and have since I first played one. Most nostalgic for chiptunes and video game soundtracks... but happy using emulations and samples there...

Maybe nostalgia influences some people to want to keep vintage analog in their memories but out of the present, I dunno. Humans are complex creatures.
Old 27th July 2014
  #138
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
When ppl say nostalgia is that supposed to be a bad thing?
It became demonized and politicized around 2005 or so..
Old 27th July 2014
  #139
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
If you lived nearby I'd gladly invite you over to my studio to test for yourself the (often) remarkable difference between the raw sound of vintage synths and modern ones (I realize you've been playing for a long time but maybe you've forgotten).
Fair enough. I would be happy to stop by the next time I am in Germany.

I owned a Moog Rogue for a long time and sold it a few years ago because I simply wasn't using it. Instruments without MIDI and/or patch memory just don't get used in my workflow. And I have a Moog Little Phatty, that sounded just as good to my ears.

I did a quick, completely non-scientific comparison video of the Rogue and my Little Phatty, although not with the intent of trying to show that the two could sound identical.

Old 27th July 2014
  #140
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breakmixer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
I did a quick, completely non-scientific comparison video of the Rogue and my Little Phatty, although not with the intent of trying to show that the two could sound identical.
In that video I honestly prefer the LP, it seemed to have more snap and attack to the sound and more solid/consistent sounding. The Rogue sounds a little unstable/quirky and softer to me...IMO that is...
Old 27th July 2014
  #141
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robot gigante's Avatar
Nice. The Rogue does sound softer, but that sweet sounding midrange...

Both sound great.
Old 27th July 2014
  #142
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
I did a quick, completely non-scientific comparison video of the Rogue and my Little Phatty, although not with the intent of trying to show that the two could sound identical.
I know that video. Watched it several times in fact -- in a moment of doubt concerning the tone of my Little Phatty.

When I first got the LP, I was a bit disappointed. It just didn't quite have the tone I was hoping for. So I considered selling it and picking up a Rogue. Your video actually helped persuade me to keep the Phatty.
Old 28th July 2014
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
Fair enough. I would be happy to stop by the next time I am in Germany.

I owned a Moog Rogue for a long time and sold it a few years ago because I simply wasn't using it. Instruments without MIDI and/or patch memory just don't get used in my workflow. And I have a Moog Little Phatty, that sounded just as good to my ears.

I did a quick, completely non-scientific comparison video of the Rogue and my Little Phatty, although not with the intent of trying to show that the two could sound identical.

Great video! In my ears booth of them sounded very good and the character of newer Moog sounded more juicy while the older Moog had some more focus, more attitude in the mid range and better phase

I think the preferences of sound, older vs newer analog synths is somehow related to what kind of music one makes. Maybe musicians that are into electronic music are running more toward that older analog sound than other musicians?

Also I think that it is related to if synth is the main instrument as musician or not, especially in the electronic music bag. Can it be that way?

And it definitely makes a difference what kind of equipment the synth is hooked up to. Less good electronics can't bring out especial great details of a sound source, while high quality electronics will bring out every detail of a sound source (such my SSL Mixing Console).
Old 28th July 2014
  #144
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
Your video actually helped persuade me to keep the Phatty.
Ha! That's great. Not that I care one way or the other about the Phatty, but it's always good to know that one of these videos has been helpful to someone, in some fashion.
Old 28th July 2014
  #145
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Well that wasn't towards you. I've seen this nostalgia factor repeated for quite some time and it's kinda irritating to hear for all of us who weren't even born ....
Exactly my point on the last page and I got chastised for it. I'll say it again.. nonsense. I wasn't even born yet! The type of music I like to compose has next to nothing in common. And to the whole thing something about analog synths recorded on tape or whatever.. I don't even understand that? Is that insinuating most people judge analog synths by listening to them on someone else's random record? I can't imagine many are doing this? I judge them on how they sound in front of me in a studio! Don't you guys?

Many of us also keep mentioning that there are many modern analogs that sound awesome, and have much of the character of the vintage stuff. The ones I mentioned were Pittsburgh modular, Micromac D, Dominion 1, and some of the Boomstars...for some reason it's always ignored.
Old 28th July 2014
  #146
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
I owned a Moog Rogue for a long time and sold it a few years ago because I simply wasn't using it. Instruments without MIDI and/or patch memory just don't get used in my workflow. And I have a Moog Little Phatty, that sounded just as good to my ears.

I did a quick, completely non-scientific comparison video of the Rogue and my Little Phatty, although not with the intent of trying to show that the two could sound identical.
I know we're butting heads a bit, of course it's not personal! We're all crazy passionate synth people That demo is pretty good even at the lo-res audio you still get a feel. In the context of the type of stuff you're playing the LP sounds pretty good, it has a smooth mid/lo-mid for that kind of stuff. I can see why you prefer it. The 8th bass stuff towards the middle-end of it with fast attack and filter more open was moving more into territory I would use it for... pretty decent snap in the attack of the LP. I didn't keep mine like maisonvague, I ended up selling it (naturally I have a Source). If the tone is right for you it's definitely a high quality & robust instrument not likely to give you trouble..
Old 28th July 2014
  #147
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Mefistophelees's Avatar
Do older synths sound better or is it more the case that some older synths sound better than some newer synths?

Why is a complex question because there are multiple factors at work.
One factor is the parts used these days are far better quality. Older synths were made with components that were by today's standards a bit dodgy.
Manufacturing technologies have also changed so the components are a physically different size, small resistors will heat up and cool down faster than big resistors.

Is an older synth fat because it really is fat, or is it because there is a bit more noise in the VCA filling out the sound?

Some components are simply not being made now. For example, Roland filter chips.
This is interesting because there are some older things being made now - I just got a clone of a Moog Modular filter and it sounds absolutely fantastic.

Another factor which isn't mentioned much is the synths these days are a lot more complex. A Juno is relatively simple and seeming built around a sweet spot. A Prophet'08 gives you far more options for far more sounds, but this also means you can go out of the sweet spot quite easily.

Older Monos were also different because they couldn't save patches, that makes them very immediate to use.

I also think psychological factors play a huge role. Far more than anyone seems to think.
This is interesting because once you take these effects away by doing a blind test people find it very difficult to tell if a synth is hardware or software. Plenty of people say they can tell the difference, but the evidence seems to say otherwise.

I also think nostalgia is also a factor at least for some people. It's another psychological effect and no I don't think this is in any way insulting.


I do think that some older synths sound better than some newer synths. But then again I also think there are some new synths that sound better than some old synths.
Old 28th July 2014
  #148
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mefistophelees View Post
Do older synths sound better or is it more the case that some older synths sound better than some newer synths?
I think we all agree this is the case. Not all vintage analog synths sounds better than all new. There are certain synths I could care less for or think can be reasonably approached by some modern ones, for me this would include the JP-6, SH-101, and to a lesser extent the P5 Rev3.

Quote:
Another factor which isn't mentioned much is the synths these days are a lot more complex. A Juno is relatively simple and seeming built around a sweet spot. A Prophet'08 gives you far more options for far more sounds, but this also means you can go out of the sweet spot quite easily.
agreed. A lot of these new synths, since they are digitally controlled, and use faster MCU's and in some cases even DSP, have basically unlimited modulations.... but they're like jack of all trades - master of none. Meaning if they don't have the basic tone to start, many of us could care less about any features. Simple as that. If I'm going to buy a modern analog synth, give me raw analog tone, and less features.
Old 28th July 2014
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post
Amen! Great interpretation of the Prophet
Is that the Analog Prophet clutching an M-Audio Axiom in your avatar?
Old 28th July 2014
  #150
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Thunderkyss's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Prophet View Post
Yes, Elements sounds great....
What's "Elements"?
Topic:
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