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Analogue vs Digital Part 2 - (Diva vs OB8)
View Poll Results: Which is Synth A?
OB8
108 Votes - 54.27%
Diva
91 Votes - 45.73%
Voters: 199. You may not vote on this poll

Old 22nd August 2015
  #61
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jaxman12's Avatar
I've got to say, this is a great comparison. I bought Diva a few months back and am really impressed with how great it sounds. SWAN, you did an excellent job with the comparison. My guess is that Diva would be A, from the beginning it seemed to sound a bit cleaner. As the comparison went on however, I could not tell any difference most of the time.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #62
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listened to blind test. can't vote because i haven't used either. not big into poly analog in general... not really the kind of sounds i make...but i liked some of the qualities of b better, although at the same time if it made those sounds every single time that would be annoying.

that sameness while working and making sounds is kinda what i get burned out on with the few va i've messed with that tried really hard to sound analog - i like digital synths a lot, more than analog really, so it has nothing to do with that.

imo adding noise floor is kinda 'cheating' because when you start using effects and processing this ends up making a big difference with reverbs and distortions. did you use analog noise or va noise?

surely you can make patches that sound nothing alike as well?
Old 22nd August 2015
  #63
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I would have guessed OB8 =B all the way until the Portamento. That really threw me because if it was just that sound segment I would have to say A is the OB8 ( in the Portamento clip only) It sounded very like the characteristics of other analogue CEM filter synths I have used with polyphonic portamento eg: my Jupiter 6 & 'B' was much different , less pleasing in this segment .

So I could not vote..

B for sure (!)is the OB8 in every clip until that Portamento bit ,then the OB8 for sure is A ..

So answer is the OB8 is B , but also A for the Portamento. Portobias.

Edit 20 hours later: in hindsight based on my argument with myself re:the poly-portamento segment I had to vote A for Obie, but I dont have either, so who knows? ( apart from Swan & maybe Goldenbeers by now)

Last edited by Spectralwaves; 23rd August 2015 at 02:46 AM..
Old 22nd August 2015
  #64
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I'm starting to wonder if B in the mix video has phase issues with the kick?
Old 22nd August 2015
  #65
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A seems smoother and 'softer' on its attack and would guess its the real OB8. B seems harder and more in front which Im guessing is Diva. I would say depending on the goal one isn't better than the other. If you want a tougher sound then B is appropriate. If you want a less invasive sound, one that sits more comfortably in the mix, then A is better.

Last edited by turnstile; 22nd August 2015 at 05:55 AM..
Old 22nd August 2015
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
to be honest there wasn't anything insidious about it - I just made loads of sounds and tried to use ten that best demonstrated typical polysynth sounds...the bias I mentioned was slight - and subjective. I just mention it for the sake of objectivity. All the sounds I made were fairly close...
"Typical polysynth sounds" is the heart of the "problem", and the answer why this test doesn't prove anything. Those "typical" poly sounds are usually simple pads/brass/stabs, quite banal, typical "2 sawtooth detuned a little (and then what)" with a little resonance and some envelope.
I think that you don't even need something like Diva to sound close to these "typical" poly sounds.

Now try duplicating some of the stuff coming out of Vermona perfourmer, or dreadbox erebus. Try duplicating some analog sounds with different sweet spots other then the usual. Try duplicating some analog sounds with more extreme settings.
Then we'll talk.
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Old 22nd August 2015
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76 View Post
"Typical polysynth sounds" is the heart of the "problem", and the answer why this test doesn't prove anything. Those "typical" poly sounds are usually simple pads/brass/stabs, quite banal, typical "2 sawtooth detuned a little (and then what)" with a little resonance and some envelope.
I think that you don't even need something like Diva to sound close to these "typical" poly sounds.

Now try duplicating some of the stuff coming out of Vermona perfourmer, or dreadbox erebus. Try duplicating some analog sounds with different sweet spots other then the usual. Try duplicating some analog sounds with more extreme settings.
Then we'll talk.
Yes.. try duplicating a dripping wet extraneous Chroma Polaris poly sound with artifacts in 3D to a technically perfect Diva sound. Not that the Diva sound isn't great (it is) but it doesn't have that wild card element.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #68
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76 View Post
Now try duplicating some of the stuff coming out of Vermona perfourmer, or dreadbox erebus. Try duplicating some analog sounds with different sweet spots other then the usual. Try duplicating some analog sounds with more extreme settings.
Then we'll talk.
Diva does not have Erebus or Perfourmer routings, filter models or emulation at all, so it's kind of like criticizing a dog because it can't fly.

The typical sound is what most people are after and pay the big bucks for - once you get out of the range of the sounds that are well known, synths become more interchangeable, not less. With those atypical sounds, you lose the reference you use to judge synths on.

There is no test that is ever going to satisfy people short of putting two Oberheims or Minimoogs or whatever next to eachother and replacing the guts of one with a plugin and leaving the other original. Every test can be construed as an attack - "haha, look at that, you paid twenty times as much but you can't hear the difference" and well, folks want to protect their ego and are protective about their investment.

For that matter, a poll is nice but hides who did the actual answering. The replies are much more interesting because they also reveal who has *not* been voting, and the number of people who brag in every a vs d thread that they can hear the difference from miles away are usually curiously lacking. And this test even gives you a 50% chance of getting it right even if you guess randomly; much harder if you don't show which synth is playing so you have to get it right, consistently, several times.
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Old 22nd August 2015
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
... For that matter, a poll is nice but hides who did the actual answering. The replies are much more interesting because they also reveal who has *not* been voting ...
actually, it does show the user names of who voted which way (not sure if this is new). checked a bit ago and was surprised to see it was at 50/50. seemed like most who have answered in replies have picked Diva as B.

i didn't vote myself (yet), just replied. i'm sure this throws things off as well.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #70
Wow, excellent job on this. Very close! To my ears A sounds a little punchier on some of the sounds, but I have no idea which is which. Guessing A is the hardware. DIVA is an amazing instrument for sure!
Old 22nd August 2015
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Diva does not have Erebus or Perfourmer routings, filter models or emulation at all, so it's kind of like criticizing a dog because it can't fly.

The typical sound is what most people are after and pay the big bucks for - once you get out of the range of the sounds that are well known, synths become more interchangeable, not less. With those atypical sounds, you lose the reference you use to judge synths on.
I think you're missing my point.
All these "comparison" threads and "blind tests" are not completely neutral. They're not just to make a 'test". They are trying to "make a point". And the point they're trying to make is how far vst's have progressed in analog emulation. So this isn't confined to just Diva.
Notice that the OP didn't just say "guess who's Diva and who's the OB8'. It said who's the 4000$ vintage original and who's the 200$ vst emulation.
So, focusing only on those banal, generic 80's sounds - why even pay 200$ when there are also free vst's that can get pretty close as well?

As for the synth structure - i'm not talking about replicating a vermona perfourmer sound with 4 oscilators fm'ing each other or whatever. Even a simple filter sweep with resonance all the way up: which vst can get close to that? You can choose any vst you want to try to emulate where the perfourmer goes (or erebus or a Boomstar for that matter), and see if you can reach those sweet spots.

That's why i always say - as i've said on different threads - when i want to get analog sounds i use analog synths. On the other hand, analog synths tend to really suck when it comes to fm, phase modulation, granular, wavetables, vector synthesis, sample mangling etc.

So each has its place and each can do what it's best of.
There's of course another argument, which is completely legitimate. Many want to have analog sounds but can't afford expensive analog beasts, so these vst's are a very good compromise. But that's another thing altogether.

Last edited by zahush76; 22nd August 2015 at 07:57 AM..
Old 22nd August 2015
  #72
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Thanks for the comparison/Demo.

I like A better, so I hope it is Diva.

The differences are subtle, but somehow I would not be tempted to buy B. If A is Diva I might think about getting it or at least demo it again. I did not really like it that much when I tried it in beta, so I fear B is Diva...

Never used the OB-8 in person and did not listen to many demos yet, so I will not vote.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #73
i have no idea which one is analog or digital. (ive never played either of these two synths either)

so i wont even bother with that

i will say which one i like better though....

based off the song test...i like B better, sounds smoother to my ears has BITE to it that A doesnt seem to have....
test 5, B is better sounding
test 6 i like A better
test 7, i like B better, it has more of a bite to it, better sounding for that type of sound

off of test 8 I actually like A better, the pad sounds better more rich

test 10 i like A better, B seems to have a bit thinner less rich quality

to my ears....i think B is better at some things that need more smoothness and bite ....whereas A appears to be better at more vibrant airy pad stuff.....

still this is a test, not done by a robot so completely susceptible to human confirmation bias

i would rather have B if it were between the two (based on this potentially biased test alone), thats my honest answer...but thats because i like the way it seems to handle certain sounds better......but the pads test, i think A clearly outshines B there...
so i voted that A is OB8..just bceause i felt i had to vote.....but i really dont know...lol
i'm listening on hd600s btw..but if i was listening on my iphone speakers there is NO way i could tell anything
Old 22nd August 2015
  #74
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lysander's Avatar
 

I like A better overall, seems to have a bit more weight to it especially the bass.
I vote A is OB8 but I will be happily surprised if I'm wrong !
Amazing work in any case, thanks for doing this Swan.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #75
Hats off to you SWAN. This is huge. The effort, the skills, the time I appreciate it all.

I've given up trying to tell which is which, I've got it wrong so often. I can hear big differences, but not owning any of the synths in question there's no way I can say this is Diva and that is OB8

For example in test 5 the resonance brings the level up to distortion in synthB and sounds ugly to me. Is this Diva or analogue? I have no idea, so I'm going to fall back on what I feel, or what the music makes me feel.

With this strategy I prefer A. The sounds of synth A triggered eargasms a pleanty and melted my face. The sound of B did not. For what ever reason

Again, thanks for the massive effort and I also really like the music. Nodding my head and tapping my feet to it over here.

Ps listened on earbuds from tiger. £4 I think
Please pm me the answer? I won't tell

Last edited by golden beers; 22nd August 2015 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 22nd August 2015
  #76
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
phone speakers?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oddly enough, the difference to me was really evident though my crap Motorola Bluetooth headset I use to listen to podcasts and audio books, but when I listened in my studio through a pair of AKG 240s it was harder to spot the difference, but I'm still saying A is the hardware.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #77
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Oddly enough, the difference to me was really evident though my crap Motorola Bluetooth headset I use to listen to podcasts and audio books, but when I listened in my studio through a pair of AKG 240s it was harder to spot the difference, but I'm still saying A is the hardware.
Well. indeed they are different. You (like anyone else) is listening to the material after it has been subjected to a number of conversions and then whatever playback device the listener happens to experience it on. I say this because it;s important in a much broader sense. You can get hung up on certain details that might not be relevant in your quest . The quality of your creativity and music is so much more important than anything else. Don't get hung up on finding the perfect blue or green. It doesn't matter. VIntage synths sound great...but modern synths sound great too. Which synth you use isn't going to make the difference. They are just instruments.

Those AKG phones are very nice. I have used and specified so much AKG product over the years. Just outstanding quality stuff. You pay a little more,, and you get a little more
Old 22nd August 2015
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robwood View Post
the B one is somewhat duller in the highs so i chose Diva for A; not sure that makes sense now lol...
how weird is that, I detected more bite in the highs in synth B therefore would assume B to be Diva as software is faster than analog...?

A OB
B Diva
Old 22nd August 2015
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee View Post
To be honest I didn't like either of them. I like big fat rich textures that only samplers and digital effects can create.
Now this man has understood what being on a discussion forum is all about
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Old 22nd August 2015
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Now this man has understood what being on a discussion forum is all about

Ha!!..But he's right. You can spend the rest of you life arguing about analog and digital (irrelevant). Use the available horsepower.

On your tombstone will it read......He was such an analog die hard ( ouch)....or will it read...."he just wanted to make music"....ahhh.. who cares the hour glass is ticking (ha).
Old 22nd August 2015
  #81
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

A Diva (balanced tone, more highs that I like), B Oberheim (resonance character)
Old 22nd August 2015
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76 View Post
They are trying to "make a point".

It said who's the 4000$ vintage original and who's the 200$ vst emulation.
Yes, tests are trying to make points, blind tests are usually part of an argument that help in confirming a point.


And one of the many points in the debate about vintage synths is that the analogue believers claim that there is an audible difference between analogue and digital emulation and that the analogue sounds objectively better and can be identified easily - thus justifying the high prices for their vintage analogue synths.


...and i totally admit that i still think that way as well, i voted A to be the OB because it sounded "better" to me than B in those clips where i heard a qualitative difference.


I will also say, that even if it showed that the software actually sounds better than the hardware (in my case that A is actually Diva) i still wouldn't buy the software.

However, if Diva were to be packed into a selfcontaining package (i.e. 3 octave keyboard and a display and a few strategically placed knobs i'd be all over it. I just like hardware - even if it has a softsynth at its core...
Old 22nd August 2015
  #83
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Synthesizers as I grew up with, and actually, these things played a huge role in my life.. are also known as "computer music" now, and I made my living creating computer music for a few years . Computer music is now extremely huge as an industry that services commercial mediums including advertising, the film industry, and other avenues. It's now in fact electronic music on a desktop.

I don't even know what I'm really trying to say here ...maybe just pointing out this reality.

For me,, I'm a little passionate about ancient hardware tactile devices...I get a lot of enjoyment out of them,, but then I'm a bit of a fossil.

Last edited by Teknobeam; 22nd August 2015 at 10:31 AM..
Old 22nd August 2015
  #84
142977
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Really difficult!
B is the hardware.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorguy View Post
If so many people are listening to music on crappy speakers, what difference does it make what synthesizer you make the music with?
I think that is an important point, especially since several people brought this up. I am quite sure that in younger generations more people listen to tablets and phones then to any other device. I am also quite sure there are loads of youngsters who rarely hear anything else then .mp3

Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76
Now try duplicating some of the stuff coming out of Vermona perfourmer, or dreadbox erebus. Try duplicating some analog sounds with different sweet spots other then the usual. Try duplicating some analog sounds with more extreme settings.
Then we'll talk.
I am convinced when U-He or TAL would program the emulation it would be as close as in this case.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
I think that is an important point, especially since several people brought this up. I am quite sure that in younger generations more people listen to tablets and phones then to any other device. I am also quite sure there are loads of youngsters who rarely hear anything else then .mp3



I am convinced when U-He or TAL would program the emulation it would be as close as in this case.
THis is really such a huge aspect to things. What's really ironic is that the technology related to realizing great sound has been developed as normally expected, but the "medium" for playback has actually become a retrograde... Yes... there isn't a push to have people experience better sound,, quite the opposite... they want you to hear program,, but they are not concerned with the fidelity. This is all about bandwidth and $$. ....Go ahead and be happy with listening to music on those crappy earbuds... lower the bar.. kind of f==kd up when you think about it.

You WILL have access to the quality of music media that they decide to provide...end of story....full stop !
Old 22nd August 2015
  #87
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Give us the result swan come on.

And why can't some of you people vote? What's the matter with you, step up.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #88
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People always listened to music on crappy systems. Audiophiles with good speakers were a rarity.
I think to a certain extent with the advent of headphone listening people actually have a much better auditory experience.
To learn how to 'listen' takes a lot of time, though.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
However, if Diva were to be packed into a selfcontaining package (i.e. 3 octave keyboard and a display and a few strategically placed knobs i'd be all over it. I just like hardware - even if it has a softsynth at its core...
You can do that now with a nektar panorama. The mapping and the tactile GUI are spot on. I believe DIVA is one of the plugins they mapped.
Old 22nd August 2015
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76 View Post
You can do that now with a nektar panorama. The mapping and the tactile GUI are spot on. I believe DIVA is one of the plugins they mapped.
No, no controllers, no computers please

When i say "self contained" i want a real synth that does not need any peripherals to create sound.
A little plastic case with keys, a few knobs, midi ports and analogue outputs.

Think "Miniak" just with Diva inside (and three more assignable knobs)
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