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Analog Synths, What Am I Missing?
Old 16th June 2020
  #1
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syntheticrhyme's Avatar
Analog Synths, What Am I Missing?

So I went out and put my dream studio together (small analog console, plenty of outboard compressors and effects units). I'm loving mixing OTB as it has plenty of depth. I have never gotten into analog synths. What am I really missing from running vst instruments through outboard gear?
Old 16th June 2020
  #2
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guyaguy's Avatar
 

Continuous voltage signals, higher noise and distortion to signal ratio, and various other properties that are particular to analog that may or may not matter to you. But there will be 37 pages to read after this post so enjoy.
Old 16th June 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syntheticrhyme View Post
So I went out and put my dream studio together (small analog console, plenty of outboard compressors and effects units). I'm loving mixing OTB as it has plenty of depth. I have never gotten into analog synths. What am I really missing from running vst instruments through outboard gear?
Haptic experience?
Old 16th June 2020
  #4
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
What you will be missing if you do go down this analog synth path, is money.
Old 16th June 2020
  #5
Deleted 13e7993
Guest
Analog synths are an irresistible signal to females of your alpha status, leadership abilities, and social mobility. It's thought that during the instrument's calibration process, pheromones trigger her desire to procreate with those who have the best chance of producing multiple "sexy sons". Every lady of childbearing age knows that if you can't support a ladder filter, you can't support a family.
Old 16th June 2020
  #6
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was silents's Avatar
Wait, you’re a 10+ years gearslut and are only asking this now?
Old 16th June 2020
  #7
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Abraxis's Avatar
A lot of cables.
Old 16th June 2020
  #8
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Frankly, what plugin allows you to plug in to food, or people?


Depending on your controller setup, you might be missing immediacy, the ability to fiddle with a lot of parameters in quick succession. The unique design of each instrument seems to influence what I come up with.

Having a few hardware synths helps ritualize the situation, can help get in the right state of mind for music time. You're missing the warm up time of many analog synths

The illusion of continuity has a finer resolution in the analog domain. There's less latency.

You're missing the constraints and limitations, being forced to find creative workarounds. There aren't so many options, which can be liberating, in a way.

You'd also lose those options, spend lots of money, lose so many conveniences that you take for granted ITB. You might have jitter sequencing your analog synths from your DAW. You'll have an additional layer of problems to have to solve, vs all in the box.

I'm not gonna talk about sound. I'm not the Goldilocks of tone. If you want to see that argument, just open pretty much any thread, and skip towards the end.
Old 16th June 2020
  #9
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jg42's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
What you will be missing if you do go down this analog synth path, is money.
Well, nowadays even the digital synths of yesteryear are going in that direction too. So, to be exact the OP started losing money once he went OTB. :-)
Old 16th June 2020
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 13e7993 View Post
Analog synths are an irresistible signal to females of your alpha status, leadership abilities, and social mobility. It's thought that during the instrument's calibration process, pheromones trigger her desire to procreate with those who have the best chance of producing multiple "sexy sons". Every lady of childbearing age knows that if you can't support a ladder filter, you can't support a family.
Oh yes... I have had one of these since I was 20 years old...



Hundreds of chicks... I mean they just lined up!
Old 16th June 2020
  #11
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Pindrive's Avatar
I don't own one. I've done plenty of work w/o them. But, more & more I'm looking at analog options. What I'm really missing(Not that I couldn't survive w/o one) is the sound of of the unit & instant sculpting capabilities of a good unit. Having a panel of sliders & knobs connected to a great sounding engine with nearly infinite, & instant, capabilities is what I'm missing.
Old 16th June 2020
  #12
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zerocrossing's Avatar
It really depends on your point of view. I like the analog I have a lot, but I also have some kick ass virtual versions as well. One of my favorite analog polys is Legend, and it isn’t analog at all. But I keep two analog polys and two monos around, as well as some hybrid (digital oscillators, VCF, VCA) synths around too. There’s a bit of blur and texture that I get from them that is harder to get out of the software. Sometimes I prefer the imitations because they’re a bit cleaner and because I do a lot of electric guitar work, there’s a lot of that type of analog going on as well.

Try one. You can pick up a Behringer Model D for cheap. See if you feel it gives you anything. Buy it used and if you don’t like it, sell it on. Warning: If you develop a taste for them, they can be expensive and habit forming.
Old 16th June 2020
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pindrive View Post
I don't own one. I've done plenty of work w/o them. But, more & more I'm looking at analog options. What I'm really missing(Not that I couldn't survive w/o one) is the sound of of the unit & instant sculpting capabilities of a good unit. Having a panel of sliders & knobs connected to a great sounding engine with nearly infinite, & instant, capabilities is what I'm missing.
My second favorite analog that I have:



It contrasts well against the Xpander. Very different sounding.
Old 16th June 2020
  #14
You can do entire orchestral works that are 99% there with software now, but people keep playing clarinets and violins so *shrug*. I'm not a complete analog snob, I go digital where it's not practical to have the real thing (EP's, organs, Mellotron, etc.) but there's something special about having an instrument in front of you with voltage coarsing through its veins and expressing yourself through it. I also find it much faster to write and record this way, but the workflow aspect is secondary.
Old 16th June 2020
  #15
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Old 16th June 2020
  #16
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guyaguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuggaMahone View Post
Frankly, what plugin allows you to plug in to food, or people?
Ableton CV Tools
ES Silent Way

Old 16th June 2020
  #17
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Fay Smearing's Avatar
 

You're missing out on metaphors about the grass being greener, golf courses and other relevant attributes of different lawn varieties besides their shades of green.

I had grass fleas in a Roland Jupiter 6 once that didn't show up at first, then I oversowed it with Moog and choked them out.

I once had a (digital) Kawai K5000S for a while that was like an outbreak of serrated tussock.

There's something in there about clover and astro-turfing too, but that starts being somewhat more about online viral marketing.
Old 16th June 2020
  #18
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Old 16th June 2020
  #19
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Old 16th June 2020
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
All 3 videos you linked: Video Unavailable.
Old 16th June 2020
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quirky noises, funny smells, I/O bull****.
Old 16th June 2020
  #22
Gear Maniac
From a strictly sonic and production POV, I'm not sure you are missing much since you have pretty accurate analog modeling on the market.
But surely, you are missing tons of fun, and possibly a great source of inspiration only a real instrument can provide to some of us.
Old 16th June 2020
  #23
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XAXAU's Avatar
You’re missing a lot actually

I sold off my hardware outboard to get more synths

I can totally mix in the box, been doing it for 20 years now, my ME will fluff up my stems with nice hardware stuff and tape
Old 16th June 2020
  #24
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XAXAU's Avatar
You’re missing a lot actually

I sold off my hardware outboard to get more synths

I can totally mix in the box, been doing it for 20 years now, my ME will fluff up my stems with nice hardware stuff and tape
Old 16th June 2020
  #25
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syntheticrhyme's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by was silents View Post
Wait, you’re a 10+ years gearslut and are only asking this now?
I keep spending all my money on outboard, lol. Just never got into it
Old 16th June 2020
  #26
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by syntheticrhyme View Post
I keep spending all my money on outboard, lol. Just never got into it
It’s definitely not necessary, but what else can you do when you’ve covered all your outboard needs?

One thing I’ve learned is to buy instruments based on character and features, not technology. Over the years I’ve become really fond of aftertouch. I’m a guitarist first, so it just feels right to me. So when I come across a synth that doesn’t respond to it, it feels like something’s missing to me. Velocity too. So there are instruments that I love the sound of that I just pass on. Now that I have a polyphonic aftertouch controller, I won’t even own a poly that doesn’t respond to it. I don’t care if it’s analog or digital. If it’s hardware or software.

In a way, I’m the opposite of you. I’ve got minimal outboard and I do all my effects with an Apollo interface or native plugins. This isn’t for sonic reasons, I’m sure some good hardware outboard is going to sound fantastic, but it’s for practical reasons. I’m not running a professional studio and my space is limited. Even my guitar amp is digital. (Kemper) I’d love to have a room full of kick ass tube amps, but they don’t really work in my reality. I do keep one tube based overdrive pedal, and I definitely feel like it gets me over the finish line when it comes to an authentic tube crunch, so I guess that’s my analog outboard. I set out to buy an analog distortion for my Dominion 1 (a kick ass analog mono, btw) and I ended up with a Roland Torcido. It had all the functions I wanted (CV in) and it was one of the best sounding boxes I demoed. I didn’t really even bother to check whether it was analog or digital. I oddly assumed it was analog, but a few months after I had it I read an article about it being digital. Who cares? It sounds great.

Anyway, I don’t know what your budget is, but I suggest that you have a look at modern analogs, rather than vintage. Vintage synths are awesome, but if you’re used to working with ITB solutions, you’ll maybe find them a bit hard to work with. All the Dave Smith (DSI/Sequential) synths are not only well appointed with MIDI, but have available VST control apps. This is important if you want to do any sort of automation from your DAW. Anything with CV is good too, as there are devices that will let you send CV from your computer. The first place I’d look is the Prophet 6 or OB-6. If you have the money, they’re fine instruments and even if you have RePro and Oberhausen you’ll find they have some extras that make them well worth having.
Old 16th June 2020
  #27
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syntheticrhyme's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
It’s definitely not necessary, but what else can you do when you’ve covered all your outboard needs?

One thing I’ve learned is to buy instruments based on character and features, not technology. Over the years I’ve become really fond of aftertouch. I’m a guitarist first, so it just feels right to me. So when I come across a synth that doesn’t respond to it, it feels like something’s missing to me. Velocity too. So there are instruments that I love the sound of that I just pass on. Now that I have a polyphonic aftertouch controller, I won’t even own a poly that doesn’t respond to it. I don’t care if it’s analog or digital. If it’s hardware or software.

In a way, I’m the opposite of you. I’ve got minimal outboard and I do all my effects with an Apollo interface or native plugins. This isn’t for sonic reasons, I’m sure some good hardware outboard is going to sound fantastic, but it’s for practical reasons. I’m not running a professional studio and my space is limited. Even my guitar amp is digital. (Kemper) I’d love to have a room full of kick ass tube amps, but they don’t really work in my reality. I do keep one tube based overdrive pedal, and I definitely feel like it gets me over the finish line when it comes to an authentic tube crunch, so I guess that’s my analog outboard. I set out to buy an analog distortion for my Dominion 1 (a kick ass analog mono, btw) and I ended up with a Roland Torcido. It had all the functions I wanted (CV in) and it was one of the best sounding boxes I demoed. I didn’t really even bother to check whether it was analog or digital. I oddly assumed it was analog, but a few months after I had it I read an article about it being digital. Who cares? It sounds great.

Anyway, I don’t know what your budget is, but I suggest that you have a look at modern analogs, rather than vintage. Vintage synths are awesome, but if you’re used to working with ITB solutions, you’ll maybe find them a bit hard to work with. All the Dave Smith (DSI/Sequential) synths are not only well appointed with MIDI, but have available VST control apps. This is important if you want to do any sort of automation from your DAW. Anything with CV is good too, as there are devices that will let you send CV from your computer. The first place I’d look is the Prophet 6 or OB-6. If you have the money, they’re fine instruments and even if you have RePro and Oberhausen you’ll find they have some extras that make them well worth having.
Sounds like you have a great working setup. That's what's most important.
Old 16th June 2020
  #28
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Lol another thread moved for no reason..
Old 16th June 2020
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
Lol another thread moved for no reason..
I suspect it was moved because, given the title and the subject, everyone expected it to turn into a massive argument or whinge-fest.

Quite surprised that it hasn’t...
Old 16th June 2020
  #30
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianww View Post
I suspect it was moved because, given the title and the subject, everyone expected it to turn into a massive argument or whinge-fest.

Quite surprised that it hasn’t...
I know... seemed like a civil conversation. Maybe this will help?

Plugins are horrible! They sound flat and not 3D and will never equal the beauty of a real vintage analog!

Better?
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