Who needs a million and one synths

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23
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Who needs a million and one synths

Post by 23 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:30 am

I thought about this while looking at the "too many moogs" thread.

I mean there was a point in time where I had this idea that every synth was sort of it's own instrument. That each one sounded radically different from the other. Somewhat like how a guitar is a radically different instrument from a drum. This was sort of my early idea with synthesizers.

Well time would pass and as I got more and more into sound design and the principals behind it, my idea of every synth being a completely unique instrument unto itself moved further and further away.

At this juncture, before grabbing a new synth, there tends to be a basic set of questions that I lay out on the table for myself. The biggest and most potent question being "What does this bring to the table that is outside of my current capabilities?"

Many a synth nowadays doesn't even come to cross my mind all that much as the simple fact of the matter is that I've found that generally speaking, in regard to increasing my sonic pallete, very often the answer to my most potent question is "not much".

Now there are of course other questions I tend to run through outside of that most major one. I mean there are times where increase my timbral pallete is not the first and foremost most important thing I'm looking for (it just generally is). But in my view, I mean for someone to sit and have a whole onslaught of synths with generally similar architectures and/or sonic capabilities, I can't say that I really get the point.

To that same end, I really don't get a lot of guitar collectors. I mean I have a couple mates that have like 8 or 10 different guitars. Now I could understand having a few guitars all set to different tunings to eliminate having to tune one guitar to different settings over and over. I could understand having one guitar that's a 6 string, and another that is say a 12. I can understand having one that is acoustic, and one that is electric. Etc. But when it gets to the point when it's like "Wow...so you have 4 different guitars, all with similar pickups, all with same tuning, and pretty much the body style and wood is the biggest difference between them". I mean that is just retarded to me. Same goes with synths as far as I'm concerned.

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Post by DX » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:50 am

Well, Maybe not a milion, but several synths can be needed in order to reach wide sound palette easily.
I mean:

A DX7 can't give the warm sound of a JX8P pad, ever.
A JX8P Can't sound as punch and crystal-percussive as a DX7.

It is a physical barrier: FM handles sound different to analog Substractive.

So I am agree for instance in my case (I own 3 DX synths). Really a question of DX collection to me.
But I find many differences between my KORG Poly800, JX8P; DX7, Casio CZ1000 , so I am very happy of owning all of them, If I sell one of these, maybe I sell a unique way to get exactly that sound (or maybe the ability to get that sound easier than other way).

On the other hand, I did a try a couple of weeks ago (someone of you will remember). I generated 3 different squares recreating "Save a Prayer" intro. They sounded similar and different at the same time. I think most of the sounds can be reached programming well a synth, but still won't the same ever.

Agree about a wide palette is not the main point. But in most cases, I can reach the inspiration really faster with a wide palette of sounds.
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Post by 23 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:02 am

DX wrote:Well, Maybe not a milion, but several synths can be needed in order to reach wide sound palette easily.
I mean:

A DX7 can't give the warm sound of a JX8P pad, ever.
A JX8P Can't sound as punch and crystal-percussive as a DX7.

It is a physical barrier: FM handles sound different to analog Substractive.

So I am agree for instance in my case (I own 3 DX synths). Really a question of DX collection to me.
But I find many differences between my KORG Poly800, JX8P; DX7, Casio CZ1000 , so I am very happy of owning all of them, If I sell one of these, maybe I sell a unique way to get exactly that sound (or maybe the ability to get that sound easier than other way).

On the other hand, I did a try a couple of weeks ago (someone of you will remember). I generated 3 different squares recreating "Save a Prayer" intro. They sounded similar and different at the same time. I think most of the sounds can be reached programming well a synth, but still won't the same ever.

Agree about a wide palette is not the main point. But in most cases, I can reach the inspiration really faster with a wide palette of sounds.
See, I totally understand that angle. I mean my FS1R is an entirely different beast from my SNII. My 777 has tricks up it's sleeve that my P2500 does not. And so on and so forth. Now though, for me to have a Juno 106 that'd be something where I'd end up going "Duhhhh what?"
Fact of the matter is that outside of it's noisy chorus, the SNII has an architecture adequate for squeezing out things DAMN close to anything I'd be able to squeeze out of the 106.

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Post by neandrewthal » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:28 am

Haven't you made the exact same thread before? Forgive me if I'm mistaken and it was someone else.

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Post by Big Gnome » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:54 am

I try to conduct my shopping with the notions of variety and 'filling in the gaps' in mind; hence, I have a VA, a DX, a rompler, a sampler, and an analogue stringer (and an acoustic piano which I really need to have tuned). For my purposes, that pretty much covers the all the bases--I don't really expect, let's say, my Ion to really nail a prickly Prophet 5 bass sound, but my feeling is that it'll get me perfectly close enough if I play the part in a way that's germane to that sort of a 'vibe'. And so on. Not that I won't buy a relatively redundant synth if the price is right, and I am a pretty good scavenger, but I'm comfortable with my setup as-is.
I'm the same with my guitars--I have a Jackson for it's astonishing versatility, well-balanced response, and wonderful feel, a Telecaster for it's inimitable sound, and a strat...well, because it was my first and I couldn't bear to part with it; apart from that, my other guitars are more specialized--a 12-string, a fretless, steel- and nylon-strung acoustics, and so forth.
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Re: Who needs a million and one synths

Post by sensorium » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:32 am

23 wrote:To that same end, I really don't get a lot of guitar collectors.

Aren't you answering your own question with this line? Alot of collections are due to (hobby/love of a certain instrument/desire to maintain and restore a classic), not practicality. Many find instrument collecting a fun hobby as well as an investment. You can put your money in the bank, or you can buy something you love and can USE that increases in value faster than current interest rates. It's a collection. Why do people buy multiple handguns when they can all kill people? What exactly is there to "get" about collectors?

to address your topic "Who needs a million and one synths"

Who "needs" anything other than food, water, and shelter? If you don't enjoy collecting synths and guitars, that's your choice, but why waste time trying to figure our or judge those that do?

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Re: Who needs a million and one synths

Post by sacredcow » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:42 am

sensorium wrote:
23 wrote:To that same end, I really don't get a lot of guitar collectors.

Aren't you answering your own question with this line? Alot of collections are due to (hobby/love of a certain instrument/desire to maintain and restore a classic), not practicality. Many find instrument collecting a fun hobby as well as an investment. You can put your money in the bank, or you can buy something you love and can USE that increases in value faster than current interest rates. It's a collection. Why do people buy multiple handguns when they can all kill people? What exactly is there to "get" about collectors?

to address your topic "Who needs a million and one synths"

Who "needs" anything other than food, water, and shelter? If you don't enjoy collecting synths and guitars, that's your choice, but why waste time trying to figure our or judge those that do?
You aught to read i_watch_stars' "my thoughts on this forum" thread in OT.
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Post by Hades » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:52 am

I can definitely see your point 23.

I used to have this "dream-setup" idea in my head. or at least an affordable version of my dream-setup (matrix1000 rather than 12, JX10 rather than Jupiter,...)
when I reached most of it (about 12 synths), I lost interest in getting the rest. (even started downscaling a bit now)
if I'd win tons of money, I'd probably get them, but they wouldn't make me more happy in any way.
I did make sure I had most synthesis methods covered.
I got RA, VA, rompler, additive, wavetable, FM,...

for me, yes, I don't see the point in getting that much more gear.
I like having enough synths to turn to if I feel like it, but in reality, I could do perfectly with maybe 3 or 4, and the rest of my rig could get sold and I would only miss them out of this "they're gone"-thing, than out of "but I've used them so much"-thing.

the more I'm into this. the more software I start using too.

anyway, there's always a BIG difference between what you want and what you really need

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Re: Who needs a million and one synths

Post by neandrewthal » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:27 am

sacredcow wrote:You aught to read i_watch_stars' "my thoughts on this forum" thread in OT.
:lol:
No, you aughtn't. :roll:

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Post by 23 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:47 am

neandrewthal wrote:Haven't you made the exact same thread before? Forgive me if I'm mistaken and it was someone else.
It's a thought I've had before, that's for certain. Just looking at that Moog thread pretty much got my head going in that direction again.....I couldn't help but read through that thread and think "God....what a retard"

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Post by amni » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:12 am

I was thinking the same thing the other day, if you know how to make a sound on a synth you should be able to make a similar sound on other synths, i guess it comes down to the filters and the synthesis

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Post by Syn303 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:47 am

I think 23 has a point of sorts. I see it like this. One time I used to have
a limited amount of gear in my studio and I was very creative at that point
recording day-in, day-out. However things started to change, the more gear
i added the less creative i became, although i'm quite an experienced synth
programmer and can get the best mileage and new sounds out of that gear.

But as I stated the more gear I added, i just ended up playing around with
them and not recording my efforts. So the only way to regain my creative
streak once more was to sell what wasn't needed or what i shouldn't have
bought in the first place *you know the dreaded G.A.S*

So having sold a lot of my analogue gear, i suddenly find my creativeness
returning once again to full strength. Therefore adopting the *Less is More*
approach...

I often thought that owning a shedload of gear gives one a status credential,
of sorts, or you just have to have it because no-one else has it. Surely having
less gear forces you to be more creative with your output ?

Fair enough each synth, drum machine, sequencer etc has it's own characteristic
sound, but would you really want to spend time programming each one for weeks
on end and getting absolutely zilch done!

I see a lot of guys on here with fairly small or limited setups like myself included
who are quite happy not to have the over-indulgence on having old unreliable
monster synths that cost $$$$ to repair and spare parts that cost even more $$$$

But i guess it's like other collectors out there who are into collecting rubbers, antiques,
or like women who buy hundred of pairs of shoes but only wear one or two pairs.

Is it just a material need ?
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Re: Who needs a million and one synths

Post by JSRockit » Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:26 pm

23 wrote: I could understand having one guitar that's a 6 string, and another that is say a 12. I can understand having one that is acoustic, and one that is electric. Etc. But when it gets to the point when it's like "Wow...so you have 4 different guitars, all with similar pickups, all with same tuning, and pretty much the body style and wood is the biggest difference between them". I mean that is just retarded to me. Same goes with synths as far as I'm concerned.
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Post by JSRockit » Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:33 pm

23 wrote:I couldn't help but read through that thread and think "God....what a retard"
The guy you are calling a retard is someone who has put in alot of time and effort in genres of music that utilize synths. To me, the guy has earned the right, over 99.9% of the people in the world, to be a collector.
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Re: Who needs a million and one synths

Post by 23 » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:09 pm

JSRockit wrote:
23 wrote: I could understand having one guitar that's a 6 string, and another that is say a 12. I can understand having one that is acoustic, and one that is electric. Etc. But when it gets to the point when it's like "Wow...so you have 4 different guitars, all with similar pickups, all with same tuning, and pretty much the body style and wood is the biggest difference between them". I mean that is just retarded to me. Same goes with synths as far as I'm concerned.
kit: Future-Retro 777 (2x), Roland TB-303, Roland MC-09 (2x) :lol: On the surface, unless your an acid geek, these 5 machines of yours seem to mirror the guitar scenerio above.
FutureRetro 777 is an entirely different beast from the TB. ENTIRELY.
The reason for two of them is quite simple actually, being that they are monophonic, in live situations, if I want more than one going on, I only have one option, which is to tack on an additional. Further, the second one is pending a pretty serious mod (being pretty much being combined with a modular). In any regard, a situation where I have one 777 doing a bass drum kick while the other is doing something else is a totally feasible. Granted, in the studio, I pretty much only ever have one hooked up. The only time the two come into the fray has been in live situations.

The Dual 09s were a similar deal to the 777 giving their mono nature. So they were doubled up. Again, the 09, believe it or not, is a much different beast than say the 303 or even the 777. To full on ADSR envelopes (filter and amp), one LFO (assignable to pitch, filter, and/or amp), 24 and 12db multimode filters (LPF, BPF, HPF), etc. And it goes on. So it's really on the surface that it resembles the TB and/or 777. So beyond it as a synth, I found there were times were I was doing sampling work with on my (originally) one, and I'd be in this rut of "damn, wish I could just reach over and have another totally free one to do 'X' on while I'm screwing with this sample work on this one". Thus the two came into fray. To the same end, in the studio, only one is every hooked up, and the second only comes into play during some live situations.

The 303 I really can't logically justify, nor would I ever try to. It exist soley because I'm a lover of that piece.

In any regard, truly, 303 aside, there really isn't a piece I have around that didn't have a specific purpose/function that it was to fill that I couldn't achieve via some means I already had available.

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