If the PO8 is a big market hit...

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meatballfulton
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Post by meatballfulton » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:48 pm

jko wrote:a DCO synth like the PO8 is cheaper to make than a new CS monster.
There was probably also a lot of cost savings in reusing circuits from the Evolver....hey the PO8 has three EGs, four LFOs, poly expand, 16 step sequencer...just like the PEK! Conceptually the P08 is little more than a PEK with the digital signal path removed.
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Post by jko » Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:15 pm

The drawback there is that some of the only other companies also able to to draw on older proprietary designs and to redevelop them more cheaply are precisely those big japanese firms whom most people don't expect to see going down that route. Now if only one of the those experienced italian manafacturers( or ARP), could be reconstituted somehow.... :wink: :-k

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Post by uncle silas » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:12 am

Well, I think the answer to this question can be found by going to musicians friend and looking at the keyboard section.

Now, I know they sell both moog and Dave Smth, but I don't see either on their front page.

The fact is most people live and die by presets. I think the synth designers were on to something when they took all the nobs away. Besides when you look at what the classics used to cost when they were new that makes current Analogs look cheap. By that standard even a $2000 vintage minimoog is cheap. People have bought vintage analog gear for around $1000 for more than a decade. Now that the cost of construction is figured back in with the new gear the general public just won't bite.

The root of the paradigm shift happened when it became possible to store a large number of presets (50+). Keyboard makers started selling boxes with presets vs programmable boxes.

It takes a long time before people realize that the nobs are as important as the keys for making the instrument sound the way it should. Plus most people don't really think about tone; they just listen for the familiar.

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Post by gallant steve » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:59 pm

a lot of people start out with that approach and become more interested in the knobs as time goes on, though.....

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Post by Peake » Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:32 am

My favorite example of this effect is the Korg Wavestation. (Odd, or not, that Dave Smith was involved with that one too!)

It was a synthesist's synthesizer. And it had no piano.

They introduced the Wavestation EX. It had a piano.

"The EX doubled the ROM to 4MB by adding 119 new samples (most notably piano, drums, and the remaining Prophet VS waves)" -Wikipedia.

That's some massive sample wrangling, to fit a piano into less than 2MB!!!
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Post by prophei » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:18 am

i work at a current top music instrument company, and have tried my best to push for analog based projects... and there is zero interest. it isn't that the powers that be don't like them, it is just extremely complicated.

most companies want to operate with a 5x mark-up. that is far harder to achieve with analog synth development than with the corner cutting that you can do with software. also, unless you are small like dave, you are going to see manufacturing done in china... it is a fact of life these days. imagine the calibration that needs to happen on the assembly line to dial in an analog synth. it would be a nightmare unless you had a skilled team on that line. this kind of stuff gets VERY expensive.

add all of this to the other comments regarding where most of the money is these days and you can see why alesis doing the andromeda was such an unbelievable achievement. it is highly unlikely it will happen again from a big company. while ex-alesis employees from that project have told me that the andromeda is NOT what sank alesis, it sure looked to everybody else that it must have been... and that is a hard image to remove from the minds of product managers.

i am so happy that people like moog and dave smith have been able to carve out a niche in today's market... but i would be shocked to see it ever get bigger.
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Post by carbon111 » Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:36 am

Peake wrote: That's some massive sample wrangling, to fit a piano into less than 2MB!!!
You bet! :)

And think of the "Piano" on the M1 - Tiny! But, for whatever reason, people still use it. Hearing what the late Joe Zawinul did with that 256K (?) piano still amazes me... :shock:
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Post by Peake » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:50 am

The A6 is definitely not the reason Alesis sunk. There were extremely expensive unreleased products, parts overstock issues, overconfidence that multitrack recording hardware was more appealing than computer-based platforms, and several things that will never be mentioned out of loyalty.

If the A6 sunk Alesis, they wouldn't still be making it. But I agree, doing a software synth is infinitely easier.
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Post by gfriden » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:06 pm

jko wrote:Now if only one of the those experienced italian manafacturers( or ARP), could be reconstituted somehow.... :wink: :-k
Yesyesyes! That's what we need: ARP resurrected, with good ol' Alan Robert Pearlman as honorary president and Phil Dodds in charge of R&D! :D Anyone for a Chroma MkII? :wink: Will never happen of course, but there is no harm in dreaming is there?
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Post by gallant steve » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:26 pm

funnily enough I started i thread on that a while back and someone pointed out that alan pearlman is still alive and was hinting about wanting to resurrect the company in an interview with keyboardmag just last year.. ;)

now if only that could come true, a nice dream. . moog are doing well so why not ? would need * a lot * of investment capital though... :angel9:

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Post by JSRockit » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:49 pm

Why can't EDP come back into existence?
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Post by Dave Bryce » Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:49 pm

Peake wrote:That's some massive sample wrangling, to fit a piano into less than 2MB!!!
If memory serves, the original Kurzweil PC88/Micropiano was less - around 1 MB, I believe.
Peake wrote:The A6 is definitely not the reason Alesis sunk. There were extremely expensive unreleased products, parts overstock issues, overconfidence that multitrack recording hardware was more appealing than computer-based platforms, and several things that will never be mentioned out of loyalty.
W3rd.

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Post by Raiven » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:14 pm

Finished watching the Instrumental Innovators DVD. Great video! It's a shame that Tom Oberheim doesn't have the rights to his OWN name. A sad state of affairs in America. It looked like he really wanted to take another crack at synth making.

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Post by shaft9000 » Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:23 pm

prophei wrote:
most companies want to operate with a 5x mark-up.


5 TIMES!???!!! in most retail scenarios a 3x markup is pushing it - and very few items in any market regularly sell at full MSRP.

Executive overhead (GREED) is out of control. We're the frogs, and they're the pot of water slowly heating up to a boil....

Luckily we have chaps like Dave Smith and George Mattson bucking the way of the corporate dinosaur. h**l, even Moog is a bargain compared to the junk that passes for most 'new technology'.
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Post by depecheNIN » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:45 am

I think what people are neglecting to mention here is that expensive synthesizers that create unique sounds DO appeal to the mass market. Look at Amazon's top selling albums sometime and compare that with what you might see on TV. It's not Hip Hop!

As of right now, Mark Knopfler and Bruce Springsteen's albums are outselling Kanye West. Not that Knopfler and Springsteen are huge synth users with their current music, but you get my point. The people that are making the most money are the people whose music has the best sounds over time.

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