Does 100% analog polys exists ?

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jupiter8
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Does 100% analog polys exists ?

Post by jupiter8 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:57 pm

Silly question just out of curiosity.I was reading another thread when it hit me. Are there really any 100 % analog polys ?

I'm thinking the Korg PS 3100 and 3300 could be all analog but except from that are there any ? Without any digital parts whatsoever.

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Post by OriginalJambo » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:25 pm

String machines maybe?

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Post by yek » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:54 pm

one's with multiple power chords

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Post by jupiter8 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:26 pm

OriginalJambo wrote:String machines maybe?
There's probably some of them around but i'm mainly interested in synths.

Is there even a way to solve the keyboard scanning without digital circuitry except for Korgs brute force method ?

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Post by shaft9000 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:39 pm

custom modular that would need a keyboard w/ polyphonic cv out.

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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:07 pm

jupiter8 wrote:
OriginalJambo wrote:String machines maybe?
There's probably some of them around but i'm mainly interested in synths.

Is there even a way to solve the keyboard scanning without digital circuitry except for Korgs brute force method ?
I have always felt that there HAD to be some avenue that could have been pursued in that respect... but then again, every company was desperate to put out a viable analog poly in the mid-seventies... and just about every poly released featured some sort of tradeoff. I think any of the answers they came up with were just too expensive or not functional enough... because the rewards for the company that was first would have been immense (if the method had no sacrifices in sound, functionality, or quality, that is).

Except the PS series, of course.

Although I know little about electronics design, I still want to beg people to try to find a way to generate analog keyboard scanning. Not because I think it is necessary, just because I think it'd be novel... and I would think someone would want to conquer one of the great synth puzzles of all time.
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Post by adamstan » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:33 pm

Impossible... Except of course things like full polyphony - complete voice for each key. But voice assignement without ANY digital circuitry (that means, without logic circuits and memory) - IMPOSSIBLE. You may try to make it DISCRETE=build every single gate and flip-flop from discrete components, but it still will be digital circuitry... I really can't think of any method of 'analog' voice assignement... I can't even imagine, how could it work, and actually, WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO DO THIS?


well, even the keys themselves are somehow 'digital' - they're either on or off :-P

=======================
Hmm... you could have the keyboard with individual voltage output for each key. And then HUGE array of comparators and switches, routing these voltages to voices according to some algorithm (determined by the connections between them)... But actually this wouldn't work better than digital scanning, would cost more, and provide no benefits over typical scanning methods...
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Re: Does 100% analog polys exists ?

Post by portland » Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:03 am

jupiter8 wrote:Silly question just out of curiosity.I was reading another thread when it hit me. Are there really any 100 % analog polys ?

I'm thinking the Korg PS 3100 and 3300 could be all analog but except from that are there any ? Without any digital parts whatsoever.
According to an article I read in SOS, the Korg PS series are the only fully analog polys that aren't string machines. All others have digital scanning of the keyboard.

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Post by Chaorta » Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:24 am

Korg PS series.
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Post by MelStanke » Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:55 am

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Post by MrFrodo » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:22 am

It's funny, but there was rumored to be a Moog modular synhesizer comissioned by Herb Deutsch for the Jazz in the Garden festival in NYC in 1969 in the same quartet from which Keith Emerson's synth emerged. This one was hard-wired for quadrophonic performance. since this was before David Rossum & Scott Wedge came up with the digital keyboard(s) found in the Oberheim SEM models, I don't think this modular Moog has any digital parts in it.
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Post by sacredcow » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:28 am

Better question: does it matter at all if nothing digital is in the audio signal path? Really, curiosity might be a decent answer, but still I wonder why people ask things like this.
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Post by solderguy » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:52 am

Don't forget that string synths like the Solina, Korg Delta, Korg Lambda use top octave generator chips which consist of a whole bunch of digital frequency dividers (counters) which take a hi-freq master clock and divide it down to produce all the notes of the uppermost octave simultaneously.... Each of the 12 outputs is then further divided down by more digital counters to produce the lower footages. the outputs are then scaled and fed directly into analog circuitry, no D/A conversion needed here. VERY digital... not necessarily a bad thing, but this approach does give notes and octaves which are locked in phase with each other (no beating between notes an octave apart played at the same time for example). The Korg PS-3xyz series dispenses with the top octave gen chips, and instead uses a separate oscillator for each note of the top octave - but these are then fed into separate digital counters to generate the lower footages. This gives a more animated sound, but still has phase-locked octave intervals.

Hard to eliminate digital chips entirely, as they are very handy for switching and control functions, and are sometimes used in an analog manner - for instance suboctave generators on a VCO use a digital counter. I have seen the schematic for a polyphonic keyboard which uses a "tree" of key switch contacts to route and assign tone signals to one of eight possible output channels... meant more for organ applications rather than synths though, as the tone is disconnected as soon as the key lifts, so is not able to have a Release phase. This was shown in Wireless World magazine around 1976, called a multiphonic keyboard or something like that. There is also the paraphonic approach used in the Crumar Trilogy etc, which itself has certain limitations compared to the digital key scanner-assigner approach.

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Post by MrFrodo » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:58 am

Could Jupiter8 have been referring to synths without programmable memory? Then, I'd mention those instruments, along with one that doesn't instantaniously constitute a "string synth," the Moog Opus 3.
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:44 am

solderguy wrote:Don't forget that string synths like the Solina, Korg Delta, Korg Lambda use top octave generator chips which consist of a whole bunch of digital frequency dividers (counters) which take a hi-freq master clock and divide it down to produce all the notes of the uppermost octave simultaneously.... Each of the 12 outputs is then further divided down by more digital counters to produce the lower footages. the outputs are then scaled and fed directly into analog circuitry, no D/A conversion needed here. VERY digital... not necessarily a bad thing, but this approach does give notes and octaves which are locked in phase with each other (no beating between notes an octave apart played at the same time for example). The Korg PS-3xyz series dispenses with the top octave gen chips, and instead uses a separate oscillator for each note of the top octave - but these are then fed into separate digital counters to generate the lower footages. This gives a more animated sound, but still has phase-locked octave intervals.
I enjoyed your post regarding DCOs, it was very informative.
However, what you're stating here is confusing to me.
Are you saying that the frequency dividers used in the divide-down scheme are digital? Digital exactly how? They do not possess any sort of microprocessor, and are not converted from analog waveforms to digital information and/or back... so I think the term "digital" might be a bit confusing for the non-techs among us.
What you're saying is complicated by the fact that the divide-down scheme was first implemented in 1939 with the Hammond Novachord. Hammond and company discovered that with some triode and amplifier configuration, they could divide a waveform's frequency in half, resulting in the pitch being an octave lower. This is the technology upon which the Novachord was based. The concept then spread to every transistor organ and combo organ ever made.
I know that most of these predate microprocessors, and I doubt very much that there is DA conversion going on in any of them (the Novachord easily and effectively accomplishes frequency division with tube dividers!)... so what kind of "digital" are we talking about here? (keeping in mind that the main aspect that has people wanting digital usually regards non-analog signal paths, digital-to-analog conversions, etc.)
Is there a difference between the frequency dividers used in a combo organ and the PS-3100(I have replaced a frequency divider IC chip in my PS-3100, and can cite the exact part name, if I need to! I believe it might also be used in some combo organs)? It seems odd that there would be, as combo organ dividers provide completely useable octaves, etc. Is there some quirk of the technical definition of "digital" that has dividers fulfilling some mathematical function which could be called digital, or what? As far as what I have read, there is no computer, digital function, microprocessor, conversion, etc. needed for frequency division.
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