Vox Humana

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Bitexion
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Post by Bitexion » Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:57 pm

I'm just wondering, are those CS80 presets of any use? Do you use them when you play it often? What are they like?

I realised it's a completely different thing than CS-80V's presets, that are simply a collection of premade patches you can freely adjust from the panel afterwards. And they are nowhere near the originals, so I've never heard them.

Guess I could look up at the back of th CS-80 manual, all the 16 presets are mapped out over the panel there so you can replicate them on the synth section.

The V was criticized in the early builds for having waveforms that didn't sound like the CS-80, so Arturia went to work and released a new version with updated waveforms that look exactly like the real waveforms.
In the latest build, we also got a panel to detune 8 of the voices manually, to get that instability that is so much of the sound.

Thus, the sound of many presets changed. I have no CS-80 to compare it to though, but it sure can do vangelis-sound easily enough. It's just that people who play the software version expect to hear the same kind of expression vangelis had. And they hit the keys and just hear "static" sounds, say "BAH! This sucks! Doesn't sound like Vangelis!"..that's because he PLAYED the whole synthesizer with legs, body weight and FEEL. He didn't just touch the keyboard. He used all the AT and expression features while playing.

In reality, that blade runner sound is just 2 static sawtooths with slight detune. Sounds dead and flat and boring without using all the performance features. Specially the poly aftertouch. Like increasing the filter cutoff and volume at the end of long notes, little things.

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Post by SubliminalEffect » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:33 am

we're straying further off the original topic now - sorry, mods.
Bitexion wrote:I'm just wondering, are those CS80 presets of any use? Do you use them when you play it often? What are they like?
yes, but perhaps the best answer can be found in previous Vangelis/CS-80 threads. if the presets are good enough for the big guy, aspiring to get as much as he did from them would be plenty in my book.

as you wrote initially, the presets aren't editable from the panel synthesizer controls (like the CS-80V) but the effects and performance controls (the polyphonic after touch!) that come after the presets contribute so much to the overall sound.

for example, the continuous lever that balances between the levels of the synth section selected by the upper and lower rows of buttons has a huge impact. it takes the CS-80 from being just one tone selected among eleven presets and one tone selected among eleven other presets to a surprisingly wide range achieved from blending together two selected preset tones. if my permutations math is correct, the presets aren't a limit of 11 x 11 discrete combinations because of that continuous balance lever.

whether anyone would like all of the preset sounds is a matter of subjective opinion. i don't think i'll ever use the Clav preset but then i generally don't like clav sounds and couldn't ever see that i would have the need for such a sound. your taste may be different, you may think it's the best clav sound ever, your first name may be Herbie or Stevie and you may be able to play just like them but i'd answer no to all those questions.

diverging back on topic for a change, IIRC (going back decades now) i hated the Clav preset on the PolyMoog as well (no surprise there). there were others that i thought useless too - in my opinion.
Bitexion wrote:Guess I could look up at the back of th CS-80 manual, all the 16 presets are mapped out over the panel there so you can replicate them on the synth section.
good point. i haven't checked if the CS-80V synthesizer panel controls for the presets match with those in the CS-80 manual. i'm out of town so i can't check now.
Bitexion wrote:The V was criticized in the early builds for having waveforms that didn't sound like the CS-80, so Arturia went to work and released a new version with updated waveforms that look exactly like the real waveforms.
In the latest build, we also got a panel to detune 8 of the voices manually, to get that instability that is so much of the sound.

Thus, the sound of many presets changed. I have no CS-80 to compare it to though, but it sure can do vangelis-sound easily enough.
yes, the presets in the current version of the CS-80V are much, much improved as a match over the initial release. if you compare preset to preset played statically, the sounds are now close (definitely in the same ballpark as i wrote before) but the difference is still clearly audible in a listening test side by side.

of course, add in the effects plus performance controls plus playing style plus a mix with other instruments and you probably wouldn't be able to tell which one was which after all those variables.

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Post by gfriden » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:21 am

Isn't this an allright price for a fully restored Polymoog with polypedal?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Moog-Polymoog-with- ... dZViewItem

On the European market, I mean? OK, its the synth version, so that means no Vox Humana. Looks nice all the same though, eh?
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Post by hfinn » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:24 am

I would NEVER pay almost $2000 for a polymoog. I love them, but thats crazy.

Also if you read this carefully:

"We have spend over 80 hours bringing that instrument to former shape and believe that is would be quite some feat to find a better Polymoog. Why ? Imagine that, aside all regular restoration work, you have to resolder over 1500 (that's fifteen hundred) points on the voice cards. Then, desolder, open up, clean, close, resolder every slider. Open the ribbon controller and mount new ribbon. Restore the keyboard, replacing all used up bushings. Oh, there also is a Polypedal with a massive snake of cables and plugs. It would be worthwile to refurbish that, too."

This is not actually saying that this is what they did. They are just saying that that much work would suck.

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Post by adamstan » Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:51 am

This is not actually saying that this is what they did. They are just saying that that much work would suck.
This had to mean - "That much of work would suck, so probably our Polymoog is the only one in such good shape, 'cause we actually did all that sucking work"

Well, they actually did it - english translation used on the auction may sound as you described, but on the PL version they say they did it all - cleaning, resoldering etc...

Direct translation would be:
analogia.pl wrote: We've spent 80 hours restoring this beauty - resoldering few thousands of solder joints, cleaning and regenerating sliders and key contacts and many, many more
And, BTW - I don't work for analogia.pl :-)
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Re: Vox Humana

Post by SubliminalEffect » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:57 pm

gfriden wrote:Essentially, what waveform/filter setting/ADSR etc...
as penance for having previously pulled aside the original topic of discussion in this thread, i thought i'd look up what could be gleaned from the Polymoog's service manual.

Filter Board 1 has a simple highpass RC network for Vox Humana with a cutoff frequency of 5.5kHz and R1 and R2 gain scaling the output.

Filter Board 14 has three low pass filter sections associated with three amplifiers that are then summed to another output amplifier with a feedback resistor determining the overall filter gain.

The first of these low pas filters has a cutoff frequency of 1.750kHz and Q of 11.

The second filter has a cutoff frequency of 330Hz and Q of 2.

The third filter has a cutoff frequency of 1.600kHz and Q of 1.

i have a diagram that shows the resulting frequency response characteristics but i don't have anywhere to host it, unfortunately.

i'd describe it generally as a -18db/Octave (+/-1db) low pass filter with a sharp peak at F2=1.8kHz +/- 300Hz and a very slight peak at F1=280Hz +/- 40 Hz.

is that specific enough for a filter recipe?

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Post by SubliminalEffect » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:29 am

is that Vox Humana supplying the main motif for John Foxx's Underpass (on his Metamatic album)?

i don't have the CD with me but it sounds like it plus added effects for thickening.

the Top of the Pops "performance" that i started another thread about previously has three CS-80s (!) onstage but that may not actually mean anything (apologies if i've just shattered anyone's illusions about TOTP appearances).

the promo video for Underpass (again may not mean much) is very dark and quite poor quality on YouTube. from very quick cuts in it, the synth on the right looks like it could be a Polymoog with the two endcaps removed (and a CS-80 on the left?)

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Re: Vox Humana

Post by crow » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:47 am

SubliminalEffect wrote:
gfriden wrote:Essentially, what waveform/filter setting/ADSR etc...
as penance for having previously pulled aside the original topic of discussion in this thread, i thought i'd look up what could be gleaned from the Polymoog's service manual.

Filter Board 1 has a simple highpass RC network for Vox Humana with a cutoff frequency of 5.5kHz and R1 and R2 gain scaling the output.

Filter Board 14 has three low pass filter sections associated with three amplifiers that are then summed to another output amplifier with a feedback resistor determining the overall filter gain.

The first of these low pas filters has a cutoff frequency of 1.750kHz and Q of 11.

The second filter has a cutoff frequency of 330Hz and Q of 2.

The third filter has a cutoff frequency of 1.600kHz and Q of 1.

i have a diagram that shows the resulting frequency response characteristics but i don't have anywhere to host it, unfortunately.

i'd describe it generally as a -18db/Octave (+/-1db) low pass filter with a sharp peak at F2=1.8kHz +/- 300Hz and a very slight peak at F1=280Hz +/- 40 Hz.

is that specific enough for a filter recipe?
Is that the RED knob??? :lol: :wink:
...and ah just thought, cuntin well hit it!
GOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!

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Post by Micke » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:55 am

Nope, it's most likely the Arp Odyssey (or possibly a Minimoog).

Here's the gearlist for "Metamatic" (recorded at the end of 1979):

Arp Odyssey
Roland CR-78
Elka Rhapsody 610
MiniMoog
Hammond B-3
Hohner Clavinet
Upright piano (out of tune Pathway monster)

Of these, the Odyssey is by far the most featured synth on the album.

John Foxx' second album "In The Garden" (1981) added a Polymoog, Roland VP-330 and IIRC a TR-808 and Linn LM-1. Not sure if he used a CS-80 on there.

By the time of his third album, The Golden Section (1983) he used some of the above mentioned stuff plus a Roland Jupiter-8, Juno-60, MC-4 microcomposer, Prophet 5, a couple of Moog's (Polymoog and Minimoog I suppose?), Linn drum LM-2, Simmons drums as well as a hired Failight CMI and Emulator I.

[sources for the info: John Wesley Barker, Gareth Jones and E&MM)

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Last edited by Micke on Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Bitexion » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:22 am

It's just silly, because in a different thread someone posted a Top of the Pops video where they "play" the song using 3 CS-80s on stage.

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Post by SubliminalEffect » Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:37 pm

Bitexion wrote:It's just silly, because in a different thread someone posted a Top of the Pops video where they "play" the song using 3 CS-80s on stage.
er, it's not silly really. that someone who started the thread about the TOTP "performance" by John Foxx of his song Underpass with three CS-80s onstage was me.

i wrote "performance" that way because it is well known that TOTP appearances are all completely faked. bands appearing on TOTP are all specifically *not* allowed to actually perform their songs. famously, when the Cure were on the show, Robert Smith so completely detuned the strings of his guitar that they were more flaccid than Jell-O yet somehow his guitar parts still managed to sound almost identical to the recorded studio version of the song...

other bands "perform" their songs without their electric guitars and basses even plugged into amplifiers that aren't even onstage. somehow, through the magic of TOTP, these (literally) unplugged appearances still sound nearly identical to their studio recorded versions...

whatever instrumentation (like three CS-80s) shown on a TOTP appearance is not necessarily any indication of what was actually used in the recording or real live performances of those songs. as someone pointed out, it may not even be an indication of what instruments the band owns (especially in this case), as they may have been hired out specifically for this performance.

this is also the reason why i entitled the thread the way that i did. i think someone was having a laugh at the BBC when John Foxx was invited to "perform" this song.

since they weren't actually allowed to play the song for real, they could have chosen to go with the easiest or least expensive options: bringing their own instruments or hiring in whatever was most portable and cheap. even three Casiotones would have been sufficient to fulfill their appearance on TOTP.

instead, they went the complete opposite direction for instrumentation on such a simple and short song. they asked for (and evidently got) three of the biggest, bulkiest, heaviest and most expensive synthesizers then available - the CS-80s. i'm sure the stagehands would have much preferred three Casiotones instead of the CS-80s.

i believe this may be an example of what they call British humour...

i imagine that when John Foxx got invited back to TOTP again to "perform" No One Driving, they thought: well, we got away with asking for three CS-80s last time, let's see if they will give us four this time...

it was also me that posted in this thread asking if it was Vox Humana providing the main motif on Underpass - either the recorded studio version (or the surprisingly, near identical TOTP version). to my ears, playing on a MacBook Pro in the middle of the night, it sounds similar to the Vox Humana samples previously referenced in this thread.

i asked this in spite of the visual evidence in the TOTP video which you now know doesn't count for much...

sorry for all the confusion! i hope this explains it away.

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Re: Vox Humana

Post by gfriden » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:54 pm

SubliminalEffect wrote: as penance for having previously pulled aside the original topic of discussion in this thread, i thought i'd look up what could be gleaned from the Polymoog's service manual.

Filter Board 1 has a simple highpass RC network for Vox Humana with a cutoff frequency of 5.5kHz and R1 and R2 gain scaling the output.

Filter Board 14 has three low pass filter sections associated with three amplifiers that are then summed to another output amplifier with a feedback resistor determining the overall filter gain.

The first of these low pas filters has a cutoff frequency of 1.750kHz and Q of 11.

The second filter has a cutoff frequency of 330Hz and Q of 2.

The third filter has a cutoff frequency of 1.600kHz and Q of 1.

i have a diagram that shows the resulting frequency response characteristics but i don't have anywhere to host it, unfortunately.

i'd describe it generally as a -18db/Octave (+/-1db) low pass filter with a sharp peak at F2=1.8kHz +/- 300Hz and a very slight peak at F1=280Hz +/- 40 Hz.

is that specific enough for a filter recipe?
Couldn't very well get more specific than that, eh? Thanx for that info! And don't hesitate to post again if you find something else of interest in that manual of yours! :)
Art is not a copy of the real world. One of the damn things is enough.

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Post by gfriden » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:02 pm

Found these Polymoog Keyboard propaganda clips on Youtube. Now I'm GASing for one more than ever!!!





And this Polymoog Synth isn't half bad either... :wink:

Art is not a copy of the real world. One of the damn things is enough.

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Post by RedSky » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:44 pm

Micke wrote:Hi folks,

I just contacted John Wesley Barker (who played synths on "Metamatic" and "In the garden") to find out if they really used a Polymoog on "Metamatic"; the answer is NO.

Here's an updated gear list that I received from Barker;

Arp Odyssey w/arp sequencer (main synth)
Roland CR-78
Elka Rhapsody 610
Minimoog (surprise!)
Hammond B-3
Hohner Clavinet
Upright piano

John didn't mention what synth was used for the "stringy" melody riff on "Underpass" but it's gotta be the Odyssey or Minimoog since none of the other keyboards are capable of that sound.

Speaking of Underpass; did you know that part of the melody-riff shows up in the track "Sanctuary" by New Musik!?
"Metamatic" preceded "From A To B" by a few months (January vs. April 1980) however according to Tony Mansfield--the man behind New Musik-- the riff was on their old demos from 1978/79...coincidence or not!?

Micke
I think he's telling fibs as these musicians will. Probably trying to ditance himself from the Numan comparisons because that Foxx material was seriously Numan indebted- even the vocal. Odd that Numan/TA was influenced by Ultravox MK1 and yet didn't sound just like them. Is it true that the unprocessed preset actually sounds quite mediocre without reverb/phasing? I've never heard it unprocessed.

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Post by Micke » Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:31 pm

I don't think he's lying because Gareth Jones (the producer) also told me NO polymoog was used in the making of "Metamatic", just the stuff I listed above.

According to Gareth, the PM debuted on "In the garden".

Micke
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