difficult analog sounds

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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killedaway
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Post by killedaway » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:10 am

i have more than one choir sound i've whipped up on my Ion, and they sound fantastic to me. its filters afford so much variety!
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Re: choir

Post by MrFrodo » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:47 am

saltmiser wrote:I was actually going to ask how to get a choir sound; I guess I'm not the only one having a problem...
I like the JX choir emulations, myself.
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Post by thestreets » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:31 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Analog synthesis is terrible for emulating acoustic sounds... it is a simple fact of life.

I couldn't agree more with that. An analog synth is like it's own instrument. It's like trying to get a guitar to sound like a flute.

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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:22 pm

The consistent "you can come up with new sounds when you're trying for emulative sounds" is a very confusing argument in regard to the premise that analog synths are capable of emulating acoustic instruments, etc. effectively.

There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to use analog synths to make emulative sounds as long as you realize that:
1. It will never really effectively emulate the thing you're trying for except under very specific circumstances, certain timbres, limited usage, and a very great amount of luck
2. No one of any musical experience is very likely to say "Wow, I thought that was an actual choir!" or "Wow, I thought that was an actual guitar!" or "Wow, I thought that was an actual string section," and if they do... it might not be the compliment it seems.
3. Your belief that it sounds like the instrument you're aiming for might be born of your lack of experience with the sound of the instrument you're aiming for.
4. An analog synth CAN generate a bassoon sound.
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Post by Villi » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:34 pm

I think what people referr to here is that while the sound may not sound much like the sound you tried to emulate but it is an interresting sound in itself. For example no one is going to take synth strings for real strings, but no one will hear a string quartet and think "hey that's got to be a bunch of synthesizers!" either.

Since we're talking about analogue synths here, how many analogue polys actually have 2 filters with band-pass modes? The Andromeda? The Xpander perhaps?

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Post by Keith Phillips » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:47 pm

The Andromeda has 2 filters, but the second filter is only a 24db Moog lowpass. The first filter is multimode, so it can do HP, LP, BP, and some other variations thereof if you use both filters in parallel or serial (like 12db HP combined with 24db LP for an interesting notch in postfilter mix, etc.) but no dual bandpass on the A6. A choir sound needs more support from effects on the A6.

Did the Jupiter-8 have 12db bandpass modes available for each filter?

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Post by killedaway » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:59 pm

Villi wrote:I think what people referr to here is that while the sound may not sound much like the sound you tried to emulate but it is an interresting sound in itself.
nailed it. in fact, i don't recall anyone here saying they wanted to simulate realistic sounds in order to fool the listener (maybe i missed it?). personally, i love trying to reproduce sounds like acoustic guitar, strings, horns, and especially choir/voice "oohs" and "ahhs". a lot of my songs rely on those!
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Post by AstroDan » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:28 am

I don't think anyone's trying to prevent imitations done on an analog - I'd say it does boil down to if you want to be convincing or not.

You can't argue with synth strings. I do not think, however, anyone's going to trump something like Glen Campbell's 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix'.
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Post by CS_TBL » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:33 pm

There's a challenge in getting realistic/acoustic sounds from a non-sampler/physical modeler, but in any case I'd choose FM. Last evening I actually made a realistic timpani in FM8, as well as some thundering low kicks and semi-realistic cymbals. It's not like I needed those sounds badly, it's just the sport to get them. I mean, that's just sport. There's also no practical point in throwing spears during the Olympics, or risking your life climbing a mountain on which there's nothing to find but snow, but hey: ppl love it! :P

As for Analog vs FM, in many cases you need somewhat more than just basic waveforms to get to a certain sound, sync/ringmod may help but just not always. FM is just brilliant there!
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Post by iProg » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:45 pm

very interesting thread.

Funny how someone else actually said that synthesizers make better string sounds than real string instruments. I've played the cello since age 5 both solo and in orchestra and I still prefer the atmospheric string sounds my synths can do than how the orchestra plays it. Not for classical music obviously, but as the function of strings in a soundscape or sound image.

Synth choir is, for me, the hardest type of sound to program. It never sounds powerful enough. My favorite synthchoirs are the cold, scared childlike choirs from the Prophet VS (as heard in many songs by IQ) and the thick classic mellotron russian choir sound used in music classic progressive rock music.

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Post by CS_TBL » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:08 pm

Any FM synth where you can choose a triangle as operator can do a synthvoice with tons of tweakabillity regarding the formats and brightness, just 2 or 3 operators is all you need. After that it's either unison or a chorus effect, and presto: a synth choir like the ones you'll find in samplers or 90's Roland ROMplers.

It's really *that* easy..
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Post by iProg » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:18 pm

So you state that the DX-7 can create a mellotron choir? How would that be programmed apart from setting the operators right?

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Post by ipassenger » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:27 pm

hmm.. interesting CS_TBL, how about some example settings or at least pointers in that direction. My nord can do FreqM, PhaseM and has DX7 operators built in, so would love to give some of these voice patching ideas a go.

ta.

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Post by CS_TBL » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:14 pm

iProg wrote:So you state that the DX-7 can create a mellotron choir? How would that be programmed apart from setting the operators right?
No, I didn't state that. First of all: a DX7 has only sine waves, and secondly: I was talking synthchoirs, which a mellotron is not.

And as for programming: [ /\ ] -> [ /\ ]

Then fiddle a bit with the modulator level, and both mod/car. ratios, and add some feedback to the modulator. Feedback here doesn't really create the typical FM noise, but it enhances the spectrum in a pleasant -and practical- way for synthvoxes.
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Post by iProg » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:28 pm

Oh, sorry forgot about that! Thank you for the tips! Gotta check it out this weekend!

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