Fattest polysynth ever made

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Mr Rich
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Post by Mr Rich » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:14 pm

Quite, but don't knock it! Useless discussion has been the bread and butter of this forum (and all other forums for that matter) for years.
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:16 pm

JackAstro wrote:I am not saying that you are wrong for lovings 60s synths. But I am saying that the meaning of "fat" and "good" are subjective and my ideas about them are different than yours. So whatever one person says is "the fattest polysynth ever" is purely subjective in completely meaningless without context. Therefor whatever answer we give to this question is at best useless and at worst meaningless.
Well, for you to really understand what I'm saying, you're going to have to separate subjective notions from objective ones. This has nothing to do with "loving 60s synths." It has to do with the fact, and I do mean fact, that the synths in the 60s gave rise to the term "fat." It is Moog modulars in specific that gave rise to the term. It has nothing to do with being a fan of a genre, or even of a certain type of synth, it has to do with where the term actually came from, and why it arose as a distinction.
Also, "fat" is not necessarily "good." The point I am making is not another "analog is better" or "analog is fat" or "fat is good" or "not fat is not good" or "fat means I have more money than you" or any of the other bullshit translations that occur when this topic comes up.
If "fat" is to be ascribed an objective meaning, it has to come from where the term originated and it must be subtracted from the notion that it is a value judgement.
I am not stating "my ideas about "fat,"" I am tracing the term back to its origin and identifying what aural aspects gave rise to the distinction. It is not a value judgement. It is not an opinion.
The fact that I like fat synths, and I like 60s music (and 70s, and 80s, and 90s, and 00s) does not automatically make anything I say subjective. If anything, since the origin of the term exists in the time that I appreciate, and has made me familiar with the synthesizers and usage in question, that perhaps I have something that someone unfamiliar may lack.
This notion is only meaningless if you believe that "fat" is WHOLLY subjective. If you think I'm a gasback blathering on about what I wish was true, that's fine... but there are respected authorities upon which what I say is based, as well as documented history.
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:20 pm

Yoozer wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote: The best way I've found to portray the elusive and subtle quality is to tell people to listen to synthesizer recordings of the 60s...
It will be a fresh break from all the 80's bands that are trotted out on a regular basis if you have a list of recommended listening material - preferably of the non-gimmicky kind ;).
80s bands would be a terrible demonstration of the concept of fat... oh my god! :wink:

Ha ha, Yoozer, you're funny. You and I both know that there wasn't any early synthesizer music that was recorded that wasn't gimmicky in at least SOME respect... which means that I cannot fulfill my own statement under your terms. So, you're just going to have to DEAL with "gimmicky" because it has nothing to do with whether a sound is "fat" or not!

Anyway... nearly any Wendy Carlos or especially Mort Garson will do.
Mort Garson seemed naturally drawn to the quality of sound that is "fat," so you can hear it constantly in his work.
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Post by pricklyrobot » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:33 pm

Mr Rich wrote:Quite, but don't knock it!
Wouldn't dream of it.
Mr Rich wrote:Useless discussion has been the bread and butter of this forum (and all other forums for that matter) for years.
This was the very point I was trying to make, perhaps not very well.
Automatic Gainsay wrote: Anyway... nearly any Wendy Carlos or especially Mort Garson will do.
Mort Garson seemed naturally drawn to the quality of sound that is "fat," so you can hear it constantly in his work.
I remember stumbling across the Black Mass Lucifer record years ago in the Public Library, great stuff that and not too cheesy (aside from the inherent laughableness of a dude named Mort making a sinister, satanic record).
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Re: Fattest polysynth ever made

Post by nuketifromorbit » Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:59 pm

Jexus wrote:
Yoozer wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:Anyone care to dispute that claim?
Find me a good description of the word "fat" that everyone here can agree on, and we'll get back to you.

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Post by carbon111 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:14 pm

:idea: "Fat" is arbitrary. Some use the term to refer to harmonic distortion, some use it to refer to drift and others ascribe something ineffable to the term.

Don't use the term. Period. Its a mish-mash of bad etymology. Its a bastard word with no true progenitor.

Using "fat" makes you sound like you have a mild concussion...and if you want people to think you've suffered serious head trauma, use "phat" instead.
Last edited by carbon111 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Yoozer » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:16 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote: 80s bands would be a terrible demonstration of the concept of fat... oh my god! :wink:
They're a terrible demonstration of the concept of synth, too :(. A minor chords and no modulation whatsoever, plus shitloads of factory presets. Yech.

;)
You and I both know that there wasn't any early synthesizer music that was recorded that wasn't gimmicky in at least SOME respect...

I just finished listening a Jean-Jacques Perry album and my girlfriend came in asking if I was planning to install an elevator :D.

don't know if that's "fat" too - lots of effects contribute to the brashness of the sound, and then there's the laissez-faire attitude about things being slightly out of tune.
Anyway... nearly any Wendy Carlos or especially Mort Garson will do.

Very familiar with Carlos, not so with Garson - will check that out, thanks :)

I don't know if Carlos put the VU meters in the red, though - everything I've heard from her (on a CD player, though) was very clean and precise, with lots of headroom.
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Post by jupiter8 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:27 pm

Jexus wrote:Really ?
What't the most nerdy synth ?
Buchla 200e ?

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Post by th0mas » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:40 pm

I can't take it any longer without posting this

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Sorry in advance.

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Post by AstroDan » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:34 am

maindeglorie wrote:It's not the amount of oscillators, but rather the type of oscillators and how much acceptable beating is going on between them. In fact, too many oscillators can take away from said "fatness" and cause audio phasing.
I agree.
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:41 am

Yoozer wrote:I just finished listening a Jean-Jacques Perry album and my girlfriend came in asking if I was planning to install an elevator :D.

don't know if that's "fat" too - lots of effects contribute to the brashness of the sound, and then there's the laissez-faire attitude about things being slightly out of tune.
Yeah, I would not suggest them as really effectively demonstrating the quality I'm talking about. Don't get me wrong, I love them to death, but they had a different deal going on.
Yoozer wrote:
Anyway... nearly any Wendy Carlos or especially Mort Garson will do.

Very familiar with Carlos, not so with Garson - will check that out, thanks :)

I don't know if Carlos put the VU meters in the red, though - everything I've heard from her (on a CD player, though) was very clean and precise, with lots of headroom.
I'm not sure I know what you mean... the overdriving I am talking about is in the circuitry, not in the recording... and I'm probably using the wrong word in "overdriving," but I lack the appropriate nomenclature.
I could review some Carlos and tell you specific pieces!
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:43 am

pricklyrobot wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote: Anyway... nearly any Wendy Carlos or especially Mort Garson will do.
Mort Garson seemed naturally drawn to the quality of sound that is "fat," so you can hear it constantly in his work.
I remember stumbling across the Black Mass Lucifer record years ago in the Public Library, great stuff that and not too cheesy (aside from the inherent laughableness of a dude named Mort making a sinister, satanic record).
Yes, there are times when BML sounds like a bad Halloween recording (and may have been one of the first used in that way!), but it really has some gorgeously :::ahem::: "fat" sound choices!
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:46 am

carbon111 wrote::idea: "Fat" is arbitrary. Some use the term to refer to harmonic distortion, some use it to refer to drift and others ascribe something ineffable to the term.
Yes, but just because some people called synthesizers organs, it did not mean that they became organs or lost their definition because of a misapplied term.
The first "some people" were right, the second "some people" were mistaken, and the "others" simply couldn't hear what was being described.
The propogation and acceptance of "fat" being applied to anything that anyone liked on the internet hasn't helped.
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Post by clusterchord » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:54 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote: Contrary to what is commonly held:
1. Multiple oscillators do not generate fatness
2. Detuning does not generate fatness
3. Most synthesizers are not fat if the term is held to its original meaning and what it used to designate
4. Fatness exists in oscillator as much as it does in filter
yes, yes, yes.. and yes. :D


it always makes me laugh when ppl start talking about unison and number of oscillators per voice when "fatness" is discussed. indeed, its very very easy to know exactly what it is, given one has experience with the synths that display it sooo well. and is not hearing impaired.


example, given u listen to them at the same rms level, one vco on a SEM or mini blows away zillion oscillators on virus, doubled with fantom, triton and its mother in law, thru boss digitla multifx with chorus on max. it aint about that.
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Post by OMNI26 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:50 am

I'm not so sure about the CS-80 as "fattest". I had a CS-60 for awhile, and although it sounded great, I wouldn't have described it as "fat". It was actually a thinner sound, but absolutely analog and not digital. I would think that even doubling what it sounded like to create a CS-80 sound would still not be all that "fat".

My Minimoog with oscillators slightly detuned sounded much "fatter" than the CS-60, I thought (but yes, I know we are discussing polysynths, so it doesn't count).

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