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Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:17 pm
by cartesia
HideawayStudio wrote:
cartesia wrote:
otto wrote:
I'm not sure I follow. As far as compromises go, there are plenty of older analog polysynths that are very affordable. So why compromise when you can get a fully analog synth (if you are ok with calling DCO fully analog) for a couple to a few hundred dollars, the same price as a used, cheap VA. Also, I think you might be making an assumption that the analog filters are just automatically good. Not all analog filters are created equal. I also think their is an erronous assumption that somehow this will make it cheap. VA's just have volume sales on their side. The market was flooded with VA's not so long ago and I imagine this is why you don't see a lot of new ones coming out.
How many multitimbral analogue synths are there (with high polyphony as WELL) that can compete with the cost of a VA and a reasonable analogue filter to run it through?

You can't compare voices between an analogue synth with 1 timbre/ 4 voice polyphony to a 16 timbre/24 note polyphony VA
True... but then again do you need or want all that polyphony?? There seem to be a ton of people out there happy with monosynths and VAs with very low note poly such as the original Nord Lead.

Remember not all of us want multitimbrality and therefore huge polyphony - in fact the idea of using one synth for a whole recording is positively horrible! :)
Yes, I do want the multitimbrality, and the ability to have more than one part playing chords at once..

don't forget we're talking affordability here.. which means people probably dont have the money to buy 5 other synthesisers, one for each sound! :lol:

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:12 am
by DisasterArea
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe someone has released a small VA with analog filters. In fact, Radikal Technologies is managing to keep producing the Spectralis, now in second generation form.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:02 am
by steveman
DisasterArea wrote:Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe someone has released a small VA with analog filters. In fact, Radikal Technologies is managing to keep producing the Spectralis, now in second generation form.
I'm pretty sure the Spectralis has only the single pair of analogue filters in a single dedicated voice. Very hard to figure out from Spectralis website, but polyphony is only mentioned in the context of a second DSP based sound engine. The one voice with the analogue filters is hybrid though.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:46 am
by XpanderXt
There were synths that sort of did this.
They were digital tone generation products with analog filters.
The "VA" part is more of a catch phrase. Some do model actually analog circuits but many don't. The difference is minimal.
Here are machine I know of that were digital/analog hybrids
PPG 2.2
PPG 2.3
Waldorf Microwave 1 and 2
Ensoniq ESQ-1 / ESQ-M (these can be had very cheap and have very distinct personalities. I have two ESQ-M's)

I'm sure others know more.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:04 am
by nathanscribe
XpanderXt wrote:They were digital tone generation products with analog filters.
...
I'm sure others know more.
Korg's DW synths. The 8000 is a great sounding bit of kit, and has a digital delay onboard that can do the flange/chorus/echo thing. That too has its own character, and yet seems to be little recognised.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:27 pm
by steveman
XpanderXt wrote:There were synths that sort of did this.
They were digital tone generation products with analog filters.
The "VA" part is more of a catch phrase. Some do model actually analog circuits but many don't. The difference is minimal.
Here are machine I know of that were digital/analog hybrids
PPG 2.2
PPG 2.3
Waldorf Microwave 1 and 2
Ensoniq ESQ-1 / ESQ-M (these can be had very cheap and have very distinct personalities. I have two ESQ-M's)
VA is more than just a catchphrase, it refers to DSP generation of oscillator waveforms, modelling of filter behaviour, and generation / routeing of all modulation within DSP.
I believe the Nord Lead is regarded as the 1st true 'VA'. Of course there are 'VA's that don't just attempt to emulate analogue - ie much of the Waldorf range, but they're still part of the same family in that they're basically software running on one (or more) DSP chips.

None of the above are VAs that use DSP to generate sounds, they're all hybrids that playback waveforms held in ROM.
Only the original Microwave (1) had analogue filters.
Likewise the Korg DW plays back a few fixed digital waveforms through an analogue signal path.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:06 pm
by Mooger5
Physical Modelling uses basically the same process as VA, right? If so, the credit should go to the Yamaha VL-1. If memory serves, the Korg Prophecy and the Nord Lead came out one year later. And the Korg Drum or how was it called. Crazy machine, incredible sound. You don´t see that too often, I wonder why. Also, Korg states the Legacy software, specifically the MS-20 was modelled after the real circuits. Sort of simulating the entire schematic on PSpice or something and running the output through a DAC...

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:19 pm
by HideawayStudio
Mooger5 wrote:Physical Modelling uses basically the same process as VA, right? If so, the credit should go to the Yamaha VL-1. If memory serves, the Korg Prophecy and the Nord Lead came out one year later. And the Korg Drum or how was it called. Crazy machine, incredible sound. You don´t see that too often, I wonder why. Also, Korg states the Legacy software, specifically the MS-20 was modelled after the real circuits. Sort of simulating the entire schematic on PSpice or something and running the output through a DAC...
I'm not sure I agree the Nord Lead was the first either - It was a cracking good early example though - and I wish I had one having borrowed one for several weeks many years ago.

That said I'd kill for the earlier (technically more complex) VL-1 which was an amazing instrument for it's time and sadly, after years of trying to find one for sensible money, I still don't have one in my collection. I have owned a lot of older Yamaha gear and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they've engineered over the years. As some say - they might not always be pioneers - afterall they didn't invent FM - BUT - they have brought so much well designed kit to the masses over the decades. My older Yamaha gear is by far the most reliable too - the old CS, DX, TX, SY and TG series are all built like tanks and still sound great.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:24 pm
by HideawayStudio
XpanderXt wrote:There were synths that sort of did this.
They were digital tone generation products with analog filters.
The "VA" part is more of a catch phrase. Some do model actually analog circuits but many don't. The difference is minimal.
Here are machine I know of that were digital/analog hybrids
PPG 2.2
PPG 2.3
Waldorf Microwave 1 and 2
Ensoniq ESQ-1 / ESQ-M (these can be had very cheap and have very distinct personalities. I have two ESQ-M's)

I'm sure others know more.
D50!! :)

There are tons of hybrids out there and I love them - there is something very special about aliased 8/12bit digital into real analog filters. Don't forget this also includes several early samplers ie. Mirage, Fairlight Series II, Prophet 2000/2, Emu EMAX I, Emulator II and EIII.... they all rock!

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:27 pm
by Mooger5
HideawayStudio wrote: That said I'd kill for the earlier (technically more complex) VL-1 which was an amazing instrument for it's time and sadly, after years of trying to find one for sensible money, I still don't have one in my collection. I have owned a lot of older Yamaha gear and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they've engineered over the years. As some say - they might not always be pioneers - afterall they didn't invent FM - BUT - they have brought so much well designed kit to the masses over the decades. My older Yamaha gear is by far the most reliable too - the old CS, DX, TX, SY and TG series are all built like tanks and still sound great.
Professor John Chowning invented FM but was ignored and only Yamaha had the vision (and the means) as always. The rest is History. Likewise, I remember reading about the VL-1 soon after it was launched and it seemed the general consensus was "yeah it sounds unique for a synthesizer, now what?" and one artist jokingly saying " the VL-1? I´ll think about it for my upcoming oboe album!". Right.
I believe the Wavestation would never come out if it wasn´t for Yamaha too (owning Korg at the time).

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:13 pm
by XpanderXt
HideawayStudio wrote:
XpanderXt wrote:There were synths that sort of did this.
They were digital tone generation products with analog filters.
The "VA" part is more of a catch phrase. Some do model actually analog circuits but many don't. The difference is minimal.
Here are machine I know of that were digital/analog hybrids
PPG 2.2
PPG 2.3
Waldorf Microwave 1 and 2
Ensoniq ESQ-1 / ESQ-M (these can be had very cheap and have very distinct personalities. I have two ESQ-M's)

I'm sure others know more.
D50!! :)

There are tons of hybrids out there and I love them - there is something very special about aliased 8/12bit digital into real analog filters. Don't forget this also includes several early samplers ie. Mirage, Fairlight Series II, Prophet 2000/2, Emu EMAX I, Emulator II and EIII.... they all rock!
sorry, D50 was all digital. Not as bad unit at all and something that people have largely forgotten in their blind dash of the cliff of analog. :o Luckily it means they are price appropriately.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:49 pm
by synth3tik
It's not a "VA", but I think Waldorf already came out with the Blofield for ya.

I friend of mine and I are working slowly but surely on an nice little mono synth. THe thing is, if we are going to make sure the filters are an analog circuit, it would be easier and better to run the entirety of the signal path as analog.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:23 am
by cartesia
Blofeld doesnt have analogue filters.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:16 am
by Ashe37
And the Blofeld *is* a VA.

Re: Why can't anyone release a small VA with analog filters ?

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:10 pm
by HideawayStudio
XpanderXt wrote:
HideawayStudio wrote:
XpanderXt wrote:There were synths that sort of did this.
They were digital tone generation products with analog filters.
The "VA" part is more of a catch phrase. Some do model actually analog circuits but many don't. The difference is minimal.
Here are machine I know of that were digital/analog hybrids
PPG 2.2
PPG 2.3
Waldorf Microwave 1 and 2
Ensoniq ESQ-1 / ESQ-M (these can be had very cheap and have very distinct personalities. I have two ESQ-M's)

I'm sure others know more.
D50!! :)

There are tons of hybrids out there and I love them - there is something very special about aliased 8/12bit digital into real analog filters. Don't forget this also includes several early samplers ie. Mirage, Fairlight Series II, Prophet 2000/2, Emu EMAX I, Emulator II and EIII.... they all rock!
sorry, D50 was all digital. Not as bad unit at all and something that people have largely forgotten in their blind dash of the cliff of analog. :o Luckily it means they are price appropriately.
Yes... a slip on my behalf - in some ways though D-50 can be called a "hybrid" because it very deliberately mixes conventional analog methodology for tail waveform generation with digital sample playback technology for attack transient waveform generation - the fact that both are in the low bit width/rate digital domain is what makes this digital instrument have a soul IMHO. I adore the D-50 - I've had a D-550 & PG1000 in the studio for years.

I'm most definitely -not- part of the "only analog will do" brigade :)