I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by CfNorENa » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:39 am

JMP wrote:[The Prophet 600] is quite special in unison mode particularly. I've often wondered why it isn't more popular or demand a higher price than it usually does.
Suspect build quality and daft membrane buttons? But I agree -- it's a steal for what it is.

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by mao » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:48 am

what about the Matrix6 sound vs Prophet 08 ? what do you like more ? I don't mean "features" like complex modulation and so on... I would like to know more about their pure sounds. Punch, fatness and so on...

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by projectwoofer » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:15 am

otto wrote:As far as other VCO synths that aren't too expensive, the OB-8 is a great synth and can sometimes be had for around $1500. Even P5s have come down a bit in value but your still talking $2k and some change.
So 1500 or 2000 USD isn't considered expensive? :roll:

Seriously though, I also find the P08/Tetra sufficiently thick plus very reasonably priced. Sometimes when I want a more vintage, dirty sound, I use a tiny amount of white noise to modulate the oscillator pitch or use a little bit of feedback...it works surprisingly well! Plus, when I want something more "meaty" than the Curtis filter, I combine the Tetra with the Waldorf 4pole which has a more "raw" power in it...Of course I can also layer two almost identical sounds and voila!

Price is very important to me, especially in this economic crisis we all live in and I cannot justify paying so much money for a 30-year old synthesizer...it's just too much money for me! I was wondering though Otto, any suggestions for a mono VCO synth? (vintage or new). New ones: I have already spotted the Spectral Audio Neptune II, the Tom Oberheim SEM and the Future Retro XS...they are all VCOs! Anyone might know which one sounds more "vintage"?
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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by alspacka » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:59 pm

projectwoofer wrote:I was wondering though Otto, any suggestions for a mono VCO synth? (vintage or new). New ones: I have already spotted the Spectral Audio Neptune II, the Tom Oberheim SEM and the Future Retro XS...they are all VCOs! Anyone might know which one sounds more "vintage"?
you can't go wrong with an SH-101.

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by shaft9000 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:30 pm

projectwoofer wrote: So 1500 or 2000 USD isn't considered expensive? :roll:
for an 8-voice 2-VCO poly w/ MIDI and patch memory, no $1500 is not a lot. Remember these things commonly sold for well over $5-10K (adjusted for inflation) when they were new.
The Prophet8 is more expensive than 1500, of suspect build and DCO (not implying inferiority just noting the usual DCOvsVCO cost difference). A well-serviced OB-8 is a much better buy imho.
projectwoofer wrote: Spectral Audio Neptune II, the Tom Oberheim SEM and the Future Retro XS...they are all VCOs! Anyone might know which one sounds more "vintage"?
the OB is supposed to be true to the original design, so in theory it should sound 'more vintage', whatever that means.
But get this: my 2600 sounds more present, 3-D and futuristic than any of my newer analogs even when it's capacitors are failing making godawful noise!; and the OB-Xa sizzles brighter and fresher than than A6.
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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by kuroichi » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:40 pm

projectwoofer wrote:New ones: I have already spotted the Spectral Audio Neptune II, the Tom Oberheim SEM and the Future Retro XS...they are all VCOs! Anyone might know which one sounds more "vintage"?
While the XS can do vintage style sounds well, I wouldnt say it sounds vintage itself. The filter can be a bit bland at times, which affects the vintage-ness quite a bit.

I imagine the SEM would be the most 'vintage' of the three, as it intends to be a reissue rather than a redesign, and the XS is just a new synth altogether really...
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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:47 pm

projectwoofer wrote:Sometimes when I want a more vintage, dirty sound, I use a tiny amount of white noise to modulate the oscillator pitch or use a little bit of feedback...it works surprisingly well! Plus, when I want something more "meaty" than the Curtis filter, I combine the Tetra with the Waldorf 4pole which has a more "raw" power in it...Of course I can also layer two almost identical sounds and voila!
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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by StepLogik » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:15 pm

cornutt wrote: I've thought about trying to hack the 106 so I could introduce forms of variation into the individual voice counters. At the very least, break up that phased-locked unison mode. How awesome would a 106 sound with some detuning introduced into the voices? The world may never know. The main thing holding me back is the time and effort that would be required to reverse-engineer assembly code on a processor that I don't know anything about.
I think that would be an awesome project. No one has ever done a europa-style project for the 106, despite it's popularity, because the MIDI implementation and feature set of that synth is pretty complete. i remember looking at the schematics trying to figure a way to do it without a firmware change and thinking it wasn't possible. it's been a while though.

i miss the 106 more than any other synth i've sold :(

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by Sir Ruff » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:29 pm

kuroichi wrote:
projectwoofer wrote:New ones: I have already spotted the Spectral Audio Neptune II, the Tom Oberheim SEM and the Future Retro XS...they are all VCOs! Anyone might know which one sounds more "vintage"?
While the XS can do vintage style sounds well, I wouldnt say it sounds vintage itself. The filter can be a bit bland at times, which affects the vintage-ness quite a bit.

I imagine the SEM would be the most 'vintage' of the three, as it intends to be a reissue rather than a redesign, and the XS is just a new synth altogether really...
the SEM definitely sounds more "vintage" than the XS (if it didn't, something would be wrong!) The XS is good for its own purposes... read the VERY long SEM thread if you want to know more.

It's kind of funny we're having another VCO vs. DCO debate (and that a long-time member is the one who actually started it). I thought these were made off-limits some time ago! :lol:

Anyways, my justification for spending the big bucks on a VCO-poly versus a DCO (or VA) one is for the simple fact that no one AFAIK has modeled accurately the true phasing sound that occurs with in tune (but never perfectly in tune VCO oscillators). Even on my "too perfect" sounding Xpander, there is still that element of each oscillator in each voice being a little different than the next which just leads to a more pleasing sound (to my ears). this could be recreated to a certain extent on a modern synth by making some multi-timbral patch where each voice plays a patch that is tuned ever so slightly different from the next, but even then...

And despite what we like to believe, I/we CAN hear the difference in the mix... when you listen to older records where there's no question about what they were using, you really can hear that phasing going on... sure, maybe I just know to listen for it, but if I can consciously hear it, then I'm sure others hear it sub-consciously (whether they care or not is of course another issue).
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by clubbedtodeath » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:19 pm

But how about VAs versus DCO synths though? I've just heard something on the grapevine: rumour has it that Roland may be working on a DCO version of the SH-201 - with potentiometer controls too, not encoders. And discrete components with a real analogue signal path! Can you imagine??

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by otto » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:41 am

...taking a break from soldering (oh the exciting friday nights of a parent)...

Yeah I know the DCO vs VCO is/was taboo but it has been an awfuly long time since it came up and while I knew it might be controversial, I just thought I'd simply mention that they didn't grab me and spark some conversation.

There is more to the difference in sound IMO that the instability of the oscillators tuning. DCO's sound EQ'd to me like they are missing some of the frequencies I hear in VCO synths. I've not tested this but that what I hear, VCO and particularly discrete just have a fullnes of sound I don't hear from DCOs... they sound like electricity!

As far as recomending synths, there are lots of threads all over VSE. The new SEM is exciting, I personally like the Moog LP I also like the MFB synthII which sounds pretty vintage to me and s a lot of bang for the buck. Lots of great vintage monos to choose from, just depends on what your looking for... It might very well be that you prefer the precise sound of say a mopho over a vintage sounding synth. Just cause I like something doesn't mean it's the best for you...
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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by analogholic » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:34 pm

JMP wrote: Interestingly, I preferred the sound of an Oberheim Matrix 6 over the OBXa.... , on the basis they sounded bigger and/or better overall. Maybe they're exceptions to the norm..? Or maybe it's just me. :)
Now this was interesting reading....

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by JMP » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:48 pm

analogholic wrote:
JMP wrote: Interestingly, I preferred the sound of an Oberheim Matrix 6 over the OBXa.... , on the basis they sounded bigger and/or better overall. Maybe they're exceptions to the norm..? Or maybe it's just me. :)
Now this was interesting reading....
Maybe down to matrix modulation settings in the patch set I used....? Felt it gave a wider range of sounds, good enough on their own that I didn't feel the need to reach for outboard effects like I sometimes did with the OBXa. The Matrix 6 suited me, saved me a ton of cash whilst retaining that Oberheim sound and miss it more out of the two.

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by analogholic » Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:58 pm

Matrix 6/1000 have very good modulation options, but IMO they don´t sound that good. That "synth on a chip" doesn´t do it for me...
In terms of soundquality I much prefer the Juno 6/60

But detune 2 saws on the OB-Xa, sweep the 2-pole filter and pan those voices in the stereofield. F-cking AWESOME !!!
and did I mention that resonance...will tear your head off :yahoo:
It´s limited..but the sound...man

will get a M-1000 though for special sounds, great bang for the buck

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Re: I guess I’m just not a big fan of DCO’s

Post by JMP » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:27 pm

analogholic wrote:But detune 2 saws on the OB-Xa, sweep the 2-pole filter and pan those voices in the stereofield. F-cking AWESOME !!!
and did I mention that resonance...will tear your head off :yahoo:
It´s limited..but the sound...man
Oh I agree, as my OBXa youtube demo shows (albeit with some effects added). But think I'd had my fill of saw pads and killer leads, the Matrix 6 gave something different on top, more variation and still bright/punchy too. I preferred it soundwise and was better for me in the 'Oberheim' part of my small setup at the time.

As I said originally, it's only my preference, likely to be different to most. My original statement (that you edited) made reference to the Synthex & Jupiter's too in the DCO/VCO context. That was really the bigger sound aspect I was referring to....

Eeek ! Now there's a dog to bone prompt if I ever heard one.... I'm out of here :)

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