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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:42 pm
by pflosi
I also think there are technical differences between different DCOs, no?

as far as I understand, on Junos there is a digital masteroszillator that is divided down to get the clock that drives the circuit of the oscillators. on a poly 800, the digital masteroszillator just gets divided down, waveshaped, and voila, the waveforms... IMO not a DCO at all, but a digital osc... and I'm sure an Elka synthex has another implementation as well, and a DSI P08 another one...

correct me if im wrong...

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:15 pm
by otto
The implementation of DCO is different on many synths and many DCO synths do sound different and I've not tried them all.

The Jen SX-1000 is technically a DCO monosynth but it is discrete as well. So the tuning source for the oscillator is digital but the oscillator, as I understand it is discrete components. It sounds like a discrete monosynth to my ears (round, organic) but it is totally different technology to the compact chips used in most of the polysynths.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:17 pm
by cornutt
pflosi wrote: as far as I understand, on Junos there is a digital masteroszillator that is divided down to get the clock that drives the circuit of the oscillators.
I don't know if "divided down" is the right way to described it. The audio oscillator itself is a fairly ordinary sawtooth core. There's a control voltage that is created by the CPU that sets the approximate frequency. The precision part of it is that the CPU also calculates the value of a counter and loads that value into the counter at the beginning of each cycle. The synth's master oscillator (1 MHz IIRC) counts the counter down. When the counter hits zero, it causes the audio oscillator to reset and start another cycle. By doing so, it precisely controls the audio oscillator frequency. The counter mechanism takes the place of the reference voltage and voltage comparator on a conventional VCO.

A side effect of this is that if you have two voices playing the same note, then because the counters are both clocked off the same master oscillator, the two voices will remain in a fixed phase relationship. That's why unison mode on the Junos sounds so weird and awful.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:31 pm
by cornutt
clubbedtodeath wrote: What I can't understand is, why doesn't someone do a DCO synth, but with sophisticated timing control to shape the waveform more to a VCO synth's? If it can be done in VSTis, surely it can be done with a small CPU. (And I mean something more sophisticated than DSI's 'slop' function). That'd nicely sidestep flakey temperate-dependent circuitry, whilst maintaining an analogue signal path.
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.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:46 pm
by CfNorENa
CapnMarvel wrote:I have, however, had a whole host of DCO synths - Junos, JX's, P600, Matrix 6 and 1000, MEK.
P600 is VCO.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:40 pm
by nadafarms
DCO = suck

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:02 pm
by otto
CfNorENa wrote:
CapnMarvel wrote:I have, however, had a whole host of DCO synths - Junos, JX's, P600, Matrix 6 and 1000, MEK.
P600 is VCO.
Yeah and a very powerful sounding VCO at that, it will eat all the DCOs mentioned along side it for lunch. I'd take a P600 with all its limitations for a P'08 any day... in fact I have. It just sounds that much better... and the P600 is the most maligned/underrated of the dual VCO per voice polysynths.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:25 pm
by JMP
nadafarms wrote:DCO = suck
Don't be so immature, it just makes you look a d**k.

The topic is/was flowing fine, so why not make a sensible statement about your opinion or just keep out.
Yeah and a very powerful sounding VCO at that, it will eat all the DCOs mentioned along side it for lunch. I'd take a P600 with all its limitations for a P'08 any day... in fact I have. It just sounds that much better... and the P600 is the most maligned/underrated of the dual VCO per voice polysynths.
It's 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.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:27 pm
by projectwoofer
otto wrote:Yeah and a very powerful sounding VCO at that, it will eat all the DCOs mentioned along side it for lunch. I'd take a P600 with all its limitations for a P'08 any day... in fact I have. It just sounds that much better... and the P600 is the most maligned/underrated of the dual VCO per voice polysynths.
Otto, apart from the P600 which dual VCO polysynths would you suggest? (preferably not ones in sky-high prices though! :D )

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:42 pm
by nadafarms
I agree with AG that the DCOs only really sound bad next to good VCOs. For the most part DCOs never get a chance to express themselves in a complex synth, usually all the DCO synths are really simple so you don't get FM, Ring mod etc.

The matrix6 and prophet 08 have complex routings but the sound isn't for most people, however yes the juno 60 and 6 are probably the best sounding DCO synths and if they were dual oscillator per voice and had complex routings then they would be really sought after even by all the DCO haters.

Let not forget the crumar ds2 which is hella fat sounding and the gleeman I believe is DCO too.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:47 pm
by nadafarms
Totally agree the p600 kicks a*s, there is also the chroma polaris and jupiter 6 though I would still take a p600 over either for the value.

But don't forget regarding p08 vs p600 comparison that the p600 has some of the slowest envs of all time and is pretty harsh sounding which isn't a bad thing but worth noting, also the LFO on the p600 is really really slow it won't go fast at all.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:55 pm
by CfNorENa
nadafarms wrote:also the LFO on the p600 is really really slow it won't go fast at all.
True, and somewhat paradoxically, on the other end, it's not slow enough (when set to slowest setting).

As for other dual VCO synths, I guess the next one up the "hierarchy" (as far as market prices these days) would be the Jupiter 6. And somewhere below the P600 might be the Akai AX60...

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:20 pm
by CapnMarvel
otto wrote:
CfNorENa wrote:
CapnMarvel wrote:I have, however, had a whole host of DCO synths - Junos, JX's, P600, Matrix 6 and 1000, MEK.
P600 is VCO.
Yeah and a very powerful sounding VCO at that, it will eat all the DCOs mentioned along side it for lunch. I'd take a P600 with all its limitations for a P'08 any day... in fact I have. It just sounds that much better... and the P600 is the most maligned/underrated of the dual VCO per voice polysynths.

Hmmm....P600 vs. MKS-70 is not even close, to my ears. Same with the MEK. The P600 is great, don't get me wrong, and I can do a lot with it, but in a head to head it's not as thick/tweakable/sparkly/fill-in-the-blank as the Roland or the DSI. The unison mode and the poly-mod are very special, for sure.

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

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:47 pm
by projectwoofer
nadafarms wrote:The matrix6 and prophet 08 have complex routings but the sound isn't for most people
I'm not sure I'm following you here...I love their sound...
nadafarms wrote:however yes the juno 60 and 6 are probably the best sounding DCO synths and if they were dual oscillator per voice and had complex routings then they would be really sought after even by all the DCO haters
I'm not crazy about the Juno sound actually...

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

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:18 am
by otto
CapnMarvel wrote:
Hmmm....P600 vs. MKS-70 is not even close, to my ears. Same with the MEK. The P600 is great, don't get me wrong, and I can do a lot with it, but in a head to head it's not as thick/tweakable/sparkly/fill-in-the-blank as the Roland or the DSI. The unison mode and the poly-mod are very special, for sure.
If you think the P'08 sounds thicker than the P600 that we have very different perceptions of what thick is. Yes the P'08 has lots of mod routings and if programmed carefully and stacked it can sound kinda thick but it takes a lot of work to get it to do anything that sound like what the P600 does naturally, all the time...

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.