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

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:16 pm
by Dogboy73
Not read the whole thread but I've read similar ones a thousand & one times. I think we all have!They just go round & round in circles. Quite pointless really. Digital V analogue, hard V soft, DCO V VCO. Sure everything sounds different & has different attributes. For me this is a good thing. I use software & hardware. I use soft synths (ImpOSCar), a VA synth (MS2000), DCO polysynth (Tetra) & a VCO monosynth (Neptune 2). All sound different, all work differently & have different abilities. I like using them all & I try not to concern myself to much with all this stuff.

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:07 am
by projectwoofer
clusterchord wrote:no ammount of modulation to a DCO will make it sound like a VCO. too many things, processes going on to be emulated as simple as that. just go and play/experience a big vco polyphonic you will land on your behind ;). i went thru the same process may yrs ago, imitating stuff on my jx10, using outboard, all kind of tricks to make it more vintage/vco, until i played the real thing, and suddenly that sound was right there, and larger than i could ever imagine. there was no going back.

second, as i mentioned above, a real Curtis 3320 filter can be meaty, and big as a house when going into resonance, but not the peticular Curtis filter found on DSI products. so, when DSI claim they're using "curtis" they are telling you the truth, just not the whole truth. once you have experience with both, i am positive there will be no doubt in your mind.
As I see you're using a lot of (very expensive!) gear...that's so good but with all due respect, I think it's easy for anyone to talk about the superiority of their gear, especially when it's so expensive!...what is so hard is to try to develop their programming skills and use what they have in order to achieve the desired sound...

As for me, I'm really happy with my DCO poly and I couldn't ask for more! Using all these techniques I achieved to make it sound more "vintage" (when I wanted to sound like this, not always!) and to my ears it sounds very nice, really close to much more expensive synths. I might be a professional musician but I don't actually earn any money from my composition skills so I cannot justify such expensive gear as some VCO polysynths! On the other hand I really believe that a DCO poly suits better my needs for my mixes...what intrigues me would be a VCO mono synth...this one I will get at some point in the future!
clusterchord wrote:i havent yet tried the new SEM, but would love to. even tho the demos show its different from the original...
Well, this is the first time I hear that for the new SEM...it seems other people believe the opposite! :)

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:41 am
by shaft9000
they all have their general tendencies within their respective family.

DCO, VCO, DGO...they all arrive at a "similar result " by using different means. The fundamental differences are technical - sometimes it makes a huge difference in the overall sound; sometimes it doesn't. It all depends on the circuit design and implementation.
there's not much more i can add other than when I got my 1st VCO poly the difference in sound was clear vs. all the DCOs and VAs I'd used before. Impossible to describe adequately....but I can at least say that the 'solid' ever-present stability and 'stiff' pitch behaviors of DCO go out the window on a VCO synth(short of using osc sync).
DCO's are a bit like playing a guitar w/ unbreakable strings that never go out of tune in the slightest unless you bend the string manually...so you typically get a 'stand-up' / 'direct to the board' kind of sound until you sully it w/ processing or do some extra programming(...where's that Chorus processor). What became clear to me is that the basis is somehow different from DCO - so the end results will be too, regardless of how much processing you pile on to it.

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:48 am
by Sir Ruff
Dogboy73 wrote: I like using them all & I try not to concern myself to much with all this stuff.
Then you're posting because...? ;)

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:20 am
by cornutt
urgetoplay wrote: JMP: I too have wondered about the synthex, there's a lushness that's unique to that synth. Perhaps someone else can explain why; maybe its one of those sum is greater than the parts sort of thing.
I suspect -- don't have the schematics to prove it -- that each voice in the Synthex has its own master oscillator. Most DCO synths have one master oscillator for all voices.

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:02 am
by adamstan
cornutt wrote:
urgetoplay wrote: JMP: I too have wondered about the synthex, there's a lushness that's unique to that synth. Perhaps someone else can explain why; maybe its one of those sum is greater than the parts sort of thing.
I suspect -- don't have the schematics to prove it -- that each voice in the Synthex has its own master oscillator. Most DCO synths have one master oscillator for all voices.
Well - it hasn't. It has just a pair of master oscillators (one for DCO1, and another for DCO2), and additional pair used in split/dual mode. Look at the block diagram below - OX are master oscillators.
synthex.JPG
However it seems that (like for example in SIEL Opera) these master oscillators are VCOs.

Synthex schematics can be found at http://manuals.fdiskc.com

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:42 am
by Stab Frenzy
clusterchord wrote:yeah, i know about the FAQ, but similar with the whole episode with naming their synth "Prophet",i feel that in the beginning, they weren' t so clear about these differences, and were leaving a LOT of room for speculation that the filters are indeed like in P5. oversimplification was working to their benefit. then after users started comparing them, things started getting out of hand, and they quickly started distancing themselves from the whole "new prophet" idea. wiggle, wiggle, wiggle..
So you're saying that the Prophet 5, Prophet VS and Prophet 2000 all sounded the same and the Prophet 08 is the only aberration? Or did you just not realise that Dave Smith has been using the name Prophet for all sorts of different synths and samplers for years? :?:

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:22 am
by Dogboy73
Sir Ruff wrote:
Dogboy73 wrote: I like using them all & I try not to concern myself to much with all this stuff.
Then you're posting because...? ;)
I don't know really!! :? Just wanted to add my two bobs worth. Having only a few hardware synths, all of which work very differently, I just wanted to say that I feel it's less important what goes on under the hood than what they can actually do .......... okay, back on topic now. Right. VCO v's DCO .......erm ..... I think they both sound s**t hot :roll:

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

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:25 pm
by cornutt
adamstan wrote: Well - it hasn't. It has just a pair of master oscillators (one for DCO1, and another for DCO2), and additional pair used in split/dual mode.
Interesting. I'm going to study those. I'm starting to get curious now as to how many different DCO designs were used in the '80s.

Sure wish I could find schematics for the Moog SL-8.

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

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:30 pm
by computron
A very instesting late read


I have to agree about both the kawai sx240 and the kawai sx210.For so called DCO's they sound so much like VCO's.Alot of dco synths are designed very differently.I have a sx210 a sx 240 and a korg Dw8000.The sx's are alike of course while the korgdw000 sounds nothing like the sx's.The korg is so much thinner and brighter a sound .closer to Fm then some peole would say of the sx's.Hands down the sx's are the more powerfull, fatter,and richer analog soud when I compare it to my Dw8000.They sound nothing alike being dcos.You can break down DCO's in many different ways some just have more analog means of pushing and controling the osc's threw the synth

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

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:13 pm
by nvbrkr
That might be because the DW8000 isn't a DCO synth.

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

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:34 pm
by Sir Ruff
computron wrote:A very instesting late read


I have to agree about both the kawai sx240 and the kawai sx210.For so called DCO's they sound so much like VCO's.Alot of dco synths are designed very differently.I have a sx210 a sx 240 and a korg Dw8000.The sx's are alike of course while the korgdw000 sounds nothing like the sx's.The korg is so much thinner and brighter a sound .closer to Fm then some peole would say of the sx's.Hands down the sx's are the more powerfull, fatter,and richer analog soud when I compare it to my Dw8000.They sound nothing alike being dcos.You can break down DCO's in many different ways some just have more analog means of pushing and controling the osc's threw the synth
I would actually say the exact opposite... having finally gotten my hands on an sx240, I was sorely disappointed (sorry Computron, the SX's oscs sound nothing like VCOs). It really did sound kind of lifeless. The filter helped, but having only a square wave for the 2nd osc insured it always had a kind of, umm... square sound. While the saw waveform on osc 1 was pretty blah! There was something weird about the osc detuning too-it was such low resolution that you couldn't really get a slightly detuned phasing sound. The filter was good, but couldn't save it. The full on string-synth-esque chorus might have been my favorite part. Obviously, YMMV.

Now I am sitting here with an ex8000 which, even without the delay on, to me, simply sounds fuller. And yes, the EX isn't even a DCO synth so perhaps shouldn't be compared, but since the previous poster brought it up... Haven't tried them directly next to each other, but I'm pretty sure I would say the same thing. Another thing I totally never realized about the EX was how fast its envelopes are too!

And this whole DW/EX-8000=FM thing is silly-there are additive waveforms that sound like FM, but there are also saw and square waveforms that do not sound like FM... does this make the whole synth thinner and brighter? no.

So unfortunately, my thoughts on pure DCO synths haven't changed my from my previous post!/

Maybe I should do a back to back just to verify some of this slander :lol:

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

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:50 pm
by computron
im sorry but yes the dw8000 is a DCO ,or a digital hybrid synth
yes It has sampled dwgs waveforms a analog VCF and VCA


wikipedia that that is not right about everything states this of the DW8000

DWGS synthesis
As basic material sixteen digitized waveforms were available to the user through a system Korg called DWGS for Digital Waveform Generator System. The DWGS system can simply be thought of as an early sample playback system where only short or single cycle waveforms are stored on four 256 Kilobit ROM chips, played back through the two digital oscillators and processed by relatively familiar subtractive synthesis facilities. The waveforms themselves comprised of the usual staple sine, sawtooth and pulse waveforms, but more unusually featured waveforms such as acoustic piano and saxophone. To aid the user in appropriate selection each of the sixteen wave samples are printed on the right hand end of the operating panel along with the parameter reference below. Any two of the digitised waveforms could be used by the 2 DCOs provided. A noise source could be added separately to add further colour.

Oscillator modes
The synthesizer could be used in two polyphonic modes and two monophonic modes. The latter monophonic modes are worthy of examination on account of sounds they can generate. Each of the two monophonic modes arranged the oscillators into a single note stack of slightly detuned oscillators. Use of these two monophonic modes changes the character of any given patch quite considerably, generally imbuing it with what could best be described as a powerful or fat sound.

Analogue VCA and VCF stages
Whilst the source sounds were digital the subsequent major sound shaping stages consisted of an analogue VCA enveloper using six stages and similar arrangement also for the analogue filter. The filter is unmistakably analogue and can be pushed into self oscillation using the filter resonance parameter. Further modulation of the sound could be applied using the single LFO which could either modulate the DCOs to produce vibrato effect or the filter, or even both at the same time should such be desired. An important creative limitation of the DW-8000 architecture was that the user could not control the LFO depth with respect to each DCO, they were both modulated in common thereby losing some flexibility.


That sounds like a DCOs to me.
As I said it being a DCO its has nothing in common with the SX 240 or Sx 210 being DCOs as well.The Arp is and the two unisons and digital delay are great on the dw8000 But does not come close at all to the sx 240 or sx 210 's big sound.I imagine it having 8 ssm2044's help them.programed right It can sound like a polysix or a SH.The lfo on the kawai's are able to be routed and controled more then the DW8000 's MG (lfo). I believe what a DCO sounds like has to with the hardware and the control options that are in each DCO synth.I had a few other DCOs before the three I have now but a juno106, juno 6 a kawai sx 240/210 and Korg dw8000 have no common DCO vibe or sound between them.

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

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:55 pm
by computron
Sir Ruff wrote:
computron wrote:A very instesting late read


I have to agree about both the kawai sx240 and the kawai sx210.For so called DCO's they sound so much like VCO's.Alot of dco synths are designed very differently.I have a sx210 a sx 240 and a korg Dw8000.The sx's are alike of course while the korgdw000 sounds nothing like the sx's.The korg is so much thinner and brighter a sound .closer to Fm then some peole would say of the sx's.Hands down the sx's are the more powerfull, fatter,and richer analog soud when I compare it to my Dw8000.They sound nothing alike being dcos.You can break down DCO's in many different ways some just have more analog means of pushing and controling the osc's threw the synth
I would actually say the exact opposite... having finally gotten my hands on an sx240, I was sorely disappointed (sorry Computron, the SX's oscs sound nothing like VCOs). It really did sound kind of lifeless. The filter helped, but having only a square wave for the 2nd osc insured it always had a kind of, umm... square sound. While the saw waveform on osc 1 was pretty blah! There was something weird about the osc detuning too-it was such low resolution that you couldn't really get a slightly detuned phasing sound. The filter was good, but couldn't save it. The full on string-synth-esque chorus might have been my favorite part. Obviously, YMMV.

Now I am sitting here with an ex8000 which, even without the delay on, to me, simply sounds fuller. And yes, the EX isn't even a DCO synth so perhaps shouldn't be compared, but since the previous poster brought it up... Haven't tried them directly next to each other, but I'm pretty sure I would say the same thing. Another thing I totally never realized about the EX was how fast its envelopes are too!

And this whole DW/EX-8000=FM thing is silly-there are additive waveforms that sound like FM, but there are also saw and square waveforms that do not sound like FM... does this make the whole synth thinner and brighter? no.

So unfortunately, my thoughts on pure DCO synths haven't changed my from my previous post!/

Maybe I should do a back to back just to verify some of this slander :lol:
Lifeless?? im suprised to hear that said about the sx240 .im sorry you feel that way but I just disagree.I can get mine to sound like a polysix or sh,its has a variable pulse besides saw and sine waves are possible with the resonace at 99 feeding on itself .the lfo also has three waveforms and delay speed and revers routeable everywhere OSC1 OSC2 VCA and VCF and a cool roland like lfo trigger.Plus In dual mode or in mono it can sound freaking huge.huger then my dw800o in unison,to each is own and I agree its not for everyone either the dw8000 or Sx synths.I Like DCO VCO FM PD VA synths I have some of all those types and think they all are great.its all pointless synth squabble compared to making music.no one should consider DCOS in general as all the same :D .

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

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:22 pm
by nvbrkr
Well, that doesn't sound like a DCO to me.

"The DWGS system can simply be thought of as an early sample playback system where only short or single cycle waveforms are stored on four 256 Kilobit ROM chips, played back through the two digital oscillators and processed by relatively familiar subtractive synthesis facilities. The waveforms themselves comprised of the usual staple sine, sawtooth and pulse waveforms, but more unusually featured waveforms such as acoustic piano and saxophone."