Real analog or VA?

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Scories
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by Scories » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:02 am

TrondC wrote:99.99% of people won't ever hear the difference unless you actually A/B an analog synth versus a poor va.
This is true. I've recorded 2 albums by using a Korg Z1, and almost everytime it got reviewed, they were saying that I was only relying on analog synths. I think that a very powerful and versatile VA combined with a few small analog synths and some vintage effects can really sound as analog as you whish. Plus they offer facilities such as memory for patches and multiple lfo's; things you'd have to spend thousand of dollars on a real analog to get.

But it's important to keep some analog synths in a setup so you can always compare both sounds. It kinda pushes you to make your VA's sound better.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by CfNorENa » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:22 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:That's nadafarms from this forum, he's well known for getting really excited about a synth when he buys it and then selling it a week or so later when something else catches his eye. I believe that he's just talking it up so that he makes money from the ebay sale.
I'm in nadafarms' neighborhood (SF Bay Area), so I see his stuff on my local craigslist, too. And he does turn a LOT of gear over. But his prices are usually considerably lower than average. As far as I can tell, he prices to sell. So the first point may be valid, but I don't think the second one is...

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by projectwoofer » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:20 pm

vin14 wrote:I wouldn't drop €2000 on a prophet 5 or €4000 on JP8. I'd have to use ebay, as these items are seldom, if ever available locally. A 30 year old machine is likely to need service and repair, which would mean shipping it to the UK. It's just too risky and expensive. Unless I win the lottery, I'll stick to new models digital or analog and cheap vintage synths!
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:31 pm

CfNorENa wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:That's nadafarms from this forum, he's well known for getting really excited about a synth when he buys it and then selling it a week or so later when something else catches his eye. I believe that he's just talking it up so that he makes money from the ebay sale.
I'm in nadafarms' neighborhood (SF Bay Area), so I see his stuff on my local craigslist, too. And he does turn a LOT of gear over. But his prices are usually considerably lower than average. As far as I can tell, he prices to sell. So the first point may be valid, but I don't think the second one is...
Everyone talks up stuff in their ebay listings, you're not going to point out all the things you don't like about it cause you're trying to get as much money as possible for whatever the item is.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by madtheory » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:45 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:There's a lot of talk in this thread, but not a great deal in THIS ONE. I wonder why that is?
madtheory wrote:Ah, now I get it. Now I'm going to record an oboe and make it sound analogue. Using Pro Tools. Because I can.
Ummm, oboes are analogue already. Unless you have some kind of digital oboe I've never heard of before...
Ya, that was meant to be a joke. I didn't mean to insult AG, so I've just edited thos post to reflect that.
Last edited by madtheory on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:09 pm

You'd better record that oboe on tape, otherwise you lose that real analogue oboe feel. Oboe tape compression, that's where it's at.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:30 pm

Oboe Tape Compression will be the name for my next band 8-)
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by madtheory » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:35 pm

I've just written an oboe piece with a time signature of 0/1, so it will actually be a digital recording on analogue tape.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by CS_TBL » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:50 pm

And so, boys 'n girls, the thread's conclusion is clear and they live happily ever after with FM8!
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:02 pm

redchapterjubilee wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:That is only because most people don't realize or care what needs to happen for the benefits of analog synthesizers to be evident in their recordings.
I would definitely fall in the latter category. I'm too busy making music and recording it to be bothered with whether my analog synthesizers sound analog enough, or whether my digital synths are digital enough. I'm more worried about whether the song sounds right or whether the overall mood I was going for was achieved.
This is a standard boilerplate dismissal of people who use synthesizers for the specific sound they have and/or sounds they make. It's not about "how analog it sounds" or "how digital it sounds." It's about how much it sounds like you want it to.
If you don't care what instrument you use to get a sound you want, that's totally fine... but there are plenty of musicians, some I'm sure you respect, who are very specific about what instruments they use to create their music due to the way that instrument inspires them expressively or musically. Guitarists, violinists, you name it... they all seem to be drawn to a specific instrument for its specific sound. Synthesists should be no different. Don't conflate the bullshit chanting of idiot kids with the musical appreciation of instrumental musicians.
If you didn't choose specific synthesizers for their sound, then any synthesizer would do... right? I seem to remember you being quite fond of your Source... :wink:
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by CfNorENa » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:05 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:Everyone talks up stuff in their ebay listings, you're not going to point out all the things you don't like about it cause you're trying to get as much money as possible for whatever the item is.
Of course. But I thought you were suggesting that he talked up his stuff on the various internet forums prior to putting his stuff on the bay -- and in the full knowledge that he was gonna sell it -- in order to drive the price up. Nevertheless, most of his prices are pretty attractive...

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by madtheory » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:23 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:If you didn't choose specific synthesizers for their sound, then any synthesizer would do... right?
I've quoted that particular sentence because IMO you've gone around in a spiral to make another unclear point. That's happening a lot in this thread, I did it earlier with my attempt at humour. Sorry about that.

A synth is a tool for making music, so one chooses the right tool to realise one's creative vision. I think one crosses a line when synths are an end in themselves, and no music is created*. One ends up arguing hairsplitting points like this just for the h**l of it, with no benefit to one's creativity. This kind of argument is fueled by a lack of electronics know how. There are certain characteristics unique to analogue and digital synths, but there is a larger quantity of common characteristics. It's like those valve v transistor etc. etc. arguments. IMHO it is a mistake to consider one aspect of a design while disregarding all others. Like, when we use a synth (or any instrument), there are more factors than just the sound that influence our liking it or not, and those factors alter our perception of the sound. I need not list them here, we've discussed that before. Ethan Winer's current "Audio Myths" youtube video explains this issue of perception very well.

It's a challenge to make a scientifically valid comparison, because there are a lot of classic, highly regarded designs that happen to be analogue. People would much rather get dramatic on a thread like this, than channel their energy into setting up a blind A/B test. It's funny, but I'd guess that anyone who could set up an A/B test probably wouldn't, because they already know that the synth is just a tool.


*Which I'm beginning to think is symptomatic of a blocked artist. Someone who decided being an adult meant dumping the creative "inner child" but tries to satisfy the urge to create via consumerist means- collecting synths.
Last edited by madtheory on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by otto » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:53 pm

I find that you can emulate a static sound on any synth. A prime example would be when I had my P5 and a P’08, some guy painstakingly recreated all of the original P5 preset patches on the P’08. Many of them, as a static sound were almost indistinguishable. I compared each of them back to back. However, the P5 “presets” weren’t exactly exciting or the best examples of what a P5 can do or its greatness. What the P5 did naturally you had to employ a lot of effort and tricks to get the P’08 to emulate it. The other key point is that once you added movement to the sound such as sweeping the filter, the differences were huge.

So there are a few things to contemplate here. If I want the sound character of a certain synth do I want to put in a lot of extra effort trying to make some other synth sound like it? For some that might be a fun diversion its self but I have the philosophy of playing to a synths strengths. I don’t usually use my Virus to emulate an OB-X or a JP-8, I like it for what it is and try to play to its strengths. The other that I might re-emphasize is that once you start putting movement into the sound, is when it becomes a lot easier to tell what synth is being used.

I think some people have the wrong idea with synths. Sometimes I hear great vintage synths with lots of effects and over processing and I’m left thinking that a new VA would be a wiser choice for that person.

Redchapter, I hear a lot of what sounds like a mopho in your track but I listened to it while feeding kids and on crappy speakers. I usually use VSE in a place where I can’t access audio sound and videos.

Look at us, we should be doing Synthacon proud, returning VSE to its former glory with VCO vs DCO, VA vs Analog, etc.Now we just need a new product to debate the pros and cons.
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:17 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:If you didn't choose specific synthesizers for their sound, then any synthesizer would do... right? I seem to remember you being quite fond of your Source... :wink:
I was quite fond of it...right up to the point that it stopped working on me in the middle of a really big gig, leaving me completely f**k. It took about 4 months for us to fix it (the keyboard is incredibly hard to remove to get to the guts) and it was never right after that. It never sounded the way it did before. So alas...loved it dearly until the moment i happily sent it on its way to its new owner who to this day loves it as dearly as I did.

That synth dying on me and being without it taught me a really valuable lesson: I could (and did) program its16 patches into a succession of instruments. Real analog, digital analog, virtual analog and soft-synth...and with every one of those instruments I was able to get close enough to the sound of the Moog to satisfy my music's demands. Some were better at emulating the Moog's growl than the others, but all were easily good enough for me sonically.

What i find most fascinating is that rather than take my challenge you'd rather use the challenge as a launching point to again defend your fetishizing of vintage instruments. That's all great. It takes all kinds to make this world go around. But it would definitely be unfortunate if you couldn't accurately tell in a mix what was DCO analog, what was VCO analog, what was software, what was virtual analog. It would pretty much undermine the credibility of megabytes of your lengthy pontification.
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by redchapterjubilee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:25 pm

otto wrote:Redchapter, I hear a lot of what sounds like a mopho in your track but I listened to it while feeding kids and on crappy speakers. I usually use VSE in a place where I can’t access audio sound and videos.
For the record...that track is mostly Little Phatty. There is one bassline later in the song that is Technosaurus Microcon II. There are pads from a Matrix-1000, an Alpha Juno, an E-Mu Vintage Keys and an Alesis Micron. Fairlite samples, Oberheim DMX samples, Line 6 Echo Park, Alesis MIDIverb, etc. I guess since you thought the LP was a Mopho then I must not have recorded the Moog properly to show off its voltage-controlled nature. Alas.

But you are also right about the movement being the key. After programming so many different synths with the same patches that an unmodulated sawtooth is pretty much identical on dozens of synthesizers and emulators.
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