Real analog or VA?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by CS_TBL » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:11 pm

nvbrkr wrote:Layout? Well, I myself meant to emphasize only the expressiveness of the instruments themselves. It really doesn't have that much to do with the available options or the layout.
By that logic, you could perfectly live with a decent master keyboard (with mod/pitch/velo/AT and many other controllers) and any digital or software synth out there which allows extensive modulation.
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:40 pm

It really has to do with the sound and the smoothness of the analogs. Play a solo on a real Moog and then play it on a VST emulation - there's a big difference from the player's perspective. The sound quality might be just "one notch" higher to some people's ears. Whilst to others that small notch matters a lot.

People don't really buy guitars either only because a certain model "sounds great on a recording". A very important factor for them is how big kicks they get out of just playing the instrument alone. I know something like that might go over the heads of people who sequence everything though.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:15 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:Layout? Well, I myself meant to emphasize only the expressiveness of the instruments themselves. It really doesn't have that much to do with the available options or the layout.
By that logic, you could perfectly live with a decent master keyboard (with mod/pitch/velo/AT and many other controllers) and any digital or software synth out there which allows extensive modulation.
In fact, many people do.
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by CS_TBL » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:16 pm

Define 'smoothness'. Smoothness of what?
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:13 pm

nvbrkr wrote:People don't really buy guitars either only because a certain model "sounds great on a recording". A very important factor for them is how big kicks they get out of just playing the instrument alone. I know something like that might go over the heads of people who sequence everything though.
It's the opposite IMO, when you have sequenced stuff looping the subtle variations in the sound due to the imperfections of analogue envelopes and the phase differences caused by VCOs really add to the sound. A good keyboard player can be incredibly expressive on a VA or even a rompler because they've got a great technique and can express the subtleties of their performance through timing, velocity, aftertouch and use of the pitch and mod wheels. Of course this is just my opinion based on a lot of live shows (I'm a c**p player in case you're wondering, but I've worked with a lot of good ones) and a fair bit of studio engineering.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by pflosi » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:30 pm

yeah, it's the difference between steve reich's piano phase and a quantized general midi piano lead :D










i hope this comparison ends this thread

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:42 pm

CS_TBL wrote:Define 'smoothness'. Smoothness of what?
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smoothness

Especially definitions 4-6.

The smoothness of the envelopes and the legato, for example. Analog's not all about subtle variations or instabiity either, it's also about distortion. That's just really hard to do in the digital domain in an equally pleasing way. It's one of those things that contributes to the "singing" quality of many mono leads on analogs, I think.

That's not to say of course that one couldn't solo or muck around even on a rompler. In fact, some of the best players really do not seem to care whether they're playing a digital or an analog synth. At least, that was the case for many years until the old prog and fusion guys started using analogs again. I can understand the point about analogs lending a subtle amount of variation to sequenced loops as well. Then again, you can add that type of variation manually too, simply by marginally altering the controls.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by projectwoofer » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:09 am

pflosi wrote:yeah, it's the difference between steve reich's piano phase and a quantized general midi piano lead :D
:D
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by McHale » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:57 pm

You can't just take the sound into consideration when discussing VA vs. real analog. Reliability is a big factor too. When I sold my last piece of analog gear (my PolySix), I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. At the time, I was TIRED of how limited it was but more so, how unstable the sound was. There were a couple times a voice or two just wouldn't "warm up" and fall into tune. I also dumped mine when I got my DW-8000 because that had MIDI and more potential for a larger pallet of sounds. What the PolySix did, it did VERY well, I just needed a lot more for my music. Still do.

Every once in a while I see a youtube clip of something analog and I go through the "I need a Prophet 08/Andromeda/Prophet 05/Juno 106/PolySix/whatever" mindset. I then get it front of my old PolySix that a friend bought and remember exactly why I sold it. The only gear I have now that has anything analog in it is my DW-8000 and DSS-1. Both of which I will keep. The few things I really loved about my PolySix I can easily reproduce on any of my gear.

Analog is mostly hype. Many of us that had it way back then couldn't dump it fast enough.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by nvbrkr » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:16 pm

Thank you for your opinion.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by Yoozer » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:39 pm

McHale wrote:Analog is mostly hype.
Let's fix that and make it:
McHale wrote:Low-end analog is mostly hype.
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by AnalogKid » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:05 pm

There's a reason that VA synths are trying to imitate the analog synths. There's also a reason why many synthesists are hunting down old analogs and why they cherish them when they have them. In addition, there's also a reason that synth companies have sought to bring back what made the old analogs great (hello Prophet 08, sadly, good-bye Andromeda). I have yet to hear a VA synth that sounds quite as phat and rich as an actual analog synth; however, many of them are close, and they are uniqe in their own right. Also, the VA synths are much more reliable, usually have many more features, and stay in tune. When someone gets an old analog synth, they cross their fingers and hope that nothing goes wrong with it. I know because I experienced this myself; I ended up selling my 1970s ARP Odyssey MK II for fear that something would go wrong with it someday, resulting in costly repairs (if parts can be found and a technicican who could repair it). In my opinion, the closest to analog VA board out there is the Alesis Ion. I grabbed one a few years ago. Although it's a bit cheap in its construction in order to keep the cost low, it sounds big and phat for a VA synth. With individual control of three sets of oscillators and a great hands on design, the Ion is just great, especially for the relatively low price. I just saw an Ion on Craigslist going for $350 (Chicago area).

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:23 pm

oh goodie, the saga continues!

I say: puh.

There's a reason why VA's imitate RA's, there's a reason why the industry puts their attention to the analogue legacy, there's a reason why users would kill for a RA: it's because everyone keeps talking about it. As long as ppl continue to yell how 'phat' RA's are, how thin/cold/blahblah VA's (or software in general) are, it'll become a self fulfilling prophecy. I suspect eBay traders may be a bit of the cause as well: best method to raise the price of a Juno (or fill in something else) is to hype it.

I've heard things, you people wouldn't believe.. hum.
Attack envelopes on fire off the shoulder of Andromeda.
I watched C-notes glitter in the dark near the Envelope Gate.
All those sounds...
will be lost in time...
like tears...
in rain...

Time to click, while I carry on modulating some operators..

(W.I.P., need to add percussion, filter the explosion, and do other things.)
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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by AnalogKid » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:30 pm

The reason that everyone is talking about it is because there is a difference.

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Re: Real analog or VA?

Post by Primal Drive » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:34 am

AnalogKid wrote:The reason that everyone is talking about it is because there is a difference.
I think it's been established millennia ago that there's a difference between VA & RA. A saying discovered carved in Tutankhamen's tomb read "Only RA can make my wives badonkadonk sway while VA is good enough to get my camels wet."

So, what's the point of discussing the difference again..?
And then she said, "What the f...?"

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