Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:56 am

tallowwaters wrote:
Megakazbek wrote:IMHO, a true synthesist never cares about what some device was meant to do, he only cares about what's possible to achieve with it.
And also, saying something like "this device is meant for preset playback" is just putting a label on the device, it has nothing to do with device itself and its capabilities. If I write "PRESET PLAYBACK MACHINE" on Jupiter 8 it will not change anything about the Jupiter 8; it will still stay as much a synthesizer as it was before. If you say that people need to disregard some devices only because someone attached a "non-synthesizer" label to them, then it's just stupid.
Sound reasoning that will likely fall on deaf ears or will be argued pointless into oblivion with no real purpose.

Those that don't already get it never will.
What part of this was sound reasoning, Tallow? This was distinctly unsound reasoning.
A true synthesist engages in synthesis. Indicating that a true synthesis embraces presets is like saying a carpenter buys his output at Target.
As I indicated to the poster, it's a failing of understanding to assume that simply because a device has presets, it's a preset-playback-device. MANY synthesizers which are synthesis tools have presets. It's not about having presets, it's about placing presets as the first and foremost aspect of the device.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:58 am

Don Solaris wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:If you are a synthesist looking for a synthesizer which affords great synthesis controls, you're not going to consider a ROMpler.


I am a synthesist 17 years in sound design. Just packed two cds here with 1800 samples, ready to be shipped to one certain company. Made those with a ROMpler. Roland JD-990. What are you talking about ?

Synthesis control?
12db, 24db, lpf, hpf, bpf, notch, reso, x-mod, osc sync, ring mod, 2 x lfo (with tri, sin, saw, sqr, trap, s/h, rnd, noi), a matrix mod and much more. Seriously man, what are you talking about?
JD-990 isn't a ROMpler. You're operating under your inaccurate perception that anything with ROM samples is a ROMpler.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:08 am

And can I just inject:
I am not making any value judgements whatsoever. I am holding certain devices to the original definition of "ROMpler," and that's all I'm doing. The response to this is absolutely ridiculous and baffling. Nothing is being diminished by anything I've said.
As I constantly have to state, none of this has to do with status or qualitative aspects. No one is being mocked. No device is being belittled. It's absolutely ridiculous that the simple statements which have been made are taken as some sort of value judgement.
ROMplers have their place, and they're very useful. As I have stated sixteen thousand f**k times, I have owned them myself and have used them extensively.
Not every device is equal and just alike every other device. There are various devices for various purposes, and they were designed that way, usually, to make money.
If a synthesizer is designed to be a preset device where users choose pre-designed instruments, that is not some condemnation of who you are as a person, the music you write, what instruments you've chosen, what instruments you can afford, or anything else. It's simply a logical, rational and factual description of a device and it's intended purpose by manufacturers, and it's resultant application by consumers.

What it comes down to is what you you like, what you use, what you can afford, what you believe in... none of that means anything in regard to rational factual assessment. If you're insulted that ROMplers are what they are, that's your problem. There is no reason to take offense, get hot, or feel victimized by a simple description of a device's intention and design. Korg can give a s**t about your issue... they're making money by the boatload by marketing a device with these intentions, features, and sounds.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Zamise » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:40 am

Thats OK AG, sometimes when I read your posts all I see is blah blah blah asterisk blah blah etc. anyway...

I like what Cerebral Infect is saying on the different levels.

If I put something like a record players output in to a synth's input , I could use it as a carrier or modulator, I could put a filter on it even, but since I don't and just let it play through all dry then the synth is no longer cool and therefore requires a derogatory term like recpler to define it. Thats poo raped in a candy bag a double standard, whatever, you can do the same with analog ossilators, you don't have to modify them at that level either, yet they are still considered a synth.

The rom is exactly what defines them as being a rompler, thats how I see it. Crappy romplers and good romplers that are also synthesizers, a crappy synthesizer is still a sythesizer, but not crappy romplers, they are craplers unfit to be called a synthesizer.
Last edited by Zamise on Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:02 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by nvbrkr » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:44 am

Wait, isn't this thread called "Your thoughts about rompler synthesis"?

In that case I'm allowed to say they f**k suck, right?

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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by aredj » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:48 am

Zamise wrote:Thats OK AG, sometimes when I read your posts all I see is blah blah blah asterisk blah blah etc. anyway..
In other words... you're not reading the posts? It would help....( I was wondering why replies in this 'discussion' seem so disjointed.)
Sorry, but it actually bugs me when people participate in a debate, but don't actually try to listen to the other 'side'.

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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by griffin avid » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:17 am

I think you've found the ultimate reason for these circular arguments. I bet some are reading this thread with their POST A REPLY box already open.

I see the insulting undertone here. "Synthesists (what a cool thing to be called) use synthesizers, but when we speak about WHO uses ROMplers it''s always pitched downward. It's the balding guy with the ponytail playing covers. It's about money over music. It's someone with simple needs whose looking for a quick fix etc. All these things which don't seem as grand as a "Serious-deep-thinking-complicated-patch-designing-sonic-specialist-who is-passionate-about-his-tools".

It's basic musician snobbery. It's playing the trump card.
When that argument about drum machines gets crazy- someone says they're a drummer to end it all.
Someone says they've been classically trained...
Someone lists their extensive gear list....
Someone mentions how pure their artistic sensibilities are by working from such a raw place.

In this case, designing sounds from scratch using a big complicated synthesizer.
There are concessions about ROMplers "they have their uses"

But it's never in it's fairest sense to say that in some situations, a ROMpler is the SUPERIOR TOOL for a particular task. Instead of admitting that, we look sideways as the person with the task.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Megakazbek » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:02 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:As I indicated to the poster, it's a failing of understanding to assume that simply because a device has presets, it's a preset-playback-device. MANY synthesizers which are synthesis tools have presets. It's not about having presets, it's about placing presets as the first and foremost aspect of the device.
And you have failing of understanding to assume that simply because someone for whatever reasons intended to place presets as the first and foremost aspect of the device, it cannot be a synthesizer anymore no matter what actual synthesis it can do.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:JD-990 isn't a ROMpler. You're operating under your inaccurate perception that anything with ROM samples is a ROMpler.
I don't understand why we should let you decide for us what the accurate definition of rompler is.
I don't see any reasons why not to call JD-990 a rompler.

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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:36 pm

Code: Select all

name                | source      | sound editing | synth?
--------------------+-------------+---------------+----------
sampler             | RAM samples | no            | no
sampler             | RAM samples | yes           | yes
ROMpler             | ROM samples | no            | no
ROMpler             | ROM samples | yes           | yes
RealAnalogue        | oscillators | yes           | yes
VirtAnalogue        | digital algo| yes           | yes
FM                  | digital algo| yes           | yes
flute               | physics     | no            | no
pipe organ          | physics     | yes(additive) | yes
Piano               | physics     | no            | no
Prepared piano      | physics     | yes(acoustic) | yes
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by tallowwaters » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:12 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
tallowwaters wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:"you don't use a screwdriver for a chisel." Okay, it's a bit different than that, as you shouldn't use a screwdriver for a chisel in addition to having the good sense not to.
I call bs. A well made screwdriver can be used as a chisel.
My grandfather would kick your a*s for saying that. And he could, as he was not only Irish, but also a cowboy.
Well, my grandfather made chisels and screwdrivers for fun whenever he wasn't throwing Irishmen and cowboys (though by his account it was mostly guineas) in the brig.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Soundwave » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:20 pm

in my experience ROMpler always sound like ROMplers and even if they have a massive plethora of parameters most of them are useless for anything but subtle filter and envelope edits or turning the sound into complete shite

however all is not lost if they at least have a decent filter and properly scaled samples instead of pitched octave groups


the bass line to this is apparently a JD800.....


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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Zamise » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:10 pm

aredj wrote:
Zamise wrote:Thats OK AG, sometimes when I read your posts all I see is blah blah blah asterisk blah blah etc. anyway..
In other words... you're not reading the posts? It would help....( I was wondering why replies in this 'discussion' seem so disjointed.)
Sorry, but it actually bugs me when people participate in a debate, but don't actually try to listen to the other 'side'.
Yeah that really bugs me too.
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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by Earthman7883 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:27 pm

Postby CS_TBL » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:36 pm

Code: Select all
name | source | sound editing | synth?
--------------------+-------------+---------------+----------
sampler | RAM samples | no | no
sampler | RAM samples | yes | yes
ROMpler | ROM samples | no | no
ROMpler | ROM samples | yes | yes
RealAnalogue | oscillators | yes | yes
VirtAnalogue | digital algo| yes | yes
FM | digital algo| yes | yes
flute | physics | no | no
pipe organ | physics | yes(additive) | yes
Piano | physics | no | no
Prepared piano | physics | yes(acoustic) | yes
Pipe organ and prepared piano - synth? That's a bold statement but it's incorrect as synthesizer uses electricity and electronic circuits to generate sound.

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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by mute » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:44 pm

Wow.. I really stirred up bee's nest with my post ;p

I agree with much of what AG said, but disagree with some primary things he and others in agreement said or alluded to.. one is that ROM (as in read only memory) has nothing to do with the name... when that's exactly what it comes from. '...PLER' coming from sampler, sure...that's obviously correct. I also disagree that its a derogatory term, if that's how your memory wants to play it out fine.. and in many circles Rompler was and still is used in a demeaning manner, but that it's the sole reason of the existence of the name.. no one can really claim they know when or why it was first used (suspect it was a Roland kb or maybe even one of the earlier Korg workstations). That would require some mass research and its really unnessicary. Fact of the matter is they are ROMplers and the name is pretty self-implying, the context of the past or of other peoples opinions doesn't matter. For example... it's akin to the term Virtual Synthesis or Virtual Analogue.. those terms will always be used in a demeaning manner by some ppl.

I also disagree with any notion that a rompler isn't a synthesists playground or open to abuse because many of them are quite deep.. like Korg's Triton/predecessors, etc. synths such as the microx, etc. What I have personally disliked about of them are the menu systems or the UI's.. hardware or software.
Megakazbek wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:JD-990 isn't a ROMpler. You're operating under your inaccurate perception that anything with ROM samples is a ROMpler.
I don't understand why we should let you decide for us what the accurate definition of rompler is.
I don't see any reasons why not to call JD-990 a rompler.
The JD-990 is not a Rompler, it's a wavetable synth. There is a huge difference in synthesis here that you are not recognizing, and this is a synthesis website. I can understand your confusion because it can load ROM cards that contain additional wavetables (not sample libraries). That sort of comment is exactly what started this mess..

Here's a clear difference between a Rompler and Wavetable synth:

Wavetable: The "sample" or generated waveform that's used for the oscillator's voice is the length of one wave-cycle or four..or whathaveyou. They are pure loops of a Waveform, such a Sine, Saw, Tri, elborate custom shapes, etc. If you were to invert them or mirror them or reverse them... the sound will for the most part not change (aside from phase, etc). The point is that they're cycles, they loop, they are the basis of the oscillator's voice but not the design of the sound implicitly.. much like a analogue or v/a, etc. you are starting with a base-waveform. The playback engine for a wavetable synth is specifically designed to play these and to scale or split them accordingly.. they're rather simple beasts really and they all use various methods of playback or waveform creation, some will even use just a handful of basic shapes then create the other waveforms via crossmod, waveshaping or bandpass limiting, etc.. You will never have a sound 'sample' in a wavetable synth.. i.e. its not just a recording of a pad, a string, or a 'one-hit' bass sound or any of that.

BTW... Wavetable synths don't even nessicarily have their wave-cycles written in memory, often they are created/calculated @ boot or in some software/plugin's case, when first instantized.

Rompler: Instead of a cycle, you are given read-only sample libraries. The waves in a rompler consist of one hit real-world samples of synths, instruments, and other sounds.. often in sets for scaling reasons to preserve quality and sometimes tonality compared to 'real' instruments (such as the strength of the Hammer or dampening pedal for a piano ROM) which is why software rompler libraries are so large (the 'gig' in gigasampler ;p) If you were to reverse these (dry with normal envelope and no looping), you would have a audibly backwards playing sample. The way a rompler typically sustains its sounds are either through looping a middle section of the file (often user definable) or by time-stretching the waveform while preserving pitch. One of the tests you do on a rompler when comparing to others and those of the past is see how it handles tuning and long sustains, aliasing, etc. Just as you would do with a sampler. Now.. some Romplers (and samplers) are capable of using and some indeed have some wave-cycles or have looping options for definable regions (start/end points) and are therefor capable of wavetable-synthesis, but it does not go the other way around; Some romplers can be treated as a wavetable synth, but a wavetable synth is not a Rompler.

I dont care about the methods or different types of sound generation.. to be honest i have always felt that anything and everything is fair game and have their own strengths. Romplers tend to have trademark sounds just as any other synths do. I'm just a stickler for calling a cat a cat and a dog a dog.

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Re: Your thoughts about rompler synthesis

Post by realtrance » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:36 pm

See for me, one of the revelations came about 1999 (11 years ago) when I picked up an Audity 2000. It was basically just another ROM-based rack unit in the EMU Proteus 2000 series, and had a 2-line LCD display, and four knobs and a few buttons.

So... you just select preset and play it, right? There are a huge number of presets in that thing.

Wrong. Each preset consists of a number of samples, from 2-4, if I recall, and each of those samples has an almost endless series of parameters you can scroll through and play with.

At first, I would just do simple things, like take all the different filter models available and try them all out on a particular preset. Since the Audity embraced the legacy derived from the E-Mu Morpheus, among other things, with the variety of Z-Plane filters debuted in same, there were some very interesting filter options, most of which I have not seen since, anywhere, in software or hardware.

Then, there were the multiple numbers of LFOs -- per sample, in a preset using multiple samples. So you're working before you even start with, potentially, _8_ LFOs on one preset. And guess what, I discovered, you can set those LFO's to modulate almost _anything_ in the preset. Each one. And again, the variety of LFO waveforms, some of which are virtually mini-arpeggiators in and of themselves, provide some quite incredible and unusual modulation possibilities, apiece, not to mention all combined together.

Oh and wait, there were like... 4? .... envelopes available, a couple hard-wired, but at least one -- per sample -- assignable again to almost anything.

And then, hmmm.... I'd had a Waldorf Xt for a number of years, and really loved its math options in its modulation matrix, and lo and behold! The Audity 2000 while not having the same set, had things like a lag processor, etc. that were almost equivalent -- and guess what? You could, like the Waldorf XT, work with modulators on modulators -- meta-modulators, if you will, so that, say, you have one LFO, routed thru a lag processor, to another LFO that is controlling.....

oh wait! Even though you can't _edit_ the samples in the Audity 2000, you _can_ control where in the sample the playback starts, and stops, and what parts of the sample loop. h**l. And oh wait! You can control that looping with, yes.... an LFO run thru a lag processor modulating the assignable envelope which is assigned to the looping part of the sample. Per sample. In a preset which consists of four samples.

Hmmm. What a lousy "preset playback box." :lol:

I forgot to mention the built-in arpeggiator, as well, which yes, you can assign separately to different parts of the preset, and use, yes, to modulate different things.

Hmmm! This little damn box is comparable to a full-scale, room-sized analogue modular synthesizer with all $15,000 of the options! And it's like 3,000 of those in one little box, since each preset is like a totally different modular synthesizer to work with. Man! I just picked up a multi-million dollar synthesizer, and it doesn't even take up much more space than an issue of Keyboard magazine. What kind of idiot am I, I say......

Well, that was eleven years ago, and of course, nobody's done nothing since then.... er....

Seriously, though, E-Mu was the king of sample-based synthesis back then, prior to their acquisition by Creative (they've done a good job of converting their legacy into softare, btw... no, I have nothing to do with E-Mu or Creative), and they packed an amazing amount of knowledge from their E4 R&D and development into this, and multiple other, pint-sized boxes. They even translated the Audity 2000 basically into the XL-1 "groove machine/sequencer" that combined basically an Audity with the soundsets from some of their previously popular Hip-Hop P2K rack units as well, and gave it an Akai-like interface.

They did all this, and were rewarded with an audience that preferred something far simpler and never grokked or got into a fraction of all that, for the most part, since none of these things sold well enough to keep E-Mu alive, I would assume.

Just as an example of one little "preset playback machine" from a long time ago. :mrgreen:

Yeah, the reverb built-in wasn't Lexicon 480 quality, but then again.... I wasn't busy recording a Stradivarius violin doing Bach's Partitas for Deutsche Grammophon, either. ;)

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