Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

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Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by boxed » Mon May 31, 2010 4:32 pm

There's a big argument on KVR on whether or not the D50 was the first Virtual Analogue modelling synthesizer. Does anyone really know the answer? :)

http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... c&start=60

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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by White » Mon May 31, 2010 4:55 pm

The Roland D50 is definitely NOT a VA, it is S+S synthesis.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by polardark » Mon May 31, 2010 5:13 pm

These days, it's commonly believed that the subtractive synthesis part of the D50 is not "real" subtractive synthesis because the digital technology at the time was not powerful enough to do high quality IIR filters of the type that might be required. It's been speculated that it is something similar to the "subtractive synthesis" in the phase modulation synthesizer, Casio CZ-101.

To my knowledge, nobody has established without doubt what synthesis method was used for the subtractive voice of the Roland D50. If anything new has been forthcoming on this subject i'd love to hear it.

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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by D-Collector » Mon May 31, 2010 5:16 pm

No no, the D-50 is nothing special. Not a VA at all, in fact it is a very dull, cold and digital synth. The synth engine is complete c**p. Nothing to talk about really...

I need to keep prices down until I can get another one...

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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by White » Mon May 31, 2010 5:51 pm

D-collector, I would probably agree with you that the D50 is very dull and cold. When I had mine, I tried programming it with the optional PG1000, which is essential when programming. I gave up in the end because the samples were small and the effect section was a little premature and noisy. Although, for 1987, sounds like that were a leap forward. Today, I have a Roland JD990 with the vintage board. Which I love.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by rhino » Mon May 31, 2010 5:57 pm

IMHO the D-50 can't pass as a VA.
Earliest that come to mind are Yam AN-1x and (flame-bait alert) Rol. JD-800.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by meatballfulton » Mon May 31, 2010 7:09 pm

I've heard a few people argue over the last 5 years that the D-50 is a VA when using the non-sampled waves. There's no proof that anything in the synth engine is modeled. Just goes to show why it's better to use your ears to decide if it sounds good rather check what kind of synthesis was used. It is probably using some kind of phase distortion synthesis like Casio as it offers many of the same features, like ring modulation.

The D-50's big deal of course was the samples, by adding sampled attacks to synthesized sustains it gave sampler-like sound for fraction of the cost.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by bluedad » Mon May 31, 2010 9:32 pm

the original thread was about the mixer in the Prop's 'Record' ..somehow it got way off topic
so I've split it to it's own thread..it continues here:http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=288315

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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by nuketifromorbit » Mon May 31, 2010 10:20 pm

White wrote:D-collector, I would probably agree with you that the D50 is very dull and cold. When I had mine, I tried programming it with the optional PG1000, which is essential when programming. I gave up in the end because the samples were small and the effect section was a little premature and noisy. Although, for 1987, sounds like that were a leap forward. Today, I have a Roland JD990 with the vintage board. Which I love.
Considering the instrument is in his gear list, I think hes being sarcastic.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by ZeeOne » Mon May 31, 2010 10:35 pm

If memory serves (which it sometimes doesn't), the Korg Prophecy was the first one to coin the term "virtual analog", but the ones that get most of the credit are the Yamaha AN1x and the Nord Lead.

The JD-800 was more of a pseudo-analog or quasi-analog than a virtual analog. Programming is done in a more hands-on fashion than the "select a parameter and edit it with the value up/down buttons/data slider" method that characterized most digital synths, but it's still not intentionally designed to emulate an analog in the same way the ones I mentioned above were.

The poster(s) on that other board giving the D50 credit as being the first VA are kind of thinking of it that way because it was easier to program than its rival the Yamaha DX7, the synth that epitomized the dream to listen to/nightmare to program qualities of digital synthesizers, and when VAs came along it was such a breath of fresh air-for the first time in years you could buy a new synth that sounded like a big, beefy analog and had the same organic feel of programming-but it would be far more reliable and actually stay in tune.

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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by Zamise » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:58 am

I think people get confused with "analog style control" to being a virtual analog. I see the Yamaha CS1X listed as a VA sometimes too, but it isn't, maybe the same thing happens all too often with the D50 too?

I'm not sure what came first, but I've always considered the Nord Leads to be the first to hold that title, then the JP-8000 and AN1X kind of followed in it's footsteps. I personally blame the first Nord Leads and the JP-8000 for why everyone considered VAs to be so cold in comparison to RA. While I think the AN1X kind of slipped under the radar, thing can sound warm and cold IMHO, still my fav sounding VA. Just what I know... I never got my hands on a Prophecy which was Korg's contribution around the same time, but would have loved to, still would some time. Which was the very first VA? Probably some software on a computer, but if you want the bragging rights then be sure not to ask me cause I won't care which came first.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by ZeeOne » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:15 am

Zamise wrote: I'm not sure what came first, but I've always considered the Nord Leads to be the first to hold that title, then the JP-8000 and AN1X kind of followed in it's footsteps. I personally blame the first Nord Leads and the JP-8000 for why everyone considered VAs to be so cold in comparison to RA.
:blink:

I don't know about you, but I've been able to make my JP-8000 sound very warm and fuzzy...

To each their own, I guess.

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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by Zamise » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:39 am

ZeeOne wrote:
Zamise wrote: I'm not sure what came first, but I've always considered the Nord Leads to be the first to hold that title, then the JP-8000 and AN1X kind of followed in it's footsteps. I personally blame the first Nord Leads and the JP-8000 for why everyone considered VAs to be so cold in comparison to RA.
:blink:

I don't know about you, but I've been able to make my JP-8000 sound very warm and fuzzy...

To each their own, I guess.
Yeah, I should clairfy a bit... My experience is actually more with a JP-8080. I won't say it can't do warm and fuzzy, but I do think the JP-80X0s and the first Nord Leads were responsible for the mainstream generalization that all VAs are cold and digital sounding in comparison to RA. But, what the eF'n h**l does mainstream opinion know?
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by I12 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:05 am

part of the confusion lies in that more synthesis can be applied to the saw,squ,tri waveforms than the sampled transients
so it sorta makes you think if they didnt use sampled waves for that section :?:
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by jupiter8 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:50 pm

ZeeOne wrote: The poster(s) on that other board giving the D50 credit as being the first VA are kind of thinking of it that way because it was easier to program than its rival the Yamaha DX7
Or maybe they think that way because it has a fully featured subtractive "analog style" synth engine under the hood?

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