Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

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

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:53 am

jupiter8 wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote: "Analog modeling" was a term to indicate that there was some sort of actual mathematical imitation of analog sound happening on an electronic level. Again, does not remotely apply to the D-50.
Why not ? If you look at the classic papers "Alias-Free Digital Synthesis of Classic Analog Waveforms" and “Alias-free digital synthesis of classic analog waveforms” the filter is kind of based on modeling the analog equivalent while the oscillator isn't even close. While i'm not sure, that is what they used, in neither the Nord Lead or the D50 it is the most likely to me because variants of that is all you see if you look at source codes available. But since neither you or me have seen the code for the NordLead or the D50,how can you say with such authority they're completely different ?
Because no one was interested in modeling analog waveforms for the purposes of marketing analog-sounding synths in 1987, that's why. It's not about my authority, it's about the culture of the time... which has been explained by me and others in this thread.

Also, look up the ads for the D-50... that would put this whole silly concept to bed immediately.

The Nord Lead, conversely, was very specifically designed to look, sound, and feel like an analog synth. Also, have you counted the years between the release of the D-50 and the Nord Lead?
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:08 am

Primal Drive wrote:With all due respect, both subtractive and additive are legitimate forms of synthesis technique and are not just meaningless or silly terms.
Did you read the other things I said? How is subtractive synthesis a "legitimate form of synthesis?" It one portion of the process of "synthesis." It isn't a form of synthesis, it's a part of synthesis. Simply because SO many toss the term around like it defines something does not mean it does. All it addresses is what the filter does... and then, not even very well. If "subtractive" defines the "type of synthesis," what does it mean when you have a "subtractive" synth with multiple oscillators? You realize that the definition of "additive synthesis" has oscillators at different frequences generating sounds? Any "subtractive" analog synth with multiple oscillators is also an "additive" synth. THIS is why it is silly, in addition to only addressing what one PART of the process of synthesis includes.
Analog synthesis includes both subtractive synthesis AND basic additive synthesis... as well as factors that are unnamed like modulation, envelopes, etc. It's just a misleading and ineffective means of category.
Also, "subtractive" synthesis is not just analog... it can also be digital. ANY synthesizer with a filter, physical or software, is a "subtractive synthesizer." For that reason, it means nothing.

Primal Drive wrote:Subtractive synthesis is just that; i.e., it is the creation of a sound by removing (subtracting) certain harmonics of a raw waveform through various circuits, and not necessarily through active or passive filters. The use of wave shaping circuits within an analog oscillator that, for example, convert a saw wave to a triangle wave is a form of subtractive synthesis. I'm sure you wouldn't consider that meaningless.
First of all, changing a waveshape is not "synthesis," by definition.
Second of all, I have never heard anyone suggest that the process of waveshaping is "subtractive." In every definition I've seen, or heard, it is specifically referencing the removal of harmonics from a waveform via a filter.
Primal Drive wrote:Additive synthesis is not just the combining or stacking of oscillators. As originally proposed, it was the combination of a fundamental sine wave combined with other sine waves set to various harmonic intervals in descending amplitude to create a complex waveform. Theoretically, by varying the amplitude of the harmonic waves an infinite number of timbres could be created. This may have not been viable with 70 - 80s technology, but it is far from being a silly concept.
The concept isn't silly, the term is if used to distinguish this form of synthesis from traditional analog synthesis.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by I12 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:42 am

b3groover wrote:Wow. Y'all are some serious nerds.

;)

My last few posts weren't :x
Dont bother its not worth it!

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

Post by Primal Drive » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:03 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
Primal Drive wrote:With all due respect, both subtractive and additive are legitimate forms of synthesis technique and are not just meaningless or silly terms.
Did you read the other things I said? How is subtractive synthesis a "legitimate form of synthesis?" It one portion of the process of "synthesis." It isn't a form of synthesis, it's a part of synthesis. Simply because SO many toss the term around like it defines something does not mean it does. All it addresses is what the filter does... and then, not even very well. If "subtractive" defines the "type of synthesis," what does it mean when you have a "subtractive" synth with multiple oscillators?
I've never seen someone contradict themselves so many times as in that last quote.

Just what the h**l are you arguing against? Subtractive synthesis ISN'T a form of synthesis, but it IS a portion of synthesis, but it ISN'T synthesis because all it involves is a filter, and what about multiple oscillators, but, but, but...

Do you even know what synthesis means?
You realize that the definition of "additive synthesis" has oscillators at different frequences generating sounds?
Yes. In case you're in doubt, re-read my post.
Any "subtractive" analog synth with multiple oscillators is also an "additive" synth.
Not in the strictest sense of additive synthesis. I suggest you do some reading.
THIS is why it is silly, in addition to only addressing what one PART of the process of synthesis includes.
You are woefully misinformed regarding synthesis technique. You may have experience regarding playing various synths, but you've a lot to learn about their technical aspects.
Analog synthesis includes both subtractive synthesis AND basic additive synthesis... as well as factors that are unnamed like modulation, envelopes, etc. It's just a misleading and ineffective means of category.
The only one using misleading terminology here is you. You've somehow blurred various components into a mishmash of your own personal view as to what synthesis really means.
Also, "subtractive" synthesis is not just analog... it can also be digital. ANY synthesizer with a filter, physical or software, is a "subtractive synthesizer." For that reason, it means nothing.
So according to you, if a synthesizer exclusively employs subtractive technique to achieve it's sound, whether analog or digital, defining it as such is meaningless?

Again, I suggest you do some reading. It doesn't matter how many synths you've played in your life time that does not mean that you know what it technically correct regarding nomenclature.
First of all, changing a waveshape is not "synthesis," by definition.
Oh really? So do you have any idea what happens to a waveform when it's processed by a filter? IT CHANGES THE WAVESHAPE! This is basic synthesis 101 yet you're not even aware of this.
Second of all, I have never heard anyone suggest that the process of waveshaping is "subtractive." In every definition I've seen, or heard, it is specifically referencing the removal of harmonics from a waveform via a filter.
And what do think is happening when a saw wave is changed into a triangle wave???

Also, just because you haven't read or heard about something doesn't mean it isn't correct or doesn't exist.
Primal Drive wrote:Additive synthesis is not just the combining or stacking of oscillators. As originally proposed, it was the combination of a fundamental sine wave combined with other sine waves set to various harmonic intervals in descending amplitude to create a complex waveform. Theoretically, by varying the amplitude of the harmonic waves an infinite number of timbres could be created. This may have not been viable with 70 - 80s technology, but it is far from being a silly concept.
The concept isn't silly, the term is if used to distinguish this form of synthesis from traditional analog synthesis.
And who exactly is using the term incorrectly here? As far as I've read in this thread, you're the only one who's brought this up.

Edit to add, sorry for going so OT.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by jupiter8 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:06 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Because no one was interested in modeling analog waveforms for the purposes of marketing analog-sounding synths in 1987, that's why.
And yet they did.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Also, look up the ads for the D-50... that would put this whole silly concept to bed immediately.
I tried but couldn't find any. Here in Sweden it was marketed as a replacement for analog and digital synth plus samplers. You could replace all three with the D50 (that was their claim at least). I remember a goofy looking guy standing with a D550 under his arm saying something incredibly lame like "Phat. That's the only way to describe it" and went on how it could replace all your other gear.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:The Nord Lead, conversely, was very specifically designed to look, sound, and feel like an analog synth.
What is the difference between a Rhodes Chroma and a D50 functionwise (if we discard the sampled waveform section)?
Automatic Gainsay wrote: Also, have you counted the years between the release of the D-50 and the Nord Lead?
No not really. 10-12 years or so ? Your point being ?

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

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:09 pm

jupiter8 wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Because no one was interested in modeling analog waveforms for the purposes of marketing analog-sounding synths in 1987, that's why.
And yet they did.
When? You mean the paper you cited in a previous post? That was presented in 1996, wasn't it?
jupiter8 wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Also, look up the ads for the D-50... that would put this whole silly concept to bed immediately.
I tried but couldn't find any. Here in Sweden it was marketed as a replacement for analog and digital synth plus samplers. You could replace all three with the D50 (that was their claim at least). I remember a goofy looking guy standing with a D550 under his arm saying something incredibly lame like "Phat. That's the only way to describe it" and went on how it could replace all your other gear.
What year was that?
"Replacing" an analog synth was what everyone wanted to do, so that's not surprising... just not in the way I think you're suggesting. Did you want to have an analog sound in 1987?

Automatic Gainsay wrote: Also, have you counted the years between the release of the D-50 and the Nord Lead?
No not really. 10-12 years or so ? Your point being ?[/quote]
That time is the crux of the matter. In the mid 1990s, analog was desired again... so synthesizers and software which emulated were desired... unlike 1987, where (at least in the United States), analog was old-fashioned and undesired, largely (as stated extensively in previous posts). The difference in time is crucial in regard to the premise that the D-50 was meant to emulate analog.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by nvbrkr » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:15 pm

If AG loses this one, does it mean that the D-50 is a VA?

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

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:32 pm

nvbrkr wrote:If AG loses this one, does it mean that the D-50 is a VA?
Definitely. Let's just say it is.
Also, since there were analog-like patches on the DX7, let's say it was VA too.
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by jupiter8 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:38 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
jupiter8 wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Because no one was interested in modeling analog waveforms for the purposes of marketing analog-sounding synths in 1987, that's why.
And yet they did.
When? You mean the paper you cited in a previous post? That was presented in 1996, wasn't it?
No i was talking about the D50. It had oscillators with pwm,resonant filters,lfos,vcas though they didn't call them that and they were digital. It had the exact same features as analog synth had. I don't see how one can miss that if one is familiar with the D50. It works in the exact same way or it appears so on the surface. What went on under the surface no one knows but the techs at Roland and as far as i know they ain't telling.

You could argue that a knob laden front panel is what distinguishes a VA but many analog synths didn't have that (Rhodes Chroma for example) so to me that's a moot point. The D50 is a digital representation of an analog synth (and then some). How can it not be ? No matter what they marketed it as.

FM,PD and additive is a completely different matter as they don't really have an analog counter part (or at least didn't until just recently).

What is so fundamentally different between this and say the Rhodes Chroma for example?
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by b3groover » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:34 am

Ok, I'm entering the nerd fray. ;)
jupiter8 wrote: No i was talking about the D50. It had oscillators with pwm,resonant filters,lfos,vcas though they didn't call them that and they were digital. It had the exact same features as analog synth had. I don't see how one can miss that if one is familiar with the D50. It works in the exact same way or it appears so on the surface.
So what? A tuba works the same way on the surface as a saxophone (there's a mouthpiece, you blow into it, press valves, sound comes out) but I don't think anyone in the right mind would confuse one with the other.

It isn't surprising that the majority of digital synths at that time had similar features to analog synths. You don't just change everything when a new technology comes around. You adapt it to what is already there. That doesn't mean the D50 is a "virtual analog" synth. Just like a Rhodes isn't an acoustic piano, though they work on very similar principles.

This is all revisionist history at it's worst.

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

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:29 pm

b3groover wrote:This is all revisionist history at it's worst.
Ah, blessed reason. There is hope. :)
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by ItsMeOnly » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:04 pm

Just my 3c worth.

A "Virtual" instrument, as knolan pointed out, means created by mathematical model, or, if you like, a program running inside a dedicated processor (be it DSP or MCU controlling PGA).

Naming D-50 a VA would imply that all the "analog", or "synthesis" part was done by programmed circuitry. It wasn't, because D-50 had dedicated hardware, ergo, D-50 is not a VA instrument

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

Post by Primal Drive » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:57 am

ItsMeOnly wrote:Just my 3c worth.

A "Virtual" instrument, as knolan pointed out, means created by mathematical model, or, if you like, a program running inside a dedicated processor (be it DSP or MCU controlling PGA).

Naming D-50 a VA would imply that all the "analog", or "synthesis" part was done by programmed circuitry. It wasn't, because D-50 had dedicated hardware, ergo, D-50 is not a VA instrument
So basically the D50 was a form of digital hybrid (if I understand linear arithmetic synthesis correctly). Samples + digital filters, amps and modifiers.

In other words, it's a bastard of sorts. :D
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Re: Was the Roland D50 the first VA Modelling Synth?

Post by D-Collector » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:12 am

:lol: bastard synthesis!

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

Post by madtheory » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:46 am

The comparison with a CZ is valid in that both synths have a UI that is an LPF. Casio calls it a DCW, Roland calls it a TVF. BUT under the hood it is most certainly not an LPF (or a DCW). It's a TVF. Unless we can get someone from the D-50 team to explain it, we have no idea what a TVF is. There are no patents. It's definitely not a digital audio filter, because it is not possible to route the PCM waves through it. It is possible that there is some kind of primitive modeling going in, because they did that with the MKS20. But we just don't know...

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