The Appearance of Synths

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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RD9
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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by RD9 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:05 pm

drawtippy wrote:I think layout and looks are VERY different.

Layout isn't subjective, it's either well laid out or not.

Looks are very subjective. I think the 800DV is super ugly but I love that retro look. I also think the XTK is super ugly but I hate that "Extreme Synth" color and type font. Both synths however, sound fantastic!
Not sure about the layout subjectivity part, but looks are definitely subjective.

I sort of like the layout of the Radias. Very intuitive. But I don't like the yellow lights.

I like the look of the Virus C, but not sure I love everything about the layout. It took me a second to figure out the filter workflow as well as the LFO/modulation matrix. Not necessarily the most intuitive, but it only needs a minor tweek or extra lines to make it clear what affects what. On the other hand, it's also fine the way it is since I was able to figure it out in one sitting. Scratch that.

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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by griffin avid » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:11 pm

Layout isn't subjective, it's either well laid out or not.


I don't fully agree with this. There will always be consideration for way we work with a synth or its surface/interface. There's the balance between programming and real time controls, even left hand, right hand. The features YOU use most might not be the same for the next person. Form and Function still go hand in hand. You can have the exact same interface, but choosing color is something worth pondering over for the designer.

If we didn't have so many choices, I might pass this off as VSE micro-thinking, but every choice the designers make impacts sales. If you say "Well, not for me", that's cool but you're not everyone. Once you see that this thread has people floating in the middle, it makes sense to consider the look along with the sound.

I don't think there's any synth that sounds sooo good that I would get it despite being completely turned off by its looks. There's always an alternative. And as a a final poke...there's always that girl with looks and personality.
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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by balma » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:28 pm

griffin avid wrote:. Form and Function still go hand in hand. You can have the exact same interface, but choosing color is something worth pondering over for the designer.

This is handsome for me:

Image

IMO this synth is soooo well designed, that is cute.
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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by smoothcriminal » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:34 pm

Is the JD800 chasis metal or plastic? If it's metal, that's one of the greatest case designs I've ever seen.

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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:52 pm

heh, that one certainly looks used.
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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by balma » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:58 pm

Functionality is almost beauty.

As a note apart, I don't know why I always stablish a mental relationship between the JD800, and the car from Back to the Future:

Image
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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by CS_TBL » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:11 am

I know someone, a programmer from Germany, who has both a Delorean and a KITT, complete with the whole Con Brio'ish shebang inside.
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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by Pro5 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:47 am

:mrgreen:
smoothcriminal wrote:Is the JD800 chasis metal or plastic? If it's metal, that's one of the greatest case designs I've ever seen.
edit: Mostly metal! Metal underside, metal top control panel metal 'bar' (where the LCD is) that goes across the width of the synth. The only plastic parts are the swoopy end cheeks and under cheeks. If you get one in decent condition with no cracks/marks on the plastic - they look amazing. They weigh a lot and obviously a lot of thought went into the design of the JD-800. The brushed metal upper panel has a bronze-ish hue that changes colour depending on the light (can seem grey/red depending) which is beautiful. Inspiring to sit in front of too.

Lesson being - don't knock a synth till you've had one in your own studio :)
Last edited by Pro5 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Appearance of Synths

Post by knolan » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:19 am

I have to admit that looks are important to me. When sitting at a beautifully crafted instrument it makes me want to play better. But that's purely from a player perspective - when using synths as musical instruments to play, to feel and to find soul in; rather than as a generic 'work horse' tool (two totally different uses of synthesizer).

Having said that -there's nothing I admire more than seeing someone create great music on the most battered, held together by Sellotape instrument. Some how I feel they are just a little bit more pure, sound wise, than me. I was in Paris recently and saw this elderly man playing honky-tonk piano at the RER station at Jardin de Luxembourg. the Piano was about 3 to 3-1/2 feet high, in absolute bits, but my God could the man play. It was jaw-dropping and proves the instrument only has to be 'barely hangin-in there' and someone will find amazing use for it.

I wish I could be more like that, but I'm too pernickety - the instrument has to look good for me (and perhaps I should accept that I'm equally entitled to feel that way given I've been broke for 20 years through buying this gear!). but to me a great looking instrument inspires me (and I agree - a well looked after JD800 is a smashing looking instrument. A friend of mine not into music commented once on my JD800 - "Now THAT's what a synthesizer should look like"). good enough for me.

Kevin.

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