Analog Voices, 8 enough?

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Re: Analog Voices, 8 enough?

Post by Synthaholic » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:44 pm

For a poly I consider 5 to be the minimum. If you're playing a base note + chord (4 voices) and you switch notes and overlap them at all (even inadvertently) on a 4-voice synth, you end up robbing a voice to cover the overlap.

Of course, more is always better, to allow for release envelopes and unison/splits/layers, etc.
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Re: Analog Voices, 8 enough?

Post by Projectile » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:24 am

For me, 90% of the time one voice is enough. When I need more than that, I use my sampler or a digital synth. I used to think that I needed some big polyphonic analog synth to make good electronic music, but I found out in practice it's just not that necessary. I can think of dozens of artists who have made whole albums using nothing but monosynths. Unless you are a keyboardist, I think anything more than 4 voices is excessive.

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Re: Analog Voices, 8 enough?

Post by Psy_Free » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:30 am

Projectile wrote:Unless you are a keyboardist, I think anything more than 4 voices is excessive
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Re: Analog Voices, 8 enough?

Post by D-Collector » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:29 am

When I had a JX-8P I felt the 6 voices was too limiting, it would cut out the end of pads or longer synth sounds. I found it irritating having to be strategic when playing. When using a patch with all 4 partials enabled in the D-50, the polyphony is 8 and I have never had a problem with that though.

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Re: Analog Voices, 8 enough?

Post by Micke » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:16 pm

Zamise wrote:
The OBs seem to usually have 2 Oscs per voice, as well as the Evolvers if you don't include the digital ones. Is it it the same for the Jupiters then? Are there any 3 or 4 osc per voice polyphonic analogs out there?
Yep, the Jup-8, Jup-6 and MKS-80 super jupiter all have 2 osc's per voice.

As for 3 or 4 osc per voice polyphonic analogs, there's the Memorymoog and the Gleeman pentaphonic, though the
latter is apparently an analog/digital hybrid synth with digitally generated osc's (some sources claim it used DCO's).
Afaik, the Strider DSC-II also had more than 2 osc's per voice but I think that machine was mostly digital, and I'm not
even sure it made it into production.

The Emu Blue box 16-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer had as much as 6 VCO's per voice! only one unit was
ever built. With this machine you could, if you wanted, have triple octave patches with 2 osc's on each octave which
certainly increased the size of the sound. Pat Gleeson used this instrument together with two single-keyboard Prophet 10's (SSM chips) and a big E-mu modular system on his solo album "Rainbow Delta" (rec. in late '78).

Says Gleeson: "All of these were controlled by the Emu digital-scanning keyboard (now a commonplace, of course, but the first of its kind then) and through a system of switches I could take a specific keyboard voice and assign it to the Emu modular, either of the two Prophets or the computer-bin voices or any combination of these four. Sort of "instant orchestration." One of the guys at Emu designed and built the computer rig according to my synth specs and wired up the whole setup., This wonderful (and very touchy) instrument is now in a synthesizer museum in (I believe) Toronto, Canada. The guy who put together the museum spent two years tracking down the various parts of the rig, which the guy who'd bought it from me had disassembled and sold off in parts, then lovingly restored it to its original condition. Amazing dedication. Rainbow Delta was done entirely on the combined machine that had the digital scanning keyboard and memory driving the two prophets, the Emu modular and the 16 channel "blue box" of large analog voices. We afterward performed side 2 live on a college concert tour (Lenny Pickett on a wind-controller-driven Emu modular and on tenor sax, and a guitar player whose name I've forgotten). The neat thing about the rig for live-performance is that you could actually orchestrate in real time--play a line, loop it in memory, then via the switching matrix that the Emu guys added to my modular, I could assign it to different voices on either or both prophets while playing against it live with one or more of the large bluebox voices. Of course, in terms of present-day capabilities where so many synths are multi-timbral, it was somewhat limited, but for the 70's it was pretty mind-blowing.
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