Why analog?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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antilles
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Re: Why analog?

Post by antilles » Sun May 15, 2011 9:56 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
Because music isn't about service or function. It's about inspiration, creativity, and having a tool that inspires you and allows you to be creative.


Couldnt have said it better myself!

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Re: Why analog?

Post by bochelli » Sun May 15, 2011 10:31 pm

Believe me ive tried my hardest to embrace the digital synthesisers you have mentioned and just could not connect with them why? perhaps because these new synths have no soul, i have a minimoog under a bed been there for 5yrs ,im quite sure if powered on it would come back to life, a little out of tune perhaps but it would be like a renunion friend if you want, prophet 08, virus ect these synths im sure to many are good but it does not matter what sound you get out of one the sound was there all the time on a circuit board with some stupid patch name.yes a minimoog also has a circuit board or two but no lcd menu screen....................................
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Re: Why analog?

Post by Syn303 » Sun May 15, 2011 10:37 pm

Analog has character, you hear that character when the oscillators begin to drift and then begin to beat against each other, where every kick on an analog drum machine has slightly noticable nuances. With digital you get none of that character, unless the manufacturer has included an analog feel function.

But i like having a mix of analog and digital.
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Re: Why analog?

Post by balma » Sun May 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
Because music isn't about service or function. It's about inspiration, creativity, and having a tool that inspires you and allows you to be creative.


that´s the answer.

And what´s the reason behind the question?
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Re: Why analog?

Post by krzeppa » Sun May 15, 2011 10:57 pm

CS_TBL wrote:The term 'phatt' is the worst invention in the history of bad inventions. It has "yo yo mofo uh uh uh" all over it, that can't be good.

I rather thin out sounds to make them fit better in the mix, which in return makes the mix fatter. That, and a good sound designer makes pleasant sounds from nearly any synth, analogue or digital, old or modern, additive or FM, whatever or whatever.
:agree:

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Re: Why analog?

Post by CS_TBL » Sun May 15, 2011 11:07 pm

..makes you think twice now about the 'Moog Little Phatty', no? :P
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Re: Why analog?

Post by negativ » Mon May 16, 2011 12:02 am

I've initiated this in somewhat of an inflammatory manner, but I wanted to hear a discourse between synthesists regarding the preference of analog. I have had no hands on experience with analog synthesizers in any real depth, so I addressed the problem as I understand it. I appreciate the idea of analog instruments because they are drifty and unpredictable, but I wonder, is that why everybody seems to love analog synthesizers? One thing that cannot be emulated is the unique drifting properties of old synthesizers, and perhaps that is where the character emerges. Again, I've never owned an analog, so I can't make any sort of statement regarding personal connection with a particular synthesizer. I appreciate the in-depth responses.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by tim gueguen » Mon May 16, 2011 1:01 am

Hmmm, are you the friend of this guy?
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Re: Why analog?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon May 16, 2011 1:23 am

negativ wrote:I've initiated this in somewhat of an inflammatory manner, but I wanted to hear a discourse between synthesists regarding the preference of analog. I have had no hands on experience with analog synthesizers in any real depth, so I addressed the problem as I understand it. I appreciate the idea of analog instruments because they are drifty and unpredictable, but I wonder, is that why everybody seems to love analog synthesizers? One thing that cannot be emulated is the unique drifting properties of old synthesizers, and perhaps that is where the character emerges. Again, I've never owned an analog, so I can't make any sort of statement regarding personal connection with a particular synthesizer. I appreciate the in-depth responses.
There are different levels of oscillator instability. A lot of people use the term "drift," which to me suggests the oscillators simply "drift"ing out of tune. While this aspect does play a role in the overall sound of analog synths (remember that it applies to LFOs, as well), remember that another aspect of instability are minor variations in frequency that happen on a much smaller scale... the oscillator not "drifting out of tune" but rather having a tuning that is not exactly consistent at every given moment.
Why is that important? Because that issue occurs in human voices and acoustic instruments, too. It sounds pleasing to our ears not because of some esoteric or elitist bullshit related to perceived value, but rather because it's what we as humans have been used to for thousands of years.
When you're talking about a Prophet 8, you're talking about a synth with a DCO. While DCOs sound great, and have their own cult following, they are poor representations of what originally made analog sound desirable. They are precise and stable, and as such, are somewhat separated from the "acoustic sound" point I made earlier.
Apply the inconsistencies, variances, flaws, minute differences in components and conditions, etc. that are the result of an electrical device made of physical electrical components to all parts of a synthesizer, and you get a very complex array of aural results and interactions that result in a sound which not only has aural aspects of acoustic sound, but also functional aspects of acoustic sound. There is variance, there is difference, and there is a lack of precision.
Now, of course, if you're looking for a sterile, futuristic, perfect, predictable, controllable, precise sound like so many people are today, this sort of effect is perfectly worthless. You don't want something that is the opposite of the sound you're going for. But so many people ascribe a status to these instruments without knowing why they're sought after, that you get people buying them madly without cause.

There is another aspect which is much less discussed online which has to do with interaction. Since so many people today interact with their synthesizers through a computer, or in a computer, they lack the understanding (and subsequently physical skill) regarding the importance of physical human interaction with an instrument designed to be interacted with physically for the purposes of expression. (DISCLAIMER: this is, of course not to suggest that expression is impossible with any interface other than this... but it is to say that we do have thousands of years of physical experience with expressive instruments, and that sort of thing doesn't just disappear in a single generation) Many people who enjoy analog synthesizers do so because they are making the sound which suits their intents, purposes, or vision physically, with their hands, in real time. It can be a very rewarding and inspiring experience to interact with your instrument in this fashion.

These are reasons to pursue analog. The s**t you read on the internet is... well, s**t. It's a bunch of people with a inaccurate perception of value fighting people who lack the ability to perceive the actual value.
Ignorant people glorifying something for the wrong reasons results in people sensing the bullshit and hype, and coming to the conclusion that NO value exists at all... which results in a lot of the backlash.
The monetary value is a very recent thing. A lot of people don't recognize that, either. A lot of people are outraged at the incredible prices, and feel personally offended by them. "How can something I'm supposed to have to sound good be so expensive that I can't afford it?" The hype has led to a sort of analog obsession in synth players... but the truth is, most people who buy analog synths without knowing why they're buying analog synths end up wondering why they bought the analog synth... and then, I suspect, they end up holding on to it simply because it means something when you say "yeah, well I have a Jupiter 6." (even if they don't know why they do) This is among the reasons why prices are stupid.
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Re: Why analog?

Post by RD9 » Mon May 16, 2011 1:35 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote: There is variance, there is difference, and there is a lack of precision.
=D> Based on my experience with an MS-20 and SH-2 vs. Virus C and Radias (among other synths), it's quite hard to explain all the different nuances of why it's easier for me to achieve a sound that like with the older analogs, but if I had to make a visual analogy it would look like this:
Image
The top image is more like the Virus and Radias and the bottom image is more like the MS-20 and SH-2. For some reason, I just like the imprecise phattness of the bottom image. :D Better saturation, more density/thickness, warmer, maybe more subtle harmonic distortion or imperfections, maybe even less accuracy, I don't know exactly, but those images reflect what I hear. I can easily see why people would be content with the top image, but for me personally, I like the bottom one better even if it's less sharp.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by tekkentool » Mon May 16, 2011 1:46 am

What CS_TBL said, one thing I'm getting more and more accustomed to is giving synths razor thin frequency ranges to work in and working the mix in layers so the entire thing has a gigantic broadband frequency range made out of small sections. Just sonically take apart a really good dance track if you will. All the frequency ranges are super narrow, a lot of bass in dance tracks with prominent vocals will barely have any 2-4k frequencies ANYWHERE else in the mix whatsoever just so they stick out and are clearly audible.

Also my .02 as somebody who exclusively uses digital synths is that the reasons to use one or another are entirely personally based, I basically favour two things when it comes to synths. Flexibility and outcome (being quick to program is a good plus too) For this I almost exclusively use NI massive just because it gives me those options and is the best overall package for me. (Ni massive is also great because it always ends out making very narrow frequency range sounds anyway, good for layering!)

Notice the words "For me" it's all down to personal choice and what works for some won't work with another person. I like digital VST's just because that works for my all sequencer workflow. For somebody who might like doing everything by hand, and making a different style of music to me using analogue synthesizers.

There's really no need for there to be any argument or fighting between them because synths are awesome, both kinds.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by Richard Gear » Mon May 16, 2011 1:48 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote: [...]
I think you should publish an essay about this subject... seriously! :)

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Re: Why analog?

Post by colmon » Mon May 16, 2011 2:26 am

troll'lol'lol'lol'lol

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Re: Why analog?

Post by ninja6485 » Mon May 16, 2011 2:47 am

Image not another analog vs. digital thread!?!?!

"yes: another; and another, and another!"
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Why analog?

Post by balma » Mon May 16, 2011 3:45 am

Sexor wrote:
negativ wrote:Why analog?
Why not? :roll:
Image


and then....

Image


Let´s complain about Roland :mrgreen:
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