Why analog?

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

Post by balma » Tue May 17, 2011 4:30 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Now everything has gone sad. :cry:

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Re: Why analog?

Post by Sir Ruff » Tue May 17, 2011 4:36 am

knolan wrote:(one of the reasons why Air's 'Moon Saffari' album did so well - they when back to a lot of basics, including with their synths
But wasn't Moon Safari their first full-length album? :whistle:
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: Why analog?

Post by b3groover » Tue May 17, 2011 6:51 am

Dr. Phibes wrote:
knolan wrote:
Everyone in the World agrees that the Bosendorfer Imperial 290 is better than a Yamaha U1 upright piano. There's no opinion in this (everything isn't about opinion).
but you can still have a s**t load of fun on the yamaha!

..thus ends my erudite contribution
Here's mine: Better than what? I'd rather hear the Yamaha on a blues or gospel recording or other "old-timey" application. Using a 9' concert Bosendorfer to play some Otis Spann on just wouldn't sound right to me. So the Yamaha upright has it's place.

Just like modern analogs, vintage analogs, modern digitals, vintage digitals, plug-ins and the rest of it all have their place. Use what you got and make music.

I like the poster who said they used those old Moogs because that's what they had. Exactly. Use the tools you have and don't worry about it.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by crofter » Tue May 17, 2011 7:25 am

Whatever your choice of weapon, it still doesn't alter the fact that 80% of the music produced will be utter bollocks.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by ninja6485 » Tue May 17, 2011 7:25 am

b3groover wrote:
Dr. Phibes wrote:
knolan wrote:
Everyone in the World agrees that the Bosendorfer Imperial 290 is better than a Yamaha U1 upright piano. There's no opinion in this (everything isn't about opinion).
but you can still have a s**t load of fun on the yamaha!

..thus ends my erudite contribution
Here's mine: Better than what? I'd rather hear the Yamaha on a blues or gospel recording or other "old-timey" application. Using a 9' concert Bosendorfer to play some Otis Spann on just wouldn't sound right to me. So the Yamaha upright has it's place.

Just like modern analogs, vintage analogs, modern digitals, vintage digitals, plug-ins and the rest of it all have their place. Use what you got and make music.

I like the poster who said they used those old Moogs because that's what they had. Exactly. Use the tools you have and don't worry about it.
i would say it's not so much 'use what you have and don't worry about it,' but rather 'don't feel like what you have isn't good enough.' this seems like the unsaid assumtion: that emulations and affordable gear whether it's digital or analog isn't good enough, or as good as older more expensive gear, and it's just not the case. to respect the aesthetic value of what you're doing, do forget about 'by what means' the synth generates sounds so long as you can enjoy those means in the process of creative making. so it's not really forgetting about the means of the synth, but forgetting about the supposed hierarchy that those means are referenced agianst. one function of vintage instruments is that they can give you access to a deeper sense of creative reality, but like everything else: you get out if it what you put into it. each instrument of any type is unique, and no reality is more real than another. abandon means to ends justification1 and merit attribution for exploritory value and enjoyment of the sensuous-emotional experience2 of sitting down in front of whatever you're working with and using it!

1.it's just as good if it provides just as good ends. i.e. - 909 samples are just as good as a real 909 because i can use them in a track and no one cantell the difference. the mindset that the end "product" is locus of value in the creative process
2.see r.g. collingwood's principles of art
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Why analog?

Post by Zamise » Tue May 17, 2011 8:09 am

Agree, tis sad and scary too... when I shut everything down and close my eyes at night, I get this feeling emanating from my analogs, that something in them is still awake, watching and waiting to get out like a spirit trapped inside a haunted house.
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Re: Why analog?

Post by knolan » Tue May 17, 2011 9:18 am

balma wrote:Knolan please forvive but I must say your whole speech is wrong since the beginning. You can keep giving arguments why analog sounds better for pages and pages of this thread, when "sound better" is just a criteria, a matter of taste.
So trying to sustent as a fact something that is just a point of view.

Better, as an adjetive applied to the word sound, is just a consideration based in your concept and definition of sound.

Sounds, are just that. Sounds. In the hands of a musician, they become music. I just do not understand the whole stuff analog vs digital, since I had a different education, or perceive the things from a very different point of view.

You, in front of a synthesizer, is who makes it sound good. I prefer to give a value to a synth based in how much it allows me to express myself through composing and performing music, than the technology used.

better to concern and give importance on perfecting your on them

I don't think I have to qualify that some things are better than others. As indicated in my last post - we live in an age where it seems that every opinion is equally valid. But that's not the case. There are often objective, cultural and historic reasons why we can say one thing is better than another. I gave plenty of good examples. Of course people will have idividual lieks and dislikes, there are demands for different instruments in different scenarios and so on; but none of this negates the fact that we can objectively claim one sonic device to be better than another. For example - in singinig classical competitions we clearly differentiate better voices from worse ones. The winner is chosen (in a well run contest) on a whole bunch of objective criteria.

I mean, what are you (and others saying here)? Are you honestly saying that a Minimoog is not better than a Casio VL1? If you are, you are in the minority. There are many objective scientific, acoustic, electronic, musical and now historic reasons for stating objectively that the minimoog is among the very best synthesizer designs ever created.

None of this is a 'speech' by me - it's got nothing to do with me (and don't make this personal) - this is just objective reality. Of course I accept that there are roles for even a Casio VL1 that a Minimoog will not be suited to; but the broad point is valid.

You might not get the idea that there was a happanstance in analogue synthesizers that was a pinnacle of instument design and you may have been brought up on a different way of thinking, but that doesn't make it right. I've offered you objective reasons but you of course have the right not to heed them. But you'll be in the minority. But there are significant and culturally important reasons why the Hammond B3, the Minimoog and Moog 55, the CS80, the DX7, the CP80, Fender Rhodes and the handful of other classics are regarded as superior instuments. I can't believe I'm even having to qualify that. If you cannot see it then, in my opinion, you are not connected with culture and you are not open to that reality.

Of course there are many good synthesizers being released today; but certainly in the analogue, virtual analogue and VA plugin markets, absolutely none of them is achieving the sonic depth, flexibility and musicality of a Minimoog or CS80. This is why these instruments are so expensive - they are vintage in the truest sense of that word.

Kevin.
Last edited by knolan on Tue May 17, 2011 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by knolan » Tue May 17, 2011 9:22 am

balma wrote:I think flutes have a better sound than pianos. Because you can use your breath to modulate the amount of air passing through the holes , instead hitting keys like a madman. They are superior. Indeed. I have my point

Is the flute wonderful? Yes. Is it necessary? Yes. But to claim the flute to be a better sound than the piano is not how history has deemed it. You're fairly alone on that one.

Kevin.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue May 17, 2011 10:11 am

knolan wrote:Are you honestly saying that a Minimoog is not better than a Casio VL1?
Iirc you originally aimed your darts at 'digital' in general, as in: the whole digital domain in which contemporary synths are being made. Why compare a Minimoog with a Casio VL1 then? Why not compare it to the more contemporary synths? DSI? Alesis? I don't care which brand, tbh.. heck.. Native Instruments even.. ^_^ (oh do stop it CS!)

It's remarkable that you cling on to 40+ year old technology and hailing it as the best invention ever, beating the c**p out of anything else made later. Computers have improved, cars have improved, the space program has improved, planes have improved, medical health care has improved, working conditions have improved, social rights have improved, democratic rights have improved, tv sets have improved, audio has improved (hi fi 5.1, 7.1 compared to mono or stereo), picture quality has improved.. I could go on forever. And what you're saying that in all those years, synths haven't improved? Music technology has stalled since those early years? You think the early samplers (Fairlight, Sync, Emu) do a better job than, say, Gigasampler (and that's already a bit o' dated software these days)? You'll say that those early libraries of a few hundred KB per complete instrument do a better job than the multiple gigabytes per instrument these days?

Minimoog the best design? In those days perhaps, although (afaik) that machine was primarily aimed at people who couldn't make cheese from all those hundreds o' patch holes, let alone pay for them. As a sound designer I can say that the feature set of a Minimoog wouldn't appeal to me. I want more controls, more fine details... there's a valid reason why I stick to FM8. So from that standpoint I'll say the Minimoog is far too limited for me.

Do note that I've nothing against (old) analogue synths, or any other synth for that matter. But I feel that a lot of analogue purists talk in a deafening way, not by defending their analogue synths using their own merits, but by attacking digital/contemporary synths using ridiculous arguments. A bit like religious people who make a habit of claiming the truth and nothing but the truth, even if a more empirical point of view on certain matter is all around them. And that's my trigger; to stay firmly put in the soil.
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Re: Why analog?

Post by Primal Drive » Tue May 17, 2011 11:02 am

Bottom line: all musicians are wankers.

Regardless of what instrument they play (yours truly included), the ends to the means is to produce a self serving, self gratifying experience. Add to the mix a nasty bit of exhibitionism and here we all are.

The only difference between a successful "money shot" and some poor mook pounding his pud behind a locked door is how the endeavor is produced, technologically speaking.

Many musicians, regardless of creativity and skill, tend to make poor audio technicians. In my 42 years of playing live I've rarely experienced an instance where everyone was happy with the end results.

In the 70's - 80's guitar players complained that they weren't loud enough, even though they were drowning out everyone else. Drummers complained that their kick drums weren't booming enough. Bass players complained that the keyboards were stepping all over their notes. Blah, blah, blah to the power of infinity.

Then in the 90's - early 00's came the era of over compression. Live recorded drums sounded worse than the crappiest GM set ever made (I've played the drums since 1965). I've heard ARPs, model D's, EMU modulars, and several early Roland synths sound like bottom line Casios.

And it was all due to poor production. It had nothing to do with the sound of the instrument, it was all due to how it was mixed and how the sound's dynamics were treated during and after recording.

The worst of the lot that I heard came from people who made and mixed their own music. Most of them were/are very good musicians, but their personal bias towards sound ruined an otherwise brilliant performance.

The point I'm trying to make is, there is no difference between analog and digital when it comes to making music. The importance lies with how each instrument is utilized.

And because this is VSE, I feel compelled to add the following:

While there is a subtle audio difference between vintage and contemporary analog and digital synths, there are some instances where I find wonky old analog sounds irritating. Some may find this analogy a bit extreme, but it's like a Harley enthusiast revving his motorcycle just outside my window at 3:am. Harley's are cool, but some Harley riders are f**k idiots.

Anyway...what was the question?
And then she said, "What the f...?"

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Re: Why analog?

Post by computron » Tue May 17, 2011 11:26 am

Zamise wrote:Agree, tis sad and scary too... when I shut everything down and close my eyes at night, I get this feeling emanating from my analogs, that something in them is still awake, watching and waiting to get out like a spirit trapped inside a haunted house.


I agree I have only one synth and yea it analog that when I press a key I can feel a current in the air around my body.I sometimes say If any synth could kill this would be the one
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Re: Why analog?

Post by colmon » Tue May 17, 2011 11:51 am

knolan wrote:Analogue is better because it really is better, and if you disagree with me in any way I'm not going to attempt to back up my arguments at all, because it's obvious to anyone that you're wrong.
holy s**t that is some industrial grade trolling right there. good work, sir

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Re: Why analog?

Post by tekkentool » Tue May 17, 2011 12:21 pm

knolan wrote:(one of the reasons why Air's 'Moon Saffari' album did so well - they when back to a lot of basics, including with their synths
:lol: You know what other albums do well?
Image
Image

But how can the people enjoy this music when it isn't made using a whole bunch of analogue synthesizers? or being back to basics? :x

You keep s**t back to basics all the time and you end out with no musical evolution.
knolan wrote: Hence, many cherish old analogue because it enables pure playing, composition and experimentation in a way that preset synths do not.
I honestly can't believe you're trying to glorify lack of patch storage, this isn't even anything to do with analogue vs digital this is just features and usability. You can start again from scratch every time on digital synths too ya know? I do it, there's very few sounds I use from one track to the next (I have a really nice reese I made and that's about it).
knolan wrote: it now also includes the ARP 2600, Minimoog, Prophet 5, CS80, Fairlight, DX7, Emulator 2 and perhaps another handful or two vintage synthesizers. So these sounds are coveted for very correct reasons - they were successful in music which means that millions of people voted for them in purchasing hit records using them.


You don't seem to understand that the reason they're popular in their time was the inverse of why you like it now. They were used then because it WAS new and interesting, not because they were classic sounds with history behind them. This was why the strat was picked up for rock and roll, this is why giorgio moroder started putting his moog modular into disco. The use of synths in a historical setting works against them too, everyone loves these synths but it's difficult to use a lot of them without sounding dated. Stuff like tr909 snares and hats especially, can't use those without instantly dating your tracks (Unless you're creative :P)

These sounds were coveted, because they were modern at the time. You're missing the point.
knolan wrote: I mean, what are you (and others saying here)? Are you honestly saying that a Minimoog is not better than a Casio VL1? If you are, you are in the minority. There are many objective scientific, acoustic, electronic, musical and now historic reasons for stating objectively that the minimoog is among the very best synthesizer designs ever created.
But the mini doesn't have wavetable oscillators, can't sample, monophonic, only has 1 Lfo and you can't even layer 20 of them at once in a computer and still have them run in real time? How can you argue this is one of the best synth designs ever without those things? There's no subjectivity to it, some things are just better, are you really going to argue that being able to run 20 at once is inferior to the Minimoog which can't?

This is basically what you're arguing, Your Piano Argument is more like saying "A virus Ti2 is better than a microkorg" not an analogue to digital debate.

Get your f**k s**t together dude.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by zoomtheline » Tue May 17, 2011 12:29 pm

Like the original poster I too have not tried any of the old classic analogue synths so I cannot really comment but however I imagine that there must be a difference for this arguement to exist the way it does.
I have some analogue synths but while they are different in many ways I can create the same feel with the VA's I have too. (here's where I repeat myself) This was until I bought the ZV3 synth from a cool guy. I imagine this is the analogue sound that everyone harps on about! So thick, Raw and inconsistent and all in the best possible way.
It's so different to all my other (newer) synths that I don't want to try these classic synths as they might not even hold a torch to this little beast hehe.

Anyway, I guess my arguement is that My music needs the versatile sounds and parameters of new synths but the raw analogue sound certainly brings a warmth and real feel to the music too.
Nothing is better or worse just horses for courses and room for every type of instrument in music.

The bad thing about this arguement is the closed minde, elitest people that will not acknowledge others opinions to be valid.

Edit: and the Minimoog vs Casio VL arguement is retarded. to put it into perspective, I get 10times more mileage out of my pss380 than any other synth or even my above treasured analogue.

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Re: Why analog?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue May 17, 2011 1:09 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
knolan wrote:Are you honestly saying that a Minimoog is not better than a Casio VL1?
Iirc you originally aimed your darts at 'digital' in general, as in: the whole digital domain in which contemporary synths are being made. Why compare a Minimoog with a Casio VL1 then? Why not compare it to the more contemporary synths? DSI? Alesis? I don't care which brand, tbh.. heck.. Native Instruments even.. ^_^ (oh do stop it CS!)

It's remarkable that you cling on to 40+ year old technology and hailing it as the best invention ever, beating the c**p out of anything else made later. Computers have improved, cars have improved, the space program has improved, planes have improved, medical health care has improved, working conditions have improved, social rights have improved, democratic rights have improved, tv sets have improved, audio has improved (hi fi 5.1, 7.1 compared to mono or stereo), picture quality has improved.. I could go on forever. And what you're saying that in all those years, synths haven't improved? Music technology has stalled since those early years? You think the early samplers (Fairlight, Sync, Emu) do a better job than, say, Gigasampler (and that's already a bit o' dated software these days)? You'll say that those early libraries of a few hundred KB per complete instrument do a better job than the multiple gigabytes per instrument these days?
I think what he's saying is that he likes the Minimoog and the Minimoog is the best at sounding like a Minimoog, that's all. That and he's got some kind of complex which makes him try to write everything as though it's some well thought out argument.

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