Synths from the past to the future

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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RoboTremulant
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Synths from the past to the future

Post by RoboTremulant » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:08 am

1970's: Modular synthesizers and mono synths

1980's: Analogue polyphonic synthesizers and samplers

1990's: Digital synths and analogue modeling

2000's: VSTs, plug-ins and PC music

2010's: ?????

What's the next synthesis trend likely to be?

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:58 am

Modulars and analogue monosynths. We're two years into this decade, it's becoming more and more obvious.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:25 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Modulars and analogue monosynths. We're two years into this decade, it's becoming more and more obvious.
So, like the thread title says: Synths from the past to the future ;)

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by nathanscribe » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:38 am

Yet again, I paraphrase the film Labyrinth: "Sometimes, the way forwards is the way back."

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:12 pm

Acoustic modelling. Other than the broad term 'digital synthesis' there is no mentioning of physical modelling (like Yamaha's VL) in that list.

Currently, libraries get bigger and bigger, and are sometimes shipped on a harddisk even. I wonder how much longer this trend will continue. One aspect that keeps adding to library size (other than dynamics and articulations) is having round robin samples, as acoustic instruments simply sound a wee bit different each time you play them. I feel there's a world to win with acoustic modelling. So far I haven't really been impressed with acoustic modelling, perhaps except Pianoteq. Often, I have the impression acoustic modelled string/brass/wood instruments behave well, but they sound just wrong. With samples it's exactly the other way around: they sound great but their behaviour is static (and because of that: potentially cumbersome to use).

If not acoustic modelling, then I could at least mention something that could also be applied to more traditional synthesis. I think there could and should be more attention to the player, in a way that the synth also creates a player rather than expecting you to operate oodles o' controllers to get some liveliness. Complex envelopes and LFOs should be added, as well as functionality to infuse randomness in many or all parameters. In the time domain things should get more random too, with automatic timing differences (note-on delays) in unison situations. A synth creating a player should (when done intelligent) enable a keyboard player to play a keyboard while the synth creates a violinist. The synth makes the violinist player and emulates what a violinist would do.
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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by Rick N Boogie » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:53 pm

It does seem like we're at the near-dawn of an analog revival, with so many new analog synth's coming out. As much as I'd love to own some old ARP's or Oberheim's, being able to buy a brand spanking new analog synth with the addition of digital control, (presets, etc), is a huge plus for me. Moog, DSI, and now Arturia, among others, all have something to offer, and at much more reasonable prices than a vintage synth. It's a good time to be a synthesist.
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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by garranimal » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:27 am

I'm really surprised at how modular stuff has exploded lately. I'm far from wanting to dive into it but there are some really great sounding stuff both analog and DSP happening here.
RoboTremulant wrote:1970's: Modular synthesizers and mono synths

1980's: Analogue polyphonic synthesizers and samplers

1990's: Digital synths and analogue modeling

2000's: VSTs, plug-ins and PC music

2010's: ?????

What's the next synthesis trend likely to be?
So how about internet-generated music: music you make for free, or subscription rate, by visiting live apps running on webhosts? And it could happen the same way gaming and tv/movie entertainment is already heading. If electronic music-making would take the processing burden off the users machines then it could be placed on another party running the webhost. And you could have access to an almost infinite array of virtual synths, processors, recorders, sequencers, drum machines and mastering effects. Just imagine a complex virtual plugin for, say, the echo chambers of Capitol Records without burdening a single byte on your own CPU processor. You wouldn't even feel obligated to use the same piece of kit twice, like you do when you own a plugin or hardware. And maybe, just maybe, you could have access to some professional audio engineers on the other end to help you polish your mixes.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by Scories » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:38 am

There's not enough acoustic/physical modeling. My Korg Z1 has the option and I absolutely love the plucked string synthesis. The engineer behind the Z1 has died and they stopped producing the MOSS synths.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by mharris80 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:47 am

garranimal wrote:So how about internet-generated music: music you make for free, or subscription rate, by visiting live apps running on webhosts? And it could happen the same way gaming and tv/movie entertainment is already heading. If electronic music-making would take the processing burden off the users machines then it could be placed on another party running the webhost. And you could have access to an almost infinite array of virtual synths, processors, recorders, sequencers, drum machines and mastering effects. Just imagine a complex virtual plugin for, say, the echo chambers of Capitol Records without burdening a single byte on your own CPU processor. You wouldn't even feel obligated to use the same piece of kit twice, like you do when you own a plugin or hardware. And maybe, just maybe, you could have access to some professional audio engineers on the other end to help you polish your mixes.
A more feature-packed version of this would be awesome.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by zukskywalker » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:19 am

"All cloud everything"

"Synthesis" simply refers to the use of the tools of the time to re/create sound/music. Right? Follows then that given the "newest" tools of our time, i.e. stupendous computing horsepower everywhere... it will be used...is being used...by us...this very moment...even if you're reading this on a phone. In which case if you are then you've undoubtedly got at least a few synth apps along with a couple real books and an assortment of players. The entire industrial line from start to finish in one hand. What?

Anyway, I think modeling is the new trick and that this new system of creation and distribution is a whole new horizon.

We'll probably end up with very little need for "gear" except for the necessary/desired interface.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by Explorer » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:09 pm

GuyaGuy wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Modulars and analogue monosynths. We're two years into this decade, it's becoming more and more obvious.
So, like the thread title says: Synths from the past to the future ;)
More like: Synths from the past ALSO in the future.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by SSquirrel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:55 pm


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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:48 pm

First of all, digital synths were all the rage in the 80s.
Second of all, the analog voltage-controlled synthesizer wasn't invented in the 70s.
Third of all, there is a whole gigantic chain of synthesizer-like devices going all the way back to the turn of the century, some which actually contained the name "synthesizer."
Last edited by Automatic Gainsay on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by Cumulus » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:51 pm

The Telharmonium is the future of electronic music.

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Re: Synths from the past to the future

Post by garranimal » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:11 pm

And the Novachord. I have a hard enough time getting replacement transistors for my old 70s Stringer.

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