Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

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vox345
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Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by vox345 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:37 am

I kind of asked this before but asking again more specifically .Do not reply if you don’t know what yer talking about.This is not another analog vs digital train wreck thread or anything.

Bare with me if this is ridiculous. I’m an analog noob and learned most of what I know from reading synth forums which can be misleading.

Take a high quality digital synth that literally, scientifically has no aliasing/stepping fall/other digital ‘bad’ elements that can be heard by humans. (Which ones are like that? just curious). You’d have a sound that sounds the same to people as an analog signal minus the analog fatness/harmonics/grit/lushness/etc?
IOW, the elements that make up the analog fatness/gritty/lushness, which are more specifically called harmonics, and are extra layered sounds and random fluctuations along with the main sound, right? Is it possible to layer all those harmonics with said high quality digi synth and randomize everything and program unpredictability to create the analog harmonics and end up with something that sounds exactly the same as analog to the human ear? ‘Exactly’, except that it would be impossibly/near impossible to mimic every single little detail, but ‘close enough’?
I doubt any hardware synth can modulate this extensively and randomize and fluctuate everything, and I’m under the impression that softsynths just can’t emit a signal that doesn’t have some sort of stepping fall/aliasing that scientifically sounds the same as a raw analog signal. Can the signal from a high quality enough digi synth be edited in software and not lose sound quality to add all the tweaks and make it literally sound just like analog in the end? I guess the sort of things I’d add to the digi synth would be tons of very quiet layered oscs, some supersaws, white noise, distortion, phasing, fx, randomize pitch drift, etc, same for filters, just modulate the heck outa them with pre filter distortion etc, not sure cause some/all analog filters are so elaborate that they give off notably different harmonics throughout a sweep/any different point of cut off. I’m told there’s nothing out there that can modulate a digi LFO or envelope to mimic analog’s behavior, so this is just about the sound/oscs then.
If not, can this be done eventually? I’m trying to understand the justification to maybe wanting analog. Not that what I’m asking can be done cheap, just wondering about this, and will maybe finally understand the analogue craze. You get what I’m asking though, right? Thanks and have a good day.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by ApolloBoy » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:49 am

You know, it would really help if you split up your post into paragraphs, I can't read any of it when it's all mashed up like that.
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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by Alex E » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:17 am

Uhm. Virtual Analog?
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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:27 am

The 'stepping fall' you keep referring to is related to the sample rate, and that most softsynths are oversampled (many by quite a bit). A sample-based digital synth may exhibit this behavior. Most virtual analog softsynths and hardware synthesizers will not exhibit 'stepping fall' (as you keep calling it) because they are continuously calculating the waveform not playing back a sample at a fixed rate.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:09 am

I think the real answer to your question is "no, you do not need to buy analog." 99.9999% of the time, if you mix a complete song made up of several digital synth parts, nobody at all will be able to tell if any of the synths you used were analog, so it doesn't matter what you use. by the time you're done with your mixdown, if you have done a real good job making your music, the listener will absolutely not care.

now, of course there are good musicians that can really bring out the sweetness of a vintage analog synth, the same way a good wine maker can make an amazing bottle of wine with the right grapes and location, but the truth is you can make pretty good wine in California or Australia without having to make it in France or Italy, if you know what you're doing. you can make amazing songs with an MS2000, Supernova, Virus, or Nord Lead, no problem.

there is no need to break your neck trying to add imperfections to modern digital synths and softsynths because most of those little nuances in analog synths are only really appreciated by nerds like us who listen to synth parts individually. most people will listen to synths mixed in songs with lots of EQ, reverb, compression, and eventually even degradation to mp3. most of what matters is synth programming skills, composition and most of all, MIXING. not gear.

seriously, don't spend any extra money, unless you just want to spend extra money. if you run into audible problems when you sweep with a specific digital synth, then look for an analog synth, but until then you have nothing to worry about.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:22 am

vox345 wrote:This is not another analog vs digital train wreck thread or anything.
I doubt that very much.
vox345 wrote:...I’m under the impression that softsynths just can’t emit a signal that doesn’t have some sort of stepping fall/aliasing that scientifically sounds the same as a raw analog signal. Can the signal from a high quality enough digi synth be edited in software and not lose sound quality to add all the tweaks and make it literally sound just like analog in the end?
Does an analogue synth sound the same when you record it digitally? Yes. There is nothing about digital audio that precludes the reproduction of sounds that are made by analogue synths.
vox345 wrote:I guess the sort of things I’d add to the digi synth would be tons of very quiet layered oscs, some supersaws, white noise, distortion, phasing, fx, randomize pitch drift, etc, same for filters, just modulate the heck outa them with pre filter distortion etc, not sure cause some/all analog filters are so elaborate that they give off notably different harmonics throughout a sweep/any different point of cut off.
Supersaws? Really? There's nothing more digital sounding than supersaws. Why don't you actually get a synth and do this to it, see what happens. It would be a horrible mess I think.
vox345 wrote:I’m told there’s nothing out there that can modulate a digi LFO or envelope to mimic analog’s behavior, so this is just about the sound/oscs then.
No, you've been told the opposite, repeatedly.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:53 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
vox345 wrote:I’m told there’s nothing out there that can modulate a digi LFO or envelope to mimic analog’s behavior, so this is just about the sound/oscs then.
No, you've been told the opposite, repeatedly.

He'd probably have kittens as soon as he realized how many 'analog' synths use 'digi LFO or envelope'

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by nathanscribe » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:09 am

bouzoukijoe1 wrote:most of what matters is synth programming skills, composition and most of all, MIXING. not gear.
Quite.

If you want to add analogue imperfections to a digital synth, you can do so with careful programming and intelligent processing. It's that simple.
Last edited by nathanscribe on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by cgren72 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:02 pm

I am pretty sure supersaw is a waveform made by roland to emulate analog. Like stab said, its pretty digital. It doesn't use 8 or 7 oscillators or whatever, its just a waveform. as far as i know.
And plus, most of the bands that you may be trying to sound like most likely don't use analog. at least if they are newish/after 1990.

But supersaw would probably be good for you, there is nothing wrong with digital.

Reasons for analog are that they are sometimes more fun, sometimes a little easier to use (sometimes alot more difficult), used to be inexpensive when digital was booming. :lol: etc etc. NOT because they sound better. If you give a good programmer a decent digital synth and a little time, they will make sounds that will make analog seem boring and thin.
Last edited by cgren72 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by cgren72 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:11 pm

Ashe37 wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
vox345 wrote:I’m told there’s nothing out there that can modulate a digi LFO or envelope to mimic analog’s behavior, so this is just about the sound/oscs then.
No, you've been told the opposite, repeatedly.

He'd probably have kittens as soon as he realized how many 'analog' synths use 'digi LFO or envelope'
Seriously, some of my favorite lfos on my analogs are digital.. that doesn't make them sound "skinny." they sound great.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by tekkentool » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:45 pm

I would not give so much of a f**k about whether or not it sounds "Analogue" or "digital" and start asking if it sounds good or bad. Start making some music and having fun with it, if you find there is a certain quality that cannot be attained with whatever tools you're using, seek a synthesizer that will supply you with that tone and go for it.

But please don't be so worried about if it's analogue or digital sounding, they're just methods of tone production, not descriptors of sound.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by Psy_Free » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:49 pm

tekkentool wrote:I would not give so much of a f**k about whether or not it sounds "Analogue" or "digital" and start asking if it sounds good or bad. Start making some music and having fun with it, if you find there is a certain quality that cannot be attained with whatever tools you're using, seek a synthesizer that will supply you with that tone and go for it.

But please don't be so worried about if it's analogue or digital sounding, they're just methods of tone production, not descriptors of sound.
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To the OP : If a synth sounds good to you and you like playing/programming it, then that is all that really matters. Its internal architecture is pretty much irrelevant.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by blavatsky » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:25 pm

Answer posted above, processing and programming. Alot of VAs have stuff like stability/analog drift options too where you can make it sound less stable.


For processing, on a sterile VA synth I really like the roland SP series (samplers) vinyl effect.
You can add flutter/wow, a little bit of dust noise, then filter the high end out a little - to me it give a very lofi and pleasing BOC type effect to even a weedy boring VA tone.
Last edited by blavatsky on Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:37 pm

vox345 wrote:I kind of asked this before but asking again more specifically .Do not reply if you don’t know what yer talking about.This is not another analog vs digital train wreck thread or anything.

Bare with me if this is ridiculous. I’m an analog noob and learned most of what I know from reading synth forums which can be misleading.

Take a high quality digital synth that literally, scientifically has no aliasing/stepping fall/other digital ‘bad’ elements that can be heard by humans. (Which ones are like that? just curious). You’d have a sound that sounds the same to people as an analog signal minus the analog fatness/harmonics/grit/lushness/etc?
IOW, the elements that make up the analog fatness/gritty/lushness, which are more specifically called harmonics, and are extra layered sounds and random fluctuations along with the main sound, right? Is it possible to layer all those harmonics with said high quality digi synth and randomize everything and program unpredictability to create the analog harmonics and end up with something that sounds exactly the same as analog to the human ear? ‘Exactly’, except that it would be impossibly/near impossible to mimic every single little detail, but ‘close enough’?
I doubt any hardware synth can modulate this extensively and randomize and fluctuate everything, and I’m under the impression that softsynths just can’t emit a signal that doesn’t have some sort of stepping fall/aliasing that scientifically sounds the same as a raw analog signal. Can the signal from a high quality enough digi synth be edited in software and not lose sound quality to add all the tweaks and make it literally sound just like analog in the end? I guess the sort of things I’d add to the digi synth would be tons of very quiet layered oscs, some supersaws, white noise, distortion, phasing, fx, randomize pitch drift, etc, same for filters, just modulate the heck outa them with pre filter distortion etc, not sure cause some/all analog filters are so elaborate that they give off notably different harmonics throughout a sweep/any different point of cut off. I’m told there’s nothing out there that can modulate a digi LFO or envelope to mimic analog’s behavior, so this is just about the sound/oscs then.
If not, can this be done eventually? I’m trying to understand the justification to maybe wanting analog. Not that what I’m asking can be done cheap, just wondering about this, and will maybe finally understand the analogue craze. You get what I’m asking though, right? Thanks and have a good day.
It really depends on whether you want analogue or analog. I know it's a hot topic and if you search "analogue vs. analog" you'll found countless debates, but you just have to look up GainstageAutomatique's YouTube videos to witness the empirical evidence. It's been demonstrated repeatedly with controlled tests using triple-rectifier oscilloscopes that analogue synthesis sounds at least 10-15% warmer and arguably 20% more organic than analog synthesis. Facts don't lie. But what is debatable is the cause. Some claim the 220V of analogue create a hotter sound and the 110V of analog makes the sound thinner. Some claim that Godwin's law dictates that the Goebbels effect contributes, but I do not see how. In any case, I think we are as a society past the analogue AND analog age. The most interesting synths out now are virtual digital.

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Re: Make high quality digi synth sound Exactly analogue

Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:47 pm

vox345 wrote:Do not reply if you don’t know what yer talking about.
Do bugger off, there's a good chap.

Warm regards,

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