I Dream of Wires

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by s o l v e n t » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:18 am

AG,

Glad I was able to clarify things for you, and hopefully (it sounds like) I've helped put your mind at ease about lack of Moog representation that you perceived...

1 more point I wanted to address: I don't think Paul Schreiber's comment is sad, or something for you or anyone associated with Moog ought to feel negatively about, at all. Perhaps the way it came out in the trailer was sort of taking it out of context - basically what he was doing was criticizing the "vintage is better" argument, that these old parts are somehow superior and that things today can't be made to sound as good. He considers this a myth, and from an engineering standpoint, thinks that the parts available today are superior and every bit as capable, and more so, than the parts that Bob Moog had access to. He was a very unique and interesting interview, because he seemed to insist that he has almost no musical or sonic interest in what he creates, that he approaches his work entirely from an engineering standpoint... Very difficult to believe considering how fantastic his designs sound! Anyway, I highly doubt that he anything but the utmost respect for Bob Moog - the comment was really about the parts and the "vintage myth" as he sees it, not undermining Moog's work or significance at all.

Jason

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:27 am

s o l v e n t wrote:AG,

Glad I was able to clarify things for you, and hopefully (it sounds like) I've helped put your mind at ease about lack of Moog representation that you perceived...

1 more point I wanted to address: I don't think Paul Schreiber's comment is sad, or something for you or anyone associated with Moog ought to feel negatively about, at all. Perhaps the way it came out in the trailer was sort of taking it out of context - basically what he was doing was criticizing the "vintage is better" argument, that these old parts are somehow superior and that things today can't be made to sound as good. He considers this a myth, and from an engineering standpoint, thinks that the parts available today are superior and every bit as capable, and more so, than the parts that Bob Moog had access to. He was a very unique and interesting interview, because he seemed to insist that he has almost no musical or sonic interest in what he creates, that he approaches his work entirely from an engineering standpoint... Very difficult to believe considering how fantastic his designs sound! Anyway, I highly doubt that he anything but the utmost respect for Bob Moog - the comment was really about the parts and the "vintage myth" as he sees it, not undermining Moog's work or significance at all.

Jason
Well, fair enough.

1. I am not associated with Moog. I am associated with the Bob Moog Foundation. :)

2. Irrespective of that association, I'm an avid vintage synthesizer enthusiast, musician, and composer. When I'm not working, I spend my time demonstrating vintage synthesizers to the world, and showing specifically why analog synthesizers are desirable. As such, I respond very negatively to the notion that vintage synthesizers don't possess something that modern devices don't. While I recognize that MUCH of what goes on on the internet is actually hype, and there is an unfounded status associated with vintage/analog equipment... one can't deny that synthesists, engineers, manufacturers, musicians, and sometimes fans recognize that there IS a quality in vintage equipment that is missing from some modern equipment.
As a guy who spends all of my free time finding ways to show you that that's true, you'll have to understand if I take umbrage to the statement that it isn't. :)

Let's recall that engineers sometimes miss the point... the original EML engineers thought 6dB per oct was going to cut it.
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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by s o l v e n t » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:46 am

Well, that is Paul's opinion, he's entitled to it, and we are happy to include his and the whole range of other different opinions, as we have no agenda -- IDOW is simply an exploration and snapshot of the modular synthesizer resurgence.

Personally, I have been collecting and using vintage synthesizers for about 20 years. I love them. That being said, at the moment I am far more excited by the sounds and experiences I am having with my new-ish eurorack modular system. I'm not saying it's inherently better, but I have been using vintage classic synths for a very long time now, and I needed something different to shake me up and change my ways of thinking about synthesis. I was never going to be able to afford a vintage Moog Modular, and to be perfectly honest, my recent experience with a Model 15 left me underwhelmed. Not that it didn't sound FANTASTIC - it does - but I have had many Moogs in my studio over the years, and what I want now is analog and voltage controlled instruments that sound and feel like something I haven't experienced before. Eurorack has absolutely satiated my lust for acquiring more vintage synths... I will still keep what I have around, and use them, but honestly I personally am going to have to agree with Paul's opinion that the "older is better" argument is a bit of a myth. Not that this opinion of mine will shape what does and doesn't get covered in the film... but that is what I think, just as what you think is what you think!

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:19 am

I've never been a "agree to disagree" sort of guy, but it is pointless to try to change a person's creative perception.

That being said, I can understand why a System 15 might be not what a person wants. It really depends on what your intentions and creative inspirations are. I know plenty of people who think the Moog Prodigy is worth... anything.

The only thing that I ask is that people's personal intentions not be passed as objective intentions. While everyone's tastes vary, there are objective truths.

As a guy who spent NAMM demonstrating a 22-oscillator Moog modular, I can tell you that anyone who thinks that Moog modulars are limited has either A. Been playing a modular of limited functionality, or B. knows nothing about additive synthesis, or C. Does not realize what linear electronics can do in the way of tone. And that's fine- "to each his own" is a statement which adequately addresses a person's creative intentions. Physics, however, can't easily be dismissed.

But personal intent and objective truth are often two different things. Ultimately, a person with a Moog modular with enough oscillators, envelopes, and CV control devices can match anything created by anything else... but with better tone (subjective? I don't know... ask the guys who made the Moog modular so expensive). The Moog modular was not limited to subtractive synthesis. These days, synthesizers are viewed by many as a three-oscillator device to make "leads or basses," or a modular device to reproduce "beatz." My goal, job, and passion is showing people that these devices were designed to, and capable of, creating a tremendous breadth of sounds still not yet created, and that's what I do. I know you don't know who I am, or what I do, but I promise you that millions of people view what I do, and tens of thousands of them, at least, come away having a better grasp of how synthesis can be used.

I'll probably never be able to afford a large Moog modular either, but give me enough oscillators, envelopes, and CV controllers, and I'll match anything eurorack manufacturers can ever come up with. And that's what I think. :)
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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by Bitexion » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:31 am

I can do surprisingly cool timbres with just 3 VCO's in my modular synth. Not just plug them into a mixer separately, but plugging them into eachother and play around with VCO range. They have a switch that flips between +/- 1 octave or "wide", 0.3Hz-20Khz. Or hardsyncing 3 oscillators together with different waveforms, mess with ringmodulator. That's when you get into SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE territory.

My VCOs (Analogue Systems RS-95) also have a modulatable "shape" input (and knob) that varies the timbre from ramp saw via sine to 180 degree saw. That's also fun to play with. Not just turn the knob back and forth, but modulating with audio range signals.
All the levels start distorting the signal above 4 (out of 6), both on mixer, filters and VCA. So I can restrain it by keeping all levels below 4, or get saturation above 4.

Can't imagine having 9 of the things. If you only restrict yourself to doing subtractive sounds, more VCOs will only sound more mushy. Start using those CV inputs with other VCOs though..Mmmmm.

h**l, even using a VCO output to set the step sequencer clock speed can give you a huge range of timbres. It's like a harmonic generator where the timbre changes when you tweak the individual steps in the sequencer.

You can control the pitch somewhat too. Not perfectly though.

Damn, now I want to play with it again..but I have to go to work :(

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by Computer Controlled » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:17 am

Eurorack is the most forward thinking of the Modular world. All of the 5u guys are mostly trying to still be Moog like, right down to the looks. The only system that is trying to be different on all fronts is Modcan. They are pure class.
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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by CZ Rider » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:19 am

Wow, you guys learning to play Moog 15's and 22 oscillator Moogs are making me feel like I'm a little slooooow. :D
Seriously, it took me several months just to begin to learn the little subtleties in the Moog CP-3 mixer. Let alone all the other functions and various patching schemes, like patching the negative CP-3 output through the 905 reverb, and feeding it back into the mixer, and figuring out where it begins to asymmetrically clip and how to use it. Or a dozen other interesting ways to patch those same modules. And I'm no newb with modular synthesizers, I purchased my first Aries module way back in 1978. Still it took me many months of playing daily to even begin to grasp he tonal possibilities and how to control them. And it took me a least a year before I could even write an informative opinion on what I thought a Moog modular was and what I believed it was capable of.
I'll admit to still learning, and being perhaps in only the small 1% of modular user types. And I can really appreciate how some modulars just don't inspire while others do. I also have a very large MOTM sysem since early the 00's that collects dust, while the crappy old Moog gets played daily. Paul S. did the best he could with what parts and technology that were available at the time. But the sound just does not inspire me the way the Moog does. A personal choice, but the Moog tone just resonates with me. And more than that, the Moog patching scheme makes more sense to me and my playing style.
To me that is my main draw to a vast instrument like a Moog modular. Always discovering something new in an instrument. (That some might find old, outdated, and boring.) When I sit before my small unpatched 3 oscillator Moog, I see a blank canvas that I can paint any tone color I want within reason. A modular is as limited as the person patching/playing it. It's the first thing I turn on when I come home from work, and the last thing I turn off when I go to sleep. Can't ask for more that that from any instrument.
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PS: Watching those IDOW previews, I know I belong to the 1% group!

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by suitandtieguy » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:54 am

Computer Controlled wrote:Eurorack is the most forward thinking of the Modular world. All of the 5u guys are mostly trying to still be Moog like, right down to the looks.
i actually need to take issue with this. i am the only Moog-format modular maker who goes out of his way to look as much like RA Moog period modular gear as possible, from the graphics and typography to the panel printing and fabrication techniques.

also i make some pretty forward-thinking s**t. like sequencing modules that hook into a sync 24 bus to cut down on patching and speed up workflow, and introduce new performance techniques like changing the rate of a sequence on the next downbeat. yes i make (presumably) backwards-thinking s**t like the only Moog CP3-based mixer in modularland, but i'm releasing a digital VCA next month. who the h**l is making a digital VCA right now?

or what about Doug Slocum's Segwencer. that's crazy unique. also Roger Arrick (who brought Moog format back from the dead with Synthesizers.com) designed the best voltage quantiser in modular synth land period up to this point, one that is able to even calibrate itself.

Eric Barbour can talk a lot of incorrect s**t if he wants when there's a camera pointed at him, but Moog format is very definitely not stuck in the seventies.
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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by synthshaw » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:14 am

This looks great, nice to see John Foxx still tinkering with analogue.

I remember having a Digisound modular in the 80s, i felt rather lucky at the time, considering 'new' analogue gear was thin on the ground and digital was taking over.

We really are spoilt for choice now, and this documentary clearly shows that.

Looking forward to watching it in full.

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:20 am

Computer Controlled wrote:Eurorack is the most forward thinking of the Modular world. All of the 5u guys are mostly trying to still be Moog like, right down to the looks. The only system that is trying to be different on all fronts is Modcan. They are pure class.
imho, misconception. MOTM/Synth Tech has bridged to eurorack, but innovated a lot in 5U well beyond Moog's original modular. and Schreiber continues to break new ground in both converting his 5U modules to euro as well as developing new ones straight to euro. awesome stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOTM
http://www.synthtech.com/
http://www.analoguehaven.com/synthesistechnology/

Synthetic Sound Labs too.

http://www.steamsynth.com/ModulesMU.aspx

not just that, but some of the most innovative eurorack designers are, and continue to be inspired by Serge and Buchla. there's lots of innovation in euro, but the connection to history is very strong, so I wouldn't really say euro is most forward thinking. they all are, really (well, almost). I would just say that euro is maybe the most active in terms of sales, new companies, and releasing new modules.

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by pflosi » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:02 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Ultimately, a person with a Moog modular with enough oscillators, envelopes, and CV control devices can match anything created by anything else...
No, you won't be able to precisely create non-periodic, non-repeating waveforms (vulgo noise) just with additive synthesis. :mrgreen:

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by s o l v e n t » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:41 pm

CZ Rider wrote:PS: Watching those IDOW previews, I know I belong to the 1% group!
What is this "1% group" concept that you refer to? The people interviewed are a collection of individuals with vastly different opinions, preference and approaches, so as far as I'm concerned anyone who is passionate about modular synthesizers is part of the same 100%.

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by s o l v e n t » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:58 pm

suitandtieguy wrote:Eric Barbour can talk a lot of incorrect s**t if he wants when there's a camera pointed at him, but Moog format is very definitely not stuck in the seventies.
He was really talking more about the typical 5u-user, the same people that Andreas Schneider refers to as "generation 60+" - the older guys reliving their Tangerine Dream youth fantasies now through 5U, many of whom want only classic Moog style sounds and modules. Those guys probably won't be buying your digital VCAs! Of course there are also many exceptions in the 5U world, both in users and manufacturers. Surely you can recognize some truth in this, even if it doesn't fit to you (which I know it doesn't!)? Eric is trying to rile people up and it worked! I find it hilarious personally.

BTW IDOW's director Robert is a 5u user, with a Dotcom system. I've also used it and love it. His selection of modules is very meat and potatoes but it sounds fantastic. With some more interesting modules in there, I could really see myself preferring the 5U experience over Euro. I would definitely like to branch out into 5u myself at some point, if/when I can afford to...

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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:33 am

pflosi wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:Ultimately, a person with a Moog modular with enough oscillators, envelopes, and CV control devices can match anything created by anything else...
No, you won't be able to precisely create non-periodic, non-repeating waveforms (vulgo noise) just with additive synthesis. :mrgreen:

I have no idea what "vulgo noise" is. So, perhaps that is my shorcoming... but you are easily able to create non-periodic non-repeating waveforms with additive synthesis. You just need a lot of sine waves, a lot of envelopes, and some means to initiate triggering.
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Re: I Dream of Wires

Post by rjd2 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:06 am

Holy s**t this thread smells like f**k nerd

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