If you could design the perfect synth

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
xanadu97
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:00 am
Gear: DIY Modular
Monotron

If you could design the perfect synth

Post by xanadu97 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:11 am

What would it be? How many oscillators? What kind of filter(s)? Polyphony? Modular, semi-modular, not modular (is there a name for that?), etc.

User avatar
Z
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3504
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:08 am
Gear: Bubble wrap, Styrofoam, boxes, packing tape
Location: Docking Bay 94 (Dallas, TX)
Contact:

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Z » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:05 am

There never will be a perfect synth. I rather like have a few synths that excel in different areas.
xanadu97 wrote:not modular (is there a name for that?),
Hardwired

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Hybrid88 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:53 am

For me the original V-Synth comes as close as one can to a perfect synth, although there's still things I'd change about it.

ravenmek
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by ravenmek » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:55 am

a 4 digital OSC (wavetables, samples, FM, even with a joystick for vector synthesis) with analog SVF filters (8 for polyphony), distortion, 4 ADSR envelopes, 3 LFOs (including S&H). At the end, an analog chorus and spring reverb for the solos. A big ribbon controller, CS80 style, a XY pad for parameter controlling, and a trigger button for one of the envelopes). Poly AT is a must!!! and instead of a pitch wheel, a pitch stick like the Nord keyboards.

User avatar
Dr. Phibes
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 524
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:12 am
Location: UK

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Dr. Phibes » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:11 am

Something that unfailingly makes my balls almost vibrate out my scrotum.

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:06 pm

Monophonic or polyphonic, wouldn´t matter as they would use the same architecture anyway:

- three LFOs, one for global modulation (vibrato etc.), two more elaborate (sync, reset, variable frequency ranges, voltage-controllable)

- three VCOs with two linear and two exponential FM inputs, PWM/phase modulation by various sources, hard sync, output of each VCO routable to various VCFs/resonators via potentiometers

- Noise, sample & hold (with various inputs and clocks, think ARP Odyssey)

- Ringmodulator (various input sources, level controllable using LFOs and/or envelopes), output routable to various VCFs/resonators

- Multimode VCF: switchable 12/18/24 dB response, high/band/lowpass, four individual FM control inputs, output switchable between VCF to Resonator or vice versa, direct output to VCA

- Resonator: think Synton Syrinx, output routable directly to output VCA, input either from VCF or output to VCF

- three DADSR envelopes, various triggering options, invertable, two with selectable loop modes and wide range (think Prophet VS)

- Stereo Output Stage with mixer section for VCF/Resonator output, VCO 1-3 sinewave straight to VCA (think Yamaha CS80), Amplitude modulation by various sources (envelopes and LFOs, VCO for overdrive), stereo panning modulation

- Five-octave keyboard with aftertouch and velocity (think Yamaha CS80), controlling various parameters.

Oh, and a sound to die for.

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

User avatar
Z
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3504
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:08 am
Gear: Bubble wrap, Styrofoam, boxes, packing tape
Location: Docking Bay 94 (Dallas, TX)
Contact:

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Z » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:09 pm

ravenmek wrote:a 4 digital OSC (wavetables, samples, FM, even with a joystick for vector synthesis) with analog SVF filters (8 for polyphony), distortion, 4 ADSR envelopes, 3 LFOs (including S&H). At the end, an analog chorus and spring reverb for the solos. A big ribbon controller, CS80 style, a XY pad for parameter controlling, and a trigger button for one of the envelopes). Poly AT is a must!!! and instead of a pitch wheel, a pitch stick like the Nord keyboards.
You have almost described the John Bowen Solaris. In my original post, I was going to state that the Solaris could be as close to a perfect synth as any. But as I stated before, I like having several synths with their own strengths.

User avatar
Walter Ego
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:17 pm
Gear: Various noisemakers hidden around my home and classroom. And a great quantity of caffeine.
Band: 12"VS
Location: Near Boston

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Walter Ego » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:17 pm

Dr. Phibes wrote:Something that unfailingly makes my balls almost vibrate out my scrotum.
Yeah, I'm on board with that one. Screw the specs--on with the vibrating testes! :mrgreen:
Walter Ego
seamonkey wrote:I nominate this for STUPIDEST THREAD ever in the history of the internez. ;)

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Bitexion » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:43 pm

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:Monophonic or polyphonic, wouldn´t matter as they would use the same architecture anyway:

- three LFOs, one for global modulation (vibrato etc.), two more elaborate (sync, reset, variable frequency ranges, voltage-controllable)

- three VCOs with two linear and two exponential FM inputs, PWM/phase modulation by various sources, hard sync, output of each VCO routable to various VCFs/resonators via potentiometers

- Noise, sample & hold (with various inputs and clocks, think ARP Odyssey)

- Ringmodulator (various input sources, level controllable using LFOs and/or envelopes), output routable to various VCFs/resonators

- Multimode VCF: switchable 12/18/24 dB response, high/band/lowpass, four individual FM control inputs, output switchable between VCF to Resonator or vice versa, direct output to VCA

- Resonator: think Synton Syrinx, output routable directly to output VCA, input either from VCF or output to VCF

- three DADSR envelopes, various triggering options, invertable, two with selectable loop modes and wide range (think Prophet VS)

- Stereo Output Stage with mixer section for VCF/Resonator output, VCO 1-3 sinewave straight to VCA (think Yamaha CS80), Amplitude modulation by various sources (envelopes and LFOs, VCO for overdrive), stereo panning modulation

- Five-octave keyboard with aftertouch and velocity (think Yamaha CS80), controlling various parameters.

Oh, and a sound to die for.

Stephen
90% of that is in the Alesis Ion already.

ColorForm2113
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 593
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:20 am
Gear: tin cans and rubber bands
Band: Me twiddling in the corner...
Location: CHICAGO-ish

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by ColorForm2113 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:14 pm

If Hans Zimmers studio can be considered one synth, then it would be that lol.

I don't think I could design a reasonable "perfect synth" because I would just keep adding more and more to it. But I think it be something like the Schmidt
My modular so far: Q104, Q106, Q107, Q108, Q109 x2 , Q116, Q118, Q127 w/Q140, Q130, STG Wave Folder, playing with Moog Voyager, VX-351, CP-251, MF-104M (x2 STEREO!)

User avatar
Kenneth
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 326
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:57 am
Real name: Kenneth
Gear: Nothing I own will make you jealous.
Band: KGB
Location: Minnesota
Contact:

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by Kenneth » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:38 pm

Bitexion wrote:
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:Monophonic or polyphonic, wouldn´t matter as they would use the same architecture anyway:

- three LFOs, one for global modulation (vibrato etc.), two more elaborate (sync, reset, variable frequency ranges, voltage-controllable)

- three VCOs with two linear and two exponential FM inputs, PWM/phase modulation by various sources, hard sync, output of each VCO routable to various VCFs/resonators via potentiometers

- Noise, sample & hold (with various inputs and clocks, think ARP Odyssey)

- Ringmodulator (various input sources, level controllable using LFOs and/or envelopes), output routable to various VCFs/resonators

- Multimode VCF: switchable 12/18/24 dB response, high/band/lowpass, four individual FM control inputs, output switchable between VCF to Resonator or vice versa, direct output to VCA

- Resonator: think Synton Syrinx, output routable directly to output VCA, input either from VCF or output to VCF

- three DADSR envelopes, various triggering options, invertable, two with selectable loop modes and wide range (think Prophet VS)

- Stereo Output Stage with mixer section for VCF/Resonator output, VCO 1-3 sinewave straight to VCA (think Yamaha CS80), Amplitude modulation by various sources (envelopes and LFOs, VCO for overdrive), stereo panning modulation

- Five-octave keyboard with aftertouch and velocity (think Yamaha CS80), controlling various parameters.

Oh, and a sound to die for.

Stephen
90% of that is in the Alesis Ion already.
??

The Ion doesn't have VCOs or VCFs or VCAs or VC ANYTHING. I think you missed that bit.
Comparison is the thief of joy.

ravenmek
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by ravenmek » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:45 pm

Z wrote:
ravenmek wrote:a 4 digital OSC (wavetables, samples, FM, even with a joystick for vector synthesis) with analog SVF filters (8 for polyphony), distortion, 4 ADSR envelopes, 3 LFOs (including S&H). At the end, an analog chorus and spring reverb for the solos. A big ribbon controller, CS80 style, a XY pad for parameter controlling, and a trigger button for one of the envelopes). Poly AT is a must!!! and instead of a pitch wheel, a pitch stick like the Nord keyboards.
You have almost described the John Bowen Solaris. In my original post, I was going to state that the Solaris could be as close to a perfect synth as any. But as I stated before, I like having several synths with their own strengths.
I know! I would love to try one, but buying a 4000 dollars synth in my country is like saving 2 years of my salary :D

User avatar
griffin avid
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1568
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:08 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by griffin avid » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:00 pm

My ultimate synth would be a single main body with interchangeable parts.
NOT a Modular, but have a modular design. Sort of like the Elektron drum machine with the keyboard you could slap on the side. Some synths have upgrade paths where you can add extra chips in for more voices....

Old drum machines used to have expandable memory and Roland (SRX) and some Studio Electronics pieces take cards. I would love to be into something that can be expanded over time.

It would then be customized by you and fit your system.
Live player? Probably gets the largest keyboard version and tons of polyphony.
Studio guy might want the drum pad section and NOT the step-sequencer option.
Someone else goes for the expanded RAM chips and Internal Hard Drive for sampling/storage.

So the basic body is a wide rectangle, 2 modules wide.
Sampler slaps on top.
Drum pads slap on left, step sequencer connects on the right...
If you go with 37 keys, there's room for another module on right or left.

But like a modular, you'd pick the internals when you order the main housing.
Music Product: Better Sounds for Beats http://www.StudioAVX.com
Music Production: Resources and Research http://www.ProducersEdgeMagazine.com
Music Produced: Abstract Hip Hop Sci-Fi: http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by CS_TBL » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:17 pm

I wouldn't design a synth, there's more than plenty of 'm.

I'd rather try to design a composing tool, some kind of advanced polyphonic arpeggiator, something like a desktop model you could integrate into a rack o' synths, something multi-timbral etc.
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

User avatar
bochelli
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 482
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:57 pm
Gear: minimoog polymoog memorymoog multimoog micromoog minitmoog and tons more.
Location: UK

Re: If you could design the perfect synth

Post by bochelli » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:30 pm

On style it has already been done , at least to me the 203a synthesizer from long ago Moog, something like that but modern and please please please no lit lit menu screen however small.
yamoto773

Post Reply