Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pieces

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5831
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:29 pm

Modern chips are not any less reliable than vintage stuff. If DX7's have lasted over 25 years no reason to believe a modern digital synth won't do the same.

I'd be more worried about the mechanical components: keybeds, custom controller devices (joysticks, wheels, ribbons, etc.), pots, encoders.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
Re-Member
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 316
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:44 pm
Gear: Juno-60, SH-101, TR-606, JP-8000, MC-505, CZ-101, DX100, DX11, R3, microSTATION, Monotribe, MS-20 Mini, SQ-1, Volca Series, Minilogue, Moog Theremin
Location: PDX

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Re-Member » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:48 pm

redchapterjubilee wrote:Will there be enough someones to fix a broken virtual analog to continue to make it a viable instrument for longer than, say, a 10 year life span?
Sure there will be. When I got my JP-8000, I purchased it off Craigslist and the guy had no idea what was wrong with it. All it needed was battery change to get it up and running again, then the ribbon controller needed to be cleaned out. For a fifteen year old VA, it still looks and works great. It's a keeper for me.

Jaytee
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 2:04 am

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Jaytee » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:00 am

I think repairability seems to trickle down over time. Information becomes more freely available as the years pass. There are a lot more people out there capable of fixing a Juno 106 today (read: anyone with an Internet connection, a soldering iron and money for parts) than there were 25 years ago. I imagine the same will be true in the future.

User avatar
Jabberwalky
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2152
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:03 pm
Gear: A hybrid of vintage and modern junk
Band: Variar
Location: Pgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Jabberwalky » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:01 am

As long as those things have replaceable tact switches and normal pots they should be fine. How long can microprocessors and DSP chips last?

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3826
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:06 am

Y'all keep taking about the 'custom chips' and 'proprietary DSPs' in VA synths, when most of them *aren't* proprietary or custom, they are completely off-the-shelf Motorola or TI DSPs. The CPUs in them are off-the-shelf microcontrollers (lots of Motorola/Freescale Fireballs, and more recently ARMs) the D/A converters are off-the-shelf. Waldorf VAs, Nords, Novations, and Access Viruses all use similar Motorola/Freescale DSPs- in fact synths of the same generation are likely to have the exact same DSPs in them, just different numbers of them and running different code.
plikestechno wrote:Waldorf Q for sure. It and the Q+ go for crazy prices sometimes and I'm sure they'll go for more as time progresses.

I think there are too many Viruses, MS2000s, Ions, Microns etc. for them to reach esteemed status.
Yamaha sold something like a million DX7s.

User avatar
redchapterjubilee
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 846
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:59 pm
Location: Arden, NC
Contact:

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by redchapterjubilee » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:42 pm

Ashe37 wrote:Y'all keep taking about the 'custom chips' and 'proprietary DSPs' in VA synths, when most of them *aren't* proprietary or custom, they are completely off-the-shelf Motorola or TI DSPs. The CPUs in them are off-the-shelf microcontrollers (lots of Motorola/Freescale Fireballs, and more recently ARMs) the D/A converters are off-the-shelf. Waldorf VAs, Nords, Novations, and Access Viruses all use similar Motorola/Freescale DSPs- in fact synths of the same generation are likely to have the exact same DSPs in them, just different numbers of them and running different code.
THAT'S what I was looking for. Thank you! I understand to a certain extent what it takes to keep analog synths going, but I always assumed that there were a lot of proprietary parts in the VA's that would be like hen's teeth to source and keep up.
http://facebook.com/greatunwashedluminaries
ANALOG SYNTHESIZERS + EFFECTS + COMPUTERS

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3826
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:23 pm

redchapterjubilee wrote: THAT'S what I was looking for. Thank you! I understand to a certain extent what it takes to keep analog synths going, but I always assumed that there were a lot of proprietary parts in the VA's that would be like hen's teeth to source and keep up.
Proprietary DSPs and proprietary chips is a hallmark of 90s digital synths. Its one of the reasons that Ensoniq was having problems on the synth side of the business... DSP development is very expensive. By using off-the shelf chips instead of doing their own development they are saving a fortune.

User avatar
corndogssg
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:38 am
Real name: ryan
Gear: v synth,little phatty2,jx10,kiwi106 jx305, jv2080x's8,k2600,ion,microQ,blofeld,evolver,tetra,x station,ultra nova,bass station2, jd990,minibrute
Band: sesame street gangsters
Location: olympia washington

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by corndogssg » Wed May 28, 2014 10:55 am

hey redchapterjubilee

instead of buying a 2nd ion go to these guys for pieces you need, my ion's main nob the clear one was shot and i got one from these guys for like 8 bucks. on the ion there is one clear nob, one red one for volume and like 50 black ones. i wasn't sure what one i needed as the pots for the black ones were 3 or 4 times as expensive, lol when i emailed the company and asked why the black pots that are so common on that board are so much more they replied because more people need them.

http://www.instrumentalparts.com/

they sell spare parts to many different digital va's and i highly recomend them!

User avatar
Percivale
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:56 am
Gear: Blofeld, Juno-106, AN1X, MB-6582/SEQ V4, etc
Location: SG Synthesizers Group
Contact:

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Percivale » Wed May 28, 2014 2:05 pm

No love for Korg Z1? I liked my VAs 8-)

User avatar
ninja6485
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:13 pm
Gear: Virus Ti, Jx-8p, Juno 60, Radias, Maschine, 101,303,606,707,727,808,909, odyssey, mirage, akai s5K/s2K/s1k, drumtraks, E6400ult, M1R, rx5, fizmo,d50
Band: Lyra, The Sun Worshipers
Location: Exton/ westchester

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by ninja6485 » Wed May 28, 2014 3:43 pm

I would immagine that at first, if a lot start breaking and they're too hard to fix, many will be cannibalized for part swapping. When the numbers run down is when it will start to make sense to look into repairing the components themselves. If no one wants to, the value of the broken ones will drop and become affordable for cannibalization. The rarity may impact the value over time as well. I would immagine if a certian part reveals itself as an Achilles heal, some may attempt to reverse engineer it, or create a workaround. If by that time we're living in a post apocalyptic future world, the coolest looking synths that make good shields will definitely become valuable. Score virus TI! 8-)
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

User avatar
Jabberwalky
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2152
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:03 pm
Gear: A hybrid of vintage and modern junk
Band: Variar
Location: Pgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Jabberwalky » Wed May 28, 2014 4:00 pm

What I'm worred about is the LCD screens. I've seen alot of the early VA's with very faded screens. My An1x is definitely faded, but still OK.

User avatar
silikon
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1247
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:21 am
Real name: Ms. Jackson
Gear: Random bullshit with knobs and buttons.
Band: Year with no summer
Location: East.
Contact:

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by silikon » Wed May 28, 2014 4:36 pm

redchapterjubilee wrote:I am wondering from those of you who know the electronics involved in hardware virtual synthesis whether or not old school VA's like the early Nords, Access, Waldorf, Alesis etc. will weather the test of time. I think of how it seemed that most people's Juno 106's started to die at about the same time and someone was able to clone the VCF/VCA chips and then someone was able to figure out to use acetone to revive the factory chips. Will there be ways to revive an Alesis Ion or Nord Lead I when parts start to fail? Is it likely people who are devoted to these machines will be able to rewrite the software or transplant DSP's? We are at, what, 16 or 17 years history on some of the VA's? Just curious, not wanting to start a flame war or "real analog is always better than virtual analog" etc. Just wondering if the components will last and, if not, how likely y'all think it is that some enterprising person or group of people will dedicate themselves to keeping these synths afloat.
As things progress, repair techniques will have to also progress. I suspect that 'vintage' repair will also have to accomodate SMT and other things to better accomodate repair. Furthermore as others have stated, the actual DSPs are fairly commonplace so replacing them shouldn't be a logistical issue for some time; obviously as time progresses that will change, but that's little difference from people resorting to cannibalizing systems for certain analogue ICs in vintage analogue. Things like LED/LCD panels should also be a relative ease of replacement (even if not identical specs in terms of backlighting and resolution), and those components are also in wide use in other fields -- lending well to having ample backstock.

As for VA's becoming 'vintage' -- we're already seeing these things happen to things like the Virus Indigo & C, Ion, OB-12, JP-8000/8080, AN1x, Novation K/KS/Supernova/Nova, etc. If we broaden it to 'digital synths' (not strictly VA) then that widens even more. The DK synergy, E-Mu Emulator (1/2/3), the MPCs, DX's, Kawai K series, and on and on.
echo 1 > /dev/awesome

karmag
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:22 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by karmag » Wed May 28, 2014 10:20 pm

Ashe37 made some great points (last year..) about standard parts. I wonder whether the modern stuff uses Flash for storage, that's something we know will degrade over time.

If and when we get the combination of Flash memory and DRM to keep people from reading out data and cloning synths, we're screwed. (Or has that already happened?)

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3826
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by Ashe37 » Thu May 29, 2014 12:27 am

karmag wrote:Ashe37 made some great points (last year..) about standard parts. I wonder whether the modern stuff uses Flash for storage, that's something we know will degrade over time.

If and when we get the combination of Flash memory and DRM to keep people from reading out data and cloning synths, we're screwed. (Or has that already happened?)
Flash memory degrades over time when you write to it. You'd have to save over the same patch memory slot thousands of times to degrade it.

User avatar
RetroSynthAds
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:04 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Likelihood of Virtual Analogs To Truly Become Vintage Pi

Post by RetroSynthAds » Thu May 29, 2014 1:00 am

Percivale wrote:No love for Korg Z1? I liked my VAs 8-)
Yes! And the Korg Prophecy. Both are lovely!
d**k Martini
If you are bored... check out my blog: http://retrosynthads.blogspot.com

Post Reply