Miles Powerhouse wrote:Just curious, why does everyone think that the sole purpose of a VA is to emulate vintage analog synthesizers down to the dot?
I know almost everyone on here hates the Gaia since it's so "harsh and digital" or whatever, but no one is forcing you guys to re-create older synthesizer sounds. They suggest it, yes, and sometimes to the point where its truly annoying (i.e Roland, including the instruments being discusses in this thread), but do you have to?. h**l, If I had a Nord Lead, I wouldn't sit down and try to re-create a TB-303 or Minimoog sound just because they have simulations of their filters. I'm not even gonna try and make an accurate re-creation of the classic Oberheim Brass sound on an OB-12. I'm gonna make something great with what I have. If I really want to make that great analog sound in the studio, I'd either rent an analog synth or save up to buy one.
If anything, the VAs are simply here so that you can take the principles of an analog synth and go beyond what an analog synth can do. And yes, I understand that you can do things with analog that you can't with VAs. I'm simply proposing that you go into another direction than the "analog sounds".
This is a fair point (although my problem with the Gaia isn't so much that it doesn't sound analog as that it doesn't sound like much of anything at all,) and I do like digital synthesizers much better when they're not trying so hard to be analog and instead embrace the real possibilities of digital synthesis. (And that doesn't have to mean eschewing the subtractive model; the D-50, for example, is subtractive, but its filter doesn't sound a thing like any analog filter I've heard - but it's excellent on its own merits.)
But the thing is, it's right there in the name. "Virtual analog," or "analog modelling." That openly invites comparison and makes a fundamental claim about its alleged similarity, and if it's not as good at being what it claims to imitate as the real deal, well, it's not going to come out of that comparison looking good. And that goes double for a company like Roland that is trying to establish VA not just as a valid model in its own right, but as a successor to and replacement for real analog (while simultaneously attempting to trade on the reputation of real analog gear.) When you invite comparison, you invite scrutiny and criticism.
Ultimately, can you make good sounds with VA synthesizers, regardless of whether they really sound analog? Quite often, yes. But that doesn't mean that people are wrong to judge them on their own claims to being like the real thing.