When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by madmarkmagee » Wed May 14, 2014 6:17 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:I'm glad all this off topic rehashing of the mono versus poly rubbish is drowning out the actually discussion of how a company can actually make a new poly these days.
I don't think you're telling the truth, Stabby.
:lol:

I think that the answer to this question, is yes. Elektron have already made a non DSI poly. It is highly likely that another manufacturer will build one in the next few years, even if it is a boutique product. If a mainstream manufacturer was going to build one, they would have to weigh up whether the thing would sell, by working out how much R and D would cost and how many features they were going to put in vs price.

With regard to voice count yes perhaps even a 4 + voice synth, but again $$$$$$$ vs features...

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by madmarkmagee » Wed May 14, 2014 6:32 am

calaverasgrande wrote:it has been brought up in other threads, but I think it bears repeating. The old saw that it is 'just too expensive does not really hold true anymore. that may be the case if you expect a fully recallable digitally controlled analog poly. But lets look at some similar musical gear. I'd posit that the mixing consoles of the 80's and 90's were also gigantic outlays of cash for many musicians at the time. The reason they were so expensive was that each channel is on it's own PCB. With discrete components such as individual transistors, inductors and capacitors. Even the ones with opamps had discrete op amps (API 2520 and Yamaha's rip offs).
All of the boards are connected by ribbon cables that terminate at a master module with routing and metering.
That whole menagerie of boards and buss cables was usually encased in a wood and metal enclosure that weighed quite a bit on its own.
Ther result was often huge sounding, but expensive and heavy.
In the last 30 years manufacturers like Allen & Heath, Mackie etc have reduced this to SMT components on a single PCB, mounted in a simple monocoque chassis with little to no extraneous material to add weight or cost. So instead of a purchase so large it requires financing. Today you can buy a 16 channel mixer with a portion of one paycheck.
Ditto for poly analog. Even if they only use chips for audio amps and power supply, they can still save a lot in cost, manufacturing and size with SMT. The single PCB approach does make repair more difficult. But it really cuts the price down. Not just because there are less boards. But also because card edge connectors, and methods to secure cards in a frame add a lot to the cost.
And then there is the control side of it. I really have a hard time considering this to be the huge cost it is made out to be. There are many examples of arduino based projects that are spun up by individuals, on their own, in spare time that are doing as much or more than you could expect a polysynth microprocessor to do.
Especially if all you expect is keyscanning and midi it should be almost off the shelf.
Frankly I think it is just a matter of time.
But even the microkorg costs 400 to 570 us dollars (depending on where you live)

A hunk of nineties technology in a flimsy case with Surface Mount components?

How are we going to get this magic cheap poly synth?

I reckon the best way of looking at this is to look at DSI. Look at the mopho, vs its companions the Mopho X 4 and the Prophet 08. If a base station costs me say 500 bucks then the 4 voice version will probably cost a 1100 bucks and the 8 voice version will cost 1600 or something...

That is if there is even a demand for a 4 + polysynth. Think about the target demographic for MS-20 etc. A great deal of them aren't keyboardists, which means they haven't got a need for anything other then chords/leads...

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by pflosi » Wed May 14, 2014 8:23 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
pflosi wrote:There's good reasons to want every voice to be the same timbre. Just like there's good reasons why you wouldn't want that. Both have their place, one is just more common.
Well, certainly... there is no denying that having the choice to decide what you want is much better than not having the choice. With almost every polyphonic analog synth since 1975, you don't have any choice.
I always wondered why you don't have a Vermona Perfourmer AG - it will do just that and has been produced after 1975. :thumbleft:
calaverasgrande wrote:But lets look at some similar musical gear. I'd posit that the mixing consoles of the 80's and 90's were also gigantic outlays of cash for many musicians at the time. The reason they were so expensive was that each channel is on it's own PCB. With discrete components such as individual transistors, inductors and capacitors. Even the ones with opamps had discrete op amps (API 2520 and Yamaha's rip offs).
All of the boards are connected by ribbon cables that terminate at a master module with routing and metering.
That whole menagerie of boards and buss cables was usually encased in a wood and metal enclosure that weighed quite a bit on its own.
Ther result was often huge sounding, but expensive and heavy.
In the last 30 years manufacturers like Allen & Heath, Mackie etc have reduced this to SMT components on a single PCB, mounted in a simple monocoque chassis with little to no extraneous material to add weight or cost. So instead of a purchase so large it requires financing. Today you can buy a 16 channel mixer with a portion of one paycheck.
Comparing Mackie to API: priceless argument! :lol:
madmarkmagee wrote:You can get as much tonal variation out of the DSI polys as you can out of say the bass station. The tetra can do this thing where each voice plays a different patch, so when you play a chord you get 4 different sounds ( a different sound on each voice.) Though unfortunately there is no way of arranging this ( eg the double bass sound plays on the lowest note of the chord, while the violin plays on the top note.


You can split 2 + 2 voices and assign key zones on the Tetra.

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by madmarkmagee » Wed May 14, 2014 12:08 pm

But you can't allocate them like the analog keys with out using separate midi chanels. You can only do a top and a bottom?

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by pflosi » Wed May 14, 2014 12:20 pm

Yeah I think that's right... Only split or layer IIRC...

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 14, 2014 3:17 pm

madmarkmagee wrote: That is if there is even a demand for a 4 + polysynth. Think about the target demographic for MS-20 etc. A great deal of them aren't keyboardists, which means they haven't got a need for anything other then chords/leads...
I was going to mention that but I was already running long.
I think that is the main impediment of a new analog poly (not DSI).
Seems to me that the guys that actually play chords and notes with both hands, are not as hung up about VA and digital vs analog as the monosynth guys.
Those that do prefer analog synths seem to be happy with sequencing for the most part.
Yeah I am generalizing.
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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by commodorejohn » Wed May 14, 2014 3:33 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:Seems to me that the guys that actually play chords and notes with both hands, are not as hung up about VA and digital vs analog as the monosynth guys.
I am.
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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by intrancewetrust » Wed May 14, 2014 4:08 pm

i kind of find of find monos a bit boring. probably because i suck, and they sound like *bleep*beep*boop*. lots of fun to just hit epic chords on a poly imo :)

also, seems to me that a modular is the way to go for mono stuff? i wound up selling my monos and just kept the polys

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed May 14, 2014 5:25 pm

pflosi wrote:I always wondered why you don't have a Vermona Perfourmer AG - it will do just that and has been produced after 1975. :thumbleft:
You and me, both. :)
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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by seamonkey » Wed May 14, 2014 5:32 pm

I think it's just a matter of time before we see a analog poly synth.
Now that we're enjoying a resurgence of analog appreciation, manufacturer's have realized there is a profitable market for it.

I would put my money on Arturia being one of the first to create a poly analog synth, most likely using the Minibrute technology.
I doubt we'll see a 8 voice right out of the gate, probably something like a 4 voice, and if it resonates with buyers and the price can be kept down, then a 8 voice later.

Until then you can do what I do, and that is use my Emu Emulator II and Emu Emax, both of which have analog filters.
I've sampled both my Voyager and Minibrute and BAM!! and the results are quite satisfying. :)
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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed May 14, 2014 5:35 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:Seems to me that the guys that actually play chords and notes with both hands, are not as hung up about VA and digital vs analog as the monosynth guys.
Those that do prefer analog synths seem to be happy with sequencing for the most part.
Yeah I am generalizing.
Well, see... and that's another thing. I don't understand why people in the Sequencing Crowd are so worried about things being analog. This is probably a giant generalization, but it is sequencing that leads people to be concerned about precision, tuning, and reproduceability... the things that great analog is worst at. Of course, any future analog polys are undoubtedly going to be irritatingly stable and DCOish, so it's not a deal... but if they're irritatingly stable and DCOish, they're going to have stability and sound that is akin to the very nice-sounding digital polys out there. It really doesn't make any sense to me.

Also: I am probably the most irritatingly analog person on this forum... and I am a two-handed player who never sequences analog synths. And, despite my altruistic urgings for people to try multitracking monos, own a couple of polyphonic analog synths, and have owned a lot more. :D
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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 14, 2014 5:53 pm

commodorejohn wrote:
calaverasgrande wrote:Seems to me that the guys that actually play chords and notes with both hands, are not as hung up about VA and digital vs analog as the monosynth guys.
I am.
yeah my right hand keeps trying to learn how to play epic leads and stuff. I have to tell it to stop. Save that fancy c**p for the bass guitar (my primary instrument).
There certainly are folks that want analog poly's and can actually play with both hands.
I just think the perception on the part of the manufacturers is that people that can play want multitimbral workstations, people that want analog synths are all just doing sequencing.
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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by Rezisehtnys » Wed May 14, 2014 9:14 pm

I play with both hands and I prefer actual analogue for my analogue sounds, but I have no problem with having a VA that covers the entire spectrum of analogue type sounds in one unit either. Perhaps KORG will come up with something soon..

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by ninja6485 » Wed May 14, 2014 9:23 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Well, see... and that's another thing. I don't understand why people in the Sequencing Crowd are so worried about things being analog. This is probably a giant generalization, but it is sequencing that leads people to be concerned about precision, tuning, and reproduceability... the things that great analog is worst at. Of course, any future analog polys are undoubtedly going to be irritatingly stable and DCOish, so it's not a deal... but if they're irritatingly stable and DCOish, they're going to have stability and sound that is akin to the very nice-sounding digital polys out there. It really doesn't make any sense to me
Analog synths are great to sequence, partially because the notes are slightly different each time, which compliments the more precise timing of many sequenced phrases. Although if you monitor the clock output of something like a 707 or a jsq-60, you may find a great deal of mirco-tempo-fluctuation, which imparts its own character to the sequenced audio as well (Something I would hesitate to call precise). The result is very tight, yet organic sounding sequencing. Similarly, I'm sure you can introduce a great deal of liveliness into the sound of performed phrases, which may benefit from the more predictable nature of digital equipment, but I would guess that the main reason why workstation like instruments are so popular among keyboard players is because of their flexibility and reliability in a band situation. I'm thinking that for many keyboardists, having less to carry around, less to set up, basic enough sounds to do decent covers of a wide variety of classic songs, and greater perceived reliability vastly outweighs the perceived difference in sound character. That being said, I'm sure each individual has different reasons for choosing what they choose. I'm merely speculating on possible overall trends, and speaking on behalf of my own observations!
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: When will we see a new (non-DSI) analog poly?

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 14, 2014 11:56 pm

well, when you are sequencing it is pretty common to use your free hands to manipulate the params on your monosynth or modular. Roll the EG up and down, wiggle the PWM a bit, speed up the LFO.
On a poly with enough voices to engage all your fingers, there really is not need or desire to manipulate every param in that fashion while you are playing. It seems like the way to go is set up a really nice patch and play the c**p out of it using aftertouch, pitchbend and mod.
I suppose you could take an 8 voice poly and play it like a mono, using one hand to play and the other to tweak.
I just never see anyone do that, and well, most analog polys I've messed with don't encourage twiddling. Even the JX3p and JX8p make you buy a 'programmer' accessory for the privilege.

Yeah sure there are the Jupiters and the OB-X's. But those are, how you say? Prohibitively expensive collector pieces?
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