Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by nuketifromorbit » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:17 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:The only thing that is more irritating than a analog vs. digital thread is the point at which someone in the thread says "NO ONE CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE ANYWAY."

The truth is, that is true, and also totally untrue.

In regard to the topic... I think the reason that it's easy to get burned out on modern analogs is that they don't possess the quality that makes analog really desirable. Yes, they're different from digital synths... yes, they sound good and are a tad less predictable than digital, and yes, they have inspiring knobby interfaces. But the sounds that caused the first analog revival were the early-to-mid-1970s synths. The ones that still contained discrete or semi-discrete architecture, were noisy and buzzy and unpredictable, and had warm and saturated tones. THOSE are the synths that when you hear them, you say: "Yes, that's analog."

But there was a shift from the "hey, we're Gen Xers and we love 70s culture" of the original analog revival to this current analog enthusiasm that has more to do with electronic dance music, futuristic concepts, rigid programming, and the 80s. The 1980s analog sound was vastly different. Engineers had worked very hard to make it more predictable, more stable, and cleaner. Early 80s analog sounds very different from early 70s analog.

And the analog synths today... well, to be honest... tone-wise, there isn't a lot of difference between them and digital synths. The general public wants stability, and stability ruins analog sound.

I like the modern analog as much as anyone, but I'm not surprised if it makes people uncertain of what the actual appeal of analog is.
Great post, but damn I'm starting to feel apologetic about starting this thread. In my defense I think I'm being a bit more nuanced, being that I'm focusing on a single generation of synths.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Sheherezadeh » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:55 pm

meatballfulton wrote:In 1959 a Les Paul cost $300, believe it or not.
Adjusting for inflation ($2500) that's about the same price as an LP Traditional now. Not outrageous by any means, but still out of reach of more casual players.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Kidney05 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:36 pm

I understand the original intent of the post, but I hate how all of this always turns into "people should or shouldn't buy this because xyz." Synths are like speakers, or cookies, or cars, or whatever, and what sounds awesome to one person sounds like c**p to someone else. I have digital synths and I have analog synths and I have plugins. I like all of them for different reasons. I like hardware the most because I like tactileness, and not having to worry about how much work my computer is doing. I like my digital sounds for certain things and I like my analog sounds for certain things. Stop asking if something sounds 'good' because it's 'analog', if it sounds good, it sounds good regardless. Before someone goes and digs through my comment history, I may have said worse things about digital in the past, but the truth is, I've seen and heard some amazing stuff from digital synths.

I think it's awesome we live in a time where Moog can still make a MiniMoog, and Access and Waldorf can make awesome digital synths (and analog in the case of Waldorf.) Does it matter if the MS-20 Mini sounds EXACTLY like the original to me? No, because the Mini sounds damn good.

The biggest issue is that the interfaces and features are being repeated over and over... the Mopho keyboard has been out for years, and the BSII has only just caught up (with nearly the same features), so it sucks to see we've waited years and Novation hasn't changed much, except for a lower price tag. I'm way more excited about interface breakthroughs now-- the elektrons are a great example of that, or all the crazy stuff the Pro 2 can do.

So my TL;DR is that the fatigue of 'modern analog' comes from lack of innovation in interfacing and features. There's totally a market for old remakes (who wouldn't want a $600 Moog or MS-20?) but I hope that more companies invest in better workflows, since we probably won't ever get too far from the 2 oscillator 2 envelope plus feedback that is the norm of analogs.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Swayze » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:19 pm

If by "burned out" you mean bored, apathetic, not interested, than yes. I spent a couple bills on a microbrute to get the modern analog sound, portability and flexibility for cheap. I knew I would play it more cause it's easily replaceable compared to vintage gear. For it's small size and small price, it kicks butt. Does it make me want more modern analog? No, because that would just be redundant.

I did have a voyager at one time and although it sounded "moogy" and much different than the little brute, ultimately it sounded too precise for my tastes. Analog shouldn't sound clean and precise like digital, it should sound dirty and a little "loose" imho. These new analog synths don't sound different enough from one another to justify owning a whole arsenal of them. I'd rather spend my hard-earned money on a small handful of vintage gear with character.

There is definitely less tonal variety between a voyager, ms20 mini, brute, mopho, bass station, etc. than there is between a minimoog, odyssey, monopoly, pro-one, cs20m, sh-2...older analog synths just had more character, both collectively and individually.

EDIT: I will add that I'm keeping my fingers crossed with the recent release of the Pro2 and soon the Kodyssey. Both look interesting and may be a departure from the curse of modern analog all sounding very similar to me. Although the Pro2 is technically a hybrid, so probably not the best example to use for "analog" comparison. In any case, I feel the good times for modern analog are gonna keep rolling and improving over time.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by JayEm » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:11 pm

For me its more about interface.
I started with software, then plugs, then VA hardware, and I've ended up with a mostly OoTB setup using mainly modern analogs.
I don't dislike the sound of digital, h**l in some cases I prefer it. But patchless, what you see is what you hear analogs are by far more immediate, fun and ultimately rewarding then scrolling through presets and menus.
But this is just my view. You're all free to have your own experiences and needs.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:28 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:In regard to the topic... I think the reason that it's easy to get burned out on modern analogs is that they don't possess the quality that makes analog really desirable. Yes, they're different from digital synths... yes, they sound good and are a tad less predictable than digital, and yes, they have inspiring knobby interfaces. But the sounds that caused the first analog revival were the early-to-mid-1970s synths. The ones that still contained discrete or semi-discrete architecture, were noisy and buzzy and unpredictable, and had warm and saturated tones. THOSE are the synths that when you hear them, you say: "Yes, that's analog."

But there was a shift from the "hey, we're Gen Xers and we love 70s culture" of the original analog revival to this current analog enthusiasm that has more to do with electronic dance music, futuristic concepts, rigid programming, and the 80s. The 1980s analog sound was vastly different. Engineers had worked very hard to make it more predictable, more stable, and cleaner. Early 80s analog sounds very different from early 70s analog.

And the analog synths today... well, to be honest... tone-wise, there isn't a lot of difference between them and digital synths. The general public wants stability, and stability ruins analog sound.

I like the modern analog as much as anyone, but I'm not surprised if it makes people uncertain of what the actual appeal of analog is.
They're some pretty massive generalisations there Marc. Maybe accurate if you say modern analogue is the BS2, not so much if you're talking about the minimac.

This is reminding me a lot of the time that you said nobody who was using Eurorack was interested in the tone of the instrument. ;)

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Swayze » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:42 am

I just wanted to add that modern modular is the exception that still sounds truly "analog" to me. It's the next logical step for myself as someone who desires more organic tone but can't afford the exorbitant prices of 40-year-old synths and the repairs that they will invaribly require.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:48 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:This is reminding me a lot of the time that you said nobody who was using Eurorack was interested in the tone of the instrument. ;)
Nobody who is using Eurorack is interested in the tone of the instrument.

Finding exceptions to the generalization does not disprove the generalization. Tone is not the goal of the average Eurorack user. Tell me I'm wrong.

The Minimac is not even remotely representative of what the average modern analog synth buyer is buying. The BS2 is, but that's not even what I'm talking about. DCOs are not representative of analog sound. I know everyone would like to believe they are, but they're not. I'm talking about VCOs.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:51 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:This is reminding me a lot of the time that you said nobody who was using Eurorack was interested in the tone of the instrument. ;)
Nobody who is using Eurorack is interested in the tone of the instrument.

Finding exceptions to the generalization does not disprove the generalization. Tone is not the goal of the average Eurorack user. Tell me I'm wrong.
I don't need to, allow my friend Marc Doty to for me: http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... 15#p618489

There is no 'average Eurorack user'. There is such a huge range of modules available from the very Buchlaesque Verbos stuff to the very Moogy Macbeth, and a whole lot of stuff in between and to both sides on a three-dimensional scale of variety. Some people have Euro because it's small and they want to gig with their modular, and sometimes that means flying. Some because it's there's a huge variety of modules available. Some because there's a lot of DIY available in the format. Some for other reasons that I don't even know about, or for a mixture of all those reasons. As somebody who isn't involved in the Euro culture you're not exposed to all that so I can't fault you for not realising, but there is as much difference of opinion within the Euro world as there is in the general synth world.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:The Minimac is not even remotely representative of what the average modern analog synth buyer is buying. The BS2 is, but that's not even what I'm talking about. DCOs are not representative of analog sound. I know everyone would like to believe they are, but they're not. I'm talking about VCOs.
My point is that there's no overarching 'Modern Analogue' synth, or sound, or synth buyer. It's a continuum from the cheap and convenient stuff like the DSI synths and the BS2 on one end to the very limited run, expensive, hand made stuff on the other. People buy all sorts of different things for different reasons and you don't know all of them, so the only thing you guarantee by making such sweeping statements is that you're wrong. :)

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:31 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote: Nobody who is using Eurorack is interested in the tone of the instrument.

Finding exceptions to the generalization does not disprove the generalization. Tone is not the goal of the average Eurorack user. Tell me I'm wrong.

The Minimac is not even remotely representative of what the average modern analog synth buyer is buying. The BS2 is, but that's not even what I'm talking about. DCOs are not representative of analog sound. I know everyone would like to believe they are, but they're not. I'm talking about VCOs.
Wait, which is it: Nobody using Euro is interested or the average Euro user isn't? Either way, it's a silly argument. I might as well argue that Minimoog players aren't interested in tone because all they care about is that limited ladder filter.

Truth is, people choose Euro mostly for its versatility--and that includes tone as well as patterns, timbres, and so on. There are great tones that you get out of Euro that you don't from a hardwired synth. That's not poo-pooing hardwired synths; I love mine. But dismissing a format just because you perceive it to be one thing is just as misguided as assuming you can get a VCO sound from a DCO. And you're right, they don't sound the same but they are both analog. You just happen to prefer one over the other. So do I. It's OK. But not everything has to be a hardwired VCO synth.
Stab Frenzy wrote:
My point is that there's no overarching 'Modern Analogue' synth, or sound, or synth buyer.
Yep.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Dr. Phibes » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:16 pm

nuketifromorbit wrote: Great post, but damn I'm starting to feel apologetic about starting this thread. In my defense I think I'm being a bit more nuanced, being that I'm focusing on a single generation of synths.
No nuances! Kill them all! This place needs more turmoil! :twisted:

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Kidney05 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:40 am

Jesus Christ I hate how every thread turns into "analog/digital/new/old sucks and people are stupid for liking it." Everything turns into "I'm more hardcore because I only use synths made before 1978". No one gives a s**t why people buy euro racks. Maybe because they like the sound, maybe they want all sorts of crazy possibilities, maybe because they want to fill the emptiness in their lives with electronic modules. It doesn't take a "moog foundation expert" to point out how stupid this all is. Stop making generalizations about people based on what they buy. Some people only want a Microbrute to make great music, or just to have fun. Some people will buy a CS-80 and make love to it daily. Liking one or the other doesn't make you superior to anyone else.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by calaverasgrande » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:01 pm

I am burned out on the (mostly) unvarying adherence to traditional synth architecture.
It seems that for all the eagerness to make analogs, nobody is willing to innovate the way they did back in the 70's 80's and even early 90's.
herp a derp 303 clone, derp re issue the same synth we made in the 80's, double derp re hash the synth that made us famous ad infinitum.

I am grateful that I can buy solid, reliable, analog synths made today that have midi, USB and sometimes even patch memory.
I just wish they would give us something besides osc/filter/amp with plain old envelopes and square/saw lfos.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:01 am

Kidney05 wrote:Jesus Christ I hate how every thread turns into "analog/digital/new/old sucks and people are stupid for liking it." Everything turns into "I'm more hardcore because I only use synths made before 1978". No one gives a s**t why people buy euro racks. Maybe because they like the sound, maybe they want all sorts of crazy possibilities, maybe because they want to fill the emptiness in their lives with electronic modules. It doesn't take a "moog foundation expert" to point out how stupid this all is. Stop making generalizations about people based on what they buy. Some people only want a Microbrute to make great music, or just to have fun. Some people will buy a CS-80 and make love to it daily. Liking one or the other doesn't make you superior to anyone else.
This website is based on technology. It's about technology. It's about what different technology does.

If you feel like people should just let people do what they do, well... that's true, and awesome. But that leaves us nothing to talk about. Subjective stuff leaves no discussion. Everyone does whatever they want to do, and that's cool. Peoples' opinions are peoples opinions, and there's no point in talking about that, either.

It's not about superiority, and if you ascribe that characterization to it, it says more about you than the comparison and subsequent discourse about functionality, application, musicianship, sound, etc. of a given synth.

People are here to talk about synths and what they do. They're not here to argue subjective merits. And they're certainly not here to not talk about anything because everything is up to whatever anyone wants.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:47 am

Truth is everyone here gets antsy between releases, it's been pretty dry lately.

Just wait until something new comes out of left field and order will periodically be restored to the VSE universe :D

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