Mini D vs. Voyager

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by dzlvs8 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:15 am

D or Voyager?.......Well, thats easy.

....Like they say in Detroit, if it ain't happenin in the D it ain't happenin. (I assume thats what they say??) I have a model D with the early oscillators and it is pure bliss. If you need more functionality for recording, and you are willing to sacrifice sound quality for functionality, you could buy a voyager but you might as well just switch to using crappy software synths. The voyager has its own sound that I know a lot of people like but if you are debating a D vs a voyager you are doing it because you like the minimoog. You like the fattness, the extreme creaminess, etc. You will be sacrificing some of that for features. In the end you will kind of have a minimoog. I don't think that is what you would want. Although you may be happy with a voyager, you will always have a more beautiful sound waiting for you with a D. If you are looking for the sound that is minimoog, you will get it with a D. I feel that a voyager is more of a cross between a D and every other analog/analog wanna be synth out there on the market as new right now. One crazy guy on youtube said it well while comparing the d and voyager. D=fat voyager=juicy. Everything out right now is Juicy. My prophet 08 is a juicy version of a prophet 5. Its what todays synths are.

The voyager does sound nice though. It sounds more like a Moog Prodigy or any other newer moog than a D. Really, in a perfect world I just wish the micromoog had two more oscillators. That thing sounds the best. But until Bob makes one like that, I can only dream of having my megamoog back (see my vid)



Another quick thing about the D. It has a presence. The look of the synth and its presence that it has is directly representative of its sound. If I never saw a minimoog D but heard one, I would probably still envision an instrument that looks pretty close to a minimoog D. While the voyager to me looks like a wanna be minimoog D. Yes, you could say its a minimoog D updated for the times, just as its sound is....but its all still somewhat of a copycat and not completely original.

Buy a D. Try to get one with a low serial number that hasn't had its oscillators replaced. While you're at it, buy me another one too! This has been another installment of the truth (my awesome opinion), from Mr Kondel :D

******Jim, I hope you haven't thrown your CS-50 off a cliff yet. I thank the lord everyday that mine starts up and still works correctly****
Last edited by dzlvs8 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:20 am

Okay, b3. So, anything recorded on a different medium has a different timbre. That's a very interesting perspective. I wish you the very best of luck with it.
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by ninja6485 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:37 am

It looks like a 2 by 4 with keys. Not to undermine the "sabi" -ness of the minimoog for those acquainted with Japanese aesthetics, of course...
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by nvbrkr » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:46 am

dzlvs8 wrote: If you need more functionality for recording, and you are willing to sacrifice sound quality for functionality, you could buy a voyager but you might as well just switch to using crappy software synths.
Uhm, no.
dzlvs8 wrote:I feel that a voyager is more of a cross between a D and every other analog/analog wanna be synth out there on the market as new right now.
I don't disagree with this one as far as the overall sound of the unit is concerned.

Your video demonstrates quite well the buzzy, distorted, almost chorused sound that's the reason why most people that love vintage analog love those units. I think I've used analog synths long enough by this point to realize that older analogs tend to be at their most appealing when you just sort of toy around with them, because the character of the sound is satisfying enough without the context of other sounds. I can sit on my a*s for hours and just marvel at how charming those older units can sound. In the context of a written and recorded piece of music it can be a bit hard to place them in the mix though. In my own use they've worked the best when I've deliberately tried to do stuff that sounds like the music that was made during the time those units were produced. I feel that with a lot of modern styles of music they just sort of go to waste and there would be far better options in that regard (like the Voyager).

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by nvbrkr » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:17 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Okay, b3. So, anything recorded on a different medium has a different timbre. That's a very interesting perspective. I wish you the very best of luck with it.
If I have more earwax in my ears now than what I had six months ago does that change the timbre? The answer is "yes" if you think the timbre "exists" independently of the instrument that produced it, but I don't think that's what the theorists that have used the concept have had in mind. At least the way I've seen that concept used myself it's quite clear that the "timbre" is primarily something that an instrument or an instrument family is thought to possess ("the timbre of a violin" etc.).

It seems like in those quoted definitions of "timbre" from the internet the word "quality" is used in the sense of a "distinguishing quality". It's the old, philosophical way to use the word "quality", which is something that sets one thing apart from others. Something is thought to either have that quality or not, regardless of how hard it can be to put into words what it is. I suppose the idea is that instruments have certain physical properties that can produce only certain type of sounds and that's the reason why the "quality" of the sound stays similar at different pitches and within certain amplitude ranges.

I think this discussion on the Minimoog and the Minomoog Voyager is really about the "overall sound" or the "character of the sound" of those two units. To me it seems obvious that most synthesizers can produce a wide variety of "timbres", but especially many of the older units have an "overall sound" or "character of sound" that is unique to them (in addition to the Moog synths think of the PPG Wave, for example). It's not so much a "schematic" way to understand the "quality of the sound", but rather, it has more to do with the impressions of the listener. With this type of "quality" we usually have to resort to describing it metaphorically as warm, creamy, hollow, distant, etc.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by b3groover » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:54 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Okay, b3. So, anything recorded on a different medium has a different timbre. That's a very interesting perspective. I wish you the very best of luck with it.
Any engineer worth his salt knows this. That's why those that can afford it keep tape machines around. Have you ever heard drums coming off a 2" 24-track running at 15ips? Of course you have, that's basically the sound of rock 'n roll from the mid-70s up until the late 90s or so. If you compare drums coming off tape to drums coming off ProTools, the differences are readily apparent. The medium changes the timbre of the drums. They are still drums, obviously, and still recognizable as drums, but they certainly do not sound the same coming off tape vs. coming off digital nor do they sound the same as they do in the room. If you change the tape machine to run at 30ips, it will sound different as well.

I think what you're arguing (correct me if I'm wrong) is that the Minimoog has it's own timbre that is instantly recognizable to enthusiasts like you and me. I agree. What you also seem to be arguing is that it retains that timbre no matter what. I disagree. That depends on a lot of factors but you can certainly mangle any sound to be unrecognizable.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by b3groover » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:01 pm

I just realized that perhaps you're thinking of "timbre" as a much larger delineation of difference between sound. So for instance even if individual saxophones sound slightly different than one another, they are all "saxophones" and therefor all have the same "timbre". If so, right on. I know where you're coming from.

As a piano tuner, I've trained my ear to recognize extremely small differences between both pitch and tone. I can change the entire tone of a piano via how tight I tune the unisons. But of course it's still a piano. So if I'm being overly meticulous, I apologize. I'm very sensitive to minute changes in "timbre" and pitch.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:21 pm

dzlvs8 wrote:If you need more functionality for recording, and you are willing to sacrifice sound quality for functionality, you could buy a voyager but you might as well just switch to using crappy software synths.
That's a pretty provocative statement. Are you really saying you would rather use a softsynth than a Voyager?
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by madtheory » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:33 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
dzlvs8 wrote:If you need more functionality for recording, and you are willing to sacrifice sound quality for functionality, you could buy a voyager but you might as well just switch to using crappy software synths.
That's a pretty provocative statement. Are you really saying you would rather use a softsynth than a Voyager?
That's clearly not what he's saying. See text in bold.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by dzlvs8 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:55 am

nvbrkr wrote:
dzlvs8 wrote: If you need more functionality for recording, and you are willing to sacrifice sound quality for functionality, you could buy a voyager but you might as well just switch to using crappy software synths.
Uhm, no.
dzlvs8 wrote:I feel that a voyager is more of a cross between a D and every other analog/analog wanna be synth out there on the market as new right now.
I don't disagree with this one as far as the overall sound of the unit is concerned.

Your video demonstrates quite well the buzzy, distorted, almost chorused sound that's the reason why most people that love vintage analog love those units. I think I've used analog synths long enough by this point to realize that older analogs tend to be at their most appealing when you just sort of toy around with them, because the character of the sound is satisfying enough without the context of other sounds. I can sit on my a*s for hours and just marvel at how charming those older units can sound. In the context of a written and recorded piece of music it can be a bit hard to place them in the mix though. In my own use they've worked the best when I've deliberately tried to do stuff that sounds like the music that was made during the time those units were produced. I feel that with a lot of modern styles of music they just sort of go to waste and there would be far better options in that regard (like the Voyager).

It sounds like you like to make music that does NOT have a raw sound too it with lots of character. Like most people you like more of a shimmering clean plastic track with hints of dirt. I can understand that. I like modern music too. But I REALLY like making raw sounding music. Thats one of the main draws that i have towards the older stuff. I like my instruments to have lots of character and grit and sound very organic. So, the old stuff does fit well into music for some people. Thats also why I am into the electro mechanical stuff the most. I love hearing a hammer hit a tine, hearing the keys thunking on the harp board of my clavinet, hearing the nasty key click, the warm tubes, and the spinning speakers that make up my Hammond sound. Its seriously orgasmic. And yes, sometimes I just walk past my instruments, then turn something on ...and the next thing I notice, its been two hours and I have been just diddling the keyboard, when I originally was walking to the laundry room to put the clothes in the dryer. GUILTY many times of that.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:14 am

My MiniMoog sounds like a MicroKorg... Whoda thought?! :mrgreen:
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by dustinh » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:59 am

That was called a joke, my friend.

*edit: This post no longer has relevance. A post from someone else magically disappeared! Or maybe instead of hearing voices in my head, I see posts that aren't really there :shock:
Last edited by dustinh on Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:01 am

dzlvs8 wrote: It sounds like you like to make music that does NOT have a raw sound too it with lots of character. Like most people you like more of a shimmering clean plastic track with hints of dirt.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by shaft9000 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:58 pm

as much as we love to fuss with these concerns, after a long time doing this,it's more apparent than ever to me that character comes from the player, not the instrument. i'd argue that the timbre does,too - but I won't bother to argue it as i couldn't give a f**k if you understand this or not. it's up to you to notice.
just look at the instrument and ask if it truly ever makes a sound by itself. another point is that one can often gravitate to specific sounds no matter what synth one may be using.
people using midi/sequencing do so in the risk that the listener may be less involved or interested by the use of automated means rather than manual "natural" playing.
in fact the use of automation in music has a reinforcement of psychological notions of determinism and design vs. entropy that while not discussed much is prevalent constantly....that is a clear element of the timbre... how it sounds(out)

back on topic of D vs Mini -
it is just a matter of preference/priorities. the voyager will do 2-4x the quantity of different sounds as the D. it is the more technically capable synth by any technical standard.
it just depends on one thing - if you like the sounds that the D inspires you to make that much more, that you will live without all the extras the voyager offers.... and take a risk on a 30+yr old synth.
and that's about all there is to it.
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by Moped10 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:46 pm

as much as we love to fuss with these concerns, after a long time doing this,it's more apparent than ever to me that character comes from the player, not the instrument. i'd argue that the timbre does,too - but I won't bother to argue it as i couldn't give a f**k if you understand this or not. it's up to you to notice.
just look at the instrument and ask if it truly ever makes a sound by itself. another point is that one can often gravitate to specific sounds no matter what synth one may be using.
people using midi/sequencing do so in the risk that the listener may be less involved or interested by the use of automated means rather than manual "natural" playing.
in fact the use of automation in music has a reinforcement of psychological notions of determinism and design vs. entropy that while not discussed much is prevalent constantly....that is a clear element of the timbre... how it sounds(out)

back on topic of D vs Mini -
it is just a matter of preference/priorities. the voyager will do 2-4x the quantity of different sounds as the D. it is the more technically capable synth by any technical standard.
it just depends on one thing - if you like the sounds that the D inspires you to make that much more, that you will live without all the extras the voyager offers.... and take a risk on a 30+yr old synth.
and that's about all there is to it.


smartest post in this thread, in my opinion- and these are ALL opinions by the way- it drives me batty when someone makes a bold statement as fact-
the Voyager I chose to buy vs a mini sounds plenty raw in the raw music I make with it, in my opinion- if someone describes my music as "plastic", they'd better do so to my face- sheesh
of course, I run a in/out feed from the mix in/out to the inst insert, and play it through a 40 year old Fender Twin- makes that critical sonic difference in the rock bands I play with- I'm reminded of my Prodigy, tonewise overall, and I find that to be a good thing- plus the 3rd Osc, Osc sync, tuning stability, repair-ability (I live in NC), modulation megafun, c'mon! Did I mention OSC SYNC!? I didn't want to buy an instrument that I'd be nervous about dragging out to gigs-
it seems most of the Voyager naysayers are mini owners- justifying their purchases perhaps? I suppose you could accuse me of the same, but I use this thing ALL the time, while dishes remain unwashed, etc., and if it weren't pleasing to my ear (and the bands that hire me or the businesses that buy my jingles), I'd sell it for something else-
But whatever, to each his own, right?
Just don't call someone's music "probably plastic" because of the flavor of their Moog! how ludicrous!

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