What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
tomorrowstops
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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by tomorrowstops » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:52 pm

garranimal wrote:
Moped10 wrote:trust your ears
This phrase magically appears sometimes when giving synth advice. To me it is the only reason to choose a synth. Features, polyphony, interface, reputation, and all that other stuff helps in finding one to try. To me I want an instrument that I can have a real connection, get to the sounds I desire AND the sounds I never dreamed. Bob Moog has discussed this idea when designing his instruments, that he can feel what is going on inside them and no doubt probably his engineering intuition talking. But there's an idea of setting up a dialog between the instrument, your hands, ears and brain. And I rarely hear anyone talk about that.
pflosi wrote:True love means loving someone / something with all his / her / its faults and quirks. They just belong together.

That's what I'm talking about.
EXACTLY how I think about it myself. Totally uncanny....

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by shaft9000 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:51 pm

cgren72 wrote: no amps are going to sound like eric clapton or whoever because the person playing the instrument isnt eric clapton in the first place.
you are wise, sir

if I get mad at my instrument it's because I didn't get the synth I really wanted or I have a delusion of the sort previously described to begin with

it's a scary thing to find your own way, but really there IS no other way in the end. so funny/odd 'opinions' and such about all sorts of gear manifest all over the intarwebth in the meantime

synths have a distinction vs. other instruments in that they don't have a common 'standard' sound - just building blocks from an electronic source. therefore defining the instrument and it's character in the same way that acoustic instruments are becomes a cornering/limitation game. it's not like looking up 'didgeridoo' on a wiki and hearing a soundfile and saying "a-ha" THAT'S what that sound is!" LOL
so in a very real sense the talking-up of certain synths (alphaJuno, for example) having a specific 'sound' (the hoover) that it's good for... is turning a blind eye.
and no matter WHAT the synth is I find I gravitate towards sounds i always make on any synth at first.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by realtrance » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:43 pm

[quote="meatballfulton"]Every musical instrument has it's pros and cons and what is a deal-killer for one person is a who-cares for another. That's [b][i]all [/i][/b]instruments, not just synths.

Still there is a lot of[b][i] holy-grail BS[/i][/b] flying around all the time. I am amazed at people claiming the Voyager, LP and DSI synths "sound digital". How can they [b][i]not [/i][/b]sound analog when they [b][i]are [/i][/b]analog? WTF x 1000 :banghead:

There's also a lot of bias built into comments due to the kind of music people are creating (i.e. the constant trashing of workstations, love/hate for softsynths, etc.). Dance music types obsess over the fattest, most subby kick drum sound or whether it's a real 303 or not. Piano-trained players obsess over keyboard actions and how many velocity layers are used. Modular heads will keep adding to their systems until they either need a larger house or they die. People with no money think everything is an expensive ripoff and people with plenty of money think we should all own lots of hyper-rare and expensive gear. And on and on ad nauseam :truce:

Of course I am as guilty as anybody to making boneheaded pronouncements, easily proven by reading old USENET postings that are still viewable on teh netz.

The hardest thing is taking the time to understand the point of view of the other posters before turning on the flamethrowers. :pissed:[/quote]


Best post on all this ever. :)

I've found multiple times, over the years, synths I've liked -- hardware or software -- get dissed like crazy on launch and then a few years later, everyone wants one. To take a small example, soon after Massive was released by NI, I think I was the only one on the entire Internet who liked it and was applauding its sound as well as feature-set, scroll forward a few years and now everyone is assuming Massive is the "deep secret" that has made Skrillex a success. :truce:

I think it just means, enjoy the conversation, love what you love and hate what you hate and don't feel everyone needs to agree to make you feel you're right and you'll be fine. ;)

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by drawtippy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:26 am

If there was one Holy Grail synth, then how would I justify a whole room full keyboards to my wife? I'm stoked they all sound different, do different things and have different strengths and limitations.
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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by Alex E » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:27 am

I've always wanted an OB-8 only because of the way it sounds. I love it.

I hate how the OB range is famous because of Jump, I hate the way it looks, I hate how big it is, I hate how balding old men drool over the "phat" Oberheims of their youth, and I hate that it's worth $2500 now, but I really like the way it sounds. Dunno, I guess that's the right reason to want one.
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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by visceralvoids » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:40 am

Exactly, there is no one "ubersynth". Everything has compromises, even price can be a con. The thing about synthesizers is, you never really know what sounds you can coax out of them until you start programming :twisted: no matter what the cost.

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by tekkentool » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:19 am

meatballfulton wrote:Dance music types obsess over the fattest, most subby kick drum sound.
This is so true it's not even funny. :giveheart:

I think on one forum we even had a "your favourite kick drum" thread and we all shared the kick drums from songs we liked the most.

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by phesago » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:35 am

Most of the time, when I am having a conversation about synths with synth enthusiasts, we end speaking about the nuances of the keys we have used, and what we would love to see in any future models. Ever since I have had an XS, I wish some of the other companies would make a synth very similar to it. By that I mean, small, compact and light weight. For such a great synth, I was surprised at how it weighed maybe 3 pounds. The design that went into it is wonderful, regardless of whether or not I was a fan of the sound.

When I talk about it with people who couldnt care less about synths, I go on about how cool modulars synths are. I really should start building my own....

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by Hybrid88 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:27 am

I thought this thread topic was lame, until I read this - should be a rule of entry on VSE to read and agree with these terms (I am serious BTW) :)
realtrance wrote:I think it just means, enjoy the conversation, love what you love and hate what you hate and don't feel everyone needs to agree to make you feel you're right and you'll be fine. ;)

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by bhrama » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:17 pm

shaft9000 wrote: it's a scary thing to find your own way, but really there IS no other way in the end.
True words indeed.

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:01 pm

bhrama wrote:
shaft9000 wrote: it's a scary thing to find your own way, but really there IS no other way in the end.
True words indeed.
Is this turning into a discussion of eastern philosophy? :ugeek:
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by devetron » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:21 pm

GuyaGuy wrote:For example, my favorite analog synth is the P600. When I write for it, I have in my head that it doesn't do mono but it does do unison
The P600 will do mono. Hold one key down and flip the unison mode switch up. Bang! 1 voice mono. It will also do chord memory this way too. Hold down three octaves of the same note down while you flip the switch up for more awesomeness.
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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:42 pm

Good points up in this s**t.

To "trust your ears," I would add that sound is just one aspect of an instrument. There are other reasons to get along with an instrument, the main one probably being usability. I had to get rid of one of the best-sounding guitars I've had--an Electra Outlaw--because it was too dang heavy for me. For me. That doesn't make the Outlaw intrinsically unusable. It just doesn't suit me. In the same way, analog synths that are light on knobs aren't intrinsically unusable; they just don't fit the way some people work. Some musicians (including some very famous ones) use presets. Presets, for goodness sake! So we come back to the idea again that there is no übersynth and even it existed it would only be an übersynth for some people but not all. A synth can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can't pick your friend's nose.

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:43 pm

devetron wrote:
GuyaGuy wrote:For example, my favorite analog synth is the P600. When I write for it, I have in my head that it doesn't do mono but it does do unison
The P600 will do mono. Hold one key down and flip the unison mode switch up. Bang! 1 voice mono. It will also do chord memory this way too. Hold down three octaves of the same note down while you flip the switch up for more awesomeness.
Oh s**t! Either I had no idea or I'd forgotten about that. Excellent!
Verily the P600 is the Übersynth!

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Re: What We Talk About When We Talk About Synths

Post by Moped10 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:07 pm

Off Topic
Verily the P600 is the Übersynth!
I don't know man, what's its serial number? You KNOW only 259 through 862 are REAL 600s.... :lol:

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