Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

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pflosi
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by pflosi » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:57 pm

shaft9000 wrote:no synths that I've had are particularly great instruments
Really? You got an A6, JP8 and CS60 among other nice things... Yeah if 12TET is not your thing then that's very limiting, but polys cannot get much more expressive than those, can they? Ok it's no violin, but still... I appreciate your input a lot so I'm genuinely interested - my A6 is one of the most expressive instruments I ever could play. Maybe that's the culprit as I'm unable to either sing or play wind and string instruments properly :lol:
shaft9000 wrote:PATCHABLE synth ftw.
No question there :headbang:

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by calaverasgrande » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:56 am

shaft9000 wrote:
in other words - a keyboard encourages a specific equal-tempered approach via the linear spread of note access. This arrangement is native to other instruments, but appear on synths almost by default as a way to make synths palatable to people used to other instruments.
It's worse than linear, it's the bloody C major scale. This has bothered me since I first started playing keyboarded instruments. I started on Cello and a little bit of trumpet, so I guess my ear got used to an ability to play linearly or in the case of horn playing through the overtone series, but valving my way to a chromatic series.
the effing c major black and white keyboard leads me into playing certain muscle memory figures based on the geometry of the keys. Which I despise and consider hackneyed.
It bothers me so much that I've toyed with the idea of buying a used mid controller and hacking it into a more linear interface.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by commodorejohn » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:33 am

Oh joy, more raging about how pedestrian and bourgeoise the piano scale is.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by calaverasgrande » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:41 am

commodorejohn wrote:Oh joy, more raging about how pedestrian and bourgeoise the piano scale is.
I don't think anyone said anything to that effect. (and those are somewhat exclusive terns)
I simply don't like the way keyboards work. I'm not a hugely talented keyboardist. I don't know one million scales. I shouldn't have to relearn a scale to transpose it up one semitone.
That it is based on C major is utterly arbitrary. Playing C major or D Major are identical on a stringed instrument (scales not chords) on a keyboard one is easy the other hard.
Then there is that whole stretch tuning/equal temperment thing.
Listen to a fourth or a third played by baroque musicians next to a piano's impersonation.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by adamstan » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:44 am

D major is easy. Try C# or F# ;-) These are nightmare.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by shaft9000 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:00 am

pflosi wrote:
shaft9000 wrote:no synths that I've had are particularly great instruments
Really? You got an A6, JP8 and CS60 among other nice things... Yeah if 12TET is not your thing then that's very limiting, but polys cannot get much more expressive than those, can they? Ok it's no violin, but still... I appreciate your input a lot so I'm genuinely interested - my A6 is one of the most expressive instruments I ever could play. Maybe that's the culprit as I'm unable to either sing or play wind and string instruments properly :lol:
of course this is all entirely personal and subject to some flux

that said,
i suppose it's time to fess up that my primary instrument is guitar, and i am usually (default) singer in most of the bands i play in. i am an 'imposter synthesist' with no more cred than any other wanker. i WAS trained on piano when young, and it provided a good foundation to learn other instruments.
Anyway, being that analog polys are so complex to build and design, there's a degree of 'take what one can get and put up' to get that superb sound, i feel. A6 was alesis' only analog poly. JP-8 was roland's second after the 4. CS-60 is also among the first of it's kind. While they are indeed incredible efforts well beyond my meager understanding, that doesn't automagically make them perfect, or even all that refined(case in point, the A6's parameter ranges...).

Wheras I pick up my yamaha sa2200 "a mere 335 variant", and everything is sorted; even better than the classic gibsons are, and those are the standard already of how to do a guitar right, imho.
I guess I'm spoiled by being used to an instrument i can wear and feel make the sound acoustically through my whole body...wheras in comparison synths are almost always some disconnect between going plink-plink on a plastic key and hearing the result "over there" (=wherever the speaker is).
So a tiny dark corner of me still understands the traditionalists' aversion to synthesizers vs playing piano (or whatever acoustic instrument one prefers). Synths are still pretty new-sauce as instruments generally go, and even though many examples exist so far, it is slow improving each iteration due to all the materials and complexity vs other types of instruments. And I can live with that; they still make f'ing awesome sounds, and that's all that matters in the end... and not my personal "gripes".

as always, ymmv and i reserve the right to change my mind
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by wordsdrawnigh » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:37 pm

adamstan wrote:D major is easy. Try C# or F# ;-) These are nightmare.
I actually find those to be the easiest keys to play in on the keyboard, as they have more natural fingerings..

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by pflosi » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:45 pm

Thanks Shaft. Some really interesting points in there IMO: the "disconnection" between playing something and hearing it from somewhere else (a speaker) is something I've thought about as well. Gets even worse with midi in between IMO. I've also been trained on piano so I know that feeling. On the other hand, there's also something like a Rhodes that's another middle ground somewhere in between there IMO - you hear the hammer hitting the tines faintly and it feels "direct", but there still needs to be an amp/speakers. I guess in the end they all have their advantages and disadvantages and one has to embrace them.

And then the point about "experience" in building polys, yeah I think that's crucial. It took a couple of hundred years to get guitars, pianos, etc. right, so we can assume that synthesizers (especially polys and those with non-conventional user interfaces) are only at their beginning right now.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:24 pm

If this feeling of playing an acoustic instrument is so important for some of you, why haven't breath controllers or EWI 5000s become more popular? There are also guitar synths, SYB-3s, etc.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:32 pm

I had a Peavey MIDIbase for a while. This was a bass guitar controller using wired frets for super low latency tracking. At the time I thought it would let me play my synths more easily because I'm a far better bassist then keyboard player.

I could never get the hang of playing a synth from the bass neck, it just felt "wrong" so I sold it and went back to using keys. I think that's the case with wind and string controllers for many people.
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by shaft9000 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:31 pm

pflosi wrote:On the other hand, there's also something like a Rhodes that's another middle ground somewhere in between there IMO - you hear the hammer hitting the tines faintly and it feels "direct", but there still needs to be an amp/speakers. I guess in the end they all have their advantages and disadvantages and one has to embrace them.
Ahaah! Funny you mentioned the Rhodes as i was doing the dishes just after i wrote all that and the Rhodes came to mind...nothing quite has that tactile 'fuzziness' when you bonk down on it

My bandmate has a rhodes73 he's debating letting go. He used to lug it to gigs but hasn't for years now.
He's warming up to the korg sv-1 as a likely substitute but if anyone has a better suggestion I'm all ears
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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by pflosi » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:45 am

Haha! Yeah, Rhodes are real interesting in that regard IMO. It's quite easy to substitute them just in terms of sound, but that feeling when you play the real deal... Just another level. But still something else than a grand piano or another "real" accoustic instrument. Very interesting stuff indeed.

Cheers! :drinks:

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:39 am

I'm quite interested in the whole alternative controllers thing that has been touched on here. There's a fair amount of non-keyboard controllers available, but keys still seem to be the default which is a bit of a pity.

Here's a little list of options for people who are serious about not wanting to play keys:

Ableton Push
C-Thru Music Axis
Haken Continuum
Snyderphonics Manta
Madrona Labs Soundplane
Roger Linn Linnstrument
Buchla Thunder and Lightning
etc.

There's a bunch more stuff available if you include things like playing melodic parts on MPC pads (I used to do this in my old band) or using button controllers like the Launchpad for note input. Most of the really expressive stuff needs to be connected to a computer to function, simply because the amount of data involved in an expressive performance is actually huge, and requires a fair bit of processing power to parse and is beyond the realms of what MIDI 1.0 is capable of transferring. I think that we're now at the point where DSP is powerful enough to be able to handle this amount of information, what we need now is a default high-throughput musical data protocol to be decided on and picked up by manufacturers for the concept to be able to pick up some steam. Whether that ends up being MIDI 2.0, CopperLan, OSC or something else depends on a number of factors I guess.

It's also worth noting that maybe synths have managed to go so long without incorporating any advanced expressive performance elements because maybe the users would rather program the expression into a patch (or just play a preset with expressive sounding elements programmed in) than to have the sound reacting to the nuances of how they're performing like a stringed instrument does. I know personally that for all the research I've done on this topic I usually turn velocity/level mapping off on my patches cause my playing isn't even enough. Maybe all us synth players are actually unexpressive hacks. :lol:

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by monolith » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:22 am

shaft9000 wrote: I guess I'm spoiled by being used to an instrument i can wear and feel make the sound acoustically through my whole body...wheras in comparison synths are almost always some disconnect between going plink-plink on a plastic key and hearing the result "over there" (=wherever the speaker is).
So a tiny dark corner of me still understands the traditionalists' aversion to synthesizers vs playing piano (or whatever acoustic instrument one prefers).
I know exactly what you mean. I only really feel it on synths with slowish envelopes like the MS-20 - it feels like i'm triggering a sound rather than playing an instrument.

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Re: Anyone here burned out on modern analog?

Post by abruzzi » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:01 am

Jabberwalky wrote:If this feeling of playing an acoustic instrument is so important for some of you, why haven't breath controllers or EWI 5000s become more popular? There are also guitar synths, SYB-3s, etc.
I think ultimately most synth users aren't that interested in realtime control--spend a few weeks on certain other forums and you'll see a lot of synth users who haven't even achieved proficiency on a keyboard. For them realtime control is about twisting knobs, not combining velocity, aftertouch, breath control, and an expression pedal (all part of my VL1.) That's neither good or bad, it just is. But at the same time, analog subtractive synthesis was rarely all that deeply responsive to multiple performance controllers, at least not in a way approaches acoustic instruments. It can be programmed that way with some newer analogs (and perhaps the CS80 was) but it rarely is.

For me personally, I'd take a menu driven synth with a single data slider but with deep performance controls over the opposite anyday, but that because I perform better with velocity, aftertouch, breath then I do with twisting knobs.

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