Your thoughts on the GAIA?

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madtheory
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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by madtheory » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:26 pm

I wouldn't fancy repairing an Eminent 310. Not a difficult circuit, but there is a huge number of capacitors. The "fish tanks". We have one of the lesser models here, with the rotating speaker. Was quite cool years ago when it worked.

I recently discovered the Equinox Delux Reaktor ensemble. Replacing its delay with EchoBoy gives exactly THAT string pad sound. It doesn't do the other Eminent sounds though.

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by lava » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:49 pm

knolan wrote: Just to set the record straight - the Oscillator on the GAIA ARE Virtual Analogue. I accept the supersaw may indeed be a PCM sample (and the GAIA does have a GM PCM sample set onboard as it can act totally separately as a GM module - but - Roland strictly separate that function and indeed are at pains to stipulate that PCM samples cannot be fed into the main synth engine. But in any case I can tell the oscillator waveforms are VA).
This is not true. I had a discussion with Roland support about this a couple of years ago. They were very clear in pointing out that the Gaia's oscillators are sample-based like the SH-32, vs the JP-8000 and SH-201 which are DSP-generated.

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by knolan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:27 pm

Hmm - not prepared to accept you at face value on this one. I've often encountered incorrect information given from the staff of such companies - and that could be the case here.

The GAIA oscillators do not sound sample based at all (where as on the JD800 you can hear it).

Need to investigate this one myself. Will be happy to stand corrected - but not just yet :-) !!!

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by ninja6485 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:25 pm

knolan wrote:The GAIA oscillators do not sound sample based at all (where as on the JD800 you can hear it).
They had a long time to work on sampling technology since the JD800. If they used one sample per note with precise loops, would you really be able to tell by ear alone? There would be no artifacts to give it away.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:30 pm

One bank is sample-based; not sure about the others. This has been the argument for years, with nay-sayers using that info as definitive proof that the whole thing is sample-based and others pointing the single bank out. I've never bothered to bug my friends at Roland for "definitive" answers, as I didn't feel it necessary nor did I want to incur any other wrath (after having spouted off online about some other stuff before I was supposed to - oops!). Perhaps I should, now that the time has long since passed that this should be an issue.

I actually like the sound of the SH-01 (though I hate the name "Gaia") and really like programming it. The sliders remind me of my beloved, but long-gone JP-6 and even the AX-60. Sound-wise, I think it's best to set three different sounds and layer them accordingly. You can make some really fun noises (and even musically useful tones) that way.
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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by ninja6485 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:41 pm

You brought up a great point that should be emphasized again: not being able to tell by ear alone is not grounds for asserting it is definitely sample based. It's grounds for asserting you can't tell by ear alone. It could be sampled, it could be otherwise, and that's where the additional research comes in. I think it's neat to know how it works, just for the sake of geeking out with it. If you have a passion for something, you really don't need any other reasons to investigate and learn about how it works, which is something I think we can all relate to form our experiences.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by griffin avid » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:08 am

Reminds me of the matrix where they wouldn't answer about whether or not they had wire work done because if you say "we used wires.." people claim they see wires even in scenes that didn't use them. So you start listening, what will you hear?
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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:14 am

The high polyphony count plus the monophonic operation when using osc sync gives away that it's sample based.

What does it matter what the oscillators are if you like the sound? Too much knee j**k dislike of anything digital in this world. Worrying about samples in a VA is a waste of time.
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: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by knolan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:09 pm

Not so. The OASYS offers very high polyphony for each Virtual Analogue engine - along side masses of other resources - all running off an ATOM processor! Polyphony for even component modelling is not a problem for todays processors.

And - while I really amn't looking to argue that the GAIA is VA for the sake of argument (I use multiple JD800s and absolutely love it's PCM based Sawtooth waveforms in particular - in fact all 100 or so of its PCM wavesforms are hugely flexible and attractive for 'subtractive synthesis' as distinct to S&S /Rompler purposes per say) - but even yesterday checking across the web I stumbled upon a discussion on the GAIA on this very topic where someone claims they asked the Roland engineer at NAMM the year it was released whether the GAIA's waveforms were PCM or VA and he categorically claimed they were VA (but not the Supersaw).

Over on Rolandclan they claim they are PCM based - but only offer the argument you offer based on high polyphony and a selection of waveforms - but that's not, in my view, sufficient argument to verify beyond doubt they are PCM based. I own a lot of synthesizers (I'm afraid to post over on the "how many synths do you have" thread as their counter doesn't go nearly high enough :-) - and to my ears, the basic subtractive waves on the GAIA sound very smooth and VA - like - but as said - will be totally content to stand corrected on it. I haven't powered it on in a while and am very busy - but if I get a chance I'll go through it note for note for long sustains and see if I can hear sample points or looping.

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:16 pm

Ok, we are done with this sample vs. VA discussion. :truce:
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: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by knolan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:37 pm

On the question on - why does it matter - I agree on a geek level it's fun to know but actually for posterity / history of synthesizers too I think it's worth getting to the bottom of it. And - it does affect its reputation. I think the GAIA would be 'rated' more if synthesists knew it was VA (however you value such rating from an aesthetic / musical stand point, there is always the practical monetary / resale value too). So for all sorts of reasons I think it's worth knowing - and if anyone in Roland reads this and can settle it, I for one would welcome it.

(It doesn't affect my view of it for my personal usage - I honestly couldn't care less either way - I love PCM waveforms as much as VA ones and the JD800 is central to so much of what I do BECAUSE of the amazingly 'generic' PCM sample set placed onto that amazing synth :-) ).

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Re: Your thoughts on the GAIA?

Post by ranzee » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:36 pm

I have a GAIA - I got mine from a Pawn Shop - and it had orange "C" keys. I did a repair, replaced the keys for a few bucks - and now it looks like new.

The technology in the GAIA has been superseded by the new ACB tech that Roland have brought out. The sound of the System-1 and System-8 is vastly superior to the GAIA.

However, the GAIA is a great portable, knock-a-bout synth that gets the sound quickly. It has a great EDM supersaw - and it is all over popular records.

I'm keeping mine - because I like the polyphony and the fact that there's 3 oscillators per voice. It can go deep. I also like the digital-ish sound it makes, and never in any way shape or form is it close to sounding like an analog.

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