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#2891096 - 11/18/17 09:55 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
You're not wrong...

I can't remember if you addressed this Grey but have you considered a poly analog? Something like an Andromeda or a Prophet 12 or ....? I'm not sure which box this doesn't check but it sure seems more in line with what you're trying to accomplish.


Dammit, I just knew you were going to say that!

The Little Phatty, somehow, manages to propagate voice selection and control changes down the line. The Moog videos show the guy twisting knobs on the keyboard, at which point all the Slim Phattys behind him obediently track what he's doing. Cute demo. I was hoping that the Voyager/RME setup would have something similar. Maybe it does, but doesn't include the patch bay, even though that's basically just a variation on the voltages determined by the knob settings.

I think I mentioned above that the Dave Smith stuff just doesn't sound right to me, though I'd be hard pressed to describe why.

The Andromeda is an unknown quantity to me. I've never seen one and can't say that I know of a track that uses one, such that I could say, "Ah ha! The sound of an Andromeda!" I'll do a bit of homework on that later.

Grey
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KC Island
#2891097 - 11/18/17 10:00 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: mate stubb]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
I think Grey is fixed on the Moog sound. Memorymoog anyone?


I know they exist(ed), but don't know anything about them. I have the vague impression that they're a pretty old design, yes? Late '70s? '80s? If I'm right in thinking that they're that old, how reliable are/were they? I know that the Model Ds from the '70s are still around, but that doesn't necessarily mean that other models have fared as well.

More homework.

Actually, if they're as old as I'm thinking, do they support MIDI?

Grey
_________________________
I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2891102 - 11/18/17 10:15 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins


I think I mentioned above that the Dave Smith stuff just doesn't sound right to me, though I'd be hard pressed to describe why.


Careful with this statement. Dave has produced a series of instruments (Evolver, P8, Mopho, etc.) which a lot of people find somewhat underwhelming sounding. A lot of this is attributed to the particular Curtis filter chip he used in everything, and some attribute it to his DCO circuitry being too precise.

BUT....

After that, Dave has produced instruments with different filters which sound a lot different. Listen to the Pro-2, Prophet 6, and even the Obie 6. They all use new discrete filter designs and sound a lot more exciting than the old ones did.
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#2891104 - 11/18/17 10:19 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
I think Grey is fixed on the Moog sound. Memorymoog anyone?


I know they exist(ed), but don't know anything about them. I have the vague impression that they're a pretty old design, yes? Late '70s?


I was kidding. Memorymoogs are hard to get to a state where they are reliable. Polymoogs on the other hand...

I kid! I kid!

See my post above about the newer Dave Smith instruments.
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Moe
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#2891106 - 11/18/17 10:22 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: mate stubb]
Marzzz Offline
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Registered: 11/24/00
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Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Dave has produced a series of instruments (Evolver, P8, Mopho, etc.) which a lot of people find somewhat underwhelming sounding. A lot of this is attributed to the particular Curtis filter chip he used in everything
Exactly- other than the PolyEvolver, I just never really liked the sound of DSI synths, that is until...
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
BUT....After that, Dave has produced instruments with different filters which sound a lot different. Listen to the Pro-2, Prophet 6, and even the Obie 6. They all use new discrete filter designs and sound a lot more exciting than the old ones did.
Yes, when he came out with the Prophet 6, it was a revelation. And the OB-6 is even more amazing. I just wish it was an OB-8, but it still really has that 80's OB/SEM vibe...

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#2891115 - 11/18/17 11:54 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Marzzz]
Markyboard Offline
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OK Grey - I've made my decision and I don't want to hear anymore arguing from you.

No modulars - its the wrong tool for you. It won't get you where you want to go and you won't enjoy the ridiculous amount of time needed to approach the sounds in your head. I forbid you to further consider this option and would have you change this thread title if possible.

Multi Voyagers, Phattys, Model Ds: No better then modular for your purpose. You're trying to make the Voyager (or Model D) into something it's not. Even if the external patching never existed I would tell you this is a clumsy expensive approach that will leave you unsatisfied. I also find it hard to believe that every sound in your head is achievable with a Moog, as good as they can sound from the right person. I forbid this approach.

Find a way to try out a number of poly-analogs or virtual analogs (eg. Solaris) that grabs you. Spend a few hundred bucks and take a trip to Washington Music Center or similar. It's chump change compared to the investment you're talking about. Marshal (aka Marzzz) is right; the Dave Smith OB6 and Prophet6 sound awesome. You could buy both and cover a lot more ground then any of your mono schemes. If you're set on the Moog sound do it mono and multi-track with your Phatty; or replace with a single Voyager or Sub37. That's what they're designed for. Then go enhance it with a poly.

Get off the 3 oscillator mindset and use your ears. Videos are deceiving and you've built up this mystique in your head of what might be. I love 3 osc monos - I have a few. But as a poly - no way! I think someone (Real MC?) tried to warn you about this already. Also with monos, get off the "has to come with 5 octaves". Midi will solve this if/when needed. If you want to play piano - get a piano.

OK - sorry for the harshness (and I'm 57.2% joking). I get you're just posting out loud and brainstorming. But seriously some of your ideas are just a bit wacko IMO.

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#2891128 - 11/18/17 01:23 PM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
JerryA Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
No modulars - its the wrong tool for you.


grin


+100 On OB6 and Prophet 6. Grey, they sound warm and huge. There is a world of sound in Polymod alone. smile


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#2891182 - 11/19/17 03:22 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
No modulars - its the wrong tool for you. It won't get you where you want to go and you won't enjoy the ridiculous amount of time needed to approach the sounds in your head. I forbid you to further consider this option and would have you change this thread title if possible.

Get off the 3 oscillator mindset and use your ears.

...some of your ideas are just a bit wacko IMO.


My analyst told me, that I was right out of my head
The way he described it, he said I'd be better dead...
--Annie Ross--

I started in listening to the Andromeda and right off the bat I knew something wasn't working. Finished two demos and gave up. Went to researching the thing and...two oscillators.

Huh.

You seem to believe that I've built three oscillators up in my mind as an abstract, theoretical exercise; that I should drop that and go listen. Actually, it's the other way around. It's listening that's brought me to where I am; to starting this thread. I tried to figure out why I liked some synths and not others. One of the baselines turned out to be the number of oscillators. 1 oscillator (e.g. the Mother 32). Non-starter. Pathetic. 2 oscillators (my Little Phatty). Marginal--okay for some patches, some of the time. 3 oscillators (D, Voyager). Much better--not a guaranteed success, of course, but a much richer tonal palette to work with.

Okay...so if 3 is good, then maybe...4? 5? More? That's what led me to the modular idea; start stacking oscillators. Sadly, at this point, I'm willing to concede that the time-building-patches thing will probably be a booger, but I didn't arrive at the modular idea on a whim. There was a method to my madness, so to speak. I want a rich sound and was considering multiple oscillators to get it. Unfortunately, it seems that the practical aspects will be daunting.

Note that I'm not saying that I can necessarily detect whether something has two oscillators by ear--at least I won't guarantee I can do it reliably, as a parlor trick--but I know instantly something is wrong with the sound (at least for my purposes).

On to the OB6/Prophet 6. Well, yeah, it's pretty much the same general sort of sound that I thought I remembered. It's...lighter in weight than I want, for want of a better way to describe it. Just as--if not more--damning, is the fact that every single voice that comes out of the thing sounds like an excerpt from a sci-fi movie soundtrack. That's not at all what I'm looking for. Now, don't get me wrong...I like science fiction. In fact, I've had the better part of fifty science fiction stories published, so you might say that I like sci-fi a lot. It's just not the music I hear in my head. I think it's the "house sound" for Dave Smith in the same way that Moog has a house sound that's distinct and different from other manufacturers. (In that same vein, I've never warmed to Roland keyboards. Their sounds just don't work for me.)

And though polyphonic it may be, it's got...wait for it...two oscillators. (No, I didn't cheat and look up the hardware specs before listening.) The voices are (I'm trying for yet another descriptive term) thin. Tissue thin. There's no there, there. It's like you can see through the voice.

I think I'm going to have to simply quit listening to two oscillator machines. I've already got one. I want to move ahead, not laterally. More complexity, not more of the same.

That said, I think that you, I, and several others posting in this thread are converging on the same idea: that a modular system isn't where I need to go, at least at this time. The journey is not where I'm at--I want to get to the destination.

JerryA,
You've got a strange way of trying to sell me on the idea of an OB6/Prophet 6...by posting a video featuring "the most annoying sound in the world."

Hmmm...methinks it's reverse psychology!
(Maybe he works for Moog and is trying to get me away from DSI.)

Grey

P.S.: To the person who wrote to say that they were watching this thread, being on a similar journey: Just because I'm backing away from modulars doesn't mean that you should. You do what's right for your ears. Okay?
_________________________
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#2891190 - 11/19/17 04:56 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
JerryA Offline
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Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 6998
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: GRollins
JerryA,
You've got a strange way of trying to sell me on the idea of an OB6/Prophet 6...by posting a video featuring "the most annoying sound in the world."

Hmmm...methinks it's reverse psychology!
(Maybe he works for Moog and is trying to get me away from DSI.)


No, I screwed up. facepalm grin

But at least we illustrated that modular is probably not for you. cop

I have a slim phatty which I run external signals into and run "vintage-izing CV signals" into as well. If it were polyphonic, it would be a dream synth but it would still have only two oscillators because sometimes you want that sound. If you are not a Moog guy, perhaps you are a ladder filter guy?

Hear are a couple more ways to skin this cat:

1) buy a (mono-synth) with a ton of oscillators and open patching like the GRPA4 or Matrixbrute
2) buy one of the more boutique polysynths with ladder filter and (sometimes) an extra oscillator or suboscillator

1) The GRP A4




Some candidates for 2)

2) Studio Electronic Omega 8





2) Modal 008



2) Modal 002



Each of them is serious coin .... but less than a Moog 15 and you can tell your SO it doesn't hog the space like a grand piano. grin

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#2891197 - 11/19/17 06:44 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5167
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
First let me say I'm thrilled that we're talking synths here. Seems to be limited topics on using synths so thanks for your continued thoughtful viewpoints.

If someone were to post about what a waste it is to have 3 oscillators on a synth I'd be taking a completely different stance. As I stated earlier I have a number of 3 oscillator synths and I LOVE 3 oscillator synths - especially monos. They take me places in my sound exploration/noodling that a 2 oscillator synth would not. And they're simply just plain fun. But I also listen to the guys here that actually make real music with these toys. You want powerful, you want thick deep bass, you want balls of sound? It's way more about the arrangements and mixing and knowing which tools to use when and how to use them effectively.

I remember forum member Carlo (aka Marino) telling me that the best way to judge a synth is with a single oscillator. If you cant make that synth shine with a single oscillator then what is the 2nd or 3rd oscillators really doing for you? My fragile ego didn't buy into this at the time, but knowing and respecting the sounds and music he produces I took his "lesson" home with me. It continues to greatly influenced my approach to sound creation. I get it now - even though I can't come close to doing what Carlo does. But as I scroll through my 3 oscillator Memorymoog patches and 4 osc Poly Evolver patches, many are only using 2 oscillators.

There's so much more to a synth than the oscillators (I know you know this) but the interaction between modules and how you drive each stage, and various type filters and then the VCA...it's a complex system. And all this ends up on just one track that may need to work with many. So to claim that all those wonderful classic 2 oscillator synths just don't do it for you...based on computer demos? Really?

If it were me I'd be thinking maybe I'm missing something here; maybe there's another approach, perhaps a better way? Also I'll state it again - you need to have hands on with these synths through decent monitors and actually turn knobs trying to create a selection of sounds that you're after. IMO demos don't tell you shit (or are at best very limited) when you're into rolling your own.

Of course you may be another one of those guys who's sound I admire with your approach, so what do I know? Just remember Uncle Ben's last words to Peter Parker;

"With 3 oscillators comes great responsibility".


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#2891199 - 11/19/17 06:56 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: JerryA]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5167
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Originally Posted By: JerryA

1) The GRP A4





Thanks ...Jerry!!! mad wink

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#2891224 - 11/19/17 10:06 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
mate stubb Offline
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For more than 2 oscillators per voice, you may be headed into high quality VA territory.

Bowen Solaris (knobby, 4 oscillators, 4 filters, 6 envelopes, 4 LFOs PER VOICE. Includes Moog type oscillators and filters:



Access Virus (knobby, 3 oscillators, 2 filters, 3 LFO, 2 EG per voice, multitimbral)



Waldorf Blofeld (somewhat knobby, 3 oscillators, 2 filters, 3 LFO, 4 EG per voice)



I have been craving a Blofeld to play with. They are affordable and I think they sound great.

All of these machines have oscillators that do not just analogue but wave table, granular or other types of synthesis. I heard Virus like sounds all over the new Blade Runner score. Listen to demos of these 3 on YT.


Edited by mate stubb (11/19/17 10:13 AM)
_________________________
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Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

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#2891229 - 11/19/17 10:31 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: mate stubb]
rod76 Offline
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Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 668
Alesis Ion and the Korg KingKorg also have 3 Oscillators each.

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#2891233 - 11/19/17 11:01 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: rod76]
Marzzz Offline
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3 Oscillators...

One of the things I really love about the Moog D reissue is how absolutely amazing it sounds with just one oscillator. It just has that weight.

Now, I guess if you want a poly with 3 OSCs, you are looking at a refurbed (and good luck with that....) Memorymoog. But to me, the Memorymoog was just too powerful, there was little room for anything else when you were playing it. Only other synth with that kind of power was the Yamaha CS-80, and that was parallel one OSC architecture.

So as far as analog polysynths go, I am in the two OSCs are enough camp. When you are holding chords, there really is a lot going on sonically. I think save the 3 OSC for a mono synth, or a thinner-sounding VA. I thought the Andromeda sounded great with two OSCs, once you learned no to overload the signal path...

btw- Studioelectronics Omega/Code does sound very powerful, but I have this thing about polyAT. One of the reasons I am watching the development of the Deckard's Dream.

Hey Markyboard, two "L"s in my name, please ! wave

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#2891239 - 11/19/17 11:59 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Marzzz]
Markyboard Offline
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Posts: 5167
Loc: Springfield, Virginia


End of discussion.

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#2891290 - 11/19/17 05:08 PM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
Marzzz Offline
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Registered: 11/24/00
Posts: 2355
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
End of discussion.

I am surprised it took this long to bring it up...! Are they still making them?

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#2891302 - 11/19/17 06:05 PM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard


End of discussion.


Hold on there bub. We can discuss this too! Python

_________________________
Moe
---
Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2891374 - 11/20/17 05:30 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
BuckW Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 127
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
Oh yeah, who could forget this (cough) beauty?



Drug dealers edition?

This is the synth the Alfred Molina character would have had in Boogie Nights between lighting firecrackers in his mansion.

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#2891384 - 11/20/17 06:04 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: mate stubb]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5167
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Originally Posted By: mate stubb


Hold on there bub. We can discuss this too! Python





2 osc/voice- I checked this and the Matrix 12 before posting the Schmidt. I'm actually surprised, are there really only 2 poly analogs with 3 or 4 osc/voice? Btw I'm waiting for my new neighbor Arun to get home to check out his Chroma- never played one before but it looks dreamy love

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#2891403 - 11/20/17 07:33 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Marzzz]
GRollins Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: Marzzz
One of the things I really love about the Moog D reissue is how absolutely amazing it sounds with just one oscillator. It just has that weight.


Actually, the Model D has three, not counting noise, etc. That's one of the things that's made it an enduring classic--it's got enough complexity to satisfy the ear.

All righty...lemme try this from a different perspective with the caveat that I'm under assault by germs and my mental portions ain't working so good.

(According to some, they don't work so good when I'm well, either...)

There was this critter named Fourier who lived in France back about 200 years ago. Smart cookie. He figured out that you can analyze waveforms as aggregates of sine waves. Now, this is mind-blowing stuff. Completely boggling.

Suppose you want a square wave but all you have on hand are sines. Well, you take one unit (let's say it's a volt) of the fundamental, then add 1/3 volt of the third harmonic, 1/5 volt of the fifth harmonic, 1/7 volt of the seventh harmonic, 1/9 volt of the ninth harmonic...in other words, add all the odd order harmonics in decreasing ratios, all the way out to infinity.

Ta da!

Instant square wave. Okay, okay, there are a few housekeeping details, but it really is that simple, conceptually.

This is exceedingly powerful stuff. And the cool thing is that it works in reverse, too. If you start with a square, you can filter it bit by bit, removing harmonics one at a time, until you get back to the original fundamental sine wave.

This is the basis of subtractive synthesis.

'Round about now, them what's knows this stuff are wondering if this is gonna be another one of those long, meandering posts that Grey is (in)famous for.

Yep.

Bear with me. I'm going somewhere with this.

Suppose we want to imitate a flute. Flutes are easy. Pretty much just a fundamental with a little second harmonic and third harmonic added for seasoning. So we start filtering down our square wave...whoa!...wait a minute!...a square wave ain't gots no second harmonic; all it has are odd-order harmonics. But, being resourceful lads, we reach out and flip the switch from square wave to sawtooth wave (fundamental, 1/2 second, 1/3 third, 1/4 fourth, 1/5 fifth...note the presence of even order harmonics) and filter it down. Add a little noise to simulate breath, possibly stick an LFO on the signal to vary the volume a bit, and we've got a passable imitation of a flute.

What about a guitar? That's going to get more complicated, but it's not too bad. We'll need more harmonics, both odd and even, to get the basic sound, but then we get into variables such as where the string is plucked. Still, it's manageable.

We could run through all the instruments, one by one, but that would take a while. The point is that some instruments have more complex waveforms than others. And our ability to create a passable imitation of a given instrument decreases with the increasing complexity of the instrument's waveform.

There are a number of factors in this, but one of the biggies is that if the human ear hears a sequence of harmonics arranged in a stack, it knows that the tones are related. It reduces the complexity of the sound, psychoacoustically, to one, single sound. Even if that's not what you intended.

So if you take one oscillator and set it for a triangle wave, then no matter what you do to the signal, your ear is not fooled. It still recognizes that as a single signal, even if you've wallpapered the room with harmonics...it's still one signal. So you need an entirely different signal with a slightly different fundamental frequency (aka "detuned") and/or an entirely different harmonic structure (square, if you started with sawtooth, or whatever), to satisfy the need for complexity. But even then, your ear is still going to reduce that to two waveforms, because it recognizes the harmonic structures as being related.

Incidentally, that's one reason why reverb is so popular. It helps decorrelates the signals, blurring the fact that there's not really that much going on, sonically. It helps fool the ear.

I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to recreate the sound of, say, a violin. What I do want is more complexity in a single note. Then I'll add those more complex notes together in the same manner as a symphony orchestra comprised of one hundred instruments playing in unison. No, I'm not saying that I want 100 note polyphony--I'm saying that instruments creating complex waveforms can work together and sound quite nice in the process. I think, for me, three to maybe eight note polyphony would be sufficient, but each note needs to have sufficient complexity to satisfy my ear if played as a single note. As I noted in a previous post, the breakover point--for me--seems to be around three oscillators. You're free to use one, two, whatever makes you happy.

Which is why I started considering modulars, even though it now looks as though that's going to be too much of a muchness for me, given my particulars.

Now perhaps you can see why I'm spending so much time contemplating oscillators...and we haven't even started filters (topology, order, implementation) yet.

Holy cow.

All right, that's enough for the moment. I'm pretty sick and need some down time. Hopefully, this made sense, 'cause my brain has been reduced to oatmeal and I'm having trouble keeping my thoughts straight. I caught one error--said triangle when I meant to say sawtooth--but that doesn't mean there aren't others. I'll try to patch things (ahem) up later, if necessary.

Grey
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#2891404 - 11/20/17 07:35 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
CEB Offline
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Posts: 12551
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
....

I remember forum member Carlo (aka Marino) telling me that the best way to judge a synth is with a single oscillator. ...


Maybe it should be a separate topic but the question on What steps to take to judge a synth might be good. With me I start with does the keys feel good enough to warrant even turning the thing on. Then I go to single oscillators set it to triangle wave at it upper most ranges and listen for unwanted crap. Then repeat the process for sine waves. Especially critical with VA where you can get a lot of aliasing.

Then I check how good the bass on an individual oscillator basis is then all oscillators set to saw detuned and see how much hair can be dialed up but hair can have A LOT to do with gain staging and amplification.

To a certain extent waves are waves. The real character is in the filters.


Edited by CEB (11/20/17 07:40 AM)
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#2891417 - 11/20/17 08:08 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
Markyboard Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5167
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Originally Posted By: GRollins


All right, that's enough for the moment. I'm pretty sick and need some down time. Hopefully, this made sense, 'cause my brain has been reduced to oatmeal and I'm having trouble keeping my thoughts straight.
Grey


GET BETTER GREY....GET BETTER!



laugh

(serious though I do hope you feel better soon)

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#2891446 - 11/20/17 10:51 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Markyboard]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard


2 osc/voice- I checked this and the Matrix 12 before posting the Schmidt. I'm actually surprised, are there really only 2 poly analogs with 3 or 4 osc/voice? Btw I'm waiting for my new neighbor Arun to get home to check out his Chroma- never played one before but it looks dreamy love


Sir, you are looking at a Chroma plus Expander. They are both capable of layering via a single button press. With that setup, you can run 4 oscillators at once with still 8 voice polyphony, or 8 oscillators at once for 4 voice polyphony.

And that's before you do any multitimbral tricks to stack as many voices as you want (requires external computer to do that.)

I once sequenced the entire orchestral ending of Nights in White Satin with 2 Chromas and an Apple II for a concert. I could have desperately used a nice digital reverb (barely available back then) but otherwise it sounded pretty great.

_________________________
Moe
---
Kawai Novus: "Please feel surprised even more."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2891447 - 11/20/17 10:57 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: CEB]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: CEB
With me I start with does the keys feel good enough to warrant even turning the thing on.


This is becoming increasingly important to me as I gain experience with keyboards (like the action on my Yamaha MM8, Kronos is slow and has a weird bounce at the bottom), but I can't change the physical keys...except when I can...

Which leads me to:

Does anyone have any hands-on experience with the M-Audio Hammer keyboard?

M-Audio Hammer keyboard

If I'm reading things properly, it may be so new that people haven't gotten their mitts on them yet. No, it doesn't seem that they've got 61/73/76, or at least I didn't see them.

NOTE: MF has them in one of their sales. 15% off >$150, which this qualifies for (they're $399). Something to ponder...if the keys feel good. The chance of one showing up around here to touch are nil. I'd have to buy blind if I was to get one, but someone in a better market might be able to give a report.

Grey
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#2891492 - 11/20/17 03:55 PM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
dsetto Offline
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Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 542
Loc: Los Angeles
Which one of these is most important to you?
- deeply compelling raw tone
- deeply flexible
- polyphony 4-8 voice

are you willing to go the route of one polyphonic, one monophonic - neither one meeting all 3 criteria in isolation, but all 3 criteria met in the pair, under $6k?

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#2891513 - 11/20/17 05:52 PM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
Marzzz Offline
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Registered: 11/24/00
Posts: 2355
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: GRollins
Originally Posted By: Marzzz
One of the things I really love about the Moog D reissue is how absolutely amazing it sounds with just one oscillator. It just has that weight.

Actually, the Model D has three, not counting noise, etc. That's one of the things that's made it an enduring classic--it's got enough complexity to satisfy the ear.

OK, let me rephrase that. One of the things I really love about the Moog D reissue is how absolutely amazing it sounds when using just one of its three oscillators.

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#2891547 - 11/20/17 08:09 PM Re: Modular synths [Re: Marzzz]
mate stubb Offline
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#2891577 - 11/21/17 12:54 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: dsetto]
GRollins Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: dsetto
Which one of these is most important to you?
- deeply compelling raw tone
- deeply flexible
- polyphony 4-8 voice

are you willing to go the route of one polyphonic, one monophonic - neither one meeting all 3 criteria in isolation, but all 3 criteria met in the pair, under $6k?


Tone is most important for me. Paramount. Tops. Ne plus ultra.

Flexibility is in the eye of the beholder. What use are 440 knobs if you still can't get a tone you like? On the other hand, if you've just nailed the tone, the fact that you did it with three knobs becomes irrelevant. So, with that in mind, I'd say that flexibility, per se, is not necessarily all that important, as long as I can get the tones I want.

Polyphony is in second place. I can get a couple of decent tones out of my Little Phatty, but then I screw up because I'm not paying attention and I try to play a chord. Suddenly I'm playing a G when I was originally playing a C (the Phatty's set to "play last note hit"). It's not like the Note Police are going to arrest me, but it's annoying. Poly chaining would get me there but, at least within the Phatty system, I'm limited to the two oscillators and no noise.

Did I mention I'd like noise? I'd like noise. Sometimes. Phattys ain't gots no noise. Bummer.

And, yes, I got the email from Moog saying stuff's on sale. Mucho on sale. Now that's just downright evil. Suddenly brand new Voyager XLs are down in the upper end of the used range. Ditto for Model Ds. Now, Voyagers will poly chain using RMEs. As far as I know, there's no rack mount D and I'm not sure that Ds will poly chain anyway.

The Behringer D is still an unknown quantity at this time.

For that matter, there's an awful lot of modular stuff on sale at the moment, but I think I'm going to close my eyes and pretend that I don't see those items.

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2891578 - 11/21/17 01:05 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: Marzzz]
GRollins Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Originally Posted By: Marzzz
OK, let me rephrase that.


The English language is a marvelous and versatile tool for communication, but that doesn't mean it's always as precise as we'd like. I'm all the time saying things that come out wrong...just read any five posts I've written here. Chances are, at least one out of the five went astray in some way.

It's my super power.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I might as well throw in that--barring winning the lottery--the idea of $10k keyboard systems just ain't gonna get off the ground. I never made all that much money when I was working and now that I'm retired...well, unless Steven Spielberg options one of my stories, I'm going to have to keep this semi-rational.

Grey
_________________________
I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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#2891603 - 11/21/17 06:13 AM Re: Modular synths [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 522
Something I should have posted earlier regarding the whole poly chain thing:

YouTube video--Polyphonic Slim Phatty Chain

From about 1:00-1:15, the Moog guy (it's an official Moog video) is cranking knobs on a Little Phatty, demonstrating that all the Slims in the background are following what he's doing.

If I can get polyphony in one chassis, wonderful. We can call that Plan A. If I can't, then Plan B is to poly chain. Plan C will be to give up polyphony and stick with mono--it's not a deal killer, but it's a big step down.

As far as tone goes, I know I like the Moog house sound. Unfortunately, the Dave Smith house sound leaves me cold. The various modular companies are hard to judge because, by their very nature, modular systems aren't generally set up comparing analogous (ahem) systems with equivalent modules from one mfg. vs. another. Well, that and the expense. There aren't going to be a lot of people with the cash to do that and why have two equivalent systems anyway? Build them differently so as to get more variation in sounds.

The boutique builders are expensive. When you're talking 12-13k Euros for that tubed synth that came up in the Hammond Novachord thread, I'm out of the game.

It may be that my appetite is bigger than my wallet. It won't be the first time that's happened. I may have to give up polyphony and go with a D or a Voyager (possible later poly chain?). Either of those new would be a stretch, even on sale. More likely used would be the ticket. The Behringer? I could do new on that pretty easily. It's still not clear to me whether they poly chain. Behringer's mum. They still--just checked--don't admit that the unit exists, even though there are apparently scads of the things in the field for evaluation. So...no way to download an owner's manual and read through that.

I'm sitting here wrapped in blankets with just my eyes peeking out the top, trying to stay warm while the confounded germs storm my gates. I'm going to take a few minutes and catch up on some of the demo videos that you kind folks have provided.

The C, I've seen. Schmidt, yes? Big bucks. >US$20k. Be the first on your block to...well, never mind. I'm not a good enough keyboardist to justify the machinery that I've got on hand; I've just been very, very fortunate in that the Great Bear sent me the A-100 and the Kronos at prices that I could justify. It doesn't really matter whether the Schmidt sounds good or not, I'll never be able to justify that sort of money for a keyboard. It's like talking about owning a Ferrari. If I see a Ferrari in a parking lot, I'll go over and look at it, but I'm not going to go to a Ferrari dealership and kick the tires. It's pointless and the condescending looks of the salesmen would wound my soul.

The others, I will look into, so thanks for the links. It'll be good passive entertainment.

Grey
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I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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