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Synth Explosion where does it end? #3025090 01/22/20 07:01 PM
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paulkondig Offline OP
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With so many synths. How does one not get a bad case of GAS!

This all seems a bit overwhelming? With Behringer cloning every conceivable vintage synth, and KORG relaunching ARP? Plus new and classic synths? How would one choose?


I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry as I need it!
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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025093 01/22/20 07:12 PM
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I admit that I stopped keeping up with new products years ago, too many to keep track of.

The cloning product strategy isn't all bad. Like the Les Paul and the Strat, some things are just hard to improve and they just WORK. Vintage synths went neglected for a long time before they were rediscovered, but not before they needed plenty of restoration. There's a demand for "that sound", and the cloners are filling that demand. That the initial production of KARP 2600s sold out even before it was shown at NAMM says something. Cloning ARPs are a good target because you don't have to worry about slidepots that stop working due to age.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025094 01/22/20 07:14 PM
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Between my Macbook and my iPad, both of which have worked their way into my various gigging rigs, I can access zillions of sounds and softsynths, which I can route and instance in nearly infinite ways.

So why do I want all these synthesizers so badly? roll


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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025239 01/23/20 03:01 AM
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IMO, the immediacy of sound design capabilities and sonic goodness an analog synth provides makes it a fun instrument.

The synth explosion will last as long as the instant gratification cannot be reproduced or replaced by another KB or software. cool


PD

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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025240 01/23/20 03:13 AM
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My problem with anything PC-based is that you're one operating system version change away from obsolescence. Then you have to buy a new version to fit Windows XP/7/8/10...29 or whatever (ditto Apple). Show me a piece of software that still works after 10-20 years (and who knows how many operating system versions). A Moog from the '70s may need some maintenance, but so would a PC of equivalent age, only there's no DOS software still operative, know what I mean? And let's not get into trying to find a replacement hard drive for, say, an IBM XT. Oh, wait, current software won't even fit on a 10MB hard drive.

And the Moog has resale value. PCs that old aren't good for anything. Hell, PCs over three to five years old aren't worth much. Software resale value? You guessed it. Zilch.

I've got a Fender bass that's near as old as I am. It has value. Even a mainframe computer (no PCs back then) wouldn't run current software and has close to zero value except as salvage. I just don't see anything based on a PC as a good investment, long term. Gimme hardware.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025247 01/23/20 04:19 AM
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It ends when market demand ends. Market demand exists because the originals got prohibitively expensive to the point of becoming museum pieces for collectors. The market will adjust.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025268 01/23/20 08:19 AM
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But I have a hard time believing that the market is expanding so much that a lot of new manufacturers are entering it (as opposed to the big old ones - Moog, Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Kurzweil, Nord). I can't even keep track of the brands now, not even the instruments!
John Bowen, UDO, ASM, Analogue Solutions, Modal, etc. etc.

Also the manufacturers are expanding their palette and treading each other's ground. Yamaha has never done something like the new YC. Roland hasn't done analogue and true VA for quite a long time before the AIRA line / JD-XA.


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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025285 01/23/20 12:56 PM
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How do I choose? Somehow I can find enough nit-picky things to rule out most of them grin And when I can't, it's usually because it's too much $$ so the price rules it out!

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: Stokely] #3025289 01/23/20 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Stokely
How do I choose? Somehow I can find enough nit-picky things to rule out most of them grin And when I can't, it's usually because it's too much $$ so the price rules it out!




Like the new ARP 2600, from KORG?

Roland’s entire Boutique line comes to mind? I know, some people complain about mini or micro keys: i.e. the Roland JD-xi or the MicroKORG, well that has lasted over a decade and sold well. Although, not for keyboard paying.


I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry as I need it!
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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025305 01/23/20 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by paulkondig
How would one choose?


Ask yourself 3 questions (be honest with your answers):

Do I really need to buy a new keyboard?

Will buying a new keyboard improve the way I write and play music?

Have I exhausted the features/capabilities of my existing keyboard(s)?



I haven't purchased any new music gear in 6+ years... very satisfied with what I currently own. I still watch demo videos of new synths when posted here on the forum, but that's all.



When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025308 01/23/20 03:26 PM
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I answer all 3 questions with a big Yes.
WaveState is my choice.
It’s fresh and way more capable than the original, or any Waldorf variation.
Makes me smile, makes me think outside the norm, and I’m hacking off the keys instead of waiting for the desktop.


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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025310 01/23/20 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by paulkondig
Originally Posted by Stokely
How do I choose? Somehow I can find enough nit-picky things to rule out most of them grin And when I can't, it's usually because it's too much $$ so the price rules it out!




Like the new ARP 2600, from KORG?

Roland’s entire Boutique line comes to mind? I know, some people complain about mini or micro keys: i.e. the Roland JD-xi or the MicroKORG, well that has lasted over a decade and sold well. Although, not for keyboard paying.


My own requirements are for live, so I usually come up with a whole host of things I "can't live without". The reality is I could gig with just about anything and nobody would complain if I was in tune and on time grin

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025319 01/23/20 04:24 PM
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I need a Jupiter X to play some Duran Duran covers.

After that, I swear I will NEVER need to buy another new synth again, right?


Yamaha U1 Upright, Kurzweil Forte 7, Viscount Legend Live, Roland FA-07, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2, Arturia V Collection 6, Komplete 12 Ultimate, Lots of Plug Ins (MAC) & iPad Stuff
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025324 01/23/20 04:36 PM
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Sure.




Until the next new thing comes along. keys2


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025346 01/23/20 06:15 PM
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I've quit making that promise, except in jest.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: GRollins] #3025373 01/23/20 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GRollins
My problem with anything PC-based is that you're one operating system version change away from obsolescence.

Grey


Sampling is the answer to this. Sounds that I find valuable are sampled. Doesn't matter if they are on a hardware synth or a soft-synth. I am building a library that is in straight WAV files.

Ultimately, I can and will sell hardware synths. Software will go out of date. WAV files aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I have them in a particular piece of software today (UVI's Falcon), but the raw material can easily be mapped in other software. I even have software to do this mapping (Chicken Systems Translator) that has been around 20 years.

Obsolescence is real. Even professional grade wind instruments wear out. Guitar fretboards wear out. Pianos wear out. Hardware synths have less life expectancy than my grand piano by at least half. So even hardware isn't a lifetime purchase.

I'm much happier thinking of my hardware synths as temporary generators, but thinking of my personal sample library as my investment. It has a much better chance of weathering the years than the hardware. Some of the hardware is "because I can" - like the Minimoog Model D re-issue. There are great software and hardware alternatives that are less money. It's a pretty limited synth. But it is cool. It is history. It is fun to play. It isn't going anywhere. It doesn't have patch memory. But my sampler fixes that. Now my Minimoog can have presets.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025404 01/23/20 10:39 PM
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Guitars and basses can be refretted, after which they're essentially as good as new. I don't know how many Stradivarius violins, violas, cellos, etc. have worn out, but the ones I've heard still seem to be working okay. The same can't be said for software. Imagine, if you will, a functional 300 year-old piece of software. Boggles the imagination, it does.

Samples are fragile, too. WAV files are subject to the same threat of obsolescence as the software they run on. All it will take is an industry turn towards, say, FLAC, and you're toast. The optimistic response to that is something along the lines of, "But all I have to do is translate the WAV files into FLAC with my handy-jim-dandy ConvertAll app!"

But...

The whole point of FLAC (and other so-called "lossless" file formats) is that they sound better. You can't make up the deficit in sound quality in a WAV file no matter what you do, and that's setting aside conversion errors that creep in, causing a loss of sound quality when going from one format to another.

Meanwhile, my 1960 Fender Precision just keeps trucking...along with all those old 'Burst Les Pauls and early Stratocasters and old Martins and...

(My P-bass still has the original frets, by the way...)

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025444 01/24/20 02:53 AM
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I've got the basses and guitars, sweet amps, and a piano too. I get it. But, there's nothing permanent. Everything takes maintenance to persist. It is interesting how quickly towns or roads vanish if they are left to the wild. Technology is certainly that way.

BTW, there's no deficit in a WAV file. It is the canonical audio format. Its pretty literally the output of the converters with a small header. FLAC doesn't sound better or worse. Its a smaller file size due to compression. WAV is a very, very simple wrapper. If it goes away, there will not be any loss in moving it to something else - I have the canonical audio. A new wrapper for whatever is the next uncompressed audio format will be easy to transition to without any quality loss. Header change won't change the payload. And, for better or worse - its the best that can be done right now. What is certain is that synths don't seem to age all that well compared to the instruments you mentionedl.

But what is true is that sonic standards and tastes evolve. Will I really want the exact same synth patch 30 years from now? Who knows. I might be just as happy making new things then as I am now. The fact is that we are all creators. And creators create. So the instrument is much less important than the player/composer. I don't wish my studio to burn down. But if it did, I'd get other instruments, and keep going. So, I'm somewhat pragmatic about it at this point. Do what can be done, but know that in the long run, it will be fine, however it turns out.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025484 01/24/20 09:58 AM
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We each have our own money and can spend it in any way that suits us. I'm nowhere near as confident in the permanence of any PC-based technology as you seem to be. If you think your WAV collection is a good investment, then more power to you. In the long run I believe you'll find that you've built your house on sand, but...it's your money and if it's giving you pleasure in the near term then hopefully you'll feel that it was money well spent.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: GRollins] #3025502 01/24/20 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GRollins
Show me a piece of software that still works after 10-20 years (and who knows how many operating system versions). A Moog from the '70s may need some maintenance, but so would a PC of equivalent age, only there's no DOS software still operative, know what I mean?



Here are a few factual data points based on my history:

1) Korg Legacy Collection: Purchased March 2005. Updated to Digital Edition in 2006. Used originally on Dell PC with Win ME followed by three self-built I7 PCs w/ Win XP, Win 7 and now Win 10 respectively. Korg provided 64 bit upgrade in 2013 (for $15 shipping iirc) but orig (32 bit) still works

2) GSI MrRay Mk2, purchased Oct 2008, still works - just checked (same PC history as above).

3) NI B4 and FM7 purchased in Jan 2004 - upgrade to B4 II in Nov 2005 and Komplete7 in 2011. Originals still work.

4) OP-X Pro II...well you get the point

I could go on but I'm fairly certain every VST I ever purchased still works - almost all are 64 bit now but iirc no manufacturer charged money just for that.

Hardware?

1) RME HDSPe AES-32 PCIe sound card purchased in Apr 2009. Use it every day and they still sell it and periodically update the drivers.

2) HT Omega eClaro Sound Card ( used for PC monitors) purchased Apr 2012 - still use it every day.



Anyway....hardware's great, software's great. Buy/use whatever you like.





Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: Markyboard] #3025556 01/24/20 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GRollins
Show me a piece of software that still works after 10-20 years (and who knows how many operating system versions). A Moog from the '70s may need some maintenance, but so would a PC of equivalent age, only there's no DOS software still operative, know what I mean?


I had Cakewalk Pro Audio with Music Quest MQX32M MIDI card running on a circa-1993 WFW311 computer since 1995. If it ain't broke, I don't fix it. I don't use plugins and the computer was strictly dedicated for music and nothing else.

Flawless until the motherboard failed early last year. They don't make 'em like they used to. I only upgraded because you can't buy a new motherboard with ISA slots for the MIDI card.

Originally Posted by Markyboard
Anyway....hardware's great, software's great. Buy/use whatever you like.


Indeed.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025592 01/24/20 08:51 PM
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If you look into audio archiving, the important thing is to separate the audio from ANY computer program or OS. WAV files are NOT tied to any particular computer, program or plugin - that's the point. Sure, software prepared the WAV, and software opens and plays the WAV file. But once it is prepared or recorded, it is no longer dependent on that computer or software to have use or value. There's no long term guarantee that old session files, plugins, will remain openable or run on newer versions of the same software.

That's why WAV files work as an archival format. The spec was originally released in 1991 (29 years ago). All those files still play identically, despite the dozens of OS's, and thousands of programs that have gone by the wayside. Photographers export uncompressed BMP and TIFF images for the same reason - Photoshop will come and go, but the finished images will still be openable in something. The samples I make run on my DAW (Windows), my laptop rig (OS X) without any difference. I can take those same samples and put them in a Nord or a Kronos. If UVI (Falcon) goes under or Kontakt, the WAV files will still load into some sampler. It takes literally 10-15 min to tweak the samples into playable shape. Not perfect, but far from a big deal.

Composers and producers regularly export final copies of mixes and then mix stems that rendered through all plugins and processing (even external gear). In this way, the mix can be reconstructed without opening any session files. If the stem WAV files are all placed on a timeline and played together, the final mix is the result. This is how masters are being archived. Cubase/Nuendo just got a new export utility that makes it trivial to render out the stems properly. ProTools has had this for a while. Of course, the session files are saved too, but they are not as permanent.

And, as always with digital data, 3 copies is minimum. Cloud storage is wonderful for this.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025654 01/25/20 05:47 AM
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I've been whining about less multi-timbrality these days (maybe it's not so true), but obviously analog is cheap to build and to program. Easier to copy that to debug something totally new. So I can really just drop some of these nuggets, a model D or Neutron, RD-8, DM12 on various channels and be plenty multi-timbral.

So why do I feel such a pull to one of those Andromedas?

Wake me when there is a worthy 16 Channel analog clone to that one.

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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: The Real MC] #3025678 01/25/20 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
[quote=GRollins]Flawless until the motherboard failed early last year. I only upgraded because you can't buy a new motherboard with ISA slots for the MIDI card.


Yep.

That.

Grey


I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.
Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3025696 01/25/20 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by paulkondig
With so many synths. How does one not get a bad case of GAS!

This all seems a bit overwhelming? With Behringer cloning every conceivable vintage synth, and KORG relaunching ARP? Plus new and classic synths? How would one choose?


Choose only the ones that truly inspire you and allow you to say something different or sound different from what you've already got.

All else is just GAS and is a waste of money and time.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: KenElevenShadows] #3025812 01/26/20 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows


All else is just GAS and is a waste of money and time.


Even GAS will pass with time.

Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: KeyboardEric] #3025947 01/26/20 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by KeyboardEric
Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows


All else is just GAS and is a waste of money and time.


Even GAS will pass with time.



Sorry, didn’t mean to break wind. lolol


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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3026106 01/27/20 03:53 PM
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Re: Synth Explosion where does it end? [Re: paulkondig] #3026158 01/27/20 07:26 PM
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GAS is just a manifestation of our floating existence in the world of Maya. Our endless quest for more material things leads only to dissatisfaction and sorrow, as we lose sight of the eternal truths that ultimately lead to Enlightenment. Also, money.


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